Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 Year in Review

Last year I started my end of year round up post noting that I started the post months ago and that I was sick. Seems like nothing changes because I could say the same thing this year as well. Looking back at last year's post and reviewing items for this post seems so far away. Was that really just last year? As far as this year, it's been a good one. Sure there have been some ups and downs, but I have no complaints. The year has reminded me that I am grateful for all that I have in my life. Life is good.


It only seems fitting that I would start 2015 out trying to recover from an illness that lasted forever, to ending it with the stomach flu. Yay me! Luckily, this year wasn't all about being sick, well except for that virus in September with the lingering cough that lasted for a good two plus months afterwards. Meh, I was healthy for three quarters of the year which is about on par for me. Jesse and Riley also had their share of viruses, but over all stayed pretty healthy.

In other health news, I finally got connected to a dry eye specialist this past year. He provided me with a lot of answers, and a little relief. No miracles here, but it's nice to have some new options to try on my eyes. He also had me tested for Sjogrens (again) and turns out I still don't have it so that's good.


We had a few losses this year and I'd like to be able to avoid this category in the future, but since I have a lot of older relatives I'm guessing there's always the chance someone will pass away. My uncle, Barney, actually passed away on Christmas Eve of 2014, but he wasn't buried until March when the weather was better. We had a great celebration of his life with family and friends from MN, WY, and CA.

My neighbor and a long time friend of my dad's passed away. It hit both my dad and I in a scary way since it was so sudden. Denny had his health issues, ones we though might take him, but in the end it was his heart that gave way (after being sent home by the hospital saying he was ok). A reminder that life can change so fast.

And finally, my cat buddy, Diablo, died at the age of 17. I had a feeling this would be the year, but it was still hard to deal with. I can't tell if our other cat, Lucy, is better as a single cat or if she misses the companionship. She still poops all over, but she's taken over my lap for cuddling and will now sleep right next to me - all things that Diablo did and she didn't when he was around. Diablo was just a big presence in our daily lives and it's weird to not hear his motor purr or his little squeaks. That guy is missed big time.


Riley celebrated her 5th birthday with 13 of her school friends. It was fun, but not something I want to do again. I don't mind big gatherings, but would rather not be outnumbered by small, wild children.

Riley also 'graduated' from preschool...

...and started kindergarten. We miss her old school, but she transitioned to kindergarten without any issues. Looking forward to the years to come in 'big kid's' school.

Another big moment this year was when Riley lost her 1st and 2nd tooth.


The usual: Birthdays, Easter, Mother and Father's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas...


Probably my favorite 'big' adventure of the year was going to the Black Hills. Neither Jesse, nor Riley, had ever been so it was exciting to take this iconic trip with them - something I remember fondly from my childhood.

We also went to the North Shore...

... and had a visit from our Luxembourg family.

Smaller adventures included a visit to the Arboretum, the MN Zoo, Paddle boating at Centennial Lakes, and going to the State Fair with my company.

Extra curricular's

Riley started the year in dance, had a recital, and then switched gears to swimming classes. It was a rough start, but after two classes, and a shot of confidence, she loves swim classes and wants to grow up to be a swim teacher.


This was the year I started my project 52 where I took a picture each week - not something that's too hard for me, but it was intended to challenge me and it did. I also went on two photo walks with strangers which was completely out of my comfort zone, but I loved it and can't wait to do it again.


I did some practice photo shoots and also had some people hire me to take their pictures which was great, but confirmed to me that I like to take picture for fun and can't see myself ever going into business doing so (never mind that I still have much to perfect in terms of skill). Over all this has been another year of growth for this hobby of mine.

Other random stuff

I got rid of my smartphone and have absolutely no regrets. I live in the glory that my current phone can stay charged for 12 whole days instead of 12 hours. We had a leak fixed in our roof/deck door which led to redoing the deck altogether. We signed up for our first CSA which introduced us to some items we might not normally purchase. However, there were a number of items that we just never got to so it felt like we were wasting some food. Jury is out if we will do it again next year. I saw my friend, Ryann, after not seeing her for 9 years and it was like no time had gone by at all. Our sewer backed up three times and in the end, we were able to fix it after having a company come out twice and not resolve the issue. Oh, and we went to Disney on ice.

It was a good year, indeed. Looking forward to what 2016 has to bring.

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