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A brand new year. 2014. A number that is at once vast, improbable, and real. I remember being a kid and thinking ahead, imagining big years like 2014 and feeling amazed at the fact that I'd get there. But here I am. There. Here.

Last week my biggest girl turned 7. And it was a wonderful, low-key day. A day of pajamas and ponies and purple-wrapped presents. We were still away. At Ashepoo, my family's place in South Carolina. And it was just perfect that we were there for her birthday because Big Girl recently wrote a poem in her first grade class about how Ashepoo is her favorite place in the world.

As a mother, it was a good, edifying day. To see my daughter so happy was nothing but a treat. But it also a wistful day, a day edged in nostalgia. I remember being 7. I remember loving that time of my life, that exact age. I remember my 8th birthday too, sitting on my top bunk, feeling a bit sad I'd be leaving 7 behind. It rattles me some that my own girl is now an age I recall with such sharpness.

Time is passing.

Time. It is something that inspires me and overwhelms me every single day. Particularly on days like these. These are interesting, ineffable days, these very first days of the year. For me, these are soft days trimmed in thoughtfulness, hemmed in hope. I look to the year ahead, and to the ones that will follow it, and smile big.

As I type these words, a long list of resolutions rearranges itself in my head. I've been jotting notes, fashioning an alphabet of avenues, but for now most of it, whatever it is, remains snug in my mind. It's a good place to be, a fine storage spot. I've been doing a lot of thinking about resolutions, about what they are, what they can be and mean, about who of us are the resolving types, the Resolvers.

I am one. A Resolver. I am full of ideas and imaginings for this year. Ideas and imaginings about body and mind and self and story and freedom and family. Ideas and imaginings monumentally large and almost invisibly tiny. All of them, all of this, gets me riled up. I dare say I am becoming an Optimist.

Was it always this way? I don't think so. I don't think I was every truly pessimistic or cynical or negative, but I'm not sure I've ever felt this positive about things. I'm not sure why exactly, but I have some ideas. Ideas I will share and explore in the year to come.

I could go on and on and I would love to do just that. But as I write these words I am sitting at my kitchen island in a sea of pajama-clad girls demanding my attention. Now is not the time to dig deep, but there will be plenty of occasions to do so. Oh how I look forward to this.

I hope your holidays were happy, that you are looking forward to this good year as much as I am. Oh, and for proof that I actually followed through and cooked last night: brussels

Pesto turkey burgers from LBT & roasted Brussels sprouts. All pretty easy to make and very yummy and per Lauren's advice, "the kitchen was closed" by 7pm to allow for twelve hours of no eating. We broke out the wedding china for the first time ever to celebrate this new leaf-turning. We've got to celebrate this shift while it lasts. And honestly? I'm feeling better already.

Here are some pics of our trip. So many more to come, but enjoy. And if you are pressed for time, scroll through to the last shot Hubby took. I think it's breathtaking. Happy Wednesday, all!!


The girls are packed up and ready to head to our family place in South Carolina. They have become good little travelers.


I took this shot and several others through the car window on the drive from the airport to our home.


Sunset on our first night.


We go exploring.




The sassy Rowlets pre-swim.


Our attempt at a nice New Year's Eve photo turns into a goofy pileup. Much better than prim and proper if you ask me.


New Year's Day. Big Girl's birthday. She wears her glow in the dark pajamas and plays with her new My Little Pony cardboard castle.


Middle and I sneak outside even though it's raining.


Most of the day is spent in PJs. Here, the birthday girl gets a ride from her dad.


Can you tell there's a theme to this birthday?


After tucking the girls in and saying one last happy birthday to my first babe, I collapse on the bed and indulge in a little selfie. I am happy and totally spent. This motherhood stuff is zapping and magical. Both.


We wake up and play a long game of My Little Pony Monopoly. I remember how much I loved board games as a girl.


An illustration of Dad when he was a boy. I look at this little face and see my sweet girls.

egretA beautiful Egret.

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How are you feeling about 2014?

Is Happiness a Choice?

What Do You Believe In?