In January, I had the most beautiful beginning to a year, with a candelit dinner with my family and grandparents, card games, champagne, and laughing until I cried. Their midnight kiss wasn't bad either. By the end of January, after happy hours and dinners with friends, a life-changing book (read The Prophet!), and a perfect weekend visit from my sister, I knew 2012 was destined to be a great one.
February is my brother's birthday month, and he, my mom, and sister came to Nashville to celebrate. He is the funniest and weirdest person I know, and weekends with him are always my favorite. At the end of the month I had one of my favorite weekends of the year: four days in New York City! My first time in the city was amazing and more perfect than I could have imagined.
In March I was still reveling in my NYC visit, so I had a lot of quiet nights at home with good food, friends, and lots of red wine. I got to celebrate my grandpa's birthday with him when he came to Nashville, which was so special. I realized how happy I was.
In April I turned 23 and had a beautiful night of friends, family, laughter, story-telling, and a full and happy heart. Yet again, I was amazed to see how many amazing people I have in my life: weekend trips with my aunt, visits from my sister, spontaneous weekends with new friends and old ones... so many amazing people.
May was interesting. My sister came to Nashville to celebrate her 21st birthday and, although lovely, the weekend didn't go as planned. I felt lonely, but I knew that the loneliness was an experience just as important and meaningful as the experience of being almost painfully happy.
June was the month of Bonnaroo. Sarah and I spent the festival with a few of my favorite people and saw some amazing musicians. I also threw a surprise party for Becca's birthday, and then I had maybe the best weekend of my year -- Friday night barbeques, Saturday morning brunches, Sunday afternoon lazy pool parties. The best.
In July my family took our first vacation in about ten years. We went to Charleston for a week and I honestly can't remember a more perfect, special, magical week. I'll remember it always and forever.
August was kind of perfect. I flew to Tampa to visit Jenny and Bennett, and we spent five days swimming in the ocean, eating great food, watching the Olympics, and sleeping a lot. When I got back I filled the rest of the month with summery fun and friends and super Nashville things. I loved it.
In September I celebrated my one-year work anniversary (whee!), and went to Cincinnati for a weekend of major shopping and eating with my aunt. I had a quick visit home to East Tennessee and another visit from my sweet sister in Nashville that was filled with concerts, outdoor Shakespeare plays, and crazy dance parties. A busy work month but a lovely end to summer.
In October my mom and brother visited me for my mom's birthday, and we went to the Nashville Zoo and ate lots of delicious Nashville food (The Dog again). The best part of my month, though, was my visit to Philadelphia! Although Hurricane Sandy stranded me there an extra four days, it was heavenly spending the week with Cassandra and her boyfriend and getting to know my new favorite city.
November was a fun Nashville month. I threw Jenny's baby shower and felt so much love in my heart. I got sick and felt tired, but my spirit felt so alive. I relished my time with my friends and had the most amazing Thanksgiving at home with my family. I started to feel completely whole again.
And then there was December. I spent most of my time with Cole before he left to live in California for a few months. I realized (again) that I have the most beautiful people in my life, the most inspiring and wise and genuinely wonderful people. And I just had the loveliest Christmas ever.
My 2012 was the year of healing, growing, and learning to love my life exactly how it is. Perhaps my best year ever, actually. I felt happy for a lot of it and realized the importance of my sadness and loneliness when they came to visit too. I think I'll look back on this year and think about how perfect it was, even the bad and lonely stuff. I'll really miss it. Even so, I have a good feeling about 2013. A really good feeling.
Thanks to my few readers out there for going through the journey with me and leaving such sweet, supportive comments along the way. You make blogging much more special and I'm so happy to share these words and photos with you. xo
**2011 and 2010 recaps.
I took a month long blogging break. It didn't start out as an intentional break, but it ended that way. Sometimes I worry that I'm trying to fit my life into a perfect little blogging bubble, or that I am using this blog to justify my life and my decisions. I don't want to do either of those things. I am who I am -- I love to eat, I love to read, I love to travel, I love to go to bars and have drinks and play pool, I love to dance, I love to cuddle and kiss, I love my family and my friends, I love to cook meals for people, I love little kids, I love learning. Sometimes it's pretty and sometimes it's not. Sometimes I read Jane Austen and sometimes I say fuck. And for 2013, I want to be wholly myself. I've got some big things coming up -- visits to Florida and California and Colorado, my epic July Europe trip, moving to a new city, GRAD SCHOOL (hopefully). A new relationship with the sweetest boy I've ever met. I want to soak it in and live it and write about it.
It's been a good break. I needed it. But now I'm ready. For a lot of things. Cheers to a new year, a new beginning, and a rediscovery of self.