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A Look Back at 2011

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It’s New Year’s Eve-the perfect day to look back on the year that has passed and reflect on it.  I actually really like doing this and am always trying to get everyone around to join in the remembering too, though honestly no else in the house is that excited about it. However, when I mentioned how I was doing my post this year I was able to get some good vacation memories going.  I was super amused by this insane mega meta best of worst of mashup and thought that this year I’d look back at my year by doing categories for myself-favorite sewing project of the year, favorite new recipe, favorite thing I grew, etc.  Today is also the last picture of 2011–my second year of Project 365.  I did a huge post looking back last year at my photographs and this year I thought I’d call out my favorite shots by category:  flower, candid, etc.

In 2011 Clark finished kindergarten and started 1st grade, I worked as a blog manager, I quit working as a blog manager, I had the first time in 6 years of overlapping times of the kids being out of the house, I did not use it to sew as much as I thought I would, I sent out my first invoice using PayPal, we lost several chickens, including dear Blackie, Tabby’s eye crossed, she started wearing glasses, and ended up having surgery, we took three trips, our cat got lost and came back, Clark learned to read, Clark learned to ride a bike without training wheels, Tabitha started dance class, Paul left the library and got a new job, Paul built us a treehouse, and I learned how to run and ran three 5ks!

All in all, it was a good year.  I am especially thankful for the fact that we did not suffer severe damage or lose power from either Hurricane Irene or the October snowstorm, as so many of our friends and neighbors did. We were truly quite lucky.  And lest you read through the favorites below and think it’s all sunshine and roses here, rest assured that 2011 included plenty of temper tantrums, yelling, crying, and fighting from both the adults and the children in our house.

Favorite Book:  This year I simultaneously fell behind on my book blog and started using GoodReads. I resolve to get caught up on my book blog this winter. Due to that I had a hard time this year counting exactly how many titles I read, but I believe it was 75–not bad!  That does not count all the audiobooks we listened to-this was the year we enjoyed listening to children’s stories in the car.  I loved the Beverly Clear books narrated by Stockard Channing and also by Neil Patrick Harris.  As for myself? Top reads were All Clear by Connie Willis, I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson, What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, and Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan, Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, Cleaning Nabokov’s House by Leslie Daniels, and The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall.

Favorite Sewing Project: This year it’s easy to look back at what I sewed because I cleverly made a “2011 Sewing Projects” set in Flickr! I made aprons, blouses, a dress, jewelry rolls, star hot pads, oven mitts, and more. I have two favorites.  First the red party dress I made for myself (still no good pictures of me in it, though.)  I was really pleased with how it turned out and two years ago couldn’t have imagined making this for myself.  The other favorite is really two-the quilts I made for my friend Megan and then for myself.  I really enjoyed the simple design and having fun with scrap fabrics.
Back to School Harvest Quilt

Quilt for Megan

Favorite Vacation/Travel Moment: We started 2011 with our first family trip to Disneyworld and had a wonderful time.  Mid-summer we visited my great aunt in Cape Cod, and we wrapped up the summer with a trip to Williamsburg, VA.  At breakfast this morning I shared one of my favorite memories–riding the LeScoot flume ride in Busch Gardens 4 times in a row and getting drenched.  The kids agreed and Clark added that he also just loved the dining room table where we stayed and could we go back there? Glad a laminate topped table was a highlight for you, Clark! After getting past the initial drama, we also enjoyed the solitude of our power-free resort.  Clark added that he loved the bedtimes and stories by flashlight.
Day 5 Vacation
I also loved climbing to the top of the monument in Provincetown on Cape Cod and finding horseshoe crabs.
Favorite Foods: Last year was the year of bacon jam, but this year didn’t seem to have any standouts. Paul got a smoker and we enjoyed smoking some things, but there didn’t seem to be any new recipes I found myself turning to over and over again. My favorite I made was probably Clark’s birthday cake. I was really proud of how it came out and it was a pleasure to make for him.


Favorite Song-Calamity Song by the Decemberists.  I loved this whole album (The King is Dead), but this song especially as it was the song I started running to.  I listen to it almost every time I run and it’s become very motivating for me.  Not familiar with it? Have a listen.

Favorite Craft Project: My favorite crafty project was the bunting I made for Thanksgiving.  I’m looking forward to hanging it up in our kitchen every November.
Give Thanks
That about covers it-travel, kids, crafts, food, sewing, and family.  The part 2 of this post will be a look back at the photos, and that should be up in a couple of days.  Thanks for reading and commenting throughout the year.  I truly treasure every comment and appreciate friends and family keeping us with us all by checking in here.  For now, wishing you a very happy New Year’s Eve!



About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

One response »

  1. Fabulous! It is fun to be able to look back and really see the changes so clearly on the blog, and to recall events much more clearly. I could never keep a diary but this blog is a family/kid diary. Bravo for a successful 2011 and here’s to a great 2012.


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