Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2015 in Review

Belated Happy New Year! It saddens me that I never did a 2015 photo review here, so I'm going to remedy that. It's just a nice little summary to have in my blog records.

I began 2015 with a fun road trip up to the Seattle area. I remember it was sunny and cold and I felt inspired and content. It was a great start!

Later in the month, my relatives from Hawaii visited to check out a nearby college for my cousin (not pictured--this is a different cousin). He ended up attending said college in the fall (but has decided to transfer back to Hawaii), so I briefly had family living in Oregon! :)

FEBRUARY was a fun and eventful month. Over President's weekend, my friend Dan and I roadtripped down to my hometown of Yuba City, CA. It was such a fun and perfect trip--the weather was awesome, and I was glad to see my parents' (and formerly my) house one last time before it sold. Valentine's Day (the Saturday) was a highlight of the year. We hung out in the backyard by the pond playing games and enjoying delicious food, and I showed Dan some notable places like my schools and churches, and houses I lived in. Then Dania joined us for games and dinner. I get sad-happy thinking about it, because I will so miss that house and yard (just as soon as I accept that it belongs to someone else now).

My friend Katrina got engaged in February, so I got to take her engagement photos!

2015 was mostly a year of great weather, so February began a lot of time outside taking pictures. It was exciting to watch everything bloom over the months. Oh and I even went to the coast by myself at the end of February. My first time going alone.

MARCH was SO BEAUTIFUL. I went out and took lots of pictures, but otherwise stayed fairly close to home. I went to the Seattle area one weekend, and did a lot of prep for upcoming months. It was a happy time, at least in my memory.

At the end of March, my new niece was born! :) :) I now have 10 nieces and nephews between my two sisters.

APRIL: I got to meet my new niece! I made a trip out to the Albuquerque area and met up with my parents at my sister's house. We spent Easter weekend together and, even though some of the girls were sick part of the time, it was a really nice trip.

I took a ton of pictures of my beautiful nieces, while there. Don't they have darling Easter dresses?

Shortly after returning home, I opened my first Etsy shop to sell my photo prints. I'm sure you're tired of hearing about that by now, but it was a big undertaking for me, and it consumed my thoughts for several months this past year. It was also one of the main driving forces behind all the times I went out taking pictures, and I am so glad I did. Regardless of what happens with Etsy, I thoroughly enjoyed spring and summer photography in 2015.

MAY: I attended Katrina's wedding (something notable only because I actually go to very few weddings!), went to a peony farm, went to the iris garden more than once, took a million flower photos, and I'm having a hard time remembering if I went anywhere further than the Willamette Valley that month! I guess not.

Maybe I stayed close to home since I was distracted by Etsy and photography. But I did get to do this super fun photo shoot with my coworker, Katt.

JUNE: The rose month! I certainly took my share of rose photos throughout spring and summer. For some reason this past summer is kind of a blur to me now. I think one of the most exciting parts of June was that I bought an air conditioner! It's something I've talked about getting every year, but this past summer was the perfect time to take the plunge. I can't imagine how it would've been without it, because I got so much use from it even into September. We had so many hot days compared to usual.

I visited the Heirloom Roses garden (St. Paul, Ore.) for my first time in June. I definitely want to go back this year! It would be a great place for a portrait session. Do I have any volunteers?

JULY: Over the 4th, I had friends over and that a/c worked overtime. It was great! I played lots of games and took walks when it would cool off a little in the evening.

I also discovered a nearby community garden that is open to the public as long as we don't steal produce. :) They have lots of sunflowers and I went several times during the rest of the summer, since it's so close.

AUGUST: In this month, I got to photograph my friend/former coworker's booth over at Blackbird Granary in Mt. Angel. It was a new style of photography for me (at least professionally) and it was very fun!

Other than that, I spent time at the aforementioned garden and visited the Ankeny refuge (as I did several times this year).

SEPTEMBER: Right at the beginning of the month, I headed over to the state fair for some photos. I went alone, thinking I might feel pathetic at such a peoply place, but it was great! I loved being able to focus on photography and not worry about holding anyone up. Plus, I enjoy slowly perusing all the animals, which might be boring for some. I also love feeling anonymous in crowds like that, and hoped I wouldn't see anyone I knew. :D I'm such a social person!

My parents, after working a hard summer as camp hosts, finally had a break and came up to visit me. We had fun going to the coast and the refuge, and just relaxing and hanging out, too.

OCTOBER, as you know, is one of my favorite months (if not the favorite). I had another great October that began with an awesome trip that I've posted about (and never quite finished!). My friend Dania and I went to Vegas and Utah...

...and then I went onto Albuquerque after that! I still want to show you some of those picture. I got to hang out with my sister's family for a couple of days, which is too short, but I'm so glad I got another trip out there. Plus, I love the Balloon Fiesta!

The month continued with a fun birthday weekend, lots of fall color, and plenty of time with my camera. I remember walking around Bush park and surrounding neighborhoods on Halloween, happily taking in the fall feeling before it was gone.

NOVEMBER: More fall color, another trip to the refuge, etc. etc. Early in the month, I joined my friend Pami for a wine tasting at Honeywood in Salem. I also got to try a new restaurant (Rafns') and we had a nice day, despite the rainy weather.

I managed to catch the porcelain berries when the leaves turned yellow, which was exciting! It only took several visits to make sure I didn't miss.

Over Thanksgiving, I drove up to the Seattle area, which is becoming a tradition that helps make the holidays less stressful (one less plane trip to deal with that time of year, since all my family lives far away). Then that weekend, I got my first Christmas tree (of my own) for my apartment. I loved it! It brought me lots of holiday merriment. :)

DECEMBER! It feels like a long time ago now, even though it was just last month. I visited a nearby light display one evening, and practiced with light/bokeh photography. I decorated my livingroom and made a point to have friends over to enjoy it. There were games, lots of cheesy Christmas movies, and of course Christmas shopping and wrapping.

For Christmas, I went to [south of] Houston where my older sister's family and now my parents live. I hadn't been before, beyond driving through many years ago, so it was interesting to see a new place that is very different from here. It's more tropical, for one thing. On Christmas Day I wandered around my sister's backyard taking pictures of anoles, and the bananas they just discovered growing there. That's an anole on my dad's hand. So fun!

The day after Christmas, we celebrated my nephew's birthday in Galveston, where they have some really cool old houses. Overall, I had a great trip and I'm looking forward to going back. There's soooo much more to see there. They get so many birds! I want to post more photos sometime, but with my track record I can't make any promises.

This is a very summarized version of my year, of course--there's so much more I could say, but I didn't want to overwhelm you or myself. Overall, I'd say 2015 was very good. I got to relax a lot, but I also worked pretty hard (both at my job and in my personal life). There wasn't really any major drama, which was a huge relief.

Here's to you, 2016! Be good to me.

Thanks for looking/reading. Click here on my Year in Review tag if for some reason you'd like to peruse previous years.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Valentine Notecards

I'm NOT good at keeping up with this blog. But I wanted to let you know I added some new notecards to my Etsy shop!

Click/tap images to get to my Etsy shop!

Click/tap images to get to my Etsy shop!

I designed two styles, with four colors/images for each style, so please go have a look! More details and pictures are on the listing. I know Valentine's Day is a month away, but it'll come quickly. It's nice to have time to fill out cards and address the envelopes at your leisure, thinking about your friends and family and what they mean to you. Maybe add a pretty sticker to the envelope, and possibly purchase some candy or a Starbucks card to send along with it. ;) You'll definitely brighten someone's day!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year's! I want to post photos from that (and still more from my October trip), but I know better than to promise! Have a wonderful evening. :)


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