Looking back the year went by so quickly but it was packed with travel, fun with friends and family, full of memories including some big moments and professional growth. As New Year's Eve edged closer I was a bit melancholy wishing things would slow down so that I could take in just a few more moments of a great year but at the same time I was feeling so grateful for every opportunity in 2015.
Blogging - As I sat down to write this post I also realized how long it has been since I added anything to my blog. 2015 was crazy busy so posting fell by the wayside but I'm very proud to say that most mornings I'm up at 5:00am so that I can read posts from some of my favorite bloggers like Rhoda, Susan, Lorrie, Sue, Penny, Pat, Sarah, Bethany, Shannon, Lynne, Jilly, Robin, Joanne, Linda, Jennifer, Lynne, Carolyn and so many more. I might not leave you a comment but believe me I keep up with you. Susan I loved your Africa photos, Pat, I hope you are feeling better soon. Jilly, I swear that I will meet you in person one of these days. Sarah, I love all of the beauty you add to every day living. Lorrie, you amaze me with all that you find time for in a day.
I started blogging in 2007 for fun and to connect with others. Many of the bloggers I read and follow have gone on to be full-time influencers and it has been exciting and amazing to witness. This year I became very close friends with one blogger whom I met online in 2008. She isn't able to blog at the moment but I'm hoping one day she can. She has an amazing gift with food that needs to be shared. One of my best blog discoveries this year is Beth's blog at Style at a Certain Age. I LOVE HER BLOG and it has been so exciting to be able to enjoy a blog that is age appropriate with a wardrobe that takes you from Target to Talbot's.
Travel - 2015 helped me mark a few more destinations off my bucket list. This year's travels took me to: Portland, Hollywood, Detroit, Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg, Russia, Ireland, Montreal and Morocco. These last four destinations had been on my list for years so it was great to be able to finally see and experience these places in person. In 2015 it was exciting to take my first solo trip. I travel solo for work so I'm accustomed to making business trips alone but until September 2015 I'd never taken a pleasure trip alone but I loved it!
- Spent a day with the crew of Turner Classic Movies
- Went up to the top of Mt. Hood
- Walked along the Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Saw Diego Rivera's mural in Detroit - a must-see
- Honored to escort my daughter-in-law for her Master Sgt. stripe
- Attended the most beautiful Indian wedding and wore a saree - loved it!!!
- Graduated from the FBI Citizen's Academy
- Visited gorgeous St. Petersburg; the people are charming and the food is great
- Saw a Russian Ballet at the Marinsky
- Bought an amber bracelet from a shop located near the Baltic Sea
- Proud to have survived the boat ride to the Aran Islands (and I didn't throw up either)
- Loved everything about Ireland but especially the people and the music
- Enjoyed authentic Poutin (and it was delicious)
- Traveled alone; spent a weekend in Montreal by myself
- Walked 22,000 steps in a day in Montreal
- Camped in the Sahara desert - an unforgettable life moment
- Finally visited Morocco, toured the Draa Valley and visited an oasis
- Gained an adopted son, Bachir and a daughter, Jihan in Morocco
Family - Big things happened this year. My oldest son deployed and was gone for almost 8 months. When family members deploy, military families help each other. His absence was sad, and hard at times, but it also gave us as a family the opportunity to do things like take my granddaughter to summer camp and take my oldest granddaughter to NY to celebrate her 13th birthday. My youngest son got married so we gained a daughter and celebrated a bilingual wedding. It was beautiful and exciting to continue to grow as a family. My daughter's band made some big stops on tours this year including Red Rocks and Bonnaroo but I was most excited that their travels also brought them to Atlanta twice. The older my children get the harder it becomes to get us all in the same place at the same time. It happened twice this year and I've got a couple of photos to prove it! I also got to see my Goddaughter who lives in Seattle. They came to visit this summer so we had time together. A very special moment indeed.
Work - Yes it seems to get harder and some days it seems I just can't keep up with all that must be done or that I hope to get done. We all continue to do more with less and some days it gets stressful but I love my work. I love what I do, the people I work with and I especially love the outcomes. Over the holidays one of the clients I've worked with and become very personally involved with sent me an incredible gift. When I called to thank her and to sincerely say that she needn't buy me anything she reminded me that she send me a gift because she was grateful. I cried.
Friends - It seems there is never enough time for gathering with friends but this year I was able to connect with few friends that grew up with but hadn't seen since the 70's. That is no typo - yes, the 70's. It was great and while one of the friend visits was because of a loss, it was still wonderful to be able to spend time together. Our hometown has always had a lot of talent and beauty. In fact the current Miss America is from my hometown. This summer a group of talented alums from one of the high schools put together an amazing show. I had a blast seeing so many friends from the past and the show was fabulous. Now we are all waiting for the next big performance. Dub?
Hobbies and Book Clubs - There just aren't enough hours in the day but somehow I manage to find time for the movies, all things French and my book club. I've been in two book clubs but one book club seems to be fading away while the other continues to inspire me.
Favorite book of 2015 - All the Light We Cannot See
Favorite movie of 2015 - Trumbo
Memorable moment - Walking in silence with the French community following the Charlie Hebdo attack. I love being a part of the Alliance Francaise d'Atlanta
Special highlight - Being a VIP attendee at the Atlanta Downton Abbey Premiere Party
As the year ends and as the new year begins I can't help but be overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. Today I hope to find the time to revise my travel bucket list, update my reading list, watch a little tv and set a few goals. I'm also taking time to be still and get centered. I'm looking forward to writing some new and exciting chapters in my life's book in the coming year and I sincerely hope to do more blogging. Happy New Year.