As we begin 2012, I wanted share some of my favorite memories from 2011. These are more chronological than in a countdown order… except for #1 of course 🙂
1. We got married on January twenty-first! After 9 long months of planning, we were humbled and overjoyed to spend our day with about 150 close friends and family. I can’t tell you how much it meant to have so many people we love in one place all at once. I don’t know that my heart has ever been so full as it was that day – I honestly felt as if I might burst with joy!
2. Wedding night. ‘Nuf said 😉
3. Honeymooning in Uvita, Costa Rica at Oxygen Jungle Villas. Despite the crazy trek through the mountains in the dark in an SUV and arriving three hours later than we had planned at the resort, the minute we arrived we realized it was worth it. We ate surprise four-course meals every night, zip-lined, saw waterfalls and wild animals, whale-watched, visited and really relaxed. We even managed to find a Steeler Bar called Jolly Roger which made the most incredible wings we have EVER had. Who knew that would happen Costa Rica?! Our friend Ana told us to go all out for our honeymoon because of this logic: when will we ever have this kind of opportunity again? She was right. It was incredible.
4. Being introduced to The Civil Wars incredible harmonies live in January at Rockwood Music Hall, a teeny tiny music venue on the Lower East Side. Our friend Charley Baker clued us in to this duo in 2010 and we had been listening to their Live at Eddie’s Attic album nonstop (download it here for free). Charley’s fiance (now wife) Lauren and I got to talk with John Paul White and take a photo with him after the show! And yes, he really resembles another talented celebrity in the entertainment industry.
5. Hoboken Grace’s first annual Easter egg hunt. It was a freezing cold cloudy April day, but 1,000 people from the community came out to join us despite the anti-Easter weather! As I’ve said, Hoboken is pretty much Babyville, so hosting an event for kids was a great way to love our community. It was such a blast to see 100 volunteers and all these kids enjoying the day together. Click here to see the event in action, and fast forward to 1:57 if you just want to see the kids go nuts 🙂
6. Between the two of us, witnessing six other weddings of our dear friends from childhood, college, and Hoboken and one family wedding too! From April to September, we traveled to 3 different states besides our own, including Michigan, which was a new one for me. Each wedding was unique and fun and perfectly reflected our friends and their relationships. It was such a year of celebration.
7. Experiencing The Dirty Guv’nahs, my favorite band from Knoxville, play their first SOLD OUT show in NYC as we both celebrated turning 26 in May. It was so awesome to watch my Hoboken friends dance and rock out to a band they had never heard of. It is proof that the Guvs’ rock ‘n’ roll magic works not only in the south, but wherever people appreciate great music!
8. My sister visting NYC with her boyfriend, Matt, for my birthday weekend. It was a gorgeous weekend weather-wise as we wandered around Central Park, visited the Top of the Rock (my first time seeing that ridiculous view) and got to spend quality time together. Now that college is over for both of us and Kelly and I live six hours apart, each time we get to see each other is a visit for which we are incredibly grateful.
9. Seeing Brooklyn’s finest, Zach Williams and The Bellow open for The Civil Wars at the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in July. Both groups were on point that night and the proceeds went to a great cause. In the middle of the show, Nick leaned over and whispered to me, “this is going to be the hands-down best show we see all year.” If you didn’t know, The Civil Wars have been nominated for multiple Grammys and we are so excited for them and glad we got to see them twice this year playing tiny venues.
10. Collaboratively cooking and consuming our first Thanksgiving dinner in West Chester. Nick mastered the art of cooking a 16 lb. turkey, I successfully cooked Alex Guarnachelli’s orange cranberry sauce (with some skilled stirring abilities from my little brother Luke), not-so-successfully attempted my first pumpkin roll, and mom was a cooking fiend who covered the rest. It was a small Thanksgiving compared to the extended family I am used to being with in Virginia (it was just Mom, Dad, Luke, Nick and me), but still a very good one.
11. Celebrating a great year with lots of friends from our Hoboken Grace church family at Quays for our 3rd annual Hoboken Holiday Formal. In true Lenzi party form, we had yummy appetizers, great company, and capped off the night with a dance party. Growing up, I dreamed of hosting the go-to Christmas party, and while its grown too big for us to have it in our house, it is actually a great problem to have!
What were your favorite memories from 2011?