2017 in Review

2017 wasn’t my year for blogging, my last post was from January of 2017 and here we are in January of 2018. While I’m not blogging as much, I’m not quite ready to leave this corner of the internet. After reading some blogs today I thought I would write my own thank you letter to 2017 presented as the top 5 of 2017.

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5. Friends and Family- The picture above is from Savannah, GA where I had my bachelorette party. I was lucky enough to have five of my closest friends and my two sisters celebrate for a weekend with me in Savannah. Due partly to moving and getting married, the first part of this year involved lots of fun with friends and the whole year has included a lot more family fun than previous years.

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4. Travelling- From our honeymoon in in Dubrovnik, Croatia to a weekend in Richmond, Virginia we have continued to put a priority on seeing the world and it’s been a lot of fun. I love experiencing how other people live whether its eating a fish with its eyes intact on a boat in the Adriatic sea or drinking sweet tea while shopping in Nashville.

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3. National Parks- Our road trip this summer deserved its own number even though it could be filed under traveling. We took six weeks to drive around the United States checking out natural beauty. We visited 16 states, 12 National Parks, and 3 National Monuments. We hiked over 100 miles and camped in our tent 17 nights. We encountered a few bears and we had a fox run right up to our campsite. Some days the hikes kicked our butts, some days the drives between parks were long, and one day I may have picked a terrible hotel, but overall the trip was amazing. You can look at a map and look at pictures all day long, but you can’t grasp the grandness of the US till you drive and hike the miles.

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2. Moving to KC- We took a big leap and decided to leave DC. I loved the friends I’d made there, but couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t where I wanted to live forever. We both enjoyed our trips to KC and decided to give it a chance. After our road trip and a month of living in my parent’s basement we moved in to our new home. Moving from a junior one bedroom to a two story house with 3 bedrooms has been an adjustment. We are slowly filling the space and having fun decorating without worrying about landlords.

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1. Getting Married- Planning a wedding was rougher than I expected, but the actual wedding was just what we wanted. We had our close friends and family, BBQ, beer, and dancing. All the things I worried about smoothed themselves out and I was surrounded by awesome ladies who helped with everything. We wrote our own vows and while I worried about reading them in front of a crowd, I saw Brian and everything was ok. Seven months in and we are basically marriage experts. haha. We’ve had a lot of change this year and I couldn’t ask for a better partner for it all.

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New Year New Goals

I realize January is almost over, but while some people may have already given up on their goals I’m still making sure mine work! On my new board I listed some generic high level goals and then in my new bullet journal I’m trying out, I broke them down and got to business.

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Be Happy- I bought those flowers last week on a whim. Flowers always seem like something you can’t buy yourself, but why? These were less than $5 and starting week two they are still making me happy.

Brian and I bought a new bed. A new frame and mattress. The day before the new bed came we cleaned out under our old bed. I hopped in bed and the bed collapsed, turns out the stuff we had stuffed underneath was keeping the bed together. Sometimes spending a little money can bring a lot of happiness.

Stress Less- Turns out wedding planning is as stressful as people say. It is just a lot of decisions and logistics, but also a lot of fun.

Run more- I got out of the routine, trying to get back in. Three times a week is the goal. I’m tracking it in the bullet journal, which keeps me more accountable. I’m focusing on shorter runs. The idea that 2 miles is worth it helps me fit in running at lunch or after a long day.

Get outside- I’m generally good with hanging outside, but in the winter time in the city… sometimes I like to just hibernate a little. But there is no bad weather, just bad clothing choices… right?

Take chances- I’m a classic over thinker. I would like to make choices/decisions a little quicker this year. And when I make a choice stick with it. Also worry a little less about what could go wrong and be a lot more optimistic about what could go right.

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my bullet journal: not beautiful yet, but very helpful

take: 3 ways I’m like my Mom

  1. I like to make things.

When we see things we like we try to figure out how to make them ourselves. My mom is very talented in all things sewing and quilting and most other handicrafts. One year for  Christmas I received balls of yarn, needles, and an instructional CD-rom. I didn’t know how to knit, but my mom was right in guessing I would enjoy learning how. Then two years ago I received fabric and a pattern for my birthday, now I have a new wall hanging!

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Preparing to celebrate my brother’s graduation back in 2007

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Showing off handmade items at the Chilhowee Fair

 

2. I like denim.

My mom has always had a thing for denim. Denim jeans, jumpers, dresses, capris, and shirts. While I’ve always liked denim jeans recently I’ve acquired several denim shirts and just the other day my mom told me about the new Gap denim dress she got while I told her about my new Gap denim jacket.

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Posing at the State Fair with her award winning denim skirt

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Wearing a denim shirt while touring around the National Mall

 

3. I can’t say no.

We are both hesitant to say no to anything. From helping a friend with a sewing project to volunteering. But I also think that is where my willingness to explore new places and try new things comes from (and willingness to sing with the band).

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Singing along with the band 

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Traveling through Germany, one Christmas Market at a time

 

take: Nashville

A few weekends ago I headed to Nashville with seven friends to celebrate our friend Jenn’s upcoming nuptials. We got an amazing Air BnB in East Nashville that was retro cool. I really liked the East Nashville area, some of the spots we checked out:

  • The Pharmacy, Burger Parlor and Beer Garden– Great burgers and beer in a casual cool setting. We sat on the porch which was great, half inside and half out. The staff was great too our waitress gave us suggestions on going out in the area.
  • Lockeland Table– This was our nice dinner out. They had great cocktails and delicious food. Another awesome waitress. She gave us detailed descriptions of most of the drinks and food and told us of a dance party going on that night in the area, which we hit up and had a great time.
  • No. 308– We stopped here on our walk home from the dance party. The music the DJ was playing pulled us in. Great atmosphere and great dancing.
  • Barista Parlor– I went with one friend early Sunday before the rest of the house got up. The whole side of the parlor opened to the outside and it was a beautiful day. We both got ice coffees and shared a doughnut and breakfast bagel. They were both delicious and the place had so much character.

But a Bachelorette party to Nashville is not complete without heading down to Honkey Tonk row. Broadway. We didn’t realize when we booked the trip, but Nashville is currently the bachelorette party capitol of North America. You couldn’t turn around without seeing three or four groups of ladies. We didn’t have matching shirts, but everyone else did. Our favorite places downtown were:

  • Acme Feed & Seed– We stopped here for lunch and drinks and they had a live band and we liked it so much we came back later for drinks on the rooftop and then dinner again downstairs. You order at the counter and they bring your food to you. They had a great selection of southern food with creative twists.
  • Robert’s Western World– The Bride-to-be had good memories of this place from a prior visit so we headed back. It was dirty and gritty and great. The band on stage was dressed in retro country attire and they played one of my favorite songs “The Battle of New Orleans”.
  • Johnny Cash Museum– It was a little expensive, but a nice museum. They kind of glaze over the bad times of Johnny, but also focus on some other little known facts. I liked how they had lots of interactive exhibits.
  • Mike’s Ice Cream– A few of us stopped in here one day because it was HOT out. We all got two scoops, but quickly figured out that one would of been enough. The ice cream was delicious and we all finished, because we didn’t want to throw any of the deliciousness away.

take: the rest of Paris

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We went to this hipster bar in this hipster neighborhood. Ordered two beers, stared at the bartender blankly when he tried to simply tell me $12 in French. But then we were rewarded by watching the man in this picture dance around for awhile.

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Napoleon never got to enjoy the arch, but we did.

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We ate here on our first night, then realized we could see it from our hotel balcony.

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Somewhere in Paris…

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Sacré-Cœur

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From inside the Louvre

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They removed the love locks from the bridge, but left them on the fence leading up to the Pont des Arts bridge.

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I got all up in the gargoyles of Notre Dame’s faces

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Our walking tour was wet and wild. Ok, just wet.

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Luxembourg gardens

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