Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015!

     Happy New Year to you all! 
I hope you had a fun and safe New Year's Eve, and rang in the New Year in style!

     As for me, I started the day with a migraine. Fun. But the day was redeemed by a visit with my favorite baby! 

My tablet does NOT take good evening pictures but I couldn't resist.

     My sister and I spent the evening in Huntington Beach with Katelyn and her family at her sister's home. It was a chilly evening and we all went to the beach to snap a few photos. Again, the quality is not so great, but I couldn't resist.

The only snow you'll see in this part of California.

     We went back to the house and played games, sat around the fire, decorated cookies, and of course passed the babe around. We left around eleven to beat the drunk drivers home, and made it just in time to watch the ball drop in NYC. It may not have been the most eventful night, but it was cozy and spent with friends and family.

     Looking back on my 2014, I'd say it was a pretty good year. Every year brings trials but it also brings joy. Here's a look back on some of the highlights from 2014:

     I have been blessed with my job at the daycare back home. I had fabulous hours and it gave me the freedom to use my creativity. Every year, the community center where I worked would host a Daddy-Daughter Dance around Valentine's day. I have helped with the design and decorations of these events for the past 3 years, but this past year I was given complete creative control and was able to channel my inner event planner to bring to life a beautiful winter wonderland. This time of year was always the highlight of my job, but I was so thrilled and honored that my boss wanted me in charge. It was definitely a high point for me!

     I also had the opportunity to grow my relationship with my dear friend, Annie this past year. My family has always been close with her's (they practically are part of our family), and she and her two sisters as well as my sister have always been friends. But this year, we really had the opportunity to become friends. We got to spend a lot of time together drinking coffee, shopping, going on long walks, and just talking. It's also allowed me to become closer to her two younger sisters as well, Becca and Beth.  
     I've come to truly appreciate them as friends and sisters, and I've loved that we've been able to reconnect after they returned from China. And, I can't wait to have a Starbucks date when I come home!

She might disagree, but I love this photo of us!

     This year has also given me time to spend with my family. Living together again has brought us closer (even though it's a little stressful at times) and it's going to make going home without them difficult. 

     We celebrated my mom's 50th birthday this year too and that was a fun, special time spent with our close friends in a beautiful, autumn backyard. It was a bittersweet event, as my Grandpa had just passed, and we were busy packing up their lives, and mine, in preparation for the California move.

Rockin' 50 like a pro.

Doesn't autumn just get you??
Orange Sicilian Cake (courtesy of me), and Texas Hot Chocolate Cake (courtesy of our hostess).

Check out my mom's DIY and life blog here.

     I was able to cross an item off of my bucket list this year; participate in a 5k! My good friend, Vonnie, and I participated in the Color Vibe in Grand Junction, Colorado. I met this girl at my daycare job, and she has a special place in my heart. She is one of the silliest and most caring people I have had the privilege to meet, and I am so happy to call her my friend! Let me tell you, even after we arrived late and missed the first part of the race, we still had blast, danced in the rainbow, and had a delicious lunch. It may not have been exactly what we were planning, but it was a lot of fun, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Sorry Von, I stole your photo!
     I was able to learn a little bit about our history in Glenwood Springs with my sweet friend, Lizzie. We have been close friends for years, but this year has been special because she and her family are preparing for a big move, so any time we've been able to spend together, I've tucked away in my heart. We had both been to the Hotel Colorado many times for different occasions, but we were intrigued by the history that went along with it. So this summer, we planned a lunch date and a ghost tour at the Hotel. You can read about our experience on Lizzie's blog.
     I should have done a better job of taking photos that day, but she has some good ones as well as a brief history of the Hotel. I will be so sad when she moves away, and I'm looking forward to at least one more coffee date before she leaves me.

     This year I visited California three times. One of these trips was because of my Grandpa passing away, and even though it was a sad time, I'm glad we could all be together, and that we had each other to lean on. It's been a difficult time, and hard living in a home where he no longer resides. But we can rest knowing that he isn't suffering any more. And we know that he wouldn't want us to cry and make a fuss. He would tell us to knock it off and move on. 
     My cousin made a wonderful memorial slideshow on YouTube for anyone who would like see a little of what Grandpa was like.

Me and Grandpa.

     My husband and I took another camping trip this summer. Each time is so special to me. It's such a great chance to bond and just get away from life for a while. You can read about our travels here.

     I went to 3 concerts this year (the most in a year I think), auditioned for my favorite musical, got a taste of being back in college again, threw knives in the woods, went to a Great Gatsby party, and read more than I have in years.

     I became an Instagram user, which has made me get back in to photography. A passion that I let slide over the past few years, and I am thankful I have the ability to get back in to it.

A photo I took for an Instagram contest. The dreamcatcher is available on Etsy!

    I also started my Etsy business, and made my very first sale, right before the end of the year!

My first item, SOLD!

     I am forever grateful for all my experiences this year. I always get a little sad and nostalgic as the year comes to an end, and may have had a few tears in my eyes as the countdown to midnight began. But I am looking forward to 2015 and all that it may bring. I am excited to see where blogging and Etsy take me and what new adventures are waiting. The new year has begun with my husband finding an apartment for us, and I am so proud of him for doing it all on his own. I can't wait to be home again, and to begin new memories in our new place, with spring just on the horizon. Happy New Year to you all and may all your wishes come true!


  1. Aw, Tessa, you're going to make me cry! I feel the same. Have been tucking away and treasuring our time spent together too! <3 Now it looks like I'll still be here when you get back and for quite a while, so I'm really excited about that! :)

    Moving just puts so much into perspective and reminds you not to take anyone or anything for granted. It's shown me how much I value you and your friendship, and I definitely don't ever want to it for granted. <3

    And yay!! :D So excited for your first sale. Here's to many more!

    1. I'm glad that you'll be there when I get home, but I know that's bittersweet for you guys. I'm sure you're all ready to have everything fall in place! BUT, I am excited to hang out with you again, at least for a little while! I truly appreciate you as a friend and your encouragement and kindness is something I always will treasure! <3