Thank you for coming back and indulging me in even more nostalgia. Without wasting any time, let’s go!
I love my husband so, so much. This is us at a Music in the Park event at Millennium park one night after work. Lots of wine, cheese, and charcuterie were consumed.
Erica and Chase’s super hot bridal party, if I do say so myself, at their rehearsal dinner.
My dear, dear friend Erica married the longtime love of her life, Chase, on June 17th. I’m honored to have been a witness to their love on that sacred day.
Once we moved into our new apartment in Edgewater, we were so close to the beach! Some mornings I would get up as the sun was rising and go workout. These days were few and far between, but the sunrise was always a great motivator and reward.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I didn’t fly anywhere in July, but Ben and I did travel with his parents and brother up to Madison, Wisconsin to celebrate Ben’s mom Michelle’s birthday. We go for a weekend and do some shopping at the Madison Farmer’s market, picking what we want to savor at a picnic dinner that night. We then drive up to the Shakespeare Theater in the woods, feast away at our local finds (this year’s highlight: fresh burrata mozzarella marinated with fresh basil and sea salt. Yum!) and indulge in lots of wine, and walk up the hill to the ‘stage in the sky.’ The play is performed in an open amphitheater, and the acting is always superb. I look forward to this trip every year!
My dearest friend Hannah also got married in 2012. I offered to bake her wedding cake, and this was the trial run, done under the art direction of Nicole Ruiz. I couldn’t have done this without her! The cake got rave reviews the next day at work, too. : )
A snapshot of my cat trying to cheer me up while I was taking a bath one day.
This summer I donned a gown once again for the summer recital series. Any opportunity to get dressed up! This dress also had pockets (win!).
Over Labor Day I was able to witness my dearest, oldest friend get married to the love of her life. It could not have been more perfect. More pictures to come in a separate post (I promise!).
My incredibly handsome husband and I took our last vacation of the year this October to Houston and Galveston, Texas. We visited with his aunt, and also took a DOLPHIN SPOTTING TOUR and saw a ton of dolphins in the bay. It was out of this world.
We also drove up to the Houston Space Center and took a great tour of the park. This is a REAL rocket that was actually in Space!! Ben and I both geeked out while we were visiting here.
Ben’s amazing Aunt Georgina lives in Houston and met us for dinner one night. She also decided to gift us with an incredible night stay at “Club Ten” – the 10th floor, adults-only, luxury suite at this high-end hotel on the Galveston strip. This was the view from our balcony.
Aunt Georgina spoiled us some more by taking us out to dinner at a fancy restaurant in the old part of Galveston. Obviously I got the lobster risotto. It did not disappoint. Mmmm.
This fall we learned how to make our own fancy-pizza. Pepperoni and goat cheese with arugula. A weekly staple!
My friend Kris popped into Chicago for a 12-hour layover while she was on her way west to visit her love in Canada. I loved being able to spend the afternoon with her, showing off my city.
Ben and I also made our way over to Manny’s deli, and it blew my mind. Not as outrageous (or amazing) as Katz’s deli in NYC, but mighty fine for Chicago.
This fall, after 8 years of competing at this competition, I made it to ROUND TWO for my division!!!
And then the next day I advanced to the finals with an Honorable Mention. : ) Still so proud of this moment. It took a lot to get to this point.
In December we decorated our Christmas tree and hung our stockings. My grandma hand-knit both Ben and mine. We scooped up Rows’ at the Dollar Tree. : )
My new friend Lucy got tickets from her boss to go see Chanticleer, and she asked me to join her! I was so excited. The music was phenomenal, and I had such a great time!
We also celebrated our first real Chanukkah as a family! Lit the candles and said the prayers. 2012 could be alternately titled, “the year of the Jews.”
Ben and I took of work on December 21 to take a minute to breathe and rest at the end of our jam-packed year. I decided to whip up Docherty’s annual Christmas Eggs, since I wasn’t going to be in Massachusetts for Christmas. They may not look beautiful, but they are outrageously delicious. Especially when served with mimosas. : )
That night we headed back downtown for Ben’s annual work party. Open bar = super drunk van Loons. Can you tell?
And on the first day of the new year we went and explored the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago. It is filled with condos and luxury buildings, with lots of really unique and old mansions and brownstones tucked in there too. It was really fun, and I loved going exploring with Ben.
When we came home we put together a little meat and cheese plate, and I cozied up with some wine and new cookbooks. Altogether, a perfect start to the new year.