Blooming and growing: the end of 2010.

As we turn the corner of December into 2011, I've been thinking about habits and stagnation and communication and how to maintain strong relationships with friends and family. I've been thinking about the importance of speaking up when things aren't right and clearing the air as often as possible. Sounds smart, right? Also sounds tiring.

And the funny thing is that I've been thinking about so many thing in life like this. If only I could get into an exercise routine that would someday blend into habit. Same with cooking healthy food. Same with having a strong relationship... once you've achieved success, you should be able to sit back and take a break, right?

Wrongville, USA. The truth is, as you grow up you realize that it's pretty rare that things roll seamlessly without any care or attention.

There's a famous acronym used in sales, ABC, which stands for "Always Be Closing." When you're a salesman, you can't rest on your laurels for too long after every deal. Because soon enough, the deal you made fades away and you've got to prove yourself again. In sales, like in life, high moments can only get you so far.

And so my motto for 2011 is going to be Always Be Growing. Because a beautiful plant doesn't pause its growing when it achieves success... it keeps on taking in sunshine and water and holding up against bad weather. Life goes on, even when you've bloomed.

2010 has been an incredible year for us. Chris became a partner, I became a director, we navigated our first year living together, we explored new parts of the U.S., we saw so many friends marry their loves. We decided to choose each other for the rest of our lives. I did a lot of writing and Chris did a lot of coding. We had parties and dinners and coffees and drinks with people who challenge us and love us. We got a lot of sleep. It was a beautiful year.

(It's probably worth mentioning that for every best memory I include in this post, there have been struggles. Our families have had their share of challenges this year, I spend approximately 86% of my life feeling like I'm disappointing someone, Chris works a whole lot. But I don't feel like we have much right to complain; we are healthy and happy and we get each other through it all.)

So we're riding the crest of 2010 right into January, into a new year that already promises to be full and bright. A wedding. A 30th birthday. A 27th birthday. Maybe a new cat. Trips and a honeymoon and hopefully even more dinners with friends. It makes me a bit weary thinking about it all, even the best parts.

But we commit ourselves to another year of trying our best. We pat ourselves on the back and we stand tall to face the new year, to conquer it. To always be growing.

Happy New Year 2010. May you and everyone you love be gearing up to grow.

Memory Fridays: The Year in Photos

Liz Gilbert reads from "Committed."

I turn 29 years old. Sarah grows out of my shoulder.

We move into our new apartment together. 

I start cooking more in our new kitchen!

Chris' Xmas gifts hang over our bed (a triptych!)


Oscar falls in love.

Doug grills a new Arc employee.

Happy wedding, Adam Fisher!

Anne and I brave the elements to learn of Colonial NYC.

The garden starts...

The garden grows!

Easter in Seattle.

Chris meets the Sci Fi museum. 

Leigh's bday!

The garden moves outside to our deck.

I start walking 2 miles over the Brooklyn Bridge in the mornings.

Lunch with Tejal and Avi in Boston.

My first public fiction reading at 92-Y.

Mother's Day with Mom up in Yorktown.

Chris' Dad and Beth visit and we take a boat ride around NYC.

The Sarahs visit Brooklyn... and we do a walking tour!

Me and the Sarahs get keys to the city.

Lindsay gets married in NJ. 
Summer party happens on our deck... over 40 people attend!

9 days in Iowa to read and write... and meet new friends from Singapore!

First squash picked... and eaten.

Hottest trip to DC ever.

Courtney gets ready to have a baby!

Our weekly dinner party continues onto "Breaking Bad" after LOST ended.

Evelyn and Dani get married.

Chris turns 26 and we do dinner and Barge Music under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Kathryn and Aaron get maaaaaried!

We travel Portland with Angela and Lucie.

We find gorges.

The sibs and I go apple picking.

Chris contemplates this old bus at Atlantic Antic.

The LOST ladies at Britt's shower.

I see (and ask a question of!) Dave Eggers. Finally.

We take a hike with Chris' mom in Wisconsin.


Back down to DC for the Rally to Restore Sanity...

And for the Reddit after-party.

Steve becomes Julia Child for Halloween.

We play Jim and Pam from The Office.

Katie becomes Carmen Sandiego!

We choose a place and date for our wedding... August 13 at Lasdon Arboretum.

I start studying memory for Project Learn. Oscar helps.

Britt and LoSacco get married... and we're in the wedding!

Thanksgiving in Yorktown... mmmm turkey.

Another trip to Wisconsin, but this time for Xmas festivities!

We decorate the tree for the first time together.

The LOST group has a Secret Santa party!

And there's a BABY! (Hi, Jackson!)

Christmas in Yorktown; clearly one of us ate our Wheaties.

A blizzard hits Brooklyn to end the year with snow, slush and SCARVES!