Au revoir 2012…Welcome 2013!


Looking forward to 2013 and all that is to come.

As the winter sun begins to set upon the last remaining hours of 2012, I can’t help but look forward to welcoming the new year. The last few weeks of 2012 have been a bit grueling. We celebrated an early Christmas at home with two very sick kids fighting the stomach flu. The day before we were to leave for the holidays to Virginia, I had to rush my little six-year-old Sophia into Children’s Hospital Emergency Room due to dehydration from all the vomiting. Carrying my poor, pale, lifeless daughter into the ER wasn’t pleasant. She instantly fell like a rag doll into a child-sized wheelchair and I’d never seen her so sick in my life. It was heart-breaking but I knew she’d be fine.

Four hours later after two rounds of fluids she regained her color and strength and we could leave. During the hours at her bedside I thought about how lucky we are to have access to a top Children’s Hospital only ten minutes away. Looming through my mind were thoughts about all the mothers I advocate for in developing countries who have to walk days to reach the nearest doctor or clinic. Ironically I had just received word that my Congressman had co-sponsored a bill I’d been advocating on funding Front Line Health Care Workers in a developing nations. It certainly hit close to home.

Despite our slew of illnesses we were able to fly out as planned to Virginia where we spent the last week visiting both sides of our families. Due to weak immune systems we all managed to pick up colds again and I ended up in Urgent Care with enormous swollen lymph nodes. But I was glad it was me and not the kids. Although we were all sick, it was still wonderful to be with family. Our kids especially enjoyed seeing all nine of their cousins on both sides of the family, plus both sets of Grandparents.


Now we are home sweet home and I am so glad to be here although it won’t be for long. I already leave on Saturday for my next adventure, a volunteer trip to Honduras. I’m excited yet I also have my usual case of the pre-trip jitters. I don’t fully know what to expect, my Spanish is terrible and I always get anxious leaving the kids. I’m a big worrywart but am always better once I get on the plane. I am sure it will be a wonderful, enlightening experience and I’ll come back refreshed and feeling ready to seize the day. Yet the trip is extremely unstructured. All I know is that I’m staying with a Honduran host family, working with kids and there is no hot water in the house. Other than that, I don’t know much. Times like this it is best to remind myself to appreciate and grow from the challenge. We will see!


I look towards 2013 with great anticipation and excitement. I have perhaps the most traveling planned ahead as ever. At times it even irks me, but then I remember how much I seem to grow as a person when I fulfill my dreams of being a wanderlust. I also am excited about the opportunities ahead to continue my advocacy and social good work. Many unexpected doors have opened over the last few months and I can’t wait to see where these opportunities will lead.

I don’t truly believe in New Year’s resolutions as I try to always improve certain aspects of my life. However, this year I would like to continue focusing on my writing, advocacy, health and fitness, and embracing my time with my family. Most of all, I want to continue to enjoy my love-of-life attitude and remember to be filled with gratitude, love, hope and compassion for each and every day. I am so grateful for everything.

I thought I’d end this post with my all time favorite photo I took in Nepal that graces the top of each post. This photo reminds me of who I am and what I strive to be. It brings me hope, joy, happiness, peace, adventure and love. Here’s to a wonderful 2013!


Happy New Year and wishing everyone the best in 2013!


  1. Sas

    Happy New Year to you and all your family Nicole! Sorry to hear that you’ve all been sick, I don’t think there’s a corner of the globe that the sickness bug hasn’t hit. I’ve managed to avoid it so far (touch wood), but most of the people around me have been ill. Good luck for 2013, I can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

    • Thanks so much! Yes, it has been awful. But oh well! Bugs seem to really get active around winter, don’t they! Here’s to a wonderful 2013 to you too! 🙂

  2. Lu

    I wish you and your family a joyful, healthy new year Nicole. Best of luck to you on your trip to Honduras. May it enrich your life in countless ways. Safe travels. 🙂

    • Thanks so much LuAnn! WE are on the mend now. I’m feeling less nervous about leaving. I always get the jitters leaving the kids but they are in wonderful hands and I’ve even got some meals already prepared and frozen for them to make it easier! 🙂 I’m sure I’ll have lots of stories to share! 🙂

  3. Hope the children and you are much better now. Good luck with your new adventure, and wishing you many many more in the yer ahead 🙂 That sunset shot is spectacular!

  4. Lu

    I’m sure that you are all fit and healthy again by now – at least I hope that you are!
    May your 2013 be fabulous and all that you want it to be 🙂

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