Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!



New Year's Eve takes me back. Every year until we moved to Arizona when I was 13, my parents would pile everyone into the car and drive us up north to our best family friends' house.  Both sets of our parents would go out to the Fireman's Ball to drink and dance the night away, and our trusty babysitter Betty would watch us girls.  It was always the four of us- two sets of sisters: Lauren and me, Corin and Caitlyn. Corin was my age and Cait was Lauren's, and we grew up spending all of life's milestones and family vacations together. Our Moms were best friends in college, bridesmaids in each others' weddings, and after each of them started a family they all became one big group of friends along with some other couples and their kids too. It's neat to look back at all the fun we had, and New Year's Eve was always such a fun night that we looked forward to all year. In typical fashion once our parents left we'd indulge in a million appetizers our Moms would set out, we'd eat yummy cake and German sweets (thanks to Aunt Marita) and drink soda. We'd giggle and run around the house, get into the The Twilight Zone marathon, and at midnight we'd watch the ball drop and toast with our little cups of sparkling cider. Sweet, elderly Betty would somehow round us up and get us into bed, but we'd never sleep. This was always a late night for our parents, so for the next couple of hours we'd have "sister wars," playing pranks on Lauren and Cait, they'd spy on us, send little notes under the doors, and try to avoid Betty coming back down the hallway telling us to go to sleep! We'd always make up little missions for each other- "sneak down the hallway and grab a piece of chocolate cake without Betty noticing." Oh, we were rebels! haha. Then sometime around 2am our parents would come home, we'd pretend to be asleep, then pretend to wake up so we could snack on some of the yummy treats they'd bring home for us. It was so magical.

Nowadays New Year's Eve means family for us. This year we planned on having a few friends over to celebrate, but we ended up coming down to Phoenix to spend it with my parents, sister and brother-in-law. I'm so happy to be here, and I couldn't be more ecstatic to ring in a New Year sitting in our pajamas, eating too much food, and knowing that Henry is sleeping soundly upstairs. 

2011 was wonderful, and just like I said about last year, it really was the best year of my life. I feel lucky that I'm able to say that once again. I think this past year was more about personal growth than anything. As I expected this first full year of being a Mom was so transformative; I feel like so much has changed. Having a baby has a way or re-prioritizing everything in your world. Insignificant things that were once important seem to fall away, and life begins to simplify a bit as your focus narrows. That was 2011 for me.

2011partone

I am looking forward to so much in these next 12 months. I love the New Year and think any sort of fresh start is inspiring. Yes, tomorrow is just another day, but it still is a fun symbol of starting anew. I'm not making specific resolutions but I am focusing on a few different areas of my life, and I'm excited to keep making headway on those things.

2011, you've been good to us. We continued adjusting to our new role as parents, my sister got married, we had an AZ blogger meetup, and I attended some great concerts and shows.  I had a lot of fun girls' nights (like this one and this one), I started writing for Hello Giggles, I began the last year of my 20s, started Henry in swim class, celebrated his first 4th of July, and took a 2-week vacation all around the East Coast.

I traveled to California to celebrate Shirley's bachelorette weekend, took fun family day trips like this one to Flagstaff, my best friend Sarah got married- I was her Maid of Honor, and we celebrated the beginning of Arizona's centennial. I also got my blog redesigned, visited Las Vegas with my little family, and later took an amazing trip back with some of my favorite ladies, and was a bridesmaid in sweet Shirley's wedding too.

Henry visited his first pumpkin patch, took part in his first Halloween festival downtown, and we happily celebrated his first Halloween. Our little guy turned one, we had a fun party for him, and we had two family photo sessions with our friend Christina. We ended the year celebrating Christmas with a light parade, a fun girly sleepover, and spending time with family.

2011parttwo

It's awesome to look back, and then to think ahead and imagine what great things this next year has in store for us. Thank you once again, from the bottom of my heart, for reading along with all 558 of my posts this year (wow!). I love you guys.

Happy New Year!

18 comments:

  1. I've been looking through all the photos I took throughout the year the past couple of days. Sometimes my husband gets a little annoyed at having to stop every ten minutes to take photos of things when we're out doing things together,but when we looked at our 2011 in photos he was happy we did so.

    These are some great photos! Happy New Year!

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  2. Beautiful year dear, wish you the best for this 2012

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  3. The start of a new year is such a great motivation for all the things you have been hoping to get accomplished.

    You are an amazing woman and have a beautiful family. I wish you all the best in 2012! I can't wait to see what this new year holds in store for you as well as myself!

    Happy New Year!

    xoxohannah
    a cup of subtle tea

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  4. Happy New Year! :)
    http://terinaleah27.blogspot.com/

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  5. Happy New Year :)

    Amanda and family | http://notsocountry.blogspot.com/

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  6. i look forward to each of your new posts, what a great year in review! i hope you and your family have an amazing new year! :)

    -lacey
    placeswewillgoblog.blogspot.com

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  7. 558 posts?! That IS amazing! Happy New Year!! :D

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  8. Thank you everyone! :) Happy New Year!

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  9. Sounds like a wonderful year for you guys. Wishing you all the best in 2012 :)

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  10. What a wonderful year it has been! So great to watch your family grow! Hope this year is just as magical!
    xo
    Katie

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  11. I love that you wrote this was the best year of your life. It is such a great attitude to have about life and I admire that. Happy new year. Here's to making 2012 the best yet!

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  12. Sweet Danielle, happy happy happy new year to you & your family! Sending lots of love. xo. <3

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  13. Man, you were busy this year and got tons done! I'm so proud of your family! :) Hope you have a great 2012!

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  14. You had an amazing year! If I haven't told you, happy new year, Danielle. xx

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  15. That's been an amazing year for you! I wish you all the best for 2012, and I can't wait to read more of your lovely blog ♥

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  16. Perfect end of the year post. I love your heart. Its my favorite.

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  17. what a cool tradition you had as kids :) sounds SO fun!!!

    and yay for an amazing 2011, here's to 2012 being just as amazing!

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