2011: A Year in Review

An annual look back at the year that was.

January: From NYE, birthday celebrations, lots of reading, and other assorted memories (the fourth picture being from Google headquarters, one late January night).

A full year it has been, indeed. The year began in Chicago, and, truth be told, I was way too busy all of winter quarter to have managed much of anything social. It is for good reason that I included a picture of a Russian soup with one of many, many reading assignments. Truth be told, there was a lot learned, much appreciated, and even plenty of socializing that happened through those endless numbered pages. And so it went. In fact, the craziness was so complete that in the entire month of February, there was all of one notable event. But so it goes. And here we are, with Caroline in Big Sur.

February: Big Sur on an extreme, but highly successful, February afternoon.

Luckily, by late March, there was some respite. Papers were finished, and I headed off to figure out the next step in this crazy game, swinging through visits of universities and friends/family in Michigan, New York, New Haven, and Wisconsin.

March: Finishing papers, seeing my grandfather for the last time before his May death, with Lydia in Ann Arbor, taking engagement pictures for Kate and Neil in New Haven.

April was back in California, with adventures more local than exciting. Still, there was time for plays in Berkeley, parties in Sonoma, and other assorted adventures, even while fully immersing myself in endless totalitarianism.

April: out and about with Caroline and Caitie in the Mission, a belated/early Canadian Thanksgiving (in sort, about six months off, so take your pick), at a play about Rasputin in Berkeley with my Stanford program (hi Pasha!), and at Caroline|s fantastic 60s party in Sonoma.

May brought both good and bad, constantly interrupted for airport runs. This kicked off with an early trip to Kansas City for a high school friend’s wedding, and continued for my Grandfather’s funeral in Michigan and New York. There were also visitors, including Alana and Amy. And, of course, the constant work.

May: Katie Murray's wedding, Alana's visit in Sonoma, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, and a visit from a high school friend. In retrospect, I'd've included a picture from my grandfather's funeral, but it didn't occur to me when I was picking pictures before I left for my trip to Ukraine.

June, naturally, brought respite from all the work, when papers were finally finished a couple days before my graduation from Stanford and departure for Tajikistan. There were also crazy things, like a less-than-48-hour trip to DC (including travel) for an orientation. And of course, getting oriented in Tajikistan.

June: with Alex in DC, with Kevin and Gin following the completion of our final papers, at graduation with my great aunt and uncle, and with Kara and Anya in Varzob, Tajikistan.

Tajikistan, as was well documented, was its own kind of crazy, with plenty of traveling, lots of plov, and a fair dose of Uzbek.

July: Tajikistan's aluminum factory, hanging out in the Rasht Valley, on the Afghan border, and at Iskander Kul. Pretty much, all over the place in that crazy country.

And of course, August brought a fantastic conclusion to Tajikistan, as well as a wonderful week in Kyiv, a few days in Scotland for Kate and Neil’s wedding, a trip to my family in Columbus, and a move to Michigan. In a word, eventful.

Plov in Tajikistan, at a parks in Kyiv, and with Kate just before the wedding.

In great contrast to September, when, aside from a weekend in Chicago and Champaign for Kate’s stateside reception with the college roommates, I was largely getting settled in Michigan.

September: with Marina, Alisa, and Alana in Champaign.

By October, I had largely found my way around, as I attended a football game, co-hosted dinner parties and a Halloween party.

October: the Big House for the Michigan-Minnesota game, fall leaves in Ann Arbor, at a corn maze north of Ann Arbor, and at Jacqueline and my Halloween party.

November brought my 25th birthday, my sister’s return from South Africa, the purchase of my own car, and a wonderful Thanksgiving with the family.

November: a baby shower for Joost and Sofie, my birthday, my car, and the family in Western Michigan.

And finally, December, with the predictable mess of papers, followed by a wonderful Christmas with the family, and, to date, a lovely time in Ukraine, where it is already 2012.

December: the family at Christmas. The paper writing was not documented, and I'm not so ambitious as to deal with the pictures from Ukraine just yet.

In sort, an eventful year. One of getting settled, moving on, and holding fast. I suppose I could reflect more upon this, but for now, it seems safe to say, 2011 was a good one. And now over. And now, to the adventures to come in 2012.

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