Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy 2013! Here's a review of 2012


I'm a big talker. Anyone who has spent five minutes with me could tell you that. I guess I have been talking about making black-eyed peas and cornbread for New Year's since I met Steve (about 12 years ago). This year, I finally did it!

Growing up, my parents always made this dish for luck and money in the new year. I'm pretty sure my Memere made it too. It's a Southern thing. My sisters and I have wonderful memories of eating these peas. Although I don't know that we ever loved eating them, I think we loved the tradition of it.

So this year, I hunted up a recipe and tried my hand at them. Now, my mom used to make them on NYE and we'd eat them at midnight. Since my boys do not see midnight on purpose ever (if we can help it!), we had ours today for an afternoon snack.

I found a great easy recipe online that called for beer (specifically Guinness) and salted pork (we substituted bacon). Sounded good to me! So we soaked our peas in Guinness overnight, and after we were all awake and had our wits about us today, I simmered them for the 90 minutes it called for. They were quite spicy, much to Steve's liking. The boys liked the cornbread. And me, I'm very happy with the results, enough that I will do it again next year.


Aren't those guys just the cutest? We really had a wonderful 2012. I was a little worried about how it was going to end, what with having the cold from hell run through our house and wreaking havoc with our Christmas, but we did it! This picture is from our sledding adventure a couple of days after Christmas. We have a great hill for that in the front yard.

Over the past year, we've met so many amazing people and have had some pretty amazing experiences.  As a family, we adventured to Starved Rock, IL; Ludington, MI; and Fort Walton Beach, FL. We now have a pretty cool playset in our backyard. We've been to the zoo more times than I can count.

For personal specifics, let's start with Reid.

Reid has grown into a little toddler over the past year. He walks now and plays with us a lot. He has definite likes and dislikes. For instance, he definitely likes hot wheels cars and balls; he definitely does not like to go to sleep at nap time. He definitely loves his Pepere. He definitely loves water. He is generally a very happy little guy.

Jack has had quite a year too. He started a new preschool just about a year ago, and he's continuing to do very well at school. He loves to write and draw. He loves to play pretend and use his imagination. He has made some great friends at school too. Over the course of this year, he has really developed his swimming skills. He's a little fish at the pool now. He has started to play soccer and is learning how to ice skate so he can learn to play hockey.

Steve and I have also been progressing over the last year. Steve had lots of success with his resolutions in 2012. He gave up red meat for the year, and he did an excellent job sticking to it. Through that, our whole family has been eating healthier. He also got us back running again by resolving to run a 10K, which he did with TJ over the summer. We ran a 5K together in November, which was a lot of fun (it involved chocolate!). He earned a promotion at work, and is now the Director of Enterprise Mobile Solutions, or something close to that.

I have spent the last year rediscovering what makes me happy. I did not set out on a specific journey to find it, but it has happened non-the-less. The boys and I joined a fantastic Moms group in Dundee, and we've all made wonderful friends through the group. I've discovered an interest in fashion that I didn't realize I had. I've rediscovered my love of photography and writing, although I wish I could do more of it. I learned how to quilt thanks to my sister Cathy. And best of all, I've found a real calm and joy in spending my days with our sons. This stay-at-home-mom gig is a pretty nice one. I don't know that I'll ever be able to repay Steve's kindness and support in helping us do this.

Since 2012 started out sans black-eyed peas and it was pretty awesome, I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store!



















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