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Happy New Year

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2021 was tough. I am cautiously optimistic about 2022.

Even though the year had its share of hardships, there are moments of 2021 that I will cherish forever.

2021 was the year we moved into a home that we love, in a neighborhood we adore, with neighbors who are kind. It has been a much-needed change. The move also meant that Gwen got her own room.

We put a pool for Gwen up on the roof and spent summer days splashing around together.

I am so happy that we were able to travel to Maine last June/July to visit my family. It was the perfect way to take advantage of that moment when we thought the covid nightmare was over. And we got to celebrate Siena and Gwen’s first birthdays! They had so much fun getting to play together – especially since they haven’t gotten to spend much time playing with other children because of covid. I long for the days when covid isn’t a concern and we can spend more time with my family. It broke my heart to cancel our Thanksgiving trip.

Gwen learned to walk in 2021… and run… and climb stairs. She keeps me very busy.

Some of our favorite memories are of taking Gwen to music class. We have become regulars at Mr. Nick’s classes at Mr. Dave’s Music.

And Gwen finally got to meet Charles’s side of the family. They live abroad and were not able to enter the US for a very long time. They joined us for the holidays and Gwen loved spending time with them.

Oh and Gwen met Santa… She is the friendliest child, but Santa scared her.

I didn’t work as much in 2021. I prefer to spend time with Gwen, and all of the angry messages and online bullying took the joy out of it. I do want to write more this year, and having a regular babysitter lined up might help to make that possible.

Blogging wasn’t as fun, so I turned to a different creative outlet and started painting again (painting, drawing, sculpture, color theory, etc were all classes I took as part of my college education). I completed 19 paintings in 2021, many have been given to family and friends. I also painted several Christmas tree ornaments representing special memories – you can see them in this instagram post.

I haven’t set any goals for the new year just yet – my in-laws were visiting for 12 days over Christmas and New Years and I have been busy cleaning and catching up on things.

I do have some hopes for 2022…

Can people on the internet please be nicer?

I am sick of online bullying and shaming. And complaining about ads on this site? Go buy a cookbook instead. People buy magazines that are loaded with ads and don’t seem to be upset about the ads… so why do people feel entitled to complain about ads when they are getting access to sites like mine for FREE. The ads make it possible for the site to be free.

Maybe, just maybe, can we work together to tackle Covid?

Vaccines work. I don’t want to debate this. What I will say is that having a baby in a pandemic has made motherhood extremely isolating and challenging. I am hopeful that when Gwen turns 2, there will be a vaccine available to her. Fear of her getting sick has been constant and it has greatly limited what we have been able to do as a family.


More than anything, I am hoping that I can celebrate Christmas Prelude and Christmas in Kennebunkport next year.

Normalcy feels so far away, but maybe by next Christmas things can be back to the way they were?

Lastly, I want to thank you. Thank you for being here. For supporting me. For being by my side when things were hard. It means the world to me.

tanja/the red phone box travels

Wednesday 2nd of February 2022

all the best in 2022!

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