Dear friends, last week marked The Yellow Table's first birthday! And what a year it has been. I was intending to post this last week, but was traveling in France (more on that to come...) and was too busy eating, drinking, researching, and seeing friends to spend much time on my computer! While in France, I discovered this beautiful, long table in a greenhouse at Château de la Bourdaisière, in the Loire Valley. I was instantly mesmerized. The table seats 60 people and was decked out in dahlias and heirloom tomatoes from the garden in preparation for their annual Tomato Festival. I'm already plotting how to host a dinner party there one day...

If there's one thing I've learned (aside from the fact that God is, indeed, faithful), it's that dreams can come true. For years, I dreamed of having a place to share my recipes, stories, and musings. An outlet where I could feature the sort of simple, seasonal dishes that I love to cook, and hopefully inspire a few other people to do the same. I wanted to create a blog that celebrated the table – not just as an object (though my yellow table is certainly one of my most treasured possessions), but as a symbol of hospitality and community. In these busy times, where much of our "connecting" happens via social networks, cooking a meal for friends and family takes a defiant act of intentionality.

One year ago, that dream came true when we launched The Yellow Table. I say "we" because I couldn't have done it without my wonderfully supportive (and talented) husband Brandon. As many of you know, he not only designed the website - twice! - but he also coded the whole thing himself and took many of the photographs during the early months. He's been an incredible taste-tester, dish-washer, advice-giver, dinner party co-host – and throughout it all, he's been my biggest supporter. He pushed me to start the Yellow Table even when, at times, my own motivation was flagging. Thank you, love - I couldn't have done any of this without you!!!

This blog has become just that space that I hoped to create. It has been such a joy to share my favorite recipes and culinary inspirations with you all. I've had the privilege of working with the amazingly talented photographer Signe Birck - both on the blog and on projects for Design*Sponge and Gourmet Live. I've loved writing about the year's highlights and heartaches (and the food I cooked during those ups and downs!), to share anecdotes from story-telling dinner parties, and to take you to a few of my favorite food destinations (like Traverse City, Michigan and St. Andrews, New Brunswick). I've had the chance to interview several of my food heroes (including Melissa Clark, Anne Willan, Joy the Baker, Randall Price, and Marjorie Taylor) and got to cook for a couple of very cool fashion designers (like Erin Fetherston and Ernest Alexander).

But most of all, I've loved getting to know YOU. When I get a comment, tweet, or email from someone telling me that they cooked something from the blog, it makes my day. Knowing that the blog is inspiring even a few people to cook, to try a new dish, or to have a few friends over for dinner is the greatest inspiration imaginable. As much as I love having a creative outlet, I love building relationships even more. So THANK YOU for your support, your love, and your willingness to read and to cook! I am so excited for another year of cooking and eating!