Cooking, Leaping, Struggling and Thanking: A look back at 2012

On the last day of the year, I’m tempted to race forward, set new goals, think about all the things I want do to next year…LET’S GET STARTED!

But before rushing ahead to the new year, I think it’s important to take time to pause and reflect on the good, bad, and amazing things that happened in 2012.  So here they are, month-by-month, the highlights of 2012.

Inspired RD Exercise Library: Side Plank with Modification

In January, I got to flex my trainer muscles for the first time in a long time by designing a workout for BlogHer and Best Buy in the Inspiration to Fitness campaign, officially fell in love with thrifting, and admitted to my bad habit of making piles.


February brought the most popular recipe of the year, a trip to Disneyland, and the realization that having celiac disease is way harder than I thought it would be.


In March, I realized just how grateful I was becoming for any stretch of good health, celebrated by walking a 5k to raise money for sewing machines in Guatemala, and finally made it over to the local farmer’s market.


In April, I chopped off and donated my hair, we celebrated Joe and Leila’s birthdays with some Cowboy Caviar, Joe scored his first soccer goal (and I went a little mom-crazy), and one of my recipes was featured on


May brought my first Celiac Awareness Month.  I wrote about how difficult I was finding this life change to be, how frustrating it was to be called “trendy”, asked you to please invite me to dinner even if I can’t eat your food, and finished up the month with a guest post from my husband.  I also signed on to be the nutrition and fitness expert for a fun new company called Ecocentric Mom.


In June, I decided to finally take the leap of being myself around you, and you completely embraced me for it.  Thank you.  I introduced you to my good friend Angel, and I posted what turned out to be my most popular post ever about healing the mommy tummy.


In July, I turned 33 and went on an adventure to Ethiopia that completely wrecked me and changed my life.  Everything about that trip continues to challenge and inspire me daily.  I’m still humbled and amazed that Food for the Hungry considered me worth taking.


The first day of August had me in a news studio talking about my trip to Ethiopia.  I also started doing recipe posts for Van’s Natural Foods, made a Peanut Butter Banana Split Sandwich with Joe, and flew to LA for Fitcation.


I was tired in September.  My body hurt, and celiac seemed to be kicking my butt.  Jeff and I embarked on a whole foods challenge for the month, and my blog posts were short.  A bright spot of the month was when I signed on to be an ambassador for the California Raisins and flew out to Fresno to see them in person.  I also taught you how to optimize your photos for Pinterest and ferment vegetables at home.

 Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancake via

In October, I made over an old favorite recipe, celebrated the beginning of the baseball offseason, taught you how to make a lazy scrapbook, and told you what celiac disease is really like.  Jeff wrote a guest-post about the whole foods challenge and the 14 pound weight loss he experienced.


November brought another recipe redo, an introduction to Pure Charity, fun photography practice, and our first garden harvest.


In December, I took a photography class, cooked with local produce, and told Santa to do a few “butt squeezes” in an ABC News article.  I also held my family close as we mourned deeply for Newtown.  Just before Christmas, Joe and Leila handed over more than $300 in funds they raised through their coffee stand to help feed kids in Malawi, Africa.  Some of you donated through Paypal, and their story was told in front of thousands at church.


2012 was a lot of things.  Awesome, crappy, wonderful, and discouraging.  There were days when I could go to the gym and run 3 miles with a smile on my face, and days when I couldn’t get out of bed.  Days when I sat on my bed and pitied myself for my disease, and days when I sat on a bed in Africa and listened to a woman with HIV tell me how great our God is.  There were days when I was entirely too proud of myself, and days when I was humbled to my knees.

I’m entirely too weak of a writer to try to sum up a whole year in an eloquent manner, but I do know this.  I’m not who I was on December 31, 2011.  I’ve been stretched, twisted, tested, knocked down, picked up, and blessed beyond measure.  I’m thankful for it all, and I look forward to 2013.

Happy New Year, Friends.

  • Amelia December 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    What a year! Hope this next one has as many adventures and fewer health struggles 🙂

  • Rachel @RunningRachel December 31, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Great year in review!!! 🙂

  • Joenanna January 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Well summarized. When you look back and put it in words you wonder how you managed to cram so much into just 12 months. Your descriptions sound like life though – one big roller coaster ride.

  • Laila @OnlyLaila January 2, 2013 at 9:56 am

    What an amazing 2012! Here’s to 2013!

  • Stephanie January 4, 2013 at 12:05 am

    What a fantastic year! You should be very proud.

    I’m certain that 2013 will be even more amazing for you.