Looking at photos and revisiting 2011 is like revisiting another time. I don’t know how to say how much I’ve grown or how much I’ve stayed the same. Most of the time, I can’t even tell myself.
It was a year of staying up late. To finish books, blog posts or conversations with a boy. Early mornings were rare, but they were never difficult.
Food was more present. Is that possible? I forgot to add flour on multiple occasions. And once, my cupcakes exploded. But these were mistakes that make the kitchen my second favorite place to be (first is my bed). Between taking photos for the Daily, coming home to my apartment’s Susie Homemaker dinners and testing recipes myself, it’s a wonder I was ever hungry.
I shot my first real photoshoot. In a cemetery. It was kind of awkward because I’m awkward, but they were my first baby steps.
My apartment. Our apartment. I’d like to think that fate brought us together, but we chose each other. So let’s give credit where credit is due, right? We went to the snow, made pancake balls, played board games until 4 am. We made time for breakfast, we surprised each other for birthdays, we had the best “last dinner” all together. Alessandro was up year-round.
I turned 22. And met Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (!!!)
It was a year of insecurity. I graduated. Graduated. And while everyone else knew their life plans, I couldn’t decide what to have for breakfast. Most of the time, I just skipped it.
So I went to Europe. At first it was hard but then it was so, so good. This trip was all about the kindness of others and serendipity.
Strangers welcomed me into their homes. I learned how to make crepes. I stayed in the tiniest, coziest Parisian flat with the sweetest girl. I didn't go to a single museum in Paris.
I found a new home in Denmark and ate too many Danish desserts.
I fell in love with Italian lakes.
I came home to even more love.
I went through a quarter-life crisis. I interviewed for dozens of jobs and sent out twice as many applications. The crisis isn’t over yet.
I learned a lot from a boy. He helped me see things in ways that always made them better. And I loved him even more. (And I've never been more proud of a present I've given someone.)
I discovered the best food with my best friends. I couldn't be happier to call California home.
I went to life-changing concerts.
My feet were well-traveled and my heart was full.
2011, thank you.
And you, dear friends: wishing you all the light and hope of a new year.
December 30, 2011
Raine's first tea was actually hot chocolate. Alice invited us out to Lovejoy's for a holiday afternoon tea just for the girls. It was Raine's first time meeting most of the women in David's family (his mother, grandmother, two sisters and aunt were all there!) and I think she loved it.
We, of course, ate like queens and Raine was the most patient little girl you could have imagined. Everything for her seemed to come last but she always remembered her please, thank yous, and no thank yous. She had her own tier of fruit, cookies, jelly-and-cream-cheese sammies and a scone all to herself. And her own pot of hot chocolate and a cup of whipped cream.
She was in little girl heaven. (To be honest, I was in little girl heaven, too.) Alice was the sweetest for inviting us and making it such a lovely afternoon.
December 29, 2011
It was one of those days when you realize you're growing up but you can't do anything about it. And maybe that's a good thing.
A few of my high school girlfriends got together at Sara's after Christmas just to catch up. For the most part, we all went to different colleges and we live all over California (and now Arizona) so it's easy to get caught up in the current everyday. Work, school or whatever gets in the way so reuniting and just being together again is perfect.
And then you find out that one of your girlfriends just got engaged on Christmas Eve!!! We're all talking casually when Emily says, "So. I got a really great present for Christmas," and puts her new ring on. (And we squeal in excitement/delight, of course).
So even though we'll go weeks without talking to one another, I'll always cherish little moments like this-- that Emily waited to tell us in person. I didn't see it on my facebook news feed and I didn't hear it from anyone else.
Of course, this also means that we're getting older. We're growing up. It's a little intimidating but I can manage small steps.
Just add a few hours of conversation and Christmas leftovers and let me reminisce about that Monday afternoon.