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Well, there is nothing like food to get everyone smiling again after what can only be described as a hard second half of 2013.  It’s one of those years where even though lots of goodness has happened, we have been weighed more with sadness leading into the last months of the year, I can only say I will be glad to see the end of this one.

When you start a whole fresh year at the beginning on Jan 1st, you expect that those who surround you and you love the most will be here on December 31st, sadly for many this is not the case.  It’s a real reminder to not take those you adore for granted and to show them they are a special part of your journey.  How important is this and how often do we do it?  In our busy lives, when we are rushing madly through life, it is sometimes hard to remember to stop and breathe, but as I get older, the wiser side of me knows only too well the truth in the old adage “stop and smell the roses

Today we did some smiling again, just a few family members having fun in the company of each other,  just laughter drinking and eating and old fashioned banter.  We havent done that in a while and it felt so good.

My husband has a pizza oven which we bought in lieu of a barbeque, similar in price but has given us so much more fun than a BBQ would have.  Bill carefully prepares the dough in the morning, waits for it to rise then whoever is around gets to make their own pizza which is a lot of fun as guests create their own magical taste, while looking at what someone else has decided to place on theirs! We lay out a gamut of ingredients to suit meat lovers, vegetarians, aussie lovers or just plain with cheese.  Everyone loves it.  And the freshness is unbeatable!

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As I am moving out of the fog of the past few months, I see that Christmas is fast approaching. This year I want to begin a tradition of having Christmas lunch at my beach retreat and every year after that.  Now that we are in our ‘final home’ I feel that it’s time to set down roots and traditions which I want to become a part of ‘our story’.

As we begin to head into another whirlwind period of Christmas shopping, decorating the house and general end of year madness, we will never forget those who no longer walk beside us and this Christmas when we hold our drinks up to wish “cheers to old friends” (a tradition my father began each Christmas for those no longer with us), we will have a new friend added to that list who I hope will be smiling down on all of us.

For the rest of the year I plan to finish off my unpacking of boxes and sorting of paperwork which was put aside for other more important things, and make room for a new year to begin. I might even venture out to find some beautiful Christmas decorations which can be the start of our new Christmas tradition, for my beach retreat. I have always loved the beautiful decorations you can get along with wreaths, dinnerware and ornaments but have never really bothered too much as we always went somewhere else for Christmas lunch.  I feel the time has come to do things properly, gather some good old fashioned recipes and create our own traditions to carry forth for many years to come…

Soon our house will be filled with the cuteness and wonder of a new little kitten.  Presently she is still with her mother but will be here before Christmas.  I think the joy of a new family pet will help place us in a better frame to face a new year and whatever it brings with it…hopefully a new job for me.