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A Late Start to the New Year & A Family Reunion

Can we all just agree that this year is sprinting? It feels like I blinked, wished everyone a Happy New Year, and BAM - it's February.

Where did December go?

Did it even exist outside of twinkling lights, sugar cookie hangovers, and a frantic scramble to finish everything before the clock struck twelve?

Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays, but man, they tend to blur into a delicious, stressful whirlwind.

Speaking of whirlwinds, my December ended on a particularly whirlwind-y note. Last-minute flight deals, frantic packing, and bam - I was jetting off to Bogota, Colombia, for a New Year's family reunion.
The seven sisters!

As the clock ticked closer to midnight on December 31st, I wasn't surrounded by fireworks and a raucous countdown. Instead, I found myself in Cota, the little town close to Bogota, in the warm embrace of my sister's home amidst the laughter and love of my ten siblings and their families.

11 Siblings

This wasn't just any gathering - It was a long-awaited reunion, a tapestry woven with years of distance and finally coming together.

Our celebration was a two-day fiesta, brimming with joy and tradition. The eldest of us kicked things off with heartfelt conversations, catching up on lives lived and milestones reached. But soon, the air crackled with the vibrant rhythms of a Vallenato band.

Age became irrelevant as young and old alike took to the dance floor, shaking off the year's dust and welcoming the new with open arms.

Food, as always, was a central character in this Colombian story. The aroma of sweet "Natilla" mingled with the savory goodness of "buñuelos," a symphony of flavors on our palates.

My nephew, a talented chef, took the culinary stage, serving up a delectable feast of sushi and mixed rice bowls, accompanied by a mountain of fresh greens and vibrant vegetables.

But the most delicious dish on the menu was the love shared between us. Ringing in the new year was different this time. Gone were the usual tears and anxieties; instead, hugs were exchanged, and heartfelt wishes whispered.

As the night deepened, we belted out our favorite tunes on the karaoke machine, filling the air with laughter and shared memories.

The following day dawned with the comforting aroma of "tamales tolimenses," a regional delicacy lovingly prepared by my sister. As the sun dipped low, we gathered for another culinary highlight - a traditional "asado," a backyard barbecue overflowing with grilled meats and laughter.

This new year's reunion wasn't just about food, music, and dance. It was about reconnecting with the roots that bind us, cherishing the present, and building anticipation for the future. I met my niece for the first time, a beautiful, almost ten-year-old who had been a distant present until then. Her laughter, her curiosity, and her infectious smile became the highlight of the trip.

I spent the final days of December and most of January in Colombia. As I left Bogota, I carried a suitcase overflowing with more than just souvenirs. It was filled with renewed connections, the warmth of shared experiences, and the echo of happy voices. 

This New Year's celebration wasn't just a goodbye to 2023; it was a heartfelt welcome to a future filled with the promise of more reunions, more laughter, and more love.

And that, my friends, is what I've been doing, leaving the tools and projects aside and being present. I was also glad to skip a month of winter, which is a big plus in my book. :D

My next post will be a quick coffee table makeover, and then I'll be sharing all the progress on the second floor of our home with the hardwood floors and staircase installed.

Hey, a late Happy New Year to you too! 🎉

Enjoy what you read today?



  1. Oh Cristina! How wonderful! 10 siblings?! Wow! What a very special time with your family! (And everyone is so beautiful!) I loved reading bout your trip, your customs, the food…! Thanks for sharing this personal side! Loved the story and the pictures!

    1. Haha yep, a huge family, crazy for this times. Thanks Sheila! The DIYs and decor projects will always be here, but I'm trying to open up a bit more as it's always good to know about the person behind the account.

  2. What Sheila said! I look forward to seeing all your projects for 2024. I know they will be fabulous.


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