On new beginnings

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A double rainbow earlier this week

Over the past couple of weeks between Christmas and New Year’s, I have had the opportunity to reflect upon the year, mull over my thoughts, celebrate, remember loved ones, visit family, and enjoy mild days outside.  

I’ve also been busy switching out our quotes around the house, cleaning up post-Christmas, and plotting new ways to organize the house.

This Christmas season was not an easy one for our family, and yet we came through strong. I continued Dad’s tradition of the Santa letter, and Mon Cœur’s (MC) enthusiasm for the holiday lit our hearts with joy, when they would have otherwise been hollow caves.

When I flipped my calendar to January it gave me such satisfaction to see a new beginning. I have been looking forward to 2020 since the passing of Millie – that was the icing on top of the cake for my year, and I think we were all really ready for a fresh start.  The calendar quote for January is:

“And then you realize there is an abundance of beauty to be had in new beginnings.”

This quote is so true – there is such promise in starting with a blank slate – a new calendar, a new journal, a new job…And yet I need to remember that every day is a new beginning, and every day is a fresh start.  

In the same vein of trying to have a positive mindset, we are finding things big and small to look forward to in the coming year.  Anything from having breakfast or an entire day together as a family, to family trips. 

There are many adventures to anticipate in 2020: 

Continuing my journey on this blog– it has given voice to my experiences and allowed me to process as I grow and continue to learn about myself and others, about life, about our stillbirth, about raising MC bilingually, about balancing family and work. 

It has provided a conversation starter to friends and family who may not know where to start. I’ve grown closer to others through this experience. I’ve met new people too, who are on journeys and adventures of their own, and through their shared stories I have learned more about the world and myself.

Continuing the garden– each time we visit a friend or family member, it seems someone has invested in us and in Millie’s garden by gifting us with a plant or tree.  

Although Chouchou is a little worried about the flow and cohesion, I have to remind him that each time we walk the garden and we see these plants and trees that we can remember not only our darling Millie, but those who gave us a tree and the love they have for us.  We now have two nice camellias, a dwarf butterfly bush, a gardenia, and a pincushion flower plant that are settling into the garden and spreading their roots.

Projects– opportunities to be creative and crafty by myself and with the family.  Creating decorations for the house, a crafty area for MC, creatively organizing our life in our cozy little home. More on these soon.

A trip to France  – Chouchou and I have been together for thirteen years and always wanted to take him to “my second home.”  I finally am, and with MC coming along for the adventure! We have an apartment we are renting that is literally around the corner from where I studied abroad and also right next to the Eiffel Tower, which is at the top of MC’s must see list for Paris. After Paris we will reconnect with family in other regions of France and are looking forward to this family adventure.


As we begin fresh with a new year and a new decade, every day I continue to work on my pace so that I can savor all the small moments MC, Chouchou, and I share together; my mindset and energy so that I can be a positive force for family and friends; and connecting with others because I have too often let this slide in priority to the bottom.

I’ll leave you with one of my new quotes I have strategically placed as a reminder, one that I found in a book and was moved by. Something else to strive for daily, and that I will need to work on, but is worth the effort.

Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no matter how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity, but with it you can accomplish miracles.

Og Mandino

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