Goodbye 2016

Last month, after the devastating election results, I had dinner with a couple of wonderful women at a friend’s house. After dinner my friend wanted to do an activity. She had this fun paper with a rainbow printed on it as background decoration. She wanted us to make a list of all of the good things that happened this past year. She thought this was a great way to get our minds off of the possibly terrifying future.  It totally worked. As soon as I started writing I could think of dozens of really great things that I experienced in 2016.

Starting with the death of David Bowie and ending with the death of Princess Leia, with Brexit and Trump in between, we have all been through a lot of bad stuff.  If I can be honest, this is probably only the beginning of our troubles since we are facing 4 years of god knows what. However, instead of reliving the awful things (as our brains are biologically programmed to do) I would prefer to rise up against my lizard brain and look at the positive.

So  here we go. The good parts of 2016, with pictures. (It probably goes without saying, but click the photo for details)

Other highlights not pictured:

There. I feel better already.

Here’s hoping 2017 will be equally as great, if not a million times better.

Happy New Year, friends! May you be peaceful, well, safe, and happy in the new year.

There are good years and bad years. This was a very good year.

It is that time of year. Yes. it is time for the “end of the year reflect on the past year” blog post.

Up front, I have to say that 2014 was just so excellently good. I honestly can’t think of a bad thing from this past year. It was good in so many ways. Here is a list of some of my favorite moments and things that happened.

Continue reading “There are good years and bad years. This was a very good year.”

Goodbye 2013

Last night I had a nightmare.  I was passenger in a black Volkswagen Bug, my Uncle Will was driving.  We drove into the driveway of my grandparent’s beloved yellow house. When we pulled up I could feel that something was wrong. I got out of the car and my uncle sped away, leaving me alone. I paced in front of the house for a while, afraid. Then I opened the door to go inside. There were two kids sitting inside, one girl and one boy. There were familiar to me in the dream but unfamiliar to me in my waking life. I asked them if they were alone and they said yes. I asked them what happened and they said, “He killed them all.” I said, “let’s get the fuck out of here” out loud because this is when my husband woke me up.

This dream about the slaughter of my family stems from a conversation I had with my mom earlier that evening where we decided that 2013 was the Year Of Death for our family.

So yeah. Not a good year in that way. It was a very difficult year full of lots of suffering and sadness. A very challenging year. But I also think there was a lot of soul growth too.

However, there were some very happy moments and some bright spots. I am going to just copy here what I wrote on my photography blog because I think it says it all:

While 2013 hasn’t been the best for me personally and for my family, it has been a fantastic year for photography. Photography was the light in my life, the thing that kept me together through the tough times. I have met some really wonderful people all over the world because of my passion for film photography and I couldn’t be more grateful. This past year I have collaborated creatively with other photographers, learned how todevelop my own film, learned how to make prints in the darkroom, and became obsessed with pinhole photography. When I look at all of these wonderful things I truly can say that, while it was challenging, it was also a great year.

There are many great things in store for me in the coming year and I am looking forward to it.  I hope you are yours also have a great year. Here’s to 2014!

2012

Me and Paris
Visiting Paris = The highlight of my life.

I had an amazing year. Finally. A year that was all good. I can’t think of anything to complain about regarding the past year, and for this I am grateful (’cause the past several years have been kinda painful. Thanks for the break, Universe!)

Travel. If someone had told me a year ago that I would visit France in the coming year I would have called them a liar. But I DID IT! I went to France! And I loved it! And now I want to go back. And I want to visit ALL THE PLACES.

Photography. I had a lot of fun this year with it. I always do but exploring film photography was super fun. I will be doing more of it in the coming year. First on the list of things to do: develop my own film already! (taking it in to be developed is breaking the bank. I need my money to visit ALL THE PLACES.)

Running. I have had an on again/off again relationship with running for most of my life. Regardless, It is my favorite form of exercise and it is important to me. My big running goal has been to run 5 miles. This goal, for whatever reason, had eluded me. Not anymore! This past summer I finally reached that milestone and even surpassed it! Yay me!

Blogging. I moved my blog to WordPress.com about a year ago and in the process have been plugged into an amazing blogging community, the likes of which I haven’t seen in years. I have seriously enjoyed “meeting” and getting to know all of you! And I continue to enjoy being introduced to many amazing and inspiring blogs. Also, I managed to blog everyday this year! Well except for that one day in August. But it’s JUST ONE. Hmm. It appears missed a day in June as well. so two days. I missed TWO DAYS out of an entire year. Do I get a medal? No? oh well. It was nice to check in everyday here. For the most part, it was a very positive experience. I might do it again next year. Or I might take a tiny break. We’ll see.

Favorites of 2012.

Two favorite books:

Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins

Christopher Moore’s Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art

Read them both. They are excellent.

Three favorite albums

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: The Heist

Caravan Palace: Panic

Grimes: Visions 

Happy new year!!!

The New Year’s Eve retrospective post – 2011

This past year has kind of been uneventful, if I am comparing it to previous years. If there were a word to describe it I would have to choose “introspective.” I’ve done much thinking and observing and working on myself. I have faced things in myself that have needed to be faced for years. It has been a year of awakening. An awakening that I’m sure will continue on through this next year and further, if I am lucky.

Here are a couple of “notable” lists:

Notable Books of 2011:
I read a lot of really good books this year!

  1. Tinkers by Paul Harding. This book blew my mind.
  2. Where She Went by Gayle Forman. I ended up reading it in one sitting. I simply could not put it down.
  3. Strange Piece of Paradise. A true story about a woman who, when she was in her early twenties on a bike trip across American, was brutally attacked by a stranger in Oregon and lived to tell the tale.
  4. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I love anything by this author but this one was especially good. It was a One Book One Twitter read.
  5. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I was introduced to Jamie Ford when we connected on Google+. The first post that I saw was this one with the comment, “it looks like we just murdered a clown.” I became an instant fan. I’d heard of his book because everyone who walked into the library asked for it but, for some reason I hadn’t picked it up. I finally did this year and am so glad! It was excellent!
  6. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. If you haven’t read it you must.
  7. Blankets by Craig Thompson. This graphic novel has been on my To-Read list for ages and I finally picked it up a few months ago. A most excellent coming of age story.
  8. Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy. If you like beautiful love stories this is your book. The writing was wonderful.
  9. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Fantastic book for kids who are dealing with grief. Superb illustrations, too.
  10. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. I find myself thinking about this book all the time.

I discovered some excellent music this year, too!!

Notable Albums of 2011: 
Lots of really great music this year! These are just the albums that I bought and really liked.

Settle Down by Kimbra. A very recent discovery and OMFG. Love her. I mean, seriously. Listen to this voice. She is the real deal.

Zonoscope by Cut Copy. My current running music. Great album.

Only in Dreams by Dum Dum Girls. Fun girl-band, poppy songs.

Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay. I’ve been listening to this album lots these past couple of months.

Codes and Keys by Death Cab For Cutie. Not my favorite album at first listen but it has grown on me.

Personal Life by The Thermals. One of my favorite albums of the year. LOVE IT.

Alright You Restless by Agesandages. I discovered this band when I saw them live at Live Wire. Loved them!

And, Finally, Here is my Year In Pictures for 2011. May 2012 be filled with peace and love! Happy New Year!!!