Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Kiwi Valentine's Day Cards

starting last year on Valentine's day we have done a "caption this" contest with Jason's family. we send out a picture that I took of Kiwi in a group text and whoever comes up with the best caption that would fit a V-day card wins. the punnier the better! this was last's years picture and winner: 
 Jason's sister Loretta was on a roll and she came up with some many good ones. this was actually two of hers put together.
and here was this year's winning caption- that was actually by Loretta too! I changed it slightly though and included another one that someone had said instead.

 and runner up:
  and one from when Kiwi was a baby before we started the caption contest:

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 review!

I can't believe this year is over already! I know everyone says that every year at the end of the year. you'd think that we would just learn that time goes by quickly and that a year really isn't that long. I think what makes it so hard to understand though is that it feels as though it goes by quicker every year. it doesn't of course but I think the reason it feels that way is that as we get older a year gets an increasingly smaller percentage of our total lives. so because of that each year feels like it went by quicker. sometimes I wonder at what point in your life does it feel halfway? even if you live til you're 90 it doesn't mean that 45 will feel like halfway because of the way that time seems to accelerate. maybe 35 is that point? which is a scary thought. time is a strange thing to fathom. anyways! a little more about our year- so I have posted this year but it has all been about last year! I still plan on catching up but for now I will do a recap.

I have been running regularly for about 10 years now but this year I actually found a love for it. I used to do it because I had to for exercise and I'd think of it as something that I had to get over with and I'd be glad when I was done. while I was marathon training in January I changed my mindset and began seeing it as something to enjoy. I began running more at night which I think helped because I run much easier at night, and I don't have to hurry and get it done so I can get on with the rest of my day. I began thinking about what I love about running and how lucky I am to be able to run. to be strong without injuries or physical impairments that keep me from moving my legs and propelling myself forward. I love being out there on my own and being able to listen to music, books, or podcasts and spend that time outside. I get to see animals by the canal like rabbits, coyotes, horses, cows and little burrowing owls in the evening. because of this shift in mindset after the marathon was over (which I got my best time ever at 3:58!) I kept running 6.5 miles a day (4-5 days a week). normally after marathons I take a week or two break and then go to running about 3 miles a day but I kept up the 6.5 miles all year! even through the summer! even through over 100 degree heat. I was so tempted to get a gym membership to use the treadmill.. I even did a week trial at a gym in July and decided I didn't want to pay for it and would just suffer through the heat. I would run at night and it would still be over 100 and I would be drenched in sweat but I made it through the summer. that is the first summer that I have kept up running when normally my mileage drastically reduces. it felt great! and now we are in December and I am marathon training again. I feel like the long runs have been so much easier having done more miles throughout the year. I am really hoping to get my best time but we'll see!

this year I picked up a new hobby - playing guitar! Jason learned how to play on his mission and had taught me a couple songs years ago but I wasn't very good and I could only play those two songs. we had 2 acoustic guitars and then Jason's sister gave us another one she didn't use so now we have 3. in May I picked up the guitar and began learning songs. I found this Aussie guy (Justin Guitar) on youtube who is really great for beginners and teaching how to play many different songs. he is very enthusiastic and a great teacher. I started by learning many songs from him and I would pick up the guitar every day and play. I already knew a few chords but I learned many more and I finally got the hang of getting a strumming rhythm. I have played pretty much every day since March (except when we're on vacation) for at least a half hour a day. I love it so much and it has been something I have wanted to get better at for a long time. while we were working on our yard last year I injured my hand where I couldn't fully move it and I would wake up in the middle of the night (when it was at its worst) terrified that I would never be able to play guitar- even though I didn't play very often at all back then and I wasn't very good. I think that was a big motivating factor for me to pick up the guitar this year. it was something deep down that was important for me to do and so now that my hands had healed I needed to learn how to play better. I am still not the greatest but I can play any simple chords and bar chords and I can look at new songs if they are not too difficult and play them right away. it makes me really happy to play and when Jason and I are playing a song together I find myself smiling and I can't stop! I love it so much. I asked for an electric guitar from my parents for Christmas and I got a black and white Fender Mustang. it is so pretty and fun to play. it is a little easier to play than the acoustic because the strings are softer and it has a smaller body, but in other ways it is difficult. I am still figuring out all the different dials and what they do and how to get the right sound out of the speakers. after we got our guitar on Christmas my dad brought out his old guitar from the 60's he got when he was about 15! he said we could take it home and try it out. we plan on cleaning it up a bit and replacing the strings because they are too old to stay in tune right now. I'm so glad he kept it though and I think it is very cool! anyways.. I didn't plan on learning guitar this year it just happened and I am so glad it did. it feels great!

I continued to listen to audio books like crazy this year and I reached 106 books! I beat last years 103. there is no way I would be able to sit down and read that many books so I am so glad there are audio books. I also love the library app we use because it would be very expensive to buy that many audio books. it would have been well over $1000 if I had to buy all of them. they were all free which is awesome! I read some fantastic books this year but also a lot of average books and some duds. One of my favorites of the year was the Nix and it was one I slowed the speed down (to 1.4 which is slow for me) so I could savor it. it drew me in from the very beginning and I was so sad when it ended. I am not sure what it is about certain books that I just connect with over others but this was one of them. Version Control was another favorite of the year and All Our Wrong Todays was close behind it. Rebecca was written in 1938 and I had seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie years ago but the book was way better. it reminded me of classic gothic novels like Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre and the writing drew me into it. Meet Me in the Bathroom is the one actual book I read and didn't listen to. it is an oral history- meaning told through hundreds of different people- about the rock music scene in New York in the early 2000's. it focused on bands like the Strokes, Interpol, LCD Soundsystem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and others that I love. I also discovered some cool new bands. if you're not a fan of music or these particular bands you would find it boring but I love these bands and the music scene and I enjoyed every minute of it. it made me jealous that I wasn't there but honestly I would never want to get involved with the amount of drug use some of these guys do. I would just want to be in it for the music. Overall it was a great year for books!

I continued with what I started last year cooking about three times a week. I am glad that I was able to keep up with cooking regularly for another year.

I had not planned on this post being so long but I guess I had a lot to say! I know this is boring to most people but I really like doing these recaps for myself and seeing how I progressed or what I did that year. then I can look back and remember what I loved about that year. this year- and most years- there aren't huge changes in my life but it is the little things that make up a life and make it wonderful. we have already graduated from school, we aren't moving or getting new jobs, our next big change will be when we have kids but for now I am loving our life how it is. every year has it's difficulties and life is never easy but I am grateful for this year and all the big and little things we were able to experience. 

I did a whole post for my favorite music of the year. I downloaded the most music I have in a long time this year. 

January-  we went up to my parent's cabin and had a blast sledding and playing in the snow.
we ran the Phoenix Marathon again! my 4th time Jason's 3rd. I got my best time at 3:58!!
 I painted our ugly oak bathroom cabinets black in our guest and master bathroom. I also got rid of the huge mirror in the guest bathroom and got a cute round brass one. eventually I want to completely redo both bathrooms but for now it made a big impact for little money.
 I also painted our office french doors. they were red which I never liked and I painted them a pretty greenish blue color. it looks light blue in pics but it is more green in person. 
I painted all our interior doors white (they were an off white/tanish that always looked bad with our bright white walls) and our baseboards. we also mounted our tv in our living room on the wall which we have been wanting to do for a while. it looks really nice and Jason was able to run all the cords through the wall so you can't see any.
on March 10th we celebrated our 10 wedding anniversary! it is so crazy to me that we have been married 10 years but I was also super young when we got married. we took a roadtrip to Utah (with a quick stop in Vegas to see 7 Magic Mountains - desert art installation). we went to Salt Lake and then Arches National park. 
we also went to our 5th (or 4th?) Death Cab for Cutie concert! they were playing at the Pot of Gold music festival. we ended up buying tickets from someone on craigslist the day of. we went to an escape room before with Jason's family and then headed over and I was really nervous that the tickets would be fake because we got them for so cheap. they ended up being real and we had no problems getting in! we were at the festival only for Death Cab and Flogging Molly so it wouldn't have made sense for us to pay the price for the entire day. Death Cab was amazing as usual! 
nothing big happened in April. here are some random pics from the month though- 
Tarley looking cute as ever :) 
 at the park on a very windy day. windy days are my favorite!
 this vintage 50's dress is so perfect for Easter I think I wear it on Easter Sunday every year.
may- nothing too exciting this month. I wore this 50's dress to church and remembered these pics we took in Phoenix when Tarley was a pup! 
in june I turned 30 and Jason 35! for Jason's birthday we climbed Humprey's Peak the tallest point in AZ for the second time. there were crazy 65 mile winds at the top which was insane. I've never been in strong winds like that and I thought I would blow off the mountain. it was fun though even though I got altitude sickness again. I thought I wouldn't because I felt fine at the top but then it hit me when we got to the car and I threw up. 
we celebrated my 30th by doing a California roadtrip and camping in the Redwoods. it was so beautiful and we had a fantastic time. 
we were extra patriotic for the 4th :) 
lots of park trips with this cute pup :)
I didn't put together costumes for us since I was busy planning for Europe! I did throw together a last minute Wednesday Addams costume for myself though. the dress and boots are vintage which I already had and I made a little white collar out of felt.
we traveled to Europe this month- a lifelong dream! we were there 10 days and went to Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome. I will definitely post more photos once I finish going through them. it was an incredible trip and I loved it so much.
 as if I didn't travel enough that month I also went to Las Vegas with my parents. my dad had to go for a conference and wanted my mom to go along so they invited me so my mom would have someone to hang out with during the day. I haven't always been the biggest fan of Vegas but we ended up having a really fun time and I am glad I went. 
I also went to two concerts in November. we saw M.Ward who was amazing and rocked out on the guitar more than we knew he could (no photos were allowed!). I also saw Regina Spektor with Jason's sister Catherine and she was fantastic.
we had an incredible Christmas spent with family! Christmas eve-
Christmas morning- 
Christmas evening-
 it was a great year that just sped by way too fast. I'm excited to see what 2018 brings!  
here are some past year reviews or year favorites lists: