2012 in photos.

sugarbush skiing, january.

reunited with my steamboat boys, february.

sunny dog, march.

summer in vermont.
happy girls, may.
b turns 30. room full of helium & love letters from friends & fam.

tuscaloosa alabama project with pomegranate center, june.

4th of july mansfield hike.

dad & b sailing, new hampshire, july.

garden grown beets.

stowe pinnacle sunset.

mr. & mrs. bravakis, july. 

mumford & sons, portland maine, august.


visiting aloha, august.

hill farmstead brewery, october.

fall foliage. 

starting ski season, november.

christmas tree hunting, december.

see also: 20112010

Best of 2012: Year in Review

2012 will be remembered for:
  • the least snowy winter i can recall. 
  • work trips to phoenix, knoxville, alabama, calgary, montreal.
  • a promotion for me in february, and for brett in may.
  • fun on bicycles.
  • miles upon miles of walking in the park with friends four-legged and two.
  • beautiful summer hikes & sails.
  • a steamboat wedding, a new york state wedding, an illinois elopement, and a vermont wedding.
  • a slew of great concerts: head & the heart, the lumineers with old crow, mumford & sons.
  • a road trip to indiana for a celebration luau.
  • another summer of fresh grown veggies in the backyard, our first CSA, and many great farmers markets.
  • sweet, sweet time spent with best friends.
  • long weekends on cape cod. reading with gran on the porch, walking on the beach, kayaking in all weather. 
  • a dodd family reunion in new hampshire.
  • exercising with a trainer for the first time- and finding a new workout buddy. bringing yoga back into my life.
  • sunday morning family snuggles & coffee. 
  • finally! a big snow storm. ending the year with six consecutive days on skis.
Best Books I read in 2012:
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  • MWF seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche
  • Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Best Movies I saw in 2012:
  • Argo
  • Intouchables
Best Music I was introduced to in 2012:
  • The Lumineers
  • Alabama Shakes
  • Of Monsters & Men
  • Ben Howard
And looking ahead to 2013:
  • hopefully much more snow.
  • my first vacation to the beach since 2006, and brett & my first non-visit travel together.
  • more visits with friends.
  • new music & fun shows.
  • extending our circle of friends in vermont.
  • work trips to boston, and hopefully seattle/castroville.
  • continuing my education with a certificate program at marlboro college.
(see: 201120102009)


my favorite days of 2012.

it's been a remarkable year for me. i've appreciated so many little moments, big adventures, and momentous occasions. today i want to remember three particularly wonderful days.

1. jenna & al's wedding. the pure joy, abundant love, and stunning setting.

2. mumford & sons. on the coast of maine. fun with friends. an amazing musical experience.

3. celebrating brett's 30th birthday. surprising him with a room full of balloons tied to messages from his loved ones. and then a day of biking & beer with best friends.


honoring grandmommy.

it's been three years since i celebrated christmas with my sweet grandmommy & said my goodbye to her. i remember our holidays and visits fondly. last week i bought myself a mustard velvet blazer (much more attractive than it sounds) on clearance. i told myself it was an early xmas gift from grandmommy- as there is nothing she'd rather get for me than a snappy blazer. today, i made a gift to vassar college in her memory. after her family, i believe vassar was her great love.

vassar library

a heart outside her old dorm, taken during my 5 year reunion in 2011.

grandmommy outside her dorm on graduation day, 1940's.


the day after.

i'm back in the office today. there are two of us here (out of 14 in my department). there are less than 40 people in the building (out of 150ish). i'm making the day a little brighter by wearing my favorite christmas present (hi ibex), drinking coffee, listening to the tallest man on earth, sending out congratulatory emails to grant recipients, and getting excited for yoga at 12. tonight we're off to an engagement party with old friends and new, so the festivities are continuing.


"It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season  -like all the other seasons-  is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and be grateful for them."
-Lemony Snicket, borrowed from Cup of Jo


merry christmas.

Wishing each of you a very merry christmas. I hope you enjoyed merriment and cheer with those you love.

This has been one of my favorite christmases yet. A beautiful balance of mellow and festive. More to follow.




grateful for homemade pizza, brunch with old friends, fresh coffee on the couch. for fluffy snow accumulating on the windowsill outside, ugly sweater day at work, and studded snow tires. for my hardworking & passionate coworkers, brett's fun & friendly coworkers. for drinking hot cocoa & watching love actually with my two favorite kidney girls. for twinkling christmas lights, kids on wagon rides downtown, and never ending christmas playlists.


holiday favorites.

my very favorite holiday tune--

and brett's favorite--


good service.

having worked in a number of resort/retail/tourism jobs, brett always commends good customer service. i also value it but with less verbal celebration. but i just have to say-- a good spirit goes a long way. i got gas at sunoco last night, which is full service (they pump for you! it was raining and i could not resist). i didn't recognize the older gentleman working, but i thoroughly enjoyed his friendly demeanor and ability to joke about other customers (who were in quite a hurry). he washed my back window as the gas finished pumping, proclaimed my solo bumper sticker the best he's seen in a while ('find what you love, love what you find'), and wished me a very merry christmas and told me to have a great evening. his positive energy stuck with me for a few hours last night, and clearly is still with me now! it was a good reminder of the effect that your own attitude- positive or negative- can have on all those around you.



enjoying this song. hope you do, too.


getting in the holiday spirit.

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas around here. we even got a nice snowfall today!

last weekend we went to a nearby christmas tree farm to find our perfect tree. it was our second year on this quest with jenna & al and the pups (this year joined by adam and his dog, too!) and it's become a really nice tradition. hopefully the lack of snow doesn't remain a long term tradition as well. 

one night i got home from work to find that brett had made sugar cookie dough on his day off, so we set to work using the two cookie cutters we have: a star & a tree. we baked them, and then used our fine art skills to do some decorating at the kitchen table. so fun. 

over the weekend, mom & i walked to birchgrove to check out the amazing gingerbread community they have crafted. the dollhouse lover in me was in heaven with the details. then we walked into town for a bit of christmas shopping.

i've got most of my christmas shopping completed and i've started wrapping. we've watched a few holiday movies (namely: home alone, elf). tonight b & i went to my folks house for more egg nog & tree decorating. i love decorating the tree at my parents house because the ornaments feel like old friends who come to visit only once a year.





  • gratitude for workplace yoga, excessive sugar, a puppy who loves cuddling as much as she loves catching her frisbee, spontaneous burger date nights at kismet, coworkers who wear antlers with me, and a workout partner who inspires me every morning. 
  • loving macklemore & ryan lewis.
  • our christmas tree is up & it could not make the home feel cozier. 
  • i'm having some technological issues with adding photos- apparently i've exceeded my quota and need to pay for more storage. trying to work a way around that, but bear with me and the lack of fun images!
  • missing my colorado crew & powder days. they got a good dump this week and i enjoyed some images texted from the slopes. hoping we'll get some this weekend.
  • did you catch any of the meteor shower? i saw a few stunning shooting stars.
  • my current favorite meal might be the easiest ever. teriyaki salmon, roasted asparagus, and a grain (couscous? rice? whatever. as long as it has more teriyaki on it.). healthy, delicious, easy- what could be better?


wise words.

"the only way to do great work is to love what you do. if you haven't found it yet, keep looking. as with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you do." 
-steve jobs


feel free.

today i'm revisiting an old favorite. bearfoot was one of my favorite bands in 2010-11 after i caught them live in summer 2010. i rarely listen to them again, but thought i would see what they're up to these days. i'm enjoying this new(ish) tune--


in love.



  • this week i tried a new recipe-- skillet gnocci with chard & white beans. i subbed kale for chard (still harvesting from the garden) and added chicken sausage. delicious!
  • i love this scarf.
  • today jenna and i went to the local holiday fair for a bit of shopping. it turns out that my friend jen, who is my tues/thurs workout buddy, is incredibly talented. check out her adorable, detailed work here.
  • last night we had a perfectly impromptu dinner with jen & al. pizza and elf. on the couch. all four of us plus two dogs. 
  • steamboat was featured in the new york times 36 hour spotlight this week.  this article made me nostalgic for our steamboat days, but i was also shocked at how many of the featured spots didn't exist when i lived there two years ago.
  • i think i already highlighted the 36 hour in montpelier spotlight several months ago. reading the two, where would you rather live? why?
  • tonight we're off to the onion river sports holiday party. two yankee gift swap presents wrapped, massive lasagna made, here we go!

old friends.

when i decided to move back to vermont, one thing i was particularly excited about was the ability to see some of my childhood friends more regularly-- because everyone comes home to visit parents at some point, and i would get to see them, too! it turns out for the first year, not many of my friends were home to visit. but over the last few weeks, i was fortunate to share some quality time with a few of my most longstanding friends. i'm eager for the christmas season when i will get to see a few more, as well. 

i have stayed incredibly close with a good handful of my dearest childhood friends, and i know how rare this is. among other friends i have had, they have remained much closer with their friends from college than those they knew in high school or before. of my large (15-20ish) group of high school girlfriends, there are still nine whom i remain friends with, and a handful who remain my very best girls. for their knowledge, laughter, confidence, trust & for our shared history, i am oh so grateful!

"there's nothing like looking at your own history in the faces of your friends."
-ani difranco


big hearts.


vertical. by linda pastan.

what a lovely poem. i first fell in love with the trees one november-- after all the leaves had dropped on a wet day when the bark was dark and stood out against the white sky. they looked so bold & powerful, with the most intricate curves and bends in their branches.

Perhaps the purpose
of leaves is to conceal
the verticality
of trees
which we notice
in December
as if for the first time:
row after row
of dark forms
yearning upwards.
And since we will be
horizontal ourselves
for so long,
let us now honor
the gods
of the vertical:
stalks of wheat
which to the ant
must seem as high
as these trees do to us,
silos and
telephone poles,
and skyscrapers.
But most of all
these winter oaks,
these soft-fleshed poplars,
this birch
whose bark is like
roughened skin
against which I lean
my chilled head,
not ready
to lie down.


impromptu date.

tonight brett invited me to go bowling, and i agreed. at 4:30, we had the entire bowling alley to ourselves. we played two rounds, and each had a beer. it was the most random & fun midweek activity. it is so easy for me to get stuck in my scheduled routine, and it can be difficult for me to be sporadic and open to a spur of the moment invite. but i told myself that i should yes, and we had a blast. bowling! on a wednesday. just the two of us. so great.



"Your beloved and your friends were once strangers.  Somehow at a particular time, they came from the distance toward your life. Their arrival seemed so accidental and contingent. Now your life is unimaginable without them."
-john o'donohue

great things have happened. by alden nowlan.

i love the writer's almanac. it's a good day when i catch it on npr on my commute. i loved today's poem.

We were talking about the great things
that have happened in our lifetimes;
and I said, "Oh, I suppose the moon landing
was the greatest thing that has happened
in my time." But, of course, we were all lying.
The truth is the moon landing didn't mean
one-tenth as much to me as one night in 1963
when we lived in a three-room flat in what once had been
the mansion of some Victorian merchant prince
(our kitchen had been a clothes closet, I'm sure),
on a street where by now nobody lived
who could afford to live anywhere else.
That night, the three of us, Claudine, Johnnie and me,
woke up at half-past four in the morning
and ate cinnamon toast together.
"Is that all?" I hear somebody ask.
Oh, but we were silly with sleepiness
and, under our windows, the street-cleaners
were working their machines and conversing in Italian, and
everything was strange without being threatening,
even the tea-kettle whistled differently
than in the daytime: it was like the feeling
you get sometimes in a country you've never visited
before, when the bread doesn't taste quite the same,
the butter is a small adventure, and they put
paprika on the table instead of pepper,
except that there was nobody in this country
except the three of us, half-tipsy with the wonder
of being alive, and wholly enveloped in love.


about me.

have you ever been to my 'about me' page?


sunday funday.

it's rare that brett & i get to enjoy a day off together, so it can feel a bit like a holiday when we do. today we had a slow start to the day, enjoyed our coffee & made french toast. we headed outside to harvest the last of the garden before it froze solid into the ground-- two bowls of rainbow carrots and a bunch of leeks. we left the kale as it can withstand the snow. it was so fun to be out digging (and wearing my carhartts!). lu did her best to help and got quite muddy in the process. then we took our messy selves to the park for a walk.

this afternoon we headed up to a coworker's birthday celebration. it was a small gathering, and i've felt rather honored to be invited both last year and this. i brought brett along this go-around and we enjoyed a tasty midafternoon meal. this was our third social event this weekend with three separate social circles. we were rather impressed with ourselves.

we had a productive spurt upon getting home-- making the bed, watering plants, and then playing in the kitchen: i cleaned and chopped the garden crops for soup later this week, sharing & freezing. brett made baked oatmeal to provide us with some breakfasts this week, and i made a double batch of dad's delicious salad dressing to encourage some healthy eating amidst the holiday indulgences.

and now, sleepytime tea & a few pages of reading.



"Real friendship or love is not manufactured or achieved by an act of will or intention.  Friendship is always an act of recognition... in the moment of friendship, two souls suddenly recognize each other.  It could be a meeting on the street, or at a party or a lecture, or just a simple, banal introduction, then suddenly there is the flash of recognition and the embers of kinship grow.  There is an awakening between you, a sense of ancient knowing."
-john o'donohue