What a year!
I know, I say that every year. ;)
Another year of adventure.
Some highs, some lows.
Deciding what's worth it.
And what isn't.
Here are some pictures to recap just some of the wonderful things I was lucky to experience this year.
I was fortunate enough to see the President of the Unites State of America speak live, in person. I don't know many people who can say they have had this privilege, no matter who was President.
My mom retired and has been living wild and free ever since. Love you Mom! We had a wild party to celebrate.
But let's not talk about my near-death experience with that screen door. ;)
2015 seemed to be the year of the outdoors. I strive to get up to the mountains as often as possible with my kids. I want them to share the same experiences I had as a child, and I want them to also have a deep love and respect for everything the outdoors offer.
We also added a new member to our family: JACKSON! It has not been an easy ride with this dog, I'll be honest. He's a loyal lab, no doubt, but I have to remind myself (regularly) that he's still just a puppy and to have some patience with him. I know he's going to be a great dog, and my kids simply adore him.
One of the things I looked forward to the most this year was Carter starting baseball. I can't even put into words how excited I was for every single practice and game. I LOVED watching him play, and I loved it even more when we spent time together practicing. He loves virtually every sport, but I hope he learns to love this game as much as I do. I can't wait to see what next season brings!
This year was also the year of the neighborhood kids. Their bond grew astronomically this year, and I really enjoy this group of kids.
More outdoors - camping!
And a trip to the swimming hole at the cabin, of course!
When they give me moments like this, my heart is pretty happy.
Back to the cabin we went!
We gathered for many BBQs and BSU games this year, as well. I hope this is something we can continue for many years to come. Everyone has busy schedules, but the quality time together is so worth it.
Back to the mountains we went!
I captured this thing of beauty:
We had more than our fair share of silly moments. Some caught on camera, but most, thankfully, were not. ;)
We had normal, every day life.
We got up to the mountains AGAIN for some sledding in December.
And my parents and I planted ourselves in Coeur d'Alene for the birth of my newest nephew, Mason.
Whew! What a year it was!
Did I miss something?
That's right. I went to ITALY!
I truly tried to pare this phot selection down. Considering the thousands of pictures I took, I think I did a pretty decent job picking just the highlights.
The Colosseum as seen from the Roman Forum.
Altar della Patria. I still can't even begin to describe the sheer SIZE of this building. You can see it from virtually everywhere in central Rome.
The Colosseum behind me.
Saint Ignatius - not a well-known church, but definitely one that boasts a staggering view inside.
Not that it needs any introduction, but The Pantheon.
Trevi Fountain, which was under an 18 month renovation while I was there. It's completed now. It's only polite that I go back to see it in all its glory.
I can't explain how I felt every time I stood near the Colosseum, which was daily. The apartment I found on vrbo.com was literally across the street. I stared at it from every single window in the apartment. This structure....I just have no words. I was in complete awe to stand there and think of how OLD it really is. Seriously! And the events that took place within its walls.....
I also got to tour The Vatican. This is the Sistine Chapel. No, you aren't allowed to take pictures of the ceiling. Yes, I did anyway. We all know how I love rules!
Corridor leading to the Papal Apartment.
I hiked, and hiked, and HIKED a gazillion steps (seriously, July, no A/C, and masses of people) to get this view. It was stunning, though hazy. I wish it had been a little more clear, but let's not be too greedy. ;)
I also trekked it back to The Vatican for some sunset and night shots. I can't tell you how many miles we walked each day. I would say the average was probably 13-15. I never once felt guilty about all of that gelato! (I MISS gelato terribly.)
Sant'Andrea della Valle - so much gold!!
One last shot of the Colosseum, I swear.
Capri - oh how I loved Capri. The blue-blue waters, the lush green over the entire island, the sea breeze, the great friends we made to/from......
And then Florence. Florence was a really fun town. Merely a fraction the size of Rome (Rome, to me is like NYC, whereas Florence is like Meridian), it was far easier to navigate.
And the Duomo at night - I really love this shot.
2016 is about ME. I have every intention of keeping the pace of travel. I already have three trips planned, and I'm sure there will be plenty of outdoor adventures in between.
Work was absolutely incredible this year - I am so happy with my firm and the successes shared there. My photography business was really put on the back-burner this year to focus on this:
Totally worth it.