December 31, 2014

Farewell two thousand and fourteen

It's been a while.  Just acknowledging that so you don't think I just didn't realize that it had been 6 months since I've posted on my blog.  I knew it.  I would go and even check the blog myself to see if I had posted anything.  Me.  The dummy who writes this thing.  

Because, you see, this entire year has felt very much out of body.  And mostly not in a good way.  I feel battle scarred and bruised.  Limping across the finish line.  No.  Crawling and moaning is more accurate.  

2014 was a year I will never forget.  It was full (to the brim, I might add) with hard, life altering lessons.  Brutal truths and hard moments followed by glorious wonder and provision.  It has been lesson after lesson in seeing God more clearly than ever before, but with the knowledge that that sight usually comes in the darkest of times.  

I have seen Him do miracles this year.  Provide where there was absolutely nothing that my human eyes could see or reason. I've seen Him grant mercy and grace.  I've seen Him show love and kindness. However, each of those things had to be granted in the darkest of hours in the most challenging of moments.  I'm learning how much brighter He shines when the darkness threatens to swallow me up.

Life was hard in 2014.  And I am very VERY glad to kick it to curb and leave it behind forever.  I've been longing for December 31st for months.  Not that a date change on the calendar really means much, but it sure does feel good.

So as not to end on a horribly depressing note (hello, pessimism, my old friend), I decided to pop in on the last day of the year to list a few things that I have actually enjoyed this year.  Because I know you want a list from this "really cool girl who is happily snuggled in her pajamas at 8:30pm on New Year's Eve."  I'm sure that girl has mountains of advice and recommendation you want to hear, right?  
Thought so.

Here we go:

Books I've enjoyed:

* Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

* Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas (and you MUST listen to Kristen Bell read it aloud to truly enjoy every second of this gem)

* Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

* Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon

* Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

* 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker 

* Harry Pottter #1,2,3,4 (I'm re-reading [and listening to Jim Dale read] these gems in order from the beginning again.  And can I just say they are just as enjoyable and perfect)

Movie/TV shows that I enjoyed:

Last Days in Vietnam  (I saw this movie in January and am still thinking about it constantly.  One of the best documentaries I've seen.  Ever.)

* The Walking Dead (the end of season 4 and the first part of season 5.  Good gracious, YES.)

* The Good Wife (season 5 was simply the best thing on TV)

* Veronica Mars (I Kickstarted the movie and it did not disappoint. In fact, I've watched it about 16 times since it released in March)

* About Time (surprised me in all the best ways)

* The Theory of Everything

* Mockingjay Part 1 (thank you for being so much better than the book)

* The Imitation Game

* Parks and Rec (continues to be the best comedy on TV)

* Downton Abbey (I can't help but love and re-watch every season)

* Sherlock season 3

* Broadchurch (please don't watch the horrid American version, Gracepoint, and think it is the same thing)

* Homeland season 3

* Short Term 12 (maybe my favorite of the whole year)

* The Way, Way Back

* Saving Mr Banks

Random others:

* HONY on Instagram (It is simply the best thing/idea/creative endeavor/little corner of the internet.  I adore it)

* VSCOcam app.  (the best photo editing app got even better this year)

* iphone 6 (I'm ashamed to admit that I can't live without it)

* DSLR SnapShop (Ashley Ann's online class was incredibly helpful and full of lightbulb lessons for me.  Highly recommend it)

* Kauai (it is the most beautiful place on the planet and the fact that I got to spend a few days there this year made me insanely happy)

* David's Tea (for all its delightfully addictive flavors)

* Essential Oils (It was the year of full emersion in EO's for me.  I'm a convert and now use them multiple times a day)

*  She Reads Truth (beautiful devotions and lovely design)

*  Moleskin unlined journals w/ black Sharpie pens

* movie (instrumental) soundtracks (they still continue to be my music of choice)

It's always good to focus on the blessings and fun/good things.  
Puts things in perspective.  

Goodbye 2014.  
I won't miss you.  
I'm glad you are leaving.

2015, let's be friends, okay?  
Be kind, won't you please?