365/Week Three...Good Bye 2016

Well, the day has finally arrived.  The day a lot of us have ranted and raved for to watch 2016 die as 2017 rolls on in.  I'll fully admit that I've been on this band wagon, with how many world changing people that we've lost, the financial roller coaster my family's been on, the car issues, the dishwasher who didn't want to work fiasco, the copious amount of days my children have decided to not listen to me, the cat's need to chew on everything, the amount of plants I've killed, the countless sleepless nights, times I was late to an appointment, loosing jobs...need I continue?  

Its easy to blame it on a year, and wrap it up to sheer bad luck and then put all our hopeful eggs into one basket we call, 2017.  This however, holds no more promise than 2016 held 365 days ago. I spent the 2016 New Years on the banks of the Panajachel in Guatemala, and as I watched fireworks go off from every village and town around the lake, I was filled with such hope for the New Year.  I was going to travel more, I was going to find more ways to make a difference in people's lives.  I was going to be a maker and a writer and have a certain style.  I was going to conquer minimalism, I was going to read like a mo fo.  I wanted 500 followers on Instagram and I wanted to do so many photoshoots I was a headless chicken.  I wanted to conquer hair curlers and red lips.  I wanted to snuggle my babies more and spend more time outside than I was inside. 

And you know what? I traveled to 5-countries this year alone, I took on full throttle the after school art program at my local art gallery and influence the lives of kids every week to see the world with more creative possibilities. I was a maker and created a whole body of work for my Senior Capstone (and then graduated earlier this month!) I was a writer and got published on Habit and Home's online blog and started working on my book this month.  I didn't conquer minimalism, but I made it apart of my First 365-days after graduation challenge, and have really started purging every aspect of my life.  I didn't get to 500 on Instagram and I really didn't do near the amount of photoshoot's I wish I would have, but I'm just rolling these into the 2017 goals. I doubt I'll ever be able to use curlers without looking like a perm gone wrong, or maintain red lips.  But I snuggled my babies fiercely and loved them with everything I had, and while it was warm made a point to live amongst the sun.

I graduated this year, I saw my Oma for the first time in 15-years this year.  This year I got the best job after holding the worst job for almost three-years.  I did my first official photoshoots, I tried foods I doubt I'll ever try again.  I got to love both of my parents and let them know throughout the year how much they mean to me.  I got to camp and hike in new areas in Idaho, and became a crazy cat lady to my daughters cat, Waffles.  I went on dates with my husband, cooked more at home, and became a Podcast junkie.  2016 brought us back Gilmore Girls, woman started to rule the world and we celebrated National Parks centennial.  2016 brought me strength in being more politically aware, and found myself in little ways along the year.  I found blogs that challenge my views, and made friends with people who opened my eyes.  I'm still socially awkward but I'm finding that this doesn't mean I have to be shy.  

Tonight I will sit on my couch eating little smokies, and drinking bubbly, watching 2016 slip away into the past, as we greet 2017 with a warm imbrace.  Saying thank you to 2016 for all the lessons it taught us in the gain...and in the loss.  All while saying welcome to 2017, knowing that the adventure has only begun.

Happy New Year everyone.

With Grace&Guts,

Highlights of 2016

in photos