winter reflections

this has been a weird winter.

i stayed here in new hampshire, that's weird. i moved out of my parent's house, that's weird (and awesome). i got sick, a lot, that's super weird. it was painfully cold at points, that's not weird, just terrible. i left my scouty girl at my parent's house where she is happiest, that's weird and rips my heart out. 

it feels like a lot happened, and also nothing happened. i fell into a funk thinking about how stationary i felt. traveling in the winter was my thing, but this year i didn't go anywhere. i've had a hard time coming to terms with that, especially because everyone i seem to encounter asks "so where are you off to this winter?!"

i took a moment the other day to scroll through my photos and started to realize all the things i was able to do this winter. a lot did happen. good and bad and all that's in between.

FullSizeRender.jpg
IMG_9772.JPG

i started out the off-season with a photography show at the local gallery in town. 17 photographers (myself included) documented our region for an entire year, resulting in thousands of photos which were narrowed down to about 100 for the final show. quite a few photos of my family made it into the show, and i was overwhelmed at how many of them showed up to the opening. kaufholds always come through when you need them.

i also got to be a bridesmaid and wear a fancy dress in my friend beth's wedding! beth and i have been friends since high school, and it was so special to share that weekend with her and all the people that love her most. i drank about as much as i cried. love makes me emotional, give me a break!

IMG_9342.JPG

craft fairs! made out pretty well at the living local fair this year. i work best with a deadline, and this fair is always a great incentive to keep creating.

IMG_9352.JPG

colby-sawyer reunion! haven't had this whole group together in one place since graduation, which is now four years ago. *cries* these ladies are all wonderful, and i'm so glad we've kept in touch and continue to make time for each other. can't wait to take another photo like this every few years.

IMG_9808.jpeg
IMG_9802.jpeg

christmas at home felt like the best present i could have asked for. being away last year wasn't something i wanted to repeat. the sky was incredible, the food was delicious, and the ladies in my family sure do love to puzzle.

IMG_9948.JPG

i moved! into an adorable old farmhouse! it's so exciting to have my own space, and have that space still be close by to family. we're slowly filling the house with plants and art and lights, and more plants.

IMG_0829.JPG
IMG_0404.JPG
IMG_0097.JPG

my sweet grandma peg passed away this winter. she passed peacefully at home, with family around, and 95 incredible years under her belt. it's hard to feel anything but grateful for all the time i got with her. i inherited a lot of her scarves and sweaters (like the one in this picture), and every time i wear one it's like a big hug from peg, perfume and all.

IMG_0715.JPG
IMG_4741.jpg

i adopted a kitten! little miss penny lane is the sweetest snuggle bug, who sleeps about 85% of everyday. the rest of the time she's your typical wild kitten. it's adorable. i'm obsessed.

FullSizeRender.jpg

penny seems to like her new home too, plants are the perfect kitten toys! it's a daily struggle. good thing she's cute.

IMG_0289.JPG

here's the part i didn't share with many people, and i really questioned whether or not i ever would. this has been an incredible year of women sharing their stories, and screw it, i'm feeling inspired.

i had surgery! it was a decision that took years to make, and one that i kept mostly to myself. i never felt like it was a secret, but it's a personal surgery, and not the type of thing you go posting all over facebook. (though here i go now..). my chest is now three whole pounds lighter (insane), and i've never felt more comfortable in my own body. it's like my inside me and my outside me are finally matching up. honestly, i'm just so proud i actually did it! and if you're reading this and have ever considered a similar surgery, please reach out, i'd be happy to help walk you through it. i was lucky enough to have an incredible friend who helped me every step of the way. her advice and honesty made this entire process infinitely easier, (thanks girl, you know who you are).  

FullSizeRender.jpg

frequent trips to visit scouty have made that transition much easier, and of course penny has to meet her big sister! they get along so well, and watching them play around the house makes my cat lady heart explode. 

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG

house sitting and dog sitting, that seems to be how i spent the majority of the winter. who knew i had so many dog friends?! who am i?! honestly i'm so thankful i got to spend my time this way, and financially it was enough to float me into next season. not having to worry about taking time off for my surgery/recovery was amazing. maybe dogs aren't that bad, maybeeeee.

FullSizeRender.jpg

but in reality, most days have looked like this. and i'm ok with that.

it's ok to be happy right where you are.

 

UPDATE:
In case you've missed it on the news, there has been terrible flooding on Kauai over the last week. The North Shore (which is where I've stayed the last three winters) is suffering from insane flood/landslide/mudslide damage. These pictures have been filling my social media, and it hurts my heart to see such a magical place struggling. Thankfully my friends on Kauai are all safe, but their local communities desperately need help. I've included two links below these photos if you are interested in helping out. Thank you.

Here are two ways you can help out directly:

Malama Kaua'i - Flood Relief

Hanalei-Haena Flooding Fund