Last night sitting in bed with Luca asleep beside me, (he was having a nap to make it till midnight) I was reflecting back on the year past and our move to Italy. I’d started to fill in a flowery form sent from a friend listing all the achievements of the year and come up blank.

Not just blank, but totally blank and I have to say feeling a bit down, tired and in no way wanting to stay up till midnight only to go out into the freezing cold and watch the fireworks.

Lucky I had made a pinky promise with Luca to wake him up at eleven so he could see in the New Year.

Reading back through the blog reminded me of all that we have achieved this year, and why we decided to move to Italy.

We’ve been through some major illness, a trip to the hospital by helicopter for Carina which resulted in her having ongoing major panic attacks, Luca had pneumonia.

I got sick on my 50th birthday in June and ended up in hospital.  Of course  I recovered for the incredible trip to Paris for the portrait session with Carla Coulson in September.

We’ve had visitors come stay, and traveled with them to Liguria and France.

I started B-School, and ended up in complete overwhelm before screaming STOP and taking a time out from all the tech side of blogging. I am now back to ‘school’ and creating a new purpose for my writing.

I was invited to ‘A New Way of Seeing‘  photographic workshop in Genoa with Di Mackay and found a new best friend, she is like a soul sister and we laughed the entire time.

Both our camper van and our old blue tractor had maiden voyages.

We bought ‘Casa Bianca’ the white house next to ours and it’s out buildings. Doing so we gained a dog and another cat, our white cat Mishu died and some time later Carina came home with two half starved kittens from the village.

Our episode on House Hunters International went to air and the response was incredible, so many new readers and friends saying ciao.

We decided to create a place that visitors to our Borgata could stay and experience the simple life with us. Opening up our home and creating ‘Casa Bianca’ has been a work in progress and we have our first visitors coming to stay in May…..I’m so excited!

In order to be ready in time for visitors we have begun hosting people from Workaway, this is a wonderful system where you offer accommodation and full board in exchange for five hours of work a day.

So far we have had Sean from England and Ice from Japan, and our family have benefited in so many ways from having them stay with us.

2014 paris dblbatch
2014 3batch

I am constantly reminded of why we decided to move to Italy and all we want to achieve, I still beat myself up and compare myself to other Mums I think of as perfect. We have a soon to be teenage daughter who is full of passion and our sweet boy who compensates for all the angst by going along with everyone.

Our little family is still working towards a less plugged in life, a life away from shopping centers and Ipads, Ipods, and the latest computer games and it’s working.

Growing our own food, raising animals to eat, picking wildflowers, drinking water fresh from the mountain, cutting wood, gathering fresh eggs from our chickens, sipping hot chocolate or cappuccino and eating freshly baked brioche in our favorite cafe, and always looking for ways to take things to the next level.

These are some favorite moments from our year and I share them with you as inspiration for your own dreams.

Upon reflection we have achieved much this past year.

In the small moments, the shared laughter, the struggles and the arguments, each has bought us closer together as a family and that is a gift beyond measure.

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