Dear Diary

I’m sorry to have been neglecting you.  It’s all this boy’s fault.  I have had an amazing summer hanging out by the pool with a cold beer, going to the movies, out to swanky restaurants, socializing with all the new friends I’ve made, but now he’s gone back to school and I have time to catch up with you and get all my summer secrets down.

Back to my regularly scheduled schedule!  Yay!

Over the past several weeks I have been spending a shit-ton of time in my Lady Lounge, Woman Cave, Sewing Room, whatever the heck everyone’s calling it these days.  Lately I have felt like calling it Dungeon.

Since I moved here almost five years ago, during the summer I normally sew until the air conditioner kicks on then I head downstairs to spend the rest of my day sitting on my rear end stitching and reading.  This summer, nope!  We really have had time out of the house, but the time in has been spent on daily chores, stitching, and reading.  I can’t remember the last time I unpacked my sewing machine.

Because….

I have not been able to settle in since I painted and reorganized!!!  I feel like I have stuff spread out all over the place.  I have tons of shelves and boxes and buckets, so I have plenty of storage space, but I evidently haven’t been using it wisely because I feel like things are lost, forgotten, and hard to put my hands on.

I had all these plans to start selling excess cross stitch over the summer – that I sorted out when I pulled everything for painting – that I know I’ll never get around to stitching because I’ve either lost interest in the item, it’s no longer something I like, the designer pissed me off, etc.  I am my own LNS.  Here’s proof positive of how much I don’t need.  Boxes, boxes, and piles of stuff to be sold.  Trust me when I tell you that is just a drop in the bucket.  😀

2016-09-12

This past weekend I had dinner out with my partner in crime, Annette, and we talked about stash diving because there was something we knew we had but couldn’t find it.  I have started bullet journaling and wanted to add in my WIPs and get back to some type of rotation, and I was sharing with her that I was procrastinating listing them because I couldn’t decide whether to just start writing them down, or to go through each one and sort them by either how old they are, or how close they were to being finished.

When we started talking about retiring I knew I would have no where near the funds I would want to kit up certain things with all the lovely silks there are out there so I gradually began doing that.  I have 2 large fold-back-top Rubbermaid containers that contained some of my WIPs and some of my kitted items (either by myself, or purchased that way).

I finally bit the bullet and started digging through them today.  Here’s what I found in the WIP department

  1. Peacock Tapestry – Teresa Wentzler
  2. Letting Go (Lusk) – HAED
  3. Ann Holewll Sampler – The Examplarery
  4. Quaker RR
  5. Dimples Bugs RR
  6. French Alphabet Sampler (I forgot I put it in there!)
  7. Castle Sampler – Teresa Wentzler
  8. The Fortunate Traveler – Teresa Wentzler
  9. Earthdancer – Butternut Road
  10. Tapestry Cat – Teresa Wentzler
  11. Sleeping Beauty – Mirabilia
  12. Patchwork Pieces – Nutmeg Needle
  13. Asian Garden – Odds n Ins
  14. Lady of the Flag – Mirabilia
  15. Tsunami Sampler – Stickideen von der Wiehenburg
  16. Christmas Elegance – Mirabilia
  17. Peace – The Silver Lining
  18. Christmas Wreath – Teresa Wentzler
  19. Topiary – Teresa Wentzler
  20. Garden Trellis Box – Linda Driskell from Just Cross Stitch magazine.

In one box!  I know there are more because I have a beautiful chest downstairs that my friend Kathy gave me and I’ve started storing some WIPs in there.  In fact, now that I think about it, all of the above 20 may also fit in there!  Oh, and then there’s the ottoman I prop my feet on while stitching…you can store stuff in there and I know I have at least one WIP in there, ’cause I was just looking at it the other day.  Geesh.  Oh wait!  Don’t forget my stitching bag that probably has 2-3 in there, too.

And here’s what was in the kitted box:

  1. Autumn Queen – Mirabilia
  2. Random Thoughts – Drawn Thread
  3. An Expression of Gratitude – Blue Ribbon Designs (which I pulled out)*
  4. Victorian Pearls – Sew to be Seen
  5. Victorian Pearls 2 – Sew to be Seen
  6. A Christmas Sampler – Midsummer Nights
  7. The Book of Spells – The Goode Huswife (which I pulled out)*
  8. The Spot Sampler – Margaret Bendig
  9. Shakespeare’s Garden – LaBroderie
  10. Queens Rule – Enchanting Lair
  11. Castle Ridge – Teresa Wentzler (bought overdyed fabric to exchange)
  12. Damask Rose Scissor Keep – Textile Heritage (gift)
  13. Above the Clouds – Teresa Wentzler (bought overdyed fabric to exchange)
  14. Mermaid of the Pearls – Mirabilia (special overdyed fabric)
  15. Toccata Three – Drawn Thread
  16. Cattleya Orchids – Terrance Nolan
  17. A Token of Friendship – Merry Cox (an OOP which I could probably sell to pay off my house)
  18. This is the Day – La-D-Da
  19. My Son – Indigo Rose (should have pulled this one and may go back and do it)*
  20. The Dreamer – Mirabilia
  21. Quaker Diamonds – Rosewood Manor
  22. Toccata Two – Drawn Thread
  23. Toccata One – Drawn Thread
  24. Quaker Samplings  – With My Needle
  25. My First Sewing Box and Scissor Fob – Stitching Parlor (which uses a Whitman’s Chocolate Tin I’ve tried to throw away a hundred times)
  26. Souvenir Sampler – Drawn Thread
  27. Village of Hawk Run Hollow – Carriage House Samplings
  28. The Song They Sang – Carriage House Samplings (I even bought the frame for this one!!!)
  29. A Parrot, A Leopard, A Lion – Scarlet Letter
  30. Norwich Marianne Wren
  31. James Wilson
  32. Voice of the  Shepherd – Told in a Garden
  33. Teeny Hardanger – Sweetheart Tree
  34. Brilliant Plumage – Teresa Wentzler

So, I evidently have a thing for Teresa Wentzler.

*I will be very unhappy in Heaven if I die and don’t at least start The Book of Spells and An Expression of Gratitude.  Guess they’re getting added to my WIPs list next month.

Now, lest LNSs around the world freak out, all of the above does not mean I won’t be buying more as evidenced by the deliveries my mailman has made since my last post.  I give you Exhibit C:

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A new small portable stitching lamp, and needle organizer (can you say Teresa Wentzler?).

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28ct Brash Jubilee for Ann Pegg 1877.  Yep, I found some.  I emailed the dyer asking advice for a replacement and she told me she had 2 FQs left.  Miss Annette snapped up the other one.  Partner. In. Crime.  I tell ya.

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Pattern, fibers, stretcher bars, and canvas for this lovely.  I have had my eye on it for a bit and found out it was discontinued so I snapped it up.

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I also purchased these cones of DMC from Joanns.com for Death by Cross Stitch by Long Dog Samplers.  I’m leaning toward the copper on the right.  I need to check my fabric stash and do a floss toss.  I’m very tempted by the beautiful turquoise in the back but I’m afraid it’ll burn my eyeballs out stitching on a sampler this large.  I do have a backup plan for it though 😀  If I don’t have a good piece of fabric in my stash for the copper I may use the red and order some 40ct white.  Not to be worried about now though as I cannot start it until next month at the earliest because I am going out of town next week.

I am stalking my postman for Brooke’s Books Wizard of Oz.

So see, shopping when I shouldn’t be, or don’t need to be.

And I have quilt stuff coming in too.

But! This post has gotten so long and my phone is currently charging so I can’t show you what the top of my guest bed looks like.  It’s covered with fabric, patterns, etc., from the quilt side of my room AND fabric, fibers, and fabric from the cross-stitch side of my room while I go through the buckets and baskets mentioned above trying to reorganize and sort into a better working order for me.  I’m slowing myself down because I have to look at it, and touch it, and remember when I bought it, before sorting it into a pile to place it better in my room.  I’m dreading getting to two particular stitching containers because I have lots of already kitted small things that need to be added to that list up there and put into that Rubbermaid container (which is full!).  I know I won’t get it put away any time soon as I still have some excavating to do, so I’ll share a photo next time I post.

I forgot to show you some stitching!

Since my last post I have finished my Sugar Skull by Mill Hill

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And my version of Be Thankful by Country Cottage Needleworks

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and block 7 of Houses of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings (currently working on block 8)

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Now I’m off to write my WIPs in my Journal and do some stitching.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll dig the rest out of their hidey holes.

WIP Wednesday

Still spending a lot of time watching the Olympics. So happy we’re in the Track & Field portion. I love to watch the slow motion shots of their bodies moving. The muscle movements fascinate me. Of course, I also love watching the diving and swimming for the same reason.

Last night we went to a baseball game. We have season tickets for all Tuesday and Friday home games and I have been trying to upgrade all of our Tuesday games. Last night we had really good seats. Just 3 rows back from out dugout.

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We live over an hour away from the stadium. I love my team, but I’ll admit there are many times this season (we’ve been losing so much!) that I have trouble staying focused on the game and keep thinking I could be home stitching and watching on TV. We’ve decided not to renew our tickets next season and just buy individual games.

Between the Olympics, Baseball, and daily adulting, here’s my latest progress on Sugar Skull. Mister was looking over my shoulder a couple of days ago and said he really liked how it was turning out. I’m looking forward to getting it finished, as I’ve never really been much of a one-at-a-timer and I’m feeling the itch to move on.

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It’s a little tilted and off-focus to show the beading better.

I’d love to have my piece finished by Saturday, but don’t know if that’s going to happen.  I have to take my car in tomorrow to have the rear end aligned, (one of the things I didn’t mention in my earlier post was that Mister and I were rear-ended on the freeway in March and this will hopefully the end of that saga), and I have some friends coming for a stitch-together on Saturday and am going to start to get ready for that.

Stash enhancement and future projects

I’m still working on my Sugar Skull, but without much progress to share.  The last couple of days I’ve been watching the Olympics more than just stitching to them and looking up every now and then.  We are seeing some wonderful accomplishments from so many new Olympians.

I thought I would share a few of the things I’ve purchased lately, and projects that I have in mind.

While I never really need more quilting fabric, I keep my eye on the Fat Quarter Shop sales page.  Especially the 60-50% off pages.  I usually will buy a half-yard cut of something if I can get it for around $3 and try to be cheaper than that.  At one point I would buy only fabrics that fit a category of color that I was low in.  My non-sewing has not stopped me from buying fabric but it has been awhile since I bought any.

I have some pretty mint and pink fabrics that have sewing themes I plan to turn into project bags using the very excellent video tutorial of Vonna at The Twisted Stitcher.

There was also a really good video tutorial on sewing zipper bags on Fat Quarter Shop yesterday and I want to make some zipper bags.  I don’t know if I’m going to use her pattern, but I do like the tutorial.  As long as I’ve been sewing, making these intimidates me for some reason!

I have had this quilt pattern saved on my phone for almost 3 years.

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When I was working in a quilt store, a customer came in with her nearly finished project (she was looking for border fabrics).  I fell in love with the scrappy-ness of it, and that it was done in civil war era reproduction fabrics.  When I first hunted for the pattern I only found a soon-to-be-opened web page of the designer.  I had posted the customer’s quilt (with her permission) on my Facebook page when she first came in and that post popped up as a memory a bit ago so I was reminded to hunt for the pattern again.  The website is active and I ordered it.  I was a little nervous because I received no confirmation of my order, nor any notice of shipping, from the designer.  I had decided to give it two weeks before I wrote her, but it showed up in my mailbox about that time.  Whew!  No idea when I plan to start it, but I’m so happy to have it.  😀

Yesterday I received these two lovelies from Attic Needlework.  I drove over to pick them up, but the store was closed, so instead of driving back over there just had them mail, since I figured it would be cheaper than the cost of gas from here.  It took 1 day for them to arrive.

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I spotted Ann Pegg during a trip with my girlfriends in June.  It was out of stock, but since the designer, The Scarlett House, is a local lady, it didn’t take long for the store to get it back in.  The design was stitched on 28ct Jubilee Brash by Picture this Plus, however, so now I’m having to decide what I want to stitch it on.  Honestly, the fabric is what first drew me to the design, so I’m very disappointed it’s no longer available.

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This Is My Happy Place is a new design by The Scarlett House. Coincidence!  When I saw it I immediately started thinking how I could change it a little to reflect both stitching and quilting.  I think I’ve come up with an idea, but we’ll see.  The design is charted to stitch the buttons if you want to do that instead of sew some on.

New on my wish-list are Lizzie Kate’s Pumpkin Pocket (links are to blog pages), and Threadwork Primitive’s Autumn in Bloom.

Off to do some stitching before Mister and I head out on Date Night.

I hope you enjoy your weekend.

WIP Wednesday

IMG_20160810_195606I joined a Halloween Stitch Along on a Facebook group and chose to stitch Mill Hill’s Sugar Skull. It started on August 1, and ends October 31.  The Olympic games are giving me a lot of stitching time.

I’ve decided to just stitch the one design as I’m planning to participate in the Fall Stitch Along that begins August 15.

My goal for this design is to finish it into a cube, then go on to the fall design I’ve chosen.

Well hello there!

Ever walk into a room and get sidetracked by something other than what you walked in there to do?  That is pretty much why it has been since March 2015 that I have blogged.  I have always meant to just something would come up and then it would be a couple of days, weeks, months, a year then I would think, “oh yeah, I was going to blog about that,” and off I would go again not doing it.

There is no way I can catch you up on what I have been doing since my last post.  Some of it I would rather not re-live.  2016 itself has not been 100% happy for me/us and while I’ve been meaning to blog some of it, now that I am sitting here I would actually rather not.

A few things I can post without tearing up, though.

Mister: Graduated from ASU Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Art History (so very proud of him), has not gone surfing, had to have chemo treatment on his face for pre-cancerous cells that caused him to rival Deadpool in the beauty department (that was a horrible experience for me, not to mention what it did to him), applied for a second degree (starts in 2 weeks), and continues to drive me nuts in both the good and bad ways.  After 35 years of marriage, that is a wonderful thing to write.

Me (in no particular order): Gone to quilt retreat a couple of times, worked two large Phoenix Comicon events, went long periods of time without stitching or quilting (still not quilting, but recently started stitching again), read I do not know how many books, two seasons worth of season tickets to Diamondbacks baseball (which oh my heavens cuts into your spare time!), started hiking, had a good friend from North Carolina spend the weekend with me, had 8 friends from several states spend the weekend with me, spent the weekend with said friends (plus a few more) in TN, went to Vegas with some friends, went to Yuma twice to visit a Canadian friend who winters there, dyed my hair blue/purple/teal :D, lost a lot of weight and gained it all back, drove Mister nuts in the both the good and bad ways, oh, and not blogged!

Right now I am enjoying the Olympics, and not enjoying the crazy politics.  The temperatures are high and we are in monsoon which means high winds, lots of sand, and sometimes hail filled rain that comes in seconds before you are prepared for it.  I am sorting my sewing room because I let things pile up on the cutting and sewing tables, and have pulled a whole lot of cross-stitch patterns to sell.

Does this mean I am back.  Who knows?!? I know when I was blogging I seemed to do more sewing and stitching since I like to share it here, plus it helped me stay organized. We will see.

Boy, oh boy, am I behind!

I finished Rose Quaker last night and the first thought I had was I needed to get it ironed and post a photo to my blog.  When I went to log on this morning imagine my surprise to see how long it’s been since I last posted!  Yikes!

Time flies when you’re having fun, and I’ve been having all kinds of fun redoing my sewing room, working for Arizona Quilters Guild, working for COMICON, and stitching when I can.

I actually have two finishes to share today, since I thought I had posted when I finished Lizzie*Kate’s Unseen Things on February 8.

2015-02-08 18.03.59She’s headed to the framers in a couple of weeks.

I had planned on working on And They Sinned after Unseen Things, but I couldn’t find it!  I started a #MirabiliaMonday on my facebook page and had planned on Fairy Moon since I’m almost finished with it.  I couldn’t find it either!  I knew they were together, though.

So I pulled Rose Quaker out instead of And They Sinned.  I finished Rose Quaker last night.  Here’s a craptastic photo since I still haven’t ironed it. 😀

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I finished the painting in my sewing room and have started putting everything back in its – hopefully – forever place.  And….I found the two missing stitching pieces.  Woohoo!  So now that Quaker Rose is finished And They Sinned is patiently waiting.  I started it January 4, 2013, and here’s where I stopped in August 2013.

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Monday’s dedicated to Mirabilia, and since I couldn’t find Fairy Moon, I pulled Garden Verses.  Here’s where I am on her as of last Monday:

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What else to share?  Oh yeah, I finally ordered, and received, the bell pull hardware for the SamSarah Lagniappe design.  No sewing has been going on so nothing to share there.  I am anxious to get back to it even though I’ve really enjoyed all the stitching I’ve done while not working on other things.

I’ll try not to let it be so long before I post again 😉

BlockSignature

 

It’s my first WIPocalypse check-in!

I haven’t stitched as much as I’d like to so far this year, but it’s because I’m finally painting my sewing room!  Almost everything has been packed up, moved, and unpacked as we finish an area.  We’re doing it in bits so I don’t become overwhelmed by the messiness of it.

I started with this

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I switched the glass doors on the right to my fabric cabinet on the left and moved the solid doors to cover my cross-stitch fabric.  The quilt fabric was too long and I’ve spent the past couple of days refolding all of this to get back in my cabinets.

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Here’s where I was when I went to bed last night:

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My goal for the year is to sew during the day, and stitch during the late afternoon/evening, with reading thrown in every now and then.  I usually read during a lunch break and if I’m by myself while I’m eating breakfast.  If I go by how things went the latter part of last year, I know there will be some days that I need a break from sewing and I’ll just sit and stitch all day, or I’ll need a break from both and sit and read all day 😀

I’m beginning with 5 stitching and 5 quilting goals to start out my WIPocalypse.  I have a page here.

As to stitching, the plan is to work exclusively on Lizzie*Kate’s Unseen Things mystery until completed, then start working on And They Sinned.  My sewing will also include finishing out the two Sam Sarah items from last year into bell pulls. I’m sure some time during this year I’ll be adding things to my WIPocalypse stitching list.

Here’s the last photo I took of Unseen Things.

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This was taken December 29, 2014, and is the first part, minus the small bees on the right.  I have since moved on to part two and will make sure I have an updated photo on the next check-in.

My first quilting project is to finish my Phoebe’s Flower Box quilt.  It needs borders, to be quilted, and then the binding.

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As with my stitching, I know I’ll be working on other things in addition to those on my list and will be adding them as necessary.

I’m linking up today with Measi.

Hello 2015

ID-100300018Like so many other people around the world I hope this new year brings joy and excitement and good surprises.  I want to learn something new, forget something old, and make a new friend.  I want travel, and laughter, and riches beyond compare, but not the financial kind.

This year’s mantra is “Stop Saying, Start Doing.”

I’ve already posted about my 101 things, and mentioned that I’m going back to participating in WIPocalypse.  My page for that is set up.  I’ve tried to limit it to 5 stitching things and 5 quilting things.  That’s not to mean there won’t be more done in those areas, just those 10 things I’d like to finish in 2015.

There are several authors I have on my wish list that I’ve never read and I’d like to read at least one of them.  I also starting reading the Bible through today.  I’m using The One Year Bible for Women by Tyndale House Publishers.  I’ve asked Melissa to use her excellent card making skills and make me a bookmark.

I want to keep expanding my cooking skills and try several new recipes.  I have a couple of cookbooks I haven’t cooked from yet and am anxious to try them out.

I’m recreating my household journal this year since I want to be better at managing my time.  I don’t want the internet to suck my valuable time away, especially with the things I need to do for COMICON and my new Arizona Quilters Guild position, so I plan to continue to use my timer when I’m at the computer.  Less internet suckage equals more reading, quilting and stitching, too!

I want to go back to that mountain and try another, and another, and another.  I bought some new, warmer, workout clothes a couple of days ago and got rid of the “nothing to wear” excuse I’ve been using since the weather got cold to us, so I’m headed back out to my daily walks.  I also want to get back to my Zumba classes so studio shoes are on my shopping list, too.

While there are many, many more things I’d like to do in 2015, they’re just brewing in the back of my mind and if they happen, I’ll share.

May 2015 bring all my readers what they seek.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

Turning 20 in 2015

Time flies and I’m shocked by so many of these:

  • The movie Babe, which is sad since Christine Cavanaugh passed away on Dec. 30.
  • The movie Toy Story 
  • Sony Playstation
  • Yahoo!
  • The song Waterfalls by TLC
  • The movie Clueless, which I loved!
  • Pride and Prejudice with the yummy Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.
  • James Bond fan? Goldeneye turns 20.
  • OJ Simpson’s trial. I was packing my house to move to Japan when the verdict was read.
  • Frappuccinos!
Edited to add that last one 😉

Fare thee well 2014

This is probably going to be a very long post.

ID-100207151I sometimes wonder if our calendar was created so the happy part of the year is at the end so we forget so much of the bad things that happened early on.  I know I could read back thru my blog and find some truly forgettable things, but if I can’t remember them right now, why bother?  They happened, they’re over, and if they were that life altering, wouldn’t I remember them now?

I had to quit my job at the quilt store, but I learned so much while working there, and I have had so much more time to devote to the things and people I love.  I had to have dental surgery, but as painful as it was, it made things better, and I’m going to have less in 2015.  I fell down that mountain, and probably broke my arm, but at least it was from the top, where I had never made it before.  None of my family or close friends died this year, which is the best blessing of all.  I try to grow from the bad things as well as the good things.  Will something happen in 2015 that makes me  think “oh, NOW I remember what happened last year.”  Probably.  But for now I’m happy in my not remembering.

Some good things happened this year too, that I know I’m not currently remembering, but my heart is still so full from our wonderful Christmas and the time I got to spend with Son and FDIL.  It’s so hard for me to believe they’ve been together for 9 years.  I saw some moments that made me rethink my thoughts that I wasn’t a very good mother.  He’s such a loving person and not afraid to show it and that is indeed a great accomplishment.

I got to travel in 2014.  I had my annual girlfriend fest in Vegas.  I had my first quilt retreat experience.  I also had my 2nd quilt retreat experience with a completely different group of women, a couple of whom have become really good friends.

I joined a quilt guild and have had so much fun getting to know the women there.  I joined a local-to-me sewing group.  I finished my first bed sized quilt and almost finished a 2nd one.  I lost and found my stitching mojo and I went back to my Thursday night stitching group.

I changed my eating habits in July and learned some new cooking methods and tried some really great recipes, and had a couple of flops that made me thankful for scrambled eggs for dinner 😉  I climbed a mountain.  I stepped on the scale this morning, and am down 21.8 pounds for the year.  I logged my best day ever since 2012 on FitBit with 24,993 steps.

I reread some favorite books and discovered an author had written a couple more in the series.  We went to the movies, although not nearly often enough. I had dinner out with our friends almost every month.

But most important for the year, I let it go and finally found myself, which made my 2014 journey worth it.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.
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