Archive for December, 2011


top 5 awesome things about 2011

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Happy New Year to you!

I hope that you have had a relaxing holiday season and are ready to kick off a happy and healthy 2012. I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the amazing things that I am very thankful for in 2011. Here are my top 5:

5. Home Improvements Galore!

2011 was the year that we finally busted through… making the leap from doing just home maintenance projects (oh that we are verrrrry good at) to doing some real honest-to-goodness home upgrades and improvements. Things got rolling back in May, and because my camera broke, I never got around to posting finished pics. So here’s a sampling.

We refinished our downstairs hard wood floors in the dining room and living room.

dining room floor before

living room floor before

entry way before

entry way after (looking into dining room)

living room after

living room after

The we installed a new ceiling fan in our living room. This required new wiring.

ceiling before

uncapping the old wiring and gas pipe. yikes.

Updating the wiring and new ceiling fan installed!

We also tackled re-painting the living room, painting the dining room, painting all the window sills in the house, and adding an accent wall color going up the stairs.

accent wall: copper mountain color sherwin williams zero voc paint

And we repainted the exterior and interior of our screened-in porch.

porch interior before

porch after with new furniture

4. Traveling and Trips!

We were extremely fortunate in 2011 to return to Europe! I loved traveling in Europe for our honeymoon in 2009, and I have been eager to go back ever since. I was lucky enough to tag along on another one of Craig’s business trips to Munich, Germany in early February. We had a blast exploring the city.

I also went on a solo travel adventure, taking the train from Germany to Italy. It was my first time traveling alone outside the U.S. and it was the most incredible experience. You can read more in depth about my trip here and here and here.

Verona, Italy - new street on top of old street

In July we made our annual trek north to Maine to spend two weeks on Mooselookmeguntic Lake.

Loons on Mooselookmeguntic Lake

We vacationed on the lake with my parents, sisters, and their kiddos, staying in a large cabin that we’ve been renting for many years. We ate well and drank well. Craig and I lounged, read books, swam, biked, kayaked, hiked, and lounged some more.

Hiking on the Appalachian Trail to the summit of Saddleback Mountain.

And in September, Craig and I took a lovely trip to the ocean, just an hour away from where we live. I had been longing to dig my toes into the sand.

3. This Year’s Garden: Cultivating from Seed and Growing Organic, Heirloom Vegetables

This year I grew the vegetables and herbs in my garden from organic seed… with the exception of my tomatoes and celery. However, I choose all organic, heirloom tomatoes this year from a local nursery. It was so much fun to try out new varieties of plants.

First came the radishes.

And then baby spinach and lettuces.


This was the first year that I planted in somewhat tidy rows in my raised beds.

Cilantro, sugar snap peas, garlic scapes

Crazy heirloom tomato bed

Mortgage lifter (heh heh) heirloom tomato

Green zebra heirloom tomato

Carrots and celery

We pulled the last of the carrots on Thanksgiving morning to make a dish!

2. We Welcomed Lily to Our Family!

We finally got a cat in August! Lily has completely transformed our household, keeping us in stitches every day. She’s cuddly, funny, silly, fairly chatty, occasionally likes to playfully bite, and refuses to take a good picture. Aside from a particularly hard-to-get-rid-of bout of worms (she was found in the wild before she came home with us) and one icky urinary tract infection, life with Lily has been wonder-filled. You can read more about Lily’s story here.

Lily just has a way of always looking pissy in pictures.

She’s actually really quite charming and loves adults and kids.

She likes to cause mischief... messing up our tree skirt.

Or attacking my aloe plants.

Lily loves hanging out on the screened-in porch.

Yeah, Lily is one striking, very cool cat. We dig her immensely.

And… now…

1.) Top Most Awesome Thing About 2011…

We are expecting!!!

I’ve been pretty busy since the end of summer… working on a very special, very important project. Our daughter is due in May, and we are so delighted! And a bit daunted at times, but mostly holy-crap-over-the-moon excited.

Here’s to a new year, new adventures, and adding more goodness and abundance to the plenty!

Posted in On the Subject of Parenthood, The Daily Balance, The Growing Season | 14 Comments »