I Just Have to Mention Some Last 2014 Things.

I know, you’ve seen a lot of 2014 recaps…but I promise you, this is the last one you will ever see from me. I realize I have talked about the books I’ve read (if you’ve read my previous blog you would see my Top Ten of 2014) but I haven’t really talked about anything else about 2014. I must say 2014 was a tough year, but there is still some good from it. So here’s some more highlights:

Musically, 2014 was the year for:

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First Aid Kit became a new favorite for me (uhm, have you heard My Silver Lining? It’s such an amazing song). Mighty Oaks won my heart with the song Just One Day. Andrew McMahon…we have such a history and I cannot let go of you yet (check out Cecilia and the Satellite or Canyon Moon). Ben Howard…you just seem to get me. Keep Your Head Up is probably one of my favorites. Only Love is good too.

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Now, I also do love a little bit of rap. This year Doomtree has been pretty big for me (I listen to Bangarang a lot). Childish Gambino…he’s good. I miss him dearly as Troy on Community, but he is talented. I think Shadows is my favorite by him (but warning, it is a bit explicit. I don’t agree with the language, but he has talent). Lecrae. I wish I had listened to Lecrae earlier. He is amazing. I love Nuthin but Say I Won’t is pretty good too. I love that he uses his talent in a positive way. Foxes is not rap. She sings Clarity (you know…Zedd did the mix). I love Let Go For Tonight so much. She is talented and more people should pay attention to her and less to other pop musicians.

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NEEDTOBREATHE has become an all time favorite. Seriously, their songs make me smile, make me sob. They speak to me. This year Brother has been on repeat as well as Feet Don’t Fail Me Now. The Lone Bellow…can’t remember how I found them, but I am so glad I did. You Never Need Nobody and Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold…fantastic songs! Noah Gundersen…his songs give me chills. He did a song for Sons of Anarchy called Day is Gone and it is so good (that show had great music. I’ll catch up on that one day). I also love Poor Man’s Son. And then…Vance Joy. I’ve been a bit obsessed with him. I love Riptide but I also love Emmylou and Mess is Mine. Glad he’s getting some recognition this year.

I am not going to add honorable mentions. I was in a bit of a musical funk minus a lot of these guys. That happens sometimes, and I seemed to fill that funk with really bad pop music. Hence my new love for Ed Sheeran.

Movie-wise, 2014 had some good ones:

Ok, I must say I watch WAY more TV shows than movies these days. I dunno why, but I do. But there are two I watched on Netflix that I loved, a lot. I mean I loved all the other movies I’ve seen this past year. Mockingjay, The Hobbit, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Fault in Our Stars, etc. But I think more people need to watch these movies!

How I Live Now was actually really good. I really like Saoirse Ronan and I thought this movie was interesting. Synopsis: An American girl, sent to the English countryside to stay with relatives, finds love and purpose while fighting for her survival as war envelops the world around her. It’s on Netflix last I checked, and you should watch it now! Here’s the trailer:

Stuck in Love is one I honestly did not think that I would like. But to this day it has stuck with me and I keep thinking about it and how I should watch it again. Synopsis: An acclaimed writer, his ex-wife, and their teenaged children come to terms with the complexities of love in all its forms over the course of one tumultuous year. I just think that this particular movie puts it together in a cool way. It was definitely worth watching. Trailer:

In the department of TV, 2014 involved some binge watching:

The 100 is one of my new shoes for this year. I honestly can’t explain my love for it. It’s a somewhat cheesy CW show that I love so much. Synopsis: Set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship housing humanity’s lone survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth in hopes of possibly re-populating the planet. I think everyone should watch it. It takes a few episodes but then stuff happens. Jake and I have actually yelled at the TV during this one. It’s filled the void that Jericho left in my life last year.

Once Upon a Time is another favorite. You all know my love for fairy tales, and this just puts it all in one place. I love the twists and turns this show takes and how all these fairy tale characters end up being connected to each other and so involved in the lives of each other. It’s all on Netflix (minus the current season) so it’s pretty easy for you to get in on the action.

Now, this is kind of new for me…but Jake and I have been super into New Girl. I watched it before, but watching it with him is so much better. It may be the fact that he and Nick Miller are essentially the same person, or that we can compare other characters in this to people we know in real life but who knows. We love it.

A few others I’ve been super into are Scandal, The Walking Dead, Gotham, Parks and Recreation, and Gilmore Girls (I WILL FOREVER REWATCH!).

Some other highlights from 2014:

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I went to my very first Minnesota Wild game. My friends bought me the tickets for my birthday and I had the best time even if they didn’t win. I do miss my MN teams over here in WI.
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I moved to Wisconsin. To the heart of Packer country, which is rough since I have a strong dislike for the Packers. This is me and my sister recreating family memories when she visited in the spring. When we were kids we drove through on our way to Michigan and my little brother stood in front of the sign and chanted “I HATE THE PACKERS” and we got many dirty looks.
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I went fishing. Was it my favorite thing in the world to do? No. I hate fishing. But I had fun being out on the water and showing my family that I could kick their butt at any fishing contest even if I refused to touch the fish or any of the bait. I was the founder of the feast.
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Went to Lake Michigan for the first time in years! I love the sandy beaches and the water that doesn’t hurt to go in (I’m talking about YOU Lake Superior). Plus, I got to take two of my best friends who had never been over there before. We had such a fun day out there, minus all the bug bits when we attempted to go hiking.
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Reunited with some of my best friends in high school! Gotta love going home for the 4th of July. I miss them dearly!
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More reunions at Mazeppa Daze. These two got me through my senior year of high school and I was so excited to hang out with them.
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MAZEPPA DAZE!
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I ran a 5k, well kinda. I walked a lot of it. But this is the 2nd year that Jake and I have done the Ugly Sweater Run (and Cherise too). Its such a fun way to start off the holiday season. Next year we dress even tackier!
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Last, but not least, there’s this guy. It’s been a tough year but he has been there for me no matter what. I honestly can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate him and all that he has done for me. We’ve stuck together through all the crap of 2014, and I sure hope that 2015 brings us something exciting. Something good that makes us both smile. Can’t wait to experience it all with him.

Well, that about does my 2014 recap. I am looking forward to all that 2015 has to bring. I have my goals, but I know that even if I crash and burn I have some awesome people by my side and a faith to keep me going. Wishing you all the best and I hope your new year has started off right.

Looking Back at 2014

Well, I felt this post was a little necessary. As I look ahead to 2015 (which seems to happen this week!) I kind of started reflecting on the last year. To say 2014 has been rough would be an understatement. It has been filled with ups, but quite a few downs. And I know I’ve spent a lot of time frustrated and in tears, but there are some good things to look back on. And in this post I wanted to look back the good that has come out of this year. I hope that if I can start this next year out positive then maybe other things will look up too. So here are a few things I can look back on over the past year in a positive way.

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I met a giraffe in Wisconsin!

~I took a huge step and moved miles away from my hometown. I actually spent most of the last year living in an entirely different state. Has it been easy? NO! Not in the least. But I think it’s been good for me. I think I’ve learned to not rely on my family for everything. It’s been kind of a sink or swim type of year for me. Finances, jobs, getting used to a new area…it’s been hard. But I think I’ve grown up a lot and have become a little bit more independent. That and I can now become a cheese snob since I am in WI. Bonus, right?

~I think I have become even closer with my best friend. Yes, this point is a little cheesy, but it’s true. I think that I have gotten so much closer to my husband. I guess I didn’t realize that was possible because he and I are pretty close already, but having to go through all we have in the last year and not knowing a single person here has been so good for us. I think we’ve become even more open and honest with each other, and even though I have had such a hard time here I wouldn’t trade it for the world. He’s been so supportive of me and so helpful. Definitely a highlight from this year.

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~I have the greatest family ever. I know…I suck at talking. I suck at calling and emailing and whatnot. I’m the worst. No worries, I know it. And I try to be better, but it’s hard. Sorry. My family has been great. Everyone has been supportive of us as we moved all the way out here. They have been helpful in assisting me find a job (which is still a process) and haven’t been pushing me one way or the other. I love going home and spending time with them. Though, I hate how I can’t fit everything into one visit. It’s killing me that I had to cut some things over Christmas, and I feel so bad. Like I’ve offended someone or something. But even with that I am so blessed to have the family I do.

~I have THE BEST friends. Throughout this entire year they have been texting me and have been so helpful. They have been full of cheesy pep talks (which I love) and have done all that they can to distract me when necessary. They send me links of puppies playing or other ridiculous things that make me smile, and they are always there for me (in our group text message anyway). Words cannot describe how thankful I am for them, and I wish we could actually get together more often, but technology seems to be on our side. You guys are the greatest! (UHM! We have no picture of us three with MARGE! Unacceptable!)

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~ I have a job. Is it the greatest job in the world? No. Retail is not my thing. Not at all. But, it’s better than no job at all (which I have definitely dealt with this year). As far as retail goes, this is a pretty solid retail jobs. Selling shoes isn’t that bad. I have no clothes to fold or dressing rooms to clean, which is great. I’ve really worked on customer service skills and other things that will be helpful for me in the long run. I have a job. That is something to be thankful for, especially in a state that is not the best for jobs.

~My car! Seriously. I was really concerned that I would never be able to get a new car and that getting to work would be hard and trying to find a job would be nearly impossible because I wouldn’t be able to even go to interviews (if I get one). And it’s the newest car I’ve ever had. The nicest car I ever had. I love it.

~ I met my goodreads reading goal this year! Cheesy, I know, but it was an accomplishment. I actually read 10 more than I had anticipated. I kind of like the idea of challenging myself to read a certain number of books in a year because it pushes me to keep reading and keep finding books that hold my interest. I love it. And if I don’t make the goal for that year it doesn’t matter. Life happens and sometimes there’s less time for reading. But I like to challenge myself, and I am so glad I met my goal and then some this year.

2014 has not been easy on me by any means. But I think there are still some highs even with all the lows and if I don’t look at those highs then I’ll never be able to work on making 2015 better. I think that I’ve learned so much from this past year and I hope I can use that to do better. As for 2015, I do have some goals. Read more, find a job, and try to find the positives in all the negatives.

And now, to select what I should read next. I made a library trip today and spent some Christmas money (WHY CAN’T I FIND STATION ELEVEN ANYWHERE!?!? I might just have to get it for my nook).

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is a book I’ve been looking forward to for awhile, and I am so pumped that they still had a copy left and that I could use my Christmas money for this book.

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas is something I NEED in my life. I need more Celaena in my life, and the wait for the next book may kill me. Glad they had this one too.

And then from the library I grabbed Splintered, Pawn, Gates of Thread and Stone, and I’ll Give You the Sun (I have been waiting sooooo long for a new Jandy Nelson book! The Sky is Everywhere was SO good.).

Now to decide what to read next. Any suggestions?

Happy end of 2014 all! Hope you all have a great start to the new year!