I thought I was going to begin 2015 without the familiar wave of nostalgia that always escorts me into a New Year. (Am I the only one?) But there it was, just before midnight, as I gazed over the rooftops of London’s terraced houses, watching a few fireworks pop in the distance. Our first New Year’s Eve in England…first of how many? Who knows. So much uncertainty, I think that is what it boils down to at the end of each year for me. Certainly, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for another year of good health and so many remarkable experiences, but the uncertainty of what lies ahead is sometimes overpowering, a bit scary and mostly exciting. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I like to look over the still-unfamiliar rooftops and wonder how many New Year’s Eves we will spend in this house, in this country. Because really, life is uncertain for all of us isn’t it? You can plan the future to your heart’s content, but in some ways we are all vulnerable to what fate has in store.
Every year Brett and I end up reflecting on past New Year’s Eves. We remember toasting champagne in California, for our first New Year’s Eve after we were married; the year we barbequed and sat on a dock watching fireworks, in the balmy southern hemisphere, while celebrating in Chile (we always wonder why we haven’t done that again); the year we spent it with friends, in our first home in Seattle – almost burning it down, when a candle caught fire to the paper from a housewarming gift; and post-kids, ringing in the east coast New Year, so that they could still be in bed by 9. Those are just a handful. Brett remembers them all – his memory is flawless.
This was a big year for us, with a lot of accomplishments, excitement and change; Accompanied by occasional apprehension, stress and uncertainty. As we begin 2015 we have a satisfying feeling of making it through a bit of a battle to get where we are.
Last night was one of the quietest New Year’s Eves we have ever had. It seemed fitting that a very busy year be put to rest with a peaceful celebration. It was just the four of us and we went to see the movie Paddington in the late afternoon, followed by dinner and board games. During dinner, we reflected on the past year – which was divided equally in half by life in Denmark and life in the UK. We went over it month-by-month, reminding the girls of all the things we did. Then at the end, each person shared their favorite moment from 2014. It was really tough to decide and we had a few “2nd runner ups”, but the grand prizes are captured below.
Brett’s Favorite 2014 moment: This…
Seriously – this is the moment he chose. I don’t think he even realized I captured it. It was a hot summer day and he had just come home from work (he commutes about 40 minutes by train, to London, 3-4 days a week). He got out of his suit and into his swim trunks, poured himself a glass of sparkling wine and got in the kids’ pool. I should let him describe it, but it was basically the realization of an incredibly content moment after a very (VERY) busy and stressful few months.
Dahlia’s favorite 2014 moment: Her 6th Birthday Party
We had a handful (maybe a fistful) of her best friends over to our Copenhagen apartment for a simple party of games and cupcakes. At one point they all went outside to hit a piñata, which was fun, but she specifically mentioned this moment as her favorite: running around the courtyard playing “monster” with Dad and her friends (whom she misses a lot).
Matea’s favorite 2014 moment: Our trip to Tenerife
She said that she loved everything about this trip, which makes her dad and I so happy. She didn’t mention a specific moment, but I have to think that holding these 2 pythons was a highlight!
Mandy’s favorite 2014 moment: Summer holiday in Cornwall
I enjoyed the entire week we were in Cornwall, but our 3 nights “glamping” at the Boswarthen Farm was my favorite.
I love this list of favorite moments because they are all different and fit our personalities so well. It is simple things that make Brett happy – a warm sunny day, low stress and an overall feeling of gratification for where we’ve landed, after what might feel like a battle to achieve. Dahlia is our social butterfly. She made wonderful friends in Denmark and she misses them quite a bit. Thankfully, this also means that she hasn’t had any trouble making friends at her new school. Like her dad, Matea loves the sunshine. Rolling in the sand and splashing on a beach is her happy place. She is also a sucker for quality family time, so it is no wonder that a week of undivided attention from Mom & Dad would stand out in her mind. For me, our week in Cornwall was a celebration of moving to the UK. It encompassed all the things we love to do – exploring a new place, being out in nature and spending time together as a family. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Happy New Year! May 2015 be a wonderful year for you!