much wow, 2015.

i’ve had some great years (hi, 2007!) and not-so-great years (howdy, 2009!). but never have i had such a bi-polar year as 2015. whew.

home improvements

  • january/february: i painted my bedroom and made it nice and homey! my bedroom in st joe was so blah, so when nate and i were ready to buy a new mattress, i said screw it, let’s make our bedroom look halfway decent. 
  • july: i made an entryway bench from scratch! go me!
  • october: nate and charlie and i painted the garage white and put up shelving along the sides. for some reason, we still have a bunch of crap on the floor. 
  • november: i also installed a ceiling fan! 

work/work-related

  • may: i did event tweeting at commencement and it was a great time and successful! 
  • october: i had an (unsuccessful) job interview at st. ben’s, but i got back up to central mn and hung out with lake sag for a bit and saw grandma. worth it.

garden

  • spring/summer: i did a community garden through st. charles, and i had a LOT of garden space. it was amazing. a lot of work, but it was really fun. it was also a great year for gardening: it was wet when it needed to be and dry when it needed to be. i will be doing the garden space again and am already planning next year’s. 
  • august: as such, i canned a ton of pickles!! awesome! also green beans and tomato sauce. 
  • spring: i bought two trees for the yard and three lilac bushes for the side of the house. landscaping, here i come!

fangirl time

  • may: wizardworld!!! it was super fun. karl urban, kevin sorbo, and brent spiner were all there. i would be stoked if next year bruce campbell showed up. or lucy lawless. even without the special guests, it’s a lot of fun. liz and i dressed up xena-esque, jane bought a pirate hat, and canada dave came down for the fun of it. 
  • june: i got a random text from caitlin about a friend who needed a photographer…for a cosplay calendar!! i got to work with models and take photos and then design a calendar. SUPER SUPER fun. <3 it turned out great.
  • october: jane and i went to nerdcon: stories and got really excited about writing and telling stories. it was over two days, and it was a great time. we are officially in love with pat rothfuss and want to stalk him. next year’s con will also be in the cities, so that’ll be nice and handy once again.

trips

  • june: nate and i went to the BLACK HILLS on vacay. it was the first real vacay he and i have been on, just him and me. besides the fact that we both got sick, it was a fun time. nate’s talking about doing it again already, and he’s planning on taking emergenC three weeks in advance. i love the black hills. 
  • july: LAKE TIME. liz and i went to tasha’s bachelorette party in spicer and spent some time in lake george, which was awesome because…
  • july II: our derry reunion was really windy and annoying and we didn’t get to go swimming because of the wind. stupid wind. but still, we had a reunion this year, which is more to be said than last year! and i got to sit by a lake and look it it, which is more to be said than living in SE minnesota. -_-

self

  • june: i got a tomato tattoo in honor of my uncle squire. it’s pretty. i love it. every time i see it i smile.

…………………………….

we were doing so well. and then 2015 took the nose-diviest nose dive ever. 

october 31, charlie was hit by a drunk driver and had brain damage. he was in a coma for a week, the rock-bottom bottom of the year. it was a week of waiting, hoping for his brain to come back to us, for him to come back to us. 

…………………………….

and he did. november was the longest month of my life, and even now at the end of the year, i wonder where exactly the month went. charlie’s back to us and has his skull placement schedule for mid-january, at which point he will ditch the helmet. after wondering if he would even live, charlie’s up and walking and being his same old self (with tongue issues and synapses not quite synapsing at the same speed yet). 2015 came back. 

…………………………….

my sister said she was having a huge NYE party to kick 2015 to the curb. i don’t know. 

2015 was pretty good up until october 31, and the week that we held our breath was just that – a week – though it felt like a lifetime. 

and the progress since that week has been phenomenal. i can’t discredit 2015.

review-o-lutions

it’s that time of year again! time to review how i did in my last year’s resolutions. i know you’re all waiting with bated breath.

1. the oldie but goodie: take more pictures!!!

2. write in my blog EVERY DAY. this is the 10-year anniversary of me starting to blog, and as such i am going to attempt to be a daily blogger.

3. put in a garden in my back yard. put gutters on the house. those are my two house goals.

4. attempt another chip-timed 10k – one that’s not so crappy.

5. go somewhere. travel to somewhere. hop in my car and drive to somewhere. get out of my bubble. explore more. (maybe take on a second job so i can afford the gas…)

6. finish my devils syrup book. i can do it!

7. promote my photog stuff more. i’ll need to prep the basement as a sort of studio, but i’d like to do more official photography fir people.

1. i ACTUALLY DID THIS. every year i complain how i didn’t take enough pictures, but THIS year, i actually went out and took photos of things i’d been wanting to do for a while and just…haven’t. i went to lanesboro at dawn and took pics, took some nighttime pics. i have to continue to do this!

2. i DID THIS TOO. ok, not EVERY day. i think i missed three days out of the whole year, but i consider that pretty darn good. 362/365 is not a failure by any means!

3. I DID THIS!!! garden was put in and gutters put on!

4. I DID THIS! ok, it wasn’t chip-timed, but it WAS timed. i finished in an hour and 15 minutes. i start to hate life after five miles. 

5. i did not do this. i did go to grand rapids and st cloud during the year thought. next spring nate and i are going somewhere for vacay. i think if nate hadn’t quit his job in march, it’s possible that this might have happened, but this year was not my year for that.

6. this is so close. i mean, it’s done – the end had been written. but it needs some editing and additions. it’s not very long. 

7. caitlin has used me for a couple photog sessions, but i haven’t been promoting myself enough. boo on me. 

between my blogging almost every day and the photo stuff i did, i consider this past year a success in my resolutions. 

how did 2014 treat me otherwise?

hmmm….2014 was ok

– nate quit walmart in march. he’d had enough. 

– garden went in, but unfortunately the harvest was really horrible. turns out the black walnut trees above it were poison to most vegetables. gotta move them this spring. boooooo.

– went to st. cloud over veterans’ day and it was GLORIOUS. i miss that area 🙁

– no derry reunion this year, which really bummed me out. 

– but two weddings on that side, my cousin molly and cousin jason got married. traveled to the cities for the first in august and then up to grand rapids for the second in september. both were fun. love weddings!

– i finally went to the doctor for my heel issues, and i found out i have a level 3 heel spur (that’s the highest it goes). i got custom orthotics for my shoes, and apparently they’re supposed to be working. we’ll see. 

– i started doing yoga somewhat regularly. i had to stop running for a couple weeks, so i picked up yoga. in the past, i’d gotten bored with it because i did the same practice each time. this time, i’m watching lesley fightmaster’s yoga channel on youtube, so it’s different each time i do it. i don’t notice that it’s doing anything for me, but that’s ok.

– i spectated/cheered at a 5k, which was AWESOME. highly recommend! 

– i FINALLY finished the dark tower series. after the second book, it just seemed to fly by. 

– made a couple things for the first time – rendered lard and made soap

– got my semicolon tattoo! also spruced up my book tattoo on my foot

 

eh.

2013 year in review!

it’s that time of year when i look back at what has happened over the past 12 months, and i say yay! or yuck.

let’s recap my “resolutions”:

1. take more pics. i say this every year. every year i can take more pics. i don’t think anyone can take too many pics.

2. run a real 10k. as in a chipped race. i’ve run 10k (and it wasn’t fun). but let’s get up to legitimate 10k. then we’ll talk half marathons. first i have to get running again. it’s been a month! icky!

3. make a housing plan. i’m already tired of renting. so are the cats

4. pay off some debt so the housing plan can get together! one plus of renting: cheap.

5. write in my blog every other day at least! that’s asking a lot of myself, i know. i can do every day in november, but to commit year-round is heavy. but i can only try.

ETA: 6. REDDIT LESS. good god, reddit less. ack.

1. fail.
2. check!
3. check!
4. sorta check?
5. CHECK!
6. FAILWHALE. boooo…

so what happened in 2013?

1. i got a raise, which apparently is a big deal when you’re working for the state. woo!

2. i ran a couple 5ks this year, as well as a crappy 10k. it would have been an awesome 10k if not for the cruddy two ginormous hills at the end of the race. who does that? anyway, i ran a diva dash, color run, and the big gay race this past summer along with crappy 10k. i ran the farthest i’d run ever in july – 7 miles. i haven’t gotten that far again yet.

3. i wrote in my dang blog at least 15 days a month for the whole year, except for november, which was every day, and december, which i knew would be a slacker month (although it should be 13 days, which is pretty close).

4. after nate and i moved down to this corner of the state last year, my parents moved down here this year, as well as liz, doug, and hannah. jane moved to the cities, too. glad to have started the great migration. sad to say goodbye to central and west-central MN.

5. i have a niece! liz pushed out a kid, and nate is smitten.

6. nate and i bought a house. uhhhh, you have no idea how nice it is to be back in a house! after a whirlwind of looking, dealing with the government shutdown, and finally closing, we bought a house in st. charles.

7. after being mostly corn syrup free for three years, i decided to start writing a book about it. and stalled. hopefully the stall ends soon.

8. i reached sub-200 lbs, which i haven’t seen in, oh, 15 years? alas, november and december took their tolls on me and i am back up 5-6 lbs. once i get back into a decent eating routine, should be back under soon.

9. i wish i could say i went on some big adventure or trip, but the farthest i went was indiana to see liz & co. in the hospital. i wish i could say i looked at nate and said, “take off the next week – we’re going to the grand canyon/disneyland/duluth!” alas it did not happen. i wished this year and watched it fly past.

 

resolutions to come.

edit: HOW could i forget wil wheaton tweeting at me!!!!!

year in review

well! despite a lackluster apocalypse on dec. 21, 2012 rounded out to be a pretty good year. let’s recap.

1. year started off pretty cruddy. i can’t remember exactly when, but i was informed that i would be changing my work hours from noon-8 p.m. to 3-11 p.m. SUCK. that was pretty much the last straw. there had been little things at work that had bugged me, but i put up with them because my hours were decent and i liked a lot of the people (note: i did not say ALL).

2. so, i started a job search. job searches suck, especially when you’re being picky.

3. nate and i saw even less of each other (if that is possible).

4. in the meantime, i lost a total of about 50 lbs. because of running, and so….

5. i ran a few 5ks! woo! time sucks, but that’s ok! i finished and that’s all that matters.

6. and i had a phone interview with mayo, which turned out to be nothing, then an interview with RCTC, which turned out to be awesome.

7. started at RCTC in june.

8. subsequently, i lived in 3 places for about 5 months. that SUCKED.

9. ralph got a liver infection 🙁 but he was cured with some antibiotics

10. our house finally sold and we made about $4,00 off it! woohoo! paid back grandma and paid off the credit card i’d been buying gas with over the summer

11. nate and i had to live in austin for 3 weeks (BLEAH) with our stuff in storage

12. but now nate and i are in rochester, and he tolerates his job better than st. cloud and i enjoy my job. the cats are cramped, but they will survive, and i will try to survive with a smaller kitchen and no garage (le sigh)

all in all, not a bad year! despite the massive amounts of driving and trekking around the state, i’d say the positives outweigh the negatives at this point.

2009: last year's 2007?

so 2008 didn’t suck as much as 2006, but it wasn’t as wonderful as 2007. before i go into ranking my living years according to suckitude, let’s just say that 2008 was personally not so bad but globally and futurifically not that great.

2008:
• bought a house
• helped vote in the first black US prez

hm….there had to be more to 2008 than that…

• bad economy
• $4 gas
• $1.50 gas
• lost 401k match
• forced vacation
• no raise
• still have a job! and so does nate (something to be thankful for, especially with the house)

whenever i read the news, i am on pins a needles about my job. will i have it? will i be forced to take MORE vacation that i don’t have? when will i get the 401k match back? ugh.

so i hope 2009 brings more good things personally, and better things globally. 2009 is also the year of my golden birthday, so it’d better bring about good things. BRING ON 30!!!!

it was the best of times….

oh, 2007, let me count the ways.

in which you didn’t suck.

in fact, the suckitude compared to 2006 was immensely lower. IMMENSELY.

the first month was rather, …. eh…., but what do you expect working overnights at target for $8.00/hr.

but after that, things just kept looking up.

there was my job i got, which was a much better one than target, actually utilizing some of the skills i have. glorious job!

i got my awesome camera with tax returns, a decision i definitely do not regret.

then there was nate’s job he got, which not only got him out of retail, but boasted a much-needed pay raise and 40-hour weeks, as well as a better sex life. woohoo!

and then…there was moving out of my hellhole. let me tell you, that was probably the highlight of my year. thus far, anyway. i cannot begin to convey how wonderful it is to go to sleep at night and not have to turn on three fans in the bedroom so i can ow, that doesn’t seem too difficult, does it?

1. check, at least for now
2. check! except the lease is for a year
3. not check yet, but we did attend the homebuyer’s course, and after our lease is up in 2008, we’re looking.
4. not check 🙁 maybe this year
5. BIG CHECK (yay!!!!)

3.5 out of five ain’t bad.

all in all, 2007 wasn’t too shabby. probably the best year overall i’ve had in four years.

KUDOS 2007!!!

good riddance 2006

and don’t come back!

the good
liz’s wedding
graduation
not having to work for 7 months

the bad
lemonade fair was a bust
as was my second craft fair
spent way too much money and time on frames and prints for said fairs

the ugly
got laid off
had much less money to live off of
moved to my current dump of a place
went to 15 interviews and got nada
was told i was a mediocre graphic designer and need to pursue other options

here’s to a hopefully much better 2007.

what 2005 has taught me

i learned that my sanity is not worth $13.50/hour.

i learned what my dream job is.

i learned what it’s like to smile all day of my own volition.

i learned what white trash is, and that they’re living downstairs.

i learned what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a bumper.

i learned not to go over on my cell phone minutes.

i learned that having a car is expensive, but it’s annoying not to have a car.

i learned that alton brown is a god.

i learned that Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe makes THE best chicken salad sandwiches and tomato soup.

i learned that you can send out 20 resumes and get two interviews and zero jobs out of them.

i learned i’m striving toward mediocrity and it’s getting old.

i learned that it’s time for a change.