2011 - Rough Patches & Happy Endings.

Friday, December 30, 2011

It's that time of year again, friends. The time when we sit back and reflect on our year - the good, the bad, the ugly and the life changing - and if you have a blog, this is the time to write. So, here I am, writing and reflecting.

2011 was more and less than anything I could have imagined. Many of both the most difficult and most beautiful moments I have chosen to keep off the blog this year, but their impact resonated throughout my life and into everything I wrote. The beginning of 2011 was clouded in those dark moments that accompany only the roughest of patches. There were mistakes made, regrets collected and mountains to overcome. There was idle time, more than one new beginning and, in big and little ways, there was hurt.

And then I fell in love... Mr. Samson Muhapi came into my life and filled it with kisses and puppy breath and love. Although I had wanted a dog for so long, I couldn't have known all the ways my furry boy would change my little world and make it an infinitely happier space to live in.

In June came the ten year anniversary of my sweet father's death and, with this anniversary, the realization that I was not living my best life. There were changes to be made, habits to break and work to be done and I got on it. I owed it to my dad and I owed it to myself and in only a couple of months, my life had transformed into something I was proud of again. By the end of summer, I was literally back on my feet again, working as a children's therapist alongside people I cared about and feeling like I was truly making a difference. I felt like a new person and I loved it.

This love and passion for my life continued right on into the end of the year. When I look back on 2011, I can't help but get a little teary eyed. I am so proud of what I have overcome and of who I am on the other side of it all. More than anything else, I am proud of the choice I made to be happy again. And happy I am. Very.

As the year comes to a close, I am absolutely in love with Florence + the Machine's song, "Shake it Out." This song has been on repeat for weeks and I can't think of a better message for leaving this last year behind and starting what is sure to be the most joyful and exciting chapter of my life. (More on that to come. Stay tuned, folks...) When Florence sings "it's always darkest before the dawn" - I'm dancing my heart out in that very dawn and shaking out so much of the past.

Thank you for the challenges and the triumphs, 2011. You have taught me that rough patches are to be expected, but joy - if chosen - will always endure. I appreciate the hard times this year has offered because without them I wouldn't be where I am now. And this, this right here, is the very beginning of my happy ending.

Happy Holidays!
{... and Embarrassing My Dog Since 4/11.}

Friday, December 23, 2011

Saturday Night at the Prom.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

These good people put on one hell of a bicycle prom the other night. What is a bicycle prom, you ask? Check this out. It was a fun night with great music and I'm a big fan of any opportunity to get a little dressed up. Oh, and any chance to get to go to prom with the handsome boy. At one point, Jenner asked me what I had just said and I had to reply, "Um, I was rapping to Lauryn Hill at you not talking." In other words, it was one good time. I'll let the photos tell you the rest.

{Failing miserably at trying to get the three of us in one shot.}

{With our friend Josh, the best dressed man at bicycle prom.}


Do-do-do-do-do Dora!

Friday, December 16, 2011

I am in love with a four year old boy - my nephew, Jude. He, however, is in a long term relationship with Dora the Explorer. They've been going strong for two years now and although we thought is was a phase, their enduring love has proved us all wrong.

Last week, when my sister took Jude to get his hair cut, he insisted Dora get one too.

I love you, Jude. You're your own person and we wouldn't have it any other way. I can't wait to see you in one week. You too, Dora.

My Love/Hate Relationship with Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Let me preface this post by saying that Christmas Eve is - hands down - my favorite day of the year. For the record, I also get really into the holiday spirit by the time December 17th rolls around. Until then? Um, yeah, not so much.

You see, I will always be that girl who audibly groans when Target puts out the Christmas decorations smack dab in the middle of Halloween. I will always be the girl who prefers to shop online to avoid one of my least favorite combinations in this world: chaos and consumerism. Oh, and I will never, ever be the girl who gets excited to throw on a scarf and drink a holiday flavored Starbucks beverage. It's just not who I am.

And don't even get me started on Santa. Big guy, you know I love you, BUT... Honestly what are we doing to children? It's like we scare them into thinking some Big Brother type is watching them, judging them and keeping track of every little thing they do wrong. And the worst part is that I do it, too. I pulled this crap on a kid I was babysitting earlier this week. I had to later tell him that Santa loves kids and understands that we all make mistakes. As if Christmas wasn't anxiety inducing enough without the threat of no presents.

All that said, I still love the magic, the possibility and the excitement of the holiday season. I just happen to like it all after December 17th. ;)

Whenever it is you start feeling the holiday love, I hope these are only the happiest of days for you and your family.

Let's Just Get It Out There.

Friday, December 9, 2011

This girl - this girl right here - is grumpy.

First of all, what is going on with the Kardashians? Seriously. I was really hoping Kim's over-the-top wedding/divorce might wake us all up to the fact that these people are making (even more) money off of our complacency. Let's stop watching their shows and buying magazines with their faces plastered on the front. I can tell you what's going on without you needing to read one more glossy tabloid or tune into one more riveting episode. Kourtney's pregnant, Khloe can't get pregnant and Kim is worried she'll never find anyone to love her. Done.

Oh, and Barbara Walters putting the Kardashians at the top of her 10 Most Fascinating People list? Well, now seems as good a time as any to tell you I've never like Barbara Walters.

Another source of my grumpy mood? People constantly complaining on Facebook and Twitter. Honestly, it just exhausts me endlessly. I swear, if I read one more FML, I'm tempted to just defriend. C'mon, people, even when we don't, we still have it pretty damn good.

Oh, and today started out rough. Missed breakfast and decided to take myself out to brunch at IHOP. Now, I love a solo meal as much as the next girl and pancakes are kind of my comfort food, but... something about my late morning at IHOP was just depressing. It smelled like Swedish pancakes and shame.

What else? Well, this guy is a homophobic a** and this guy is just plain awesome. However, together, these two make me giggle uncontrollably.

Other things making me giggle and smile? The boyfriend took me on a really fun surprise date last night, this weekend is looking like it's going to be a great one and the two week countdown to flying home for the holidays starts... now!

Even in a bad mood, I'm one happy, excited girl.

Happy Friday, friends!