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2014 – Year in Review

Well, 2014. You have come and gone and now comes that time to reminisce and squirm at all of the experiences I’ve been through this past year. I’ve never experienced the highest of highs, but the lowest of lows.

We started the year with the awful news about a friend. A death will never get easy, never be fully understood and never see closure. I was gutted and felt depleted, but in such an unfortunate circumstance I was able to lean on family and friends like I’ve never done before. I’ve become closer to friends I re-connected with that I know will be friends forever. I can never wish something like this on anyone, but I know that I would have never met such amazing people as I have in my life if it hadn’t be for experiencing something so tragic.

I’ve also learned that health is the most important thing we have in our lives. How quickly that can be taken away or the course of our lives changed because of it. I’ve seen some face their health head on this year, undeniably questioning why they are faced with such difficulties. The strength one gets when overcoming such difficulties no doubt requires super hero powers but I trust that we are all faced with situations that god knows we can handle.

I’ve also know that laughter and a good conversation is the cure all. I have a husband that without a doubt keeps me on my toes, livening up any conversation but is also there to listen when I just need to vent. I have friends who call and immediately brighten my day and I have family that I can count on for sound advice or a good laugh. There is nothing that can compare to that.

2014 was a building year, it certainly was a year I learned a lot about myself. I’ve gained more confidence, patience and compassion. Here’s to 2015 and seeing what’s in store.

January

Most of the month was spent enjoying downtown Denver – living in our downtown apartment and walking to so many great restaurants and bars. It was also the month that we learned of our dear friend who went missing. We connected with her amazing friends and threw a benefit.

Best of January:

February

Scotty and I began our quest to search for our forever home. Renting downtown had started waring thin when my car was broken into (amazingly nothing was stolen, just damaged), sporadic late night fire alarms and the constant need for space (storing Christmas decorations under our bed reminded me so much of college and I was ready to move on). We searched so many neighborhoods and found quite a few lemons but we instantly fell in love with York Street. We put an offer and it was ours! I’ll spare the boring details but it took us several months before it was actually in our possession…that taught me a thing or two about patience that’s for sure.

The broncos made it to the Super Bowl! Let’s not talk about the outcome, but we sure enjoyed watching them win all season and I got to wear my awesome broncos socks to celebrate.

We also found closure in learning of the death of our friend who had been missing. Her laughter and memories will never be forgotten.

Best of February:

March

Life certainly felt like it had been flipped upside down in February and March. Between the constant house hunt, stress of my job and emotional state – I can now admit that I was in a cloud, a daze really. Too many experiences had been put in front of me and I couldn’t cope.  I didn’t have the tools to. I took this month to rebuild. Focusing on my relationships and work. I was fortunate to be nominated into a Leadership Program with the Downtown Denver Partnership and started that. I committed a lot to my work, being promoted to Manager and began the process of hiring help.IMG_2767

Scotty and I road tripped to Texas for the funeral and we were very fortunate to spend a considerable amount of dashboard time talking about our goals, dreams and aspirations. We were also able to rely on his family for positive support and love. I will never forget the week that we were there, our nephew Ryan just could not, and would not stop giving me so much love. Lots of hugs and always wanting to sit on my lap. I really think he sensed my need for love – it was a very profound experience.

Best of March:

April

This was our month of homeownership. We bought our dream house but it was no where in the condition we wanted it to be when we moved in. Scotty and I spent countless hours and heated conversations (nothing tests your relationship like a remodel) figuring out the budget, the colors, the appliances, etc. Looking back, I’m glad we did it that way, but spending a month doing it all was uber stressful. We would come home from work and immediately go to the house, we would spend our weekends at Home Depot and mornings painting. It was tough, really tough.

Through difficult times come incredible memories. My bestie went through an awful relationship and I was the fortunate recipient of an extra ticket she had for Coachella. I could never turn down such an incredible experience like that and a chance to see her, hug her, and laugh with her again. We both needed this weekend away, a time to just forget reality even exists. We would spend the days lounging at the pool and nights dancing our faces off to Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding and dozens of other incredible performers. It’s the Woodstock of our generation AND I GOT TO GO!! Damn sure glad she dumped that guy for so many reasons. One more selfish than the others;)

Best of April:

May

Our official move in! We packed up our boxes quickly and in one day had all of our stuff in the new house. There is nothing more satisfying then seeing all of our hard work pay off and to live in a place that just speaks who Scotty and I are. Oh, and to have SPACE! I have a place to put everything, it’s so satisfying not to have to search for clothes in another room or find my pots in the linen closet.

Scotty and I and a few friends also spent his birthday weekend down in NOLA. It was my first trip and what a town. We went there for Jazz fest. The weather was perfect (sometimes a bit hot for me, but everyone else liked it). I got to try all of the local favorites and even bought a vintage cajun cookbook that I’m hoping to use soon. There is definitely the rawness of New Orleans that we saw, but the town has a very majestic feel to it. The old buildings, jazz performers on the streets and incredible food. The southern charm sucked me in.IMG_2323

I also started to train for a race we were doing with a group of friends in July. I’ll never forget the dreadful first run with Scotty. He was practically dragging me the entire two miles. Little did I know that the itch would start and it would evolve into something bigger.

This is also the month where I dropped of the radar on writing blog posts. Sorry to everyone, but there was a gap in time that I just didn’t have the time to update. My resolution this year is to write more though. We’ll see how that goes considering that was also my resolution last year:)

June

Sadly we got the news that Scotty’s granny passed. She was loved by all and left a big hole in the Symm family. She was a feisty 98 years old when she passed. Scotty and I travelled to Texas for her funeral. It was incredible to learn more about her life. The church that held her funeral was also the church that she was baptized in and married. What an incredible story to know how much that church really meant to her. It was hard to watch Scotty’s mom and what she was going through. She’s such a strong gal, but it was hard to let go. We fit in a lot the weekend we were there. Granny’s funeral was Friday, Saturday was the 50th wedding anniversary for Scotty’s uncle and then Sunday was the Symm family reunion. We fit lots of family time in there that weekend. I couldn’t begin to tell you the names of all of the family I met. Let’s just say that Scotty has a LARGE family tree.

We also welcomed Scotty and my family to our house. It was our first overnight stay for a large group of people and our house didn’t collapse or run out of hot water! Scotty’s parents travelled by train from Texas and stayed for the week. We were tourists – doing brewery tours in Fort Collins, visiting the Denver mint, wine tasting and jazz in the park. We also hosted a BBQ at our hose where my mom, Coop, dad, Lori, Tate and Lyndsey all came over for dinner. While the stress of hosting a dinner where food needs to all be done at the same time is somewhat similar to an anxiety attack, I really did enjoy it. We laughed a lot, caught up on everyones business and just relaxed. It was nice to see the tables turn and now I’m hosting for my family while they enjoy the time not cooking or cleaning.

July

We hosted our friends for Fourth of July. I think it’s safe to say that this year’s theme was ‘dinner parties’. We had such a blast! The highlight for Scotty would be the boys racing against cars while on foot on York street while Scotty was waving the American flag like it’s a race flag. My highlight would be to just have all of our friends both Scotty’s and mine under one roof. We stayed up way to late and felt headaches like none other, but it was all worth it.IMG_3820

Our anniversary was coming up, but I had a previous date set to help my mom do something the weekend of our anniversary. So instead, we bundled up a trip that Scotty had to make for work to Crested Butte and made it our anniversary weekend celebration. We went out to some great restaurants, hiked, laid by the pool and hit up the farmers market. It was the perfect get away. We also ran into the nicest people. Every where we went someone would strike up a conversation and we would talk football, or colorado or something else. It was nice to be in a small town again and feel that closeness.

Amber and her boy came out to visit for a weekend as well. Nothing makes me feel more old than all of us college girls getting together and thinking we can party like we could in college. We had a blast doing a 80’s pub crawl, but I had a hangover headache for a week after that. Ohhhh we are certainly getting older, that’s for sure:(

August

12 of us flew up to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to run my 2nd relay race (most of the others it’s their 3rd or 4th). This race was different than last year. Last year I had shorter legs and somewhat easier ones. This years consisted of a 6.5 miler, 4 and 4 running through the Grand Tetons and I was the last leg to boot. What a trip it was. It tested almost all of my emotions. Running the 6 miler with a hill that jump 500 feet in elevation tested me, running at 4 am for 4 miles cleansed me and the final 4 where everyone was partying at the end and I was running during the heat of the day tested me. I cried a few times during my run before the emotions left me breathless. I spoke to Leanne and I vented about things. I recapped the year and my life with Scotty. He’s a huge reason why I did this. He pushed me the entire time. What a truly amazing trip it was. We spent the days in the car in between legs and would keep everyone motivated for their legs and well hydrated and fed. There is nothing better and more accomplishing than something like this and doing it with such a great group of friends made it even better.IMG_3529

Our anniversary was also another great highlight. Scotty and I treated ourselves to an amazing dinner. We dressed up and did the whole shebang. It was great and so thankful to celebrate a great year with my handsome husband. Some warned us to say that the first year was tough and it was. We had a lot of things put in place that tested our relationship. But we grew stronger for it and it was worth it. I love that man more and more every day.

Best of August:

September

September was a whirlwind. We spent a lot of time out of town with family and went on a trip with friends to Charleston to see A&M play. It was the perfect beach vacation spent with amazing company. My girlfriend Stacy and her husband came along with some of Scotty’s friends and it was the perfect blend. We stayed in a little sleeper town where we could walk from our HUGE beach house into the town for dinner and going out. We had amazing southern food and lots of hurricanes.. oy vey!IMG_3701

I also had the chance to see my first every professional golf tournament. Stacy, Sean, Scotty and I spent a Saturday at the BMW Classic. I can’t quite describe the experience. Golfers were very serious and it’s an extremely quiet game. Nonetheless, we had our own fairshare of fun. There is a bar close to almost every hole. We would grab a drink walking to the next hole and watch all the top players tee off. Stacy and I think we kind of ruined Rory’s game after we waived at him and he biffed the next ball. :) At least, that’s what we like to tell ourselves. The sun was beautiful and we had a blast.IMG_3753

I mainly spent the month of September training during the weekend for my half-marathon and Scotty would spend his weekends watching football – win-win!

Best of August:

October

Oh October…. what a month. Lots of fun was had in October. Tate, mom and I had the chance to go to Iceland for reconiscense work for mom and her new hot springs and made a fun family trip around it.  I also ran my first half-marathon! What an incredible experience. I was living a high the entire time during my run, literally gleaming! I have never pushed myself so hard and it was incredibly rewarding. I would like to say that I’ve kept the running up since then, but let’s be honest. The holidays got in the way and now I’m hating having to run inside on a treadmill now that it’s dark and dreary outside.Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.09.48 AM

Best of October:

November

Scotty and I celebrated my birthday with incredible friends. I’m so fortunate to have amazing people who came over for game night at our house. I love love love having people over to our house. I wish I would have latched on to this a lot earlier in life:)

We also spent Thanksgiving with Scotty’s family in Texas and ‘managed’ to fit in an A&M game versus Alabama. Don’t ask Scotty how it ended. We ended up our trip in Texas visiting Scotty’s dad’s side for his cousins wedding. Who knew Texas could be so cold in the Winter? But it was a good time.

December

So, I pretty much fell off the radar at the end of the year. Scotty and I were just passing off our sickness back and forth and it felt like ages before I started to feel better. We both got the flu and bronchitis at some point. How hot are inhalers?! None the less, we closed out 2014 very low key. We spent the holidays with my parents in Glenwood and enjoyed just relaxing.

Here’s to 2014 and an even better 2015!

 

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Ice Ice-land Baby

My mom mentioned that she was traveling to Europe and back via Reykjavik, it immediately perked me up. I’d always heard about Iceland and it’s majestic gnome land. Since Denver became a hub for Iceland Air recently and flights were 6 hours to Reykjavik, I jumped on it. What better way to have girls trip than a place that neither of us had been too. Both my mom and I had been pressuring my brother really hard to come since we hadn’t done a family trip since our road trip back east. Heck, who knows with all of our schedules if it would be ever possible again? Then Tate bought a house and the peer pressure was off. My mom didn’t want to guilt him, but secretly Tate had already bought a ticket.

So, Tate and I took off a Tuesday afternoon. Mom had no idea that he was on the flight since I was meeting her there from her trip back from Luzern. I tried to keep my mom from booking as many excursions and hotels as possible because I know adding a 3rd at a later time would be a bit more of an issue.

Iceland Air was a breeze. The food was expensive, a precursor to what we knew we would be experiencing when we get there, but it was quick and painless. The flight left at 5pm in Denver and would land in Reykjavik at 6am. It was so nice to not spend the money on another hotel but I knew I was going to drag a bit the first day. Iceland, known for it’s northern lights, even had them on the ceiling of plane in flight. Ahhh the details.

We land in Reykjavik and Tate and I immediately separate. He puts on his hoodie, and I head out into customs. I grab my bag and head to passenger pickup where my mom was eagerly awaiting. I, quite nervous flubbed my words to not giveaway the surprise but my mom likely thought it was just jetlag. So, we headed to an ATM so I could get some Krona when the surprise began to unravel. A gentleman who spoke mainly Icelandic came up to my mom and asked if she could take a photo of him and his ‘friend’. Odd as it sounds to ask a stranger to take a photo at the ATM in an airport, my mom agreed and began taking a photo of this stranger and his ‘friend’…zooming in and out, trying to get the perfect angle and STILL not knowing that this ‘friend’ was my brother. Finally, as awkward as the Icelander must have felt, we were beginning to think my mom was never going to guess it was Tate. So Tate started laughing, as was I and took off his hood. My mom was in SHOCK! Total shock. So much so, that she was speechless. Takes a lot for that to happen. Tate and I were imagining the scene and both of us thought she would shriek say something like ‘TATTEEEEEEEEEEE, how could you?’ But we’ll take her being speechless, that doesn’t happen…ever.

IMG_0014 After the shock wore off, we quickly went to our rented car- mind you the one that was rented for two. We crammed our bags (well moms several bags from her month long trip back in Switzerland, my suitcase and Tate’s tiny backpack and headed on the road. What I love about our travels, as a trio is that we don’t have plans when we get started. We figure it out as we go. We knew how close the Blue Lagoon was to the airport so that was the only trip that I booked in advance and had three tickets. With mom and her new hot springs, I knew that we wanted allow a day for that, so I’m glad we did. We got there first thing, changed into our robes and dipped into the 104-degree temperature thermal springs. The water, a milky blue smelled of sulfur but it kind of reminded me of home. The cold stone and FREEZING temperatures were just like the days when we would get off the ski hill and go straight to the hot springs. It was the perfect balance to our day. Tate and I were both very jet lagged and mom was in heaven, doing reconisenze every corner of that place. She took photos of the towels, changing room, everything. And every step she took in that place she became more and more inspired. It was really cool to watch.

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Our grocery-getter

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We went to Iceland during their shoulder season. The daylight was very similar to Colorado but it was around 32 degrees day and night the entire time we were there. The reason it’s the shoulder season is because the Northern Lights normally don’t start until October when it gets dark much earlier. The summer also brings a lot warmer temperatures but longer days. I’m really glad we went when we did because we had a good balance…except for the Northern Lights.

We left the blue lagoon and started our road trip. We knew that we wanted to head up the southern coast so my mom made a reservation at a hotel that was on trip advisor. The Hotel Ranga sat along the lush green coast and was notorious for viewing Northern Lights. They had wood loungers specifically viewing and they had a call service that would call us in the middle of the night if they had any indication of the arrival of the lights. As we drove along the coast, we would stop at all of the landmark places and take photos. Everything was so lush and green. The island had an interesting contrast of inhabitable places and very lush green spaces. It was like being on Mars. Because of the constant wind, trees wouldn’t grow very high. The only vegetation seemed like it was due to human interaction. Trees were planted in rows and rows and seemed very manufactured but beautiful at the same time. We would drive past these towns that seemed like absolute ghost towns. Not a person in sight, no vegetation and no decoration on the exterior of the house. Nothing could withstand the wind. It was really eerie at first. It seemed like a scene out of an apocalypse movie. I had seen the Secret Life of Walter Mitty where he goes to Iceland and there is no one in sight. He later learns that there was a Volcano eruption and everyone had evacuated. That’s exactly how Southern Iceland fealt to us. While beautiful, it was desolate. Green for miles and miles. Rolling hills and jagged mountains that were black, very black. Volcanic erruptions overtime had caused everything to turn black. It wasn’t a porous rock like what I had seen in Hawaii, it was more sandy then anything.

Wee bit windy on our drive
Wee bit windy during a stop along the coast

Our first night we stopped a little bit earlier since we were all tired. The howling wind and our relaxation at the Blue Lagoon made for sleepy travelers. We got to our room, changed and grabbed a drink. That’s when I realized just how expensive this place was. As an island, I can imagine that most things are imported. They do try to grow as much as they can with greenhouses warmed and watered by the natural hot water. But most of the brand name things had to be imported. Also, all of the hot water on the island is from the ground hot springs. There aren’t hot water coolers, just straight from the hot springs. It’s very efficient and free for Islanders, but holy cow it smells. I never felt like I was clean the entire time. I smelled like rotten eggs when I got out of the shower. Forget about drinking it and brushing my teeth. It definitely is an acquired taste and takes time to get comfortable with that.

Loungers for the northern lights at the hotel
Loungers for the northern lights at the hotel

So, I ordered 3 Bailey’s and coffee for $65. I bout spit out my coffee, but then would have lost about $4 worth of goods. We drank, chatted and then head to dinner at our hotel. The restaurant had a quaint crowd. Only the people staying there really ate there and it was all authentic Icelandic food; reindeer, salmon and puffin….PUFFIN? And to top it off, they translated the names of everything with photos on the menu. Let’s just say the puffin was tasty, but could have done without the visual.

A reminder of what we were eating was printed on our menu. How nice of them.
A reminder of what we were eating was printed on our menu. How nice of them.

The next day we got up got the hotel breakfast of bread, lunchmeats and cheeses all with a side of cod liver oil. Tate took the bullet on that one. I could tell by the look on his face – that wasn’t a gamble I was willing to take.

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Then we were off on the road. We had heard from several people to hit up the Golden Circle, which I researched and mapped out on the way. We found a local map, so mom would navigate, Tate would drive, and I would….sleep. I think the combination of the colder weather; overcast and howling wind it kept me sedated the entire trip. I would get in the car and the first 5 minutes, I would be asleep for a catnap. Thankfully I didn’t miss much scenery, but I could stay awake! That day, we drove further up north on the southern coast to see a wool factory, take a walk on the beach of Vik and see most of the golden circle: the waterfall Gullfoss (meaning “golden falls”), and the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur, which contains the geysers Geysir and Strokkur. When I first started researching the trip, a few people had advised to stay in Reykjavik and take the bus tours of all the places we wanted to visit. That we would get the history and no hassle of driving, but I’m glad we choose the inverse. For one, we got some time as a family and we were agile. We could run in and out of specific places and not wait for all 50 people to pass the gift shop.

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Gullfoss Waterfalls, so beautiful!
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The beautiful beaches of Vik

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Strokkur geyser
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Saw this from afar during our drive and had to stop. I swear gnomes live here

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We stayed the night in the Geyser town in a cabin of a quaint hotel. Just like the night before, the hotel had the only food source in the town. Icelanders must not go out to dinner much. This time I opted for fish and definitely wasn’t disappointed. Nightlife isn’t much in these remote towns, so we grabbed the bottle of wine that we bought at the store the day before and just chatted in our cabin while watching the BBC.

The next day we woke up and finished out the rest of the Golden Circle, visiting the beautiful national park Þingvellir, and headed back to Iceland. We tried to take a detour, which was a decision we’ll always remember. This road went right over a glacier and was snow packed the entire way with not a single sight of another driver the entire way. Our little KIA was pushed to the limit. But we made it back to our final town of the trip Reykjavik for the evening.

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Lots of gates with no fences, not sure the reasoning but I’m sure there is a nice fable about it

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We were still on the quest to see the northern lights that day so once we checked into our hotel, we all bundled up and headed out for dinner and drinks looking outside constantly to see a glimpse of the greens and purples of the lights. Unfortunately, the night passed away and no sign of the lights. We later found out that there were pockets outside of the city that were seen, but it was too cloudy by Reykjavik. There is also an app that can predict where they are seen that night. My suggestion for next trip is to follow that and stay out of the city. Reykjavik is a great town. It has some history to it, but it’s very much a young and social city. As a family, we weren’t entirely interested in the nightlife, which is boasted as the best in all of Europe. If we were to go back, I likely wouldn’t stay again in Reykjavik. It’s a city, like all others. It has typical fast food, restaurants, clubs, and shopping. I got my fill of the shops in a few short hours after seeing the pricing. But, I thoroughly enjoyed the people watching:)

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DSC_0265Our last morning we woke up, gorged ourselves on an Icelandic breakfast of Skyr yogurt with granola and breads and headed out towards the airport, stopping and seeing the sights along the way. We quickly got to the airport and bid farewell to an amazing trip with memories to last a lifetime. Now, on to the next trip!

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Icelandic Breakfast

 

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One Year of Memories

NewOrleans.jpgWow, a year ago I was feverishly planning the finishing details on seating arrangements, décor, spray tans and cake filling while the two of us were also joining bank accounts, planning an amazing beach getaway and looking forward to seeing all of our friends and family. I cannot believe it’s been a year – It sounds cliché, but it truly feels like yesterday. I wouldn’t change anything about our big day; I still can’t stop grinning by all of the surprises, tears and laughs from our day. I wish we could do it over again. I wouldn’t take anything back from that day, well except for getting more hours back to be able to spend quality time with everyone. But I relive our day very often.

Being around the time of our anniversary, we wanted to share what we’ve been up to. You’ve meant so much to us, a vital part to us as individuals and as a married couple, that we hope to continue with updates each and share who we’ve become as the Horton’s.

Scotty and I have moved full steam ahead in married life. The typical jokes of spending our Saturdays at Bed, Bath & Beyond or Home Depot are very very true. In April we purchased our first home together. We spent a few months looking and it wasn’t easy. The Denver market is tough, but we found a gem in Whittier, an area close to downtown just north of City Park. We spent a month gutting it out while living in our apartment downtown. I can’t tell you it was easy. Each night we would come to our new home and paint, scrape, bolt – until we ran empty. My innate attention to detail and Scotty being colorblind made for some interesting scenarios but we knew we wanted to get it done. Looking back today, I’m glad we did so much then, but wow, it was grueling. Our cute 1907 brick home had a new paint job inside and out, new kitchen tile and backsplash, spiffy new counters a complete master bath overhaul, and refinished floors. We now have a deck to design and gardening to do, but the house is nearly finished and we have enjoyed breaking it in. Every one of you has helped contribute in this happiness we call home. From your words of advice, to your wedding contributions and thoughts and prayers; we are reminded of what great friends and family we have daily in our house. I’m so proud of what we’ve done to the house. Scotty has learned so much about construction and he’s done some amazing transformations to our house. I’m so happy every time I walk into the door. We look forward to having everyone over.

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We’ve gone on several trips this year and are planning a few more. Between the house and our scheduled trips, we’ve been busy; but we continue to stick to our rule of a once a week date night where we discover a new restaurant in Denver and we’ve been so fortunate to spend time with our friends and family. I’m more and more infatuated with my husband and he continues to be my biggest fan in life. No matter hard life gets, I know that he’s always by my side and there to make me laugh. I couldn’t be happier.

What a year it has been! Thank you again for sharing our day with us. Time to celebrate!

 

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I Will Listen

photoMental illness has so many faces. It is our best friends, family members near and dear to us, coworkers and those who we think have it all together. These are all people that at some point face an invisible demon that they just can’t feel comfortable comforting or allowing others into their lives to understand what the are going through. Alarmingly, 1 in 4 Americans are impacted by mental illness and it can completely gut their lives and the lives of their loved ones. It’s a crushingly, debilitating illness that is invisible and does not get the recognition it deserves by health professionals. It is also an illness that doesn’t not get enough public awareness. The homeless guy yelling at himself could have schizophrenia, the lady flipping me off in her car could be suicidal, and the perfectly perfect individual could be lacking self confidence. We are all human. We’re not crazy, we’re humans with disorders or illnesses that have either been misdiagnosed, unrecognized or lacking the proper support to understand what they are going through and provide proper medical attention.

This year has seen its trials and tribulations. I have never questioned life so much than I did this year and it started with mental illness. I wish there was a way I could fix it, change events, but I know that can’t happen. But this week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) came out with a new campaign that resonated with me. I’ve been thinking of a short mantra that resonated with me during my runs. Something that I could tell myself over an over again when I’m doubting anything and this was it.  I Will Listen. Three short words, that mean so much more. Words that mean I won’t judge, I’m here as a shoulder to cry on, a voice to be heard and not someone who has to fix the situation, but can help the situation. I try so hard to try and fix things, make the resolution that I would do, but every person needs to figure it out on their own. So, I will listen. I will listen. And focus less on trying to fix things.

I now think twice when I see someone that may not act right. Yes, there are often environmental issues such as drug addictions that muddy the waters, but when I see someone talking to themselves or acting irrational, I remind myself that they too are human. They didn’t ask to be that way. They may not know how to fix it, or have the support to fix it.  So listen. Be there and listen. Fight the stigma and help raise awareness about mental awareness instead of making fun of these people.

The photo is of a beach in Folly Beach, SC – one of my happy places and memories of the year

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