Saturday, December 10, 2016

2016 in Review

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Yes, it really is me. After months of silence, I'm finally blogging again.

I feel like I introduce each blog post this way. Oops.

This review is mostly for me. I've tried to be more intentional about documenting the things I've done each year, because I'm a very forgetful person, and I want to remember each year in detail--the good, the bad, the sometimes ugly. I realized I had a real problem with forgetfulness last year when I couldn't even remember what concerts I'd been to or what books I'd read. So this year, I made a real point to document and remember those things. So here are a few highlights of my year!

Concerts of 2016

  • Haas Kowert Tice
  • Blake Mills + Mumford and Sons
  • Gabriel Kahane + Punch Brothers
  • Andrew McMahon + Panic! At the Disco + Weezer
  • Foxes + Alissia Cara + Coldplay
  • Sara Watkins
  • Relient K + Switchfoot

I didn't go to as many concerts this year as I have in years past. There were several more that I would have loved to have gone to, but either didn't have the funds or the time. That's the sad thing about living in Nashville--I can't go to all the concerts I want to! But I'm not complaining by any means. I remember the days of having to drive three hours to Saint Louis to see anyone perform. It's nice to have venues like The Ryman just a short twenty minute drive away (although traffic is so bad these days it's more like thirty.) 

Notable memories from the above shows: 
  • There were thirty people at the Haas Kowert Tice show and I chickened out of talking to the bass player, who is my favorite. I did, however, get to talk to the fiddle player and she told me she liked my glasses. :) I'm probably going to see these guys again next week! They're doing a residency at the Station Inn!
  • I came down with the stomach flu the day of the Gabriel Kahane and Punch Brothers show, but I went anyway. I got to talk to Gabriel Kahane, almost passed out walking back to my seat, and left after six songs of the Punch Brothers' set because I felt so awful.
  • I also got sick at the Andrew McMahon, Panic, and Weezer show because I'd had nothing to eat except Chik-fil-A fries and a frosted coffee. It was so humid out and I felt like I was going to die. We left a few songs into the Weezer set because my friend and I were just kind of over it all. I'm getting to old for this. Ha!

Books of 2016

  • Little Town on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Shadow Puppets - Orson Scott Card
  • Shadow of the Giant - Orson Scott Card
  • The Long Winter - Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • These Happy Golden Years - Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The First Four Years - Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake - Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Broken Harbour - Tana French
  • The Secret Place - Tana French
  • A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab
  • Stars Above - Marissa Meyer
  • A Gathering of Shadows - V.E. Schwab
  • The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater 
  • Dumplin' - Anna Murphy
  • The Raven King - Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
  • The Wrath and the Dawn - Renee Ahdieh
  • Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
  • The Light Between Oceans - M.L. Steadman
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - John Tiffany (+ J.K, obviously)
  • Faking Normal - Courtney C. Stevens
  • The Blue-Haired Boy - Courtney C. Stevens
  • Outlander - Diana Gabladon
  • All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
  • Crooked Kingdom - Leigh Bardugo
  • The Trespasser - Tana French
  • Landline - Rainbow Rowell
  • Out of the Silent Planet - C.S. Lewis
  • North of the Sun: A Memoir of the Alaskan Wilderness - Fred Hatfield 
  • Heartless - Marissa Meyer
  • My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories - Ed. by Stephanie Perkins
My goal this year was to read 40 books! I'm currently eight behind schedule. Which seems daunting, considering there are only 20 days left in the year, but I think I can do it. I may try to read some shorter works to make my life a little easier. (Cheating? Maybe. But it's my goal so I can set the parameters.) I think my favorite books were the three by Tana French (she's AMAZING. I cannot recommend her enough), The Scorpio Races, All the Light We Cannot See, Crooked Kingdom, and the two books by V.E. Schwab. 

I also got to meet several of these authors this year: Maggie Stiefvater, Courtney Stevens, V.E. Schwab, Leigh Bardugo, and Marissa Meyer. 

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Several of the above were rereads (The Little House books, Out of the Silent Planet, and North of the Sun). Sometimes you just need something comforting and familiar.

Albums of 2016

2016 was a bit of a down year as far as new music goes for me. Many of my favorite artists released new material in 2015, so this didn't come as a surprise to me. There were a few I loved, however! Here are my favorites:

  • Are You Serious - Andrew Bird (released 2016)
  • True Sadness - The Avett Brothers (released 2016)
  • Cleopatra - The Lumineers (Released 2016)
  • Signs of Light - The Head and the Heart
  • Where the Light Shines Through - Switchfoot
  • Air for Free - Relient K

Songs of 2016

These are the songs I listened to on repeat:

  • Left Handed Kisses - Andrew Bird, ft. Fiona Apple
  • This Is the Last Time - The National
  • Plugged In  - repeat repeat
  • The Mistress Witch from McClure - Sufjan Stevens
  • The Parting Glass - The Wailin' Jennys
  • Come and Find Me - Josh Ritter
  • The Idea of Growing Old - The Features
  • Bang Bang - Green Day
  • The Wrote and the Writ - Johnny Flynn
  • Skeleton Dance - Teleman
  • Also, literally Beirut's entire discography.

Trips of 2016

  • Chattanooga, TN
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  • Charleston, SC
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  • Apalachicola, FL
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  • Pigeon Forge, TN
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  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum, Mansfield, MO
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Favorite Pictures of 2016

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Other Notable Events

  • I had a picture published in the Nashville Scene.
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  • After swearing I'd never be a real wedding photographer, I shot a wedding for a friend up in Illinois and loved it. I now have four weddings on the book for next year!
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  • I wrote 10,000 words for my first novel. I tried to do NaNoWriMo but gave up halfway through because I got the stomach flu (yes, AGAIN) and then didn't feel like doing it anymore. BUT I still wrote 10,000 words, and it's a start! I hope to finish this novel next year!
  • I gave up sugar for two weeks. I felt great. But then I remembered how much I love cookies.
  • I finally got treatment for my chronic anemia! I started with a new doctor, and she recognized what was wrong immediately. I had to have two iron transfusions, which were not fun, but they definitely helped me take a step toward being well again!
  • I started working with the college students at my church, and I love it!
  • I finally recognized that I do, in fact, have social anxiety, and started taking small steps in overcoming it. It's still a daily struggle, but I'm proud of how I did things out of my comfort zone this year.
  • I got way too into politics (#standwithRand), and voted in my second presidential election.
  • We got seven inches of snow in Nashville and it was glorious. 
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I wish I could capture more of this year--explain the triumphs, the failures, the fun, and the bad--but this is truly all I can remember. What a weird year you were, 2016. Never change.

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