Happy New Year, my friends! Just had to share this photo I took of my neighbor's cat trying to take a nap in the snow. It seems like it snows about every other day during the holiday break. The snow is pretty, but I'll be happy when the temps warm up again!
Here's a photo recap of my favorite moments in 2012. As you can see, they involve gardening, baking, traveling and outdoor activities.
We had such a warm winter, the spinach was still green in the garden last January! No snow then.
And can you believe, I planted my first pansies in March? My fall pansies were blooming all the way to Thanksgiving!
I've been fascinated with container gardening, and I made a successful attempt at growing peas in a reuseable grocery bag.
I also grew a ton of tomatoes this year, thanks to my husband, who dug up our backyard to expand our garden. It was also fun to dig up the rainbow carrots I planted last spring.
I wasn't as successful in the kitchen as I was in the garden. A couple of my favorite recipes were the skillet chocolate chip cookie, s'more bars (which are my new favorite), peanut butter sandwich cookies and homemade ketchup, made from all those tomatoes I grew.
I was fortunate to do quite a bit of traveling this year. I got tickets to the Blue Ribbon Festival in Des Moines, where I discovered bacon gelato! I also visited my mom and stepdad in Arizona, and they took me to an Arizona Diamondbacks game. I traveled to Traverse City, Mich., for work, and found some free time to visit the nearby sand dunes. My sister and I ate our way through the Iowa State Fair, and I made a memorable trip to the White House for a tour of the kitchen garden.
Finally, I spent as much time as I could on my bike or jogging this summer. I finished my first 5-mile race at the Iowa Speedway with my sister last spring. All together, I ran more than 10 races in 2012, including the Dam to Dam 5K in Des Moines, where I wore a tutu to help promote Billy Elliot the musical at the Des Moines Civic Center. I also completed the bike leg of the Hy-Vee triathlon with a great relay team, and I rode the Boland bike ride with my mom.
Even though 2012 was a terrific year, I'm really looking forward to 2013. I have a feeling it's going to be the best year yet. Thank you all for sharing the journey with me!