A year in photos

2012 was one of my busiest and best years yet. It was also my most photo-filled, so what better way to sum up the year than with a few of my favorite shots? Some 2012 highlights: John and I took an epic trip to southern California that even a phlegmy, hacking cough couldn’t ruin. I got bangs and then spent the rest of the year growing them out. I took on an internship (which led to a part-time gig) at Urbanite magazine on top of my other job until the magazine folded. One of my bestest friends got married, and although I couldn’t convince her to let Bill Murray (their sheep) be the ring bearer, I did get to be a bridesmaid. I attended a number of musical events—the most memorable (and painful) being Firefly Music Festival. And most importantly, I amped up this here blog by putting in more writing time, launching an interview series, and getting to know you guys better. When my hard work was recognized by the Baltimore Sun thanks to your votes, that felt pretty darn special. Thank you for that.

So while 2012 was arguably one of my best years yet, I’m prepared to say the same about 2013 a year from now. There’s a lot I have planned that I can’t wait to share with you guys, and I’m lucky to have people who care to read about my adventures. I hope your own plans and adventures are equally as thrilling—and if not, why aren’t they? There’s no better time to come up with some dreams than right now.

Oh, and psst…

Nikon D3200

I got a fancy new camera. Don’t worry, I’m not done with film photography. But I WILL be taking a lot more pictures. See you in 2013!

California coast

Highway 1 Hollywood sign Baltimore architecture Baltimore drinkery

Clipper Mill

self portrait girlies the mutts the mutts the sisters the sisters Ocean City desk girlfriends

alpaca

kitteh party time believe New York City autumn light family in Tennessee Patterson theatre Baltimore

Mobbies at Creative Alliance

Mobbies at Creative Alliance name in the sand

Last goals of 2012

peace

December is naturally a time to reflect on the past year and eagerly look ahead to the next. But in the midst of the holiday craze (not to mention the end of the world!), it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves, be present, and not rush the last few days of the year. I confess—over the past couple of weeks, I’ve done a disservice to my mind and body by staying up way too late every night, because it seems like there’s just too much to do. More often than not, though, I’m up late because I can’t pry myself away from the computer. This blog here has seen some substantial growth over the past several months, and I am admittedly obsessed with watching that pan out. (You can only refresh your stats so many times in one hour, but apparently I’m out to challenge that notion.) On top of that, my dedication to exercise is waning lately, and I find myself running only two miles instead of three, or skipping the gym altogether. No bueno.

Despite all this, I started December on an upbeat note because there’s a lot to celebrate and much more to accomplish yet. I came up with a few healthy goals for the last days of 2012, and I’ve already checked some of them off my list. Others are a work in progress and will overlap into the new year. Here’s what I want to do before we ring in 2013, granted the world makes it past the 21st:

Renew my enthusiasm for fitness. Maybe my half-hearted exercise routine has become exactly that—routine. Too routine. It’s only a matter of time before the treadmill makes you feel like a hamster on a wheel. To shake that feeling, I finally took advantage of the beginners’ yoga gift card (and yoga mat) John gave me for my birthday, and I’m learning something new while gently challenging my body. It’s also the perfect destressor for the busiest time of year.

Pitch a story/blog post. I’ve been so focused on my blog lately that I’m slacking when it comes to publishing elsewhere. Writing for other sites will not only help keep my portfolio fresh, but it’ll also introduce new people to my own blog. Query sent and approved, draft in the works. Back in the game!

Expand my vocabulary. Words like “awesome” and “definitely” are definitely awesome, but those words have synonyms. And those synonyms have synonyms. Over the past few months, I’ve made a regular habit of learning new words (or relearning words I thought I knew the meaning of… whoops), and it’s something I plan on keeping up. I promise not to get all vainglorious on you.

Plan in advance. I’m pretty sure I enhanced my grown-up status when I created a Google calendar… for my personal life. I’m also starting to use it as an editorial calendar for WTH. This will hopefully prevent me from freaking out over what I’m going to write in January when I go full-time and keep track of all my upcoming guest writers. (You guys are in for a treat!)

Unplug. For three full days starting Christmas Eve, I will not have an online presence. No blogging, no stat checking, no tweeting, no Facebooking. Truth is, I need a break from the web in a bad way, and I should be spending that time with my family anyway. When I’m not eating mashed potatoes or hogging my sisters’ remote-controlled helicopter, I’d like to focus a little bit more on myself. Hear my thoughts more clearly. Get creative in other ways so I have something worth writing about here. Since I don’t have a smart phone, it’ll be a little easier to not get distracted from this most important goal.

To me, this list serves as a great reminder that 2012 isn’t over yet, and there are still a few things I can do before I make those midnight-on-New-Year pancakes. (This will be the third year running of said pancakes, and it’s pretty much the best and only tradition I’ve ever established. You’re welcome to borrow it.) Why wait until 2013 to make a resolution you might not keep? Why not make a few smaller, more immediate goals instead? It’s still 2012. What will you accomplish in 2012?