saying farewell to 2011 — with a plan for 2012

Here we are.

The final day of 2011 — a year full of planning, more friends and family time than a girl could ask for, THE best day of my life when I married my best friend, and enough head tilting laughter to carry me into 2012.

What are your plans for today?

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Did I tell you my husband is one of ten children? It makes for a big partay any time we decide to hang with the fam — we’re talking 40ish people (with the 21 nieces and nephews) for the holidays. A family that size lends itself to one heck of a New Years Eve shindig. That’s where we’re headed tonight, to fill our bellies with gluten-free goodness: 3 different soups, appetizers galore, leftover Christmas cookies and these garlic cheddar biscuits.

My Google Reader is jam packed with fellow bloggers getting in their last posts of the year . Some with recipes for tonight, others with their resolutions for 2012, and one sharing what she learned this year. Love the idea, so I’m stealing it from Kelle Hampton’s blog.

What I learned in 2011:

1. Old school recipes are in. Sometimes I try to be so creative and struggle to come up with new ideas for the blog, but then I realized I have some of my all time favorites in my recipe box, from my family.


You know my Grandma G’s Monster Cookies are at the top of my list. (and others’ lists too — get the request for them often) But that’s just the tip of the family recipes iceberg, definitely more to come in 2012.

2. There needs to be more time for reading. I didn’t put it on my “List for 2012″ because I do make time to read, but not nearly enough time. And I’m not saying it has to be a book either, not everyone loves to cozy up on the chaise lounge with a cup o’ java and read the day away.

What I did put on my list was to open up all those cookbooks I’ve been gifted, some of which haven’t had their pages turned yet. Some are filled with the most amazing stories, not just recipes. I want to dig into those this year, and I will. (it’s on my list, so it will happen) And I want to share them with you — something new for the blog in 2012.

So whether it’s your monthly copy of Real Simple, catching up on your Google Reader, (you should really subscribe to Celiac in the City too, don’t miss a post!) or your own stack of “to read” books — make time for reading.

These two sure do.

3. Every single day is a gift. 

I know, it’s semi-cliche. But oh-so-true. For the most part, our year was full of life, love and light — but there was also loss for several family and friends. So as we start our new life together, and a family of our own in the near future, it’s a good reminder to start and end each day with gratitude. A friend once told me, after her little guy last his battle with cancer, that when the little things in life start to bug us to embrace it, it means LIFE. To be thankful for each day we have on this earth… we only have one go at this, so let’s make it worthwhile. A wise soul.

4. Sunday afternoons were made for cooking. 

Sometimes simple meals for the game, like these venison-bratwurst patties.

Or this “15 minute stew” we whipped up before Mark’s surgery to stock the fridge.

We stick to the recipes sometimes too — like this Moroccan Chili from our America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution book.

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The list could go on, (I also learned: Norwegian, that I’m not very good at yoga, how to sew an actual project, that running is hard) but I want to keep you here long enough to tell you about my new list for 2012. Last year I admitted that I had never really stuck to resolutions — or even put pen to paper and wrote them down. Then we got all crafty about it, and a new tradition was born.

This year, my theme was BE.

As in:

In 2012 Sarah will…

  • Be creative – learn how to use the freakin’ cool camera we got
  • Be in touch – send snail mail at least once a week (continued from last year, our favorite carry over item)
  • Be a teacher – teach a gluten-free class in Milwaukee
  • Be a crackerjack organizer – stop with the piles of stuff everywhere, reduce, donate, no more clutter
  • Be well – to start things off, a detox — the  10 Day Food Challenge starting January 3rd, also use that rockin’ Wii Zumba game, workout at least 3x/week and run another 5k
  • Be a chef – open those cookbooks, share recipes with y’all
  • Be ready – (for starting a family) read up,  make my body a more baby safe place (hence Be well)
There. I’ve shared them. They are out here for all to see — and that somehow helps me stay accountable — and the crafty little page of plans doesn’t hurt either.

Care to share your plans for the upcoming year? Tell me about them in the comments below!

Here’s to 2012 — a year of whole hearted living and head tilting laughs.

happy, happy new year my friends!

xoxo

Sarah