2011, the year of the rabbit, was a good year.  Our family celebrated a first, third, and fortieth birthday (and some other thirty-something birthday, not really worth discussing, but I just wanted to clarify that it wasn’t me who turned forty!). Our family hit lots of developmental milestones, and started preschool. 2011 was also the inception of ctworkingmoms.com. 296 posts and 790 comments later, I am a regular blogger and have joined a community of working mothers who are committed to their children, families, friends, and generally interested in making the world a better and more magical place. I have learned many things from other moms on this site, and I have refined my opinions on several issues, due to the knowledge imparted on me from other bloggers. I would like to share my favorite nuggets of information and opinion from 2011:

  • Yes, a drive-thru really is the most awesome thing, and all businesses should have them.
  • Being a committed, running-Mom is fulfilling, and there is always time to fit in a workout.
  • People like it when you update your green bean casserole recipe.
  • The Disney Princess concept is troubling.
  • The Preppy Owl Boutique is a wonderful company that makes environmentally friendly products that are stylish, convenient, and kid-friendly.
  • Tattoos, if done correctly, are stylish and tasteful…and I really want one.
  • Part-time work is a beautiful thing.
  • There is magic everywhere you look, and if you can’t find any, create your own (hand massages are very effective!).
  • Doing squats with a 27 pound toddler really works your muscles.
  • If I did more squats, maybe I wouldn’t be as likely to rip my pants.
  • The Rainforest Café is a great spot for a birthday dinner; bring on the giant volcanic chocolate dessert!
  • Lists are an important and effective tool.
  • Apple juice could be dangerous.
  • Two year olds are challenging, three year olds can be even more difficult!
  • Martha Stewart ice box cookies are amazingly simple, and people love them.
  • Children’s birthday parties are stressful to plan, but worth it in the end.
  • Over-volunteering is a chronic problem for many moms.
  • Birchbox is a great value.
  • Working moms are happier and healthier.
  • Andretta Ross makes amazing wreaths, and people love to receive them as gifts.
  • There are countless, creative ways to use left over Halloween candy.
  • It’s ok if strangers can’t tell the sex of your baby

Most importantly, I learned that being a working mom is tough and comes with its own set of complications, but ultimately it is amazingly rewarding.

I look forward to welcoming 2012, the year of the dragon.

It will be a busy year, with second and fourth birthdays, many more developmental milestones, and preschool stories.  It will also be the year that my daughters will welcome their first new baby cousin, and I will have a beautiful niece or nephew. Our family will grow and traditions will evolve. In 2012, I look forward to tackling the constant demands of being a working mother.  The New Year will bring with it new topics, complaints, and fun stories to blog about. I look forward to making additional positive contributions to this site, and providing support to mothers who need it.

Happy New Year!