Expressing gratitude on a daily basis has been a big theme for me this year. Looking back on all that’s happened, it’s clear I have a lot to be grateful for. I am most thankful for my incredibly supportive family and friends and the wonderful man I get to spend my life and everyday with. Many thanks to everyone who has been a part of my life this year!
Brandon and I rang in the new year at a unique apartment party (three friends who live in the same building each opened up their homes) surrounded by many close friends, including Molly & Ryan S who were in town visiting from New York! A few days later, we celebrated my oldest niece’s 11th birthday with a trip to the ice skating rink with the family.
Silly pose with silly friends
In February, I celebrated my 34th birthday with a low key pajama party with a few friends. This year I definitely became more in touch with my introverted side and enjoying smaller group settings than in previous years.
In March, Brandon, Paul and Erin and I went to Napa to visit Morgan and Brian (who live in SF) for a relaxing weekend of wine tasting. It was so great to catch up with friends, eat delicious food and taste some remarkable wines in such a beautiful part of our country. We had the most fun in wineries in Sonoma – definitely want to go back.
With Brandon, Morgan, Brian, Erin and Paul in Napa
Later that month, I took the bus to Portland to visit my sweetheart of a friend Billie P who was finishing up her Masters program. We got to visit some of my favorite used clothing shops and eat at some awesome Andy Ricker restaurants with Heather and Andrew.
Two muppets in Portland
In April, Brandon and I took our first overseas vacation together to visit Molly F in Spain! We had an incredible two weeks with Molly and Julio. First stop was Madrid, then we had a perfect beach vacation in Nerja and a few days at the end of the trip in Granada. So much food and wine!
The coast in Nerja, Spain
In Granada, Spain with the Alhambra behind us
In June, I headed to Eastern Washington to meet up with Molly S (visiting from NY) and her sister Meg. More wine tasting and a little horseback riding!
In July we went to “Summer Camp” with a gaggle of friends and made many new ones. Go Team Red!
Later that month, Brandon flew his Mom, Gerry, out from Philly to visit us. We were happy to have such a remarkably warm summer and I took advantage of hitting Madison Park beach with a few friends quite a bit. Tom and Jill took us tubing down Cedar river and we went back again with our moms while Gerry was in town.
In August, Erin and I hosted Alida’s bachelorette party, which was filled with laughs. Molly F came to stay with us for a bit while she was in town for a few weeks before she went back to Spain for another year of teaching english. At the end of the month, Brandon and I went to Burning Man for my 6th, his 7th, year and camped with fabulous friends.
Watching the Man burn
In September, Brandon and I were in Alida and Will’s wedding party – one of the most fun days of the year! It was a wonderful ceremony – a perfect blend of sincerity and hilarity.
Alida and Will and their wedding party
A day full of laughter and smiles
Later that month, Erin and Justin came to visit from the midwest and I got to introduce them to some of my favorite restaurants! We celebrated Brandon’s 37th birthday with a rooftop party on the last nice day of the summer, complete with a screening of Never Ending Story and sleepover on the roof. Brandon and I hopped on a plane to Florida at the end of the month, to spend a week of DisneyWorld and Universal Studios fun to celebrate his mom’s birthday with her and some of her gal friends and cousins.
Brandon and his wonderful mom
In October, I achieved a dream of going to Disneyland with my nieces. My brother and sister in law and my parents also joined me and Brandon on this truly magical trip. Memories from those days are such a treasure!
The niece’s first trip to Disneyland
My youngest niece celebrated her 8th birthday in October (delightfully choosing a “EAT COBB – Cobb Salad party” as her friend party theme).
Brandon and I ended our very-Disney-fall by dressing up as Disney characters with many friends for Halloween. Brandon and I celebrated out 7th year together as Princess Jasmine and Abu from Disney’s Aladdin.
In November, Kathryn and I were judges for the Seattle International Comedy Competition and had a hilarious evening, as always. For thanksgiving, Brandon and my mom and dad reconnected with some of my cousins who I haven’t seen in years. It was great to visit with them after so long.
In December, Brian flew up to visit for a co-ed bachelor party weekend. We celebrated with good food, Santarchy, and putting down some tracks in a recording studio.
“He sees you when you’re sleeping…”
Laying down a few songs at a recording studio
For Christmas, Brandon and I flew back east to visit his family in Philly and Jersey and got to meet his 8 month old twin cousins for the first time.
Business is great. I love running my own company and working with my fantastic clients and account managers. I celebrated 5 years (4 years full time) this year – time flies!
Other highlights from the year include: reading more (28 books this year!) burner costume parties, celebrating friends’ birthdays, girls nights, pj parties, dinner parties with planned topics, staycations at great Seattle area hotels, attending fun shows including The Atomic Bombshells, Teatro Zinzanni, Unexpected Productions and Beauty and the Beast (with the nieces just before our Disney trip), game nights, discovering the joy that is a sherpa blanket, bootie mashups, and house parties.
What I want to do more of in 2015: Take more photos (and learn how to take better photos on my iphone). Take more alone time to reflect, relax and grow. Spend more time with close friends in smaller groups or one on one. Continue to travel. Eat less, workout more (so cliche). Find new passions. Volunteer. Write more. Enjoy more game nights. Start working on a (for-secret-for-now) personal project. Continue to discover great books, travel and express gratitude every day.