>A Toast to All of You

>It has been an interesting and remarkable year.

I could use this post to talk about my favorite recipes from the past year.   Like this Shepherd’s Pie.

Or my first attempt at making sausages at home.

Instead, I’m going to spend some time looking at some of the changes that have occurred in my own life, and some of the remarkable things other people have done over the past year. 
When I first started this blog, back in January of 2010, I had a one-month-old baby at home, a 4-year-old in pre-K, I was on maternity leave from my part-time job, and I was living in a completely different house.  I was frustrated with the amount of money that were (un)able to save, and, by proxy, with the amount of money that we were able to give.

Now, almost a year later, I’m working full time, the baby is a year old, the pre-Ker is in Kindergarten, and we’re settled in to a completely different and unique living situation. 
And we’re happy.  
My husband and I made the decision back in May of this year to sell our house and move in with my mother.  I know, you’re all probably thinking we’re crazy.  Or broke.  Or maybe a little bit of both.  But neither of those things is the case (okay, maybe the crazy part – but just a little bit).  
It just made sense for all of us.  The kids would have their grandmother close by, we would all have a larger support network, and it would be financially beneficial for everyone involved.
So, here we are, in our strange little suburban commune, living our strange little suburban life.  And, strangely, we’re happier than we’ve ever been. 
In an effort to celebrate other folks who do things just slightly differently than the rest of the world, and are doing it well and happily, I’m going to share some of my favorite people and sites from around the blogosphere.  These are people who I admire for the way they have chosen to use their voice.  Hopefully I’ll have the courage and the wherewithal to do some good with my own voice in the future.
  1. All of the Austin Food Bloggers who participated in the Hunger Awareness Blog Project.  This was an eye-opening series, and I’m hoping we can do something similar here in the Atlanta area this spring. 
  2. There are a number of real mamas out there writing about feeding their families real food.  The one I’ve become most closely acquainted with recently writes For the Joy of Food and is married to one of my childhood friends.  I’m looking forward to getting to know her better in the new year, and also picking her brain on baking bread from home-milled grains.  Additionally, I’ve begun reading Modern Alternative Mama.  I like her because she not only writes about what she feeds her family, she also gives meal plans and budget plans to help you on your way to achieving a realistic real food diet for your own family.  I would also place Megan from Stetted in this same category.  I found her when we were both participating in Foodbuzz’s Project Food Blog competition, and immediately felt a connection to the things she was writing about (she’s also one of those Austin Food Bloggers I mentioned up there in number one).
  3. I liked this post from Tomayto Tomaaahto.  It was her third entry in the Project Food Blog competition, and it unfortunately resulted in her being eliminated.  I thought it was very brave and ballsy to use an opportunity like this to make a statement about hunger – she even set up a donation website so that the rest of us can get involved.
  4. This post by Linda over at Salty Seattle that explores the slaughter and processing of chickens at a small sustainable farm in Washington State made me want to go out and kill and eat some chickens.  And I mean that in the least creepy way.  If that’s even possible.
  5. And finally, on a non-food related note, the Salwen Family, who wrote The Power of Half, based on their decision to sell their house and give away half the proceeds to charity.  I know these folks personally, and they are remarkable.  What I like especially about the book is that they don’t expect that everyone will sell their house and give up half the proceeds.  They simply ask that we look at what we have or what we do and think about something that we could give up half of.  I mean, I could certainly redirect half the time I spend online, or half the money I spend on lunches out during the week toward other more worthy endeavors.  Couldn’t we all?
So, a toast to all of these wonderful people, and to everyone else who is making a difference in their own way.  And a toast to all of you who read this little blog on a regular (or irregular) basis.  I have so enjoyed sharing our food journey over the past year, and I relish the thought of doing more of the same in 2011.

8 thoughts on “>A Toast to All of You

  1. >Sounds like you've had a transformational year. I'm not sure I'd want my grandchildren living with me, but I'd sure love it if they lived closer. Best wishes for another good year ahead.

  2. >What a beautiful journey of moving forward and doing what is exactly right for you. Lovely posting for the New Year. Hope 2011 brings you and yours all good things.

  3. >This is such a beautiful post! I'm so glad that you are in a happy place to begin this new year! I hope we can all be as fortunate, and that 2011 (and beyond) continue to bring you blessings!

  4. >Your post about 2010 was wonderful, insightful and inspiring. I LOVE the last image of the champagne glasses and want to applaud you for all of your efforts. Nothing wrong with living with Mom… glad you are all so happy.Cheers in Austin!

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