thank you, 2012!

Champagne is chilling in the fridge, our bags are still unpacked from our Christmas travels, laundry needs to be washed, my party outfit is layed out for this afternoon, and I’m ready to welcome 2013.

Although the last time I wrote, it was on a rather low note, I feel nothing but gratitude for this past year. We celebrated so many wonderful milestones: T. and I both graduated with our PhDs, our daughter celebrated her first birthday, we took an epic vacation around Europe with her before she even turned one, and we shared so many happy moments at home as well as abroad. And although year ended with a loss deeply mourned, we also received good news a week after my miscarriage: T. was offered an amazing scientist position that he is thrilled to be starting this coming January. The added bonus to this job is that we get to stay in our town a while longer. And we don’t have to say goodbye to any of our good friends here as we’ll continue to call this place home.

But before I delve into that, first I would like to offer a huge Thank You for all your kind wishes and words of comfort on my last post. This site has come to be another home for me, a place where I can share my thoughts and find the support and feedback of so many wonderful readers and friends. As much as I enjoyed my brief vacation from blogging, I have missed this space and I look forward to coming back for 2013. In fact, if you’re reading this on the actual site and not through a reader, then you might have noticed that the blog has gotten a bit of a facelift – a clean new look for a clean new year. I’ve simplified the layout and I’ve done a bit of decluttering around here. I’ve also updated my blogroll, where you’ll now find a newly curated list of wonderful sites related to biking, families on bikes, parenting, homesteading, and food. If you’d like me to consider your site for publication on my sidebar, leave me a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!

Another change to the site has been the slow but certain removal of ads from my sidebar. I’ve been thinking about phasing out sponsors for a while now and have decided to go through with it going into the new year. The reasons for this are manifold but mainly I’ve enjoyed being able to step away from this space when needed without feeling the obligation to write due to third-party stake in my posting.

I spent my December break steadily regaining energy (loss of energy and a constant sense of fatigue are apparently common symptoms after a miscarriage and taking iron supplements really helped). I also spent much time knitting and organizing my photos and videos taken this past year. I finally went through all the images taken on our travels and started putting together family movies for us to have as keepsakes. I especially wanted to make them for C., who will have no recollection of her many adventures this year. But as I was making out travel videos, I realized that just as important as the memories made on the road as the many memories made right here: at home. It may not always be as exciting of a place as the many cities we visited on our travels but it’s a place full of love, life, laughter, bike rides, good food, and good company, and I wanted to commemorate our year at home with a video of its own:

I’ve been thinking a lot about this place we call home especially as we’re signing on to make this community a much more permanent fixture in our lives. It’s no secret to those who know me that I am a city person and that living in a small town in Iowa was never my intention. But life has a way of moving along and not always in the direction we envision and with each passing year I have come to believe that it’s the people and activities around me that make up my quality of life. And so I’m relaxing into this new life of mine in Iowa and embracing it for all the goodness it offers our family right now. And as you can see, there is so much goodness.

We’re also very excited to be searching for a more fitting home for our family now that we know we’ll be staying here. We need a larger space for our hopefully still growing family and we’d like to be more centrally located so that we can continue to reduce our reliance on our car, getting around increasingly by bike and on foot. And we want chickens! When in Iowa…

Looking back on this past year, 2012 was all about reaching goals and completing tasks: we needed to finish our dissertations in order to wrap up our schooling. We needed to graduate and complete that chapter of our lives. We wanted to settle our family somewhere and to bring our stay in our current home to an end. We also wanted badly to grow our family by one more member. Many of those wishes and goals came to fruition. It was a good year and one to be proud of. Now I’m looking forward to 2013, which will be all about Beginnings. A new job for my husband, a new home for us soon, another shot at another baby, and the scary yet thrilling anticipation of a year wide open with possibilities.

With loss and grief comes renewal and the chance for life to move in new directions. I wish you all a beautiful, hopeful, and thrilling new year, full of Beginnings (of the capital B kind) and new adventures.

Thank you for reading my words and for adding yours to the discussion. My life is richer for this space and the role you play in it! Thank you.


Music in video: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, “Home”

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About simplybike

{Bikes, a new baby, and the story of us.}
This entry was posted in Family, Food and Home, Videos. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to thank you, 2012!

  1. S, I always enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for sharing with us and cheers to an exciting 2013.

  2. Chrissy says:

    Happy New Year! This is one of the best year-end posts I’ve read (and I’ve read a lot). Your writing always makes me smile and/or think, so I’m glad you’re back to it. I hope 2013 is the best year yet!

  3. Lauren says:

    Roots are good. And Iowa, while not urban, is a wonderful place to live. I definitely consider myself a transplant. If you’re ever in the CR/IC area, look me up!

  4. Mama Bicycle says:

    Thank you for our contact last year 2012. Wish you and your family’s happy new year. Keep in touch.

  5. marci says:

    Happy New Year to you and yours! Wishing you peace and abundance in the coming year. So sorry to read about your loss. I was experiencing the exact same thing this time last year.

    Your little girl is so adorable! What a cute video!

  6. Susan K says:

    Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family! May 2013 bring you joy and new adventures!

  7. L says:

    A wonderful post, a wonderful video and as always wonderful words. You are one of my daily inspirations, you remind me what my instinct tells me all along but that I suppress it (often) because of many other external factors. Thank You and Happy New Year! L xxx

  8. Afromedusa says:

    Happy new year S! I’ve loved reading this post about being thankful for everything you have, i think that’s the only way to progress in life. For any reason you had to experience this in your life, but i’m sure it’ll make you stonger, even more!
    Thanks for sharing all good and bad things, you’re such an inspiration. The place where you live seems to be a lovely town, lucky you that you are surrounded by nature! I live in a big city and i often dream living in a place like yours. But the same as you say, people and activities alltogether make my place a lovely place to live.
    Keep on inspiring us with your posts about biking, family and a simple and green life :-)

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  10. Rose-Anne says:

    Oh my gosh, that video made me so happy. Love, love, love it. Happy 2013 to you and yours, S. You are a treasure, and I can’t wait to hear about your adventures in this new year.

  11. Rita says:

    oh a very happy 2013 to you guys! Thank you so much for sharing with us out here! Wishing you all the best xoxo

  12. Dottie says:

    Beautiful. I’m excited for you and your family and look forward to seeing your adventures through 2013.

    Happy New Year!

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