Happy New Year! I hope you welcomed 2015 in style. I was in bed, wearing a ratty bathrobe and sound asleep by midnight but we did enjoy a big family dinner where we all got dressed up and ate some fabulous food. All in all, it was perfect. I hadn't planned on looking back at the year that was...but I thought that such a year required a bit of reflection and as I scrolled back through my posts, month by month, it occurred to me that 2014 was quite a year. Settle in...this is a length one!
January: We kicked off the year by spending a month in India and Bhutan. It was truly the trip of a lifetime and remains my most cherished memory of the year. When I returned home, I launched my first pop-up shop, which was super fun. That led to selling my wares at Squam and another pop-up shop later in the year. I'd love to do more of these in 2015!
February: We renovated our cold, dark attic and turned it into a light-filled studio where I spend my working hours writing, photographing, sewing and knitting. This place is my sanctuary.
March: I finished my first real sweater, Antler, with short rows and shaping and all those knitterly things that I have come to know and love through the course of this year. This sweater remains my greatest knitting achievement and my most worn handmade piece.
April: We spent the most heavenly ten days in Dominican Republic with my parents and younger brother. It was the perfect break from the freezing spring that we were experiencing back in Rhode Island. Luckily, we made it home in time to catch the blossoms. The weeks where our beautiful town is in bloom are always some of my favorite of the year.
May: I made my yearly pilgrimage to Brimfield Antique Show. I think I bought $2 worth of quilt scraps, but my favorite part is taking pictures of all the interesting things you find at the show. It is always sensory overload, but I can't help being pulled back year after year. I also kept busy teaching Pitch Perfect, which was such an amazing experience. I will be teaching the course again this year, online through Squam. I can't wait to tell you more about it soon!
June: Ahhh, June. The weather is finally warm, and I take my yearly getaway to Squam. I always look forward to my time here, and every year I am so grateful that I get to be a part of this amazing community of makers.
July: My most favorite month of the year! Every year we spend the entire month in Northern Michigan with my family (I even wrote a guide to the area here). It is a true old-fashioned summer; swimming in the lake, playing on the beach, visiting the dunes, riding bikes into town for ice cream, spending time in nature, watching my boys running wild and free with the kids along our dirt lane, learning to water ski, eating our weight in cherries....the stuff of life. Northern Michigan, specifically our family cottage on Torch Lake, is my happy place. And how lucky is Vik that he gets to celebrate his birthday "Up North?" It is my most favorite place in the whole world and we are so darn lucky to spend our summers there.
August: It is all about the garden in August. All the good stuff is ready to harvest, including cherry tomatoes, my favorite. You can feel summer beginning to wane in August, and that is always bittersweet, but August holds such beauty that it is worth staying in the moment.
September: What a busy month, full of new experiences. Vijay started school, which was very tough emotionally for both of us but has turned out to be the best thing we could have ever hoped for. I started contributing to Gardenista, which has been such a privilege and has given me the chance to explore some amazing gardens and shops. My husband and I went on an overnight trip to Vermont, our first time as a couple ever away from the kids for a night. And I made a quick trip to Squam, arriving just in time for the fair and a day of relaxing. Yes, we were on the move in September! I also made reading a priority again, and you all chimed in with amazing suggestions. I've been making my way through the list and have yet to be disappointed. Expect plenty more book reviews in 2015.
October: As we settled into our new school routine, which consists of preschool on Tuesday and Thursday morning, we also celebrated Vijay's fourth birthday with all of his sweet classmates, and the local fire station. It was a PARTY!
November: What a gorgeous fall we were blessed with in Rhode Island. It was sunny and sparkling almost every day, and the leaves were absolutely riotous. I paid a visit to Tower Hill Botanic Garden for Gardenista and had the most amazing time wondering around their fall gardens. I also finished my favorite sewn wardrobe addition...this quilted vest from The Purl Bee.
December: Here I thought December was such a slow and peaceful month, but we traveled to Chicago for Thanksgiving (returning the 1st of December), then I took off for Martha's Vineyard to finish up a few book details, and after decking out our own small tree, we packed up and headed to Michigan for Christmas and the New Year.
All in all, it was an amazing year. In addition to all of our travels and all the excitement, it was the year that I felt my work life finally dropped into place. I was hard at work on my second book, which is so near and dear to my heart, I contributed regularly to Edible Rhody and Gardenista, I taught Pitch Perfect, and launched a few pop-up shops. 2015 is going to be filled with even greater accomplishments...I can feel it and it makes me so very excited. 2014 was also the year of making...between sewing and knitting I pretty much have made a complete wardrobe, and with each piece I gain a better understanding of my fit and personal style. Above are just a few of my favorite makes of 2014.
I try to keep this a place of positivity and beauty, so it is interesting to scroll through these posts and see so many of the harder emotional things missing. But it is also a beautiful reminder of how much we have to be thankful for and how unbelievably blessed we are as a family. If 2015 is half as gorgeous, we're in for a great year! And after that look back, I'm excited to move forward.