Saying Goodbye to 2015

The past year flew by so fast, I really can’t believe it’s already over and we’re about to ring in a new year. 2015 has been incredibly good to me. So many wonderful things have happened this year:
I got a new job. After nearly twelve years with the phone company, I accepted a position with the local power company. It’s turned out to be amazing, both because it’s the best job I’ve ever had, but also because I’ve gained great coworkers who have also become great friends. I love where I’m at and am so proud of how much I’ve learned and accomplished since I started my job there. I can’t wait to get even better in 2016!
Bill and I moved in together. We found a really great apartment in Edmonds, less than two miles from downtown and the waterfront. Thanks to Bill’s eye for decorating, our home is now cozy, beautiful, and inviting. I absolutely love living here, and it’s the first place that has really felt like home to me in the last couple of years. The kitties love it here too, especially when the weather is nice and they can spend their days lounging in the sun on our back patio!
I attended my second Lollapalooza in Chicago. I love everything about summers in Chicago. Bill and I ate way too much good food, saw a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, and of course enjoyed the music at Lollapalooza – including seeing Metallica, one of my all-time favorite bands.
Bill and I got engaged. On October 4th, on Ruby Beach, Bill asked me to marry him. He’s the love of my life and my best friend, and of course I said yes. When we got home, he got down on one knee and gave me a beautiful ring that he had bought for me and saved until he could find just the right moment to ask me to wear it forever. I never knew it was possible to be so in love with someone, to feel so right with another person. I cannot wait to marry him!
I got to spend the holidays with my family for the first time since moving to Washington. Normally I don’t make travel plans over the holidays, because crowds make me anxious and it’s expensive to fly during that time of year, but it was really important to me to be able to get back to California this Thanksgiving. It was great getting to have dinner with my family like old times. And while I was there, I went shopping with my mom, my sister, and a few of my closest friends, and I picked out my wedding dress! My parents are keeping it safe for me until it’s time for alterations. I went back to California a few weeks later to celebrate my mom’s birthday with her and participate in family Christmas festivities. My sister recently moved to San Diego, and my brother is planning his own move to Washington in 2016, so it was great to have everyone together under one roof before we all scatter to different places.
2015 had so many happy moments for me. It was also the year I experienced one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with, the passing of my wonderful friend Big Mike. We lost him very suddenly last May and it’s still very difficult to accept that I’ll never see his big smile, hear his loud booming laugh, or get wrapped up in one of his amazing hugs ever again. I still catch myself waiting for him to walk in the door at American Brewing, the brewery we all like to hang out at. But even though missing him makes me so incredibly sad, remembering him always brings a smile to my face. Mike was so kind, so generous and giving, and he loved people and animals and good food. He meant so much to so many people. 2016 just won’t be the same, because it won’t have Mike in it. But those of us who love him will continue to keep his memory alive, by talking about him and sharing our stories of great times with him, by grilling hot dogs at ABC to raise money for the food bank, by giving kindness and friendship to others the way that he gave it to us. I love you, Mike. You will be in my heart forever. Cheers, my wonderful friend.
And so, in just a few short hours we will close the door on 2015 and move forward with hopes that 2016 will be our best year yet.  For me, it’s going to be the year I plan my wedding (tentatively taking place in March 2017, stay tuned!). It is going to be the year that I enjoy my job, my community, my family, and my friends. And, as always, it is the year that I resolve to win the lottery….it’s bound to happen eventually, right?
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2016 brings you health, happiness, and success. Cheers to all my family and friends!

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