“Deep down I believe my year was a special year; it produced me.” – Ned Vizzini
Every year of our life presents us with challenges, changes, excitement, grief, adventure and lessons. Each year, we are molded into who we are becoming as humans, as well as figuring out how we will ultimately leave our mark on the world when the time comes. Yesterday, I turned 35. Or, as someone reminded me, I have made it halfway to 70. Growing older is interesting. You become more aware, more tuned into your true self and who you are as a person. You learn, a lot. You make mistakes and then you fix them. You experience this tiny little spot in the galaxy that you refer to as “home”. Living is an incredible gift. And, growing older is breathtaking. It’s a privilege, not at all a guarantee, what with all the uncertainty of it, so you just go with the flow and live life to the fullest. Fulfill dreams, accomplish goals, try to be nice and not an asshole and, when you are, apologize. This past year was a wonderful year for me. I had my ups and downs. My sad days and my really fucking happy days. I’ve gotten into arguments and knew when it was my turn to stop and say sorry. I laughed a lot and often when I was surrounded by the people I love most on this planet. I grew more patient. I spoke up, at times thinking perhaps maybe too much, but then I would get a message from a friend to keep it up and to never stop – secretly knowing I would never be able to, even if I tried. Just like our blog is called, I’m a project. Some days, I’m a super successful project and I feel vibrant and on the right path. Other days, I’m a messy ol’ project and I wonder what else is in this life for me to explore, see, accomplish and experience. I’m always on that hunt. I am looking forward to this new year ahead. I’m excited to live more, love more, grow older and see what this 35th year of life will offer me. I have some goals to attend to, people to spend more time with and, most importantly, I have my life to live in whichever way I choose to because it’s all mine and I only have this one shot at it. Unless, somehow, some way I am magically turned into a vampire this year. Dreams do come true. Here’s how I did last year. And, as always, thank you for joining me on this weird little journey that I call, my life.
Last Halloween I lived out my fantasy of becoming this creation. It is my favorite costume to date. We shall see what this year brings…..
Dug a hole in the earth, made a fire, drank wine, made s’mores and laughed with some very dear friends in southern Illinois.
I marched at the very first Women’s March with about 100,000 bad ass females and it was awe-inspiring. We all had our own reason for doing what we did, here is mine:
One of my favorite days of the year, The Father Daughter Dinner Dance at Union League Club. We get all fancied up and enjoy a beautiful evening with our dad.
I got my ass kicked, again, snow boarding, this time in Park City, UT. I try, I really do. I’m just not sure I’ll ever go faster than slow motion.
My dash tat. This tattoo represents the dash on a tombstone. The dash between the year you were born and the year you pass away. My best friend Deanna has the same one so that whenever we see it on our wrists we are reminded of one another and reminded to live life to the fullest. She resides on the other side of the planet, so it’s our way of staying close….here’s more.
NYC with some of my favorite females to celebrate one of the most beautiful partnerships I ever did see. We laughed, we cried, and holy shit, did we dance. This was one of my favorite weekends of my 34th year.
My sisters and I did a girls’ night in the city and celebrated our sisterhood in honor of our mom. It was spectacular, funny and one of the best sleepovers I’ve ever been to.
I haven’t had a burger in years, boy, do I miss them. Well, I found the best plant-based burger that tastes like a burger. It made my 34th year. Honest.
This woman right here, my mom. She continues to teach me in more ways than I ever expected. Recently, she has become very affectionate. She may no longer speak, but she will hold my hand, kiss my arm and let me lay my head on her lap. Anthony’s too. I don’t think she knew it was my birthday, I told her it was. Then I cried. Then I hugged her. And then I did what we would have done. I put on the scariest movie I could muster up the courage to watch and we watched it together. It turned out to be a really perfect day with her. I love her so much.
My birthday photo from last year. I love these kids so much it almost hurts.
And then, I found this clutch at a store that I randomly found while exploring the Pilsen neighborhood. It’s made from a Moroccan rug and brought back from there as well. Finding this bag at Mashallah was one of my favorite finds of the entire year.
This day I chose to get all dolled up and give Trump the finger. Yolo.
Seeing the eclipse in Nashville with some of the most important people in my life made this experience one that I will not soon forget.
This photo made my summer and so did crashing a boat party my dad took his employees on for a summer outing. Michelle and I laughed really freaking hard at this together.
I know how annoying I am when I plead with my siblings for a holiday photo, but it is oh so worth it. I love my tribe so much.
Anthony and I found Promontory Point this summer. It was one of the best days of the season for us.
And then there was our Christmas card this year.
Murakami’s, The Octopus Ate It’s Own Leg, at The Museum of Contemporary Art. It was absolutely incredible. What more can I say?
THE best biscuit I have ever had in my entire life. Accompanied by honey butter and homemade strawberry preserves. You can find this bite at The Southerner in Saugatuck, MI. Go.
One of my favorite spots, The Bahaí Temple. If you have not visited this magnificent spot, you need to.
A long weekend in Scottsdale, AZ to be with my husband’s entire side of the family to laugh, visit, hang in the pool and work on our tans. We had a blast and I’m very much looking forward to next year’s reunion.
I haven’t played a sport in like 100 years. This past summer I stepped out of my comfort zone and learned that I don’t entirely suck at beach volleyball and I’m a wee bit overly competitive.
When my determined little sister kicked ass and grabbed first place. Yup. Here’s her story from the year before.
First time (and certainly not the last time) white water rafting, holy shit! That was one of my favorite adventures of my life. Anthony encouraged me when I was actually really freaking scared and if it wasn’t for him and his support, not sure I would have done it. I am grateful.
Going green for Lollapalooza with pink glitter was my favorite outfit of the summer.
These six. Any moment I get to spend with one or all six of them makes my heart explode. I mean, look at them.
These two. These are my oldest friends. I could be trapped in a cardboard box with them and would cry laughing because that’s pretty much all we do anyway.
Wearing one of my all-time favorite dresses while drinking an Aperol Spritz with my forever roommate and partner in life. Done, done and done. I’m a happy girl right here.
My favorite seasonal tradition with one of my favorite girls. If you haven’t been yet, go this year. You’ll be teleported to a European Christmas market.
My favorite city sunset of the year.
Meeting my nephew, Kevin, on my birthday. I am in love.
Celebrating my birthday this year with my dad. It is my favorite night of the year that we get to spend together. I see my dad on a weekly basis. We talk, drink espresso, and eat great antipasto. He let’s me rant and rave over current events and politics. He teaches me and he supports me. We don’t always see eye to eye, but we both know that to be true. I have found that the older I have gotten the more comfortable I am with expressing my thoughts, even when they’re not always easy to do. I love this George Washington-looking fella so much. He’s one of my best friends.
This photo… Anthony is my person. I got lucky with this one. He’s a good partner (and human), he’s supportive, compassionate and he’s freaking funny. We’re not perfect and we have our moments and arguments, but I can’t deny that I feel incredibly fortunate to have found this human in a bar many years ago. He has made my life more of an adventure than I ever thought anyone could. He’s a good husband and a good man. Not only did he make my past year special, he makes my everyday special. I could look and love that face forever and I’m pretty pumped that I get to.
Thank you for stopping by TSP. Love you all!