I suppose this is the day in the year when we’re all supposed to shake our heads and say, “Wow. Another year.”

Twelve months. 365 days. This is the day where the year is supposed to become the sum of all its parts.

But really, I don’t know how much I believe this. In the journey that is each year in our lives, there are so many moments, many of them that pass forgotten, that transpire.

It seems almost unfair to to try to sum it all up. It seems almost impossible.

For me, it has been a year like many others. A busy work like. A busy social life. A busy family life. Italy. Baking. So many things the same.

But 2013 is also the year I turned 40. The year I found myself thinking of my Papa’ more than ever. The year I blogged the least ever since starting this little project in 2005. The year I found myself questioning more often than answering.

As I navigate these waters, the one thing I know is that it’s really the simple things that often matter the most and that you often remember the most. Rocca – my little house in the hills in Italy – has taught me this.

So I have found pleasure in these simple things and resolve daily to keep them close. I suppose the best symbol of this is homemade pasta.

Forgive me if I start waxing poetic, but it’s true. Eggs, flour and a little salt. Your hands. So simple and yet so much pleasure. I can’t help but remember my aunts in Italy and the profound joy of watching them make pasta in their kitchens.

I bid this year adieu and am grateful, as always, for my family. Their love is a constant source of comfort. I am thankful for my friends and for the joys they bring.

I wish you many joyful things in the year to come. But don’t forget the simple things – therein lies the most joy, I believe.

(These are pasta bowties made with homemade pasta dough. If you learn one new thing, learn to make pasta. It will never fail you. Here is Mammina’s tried and true recipe.)