I love beginnings. The first kiss, opening a book, introductions to strangers, new linen and Mondays…

The beginning to a new year is my favorite. I see it as my own personal opportunity as a do-over, every 365 days. I know that  I can’t really correct every mistake that I make and frankly I don’t want to. It would be way too much work. My list is long.

But every year, as the sun rises on New Year’s Day, I feel incredibly happy. Another chance…

After the chaos of Christmas, Ralph and I needed several days at our farm.

The weather was spectacular. In the absence of snow, we were able to take long walks in the woods with Molly. For us, there is no better place to dream about and discuss the future.

We were happy to see the tail-end of 2011 disappear. It was a tough year for us. Enough said – onward and upward!

While we walked in the forest, we had the ‘what was the best thing about this year’ conversation.

For me it was easy – this blog! Everything about writing this blog has been fascinating. Learning how to maneuver around the internet has opened a whole new world to me. Social media has blown my mind. I love it’s encouraging and generous nature. The total lack of tolerance for insincerity is awesome. Not that self-serving frauds don’t exist in cyber space but they are quickly kicked to the curb. I love it!

When I started to write, the thought of anyone other than my daughters reading my blog was the furthest thing from my mind. Why would anyone be interested? The fact that you are is wonderful.

Another question during our annual New Year’s Day debrief and ramp-up’ is “so what’s next?”

When Ralph said those words, it hit me like a ton of bricks! That’s it – I love the possibility of ‘next’.

Happy 2012

  • Molly + Birch Trees = Adorable!

  • Sara Marie

    This gives me Goosebumps … <3

  • Meggie

    Beautiful photos mom! Xxoxoo

    • Thanks Sweetie – Molly had such a good day. xo

  • Sabrina

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures and the chance to accompany you on this walk.
    I never realized until recently that many people (including myself) had a tough ride in 2011 and are happy to see new perspectives coming up in 2012! All the best to you, love your blog, pictures taken with passion and the wonderful recipes….Sabrina

    • Thank you so much and all the best to you and yours!

  • Deb Perry

    Michelle…your last picture is beautiful!

  • Nathalie Godbout

    Jim and I had similar conversations on our holiday – I feel so invigorated! Can’t wait to share 2012 with great friends like you. Thanks for the hopeful blog – it reflects the thinking in our household as well! xox

    • Welcome home! It’s going to be a great year – I can feel it…

  • Kaitie

    I love this post. Everything about it

  • Looking forward with hope and a positive attitude. Yes, indeed.