Happy New Years! 2014 in review

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Another year has gone by, and 2014 has been a reminder to me that, in this life, anything can happen. When I sat down to write about New Year’s last year, it was with the comfortable idea that I had a clue what was going to happen. We had just finished renovating our house in Calgary and we liked our new neighbourhood. I already knew what school X was going to go to and we were hoping for more babies in the future. The years stretched out ahead of me, pretty much already known. Of course you can never know all the ups and downs that come with life, I told myself, the good times or the bad, but I was pretty certain I had an idea where I would be in ten years.

And then. And then Geneva happened. And our comfortable little life was pulled up at the roots and we started over again on another continent. And it has been amazing. I have never looked back or regretted the twists and turns that have led us down this path. Everyday is a new adventure, and I am so thankful for every day along the way.

In 2014, I got to watch my beautiful baby boy turn one, and become not such a baby anymore. I packed up my life with my husband and child, and starting over in Europe has strengthened our family bonds in a way I hadn’t imagined. We are blessed to have another very wanted child on the way and, assuming all goes well, we are so excited to meet our daughter in this upcoming year. I just got back from an impromptu trip to Italy, for heaven’s sake. 2014 has been a very good year for us. I know that they can’t all be this good, and won’t be, but it’s really important to take a moment and be grateful for the wonderful things when they happen.

And the New Year’s has made me maudlin … so let’s move on. I’m not starting any resolutions this year. If anything, this past year has taught me it’s entirely too difficult to figure out what’s coming, so there’s no point in planning out the little details like I tried to last year. I’m just going to take each day one at a time. And here’s my roundup of the past incredible year:

Times moved: 2

Times moved to a new continent: 1

Babies on the way: 1

Books published: 1

Books read: 67. Dramatically down from last year, but I was reading a lot of quality books. It’s worth it, I think, to take the time to really appreciate the classics, old and new, as much as it’s important every once and awhile to enjoy a really trashy, easy read!

Blogs posted: 119. Looking back over the year through this blog was really fun, and reminded me of many things that I had forgotten. May was my favourite month of all. I was at a point where I was particularly creative, and experimenting a lot with both writing and cooking. Z wasn’t too busy with work then and we spent all of our free time exploring our new city. We hadn’t moved into our permanent house yet, and everything seemed to be happily stress-free.

Favourite movie: A tie between Finding Nemo, and Cars. Oh, did you think I had time to go to movies? You’re wrong. My favourites are X’s favourites.

Favourite song: Ditto with songs. “Our” favourite is Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off, which X loves to jump around to. I like it too – super peppy way to get into the day.

Favourite recipe: This was a really hard one for me, so I chose a favourite main meal, and a favourite dessert. For a main recipe, I’m going with Smoked Salmon Pasta with Asparagus. It got the most mileage of anything I discovered this year, and I made it repeatedly. It is easy, tasty and perfect in the hot spring and summer days. For dessert, it had to be something with apricots, as that was my major sweet intake over the year. I adored the Apricot Amaretto Cake. It was sweet without being overwhelming, and the perfect way to end a meal. Also pretty enough to bring over to the neighbours!

Favourite books: Once again, there can never be just one. Here are my five-star books from the year.

Just One Day, by Gayle Forman

The Winter Sea, by Susanna Kearsley

One Summer: America, 1927, by Bill Bryson

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes

Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen, by Tamora Pierce

Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

Dreams of Gods and Monsters, by Laini Taylor

The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

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