Restart, Refresh, Anew

There’s a clarity that comes with the first of a brand new, fresh year. I, for one, have been desperate for a little honing in on what is truly the most important things.

It’s January second, and now that the fluff has dissipated from the holidays I’ve been able to really focus solely on my family and myself. It’s been a most needed and welcome process, and actually much easier than I anticipated (the part about focusing on myself, anyway).

Our Christmas and New Years were lovely, spent mostly cozied up with our families. We decorated gingerbread houses and sugar cookies and wrapped presents for each other and our furry loves.


… And on Christmas morning, the kids tiptoed down the stairs to see what Santa had brought, and instead of running for their own gifts they first found the ones they had made for us in school and presented them proudly. Beau climbed on the couch, threw his arms around my mom (YiaYia) and told her he loved her.

It was surprising and sweet and the best gift of the day.


I tried to get out from behind the lens as much as possible, to really be present with my children and my family.

It was liberating, but I wish I had a few more photos from that morning. I wish even more that I could entrust my memory to keep those special moments safe within my heart, or at the very least to unearth them from the rolodex on cue in the years to come.

On New Year’s Eve, we put out the finger foods and let them graze on tooth-picked chicken bites, broccoli and popcorn while we played charades, did the limbo and danced like it was 1999 to musical chairs.

We headed to the beach for breakfast the next day, and despite the relatively chilly temperatures, the fresh air and sunshine and our toes in the sand felt just like the cleansing we needed to begin a new year.


2015 will be the best ever.


Naptime with Theo and Beau will be released next month, and our family is just beside itself excited. I cannot wait to see what is in store.

Happy New Year to all of you! Thank you so much for being so wonderful. This community has been truly amazing and I am so grateful for all of your support.

Join the Conversation


  • What wonderful pictures as well as your writing about Christmas. You truly were blessed with such special children who would want to give their presents to you versus starting in on their own gifts first.

    Best wishes for a special and happy 2015. I can’t wait to see your book either! Ordered mine from Amazon in July.

  • Love your family. Happy new year, lady!

  • Happy New Year πŸ™‚

  • Beautiful photos — and, yes, you do have to take time out from behind the lens. It’s required! And if you saw the email my husband and I received from our 28-year-old son right before Christmas, you wouldn’t worry about forgetting because they will remember too. He reminded us of the year we gave him a Playstation — with all the previously unknown details such as how he crept around the house looking for evidence of its purchase. “I hope I did a good job faking surprise….” he wrote.

  • I totally understand your feelings of being behind the camera but yet worrying that you will forget the memories if you do not have the photos. I struggle with that every day. And I wish you all a wonderful new year! I am welcoming it and the fresh start a new year brings.

    Summer Ann

  • Happy New Year! Greetings from Croatia. I love reading your blog πŸ™‚

  • I love reading your blog and seeing your photos each day…they always bring a smile to my face (and sometimes a tear). My husband pre-ordered your book for me for my birthday (last summer) – I can’t wait for it to arrive.
    Best wishes for 2015…and thanks again for being such an advocate for animal rescue.
    Jan Henry

  • Happy New Year! I’m glad that you guys had a lovely Christmas and that 2015 has gotten off to a great start for you and your family. I can’t wait for the book to come out!

  • Beautiful photos! Can I ask where you found the star pajamas? Love those! Thanks, Shelly

  • Love the Christmas morning pics especially, but all the pics are wonderful. Glad the holidays were great for you. Thanks for always making my day brighter with the faces of your beautiful family. Many blessings on you in 2015.

  • Greetings from Finland, love your blog and instagram feed! What I noticed though is that your blog’s sidebar still says you’re a mother to three children! As an Evvie-fan I’d love for her to be included πŸ˜‰

  • Just beautiful! and please, where did you get those darling star jammies?

  • Blessings to you and your sweet family. Happy new year!

  • I really and truly cannot get enough of your pictures. I look forward to the napping picture every day, and I am beside myself that somehow Evvie is getting in on the nap action. HOW in the world do you do this? Do you have your kids nap on the bed for early on and they just snuggle up? It’s incredible, and I feel like I tell everyone I know about your instagram before, for me, it without fail makes me smile. I am going to buying your book for all of my friends. Our family is full of animal lovers, and it’s really important to me for kids to see how amazing relationships can be with these furry friends. Your book helps us spread some of that love around. Thank you SO much. πŸ™‚

  • That last photo, oh my goodness! I can’t even…! I want another baby! lol πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for sharing a little glimpse into your Christmas.

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