In January I baked bread for the first time. Real, hard-crusted, rustic bread, and got to check off an item on my 31 before 31 list. I started my hunt for a wedding florist and created a Pinterest board to start saving ideas. I reached out to the pottery studio for which Kev had gifted me a wheel class and we settled on lessons in March.
In February we went to Charleston and loved it. We tried on of those Escape the Room activities for a birthday party in Long Island City. We didn't escape in time, but we were close. For Valentine's Day we stayed in and made pasta from scratch, another 31 before 31. We booked a Photo Booth for the wedding. We started talking to friends about a group vacation.
I returned to Charleston in March for Lily's bachelorette weekend. For our own wedding, I ordered a custom stamp to use on our save-to-dates, to be hand painted individually by my dad. Huxley completed puppy kindergarten and learned how to give pounds, amongst other, more fundamental commands. We met Snowy, a neighborhood pup of the same age as Hux who would grow to become his very best bud. I started those pottery lessons and we booked flights for a Euro trip in September.
In April I finally finished crocheting a huge blanket I'd started in 2015. It was burgundy with gray fringe, and to my surprise it sold pretty much immediately on Etsy. The weather started to warm up so we drove to Williamsburg on a Sunday for tacos in the car and walked around with Hux afterward. I remember bringing him into several stores. He was so friendly and happy to be allowed inside. Later in the month, we visited Three's Brewery and Ample Hills Creamery in Gowanus.
Ramps came back in season in May and we made this amazing ramp and potato soup in our crockpot that knocked our socks off. We got to make it once or twice more before ramp season ended all too quickly. I knit my first women's top (a 31 before 31) which I gave to Annie. Lily got married! We went to Lisbon, where we got up early one day for a sun rise at the Portas do Sol.
Kevin started a new job with the City in June. We would overlap in Brooklyn for several weeks. We got to have lunch together before I switched teams and went back to Midtown. I started selling hanging planters on Etsy. On the wedding front, we created our wedding website, printing out a bunch of photos to arrange, collage-like, and photograph again as our website main image. I met our wedding florist. Kev took the guys to dinner at Minetta Tavern where he asked them to be his groomsmen. We would all meet up later that night to go out in and around Chinatown - I distinctly remember delicious drinks served out of fresh pineapples at Pulqueria.
Our save-the-dates went out in July. My dad did a beautiful job on them and I'm so happy we were able to incorporate his artwork into our wedding. I visited Lily in Philadelphia with Leigh while she was there for a business school summer internship. It was hot, and by now I'd long stopped making bread on the weekends because our apartment kitchen had turned into a jungle, making rise times unwieldy and unpredictable. We booked a lighting vendor. I started making cactus themed pottery, a still-growing theme for me.
In August we took a weekend trip out to Montauk, visiting Montauk Brewing Company and Wolffer Estates while we were out there. We enjoyed dinner at Agern in Grand Central and a workday lunch at Maman in SoHo. I went to and survived the hottest bridal shower in the history of time on a 100+ degree summer day in a covered backyard with no fans. We rode the SeaGlass Carousel in Battery Park and liked it so much we'd bring friends a couple of weeks later. We booked a DJ for the wedding.
Kevin and I did extensive research for our Euro trip in September and those two weeks away were one of the highlights of the year. In the first half of the month, we took a day trip to Beacon, NY with Hux and went on our first family hike. We also went to a Kanye West concert and had an m-f-ing blast.
When we got back from Europe I was beyond ready and pumped to embrace autumn in New York. In October, we went to Audrey's Farmhouse upstate, did more hiking at Minnewaska State Park, and went to a Ciderfest in LES. I baked Huxley grain-free sweet potato apple treats and was delighted to find that he loves them. A local small business owner found me on Etsy and we embarked on an ambitious and at times stressful partnership to sell baby hats during the upcoming holiday season. I ended the month with a day at the Hester Street Fair on its closing weekend. Kevin and my parents all showed up to support me with minimal complaints and I love them for it.
We got to squeeze in one last hike before it got too cold in November, driving up to New Paltz with Ryan and Carmen to hike Bonticou Crag, this time without the pup. It was our most challenging but also most rewarding one to date. I came close to the limit of my fear of heights on the Table Rocks that were part of the trail. We ate at Mimi and Aska. We drank at Excuse My French and Finback Brewery. Our Christmas tree went up.
December this year allowed time for reflection and I'm thankful for it. We didn't host Friendsmas as we did last year but got to see people nonetheless. Morgan came to visit and I spent an evening with Cat in Astoria jamming out to N*Sync and Mariah Carey Christmas songs. We finally ordered our wedding invitations after returning to them again and again over many months but never pulling the trigger. At the last moment, we found Rifle Paper Co. (the designer of the pineapple wallpaper in our apartment) invitations available at Paperless Post and completed our order less than a week later. They'll arrive in January.