Last year I looked back at the calendar year through my Instagram posts, which turned out to be really fun as well as a welcome break from holding to the academic calendar. Here’s looking back at 2014!
I started teaching my 11 undergrads (including four Vanderbilt football players) in a tiny conference room. I bought teaching clothes and found out that if you just go teach, you’ll find the skills you need. And we brought home a tiny new beagle pup named Dolly!
To start the thesis, I printed out all the poems I had, and they took over the book chair. I went to Seattle for AWP and some sweet time with my Seattle family.
I spent a lot of nights sitting on the floor watching the Olympics and rearranging poems for the thesis (and debating how many quotes and Josh Ritter lyrics were too many). I also thought a lot about weird winter Olympic events and being nervous watching luge.
I bought the thesis some new clothes. And I finished it after nightly editing and revising sessions, lots of coffee, an angsty Spotify playlist, little sleep, plenty of neuroticism and a little bit of faith. I talked about it for a couple hours with the committee and then we took a selfie.
And then I got the opportunity of a lifetime – a workshop with Erin Belieu in Chamonix, France. I took a leap and decided to go.
I WENT TO FRANCE and came back even more in love with words and food and mountains and everything.
I came back home and looked at Kentucky a lot. And then I went to New York to visit my friend Ben. We ate ice cream and talked and I made a pie (of course). On that trip (on the day I took the photo below, sitting in Bryant Park), I found out my parents would be moving to Indiana.
I made the most beautiful apple pie for Dad to take with him for his first week of work in Indiana. (Pie is my love language.)
I moved back to Nashville as the house went on the market (and sold in a day), set up my office at the Curb Center, and started planning my workshops for the fall.
I said goodbye (reluctantly, with much protest, and, again, with a bit of faith) to my Kentucky home.
I needed a writing project, so I challenged myself to blog every day in October about my new love of food and kitchens and cooking. That project ended in an idea for a book! And my dear friend Brooke got engaged to Kevin. They are the sweetest couple, and I’ll be standing with them as they start their life together next June.
I went to the Q Women conference and heard so many wonderful speakers, including my lovely friend Annie. I left sure I would write a book one day (and at least that I was, without a doubt, a writer). And I settled in to teaching two workshops a week to a wonderful group of people.
I went to Purdue for the third annual Friendsgiving with Logan, Hayley and Krista. And a wonderful man named Ben took me on our first date – walking around the Opryland Hotel to see the Christmas lights. Then, later in the month, we had a long impromptu dinner at Chick-fil-a, because he gets me. And we took a selfie afterward, standing by our cars.
Ben and I celebrated my last two weeks of the year in Nashville, aka “the Christmas Fortnight,” with carriage rides, cookie decorating, the Dickens of a Christmas Festival in Franklin, breakfast dates, coffee dates, dinners in, family time, movie nights and basically every bit of Christmas fun we could fit in. He couldn’t be more wonderful.
I went to West Lafayette for a much-needed reunion with Brooke and Dienesa. We giggled and went to Target and romped around campus. We ate too much and picked out bridesmaid’s dresses and hugged a lot. They’re my very best friends, and to have time with them at Christmas was a true gift.
And then I was home in Indiana with my family for Christmas, surprised that it came again, that something so lovely was back.
…and here we go into 2015! Happy new year, y’all. Here’s to more blogs about cooking and writing in Nashville!