The Year In Review

Want more top Insta-moments?  Check out my YEAR IN REVIEW Flipagram!

Happy Anniversary to AnnieDean.com!  It seems like a lifetime ago that I launched this website on New Year's Day, 2013.  I couldn't have picked a more peculiar year to document - it was full of moments that I was wildly unprepared for but completely open to, which made it one of my most challenging, rewarding years yet.  My family of three (Rosie would hate to be excluded!) blossomed into four, my husband up and changed careers, I managed three jobs (motherhood, corporate law, and this blog), took on every project I could get my hands on and watched my feet swell right along with my belly.  Other parts of me grew, too.  My heart stretched bigger than ever and I made that big break from 'growing up' into 'grown up.'  When I look back on the person I was last New Year's, a shaky glass of (prop) champagne in hand, I realize that parts of her are gone now, replaced by a steadier, more confident woman.

And yet, I'm more unsure of myself than ever.  I'm not sure how to reconcile the person who graduated from the top of her undergraduate class, went on to law school, and fought for the best opportunities on the best deals at her law firm, with the person who is untamably creative, ambitious and aesthetically obsessive, with the mother who knows that the best way to keep her family happy and healthy is to stick with them as a mother and wife, full time.  And so I'll continue to admit, to those who ask, that I have no idea what's ahead for me.  These past few months have been productive for me.  I've learned how to be a mother.  A good one!  A patient one!  I built a great business plan.  I undertook a book proposal.  Despite my real and true exhaustion, I hosted two holiday parties and read a book a month.  I saw my friends.  And I'm happy: an acomplishment for any person at any time.  My immediate resolution is to take a step back, stop working so hard to figure out my life, and just live it for a little while.  The answers always seem to come quicker that way.  (I've tried this once before - I met Peter ten days later.)

I wish each and every one of you a 2014 that is full of contentment, comfort and progress.  I hope that 2013 brought you memories that you cherish.  And I THANK YOU, endlessly, for reading this blog, and for writing to me.  It's scary to start a blog!  And your support has made it a wonderful, wonderful experience.  Although I needed to take some time to myself this December, 2014 will continue to be a big blog year.  I've got lots in store, and more etiquette than ever.  I hope you'll stick with me.

So without futher ado, here are some of my favorite moments of the year!

1.  Sigh, some of the last moments of my former body, spotted on an unseasonably warm day at the BALLET.  We took my parents and grandparents to see our friends Tiler and Robbie at the New York City Ballet and told them some special news: BABY on the way!

2. On January 21st Peter and I celebrated our FIRST WEDDING ANNIVERSARY at Daniel.  The food was phenomenal and I even ate some unpasteurized cheese (shh!).  Best of all?  I wore my wedding dress!  Keira Knightly, stop copying me.

3. VALENTINE'S DAY was on a Thursday.  And although we celebrated that weekend with delicious homemade pancakes, I whipped up a LOVE-ly little weekday breakfast for Peter with a well greased heart-shaped cookie cutter and a farm fresh egg.

4. EASTER is always about the easter basket, no?  Dean and Deluca is the perfect basket filler, especially for a gal in her second trimester with a newly developing sweet tooth.

5. ROSIE TURNED ONE on March 26, 2013, and we celebrated with her neighborhood dog pals and a special peanut butter cake.

6. In the middle of my second trimester, it was time to let the cat out of the bag.  OH, BABY!

7. My sister-in-law was married on Memorial Day weekend.  We celebrated at La Grenouille, and I realized that the best way to dress my growing bump was by borrowing dresses from my gal pals who were a size bigger than me, rather than investing in maternity wear.  I felt chic in that accordian pleated Erin Fetherston number, borrowed from another sister-in-law.

8. We spent the summer WEEKENDING IN EAST HAMPTON, and I watched with horror and excitement as my belly grew until I could not longer see my feet!  Luckily my KAMALI KULTURE one piece - although not a maternity piece - kept me on the beach until the very last days.

9. Pete and I have a bad habit of matching, as we did outside Jack's coffee in Amagansett with matching red swimsuits and blue button downs.  I maintain: he copied me!  

10. I rode my bike from our house to the Balsam Farmstand almost daily.  I think Jack liked the ride!

11. We had a weekly habit of hitting up La Fondita in East Hampton for Mexican with as much "junk" as possible (and, er, one too many orders of those steak nachos).  

12. Rosie gleefully chased tennis balls (and other dogs. and beach trash.) during early mornings on Main Beach.

13. John Bennett Zaitzeff was BORN at 9:51 a.m. on August 4th.  Natural, unmedicated childbirth wasn't easy - but it was an amazing adventure and an experience I'll always cherish.  I told Peter on New Year's Eve that my favorite moment of the year was when Jack and I held hands for the first moment, just shortly after he was born.  Peter captured the moment on camera.  Jack is almost smiling.

14. Hospital food?  What hospital food?  As soon as Jack was born my mother in law arrived with a special delivery: down pillows, sisley bath products and homemade, organic snacks served on china.  It really improved the whole "hospital grade underwear" experience.

15. Three days after Jack was born, we celebrated Peter's 29th birthday with dinner at Il Buco across the street while our mothers watched Jack and waved at me from our window whenever I was nervous.  Jack and Peter were both exhausted! (Ok, me too.)

16. When Jack was two weeks old, Jack and I retreated to Connecticut for a few weeks.  Peter and Rosie visited us on weekends.  It was so calm and quiet, the perfect opportunity to get to know eachother better.

17. During my maternity leave, I spent every morning at Lafayette.  It was my raison d'etre - it got me dressed in the morning and chatting with other adults.  But once my cafe au lait was delivered, I regularly retreated into Town & Country magazine (seriously though, T&C keeps getting better and better).  Today, Peter and I celebrated my last work free weekday morning at Lafayette.  The wonderful staff there treated us to champagne, croissants, and macaroons.  It was a perfect way to mark the end of an era.

18. Fall arrived on Bond Street, and so did my birthday.  I'm 28!  I can hardly believe it.

19. On November 17th, Jack was BAPTIZED at my tiny hometown church.  It was a happy, proud moment.

20. We were thrilled to celebrate the engagement of a couple of our closest couple friends.  A long-planned holiday TEA AT THE CROSBY HOTEL turned out to be a perfect opportunity to toast Kendall, a new bride.

21.  I spent a lot of December sick - and very tired - a rare phenomenon for me.  Jack and I trudged through our runny noses as a team and we still found lots of opportunities to celebrate Christmas, which was especially festive this year.  

And so, onto 2014!  What will it bring?

HAPPY NEW YEAR with love from ANNIE. 

x.