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The tree is down, the ornaments are packed away in the attic and the house is back to normal…(well, maybe yours is…ours will be in a few days)!!!  We are still enjoying the tree for a night or two longer-we had a great tree this year and my daughter is begging to leave it up “just a little longer Mommy…please???” How can I say “NO” to that sweet request, especially when I really like our tree just as much as she does?!?!  But the holidays have just about come to an end.  School starts back in a few days and a new year has begun.

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I had so many great ideas I was planning to use for some holiday posts…and yet the only one that made it was, “12 Days of Christmas: The Gift Giving Guide For The Food Lover.”  I was really happy with the ongoing Instagram feed during the feature and it did make it onto the blog…people liked it and I think it helped get more exposure for some neat things at some of our local businesses.  And I’m sure it made some food lovers very happy on Christmas morning to open up some cool food inspired and related gifts from under the Christmas tree (I know for a fact it did, because I received several emails and messages about it…your welcome food lovers, I’ve got your back:). I made sure to post on Instagram everyday-I can always handle a few pictures a day and I think there were a few really good ones from the holidays! But I had more planned, some cookie recipes, more holiday related articles…but time ran out (sometimes I feel like a real life Cinderella…don’t we all)!  And you know what, I probably should feel bad…but I don’t.  I try to live my life with BALANCE! Its something I have to recalibrate, every single day.  From one day to the next, I start over each morning.

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I was in a meeting a few weeks ago with a group of bloggers and someone asked me, “I bet you’re really busy this time of year (during the holidays) being a food blogger, huh?”  I sat and reflected on that and my stomach felt little uneasy with the honest answer I was about to reply, “Not really, just about the same as always.  I’d like to do more and I have some ideas sketched out if I have time…but this is actually my busiest season for work and I’m really swamped, not to mention just normal life stuff with the holidays. I’d like to do more, but there’s not enough time.”  I think she was surprised by the answer, I think I was to.  I didn’t say it guiltily or unconfidently.  I meant it.  Id like to do more-but I have to pick and choose how to do it all.  And truthfully, I can’t do it all, all the time and expect all of it to turn out well.  So every day, I recalibrate the balance.  FAMILY, WORK, FRIENDSHIPS, SELF.  No apologies.  Make the choices and keep onward.  Sometimes the balance is off and I will have to fix the failures, but I strive for the balance and overall…I think I’m doing alright.

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The holidays were wonderful.  I hosted one of my best lifetime friends of (20 years) and her wife for Thanksgiving weekend and it was awesome!  Held the annual holiday Christmas party at my house for my book club (just like I do every year) and we had a lovely time and I didn’t even over cook the roast!  Work was survived (those 13 hour days will almost kill you, but the break after is worth it)!  We did the festivities: the parade downtown, the Holiday Festival of Lights on James Island, we visited Santa and got pictures taken, made gingerbread men with friends (ok-we only decorated them, we didn’t actually bake them) but it was awesome! And most of all-my darling little girl who is nearly 4 years old, experienced her first Christmas where all the magic of Santa and reindeer and empty cookie plates on Christmas morning by the fireplace all came together for the first time.  Old family traditions were carried on and new ones made…and it was special and amazing and perfect and these memories I will hold onto forever.  These memories are the ones that some day (if I’m lucky enough to make it this long) when I’m 90 years old, sitting in a rocking chair bundled up in a blanket, reminiscing….these are the memories I will relive.  ITS PROFOUND.  I just experienced one of the happiest points of my life and I’m completely aware of it.  So, sure the blog posts did materialize as I had hoped for-I’m sure everyone found the cookie recipes they were looking for, somewhere else.  But me, I feel like I did what I was supposed to and was where I was supposed to be.  I was living, soaking it all in, making the magic happen for my daughter, taking care of myself, BEING PRESENT.  Because of it, I’m recharged and ready for the next chapter of living.  I’m ready to head into 2016 and do some awesome things.  I’m working on several blog projects that are really, really exciting and because I kept the balance for myself…I’m ready and not burnt out after the holidays.  Just wait, there is a lot of cool things coming to the blog this year.  2016 is gonna be great!

THAT’S A WRAP FOR THE 2015 HOLIDAYS!  Hope yours were amazing as well!

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