two thousand and eleven

December 30, 2011

2011 was a year of many ups and downs. since i quit my day job back in 2010, i’ve started a few exciting new projects, spent a lot of time reflecting on the little things, and have spent a year in mourning. we’ve also spent a lot more time at home this year, something i really treasure. it’s been good, for the most part, but suffice to say, i am really looking forward to a new january, to a new year.

as most good years begin, 2011 began with time spent in the kitchen. the mr. attempted to perfect the croissant and we had more pasta nights than i can count. in january we went to two beautiful places to enjoy winter: new york city and charleston. in new york, we drank coffee out of bowls (my favorite) and giggled in front of the camera. then we hopped down to charleston for a lovely weekend with friends by the beach. i love charleston in the winter. it’s so serene. we celebrated our friends’ marriage underneath the swaying oak trees. i could have stayed forever.

we celebrated my love’s birthday in the snowy dunes of maine. it’s difficult to say who had the most fun, so i’ll just settle to say that it was the most relaxing, fun weekend away. it’s so important to escape the hustle + bustle of everyday.

last winter, i spent a lot of time outside with weber. just the two of us. often in the snow and cold. i treasured these walks, where my thoughts would bring clarity and i would be in awe of the astounding beauty right outside our door. sometimes, we would walk to the beach or in to the city. we would go wherever our hearts took us. often times, we had no destination (those are the best types of walks).

we went on a ‘skiing’ trip with good friends – where we mostly ate lots of pancakes, braided each other’s hair, slept in bunked beds and made snow angels. it was the perfect winter weekend.

in march, the mr. and i met elvis. he remarried us. it was perfectly vegas. then i spent a wonderfully cold weekend in montreal with my sisters. we did all of our favorite montreal things: drank beer, ate bagels, lots of walking. and lots of sister time. i am so lucky to have the best sisters in the world.
as always, i welcomed spring with open arms. we celebrated passover with twenty of our good friends. then, we took our party loving family on the road to woodstock, where we celebrated my mom’s birthday. we stayed at the home of our dear friend, kerry, whose space is a true refuge. spring always brings about reflection. i reflected on places, both near and far, that have so much meaning.

in may, we went to france. we had picnics in front of the eiffel tower, we ate moules frites and stood in front of my favorite places. we visited my grandparents in the southwest and felt home. we drank champagne and made pâté. we walked, a lot. through the cemetery where unruly flowers blossom (where i am related to almost everyone), through the winding vineyards and dirt roads.  i could take photos of the farm forever. we spent an afternoon by the sea and ate moules frites, again.

we went to tucson to see my sister-in-law graduate from college. we also saw the sun. it was glorious. we celebrated webby’s first birthday, had our first ever bdb picnic, the mr. and i began celebrating friday (early) mornings.

and then it was summer. i celebrated by going to the farmcoast. where country meets sea is my favorite place. we went to bar harbor, maine and ate lots of fresh mussels, relaxed with good friends and just let the breeze take us over.

for father’s day, we celebrated the best dad we know. we’re so lucky to call him our own. we went to a wedding in vermont. we camped out and as the thunder rolled in, so did the party. we spent an afternoon in montreal visiting my sister and brother-in-law and drinking fresh mojitos with mint from their flourishing garden.

we celebrated july 4th on nantucket. we snuggled on the sand dunes (and took a few naps), drank lots of local beer, and enjoyed a perfect summer weekend. along with my sister and good friend, we went to the library for an afternoon of high tea and girl chat.

we went to pennsylvania for our annual blues fest with the greatest friends. our weekend included delicious food (including corn!), lakeside views and trips to the local brewery – and of course, some music. weber had a blast cooling off in the lake. my sister and i went back to woodstock for a weekend away (we swam in the lake, slept in and did a whole lot of nothing), my brother-in-law came to town for a few weeks and webby and i took a lot of walks.

then we took a little summer vacation. we had lunch in vancouver and took a stroll, had an amazing adventure on a seaplane (it was so fun!), and spent a few days in victoria. we went to a lot of local breweries, spent time by the water, and relaxed. it was heavenly. we took the ferry down to seattle and explored the markets, the waterfront and all of the neighborhoods. as usual, we ate our way around. we celebrated our good friends’ wedding and had a marvelous time dancing the night away.

we have a thing about surprises. for my august birthday this year, the mr. took me to newport and block island. it was hot. so hot. luckily, we were close to the water. we ate fried seafood, had fun with weber in  a bustling seasonal town, and covered ourselves in clay. it was an amazing getaway. and a wonderful birthday.

then hurricane irene came. or did she? either way, we were prepared.

as always, late summer includes many barbecues. and trips to new york city where we stayed with good friends. we ate mexican food, drank beer on an isolated rooftop bar, frequented juice bars, and had a few jam sessions on the roof. i love new york city.

the fall included one very big home improvement project. we searched high and low for a dog-friendly apple orchard. it was totally worth it. weber loves apples. and frolicking in dewy grass.

in october, we drank champagne for lunch, took lots of walks to our neighborhood park, and went to the beach. new england weather, you’re crazy! we celebrated my sister’s birthday and watched many beautiful sunsets.

my older sister, lola, came home for a few days and i met some of my favorite bloggers. our little family took a lot of evening walks to the beach, just in time to catch the sunset. oh, and how could i forget – weber won second place at a local halloween parade.

in november, we went to the finger lakes to taste wine. and taste wine, we did. it was such a fun weekend with such a great group of people. i also went to wine school. which was so much fun. and i learned a lot. (and it was a great excuse to eat a ridiculous amount of cheese).

we celebrated thanksgiving. and the sky was bright with perpetual gratitude.

then i surprised my love with a helicopter lesson. he was so excited. and it was so fun to plan. and i was so proud of myself that i was able to keep the secret.

and then it was december. i took many walks to think and take in the beautiful late fall colors. i had a difficult time deciding whether i preferred sunrises to sunsets. the verdict is still out. cecilia came from sweden to visit and it was so fun showing her around my hometown. we drank the best hot cocoa and introduced her to the finest clam chowder.

then we took a mini vacation to arizona where we saw family and lots of sunshine. we had fun planning a celebration dinner for my brother-in-law. i really love arizona. the horizon and landscape is so beautiful in contrast to new england.

and just like that, 2011 wrapped up with catching up with the best of friends over dinner, celebrating the holidays with my family (and french cousins in town), sleeping in a bit later than usual, hot cocoa with ridiculously oversized marshmallows and evenings spent cuddling with the best little family i could ask for.

needless to say, i am really looking forward to the year ahead. just like 2011, this year will be focused on little things. because those are the things that really count – the moment when you’re just waking up in the morning, the cinnamon powder atop your cappuccino, savoring the second by second color changes as the sun goes down to sleep. life is all about the small moments – and those are what i want to remember, what i want to share.

so, thank you, for being here. i am so grateful for this space to create, to catalog all of the things i hold dear. to connect the dots – with you, with the events of my life. so, thank you. and cheers to an even more fabulous 2012! xo

ps. to see my 2010 recap, go here.

  • my favorite was your wedding in vegas. loved that idea. have a wonderful new year!

  • What wonderful pictures!! Happy 2012!

  • This post was so perfect, Natalie!

    What a year you’ve had! Cheers to 2012 and I hope our paths will cross again!!


  • my goodness, lady! you’ve had a very, very full year. I’m glad my year including meeting you!

  • How wonderful; you sure were busy!
    We did the picnics under the Eiffel tower too in the summer of 2010 though :)
    Wishing you a Happy New 2012!

  • Wow, what a wonderful recap.