Welcome to The Entertaining House. We do hope you'll pour yourself a cup of tea or a glass of wine and linger for a while!

It's 7:03 as I sit down to write this, the last post of 2010. Alexander is sleeping peacefully next to me. In his small arms he has managed to fit 2 teddy bears, a bunny rabbit, and a dalmatian. The television is on and the Today Show is about to run a recap of all the moments, great and small, of this past year. I've done the same myself. I was inspired by the words in the song you hear playing in the background. It is currently Alexander's favorite. How do you measure a year? It has a been an introspective year for me. It has been a year of sadness that has, I know, affected my parenting. While I try as hard as I can to be the best parent I can be, I can't help but think that my children my children had less than stellar years as well. What do they see when they look back? How do they measure a year? This past year?

Outside the sky is a magnificent hue of violets and pinks. Stunning. Mesmerizing. The trees, snow and few remaining leaves have taken on various shades of these colors as well. A beautiful way to capture the final morning of 2010. I have a cappuccino on the bed stand to the left of me, along with my iPhone, glasses and the latest book I am reading -- Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. The author describes the time when she uprooted her family to the Appalachia region where they would start a farm and learn how to live off of the earth. We have lost our roots to the earth and here she shows and teaches us how history, to some degree has caused us to be a sugar-consuming, fast food nation. She documents her year with her family as they set out to do something vastly unfamiliar to them. With intelligence, wit and humor a fabulous and informative memoir was born.

I've been reading mostly memoirs this past year. I think this started mostly because I was writing about La Jolie Grandmere and me and trying to find my own voice, I was studying how others wrote as well. I became a huge fan of Ruth Reichl and her food memoirs. Marjorie Hart's Summer at Tiffany's seem to hit a chord as she of the same generation as La Jolie Grandmere. I have just finished Katrina Kennison's The Gift of an Ordinary Day where the author at midlife with one son about to enter college, examines her life and discovers the very thing she has been waiting for has already happened. Another fabulous read.

I am happy to bid 2010 farewell. If I could I would sweep most of its pieces under the carpet but I cannot. If I could I would sleep away today but I cannot. I have much faith and hope for the new year. But, yet, I don't feel like celebrating. There will be celebrations and triumphs, like any other year, and like any other year there will be hurt, heartbreak and loss. That part I cannot bear...

As you know, if you are a regular reader, I am definitely a glass half full kind of girl. And with that I must look at the positives of this past year. I have taken back myself. What that means, is that over the years of parenting and looking out for everyone else, I lost a sense of myself and my dreams and goals. While they always loomed in the back of my head, I felt it was my duty to put my family first. This year I decided that I ought to come first as well. My New Year's Resolution last year was to get myself to the doctors (that never happened!) and to get back to being healthy. And that I did. I lost the 20 pounds that never came off after my youngest was born. I started working out daily and taking care of me. I started to re-think about my dreams and goals and desires for the future. I started to act upon them. I still work out several times a week. It's made me a better person all around. (And the 5 pounds that mysteriously have found their way back since summer will disappear after all this good holiday food does.. tomorrow!) I have a vision for my career and my success. For this I have to thank my grandmother, La Jolie Grandmere. As I sat and retyped her stories and added my own, I became overwhelmed by her strength and determination to make things happen in her life and knew that she would never have lived an unhappy life. I continue to strive for my goals and have made a vow to myself to never give up.

I bring these strengths and accomplishments and determinations with me in to the New Year. My goal this year is to continue the work I started last year and to create times and memories and moments that will make us all smile.My goal is also to create fabulous memories for my children. For I know that before I know it, I'll blink my eyes, and they will be out of my life and leading their own. I am at a perfect place. My children are old enough that I can live my own life and young enough that they are still fully a part of mine. My intent and goal is to savor every minute of this perfect place.

And if any of you happen to know of any publishers or agents send them this way! :)

I wish you all a wonderfully happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Happy New Year!!!

Out of the mouths of babes...