My family and I waved goodbye to 2012 at Elysian Park with a wide open view of Los Angeles in all directions. It was a fitting spot for me to step back and try to see the bigger picture of the year. Most of the people in my life would say it was a pretty tough one. I wouldn't necessarily disagree. Call it the global "tranformation" predicted by the Mayans that caused all the tumult, or not. I'm not sure myself. And while there were certainly moments of doubt, fear, frustration, even anger at times, there were usually grateful moments of resolution just waiting around the corner. It was the space between those bad to good moments that taught me the most about myself. I take the most momentous event of my year as an example, the birth of our youngest baby boy. It began with worry at his prematurity, then moved to elation that he seemed perfectly fine, to a heartbreaking separation from him as he was whisked to the NICU, to frustration at the hours that never seemed to end while he was in there. Then once we got him safely at home, my postpartum health, which I guess I had taken for granted at my other births, suddenly took a dive into some very painful depths. Difficult times indeed.

But looking back on it now, dare I say I'd go through it all again if it assured that this beautiful bumdle of pure light would be here among us. Bad to good, dark to light, silence to music, white to color. I'm still not sure why it all had to go down like that. I may never understand. But as I sit here writing this on a chilly, early January night with all three of my children fed, warm in their beds asleep, none of the why really matters. Only what's here and what's now, and that I'm here despite the obstacles. 

So for 2013, I wish for myself a gentler year. As generic as it may sound, I'd like to improve upon the things I enjoy: learning to cook better, photograph things better, garden better, write better…and of course mother better. I'd also like to read more books, be outdoors more, discover more music, travel more. And lastly, find the courage needed to make my big ideas/dreams come to reality.

It all needs to happen.