Before I sat down to write this post yesterday, René and I and the girls went to the pier to get some fresh air and enjoy the first sunset of 2012. Truth be told, I was hoping to find some inspiration for what I would write in this blog post. I’m usually not at a loss for words when it comes time to writing, but for some reason, every time I tried to sit down to write this last post of 2011, I would stare off, distracted and distraught at the lack of words flowing.

It’s not that I didn’t have anything to say. It’s that I couldn’t get it down or pinpoint what I wanted to say. It’s happened so much so that this post is a few days late…..being posted the second day of the new year when I wanted to see it up a few days before the end of the year. But things happen for a reason, right? I needed to find that moment still.

So off to the pier we went. We left what was a very thick and yummy game of Horse Lovers Monopoly spread out on the dinner table, to catch the first sunset of the year. The girls got ready in record time. I changed out of my pajamas (yes, it was 5:00 and I was still in my PJ’s), and actually got lucky and found a parking spot close to the pier. And off we went.

The pier was amazingly packed with people. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it so full of life and activity and energy as I saw it today. And as we walked down the length of the pier, stepping out of the way of people taking pictures, kids chasing each other, fishing poles being cast, people shouting and laughing at each other I really started to feel the power of what a New Year means.

Little moments together. Special looks. Beautiful places. The light when it hits your beloved’s face. A special hug from a friend. That look he gives you. That sweet smelling hair after a bath. A caring arm around your shoulder. That special text that makes you feel remembered and appreciated. The breeze on your face. The work that is so challenging but makes you feel alive. The family that makes your head dizzy but you wouldn’t know where you would be without them.

Life is all around you and those little moments are what makes it all worthwhile. As I look back on 2011 and despite being filled with personal and professional challenges, it was a year that made me realize how happy I am in my skin and in my life and in the moment.

While very imperfect, it’s perfect for me. I’m happy with this mess of a life that I call mine. And I’m happy right now. I love where I live, what I do and the people that surround me. And my New Year’s wish is that everyone can find that perfect mess for themselves, too.

All the best and Happy New Year……Astrid and René