Happy New Year!

If all of 2012 is as wonderful as the evening we spent ringing it in, then we’re in for a truly magnificent year! Casa Minify celebrated with a gathering of friends from our old hometown, including two of my former roommates. We played boardgames, we ate a lot, there was some dancing and some singing, and of course we watched the ball drop…and it was perfect. Of all the things I am grateful for in my life, my friends and family (and especially my wonderful husband) top the list!

We had an epic roadtrip for Handmade Christmas this year, with a trip totalling 1575 miles.

Leg 1, to Kentucky to see my in-laws, was exactly 600 miles. We spent a few days there, and then it was on to Western North Carolina (395 miles) and then South Carolina (267 miles) to see family, and finally home (313 miles). In short, a very un-minimalist Christmas. We felt so rushed through each visit with family that we’ve resolved not to do that again – from now on we’ll alternate years instead of trying to see everyone, and save some carbon emissions and some stress. But it was wonderful to see both of our families this year. We do love them so, and value the time we get to spend with them. Here’s my favorite shot of the bunch: my Grandma enjoying a walk by the water.

Know what makes my Grandma happy? Sunglasses. She loves 'em.

 This trip, we had the kind of sunshine that you hold your breath in winter and wait for:

It was a lovely way to bid farewell to 2011, and to celebrate the holidays. For 2012, my biggest hope is more beautiful days, more time with friends and family, more sunlight. I don’t make resolutions anymore – I’ve never been good at keeping them. Instead, I make a list of the things I’m grateful for. This year, at the close of 2011 and the start of 2012, I’m simply grateful for days like this one.

Happy New Year, everyone! I’ll write more about Handmade Christmas (including some gift tutorials) later, but for now, it seems like enough to wish everyone well and to ask – do you have any resolutions? Or things you are grateful for from 2011?

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