This is a reflection time of year. Where we get to look back throughout our year, and look around at our loved one’s faces, and FEEL something. Maybe you’ve had a tough year. Or a breakthrough year. Or challenged yourself. Or had to get through some really tough times. Maybe the holidays feel difficult. Or maybe they’re filled with love and laughter from family and friends. No matter how you slice it, something happens to each of us during the holidays that has us look at ourselves and look at our lives.

And I’m glad. Introspection is my favorite thing to do. It’s where discovery and information lies.

And this year, I couldn’t help but be so grateful for my life. For all of it. The struggles, the tears, the joy, the love, the family. In particular, I’m grateful for my family’s dedication to always growing, always improving, to always trying to make things be the best they can be. For the silliness and laughter and fun and tradition. And the warm welcome (to both me and all my friends). To having a home to come home to. And all the gifts (emotionally and otherwise) I receive all year round. I’m not sure what I did to have such a loving and supportive family, but I feel so darn grateful for them, all the time.

As I head back to Montana I feel both excited and a bit sad. Excited to get back to my new home and friends and to start 2013 off with an intentional bang, but also a bit sad to say goodbye to my family. It’s been real nice, everyone. Thank you.

Elf and Her Favorite Reindeer