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I literally cannot believe that is already 2013.  Life moves shockingly fast these days.  I feel like all I’ve done in the past few weeks is eat and drink.  Let’s think about 2012 for a minute.  I read a lot of books in 2012.  Most recently, I read Liars and Saints, which I highly recommend. Rarely, I come across an author that has a syntax or voice that I can only describe as hitting the right cord, where I don’t actually care what they are writing about, because simply reading the words is enjoyable.  I haven’t figured out exactly what I mean by that, but Maile Meloy writes in a way that I find immensely satisfying.  For example, I don’t particularly like depressing stories, but I love Jack London because of his writing.  There is something chewy and piercing about it.  Obviously, the really great writers make people feel this way, but I think there is something very personal about who hits me like this.  There are lots of fantastically talented writers who I can acknowledge that their work is quality, but who don’t resonate with me.  Steinbeck and Faulkner don’t do it for me.  Robert Louis Stevenson and F. Scott Fitzgerald do.

I read The Tiger’s Wife in early 2012, and that story really stuck with me.  The structure of the book was different, and there was a detached and dry quality to it that made the fantastical side of the book seem more believable.

My favorite book of 2012 was The Night Circus.  This book was highly fantastical, and maybe not for everyone.  But I found the emotion conveyed through the story to be moving and enthralling.

I also read the Silver Lining Playbook (awesome! read it), The Forgotten Garden (didn’t love it), Ready Player One (a fun read for any child of the 80s), The House of Mirth (Edith, you are so beautiful, and your stories could not be more depressing), Wicked (so much love for this book), Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (you will cry laughing and feel more normal), The Mists of Avalon (enjoyable, if you are into long drawn out medival sagas, and really, who isn’t?), The Casual Vacancy (J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel.  A good read, but certain things seemed forced for the purpose of proving it was NOT A CHILDREN’S BOOK), and I started Freedom, but then I got bored with it and never finished it.

I feel like I saw a lot of movies this year too.  It’s amazing how hard it is to remember.  Let’s see, maybe I can go backwards.  Les Miserables (awesome, obviously), Life of Pi (heartbreaking and visually captivating), Anna Karinina (I read this book in high school, and I was impressed at how they were able to pack the whole story into an appropriate length movie, but it’s a depressing story), Skyfall (I love Bond movies, and Daniel Craig is fun),  Beast of the Southern Wild (man, everyone should see this movie.  Unbelievable.  Hush Puppy is fantastic), Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson is a proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy), The Hunger Games (people who don’t like Jennifer Lawrence are just jealous), Magic Mike (people who don’t like Channing Tatum are just jealous), Being Flynn (everyone likes Robert De Nero), and finally, The Iron Lady (I felt more educated after this movie).  I feel like I had to have seen more movies at the beginning of the year, but now I can’t remember.  That’s a strong showing, but I still feel like I’ve missed some huge movies.  Argo, The Hobbit, The Silver Lining Playbook, Django Unchained.  I’ve also tried to catch up on some of last year’s movies in the comfort of my own home.  Hugo, Trouble with the Curve, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, How to Train Your Dragon (my new favorite animated film), The Muppets, 21 Jump Street, and Coraline.

Basically, if you were curious about what I’ve been doing in the past year, I’ve been watching movies and reading books.  Sometimes I go outside and interact with something called other people. It definitely explains why I haven’t been blogging, because I’ve been reading and watching.  I am going to try to stop being such a consumer and start producing.

I did go to a few concerts – Blitzen Trapper, Patterson Hood, The Avett Brothers, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Brandi Carlisle, Miranda Lambert, Chris Young, and Jerrod Niemann.

2012 was an excellent year. It was a year full of new friendships, important re-connections, thousands of downward dogs and chaturangas, a 10k, a 5k, one of the best tennis teams a girl could ask for, abundant sunshine, oysters, shrimps, boats, coffee, beaches, bowling, late night dancing, handstands, thunderstorms (I had a dream last night I was struck by lightening, but it didn’t hurt, it just left a weird scar on my leg), Vail, Steamboat Springs (TWICE!), Williamsburg, Sea Island, Valdosta, D.C., a job I love more than I ever thought possible, and some damn good football.  And I cut all my hair off.  Everyone should try it.

I have high hopes for 2013.  I think it is going to be the best one yet.

Photo evidence of awesomeness.

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This Time Last Year –

I was in Grand Lake.  Having a blast.  They knew the lodge was closing and we all went out there for a farewell reunion.  I spent one absolutely perfect summer in Grand Lake. 

The lodge is on Sothesby’s.  Check it out.  They say it is under contract.  I hope so.  I hate the idea of it standing empty and alone another beautiful summer day. 

Then, if you have time – go take a virtual hike

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Old Friends and New Snow

Yesterday morning I was knee deep in snow, with a big sweeper broom trying to get all the snow off our sweet rental car before we could scrap the windshield.  Let’s just say I don’t have a lot of experience with digging a car out of a foot of snow.  Libby and I were in Steamboat Colorado playing in the Champagne powder!

Today during lunch I changed out of my suit and put on a tshirt and shorts and took a nap in my parents front porch swing.  And I got so hot I woke up.  The wood bees were bzzzzzzzing around creating little shadows and the fragrance of rosemary and tea olive wafted around in the warm breeze.  And it was very hard to remember this – 671709146206_0_bg

or this – 761709146206_0_bg

or this – 895098146206_0_bg

But I want to remember because we had such an amazing time.  Our colorado friends looked after us so well and it dumped snow the whole time we were there.  Friday night it snowed 13 inches, another 6 inches on saturday, 6 inches saturday night, I have no idea how much on sunday but it dumped all day, and a foot sunday night.  Libby and I almost died driving back to denver.  It just wouldn’t stop snowing!  I’m so sore.  I slipped on some ice a few times over the course of the weekend and I was in a mild altercation with an aspen tree.  I told the aspen tree I’d be back with a chain saw if it ever jumped out in front of me like that again.    And then I gave it’s friend a hug to let it know I was in a forgiving mood (since they are all connected, I figured the one I assaulted with death threats would know I had moved on) –

491709146206_0_alb Libby gave out some aspen love too –

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474168146206_0_alb I look good in blue.  Libby looks good in raspberry. 

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Colorado, we love you, and all your mountains and snow.  And the warm hot springs, naked people and all.  But we especially love the people and beer.  It was snowing outside, but it was pitchers of sunshine inside the bar. 

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Perfect

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See Y’all Soon. 

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Yesterday was my last day of school, ever.  I don’t really know what to think about that.  I have been taking classes on north campus for the past seven years.  I don’t know anything else.  Otis says it won’t sink in until august.  I think he is right. 

I feel like it is the weekend.  It isn’t. 

I’m in the annex.  I like the annex.  I don’t actually like to study – but I love the annex.  Books make me feel comfortable.  And I like the annex during finals.  With no classes, it is very calm. 

Law students are weird – but they are my kind of weird. 

Last night was tons of fun.  Betsy and I decided that we won.  And we don’t care if you disagree.  Faris gave me a ride home, cause she loves me. 

I was looking at some pictures on the facebook of colorado and grand lake.  It made me really colorado sick.  Really colorado sick.  I haven’t been to colorado since august.  It is partially the people, and partially the mountains, and partially the sunshine, and partially my own idealistic craziness.  Mostly the mountains and the sunshine.  I need a lot of sunshine and the mountains make me feel safe.  Except ledges.  I’m secretly terribly frightened of ledges.  Which is a bit of a stumbling block when it comes to my skiing ability.  As long as I just go ahead and ski off the ledge and don’t think about it – I’m okay.  But as soon as I look over the ledge, it is over.  I guess that is sort of like life.  Ledges make me feel weird.  Like, if I’m really scared of them – what possesses me to get close to them, much less ski off them?

Christy and I went to bojangles this morning.  It was excellent.  EXCELLENT. 

I need to figure out what I am going to do with my life.  Something in me is really happy I’m not committed to anything yet.  And part of me is a little panicked. 

I won’t think about that today, I’ll think about that tomorrow. 

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Steamboat friends


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I got back from Colorado late last night.  I met Libby in Denver and we spent the week in Steamboat.  We went skiing, but the real reason for the trip was to visit friends.  Libby and I both worked at The Grand Lake Lodge for a summer, and it was amazing. She and I were not there for the same summer, I was at the Lodge in 2002, and she was there in 2003. Well, there are lodgelings (people who worked at the lodge, obviously) all over the world, but there are lots in Colorado and we had ourselves quite a reunion this weekend. Ruthie, Kathleen, Caroline, Zack, Steve, Andy, Alli, Jarred, Mark, and maybe a few others, my brain isn’t working this morning.

Every time I return from Colorado I have to bounce back. I feel unstable right now, I want stability in my life and going to Colorado does not provide that stability. I love going to Colorado, but it makes me discontented with my real life to a certain degree.

I want to be stable. But what does stability mean? I don’t want to be someone that is unaffected by the world around her, I don’t want to be someone who isn’t capable of being hurt or vulnerable, but at the same time I don’t want the world to be able to throw me into a funk and leave me damaged, dwelling on my mistakes and my shortcomings.

I guess my question is this, Does being stable mean that you are able to get hurt and recover, to bounce back, or does it mean more than that? Because lately I feel like I am able to not think about things that could possibility hurt my feelings, but normally it is because I am able to distract myself with something else. Right now I have enough going on that I am able to not dwell on the things that I would normally dwell on, but I don’t know how healthy relying on distractions can possibly be. I know that it has a lot to do with my age, and where I am in life, etc, etc. I think I would just like to think that I am growing up through these things, that I am learning how to deal with the real world.

This idea is expressed in a timely email from a friend, who describes this problem better than me:
"I feel like life is only about bouncing back, about putting yourself out there (be it by way of a move to a far-away city or with another person) and seeing how you respond when things get bad. It’s like I’m constantly asking myself "How strong am I really?" What kind of things to I NEED for support? How can I keep myself in a state of satisfaction? Why am I finding it so difficult to just BE? And why do I always want to run away?"

Running away is an insanely strong impulse.

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