highlights of 2017. what a year...

JANUARY

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2017 started off in protest. These photos were taken on January 21st, the day of the Women's March.

It was a wonderful day to be out in defiance of Trump. I am confident that if the world could have known how bad the next year would be, there would have been millions and millions more out there. 

I would have been in DC if I wasn't about to have a baby. OMG look at that belly!

 photos from Louisville's Move Forward event

photos from Louisville's Move Forward event

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FEBRUARY

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Most of the month I spent miserably pregnant and waiting around for baby boy. 

Then he was there.

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MARCH

March is a total newborn blur. 

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We watched a bunch of Big Little Lies and Grand Designs, gave a lot of bottles, and didn't sleep very much.

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APRIL

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Spring! All the coleus!

I also got moving again -- restarting yoga and such. Not easy by any means, but looking back, I've come a long way since then!

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MAY

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May was the beginning of our "porch sitting with wine and babies" season. It was pretty great.

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I started teaching again and have never loved it more. Thank you so much to all for your practices -- it has been a blast this year.

Oh and we got hanging flower baskets!

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JUNE

June was beautiful. We hit our stride with the baby and things definitely got easier. 

I got really into plants, both indoor and outdoor and funnily enough, my indoor ones (except for one) are all still alive. I call that a major victory.

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Simon and Philip started to enjoy playpen time together (HA!) and they were adorable with their bald heads.

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Andrew was in an outdoor wedding that had the most perfect weather imaginable and it was lovely.

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JULY

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Simon's first trip to Asheville! He loved getting to see his great aunt Lis! Nothing better than a trip to Asheville with Mom to do nothing but shop and eat. I admit it was a little exhausting with the guy, but still great.

And because the weather was so insane, there was lots of drinking outside, both beer and coffee.

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AUGUST

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This month was a turning point for the country. The events in Charlottesville caused a pivot from absurdity to true danger in regards to this administration's treatment of minorities. We were all witness to Trump's embrace of white supremacy and I believe it was the beginning of the end...unfortunately, we're still not there, but closer and all the more terrifying.

TOMATOES. Andrew took his garden to a whole new level this year. First tomatoes out of the garden will always be eaten in a BLT. There is nothing better.

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Andrew waged war on the japanese beetles, which were particularly bad this year. The poor roses survived thanks to his diligent nightly meditation of flicking them into a bowl of soapy water. HA!

And then there was the eclipse...which was a letdown. Next time we will be watching at totality.

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SEPTEMBER

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Another trip to Asheville, this time with Andrew to order our table. Again, a lovely long weekend full of eating and shopping.

Shrimp boil up in Indy with Louie the Corgi, who is seriously the sweetest dog on the planet.

A photo of all three Ridley boys on tiny rocking chairs...please ignore the creeper smiling maniacally in the background.

My indoor plants still alive and my vision for a plant filled hallway came to life. Believe it or not, these guys still look great now! A couple close calls here and there, but they are thriving.

 

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Margaret got a pool. Margaret lives within one minute of my house. This is a good thing.

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OCTOBER

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A artisanal highchair from Papaw and we decided to finally do something about our back patio. 

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A life goal of mine was realized when our Sticks table was delivered. I had no idea when I blogged about them years ago I would actually have one in the near future. 

Simon's first Halloween and it was COLD. Please don't pay any attention to my costume. It was awful.

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NOVEMBER

November was great...except I don't have any photos of it. I left Instagram at the beginning of the month. It was a great experiment. I wanted to be more present and spend less time looking at people and things that annoyed me. After six weeks, I realized I didn't miss about 75% of it. I missed keeping up with dear friends and family, sharing silly videos, and getting inspired from certain accounts. I've since gotten back on with a private account and a bare bones feed.

It's funny though because in just that short amount of time, the habit of posting and checking completely went away and I find myself not posting hardly at all right now...has shown me just how insignificant it is to my daily life.

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DECEMBER

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Alex was Santa at Feeders Supply again this year. It was mayhem, but we managed to get a photo with all three boys in it. 

Even with a couple weeks still to go, December has been very excellent so far. Happy first birthday to Philip and looking forward to Simon's first Christmas.

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I have said this to Andrew and others many times this year, but 2017 was for me personally, insanely good. However, it is bittersweet given the violence, natural disasters, corruption, and injustice that continues on. I'm not sure what to do other than be grateful, know that it could all go away in an instant, and dedicate my time and energy to creating change where I can.

To any out there still reading this little blog, I appreciate you so much and thank you.

Happy Holidays and New Year,

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favorites of 2017

This year was wild. Incredibly disturbing and depressing in many ways, but very joyful in others. I have a long list of things that inspired me, made me laugh and cry, and appreciate each day.

I have everything in the slideshows below, click the photos to check all these things out.

I've also got  lists below them. Enjoy!

  • Bullet journaling. I know, it's a total fad, but I love it! If you're a list maker, it is fabulous. I still all appointments and events in my Google calendar, but I use it a master list book. I love it.
  • The People are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage by Jared Yates Sexton. Sexton is a journalist who lives in Georgia, originally a Hoosier, who attended close to every Trump rally leading up to the election. It is hard to read, but necessary to understand what's happening right now.
  • Evans & Tate Fresh as a Daisy Sauvignon Blanc 2016. This wine was recommended to me for Thanksgiving dinner by my local wine shop and it was delicious! Bought several bottles after the holiday...
  • Andrew's garden. He has added two additional raised beds for next year and I am so excited. We've had so much for with it and Andrew seems to be a natural at it. Given how warm the fall was, we had tomatoes forever!
  • Sarah Kendzior. It feels strange to list her as a favorite since reading her stuff can possibly send you into a panic, but her voice is vital right now. I first found her by listening to this interview on November 18th, 2016 and was blown away. Find her, read her stuff, listen to her interviews, and stay vigilant.
  • HAIM's album Something to Tell You

what I read in 2017

I admittedly slacked horribly the first half of 2017. There was a lot going on!

However, in the fall I set myself up with an early morning reading routine and it's been smooth sailing ever since. I look forward to my reading time so much now and I've also given up trying to read things I do not enjoy. I know, sounds obvious, but seriously, if I'm not wanting to continue with a book after 100 pages, I put it down! Time is too precious.

I was shocked to see when I brought up my list that I read a ton of nonfiction this year. Very odd for me, but I loved it. Here's what I read, if you click the photo, it will take you to Amazon listing:

And for my new holiday tradition, I'm currently rereading HP...on book three right now

it is upon us

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They're here! The holidays! Our tree is up, the candles are in the windows, and carols are playing.

We survived hosting Thanksgiving for my family. It was so fun to eat at the new table. And we learned two things: this is the best pumpkin recipe ever and this wine is very very tasty. So good I had to pop into the local wine shop during Light Up Corydon last night to grab one bottle to finish off the weekend.

Looking forward to five weeks of glogg, carols, holiday movies, Star Wars premieres, best of year lists, and eating!

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Among the many other things that grace my holiday bucket list each year, I have decided to start a new tradtion: reading the entirety of Harry Potter from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Day. As of today, I'm already a quarter of the way through book two! I am thoroughly enjoying reading both the conventional and illustrated versions, as well as listening to the Jim Dale audiobooks. Very festive.

And it's pretty much impossible to get any heavy reading done during this time anyway. However, I do find myself with some extra free time now that I'm three weeks Instagram free. It's not completely gone -- I still have the studio account to post class info and communicate with students. I will admit that it's been tough getting on just to post and respond without getting sucked into stories and scrolling. I'm doing a little bit better every day --- baby steps to four o'clock!

Thanksgiving brought a new season of my favorite podcast, Two Gomers Run for Their Lives. So glad to have them back in my earbuds. It's weird because I've been listening to them for almost ten years...WHHHHHAA?!?!?!?!?

Andrew and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary Friday, my 33rd birthday a couple days before that. So much to be grateful for it's hard to put into words. 

Simon was a snotty mess throughout the holiday, but seems to be on the mend. I will say there is nothing that a ridiculous amount of rice crispies can't cure for this guy. For every fifteen he picks up, one gets in his mouth and the dogs are thrilled.

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when a NBA coach says it

This is everything. Thank you Gregg Popovich. Here is his statement to The Nation in full:

We’ve all seen the San Antonio Spurs’ future Hall of Fame coach Gregg Popovich in a state of exasperation on the sidelines, or in postgame news conferences. Many of us have also heard him speak with great vexation and clarity about the direction of this country and the actions of Donald Trump, particularly on Trump’s “disgusting tenor and tone and all the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic.” But I have never heard this man more frustrated, more fed up, and more tense with anger than he was today.

Coach Pop called me up after hearing the president’s remarks explaining why he hadn’t mentioned the four US soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger. Trump said, “President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it.”

Maybe it was the bald-faced nature of this lie, maybe it was Pop’s own history in the military, but the coach clearly had to vent. He said, “I want to say something, and please just let me talk, and please make sure this is on the record.”

Here is what he said:

“I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this president had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families are so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.”

At this point, Coach Pop paused, and I thought for a moment that perhaps he didn’t have the words and the conversation would end. Then he took a breath and said:

“This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner—and to lie about how previous presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers—is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this president should be ashamed, because they know better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.”

Then he said, “Bye, Dave.” And that was it. Should be one hell of an NBA season.

things for life right now

If you haven't been paying attention, the GOP is trying to rip healthcare from 32 million people, voting on a monstrous bill next week called Graham Cassidy. If you want to know more, watch Pod Save America's FB live from yesterday. 

Then call this number: (202) 224-3121 and ask your senators to vote no.

Thanks, ok, here's my blog post:

Life has been easy and fun lately -- fully leaning into the fall feeling around here. Yankee Candles, pumpkin muffins + soup, and have been drinking more red! Ha!

At Simon's six month check-up yesterday, the pediatrician let us know that given he's already crawling and sitting up on his own, he may very well walk by Christmas...WHAT?! NO! I'm NOT READY!!!

Tried to watch HBO's The Deuce. So tiresome. Hey, HBO: let's do something other than gratuitous violence, nudity, and exploitation of women mmkay?

As per usual, I found a new podcast that I am loving. Thank you Kendra for providing some fun listening amongst all my political shows!

Hold onto your hats: I AM READING. I've made myself get my book and read first thing in the early AM instead of interneting. It's been magical. About to finish this book, which is next month's bookclub selection.

Stumbled across this print and ordered it immediately. The birds of paradise in Planet Earth have always held a special place in our hearts.

Always look forward to Thursday mornings on YouTube. Thank you Samantha Bee!

Ta-nehisi Coates: you are correct.

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