Farewell, '15 — Hello, '16

Oh, man here we are— Another New Year. Which I am actually pretty excited about, don't get me wrong! But after the whirlwind of the last few weeks, it has kind of snuck up on me this time around.

Looking back, I have to admit— 2015 was surprisingly, pretty great. Real quick, here a few of my favorite moments!

Lots of local exploring || Finally sold our first house! || First attempt at photographing fireworks

Camera upgrade || Us-only vacation to Seagrove Beach, FL || First attempt at astrophotography

Christmas in NYC with Steve! || Celebrating Christmas & my grandpa's 80th birthday in GA

Of course, I think the biggest highlight for me, personally, was that after several very difficult and trying years, 2015 seemed to be the year that things started to ease up and level out a bit. I learned so much about the importance of creating balance in life, no matter the sacrifice, and while our current situation isn't what most would consider "the socially accepted modern-day norm", it works really well for us right now. And last year, I finally started to learn how to let myself feel okay with our decision and my "road less taken" path and stop worrying so much about what everyone else thinks about it.  

The best part of all that is, I am [for the first time in a looooong time!] actually looking forward to the coming year. This time last year, I was full of uncertainty, doubt, and anxiety about the months ahead, knowing all too well that while, yes, 2015 had the potential to be better than the previous few years, it could also be much, much worse. This year, after having a little bit of my faith in the universe restored, much of that apprehension from last year has dissipated and I'm feeling more on the side of "cautiously optimistic"— I'm hoping and striving for the best, but still keeping myself prepared to handle the worst.

While 2015 was the year of slowing down and taking it easy as I sorted some stuff out, I'd like to make 2016 the year of putting a little more effort and energy into making our life better than it was yesterday. I'm not really one for making annual resolutions, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a small list of things I'm hoping to improve on this year and in the years to come. From taking better care of our and our pets' health [so many overdue routine procedures and check ups!], to spending less and saving more for our next home and future retirement, and for myself, working on being less fearful of putting myself out there, and deciding where I want my path to go next and taking the first steps in that direction— I'd say I definitely have a few aspirations for the months ahead. And dare I say, I'm even a little bit excited to get started?

How about you? How are you feeling about the new year? Are you a resolution-maker? What are some things you're hoping for or looking forward to in 2016? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Happy New Year, friends. I hope it's a good one for you :)
xo, Steve