So cold. So very cold. A good number of snow days, which meant lots of Maiz donning her cozy cable-knit. Rang in the new year at home with a NYD brunch alongside my nearest and dearest. Painstakingly painted the longest hallway known to man and continued our tackling of endless house projects together. Started a new job that I quickly fell in love with. Celebrated the first BFF birthday of the year with a brunch for Joslyn.
Two words: gobstopper hearts. Celebrated our sixth Valentine's Day. Trekked home to Texas to see my people (and celebrate Joey's 40th/Texas Naturalization Party). Welcomed sweet baby Sadie into the world. Found a treat recipe Maizie adores... and proceeded to make them on a biweekly basis for my spoiled girl. Was further validated in my career shift via Chinese food. Loved on my BFFs back home over some BBQ. Took in some culture, and became members at the Frist.
With the warmer temps, we inaugurated new traditions of time on the greenway, and popping in to the Farmer's Market as often as we could manage. Blogland Book Club kicked off with some of my best blog friends. Maizie continued to be spoiled. and it was unofficially: The Month of Sampling New Restaurants. Oh, also, my patio got decked to the nines... lush and green and all ready for spring.
With spring in high gear, the foodie trend continued on. Tried a Nashville staple (hot chicken!) for the first time (subsequently fell in love). Completed a Pure Barre challenge and managed to genuinely love it through the pain (21 classes in 30 days sounds a lot easier than it is in reality). Partied at Highballs and Hydrangeas with my girlfriends and ST, and knocked another Nashville to-do off my list. Discovered a recipe for Oatmeal Cream Pies that is insanely good and instantly became a new go-to. Chopped off my mane in favor of a springy 'do. Started winding down my days with my favorite little four-year-old. Indulged in springy foodstuffs from Trader Joe's. TJ's gets me every. damn. time.
Watched my favorite teeny girl become a tiny dancer... right about the time they had to move on to a full-time nanny and my heart broke into a million pieces. Kicked off the first of many grill sessions with ST. Spent Memorial Day in Birmingham with the dearest of old friends. Watched ST build some badass shelves for our living room with his bare hands. Introduced Maiz to Home Depot (she loved it. obvi). Jumped headfirst into freelance event work. Had some pup playdates. Worked Vanderbilt graduation and had a bittersweet lunch date before sending my fantastic little student worker back home to St. Louis to change the world.
Invested in camping gear... for everyone. Headed home to Texas for the first of what is promised to be a traditional summertime camping trip (complete with this 8-person raft that is undoubtedly the coolest thing I'll ever float on). Took Cary to DC for a little educational escape--prompting lots of memories from my childhood trips. I sneaked away to the Library of Congress for a rainy afternoon while the boys finished at the Natural Science Museum. The Peach Truck became a sweet, sweet staple in our home. I helped throw a baby shower for my dearest Chelsea, and we carried on with Daddy Day Donuts as a Father's Day tradition.
We practically swam in fresh vegetables, they were everyone in our house. Partied for Chelsea's birthday with an extended girls' night out. Was "inducted" as a skimm'bassador. Witnessed downtown Independence Day fireworks from our rooftop. Officially celebrated Cary into being a teenager. Logged lots of outside time with Maiz. Found a chocolate cake recipe that quickly became ST's most requested dessert. Hosted my dear college friend in Nashville for her second visit. Dug up a peach shortbread recipe (to alleviate the leftover peach problem from the Peach Truck obsession, clearly) that is a new favorite (never really realized quite how much I bake before drafting this post).
Celebrated my third brother's wedding in Texas. Loved on sweet baby Luke (born August 25th!) and his awesome parents. ST and I heard Griffin House (an old favorite of mine) play as part of the Americana Music Fest... and I saw my first Symphony performance earlier the same night (we're hardcore like that). Had a super successful first Family Weekend at work. Kept up with our routine of allowing Maiz to accompany us to Home Depot. Volunteered with some sweet kids with our church. Saw the Wild Feathers at Live on the Green with my girlfriends (all of me was there, despite the photo evidence).
Baylor football was in high gear--which means live-texting with Jorden throughout the entirety of every game. ST and I celebrated six years together! Maizie turned seven, and we indulged her with some pumpkin pupcakes (disclaimer: I did NOT add the cream cheese icing--dogs don't need the sugar! that's insane). We had a fun double date escaping with Tom and Heidi. We impulsively bought a fire pit, which promptly became a focal point of our outdoor entertaining. We hosted our second-annual BYOP carving party. Maiz and I witnessed fall being ushered into Nashville during our leisurely weekend walks on the greenway. ST and I saw Vance Joy at Mercy Lounge--my favorite Nashville venue.
And then it was December. We officially celebrated my birthday with friends at an extended, laughter-laden dinner at Urban Grub. ST surprised me with Black Keys tickets (and they were phenomenal). ST, Cary and I spent a night at our church's Christmas extravaganza. ST and I joined Tom and Heidi for some hockey action. My parents came to Nashville (!!!) for Christmas and we had an amazing week together--including lots of sight-seeing, tons of eating, and even a little greenway escape with Maiz. ST and I shared our sixth Christmas together, and we rang in the new year with Chelsea and Jordan for the third year in a row, laughing all the way.
What a year. What a year. So much jet-setting definitely made it fly by (no pun), and I'm honestly looking forward to staying put for a while. So very ready for lots of deep breaths and savoring the goodness of 2014 for a while longer... but am so stoked for what 2015 will surely bring.
Happy, happy new year to you and your's. Thank you for sticking around with me.