Sunday, January 1, 2017

"drink a toast to tomorrow and one to days long ago!"

 Good grief, 2016 came and went and every year of adulthood seems to be faster than the next! These last two weeks have been a wonderful winter break filled with tea, goodies, and lots of downtime. I had plans to do something productive during my break, but then I realized I don't need to be productive all the time. I enjoyed not rushing around to meet all the obligations of adulthood. It has been great!

2016 began on a desperate note. A plethora of personal trials, which had been steadily increasing over many months, met its peak in the first few months of 2016. I was more than ready to throw in the towel of life. I was sick of all the open-ended questions that come with adulthood - you know, the ones that force you to take responsibility for your life. I thought I was facing another entire year of just pure hardship and complete uncertainty. I couldn't find any joy in it; all I really wanted was just a simple, calm, uneventful life and I was being given the opposite. Then, spring came and it seemed the things that gripped us began to thaw, ever so slowly. A trip to see my family proved to be strengthening. Little by little, the day to day activities began to calm down and find routine. By early summer, I began to think I could hope for uneventful and relatively small happy days ahead. A trip to Ouray, CO brought a sense of trust and safety again in our marriage. 

The more 2016 unfolded, the better it became. There were little surprises around the corner of every month. Nolan and I began to explore the areas surrounding this beautiful little pocket of Southwest Colorado. We got to try so many local restaurants and went on many back-road drives. In the mundane everyday and in the natural beauty, we found our way back to each other, a sense of joy and gratitude, and a hope for the days ahead of us. It didn't come all at once, but as the "good" slowly arrived, I realized my heart was softening again to life. 12 full months and 2016 ended with a few very gracious and undeserved gifts in our jobs and in our marriage. Reflecting on this, I don't really know how to respond, but now I do see things from a different (hopefully better) perspective. There is a time for everything underneath the sun.

I have quite a list of goals and plans for 2017. Things for the home, things for my creative goals, places to travel, learning my camera and photo-editing software more, keeping well-practiced in some of my music, and more. I am a list-girl. I jot down everything on lists, all the while realizing they could become completely railroaded by life. So, I am just gonna try (key word: try) to gently hold to my lists this year.

It snowed on Christmas Day and, now, it is snowing on New Year's Day. I feel as if these are heaven's reminder that there is still magic to be found in this mad rush of human life.

We spent a somewhat early Christmas with my in-laws' (thus all the cozy Christmas decor photos below!), but we of course made time for just us by opening up stockings at our apartment.

 And what better way to end the year than with a grouchy kitty cat that doesn't enjoy taking photos with you in matching flower crowns even though you bribed him with many treats? :-D

 Cheers to a humbling 2016 and a hope-filled 2017! I begin the year with a song from one of my favorite bands performing Toast to Tomorrow live!


  1. Haha I just wrote my post and thought, I wonder if Erika wrote one too... and you did! That's our conNection. ;-) Anyway, love this post and how hopeful and wonderful the year was for you and Nolan. The cozy Christmas pics just warmed me right up too. Love you much and so excited for 2017! ♥

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I didn't take many photos in December, but glad I got some cozy Christmas shots! Yes - looking forwarding to 2017 with you! :D