Note: This is a super long post. Feel free to just skim & check out the pictures.

Since my pre-teen years, my favorite number has been 11. Which I guess is partially why I was so looking forward to 2011. And now, with the year coming to a close, I thought I’d take the time to reminisce about the year we are about to leave behind. As much as I sometimes get into a funk about the whole economy/job situation, 2011 has been an okay year.

Being interviewed during Iron Chef.








My mentoring program had two awesome fundraisers, one duct taping a security guard to a wall (voluntarily) and an Iron Chef competition. They were both fun, and my team won the Iron Chef. Seriously, great great events. I went bobsledding and it was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had in my life. It was awesome.











In March, I turned 23. It was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. I got a cake made for me at the dining hall, thanks to my mother. Eileen sent me flowers with the most beautiful note, I was in tears. A few of my residents from the building I lived in gave me flowers too. I found out our building won an energy conservation challenge. I really could not have asked for that day to have gone any better.

Flowers from Eileen!










I competed in my school’s Elevator Pitch competition in the non-profit/social advocate category, pitching a mentoring program of course, and won 2nd place! I helped Kayla with her One Day Without Shoes events, and we walked in the rain down Church Street in Burlington. It was a cold but fun day, and got a lot of local press!

Leaving campus at 5AM (and running on little sleep) for a weekend in Maine!









I spent a weekend traveling with DREAM, my mentoring program to Maine where I was able to spend quality time with my mentee, as well as the other kids and mentors. I was impressed with the ability of the mentors, staff, and kids to handle whatever was thrown at us that weekend, including our bus breaking down and a late late night getting home.

YAY Graduation!









I was able to go home right before graduation and finals to spend time with my friend Ruth for her Easter birthday. I graduated college in May. It was a beautiful ceremony (albeit in a stuffy building). I got to spend time during Senior Week with friends, attending a Red Sox baseball game, taking a cruise around Lake Champlain. I attended a dinner for the Senior Class and the Trustees of the school, where our Senior Class Gift committee announced that we had over 50% participation, beating prior years and our goal. I got to see the girl I mentored for the past two years “graduate” 8th grade. It meant so much for me to be able to be there for her. When she saw me there, she was so excited, and you could tell it meant a lot to her too.

I ran/walked 3.1 miles as part of a relay team in the Vermont City Marathon, on behalf of Outright Vermont, a great organization that works with LGBTQA youth in Vermont. I had a wonderful graduation party with many family and friends there to spend time with me.

My mom and I at Ruth's wedding.










I was glad to be able to be the maid of honor not just once, but twice this year. In June, I was in my friend Ruth’s outdoor Maine wedding. And in July, I was in Eileen’s wedding. They were both beautiful days with memories I will cherish for a long long time.

Eileen and I.










I adopted Charlie, and got to go visit my friend Natasha when I did. I had a wonderful visit and Charlie was amazing on the 5+ hour car ride to Maine… he barely meowed at all!











I got to go to a concert with a friend, and a concert with my family. My mom and I did laughter yoga, and my dad got my copy of “Design Sponge” signed while he was on a business trip. I started Cool & Pretty Things & this blog.

Cool & pretty things!


















I got my first tattoo! It’s the tree of life, with hearts for leaves… and the red and turquoise hearts are for my grandparents. My mom and sister got the same design, and the same day we went, my two cousins went and got red cars (for Richard “Red” Carr).

All the while, I met new friends, became closer with some, reconnected with some old ones, and have so many friends now that I consider family. I couldn’t be more grateful to have them in my life. For Mike and Ruth’s family to become my “Aunts” and Moms… same with Natasha’s family. The kids that Ruth and I both babysit, we call “our” kids we love them so much…. it’s really made this year so much better.

This year was not without some trials and tribulations. I had some major airport problems getting home from an out of state interview. I got waitlisted or denied from all 6 grad schools I applied to. I found out that my grandfather had passed away the day before my graduation (and since I went straight to the out of state interview, it was a few days before I was told of the news). I’ve spent a good 3-4 months of this year unemployed, and have been dealing with a lot of migraines lately. We found out that our roof of our house was underbuilt and had a huge deal with getting the entire roof replaced.

Roof Construction









And I’m ending the year with a sinus infection. But, what can you do!

There are definitely way more positive things that have happened this year than the negatives. And really, most of those bad things that happened aren’t the worst thing in the world. I’m grateful to have a roof over my head, food to eat, clothing and shoes. And books, computers, and to be alive.

If you made it through that then I am SO thrilled! And you should let me know so I can send you some baked goods or something. Like really. Also, I will never ever write another post that long.

Credit to the picture of Charlie goes to Natasha, picture of Eileen and I, is Eileen’s.