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.
March: We 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.