2012: The Year Our Hearts Overflowed

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Well, it’s almost time to say goodbye to 2012. Last year at this time, I just couldn’t wait to close the door on that year (it was the year we faced our fears, after all, and on that final day I got one last kick in the pants with food poisoning!)  As the year ended, Jeff and I were washed over with a wave of relief. The only wish we had for 2012 was for some relative stability.

Not only did we experience stability and the daily peace that comes with living in the same place for a full year, but we also received so much soul-nourishment. This year was characterized by a huge number of “pinch me” moments. We have felt so blessed, and astonished that things have turned out so well for us this year. Today I’d like to point out a few of the highlights from the year.

January:  We started the year out right, enjoying the richness of the local landscapes, and spending my ideal Saturday afternoon doing our shopping at a local farm– a place where we could feed the animals and enjoy the gorgeous setting of the farm, where we bought eggs from some of the happiest chickens on earth. This is one of those things I love most about where I live!

February:  We went to Turkey! Words fail me in describing how wonderful it was to spend a week in Antalya while Jeff attended a conference. Our family had never taken a vacation like this, and this was paid for by Jeff’s work– what an incredible blessing! It was so relaxing, and the climate reminded me so much of home in California. And the warmth and friendliness of the Turkish people was just what our frost-bitten hearts needed at that point in time. Our hearts overflowed.

MarchWe finally made it into London. I don’t know what took us so long, but once we finally did it, we were thrilled to realize how lucky we are to only be 1.5 hours away from this amazing city. We felt completely transported out of the very rural setting of Bury St. Edmunds, and it was so refreshing to be able to see the beautiful architecture, do some shopping, and especially to eat some great food! We made it back into London three more times this year.

April:  As the weather warmed a little in April, we did a lot of exploring in our neck of the woods, discovering the very crooked medieval town of Lavenham. And then we made a break for it– I had no idea we could essentially drive across the English Channel, and this changed everything for us.

May:  The month of May held two main adventures for us. The first was the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee– it was so much fun to be a part of this historical event, and to honor Her Majesty in our own way. The second hailed the beginning of beach season here– spending a day next-the-sea in a beautiful fishing village.

June:  In June, we took our first of three consecutive trips to Belgium! On this first visit, we had an amazing serentipitous experience of becoming friends with some strangers at a cafe, which led us into all sorts and fun and joy in the following months. (You will love that story!)  In June, we also celebrated Amelia’s 6th year with a really fun, girly, butterfly-themed birthday party.

July:  Summer came very, very late to our area, but whenever the sun came out, we headed for the beach. Each beach we found was so unique and wonderful, it was always hard to decide where to head next– one of the ones we’d loved, or to one that we hadn’t discovered yet? Our favorites were Southwold and Felixstowe Ferry. So much beauty!

August:  We also spent August at the beach! Not only did we have the incredible gift of spending four days at the coast in Belgium, but we also went camping in Cromer— believe it or not, we had never camped as a family before! There were many beach trips, and this may have actually been the best month of my life!

September:  The highlight of this month was absolutely, without a doubt, attending our Belgian friends’ wedding. Never underestimate the importance of having fun!! We danced until 3 a.m., and were immediately sad when we left early to get our little one to bed. If you ever have the chance to go to a Belgian wedding celebration: Just. Say. Yes. We could all use a little decadence and crazy-time:

October:  This was a very English month for us, full of all things outdoorsy. First there was the Suffolk Game and Country Show, then there was a fungi foray, and then foraging, and more autumn magic. You guys, I just can’t get over the beauty of our natural landscapes here– these pleasures were so simple, but filled us with joy. Every day, I wished the day was longer so we could enjoy more, more, more!

November:  November was pretty much all about enjoying the Ickworth House! I loved sharing with you tours of this incredible property that is just 10 minutes from our home.

December:  Oh, you know what the highlight for us was! Seeing the queen on Christmas morning, and finding the documentation from the media about this crazy moment in our lives. The response I have gotten from all of you has been so wonderful and heart-warming, quickly cementing this as one of our most memorable experiences ever!

Photo Credit: AP/ Matt Dunham

And Here We Are… saying goodbye to such a rich, full year of fun, happiness and unexpected blessings. What a wonderful year! Our hearts are full, replenished and healed from the year that came before it. We have so much to be thankful for.
And I am thankful for you. Sharing our lives with you has made all of these events that much more wonderful and rich. I have made sweet friendships and found incredible community and support through writing this blog, and so I thank you very much for being with us in 2012.

I am wishing you a seriously incredible, joy-filled 2013!


16 Responses to 2012: The Year Our Hearts Overflowed

  1. Susan December 31, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    I’m very happy to have found your blog this year – I just read your 2011 recap; wow, that was quite a year! Glad to read how lovely 2012 turned out. Thanks for blogging, and I look forward to reading more.

    • Ariana Mullins January 2, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

      I’m glad you did too, Susan! Yes 2011 was pretty wild– but knowing that we did more than just survive it has been a big boost. Thank you for following along with us.

  2. greatdana January 1, 2013 at 12:53 am #

    Yea for such a wonderful year! I’m SO happy for you and your family!

  3. Natalie2b January 1, 2013 at 5:10 am #

    I found your blog a few months ago when we were contemplating a move to London. I have really enjoyed reading about your adventures and thoughts on moving a family half way across the world. Our move happens next week! We are incredibly excited to be starting our own adventure with our three boys. I hope your 2013 just as full as 2012 was!

    • Ariana Mullins January 2, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      Hi Natalie, and thank you for introducing yourself! I am wishing you well on your adventure, and I will definitely be looking in on you to see how it’s going!

  4. Hazel January 1, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Glad you’ve had such a happy year here. The expression on the Queen’s face still makes me chuckle!

    Wishing all 3 of you a happy, healthy and peaceful 2013. x

    • Ariana Mullins January 2, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      So glad we could give you a good laugh, Hazel! Really, that’s what I’m here for. 🙂 Wishing you a wonderful 2013 as well. Hopefully we can meet your family sometime this year!

  5. Susan January 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    I found your blog a couple of months ago when I saw a link on Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s site (about butchering a pig!) and I am SO glad I did. I absolutely adore everything you write about, the stories you share and your pictures. Life has not been easy for us these past few years -although I hope 2013 will be the year of a turn-around!- and your site has provided me a much needed escape from our troubles. For a few minutes when you send out a new post, I am transported away from looming foreclosure, my husband’s unemployment of 4 years and my ill-health (from stress, no doubt!).

    So thank you, thank you, thank you! You may think that it is simply fun to share your photos with others on your blog, but for me, there have been some days your beautiful photos have been the only things that kept me moving forward as they gave me such hope that, someday soon, I will have such beauty in my life again, too!

    • Ariana Mullins January 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

      Susan, this comment made me cry. Thank you so much for sharing with me, and it’s a humbling honor to be able to encourage you from over here. I really feel for you, in your current state of unrest. I am wishing your many unexpected joys, and an unfolding of peace in 2013. Thank you for your kind words.

  6. Amanda January 1, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    I really loved discovering your blog this year and I hope 2013 brings you and your family an overflowing cup of blessings. Thanks for all your wonderful posts- I especially loved reading your food posts, your posts about travels and discoveries, posts about your home (decorating, flower arrangements, etc), and most of all the posts where you analyzed your experiences and gave your readers insight into your thoughts… those were the most interesting to me!

    Wishing you all the best ~ Happy New Year

    • Ariana Mullins January 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

      Amanda, I have loved chatting with you here this year! This is really the best thing about blogging, for me. I will absolutely be writing more about food, travel, home, and personal ponderings– so glad you enjoy reading about these things,since it makes it that much more enjoyable to share.
      Happy New Year!

  7. Anonymous January 3, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    I share Susan’s view. 2012 hasn’t exactly been a smooth ride but I loved reading all your posts. After reading them it gives me hope that things can turn around 🙂 I enjoy the photos you post of England, my heart melts when I see the countryside.

    All the best for 2013!

    • Ariana Mullins January 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

      Thank you so much for telling me this! So glad my stories and pictures bring something positive or lovely into your life– this is what I want to be doing! Wishing you a much better year in 2013.

  8. Elie January 5, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

    What an amazing year. Makes me want to do the same: one photo per month of the year. I hope 2013 can live up to such a wonderful 2012 for your family!


  1. 2013: A Rather Stable Year | And Here We AreAnd Here We Are - March 29, 2014

    […] hard to come up with a dramatic title, after having endured The Year We Faced Our Fears and The Year Our Hearts Overflowed. It was somewhat quiet, and basically… Stable. Simple. Sweet. That’s what we needed. […]

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