Sunday, December 18, 2016

2016

I've been ruminating a lot on this past year. It's important that I take a mental account of everything that I experienced, because it was one of the most important years of my life thus far.

Seeing our friend's band play


I met Daniel on Jan 11th. We've pretty much been inseparable ever since. I wasn't looking for a long term partner, just wanted to get back into dating and meet some new people. But life had other plans... 

I can't express how much this man means to me. He's so full of life, spirit, happiness and love. I feel extremely blessed to have met him and felt his amazing support and companionship this year.


He's amazing with the kids too, and they seem to enjoy having him around. He's really just a large 12 year old old anyway.



Sethe and me in Jan
Sledding trip to Mt. Hood
Sethe went through a traumatic emotional health crisis in Jan-April where she was in and out of hospitals. When she was out, and during the in between moments, we tried making the most of our time together having fun and getting outside.  She fought really hard for some new coping skills, and now, 9 months later, she isn't just coping, she's thriving. She's made new friends, going to public school, caring for a snake and a rat (not food for the snake!), doing roller derby, drawing beautiful pieces of artwork, and being a comedian in general wherever she goes.

Feb. after her first hospital stay

In March, Dan lost a man very close to his heart, Pat. He traveled back to New York to be there for his funeral and support his best friend's family. He asked if he could bring me back anything, and I said all I wanted was for him to take a selfie on top of the Empire States Bldg.
Of course he did. He's like that.

In April my dad was up visiting my sister and we all traveled out to Hood River to have lunch and catch up. Dan got to meet my sister, my nephew and my dad all at once!



There was lots of hanging out with the family






In early May I went down to Eugene for The Big O and got to hang out with Cher and her derby wives!
When I met Dan, he and some friends had planned a trip to Belize which happened to fall on the week of my birthday. He worked it out to bring me along, too, so I got to travel out of the country for the first time ever, and go to Belize no less! I was mesmerized by all the colors, delicious fresh foods, breathtaking snorkeling, the warmth, the people, and Dan made sure to spoil me with the best birthday ever. The morning of my birthday we rode bikes along the beach to the city to find breakfast. We rode back with our full bellies and then right away changed and he walked me up the beach to this little spa built on a pier overlooking the ocean. He treated us to a couples massage outside on the deck with the warm tropical breeze washing over us and the waves sloshing under us. After that we joined the group and went scuba diving. It was one of the most intense and fantastic experiences of my life. We saw sharks and eels and rays and every possible size and color of fish imaginable. We all lounged for the rest of the day then hopped into a golf cart and rode into town and had a delicious dinner by the ocean.


All packed!
my birthday breakfast!

Our view from breakfast

On our way to my surprise birthday couples massage


Dan and I scuba diving!
Post-Dive glow









Dan and I on a trip to the Mayan ruins


Dan took on an epic rock climbing date night


food cart shenanigans after the rock climbing

Aric started BJJ!







Liz got her name officially changed!!

We took a trip to the zoo



 There was karaoke



My Alix and me. <3


There were lots of date nights
fondue kisses

local natives concert!


fogo de chao!

Waypost concert

The Ukeladies!!

 There was Pride Weekend when we marched in both the Trans March and the Pride Parade!




Dan and I went on a road trip in July to Boise to see some of his high school buddies who happened to be there at the same time. We floated down the Boise river and had a great visit with his friends.


snapchatting in the starbucks drive thru - scary.





Dan and I went with my best friend Alix and her hubby and friends on a rafting trip. <3



Dan and Aric did the Rugged Maniac!





Liz turned 18 on July 30th and was off to work in AK for the summer




Dan and I took Aric to Las Vegas to see Dan compete in the Masters Worlds Competition for BJJ and he ended up coming home with Bronze!








Then the following weekend, Dan and I jetted off once again, this time to New York to see one of his dear friend's get married in Cooperstown.









Back home before school started, we took the kids to the coast on an extremely hot Portland day. It was radically cooler at the coast, but we made the most of it.





First Day of School!

Aric as a 10th grader!

Sethe in 7th Grade

Max in 3rd Grade. Officially a Wy'Easter!
Dan took Aric and his friend Jake to Kumoricon


Sethe started Roller Derby







Andy worked another summer in Alaska and then came back and went on an epic road trip with his friends to Florida.





Another wedding!  One of Dan's BJJ buddies got married at the Edgefield Hotel in Troutdate. This is us hanging out before the reception

 

 For Halloween, the kids didn't do much and Max was with Reggie, so Dan and I went to a couple of fun parties that weekend.



For Dan's birthday, I took him and Liz to Hawaii to stay with Dan's friend Bruce and his family. We explored the island, went snorkling, saw a volcano, witnessed miraculous stars and moonrises, and soaked our bodies into warm and tropical waters.
on our way!

he makes 43 look really good. <3


Uncle Roberts open air market on Dan's bday

the Southern most point of the US.





Dan and his sweet little buddy Amaya

Dan and Bruce





Just after we returned it was time for Thanksgiving!! We ended up going to Jake's Grill instead of cooking and cleaning all day. Vacation makes us tired.





The following weekend, Dan and I hopped on another plane headed for Chicago so I could shoot a wedding for my friends Margot and Glenn. It was COLD, but we had so much fun, and even got to see Hamilton!





Christmas Tree time!











It's been an eventful, full year with so many good fun exciting times. I got to travel more than I ever have before, out of the country for the first time! I got to take a few of my kids on those trips with me. My kids grew in size and maturity. They are healthy and fabulous people whom I call my friends. I have a loving and compassionate sweet best friend in Alix, and a supportive, kind, passionate and communicative partner in Daniel. My bills are getting paid, and I'm writing a book and taking more pictures than I have in a long time.

This year hasn't been without it's heartaches, disappointments, moments of sadness and frustrations. My mother and I are estranged. It's essentially just me, Dan and the kids for family anymore. It's been hard facing the holidays without that family and sense of belonging.  I've struggled with my relationship issues and the fallout of mistrust and skepticism from my divorce from Reggie. I've struggled to feel whole and complete and healthy. I've struggled with smoking and drinking and trying to get healthy. I've gained 20 pounds this year. I feel like my homelife is chaotic and overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like I'm treading water.

I've worked extremely hard to shift from a place of attachment to suffering, to an attachment to love. Replacing old mental habits with healthier, more compassionate and loving practices.

I'm hopeful that 2017 brings more stability, more maturity, more fun, and extremely fun adventures. I'm excited about the next few days, and the planning of a future I can be proud and hopeful of.  It'll be hard to compete with 2016, but I think it's going to happen. <3