Notes from 2013 - The Sabbatical Year in New Jersey

This time last year, Hubs and I were making preparations for our intercontinental move from Europe to the United States. It would be a sabbatical year with our furry babies in our former home, New Jersey.

This 2013, as a Domestic Engineer, I * Cooked less but ate more. * Baked 4 breads, many pies, cupcakes and crumbles. * Rehoused our possessions by giving them to friends.

As a Cat Mom, I * Travelled with my meowing babies on the plane. * Sadly said goodbye to Fluffy, laying him to rest in his hometown.

As a Maker, I * Completed 9 dresses, refashioned 2, and self-drafted 2 skirts. * Re-vamped JuanitaTortilla jewellery. * Unravelled a dress only to re-knit it, and crochet 1 giant granny square. * Let my Etsy store take a backseat.

As a Wanderlust-er and Trailing Spouse, I * Saw Einsiedeln Abbey in Canton Schwyz, Switzerland. * Visited the New Jersey State Fair. * Took a hot air balloon ride. * Road-tripped to: North Carolina & Virginia Beach; Cape May; Atlantic City; and Boston & Plymouth. * Trekked NYC 9 times. * Followed The Hubs to Costa Rica, Windsor in London, and Edinburgh where we had that unforgettable TED Global experience.

As a Field Photographer for Conservation Drones, I saw bits of Belize, Panama, Cameron Highlands, and Nepal.

As a blogger, I * Met online friends in the flesh, affirming that this blog is a community of friends. (3 holiday-makers in New York; 1 spontaneously in Edinburgh.) * Celebrated friends on this space. * Participated in 2 swaps.

As hosts in this little town, we * Indulged guests and ourselves with local delights of Cupcake-War-winning House of Cupcakes and PJ's Pancake House for the pancake overload experience. * Enjoyed the company of: Simon; Janice and Sou; Ankara and Luna; Ming and family; John and Zuzana; my parents and sister; and the Conservation Drones' growing family.

Also, I * Finally got behind the wheel to drive, albeit in a very small town. * Over-indulged in cupcakes and all the wonderful sugary snacks America has to offer. Yes, even at a ripe old age of 35. * Enjoyed revisiting this place we call our second home; to see the changes after 5 years or none at all. And to be with old friends once again. * Did not fulfill all 13 things I wished to do in 2013, but that's okay. * Duly noted the importance of presence instead of presents.

2013 caught us off guard with the prospect of starting a new life Down Under.

Like deja vu, this year-end winter is marked with online house-hunting in a faraway place and packing our lives into suitcases, once again. Who knows what 2014 will bring...