Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Picture Journal!

A friend of mine introduced the idea to me of a picture journal! So, for the year of 2013 I am taking one picture every day to documents my comings and goings of the year.  My mom and little sister are doing this as well and then at the end of the year we are going to sit down together and look at one another's picture journal! It has been fun so far, a few days I have forgotten to take a picture but I enjoy thinking about my day and deciding what I want to capture that day to put in my picture journal! Even the simple every day activities or task have been fun to document because that is what really makes up life - the simple activities that we do every day that help us grow stronger and be better!! Here is a small sampling of what I have documented so far!!

Elizabeth has just taught me how to put on eye liner!
 THE Guitar in Bristol, it is right at the TN/VA state line!
 I try to donate blood when ever I am able!
 One of our cold days during January!
 Rachelle and Camilla - two of my good friends here in Durham!
 The start of one of my projects for this year - my mom is going to help teach me how to make a t-shirt quilt!


On my birthday this year, I turned 30 years old!  Just a few years ago that seemed so old and distant and now here I am but I am not feeling so old after all.  It is amazing where my life has come to this point and I look forward to see where it goes.  I must admit that I was not so thrilled about reaching this age in my life (as a single person) but now that I am here, it really is not all that bad and I am excited to see what this coming year brings.  A lot of changes occurred in my life over the past 6 months with my brother-in-law remarrying and me no longer taking care of nieces and nephew which is what I had done for the past 2 and half years.  It was so wonderful being with them and taking care of them it has been a bit of an adjustment to no longer be doing that.  I also have been considering a pretty big change in my career choice which has also been a little difficult to decide on but I know everything will come together in time.  I keep reminding myself to have a plan and take one day at a time!!

During my 29 year of life, I had put together a 30 before 30 list which proved to be extremely enjoyable and challenging at the same time.  I did not completely finish the list but I sure enjoyed working on it all year long.  You may recall some of my goals were - hike 30 miles on the AT, run a 1/2 marathon, get 30 park stamps in my National Parks Passport Book, complete my walling hanging house quilt, attend a Durham Bulls baseball game, read the Christmas Carol, visit an exotic island, hike Mt. Rogers, learn to make Danish, watch a sunrise over the ocean, go to a symphony, read fifteen books, read the entire Book of Mormon, memorize a dulcimer song, bike the Tobacco Trail to Apex, start a cross stitch project, and have a dinner party.  These are not all of the goals but a lot of them.

Over the course of the year, I discovered a few things about myself.  I love to cross stitch.  My mom helped teach me the basics and off I went.  Once I started, I had the hardest time putting it down! This will be a life long activity that I think I will always enjoy!  I loved working on my wall hanging with my mom - she came to Durham a couple times and I went to Bristol a couple times to have her help me step by step to compete the project.  I may have some sewing genes hidden somewhere inside of me.  I remembered how much I love backpacking.  It had been since high school that I was able to go on an actual backpacking trip - a couple friends of mine planned a trip and went with me to do my first section of the AT - we ended up doing 70 miles. It was great fun and I love the outdoors, such calm and peace come from being in those beautiful places. Even with the bugs, cold, and rain, it was still a great trip!! For my Book of Mormon goal, I really wanted to read the whole book because it had been a while since I had read it from cover to cover.  This proved to be one of the challenges because I was not as diligent throughout the year like I should have been. With about 3 weeks to my birthday, I still had about 120 pages to read.  Those last three weeks were wonderful, it helped me put my mind to setting aside time each day to read and hopefully I will keep up the routine that I was able to establish those last three weeks.  I may not understand everything in the Book of Mormon or understand some of the prophecies that are spoken of but I do understand the Spirit I feel when I read it and I am grateful for the knowledge of Jesus Christ as our Savior and of the love Heavenly Father has for us!

So, 30 has come and is here to stay! I would have never envisioned my life as it is right now five years ago but I am thankful to be here in North Carolina surrounded by friends that love me and family that is only a quick drive away.  I look forward to figuring out my career goals and to just keep living every day the best I can!!
Here is the wall hanging my Mom helped me complete!
 Birthday cake from Nantucket Grill
 My parents spent the weekend with me to celebrate and my mom surprised me by getting Andrew, Marianne, Lucy, Tanner, Steve, Annie, David, Kate, Mary, Christian, Sarah, and Jamie (flew in from Utah as an additional surprise) together in Apex on Saturday to be part of the celebration! (Love you guys!)
 The cross stitch that hooked me! Love it!

Ragnar 2013

We had another opportunity to run in a Ragnar race as a family and it was once again a wonderful experience. We have so much fun being together and cheering one another along.  It was a difficult race with the heat and humidity of the Florida Keys but we enjoyed running from key to key and just being together.  We had a cousin and a handful of friends join us this year to make our team of 12 and they were great additions to the family.  We hope to keep up this tradition for several more years!!! 
 Team C.A.T.I.E. - the night before the race!

Elizabeth and I at the finishing line waiting for Van 2 to finish!
 Everyone is still smiling!
 Victory Jump!
 My wonderful parents and siblings!
 Funny story - my mom and I were driving in the van and just having such a great time chatting and enjoying the drive we totally ran out of gas on the side of the road.  A nice police officer stopped to check on us and we informed him that my Dad, Uncle, brother and cousin were on their way to rescue us.  It was pretty funny! 

We run these races to be together but also to honor Catie, we ran our first one while she was sick and dedicated our team name to her (C.A.T.I.E. = courageous, admirable, tough, inspiration, and exemplary - all words that describe her) and we all continue to run for her even though she is not here with us. She is a wonderful inspiration for everything that I do in life!