The past twelve months have truly been some of the most exciting of my life. Book deals, cross-country moves, second pregnancies. It’s been a lot, and it’s been more than I ever could have asked for, in every good way possible. Along every step of the way I took photos.
I recently revisited 2010’s Year in Photos and was really touched by all the changes I went through last year. For me, 2010 was a year in which I deepened as a wife and mother. This year was a bit different. More of a spreading out into the world. It was about grasping onto things I’d always wanted and pulling forward with all my might.
Below, some of my favorite moments and images.
This was a monumental month. In December of 2010 I’d secured an agent for a book I’d been quietly working on. She sent out my proposal to publishers in mid-December and I didn’t tell ANYONE except Greg. I entered January of 2011 with so much anticipation, and by the end of the first week I’d received an offer for a book deal from Penguin. It was an absolute dream come true and something I think I’m still in shock over.
But this month wasn’t all about publishing contracts. Regular life marched forward.
In mid-January I met three of my oldest friends in Nashville for a weekend of honky-tonk and catching up. I feel so privileged to have friends like these, for as long as I have.
I came home from that trip and turned around and headed to New York with Greg. This was truly a dream-come-true trip. I met my agent and publisher, visited the Penguin offices and we braved a blizzard.
When I say blizzard, I mean blizzard.
We came home from New York, only to another blizzard, this one in Chicago. Do I even have to mention how happy I am to know that this winter things are going to be a little different out in California? I do, however, love this video of Vera getting excited about the blizzard.
In spite of, or maybe because of all the snow, February was a really quiet month. Greg and I were both writing like crazy. The deadline for my book was in early March and I was working away every single day, pounding out the words and chapters — the very ones you’ll get to read just a month from now!
Of course, I continued to take photos.
Towards the end of the month things picked up when Greg’s best friend Tarek got engaged to Kate. They met because of this blog!
In March I finished the first draft of my book and the three of us headed down to Naples, Florida for a week of relaxation with Greg’s parents. The sunshine and warm air and absence of deadlines were much-needed and very appreciated.
When we came home from Florida it was to the realization that we were moving to California in just under three months. We made it a point to enjoy as much of Chicago as possible in the meantime.
And enjoy each other too.
This is one of my favorite photos of the year — the first time I painted Vera’s toenails. She was so excited.
Vera’s 21 month letter. New year’s resolution to start those things up again!
Vera and her beloved Chicago best friend Ezra.
As it warmed up in Chicago, we found ourselves out and about as much as possible.
In the middle of the month we drove up to Rogers City, Michigan so that I could scatter some of my father’s ashes in his hometown, something I’d vowed to do long ago.
We visited the sheriff’s office where both my grandmother and grandfather had served terms.
Back at home we celebrated Easter.
One of my best friends, Lien, came to town and we went to the opening night of The Aviary and drank cocktails like this one.
I hosted the last girls night at my house and we cooked up a mean, French-inspired menu. (I miss these girls so much!)
Vera got into dress-up.
Another of my favorite photos of the year. Greg comforting Vera as she cries because our cat Lincoln (RIP) is wearing her wings.
And then we started a lot of hard goodbyes. One of the most gut-wrenching was with our beloved nanny.
In the meantime we tried to enjoy our last days in Chicago.
I got a new camera lens for my birthday just so I could take photos of things I cook (not really) like these fish tacos.
Really, the lens was just so that I could take more photos of my beautiful daughter.
Our wonderful friends threw us an amazing going-away party.
I felt wistful and happy.
Then it was Mother’s Day.
Finally it was time to start packing. Greg’s parents came to help.
And then we were off!
On June 1 we loaded up the car with our toddler and our three cats and we drove out of Chicago and clear across the country. It was beautiful.
On June 6 we drove through downtown Los Angeles and up into Topanga Canyon where we moved into my friend Abby’s house for three months, while we looked for more permanent housing.
We immediately went to the beach. A lot.
All of our friends came to welcome us back.
Veronica turned two. Two!
We celebrated Father’s Day. I gave Greg surf lessons.
We were elated to come home (home!) to California.
July was a slow, sweet month and we continued to settle into life on the West Coast, throwing parties, reuniting with friends, cooking good food and soaking up the sun.
My oldest friend in the world moved back to California and for the first time our daughters played together. Liz and I met when were just about this age so it’s been wild to see Vera and Reilly together.
And then one afternoon we came home to a big box on the porch. Advance copies of my book had arrived!
I hosted a girls night and Vera modeled her mermaid costume.
We went to the beach some more.
I made some turkey burgers.
Greg’s parents came to town.
We went to the Getty.
And took them bike riding.
And to the playground.
August started off in a sad way, with the loss of our little friend Lincoln. We still miss him like crazy.
Then we went back East for Tarek & Kate’s wedding and had an absolute blast.
Greg with his three oldest friends from grade school.
Kate & Tarek
Then Greg flew home to Los Angeles and I stayed on so that I could go to Ashley & Mark’s wedding.
When I came back to LA we found a little house in Santa Monica and starting making preparations to move in.
On September first we officially began living in Santa Monica.
Just minutes from some of my best friends!
We were thrilled to be HOME again.
Sadly, we lost another cat when we had to put down my 17 year old friend Lily.
The house seemed pretty quiet after that, but Vera tried to keep things lively.
Abby, whose house we’d been living in all summer, came back from Europe and we’ve been so happy to be same-state friends again.
Amber’s beautiful little girl Nora turned 1!
Veronica made a new best friend. Zoe.
Worried about the loneliness of our one remaining cat Reynold, we got a new cat. Foster.
He was an immediate hit.
We got excited about Halloween right away.
And we kept going to the beach. Because you can go the beach in October in LA.
More friends came over.
We spent a lot of time outside.
In mid-October my editor at Penguin came out to LA and accompanied me on a trip to Sedona to do some research on my second book.
It was gorgeous.
When we came home I found out I was pregnant. We were all a little surprised.
But life, er Halloween, marched on.
Greg’s brother Brad had moved to San Francisco the month before and came for his first visit. We’ve since been referring to ourselves as the West Coast contingent in regards to the Boose family.
Vera caught up on the goings-on.
Ron’s wife Erica made some amazing desserts for our Halloween party.
Vera had several costumes for the big day.
In early November, in the throes of morning sickness, I flew to New York for three incredible days of book publication stuff.
Here I am with my beloved agent Wendy and editor Denise.
Then I came home to the usual.
Vera’s first day of Montessori.
Brad came back for Thanksgiving weekend.
Liz and I cooked up a storm.
We had a wonderful dinner with good friends and family.
And then went to the beach, of course.
We also had a little fun with hair rollers.
And I debuted a book trailer for THE RULES OF INHERITANCE. Have you seen it yet?
The pregnancy began seeming real.
Vera and her other best friend, Elva.
The holiday decorations came out.
And fell down.
Vera, center in purple, in her first ever school performance. It got off to a rough start.
So we held hands through the rest of it.
We celebrated a little early so that we could go to Ohio.
Our annual holiday card.
In Ohio, Vera played nonstop with her seven cousins.
Back in Los Angeles my cousin Ron and his wife Erica welcomed baby Hudson.
And we continued to anticipate our new arrival.
Resolutions for 2012?
Simple gratitude for all that I have.