the last post (of this year)

Christmas2014This break has been amazing.

With parties (one for friends and two for families), decorating the house three days before Christmas, unexpected visitors, and last-minute errands, it’s been busy.  But I’ve had some down time as well, to work on art or music or to just be quiet with a cup of tea.  Christmas2014.2

chocolate cake
Doing a bit of baking with a friend– this is the vegan chocolate cake to live for from Fran Costigan.

I didn’t realize how much I missed my family.  We’re a big group– when we all gather together on my mom’s side, there are about 30-40 people in our house (same on my dad’s side).  The energy and atmosphere is something I can’t quite describe or replicate anywhere else.  It’s tiring, but so much fun!

I received a couple of pretty cool presents, too.  And, I’m proud to report, sent out my letters in a very timely manner.  I have to say, though, one of my favorite presents was this pair of Soot Sprite slippers.sootsprite

If you’re a fan of Miyazaki movies, then you’ll know soot sprites make an appearance in My Neighbor Totoro or in Spirited Away, both of which are very cute movies.  Anyway, I don’t think I’ll be taking these off.  Ever.  They’re cute, warm, and… well… cute.

Now we’ve moved on to New Year’s celebrations.  How did that happen already?  It’s too quick!  Once more, the family has come from all corners of the earth (or, really, Colorado is the farthest) to get together one last time before the year ends.  They’re staying at a hotel only 10 minutes from my house, right next to the ocean and the boardwalk.  And I have to say, the hotel is a little bit creepy.  With dim lighting, huge empty rooms, and almost no people,  it feels like the entire place is haunted.

Everything is covered in white– like an abandoned house with sheets over the furniture…  Flanders2 Flanders3   

The lights actually went out for a few minutes last night– not just in the hotel, but in the whole city block around us.  We happened to have a nice view of the ferris wheel from our room, and I must say, it’s eerie to watch a brightly lighted amusement ride suddenly cut into blackness. Overall, though, it’s a very enjoyable place.  The cousins around my age are chatting about life and staying obsessed with Trivia Crack when we’re not walking the boardwalk and the beach with no lights but the stars.

And on a bit of a more serious note:

As this will be my last post of the year, I feel it’s a good time to reflect on things that have happened to me.  It’s been an amazing twelve months for me.  It’s been sad at time stressful at other, but throughout it all, I’ve tried to keep my head up and focused on the positives in life.  I’ve grown so much more than I thought possible.

Right now, I’m so incredibly grateful to be home and safe with my family.  I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made and the opportunities that have arisen…  I honestly feel like my future is brighter than it ever has been before.

As the New Year approaches (much more quickly than I would like), I find myself only wanting to make the resolution to keep my head up even higher and roll with any punches life throws at me.  I want to keep the happiness and kindness in my life and continue spreading it to others.

I hope you all have had a fantastic holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas or something else, and I hope your New Year’s festivities are safe and a whole lot of fun.  Tell me what you’re up to!




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