1/1-2 – Daryl and Nick continued their tradition of skiing in the New Year and this year I got to join them! We rang in the New Year on Mt. St. Helens, camping in the snow and drinking Pliny The Elder. That afternoon we skinned up to about 6500ft, then skied back to camp. The next morning we skied back to the car, in the rain.
1/14-15 – Nick came out to the coast to fly his kite, then we caravanned back to Hillsboro to hang out with the Worden’s.
1/15 – It starts snowing in Astoria.
1/16 – Mama and I go yarn shopping. We were going to head down to Manzanita to our favorite yarn shop, but they were closed because of the snow, so we stayed in Seaside. Mama made friends with the shop cat. That evening Daryl taught a CPR class for Daddy and me. I’m now officially certified to attempt to save your life!
1/17 – There was SNOW in Astoria. Not just the usually light dusting, but actual, legitimate snow. So of course, we decided to ski Saddle Mountain, the highest point in Clatsop county.
Spend most of the month packing up the basement. It was a long, longprocess.
I attempted to write in my journal every day again. I made it 25 days before I gave up. Maybe one day I’ll do it again,
1/31 – Drove out of Astoria at 11pm to head to Nick’s apartment in Portland. We were officially on our way to Montana!
2/1 – We head to Montana. Since we were in two vehicles, we caravanned to Pasco before stopping for the night.
2/2 – We made it to Missoula! We stopped for pizza before heading to Mike’s house for the night. Oh man, it was good to not be driving any more!
2/4 – We settled into Doug and Jen’s the previous night and then met up with Mike to ski at Lost Trail. It was a bluebird day and perfect!
2/9 – Doug and Jen’s daughter Aiyana is a musher. She was deep in training mode when we got there, so Daryl and I decided to head out with them to get pictures and video for her website. Skalkaho Pass it was!
2/12 – Aiyana’s last local race of the year was the Jr. Race To the Sky, a 100-mile race from Lincoln to Seeley Lake. We had planned on meeting them in Lincoln to help with the start of the race, but were stopped by an accident on highway 200. Instead, we met them at the halfway point, White Tail Ranch. Aiyana was obviously out on the trail, so Daryl and I helped Doug prepare for her arrival. Once she got in, she bedded down the dogs, then we watched them while she slept. After she and the dogs took off again, we drove to Seeley Lake to wait for her. She rocked the race and kept a steady pace for the full 100 miles.
2/13 – After the award ceremony ended, Daryl loaded into the truck with Doug and Aiyana to hit the road to Alaska. Oh, how I wished to tell Daryl not to go. I was so, so, so bummed that I couldn’t go. That I couldn’t show Alaska to Daryl on his first trip. I have wanted to go back to Alaska since I was 5 and I hated that I didn’t get to go.
2/15 – After wallowing in self pity for a day about not going to Alaska, I got my ski stuff together and went on a little solo trip.
2/16 – After dropping the kids off at school, Jen, Zila, and I went on a hike.
2/17 – Bowling night with Liz, Tommy, Bart, and Nicole. I felt I was back in Seattle – on one side of us was a group of Asian students who weren’t speaking English and on the other, a group of hipsters wearing old school Mariners gear.
2/20 – I decided that while I was staying at Doug and Jen’s I was going to try my hardest to make sure Jeremiah didn’t get lost. His oldest sister is an all-star musher and he has two little brothers who get categorized as “the babies”, so he unfortunately is a bit of a middle child. Since it was President’s Day, he didn’t have school and Lost Trail was open on a Monday. Ski trip time! It was an awesome day for skiing. Doug, Daryl, Aiyana, and the dogs make it to Alaska (after six flat tires in two days!).
2/21 – I officially become a Montana resident!
2/22 – I set off on my first solo drive from Montana to Seattle, stopping at Molly’s house in Ellensburg for the night.
2/23 – My tax return deposited into my account, so after paying off my credit card, I buy my precious Arc’Teryx Stingray (in Peacock) for $100 off (and only pay $50 out of pocket!).
2/24 – My Becky-girl has her senior show at Cornish. Sue and John, her parents, flew out from Pennsylvania and we all had a joyous reunion (I don’t think all six of us have been together since her family moved there in 2002). Becky was of course beautiful and amazing and I cried during her solo and the piece she choreographed. After the show, when we all met up in the lobby, I burst into tears when I gave her a hug. She is absolutely my soul-sister and I was so incredibly proud of her.
I was glued to my phone all of the 24th and 25th to track Aiyana’s progress in the Jr. Iditarod. I am so proud of her!
2/27 – I went to a very talented high school. Last year Logan (quoted in that article), one of the few boys who graced our hall, was cast at Gaston in his very first National Tour, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Somehow the stars aligned so that the tour was in Seattle the same weekend I was there for Becky’s senior show. We snagged last minute tickets and giggled every time he made an entrance (when a boy you dated and who called himself “Logie Wat-Wat Denninghoff” as a child is suddenly on a big stage playing the macho anti-hero, you are required to giggle). Abbi was also at the show, so we had a mini-WAPA reunion and it was wonderful. [Also, the theatre world is so small because a girl from my Musical Theatre History class in college was in the ensemble.]
3/1 – After driving back from Seattle, I stopped at Mike’s house and discovered one of my favorite nephews was there too! I hung out with Mike and Fisher for a couple hours and it was awesome. I love my family.
3/3 – Daryl, Doug, and Aiyana stayed longer than anticipated to help Kirk with the start of the Iditarod. Thankfully it was broadcast online, so Jen, Jeremiah, Kai, Noah, and I watched it from Hamilton.
3/4 – I had planned on a little solo ski trip again, but the snow was against me. I broke out an OPA and read about ballet history instead.
3/6 – Daryl, Doug, Aiyana, and the dogs start the trip home! I was SO HAPPY! I finally got my butt in gear and took a ballet class at Ballet Bitterroot. It was my first class in MONTHS AND MONTHS and I nailed a triple pirouette.
3/8 – Daryl gets back from Alaska!!
3/10-12 – Nick was randomly in town, so the three of us head out on a backcountry trip. After attempting the drive up Trapper and Saint Mary, we settle on Lost Trail.
3/16-21 – We help Mike move to Great Falls. After unpacking in Great Falls, we hang out with the kids. I adore those three.
3/25-28 – I woke up the morning after the Cold Smoke Tour feeling icky and gross. Since we had no home to head back to, we instead went to Goldbug Hot Springs for the “healing vapors”. We spent three glorious days camping and soaking and I felt a thousand times better by the time we left!
4/2 – After our hot springs and skiing trips, we spent a few days at Mike and Nancy’s, caving friends of Daryl’s. I unfortunately developed the worst toothache of my entire life and was miserable (and miserable to be around, I’m sure).
4/3 – Liz and Tommy have a BBQ at the cabin. I’m sure it was great, and the food was fantastic, but I was in massive amounts of pain and alcohol made it worst. I basically sat on the couch and tried not to cry.
4/4 – I woke up and looked like a chipmunk. Liz gave me the name of her dentist, who was able to squeeze me in. He then referred me to an oral surgeon, and I had an appointment to get my tooth extracted the next day.
4/5 – My face continued to swell, despite the antibiotics and pain meds the dentist gave me. I have never cried from a shot at the dentist before, but man, I burst into tears when they gave me the numbing shot. I was so swollen and in so much pain. Thankfully, the tooth came out easily and the oral surgeon upped my antibiotic to a heavy duty one.
4/10 – Daryl and I head to Great Falls. We hung out with the kids for a day before heading off on a week and a half long caving trip.
4/17-19 – From Logging Creek, we moved camp to Smoke In Hole Creek. We spent a couple of days at a great camp site, convinced we would see the moose who clearly regularly occupied the area. No moose siting to be had, but Mike scared up a sow with two cubs and Daryl and I were charged by the Mama!
4/20 – We head back to Missoula and I take my first shower in 17 days. We order Philly West for delivery and I enjoy my first cheesesteak since I left Philadelphia. It was perfect.
4/22 – Spring sprang and I bust out shorts and a tank top. While attempting to drive to Trapper Peak, the truck started acting funny. We detour to Como Lake and enjoy the gorgeous weather, before limping the SKIburban back to Hamilton.
4/23 – After trading the truck for the Subaru, we actually make it to Trapper and camp on the road (snow levels were too low for us to make it to the trail head). We got up super early and start up the mountain. We didn’t summit, but we did have gorgeous weather the entire way up and I impressed both of us with my skiing on the way down.
4/26-39 – Daryl and I go on an Asparagus Cavers trip. D has been to the cave several times in the past, but this was my first trip (and also my first time on rope!). It was so much fun! After the week and a half trip to the Little Belts with D and Mike earlier in the month, caving actually became fun for me. It wasn’t something I ever disliked, I just wasn’t comfortable. But this trip was the first truly FUN time I’d had caving.
5/1 – On the way back from our Asparagus trip, we stopped by Argenta Cave to place a data logger (Daryl is contracted through Fish, Wildlife, & Parks and the Forest Service to place data loggers in caves known to have bats). It’s a fun little cave! The entrance was a bit scary, since it was forty feet of ice, but I impressed Daryl because I’m ballsy and awesome.
5/2 – On the way back to Missoula from Argenta, we stopped in Bannack State Park, Montana’s oldest territorial capitol. It was awesome! I definitely want to go back for Bannack Days some time.
5/5 – After a brief recoup in Missoula, we headed back on the road to Idaho to visit Brian and Hadley in Hailey, ID.
5/8 – The snow was beautiful and tempting, so we of course hit a summit while we were in Idaho!
5/12 – After getting back to Montana, we try to camp on Saint Mary, but were stopped by fires. Literally, we turned a corner and there was a wall of (prescribed) fire. We instead camp at Bass Creek Campground, but went back to Saint Mary the next day to drive through the land of a thousand smokes.
5/15 – Tommy and Liz went to Idaho for a long weekend at Schwitzer, so Daryl and I dog-sat. Since it was nice, we took Debo and Aspen to the river and had a little picnic. I can’t wait until we have a dog of our own!
5/17 – Liz had the day off so we hiked for a while up the trail to the L on Mount Jumbo. We made it probably half way before Aspen was a bit too worn out? Never the less, it was a beautiful day and a good little hike.
5/21 – My first Northern Rocky Mountain Grotto sponsored trip: Ophir Cave. Daryl (our “experienced cave explorer” and trip leader), Liz, and I met Liz’s coworker Logan and Ann and Lee, two grotto members from Big Fork, and then we caravanned to the cave. It was a great trip! Liz nearly died using a Petzel “Go” and Ann and Lee didn’t get home until nearly 2 am, but it was highly successful and I definitely think it’d be fun to go back.
5/24 – We start another weekend of caving with a trip to Lewis & Clark Caverns. We stayed in a cute littlecabin then played tourists on the cave tour. I can’t wait until the annual Grotto trip so we can see the rest of the cave!
6/4 – My sweet love’s birthday! We camped at the Trapper Peak trail head, then drove through Painted Rocks State Park. It was laid back and no where near as memorable as I wanted it to be, but we were together, and that’s all the counts.
6/8 – We went to Great Falls to pick up Mike for another weekend of caving. We of course spent time with the kids and I melted when I was able to get Elsie to sleep when she was fussy. I just want to squeeze them all, they are the cutest kids ever. I’m not at all biased, since I’m not blood related to them. They are the cutest kids in the entire world and I will not be convinced otherwise.
6/9 – A classic Montana cave: Whitaker’s Sink. After a false start and deciding we needed more rope, we finally descend into the cave at 9pm and emerge 8 hours later as the sun rose. The next day (read: later the same day we got back to camp) we were rain/snow/wind stormed in our tent all day long.
6/12 – Daryl leads another Grotto trip, this time to Wagner’s Cave with myself, Liz, Logan, and Logan’s roommate Joe. We saw a CRAZY ant pile. There are some beautiful formations in Wagner’s and we found some pretty old signatures on the wall.
6/14 – Nick and his Mom were in town on their way from Missouri to Portland, so the four of us (plus Ozzy!) hiked up Mount Jumbo. We sort of, kind of, definitely lost the trail and bushwhacked through trees, but we made it to the summit! Missoula really is so beautiful.
6/17 – Head to Astoria! We make amazing time and do the drive in one shot. Trading off every two hours was the most brilliant idea we’ve ever had. We got into Astoria late that night and sneak into our old house with the boys. The next morning we snuggled Sasha and surprised Spencer when he walked down stairs. “That’s what you get for leaving your door unlocked: dirty hippies grow on your floor!”
I spend most days working in my Dad’s coin shop. Daryl finally got to experience the perfect Astoriasummer days that he always missed because he was in Montana.
6/24 – We head to Portland for a couple of days and play tourists with the Worden’s.
6/25 – Happy 29th Anniversary to my parents!! They are absolutely my inspiration.
6/27 – Happy 25th Birthday to me! Daryl, Nick, Ozzy, and I head off on our First Annual, Non-Segregated, Birth Month Trip to Mt. Adams.
7/4 – Daryl and I pour beer at the Fort George 4th of July/Liberate The Ales BBQ. They actually didn’t have customer volunteers this year, but because they love us and miss us, they let us pour anyway!
7/7 – It had been a while since we last saw Amy, so the three of us decided to meet in the middle between Sequim and Astoria – in a very small town called Westport, WA. None of us had been there before, so we decided why not? Originally we were going to boogie board, but the weather was no cooperating, so instead we had a mini-brewery and wine tour.
7/14-15 – The day had come: yard sale time! I couldn’t believe how much junk we had to sell. And I couldn’t believe people bought nearly $500 of it! Everything we didn’t sell we took to the Women’s Resource Center. It was our junk no longer!
7/16 – Daryl, Alexis, and I head to Portland.
7/17 – The three of us leave Portland and caravan to Spokane. We stayed at a hotel with a water slide – it was AWESOME!
7/18 – We make it to Missoula!
7/19 – We head down to the Bitterroot and swim at Bells Crossing then we camped at the Bass Creek Overlook. We saw the edges of some Northern Lights! They were really faint, but they were there!
7/20 – Alexis said she wanted to rock climb, so we rented shoes at The Trail Head then went to Kootenai. She’s a natural! D and I couldn’t believe how she flew up the rock face! That night we went to Doug and Jen’s for dinner. Alexis and Aiyana hit it off almost immediately.
7/22 – We had planned on a float trip, but the day got away from us before we could rent tubes. Instead we decided to float the next day and camped at Corrick’s Riverbend. It was beautiful! We hung out in the river for a bit and watched the stars.
7/23 – Float trip! We rented tubes and were dropped off at Whitaker Bridge. We spent several hours floating down to Johnsrud. It was so much fun! I can’t wait to float more next summer!
7/24 – We packed up the truck and set off for a week at Glacier, with plans to back pack a little bit. That night we camped in this AMAZING campsite near Hungry Horse Reservoir.
7/25 – We made it into the park around the same time everything was opening up. Gosh, Glacier is so, so, so very beautiful. Definitely one of, if not the most, beautiful places I’ve ever been. We drove the Going To The Sun Road and along the way saw three grizzly bears, a ton of mountain goats, and ram horn sheep. From the Logan Pass visitor center we “hiked” up to Hidden Lake. A chipmunk tried to make friends with Daryl.
7/26 – It is decided that we aren’t going to do any hiking or backpacking (sad face), so instead we drive through the east side of the park. We nearly hit a moose when it ran across the road! We stop to picnic at Two Medicine Lake. It was so beautiful, we stayed to float, and end up camping next to the lake. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was!
7/27 – The Glacier trip unfortunately stopped being fun, so we drove back to Missoula. After we got back to town there was an awesome thunder and lightening storm and we got Big Dipper ice cream.
7/28 – Daryl, Tommy, Alexis, and I take the dogs to the river. Tommy made an unbelievable dinner that night.
7/29 – It was hot and beautiful again, so Daryl, Alexis, and I take the dogs back to the river. It was a very river-y summer.
7/30 – Alexis flies back to Portland. Liz, Tommy, and Jamie all had the day off from work and it was hot again, so we filled two growlers at Kettlehouse and head to the river with the dogs. We were lush and got dinner at Tom Dooley’s (the hot dog place in town), then ice cream at Big Dipper, then filled two more growlers, though we were all asleep by 10pm, so they remained unopened.
7/31 – While the boys played with tools, Liz and I rode bikes around downtown Missoula. I love how bike friendly it is here!
8/2 – Our original caving plans for the summer was in the Scapegoat Wilderness, however the entire place decided to catch on fire, so that was out. In honor of our scrapped plans, we bought a keg of Big Sky Scapegoat Pale Ale to take on our new trip.
8/3 – Daryl, Liz, and I head down to Doug and Jen’s for dinner. We tap the keg and end up staying the night.
8/4 – We make it to Idaho and meet Brian and Hadley at Poison Peak. We set up camp and chillax around the fire.
8/5 – We spend the day around camp, organizing our gear and finishing the camp set up. We also discovered a great little “vacation camp” next to the creek and head there for a few hours. Somehow, the keg was empty by the end of the day.
8/6 – We drive up the trail head then hike to the cave. Drop rope and gear, then hike around for a bit looking for caves. Brian found a hole that looked like it went.
8/8 – We dig at Brian’s hole for several hours. Unfortunately, it didn’t go anywhere. We were all disappointed. That night at camp, Liz, Hadley, and I had a 90s dance party and annoy the boys. We were enjoying out numbering the boys for the first time ever!
8/9 – Daryl, Brian, Liz, and I head up to Poison Peak Blow Hole. Brian re-rigged the cave and Daryl set up a “ropes course” for Liz and I to practice change overs.
8/10 – We finally make it in the cave! Once you get into the cave, there really isn’t much to see. The boys did some work while Liz and I explored a little bit. We decide we’ll stay in camp the next day as we couldn’t really help the boys at all.
8/11 – Relaxing lady day at camp. Lots of reading and scaring off the cows. Liz started a fire in approximately thirty seconds and it was awesome.
8/12 – We all head home. Daryl, Liz, and I somehow manage to make it back to Missoula by 4:30pm!
8/14 – While walking around downtown turning resumes in to all the coffee shops, I was called in for an interview for the coffee shop in The Trail Head. I interview and then am offered the job within an hour. We head to the river to celebrate!
8/23 – We got the house we looked at! I go in and sign the lease and start moving in!
8/24 – In lieu of an audition, the head of the dance department said I could just take the modern placement class. I of course felt awkward because I didn’t know anyone and modern isn’t my forte and I am the most awkward person in the world, but it goes pretty well.
8/25-26 – Elizabeth Parkinson workshop! It was so, so good. And, she complimented my technique during ballet class! Pretty good for someone who never ever takes class because I’m the laziest talented person I know. She taught us part of the opening number from Movin’ Out and a section of “Sing! Sing! Sing!” from Fosse. It was such a great workshop!
8/29 – Fiddler On The Roof and Jumping Into Fire auditions for the theatre and dance departments. I was so happy when I found out I could audition for shows even though I’m not in school yet. I pulled out my Amelia Earhart monologue from Chamber Music – it wasn’t perfect, but for my first theatre audition since college, it wasn’t too bad!
8/30 – I got called back for both Fiddler and Jumping Into Fire. I couldn’t do Fiddler because of the time commitment, so I only do the JiF call back. It was a fun, but extremely long, dance call back.
9/1 – Daryl finished work a week early and so came home a week early! I was the happiest girl ever!
9/5 – We ended up with a keg of PBR in the break room at work, so we had an official kegger after we closed one night. I baked some killer cookies and we made friends with Conner and Lori. Daryl and Conner bonded over keg stands.
9/8 – I drove D to Spokane to fly to Portland so he could get the rest of our stuff. My new RAM for Millie came, so I upgraded from 2gb to 8gb!
9/11 – Daryl drive back to Missoula with a UHaul and all our stuff. We officially move into our first house!
9/13 – I rode my bike to the Hip Strip to get my hair cut and get hit by a car door. Thankfully, I had a feeling the woman driving wasn’t going to see me, so I slowed down and was prepared for her to open her door onto me. I get knocked off my bike, but was unhurt.
9/16 – My Dad let me have his upgrade, so I upgraded Frank The Third, my iPhone 3GS to Frankenfourther, an iPhone 4. For a dollar!
9/17 – We invite Liz, Tommy, Jamie, and the dogs over for dinner. I made a pot roast in the crock pot and killer mashed potatoes.
9/18 – I finally switch Sue Ann’s plates over to Montana plates. MNT KATT!
10/2 – Daryl and I decide to fly up to Hot Springs, MT to spend the day soaking. Unfortunately, the wind didn’t exactly cooperate, so we turned around and flew back to Missoula. D made a post about it on his blog!
10/4 – Daryl and I rode out bikes and met up with Conner and Lori at the Urey Underground Lecture Hall for Reel Rock 7.
10/5 – Pray For Snow party at Caras Park. D and I rode over to Liz and Tommy’s (and I got my first ever flat tire on my bike), then the four of us rode downtown. We ate, drank, and were merry!
10/11 – I went into battle. Millie was in fighting mode, but I was prepared. I spoke to four different people at Apple, stumping all of them, before discovering on my own that the hard drive I had recently installed was in the same line as the hard drives Apple had recently recalled (rather, they recalled computers that came preinstalled with the hard drive). Daryl and I took it back to Best Buy and exchanged it for one we knew would work. BAM! Millie was finally the Mac I knew she could be: 8gb of RAM and a 1T hard drive, all wrapped up in a beautiful aluminum shell.
10/12-14 – Daryl and I went to Great Falls for a few days. Have I mentioned yet how much I adore those adorable nephews and niece of ours?
10/19 – Nick moved back to Missoula!
10/21 – Spencer came to visit! He had a week off for vacation, so he and Sasha-girl came to Missoula for a couple of days. I miss seeing Spencer every day.
10/22 – While I was at work, Daryl, Nick, Spencer, and Conner climb Ch-Paa-Qn. They got caught in a snow storm!
10/28 – Daryl, Nick, and I attempted to go to Saddle Creek Cave, however Hoo Doo Pass was covered in snow. Instead, we made a snow lady, then went to Hungary Hollow Cave instead.
11/1 – Daryl and I make a quick day trip to Great Falls for a bat meeting with the Forest Service, Fish Wildlife & Parks, and the Montana Natural Heritage Program. I knew Daryl was really important in the work they’re doing to help protect our bats from White Nose Syndrome, but it made me so very proud to see it in action.
11/2 – Daryl and Nick went to Idaho and met Brian to go caving at Papoose Cave. Daryl got to lead the trip! I can’t wait until I get to go!
11/6 – Ozzy was pretty bummed with Nick gone, so we went on a hike up to the M. He’s such a great dog.
11/14 – Daryl, Conner, Nick, and I took a little 24 hour vacation from Missoula and went to Weir Hot Springs. We got there, set up camp, then went to the hot springs and soaked for a couple hours. It was awesome.
11/15 – Devil Makes Three concert! It was so great, especially when compared to the concert of theirs we saw at the Roseland in Portland. The Wilma is such a great venue and Devil Makes Three are awesome and it was so much fun.
11/16 – Date night! We got an awesome dinner at Iza then saw Sleepwalk With Me at the Wilma. I love date night. <3
11/27 – Saint Mary with Daryl, Nick, Conner, Lori, Tommy, Jamie, Ozzy, and Debo.
12/1 – Daryl, Nick, and I drove to Idaho and then practically to Canada to place a data logger. Never in my life have I seen so much road hunting. For that matter, never in my life have I seen that many cars on a dirt road! After mine-caving for a bit, we drove back to Bonner’s Ferry and ate dinner at Kootenai River Brewing Company. The beer was good, but the food. Oh, the food. I got a half pound Salmon burger and Daryl got fish and chips with three of the biggest hunks of fish I’ve ever seen! So delicious!
12/4 – I caught the pinterest bug and made my first project I found there. Growing up we had a couple of cinnamon ornaments shaped like a moose. Since this is the first Christmas Daryl and I have decorated, we have no decorations. To rectify this, I made cinnamon ornaments. They were so easy and so cute. I decided that every year I’ll make a new decoration of sorts and then, in 25 or 30 years, we’ll have a house full of Christmas decorations that date back our whole life together. <3
12/6 – Lost Trail opening day! I’ve never been to an opening day of the skison before, I don’t think. It was great, great fun. I love it there.
12/7 – It snowed nearly all day in Missoula, it was fantastic. I was at work, but it was very pretty to look at. On my way home I stopped at the store. When I went back out to my car, Sue Ann wouldn’t turn on. D came and saved me and we got her home, but I was less than pleased. That night, it snowed and snowed and snowed and snowed. We had six inches in the back yard, I’m sure!
12/8 – Liz and her parents invited Daryl and I up to their house in Polson for first night of Hanukkah dinner. We drove up and man, was dinner delicious! Tommy couldn’t go because of work, but he gave Liz’s parents the recipe for the meat and oh gosh, even when he’s not there, he makes the best meat. We stayed the night and the next morning Daryl, Liz, and I soaked in the hot tub while looking out on the Mission mountains.
12/9 – We went Christmas Tree Hunting! It was only $5 to get a cut-your-own permit, so we went off in search of the perfect tree. It was so much fun! After we got home, The Explorer make a perfect Christmas tree stand.
12/12 – After work, I drove north to Whitefish and caught my train to Portland. I got a week off to go home for Christmas and I was so excited. I really wish D could’ve come with me, but never the less. I was going home to Astoria!
12/13 – I woke up in central Washington and stared out the window as we rode down the Columbia. I couldn’t believe it when I saw Multnomah Falls! I got into Portland around 10:30am and was so happy to see my Mama! We wandered downtown for a bit and said a quick “hi” to Lindsay, a friend from high school whom we’ve not seen since 2004 or 2005. It was so great to see her! Then we went to Powell’s and tried not to spend too much money. Oh, it was so good to be home! That night I snuggled with thekitties and it was good.
12/14 – My first full day in Astoria was beautiful. Perfect. My favorite kind of Astoria winter day. I hung out at Coffee Girl for a few hours, then worked in my Dad’s shop for a bit.
12/16 – Growing up, my Mama always sang in The Messiah at Christmas time. I was so excited when she told me I’d be home for one of her performances! I may have told her she sang too loud when I was little, but she’s always been my favorite singer.
12/17 – I went to Fort George and had a beer date with my favorite ginger and unsuccessfully attempted to steal Sasha-girl.
12/18 – I spent a few hours in the morning at my favorite Coffee Girl, listening to live music and slow dancing with Tammy. I met Kelsi for lunch at T. Paul’s Urban Cafe, then we walked around town in the rain for a bit.
12/19 – Time to leave Astoria. =( Mama and I headed out in the rain (a proper Astoria send off, if you ask me!). When I got to the train station I had to do a bit of repacking (did you know that 4.5 cases of beer weighs upwards of 120lbs?). The train left Portland on time at 4:45pm and arrived on time in Spokane at 12:15am.
12/20 – For future reference, if one must drive three hours to the train station, one should drive three hours to Spokane, not three hours to Whitefish. The Seattle section of our train (the Empire Builder starts in Portland and Seattle, then meets in Spokane and travels as one train to Chicago) got delayed and rerouted because of a mudslide. Eight hours after we were supposed to leave Spokane (around the same time we were supposed to be arriving in Whitefish), we finally pulled out of the station. It killed me, knowing I was only three hours from Missoula, but seven hours via train then three hours driving away in reality. At 3pm we arrived in Whitefish and I was so happy to be off the train! I got some food then hit the road home!
12/23 – Daryl and Nick left on a caving trip, so I enjoyed a wonderful day off, at home alone. An 11am nap might have happened. I also managed to get in and out of Target in 15 minutes (including parking!), which was a small miracle considering it was two days before Christmas.
12/25 – Christmas! We had planned on going to Lost Trail to ski, but I woke up not feeling well and D woke up with a kink in his neck, so we spent a relaxing day at home instead. Drank some coffee, had some Baileys, watched documentaries online, drank some wine, and read some books. That night we opened our (few) presents (being broke at Christmas is less than awesome).
12/28 – Daryl, Nick, Ozzy, and I went over to Liz and Tommy’s for our weekly dinner. Liz made a super delicious elk stew and then we had chocolate-chocolate chip cookies and Holiday Indulgence for dessert. We were good kids and walked the 12 blocks home.
A few years ago, I could’ve sent this secret into PostSecret.
I went to college, I got depressed, I dropped out, I moved home.
In the time since then, I met the man of my dreams, fell deeply in love, moved to Seattle to dance in two dance companies, quit my jobs and moved back to Oregon, then moved to Montana and have been enjoying a wonderful eight month vacation life.
Not a single one of those things would’ve happened had I not dropped out.
Next spring I’m going back to school to finish my degree. I plan on kicking ass and taking names and I have no qualms about saying that I’ll be at the top of my class.
Last night we went to see the last senior dance showcase of the year. It was so great to see dance again! It was also nice being reassured that I’ll be awesome when I get back to school. There were some very talented dancers and a few very talented choreographers and I know I will shine when I start classes.
I went to a very small, very talented high school. There were a LOT of big fish in a small pond. I was easily forgotten and never appreciated. Then I went to a small, talented university. There were big fish and loud, look-at-me-aren’t-I-awesome medium fish, and my quiet I’m-probably-actually-pretty-good-but-I-have-no-self-esteem medium fish was immediately lost.
I’m looking forward to going back to school. I believe in my talent and know that I am good. I think I’ve finally found the perfect sized pond for me. [I feel very stuck up and almost icky making this post, but it's true. I am a talented dancer and I will rock the dance department next year.]
So yes. In short:
Becoming depressed and dropping out of college was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It sucked. I felt like such a failure.
After moving home, I met the love of my life, became a professional dancer, and moved to Montana where I am loving every single thing about every single day.
I am going back to school to finish my degree, six years to the semester after I dropped out, and I will be awesome.