Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 highlights

   The end of the year is a good time to reflect and especially to be grateful for all the blessings in our lives. I've had much to be thankful for in 2014 for sure! Here are a few of them in no particular order:
- Turned 40 (how did that happen I sure don't feel 40!!!) (PS only took an extra 17 years for me to stop getting "carded" regularly for alcohol purchases.) Spent my birthday and Christmas with family and friends in Los Angeles. Hope to travel with Dik this year--it was so sweet of him to come with us to celebrate!
- Had 2 very successful art sales: Hallmarket and Crafty Chicks
- Celebrated my 17th anniversary at Hallmark
- Traveled to Portland for work—twice—and completed direction of the "Polariffic!" short, which was unveiled to Hallmark's creative leaders on the big screen at Kauffman Center (and I had a seat next to none other than Mr. Dave Hall himself!)
- "Polariffic!" received an Annie award nomination (against animation juggernauts Pixar, Dreamworks, no less)
- Traveled to Maine with Mom, Martha & Gayle (alias Blondie) to remember my Great Aunt; took mom on a challenging hike with a breathtaking payoff. We haven't hiked together since Alaska in 2011. 'Bout time!
- Traveled to LA for the Northpole event and to celebrate Christmas with my family
- Went to Portland in March—peak timing to see the cherry blossoms along the river downtown on my morning runs
- Ate so much amazing food in Portland over the two trips that it took me months to lose the weight... and it was worth it
- Completed my 2nd (KCCC) & 3rd (Longview lake) half marathons, and signed up for #4 in 2015 in Yosemite
- Started trail racing & pushed myself hard on two quite technical, challenging races (4 & 7 mi); competed in countless other road races. All that trail running resulted in a gnarly case of plantar fasciitis that began in September... and hasn't retreated as of 2/2015 (but I haven't backed off much exercise, either). Makes me thankful for all the years of health I have enjoyed.
- Learned the basics of longboarding. Plenty of alley-oops, but no broken bones.
- Took 2 snowboarding trips; plenty of crashes, but no broken bones (Winter Park, CO; and Snowbird, Solitude, and Park City, Utah)
- Achieved Divemaster ranking (making me a professional diver!) & 9 other Scuba specialty certifications; helped countless kids have their first experience in the water—helped a few kids and adults work through some pretty intense fear. I love helping people discover the joy of diving!
- Traveled to Roatan, Honduras again to dive the incredible reefs & wrecks with my diving besties Jeff and Marty, Adam and Dana, Taka and Rafael, and many more. Had two close up, magical encounters with the same sea turtle.
- Helped 1 foster dog, Kyra, until such time that Aki said, "ENOUGH!" Opening my home to her for 2 weeks saved her life.
- Enjoyed the company of these 3 banditos, AKA Triple Trouble
- Had fun with my "Little Sister," M'kiylah
- Was an actor for police training exercises (and may I say, I play as good a victim on land as I do in Scuba training exercises) 
Phew! Anyone else tired?  ;)