Good morning, friends. Like each of you, I’ve been counting my 2013 blessings, and planning and dreaming about what the new year might bring. I’ve decided that this is the year of trusting. No overthinking. A lot of doing.
On the eve of 2013, Kyle and I took a walk. I remember feeling unsure of the year ahead. Not in a bad or good way, just unsure. Like my spirit needed to get brave. I needed to put on my big-girl pants and just do stuff. Leap. Without fear of failure.
This year was different. On the eve of 2014, I went on a run. By myself. I was overwhelmed by the stillness in the air. By the clarity in my head and heart. This year, I know who I am. And it’s finally enough. Not perfect, but enough. Enough to tackle hard things, and be okay if everything doesn’t fall into place as planned. It’s okay to not have everything figured out. Instead of fearing the unknown, I’m going to embrace it and trust that everything will work out in the end.
So, here’s to truly trusting in 2014. Trusting there will be good days, bad days, and ugly days. And with a little luck, hopefully there will be some great days too.
And just as we all thought, we blinked and Christmas is upon us. How does that happen, every single year? I’m relieved that our shopping is done, our gifts are wrapped, and the stockings are stuffed. All that’s left for me to do is complete my first season working in the retail business (whew!) and then it will be time to celebrate the holidays. Heck yes!
If you’re still on the hunt for an easy homemade gift (perfect for neighbors, friends, hostess gifts, etc.), I spotted this recipe in the December issue of Southern Living and gave it a whirl this weekend. It’s simple, and yummy too.
1 vanilla bean
3 cups sugar
2 cups water
6 lemons, sliced
Split vanilla bean; scrape seeds into a saucepan; place bean in pan. Add sugar, water, and lemon slices. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids. Cool completely. Pour mixture into 4 (8-oz.) jars. Cover with lids. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.
TO USE THE SYRUP: Add to gin, vodka, or bourbon cocktails; iced tea; or lemonade.
And, this recipe comes with a free, downloadable label, which certainly adds that extra special something to the gift.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a holiday home tour. We kept things simple this year, so there’s just a few things to share, but it’s still feeling festive around here.
Morning friends! Since Christmas is creeping up on us, I thought I’d virtually “send” you all a little card and wish you a happy holidays! One of my favorite things during this time of year is checking the mailbox and opening cards from loved ones near and far.
May you share in the joy of the season with family + friends this weekend. Cheers to 2014!