My 25th birthday was last Friday (November 28th), so I wanted to make a list to commemorate some of the things that happened while I was 24.
1. My birthday was on Thanksgiving. I made the entire meal for the first time by myself, and I decided once and for all that Birthday Pie is the best kind of pie.
2. Radiant Orchard was picked as the color of the year by Pantone. I was a fan. I feel like purple doesn’t get enough credit in the world of color.
3. We learned (okay, confirmed) that Leia Batman does NOT like to wear costumes.
4. I might have went a little overboard on holiday and winter decorating. Just kidding… that’s not possible. ;)
5. I worked seasonally at Sephora and absolutely loved it. I also worked at an art store and absolutely hated it.
6. The inaugural Friends Christmas happened, and it was both adult and awesomely kid-like all at the same time.
7. I went home for Christmas for almost exactly 24 hours and drove 5 hours both ways to get there. Retail – ugh.
8. I had my very first trip ever to the Emergency Room. It was a complication of IBS and my stomach hurt excruciatingly bad, but the amazing part was that three of my friends showed up to take me and stay with me in the ER while Jake was out of town. I can never thank them enough for being there for me. <3
9. I chose EXPLORE as my word for 2014, and that was the driving notion for a lot of things I did throughout this year.
10. I had long, brunette hair.
11. I jump-started a car for the first time. And a second. And a third… Also, I learned that battery corrosion is very not-good thing.
12. I went to DisneyLand for the first time, and it was just as amazing as I’d dreamed. Also, I think Thor digs me.
13. I went to CHA Winter and got to see so many of my very best friends in the entire world.
14. I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time.
15. Melissa (Jake’s sister) and I became really, really close friends. I don’t hesitate to call her my sister now. We’re both so weird in all the right ways.
16. I had good days and I had bad days. I learned more coping mechanisms to have in my tool box so that I can deal with my anxiety and depression more effectively. Art journaling helps me when I feel frustrated and down.
17. I tried Wood Burning for the first time to make an invitation to the second annual Feast of Thrones. Everyone brought a dish and beer to share, and we had a huge feast before the season preimere of Game of Thrones.
18. I lost two very important people in my life. My first deaths of close loved ones. My grandma passed away after a long battle with a rare form of Parkinson’s Disease, but I knew everything would be okay because she’s at peace now.
19. The second loss was gut-wrenching. One of my best friends, Tim, lost his fight to depression. He took is own life in June, and I will never be the same. (You can read more about losing Tim here.)
20. I became an all-in, absolute advocate for Mental Health awareness and suicide prevention. My friends banded together to mourn, help and transforming our pain and loss into effort to help others.
21. In the summer, I ate more Greek and caprese salad than I knew was physically possible for one human to consume.
22. I officially became A Person Who Buys Chairs At Garage Sales.
23. I went to 4 MLB games, 1 Saint Paul Saints game, 2 Gopher Basketball games, 1 Gopher Hockey game (outdoors!) and 1 Gopher football game.
24. I lost 40 pounds by moving more (walking to hit my fitbit step goal and using an exercise bike) and focusing on eating more healthy than I already did. I also gave up soda (except on vacation, because vacation doesn’t count). I don’t have a fitbit anymore since the recall, but I highly recommend getting a pedometer to keep track of those numbers. Steps are so much more forgiving than pounds.
25. I went with five friends on a crazy adventure to Seattle, Vancouver and Portland. We called it #FriendFestNW and it was worth absolutely every cent I spent to get there.
26. I started playing bass. My friend Steven and I formed a band. Still working on a band name, but someday we’ll write a song and it will be magical. We’ll be doing our first open mic soon!
27. Jake and I celebrated our three year anniversary and tried to go on as many day dates as possible when he had off work. I love him more every day.
28. We dressed up as heroes and went to a beer fest at Midway Stadium before it was torn down. We ended up getting featured in CityPages twice – once in photos from the event and once from the September Highlights.
29. Leia continued to be my ever-loving furry companion, and our apartment is still undoubtably Leia’s Castle.
30. I went back to short, blonde hair (my natural color). (And I like it. I also like silly faces.)
31. Jake’s cousin, Chris, married Taylor, and it was the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended. I cried. A lot. I’m so grateful to be considered part of their extended family.
32. We, as a friend group, drank ALL the craft beer. This included many brewery taproom visits, a tandem bike brewery tour in Portland, attending four beer festivals, attending the grand opening of a taproom practically in our neighborhood and, of course, extensive use of my favorite app, Untappd.
33. I participated in VEDA (vlog everyday in april) and #Inktober (draw everyday in october).
34. I had this not-so-crazy idea for a business, so I made it. ThingsCrafted launched November 13th, and it was terrifying. I have so many more plans and dreams and can’t wait to see where that road takes me.
35. I got a real, adult job working with kids at a local elementary school with before- and after-school care. I work early in the morning, come home for 6 hours to work on design business stuff and then go back to work in the afternoon. It’s difficult and exhilarating and exhausting and wonderful all at the same time, every day. I get paid to talk to kids, teach them things and do craft projects. It’s a perfect fit.
36. I saw one of my favorite musicians ever, Watsky, preform live for the second time. It was just as amazing as the first time I saw him and also 100x better and I can’t explain why. His music inspires me every day.
37. I celebrated my birthday in two places – at The Farm (Jake’s cabin) with Jake’s family and in Neenah with mine. It was Black Friday. We had steak and green bean casserole for dinner, and I wrapped ribbon around my head. It was wonderful.
This last year was so many things. In a lot of ways, it was the hardest year I’ve ever faced… but with the lows come the gratefulness and joy for everything I have and love. I’m so thankful for everything, and every day is a new learning experience. I’m also thankful for you for sticking around and reading my blog. I know I haven’t been a consistent blogger this year, but this blog isn’t about just crafts – it’s also about my life. Thanks for being part of it. :)