Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 In Review

Nancy from Living the Dream inspired me to do a photo-look at this past year. 2011 has been packed to the max with some pretty wonderful things. Here are a few of my favorites...


I served as an organizer and mentor for the second Brightest Star Awards Program- highlighting the achievements of adults living with disabilities.

My one-woman show, A Woman In Progress, premiered at NYC's acclaimed La MaMa E.T.C.

My bridesmaids threw me a NYC bridal shower!

We got a SNOW DAY! (These are pretty rare for NYC schools but VERY magical when they do happen!)


 I helped my beautiful sister prepare to compete for the title of Miss Fulton County (SHE WON)!

 And that same sister paid me a visit in NYC.

 We applied for our marriage license!

 AND we got my ring fitted so I could actually wear it! (I'm not a huge jewelry person, so this claddagh ring served as my engagement AND wedding ring.)

We visited a Russian Bathouse for the first time!

My 4th and 5th graders from the Bronx knocked their poetry performance out of the park!

And my K-5th grade dance students impressed the crowd with their beautiful dance pieces!


My Block Institute students and I participated in Read Across America Day!

 Joe and I spent some QT exploring our beautiful city!

We went to City Hall to collect our marriage license!

And I was thrown a SECOND bridal shower for my upstate NY friends and family! Hooray!


 The weather started to turn! Hooray!

 A few of my Bronx students were selected to perform at Community Word Project's Annual Benefit. I was bursting at the seams with pride.

 And my talented YWCA students participated in a Brooklyn-based Anti-Violence Awareness art installation. Again- SO. PROUD.

My youngest sister went traipsing through the woods with me to find twigs for my centerpieces and then crammed them in the back of her car. Trooper.

  I got to spend lots of time with  my family as we prepared for my wedding!

 And then my bachelorette party happened. :)

 Love these girls!

I played around with my flowergirl, her brother and my ring bearer. <3 these munchkins!

 And we got a chance to say thank you to everyone who helped make our wedding possible at the rehearsal dinner...

 (Secret handshake and all...)

And then I went on the vacation of a lifetime...

We spent a fabulous week in Puerto Rico.

And then we spent a week cruising the Eastern Caribbean!


 Tough Mudder Vermont WOULD HAVE been my third Tough Mudder, but I got my very first migraine that AM and didn't end up running. My teammates killed it, though.

 I spent some time with my favorite little men!

 Visited the Red Hook soccer fields...

 Got crazy with some of my dance students...

 Turned 25!

 And played on the beach!


 I got to honor my graduating students that had excelled in in dance throughout the year.

 Joe and I hiked around the Catskills.

 I headed upstate for my sister's sendoff party to Miss NY!

 And I began my bridesmaid duties at my friend Genevieve's shower!

 I bid my Bronx students farewell.

 And then headed to Staten Island for the Miss NY pageant to cheer on my biological sister...

 And some former pageant sisters!

 I introduced my dad to calamari. HA.

 And did some serious BBQing.

 Mama and I played around at the farmer's market...

 And my friend Jarred and I went swimming before it was really warm enough!

 I was reunited with some of my high school besties!

And then I drove myself to North Caroline for a one-week writing residency at the Wildacres Retreat.

The residency was heaven- a week to be as alone as I wanted with the support of some effusively kind and generous local residents!


 My sister came to visit- resulting in an impromptu sidewalk photo shoot in the rain. No, she's not naked. Or is she?

 I spent as much time on the beach as possible!

I learned a new braid and tested it on my sister!

 And then I introduced her to sushi!

 I spent some time with this crazy lady (my trainer, surrogate mom, mentor and business manager Ellen Stein).

 And then headed upstate for pre-wedding fun with my pals Jarred and Genevieve.

 Which included a midnight swim in the lake!

 Fun fact- I've been a bridesmaid twice, and in both weddings, Joe was a groomsmen!

 Awkward prom photos are a necessity at ANY wedding!

More beach time!


 My sister and I attended the craziest concert I've ever been to IN. MY. LIFE.

OH HAI BassIsland.

 We got there early so we were pretty close up in the beginning.
It was epic. 


I attended the Healthy Living Summit and got to spend some QT with my favorite healthy living bloggers!

 Exploring Philly was a plus.

 I started to get to know my grad school compadres...

 I was evacuated for Hurricane Irene...

 But our evacuation plans included spending time with this guy...

 ... so we were OK with it.

 I BEGAN GRADUATE SCHOOL! Mi familia for the next two years and beyond...

 And I soaked in my last few days as a teaching artist...

Saying goodbye to these kids, who I've worked with 5x weekly, year round since October 2009, was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I'm so grateful I got to be a part of their lives!

 We kept my mom entertained while she was stuck in rehab after surgery...

 Wheelchair races!

 And... MORE beach time, this time with the baby sister!

 I soaked up every last beachable day with my classmates!

 And took in the end of the season in Central Park with my fellow Mind The Art Entertainment board members!

 I took in a Brooklyn Cyclones game with my boyfriend!

 And got to see my beautiful Miss Brooklyn sister (Christina- 2011, I was 2009) in action as a Cyclones Beach Bum!

 We won!

 My classmates and I relaxed on the quad after our first production auditions in the fall.

 And I was accompanied by a few other classmates to an outdoor theatre production!

 Did you know I'm obsessed with water? Now you do!

 I got ANOTHER sister visit! This time I took Kieren for some Middle Eastern food- she likey!

 I threw my husband a successful surprise birthday party, complete with a candy cake!

 Yep. More beach.

 I organized the first NYC Blogger Playdate!

 And attended my first press event for my blog- the Diabetes Co-Stars Cookoff- I got to interview Paul and Mira Sorvino!

.... AND taste the final two recipes!


 An apple picking excursion upstate started the month off right!

 I received a Friar's Foundation Scholarship and got to speak the prestigious Friar's Club!

 I had a potluck dinner with my school family!

 Mamason came to visit!

 I participated in a reading of a new collection of letters in the Brooklyn College Library.

 And was a part of a staged reading of a new play called Maidenhead by Kim Davies.

 I organized the second NYC Blogger Playdate!

 I was invited to help out at a fundraiser for the Miss Brooklyn Organization.

 I paid my former students a surprise visit on Halloween!

 My Creamy Apple, Pumpkin and Delicata Squash Soup recipe won the Swanson Blogger Recipe Contest!

And I made my first contribution to Brokelyn with my Concrete Jungle Gym Series.


 Cold weather strolls around my hood...

 At a fundraiser for the 2nd year MFA Actors' Showcase.


 I attended the crowning of the 5th Miss Brooklyn since the organization was resurrected!

 My classmate Jonny and I attended the Friars Foundation's Larry King Testimonial Dinner!

 I had a blast at the Bloggers We Love event!

 And we had an awesome time at the THIRD NYC Blogger Playdate!

 We traveled upstate to visit family for Thanksgiving!



 We had auditions for our spring productions at school.

 In class we did a fascinating mask work exploration.

We did lots of snacking, napping and studying in the halls.

 I got a 50mm lens! Awesome for impromptu headshots!

 We got to use our honeymoon ornament on our baby-sized tree!

 Things got crazy in school...

 But we made it! Our first semester- featured here are the 1st year MFA Actors and Directors.

 I took an awesome anti-gravity yoga class and spent some time with a bloggy friend! :)

 I hosted an end of the semester party for my fellow first years!

 I made a TON of truffles...

 And went to an awesome cookie exchange party, hosted by my beautiful friend Christina.

 This handsome kiddo was there too!

 I went and saw my hubs' show, Vampure.

 I caught up with an old friend in Chicago.

We spent Christmas in Indiana, where I took part in some familiar traditions...

...and I picked up some new ones... I learned how to make krumkake- a traditional Norwegian Christmas cookie!

We enjoyed some nice meals out!

 And got some super presents!

I jumped back into the running groove.

 I force-fed my family some healthy food.

 ... I swear they liked it more than they're letting on...

 Christmas gifts were a hit!

 Quality time was spent with all pups.

 And then there was MORE family!

 I got some cake decorating tutorials from my mom!

And rang in the New Year quietly, on my couch.

2011, you were VERY, VERY good to me.