this was 2012, a year in highlights

Best Song: “Down in the Valley” by The Head and the Heart. This was the year Augustana broke up, and when they did, they left a big hole in my heart. (Truth be told, even with their latest album, I could already tell things were never going to be the same.) Lucky for me, I found this group, with the same indie acoustic, folksy, Americana sound – and they have a girl in the group, so maybe they’re infinitely better by default.

If they break up, I’m going to cry.

Best New Toy: my iPhone — Siri, Instagram, iTunes, reading apps, perfect!

Best Date: Jammin Java in May. We saw two lovely folk/acoustic singers (Dawn Landes and Carsie Blanton), and it was a really great show.

Sadly, the parents’ night out venue we’ve been using doesn’t seem to be doing any more nights out, so there were not very many dates in 2012. :( I don’t like the idea of a babysitter either, since D is an only child — that just seems like it would be so boring and sad for him. I’m hoping we can find another parents’ night out instead.

Best TV Show: Supernatural. 2012 was the year I met Sam and Dean, and oddly enough, it was actually my husband who introduced me to them. ;)

My friends have been raving about this show for ages, but we found it late and are greedily catching up via Netflix streaming! Besides the obvious two lovely reasons to watch, it’s actually clever, silly, mind-bending, and sometimes tender. Demons and angels and Chuck the prophet. Highly addicting.

Best thing that would have been totally awesome had it actually panned out: that I had stuck to my diet, maybe? lol!

Or maybe that I had kept up my 52 Week Photo project for the year. 2012 was the year of being ultra productive in some areas of my life, and ultra neglectful in others. Hopefully 2013 can bring a little more balance for me!

Best Movie: Brave

Best place we visited for the first time: We visited many of our favorite familiar places a lot this year (SW England, London, Traverse City, Virginia Beach, Shenandoah — honestly, many of these places we could visit two or three or four more times and still find them entirely new.) Assateague would have been good but we had a horrible time there, lol! Lake George, NY was lovely. But the BEST place we visited for the first time this year has to be:

Niagara Falls! Hard to beat one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders, huh? ;)

Best books I read this year: a tie,One Day, by David Nicholls and Cafe du Jour by Lilian Darcy.

Best New Addiction: mountain climbing? Hard to call this one an addiction since we only had one trip and then it got cold and we got sick and the season was over. But I can see this becoming an addiction!

Climbing Hawksbill Mountain at sunset
At the top of Hawksbill Mountain in Shenandoah National Park.

Despite how it looks, Dylan is not actually trying to hurl himself off the edge of the mountain in that picture! ;)

Best Hippie Idea: Nectresse (or its equivalent all natural Monk Fruit sweetener) — okay, so I actually found this on New Year’s Eve, but it still counts for the year. It’s made of Monk Fruit, and it seems to pass in terms of truly being all natural. I’m looking for a substitute for Splenda because consuming “chlorinated sugar” no matter how much they try to convince me is safe, I’m just not buying it. Unfortunately since I just can’t kick my coffee/tea habit, regular sugar is too high in calories, and I just can’t bear to go without. Nectresse is okay, a bit cheaper than Stevia. It does have a similar aftertaste to Stevia, but it’s not as bad.

I’m sorry to say that’s about the only “green” thing I did this year. I’ve been a disappointing hippie. Unless camping without electricity counts? Because I did a crapload of that!

Favorite Photo I Took:

Assateague03

A foggy morning at Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland.

Second Favorite:

Cherry Blossom Festival 2012

People at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.

Best New Pipe-Dream: become a famous Etsy crafter? lol! I don’t know, but for most of the fall I spent WAY too much money on art supplies at the craft store! I’d better make something out of it all, or else my husband might deny me the privilege of spending his paycheck! :o

Best Accomplishment: Clicking “publish” on my debut novel, Exactly Where They’d Fall. After having finished something as huge as a 90,000-word novel, beginning, middle, and end, editing and polishing through SEVEN drafts, then finally being done, and then having people read it, and enjoy it. What beats that?

For the first time in a long time, I can say with certainty that 2012 did not suck. Here’s hoping 2013 keeps getting even better!

Happy New Year everyone!