At the paper, we've been doing a lot of "2012: Year in Review" stories for our weekly editions, and in a moment of procrastination on projects I actually need to spend time on, I thought it'd be a great idea to do the same thing with my life, using (what else?!?!) Instagram photos I've taken throughout the last year. Seriously, how would I even know what happened to me without Instagram to document it? Answer: I wouldn't. So here are a few moments, trips, people and/or places that made this year amazing:
1. All my ladies together in the same ZIP code. With Kristen in New York and all of us working a thousand hours on a million different schedules, this rarely happens. But we managed to get together for spiked coffee and wassail one December evening, and I loved every second of it. Even though we don't spend as much time together as I know we'd all want to, we pick up right where we left off every time, and I love each of these women so much for it. 2. My cozy studio in the ghetto. Though this isn't my first move away from home, nor is it the first time I've lived by myself, this place feels different, for a few reasons: I actually own a nice couch now that I make people take their shoes off before sitting on; I clean my sink - with bleach - at least once a week; my place looks like a Pinterest ad; I have a corner I've deemed my home office, mostly cause it has a desk. You know, grown-up stuff. 3. Photography (non-wedding). This particular photo is of Whiting Ranch during an engagement shoot, but I've loved each and every one of the various places I've gotten to explore as part of the photography gig. I'm always blown away by the ability to find new locations in Orange County; it seems like there is a never a shortage of beautiful places to go in the county. 4. Brittney's surprise proposal. We are definitely hitting the age where every weekend is a wedding, bachelorette party or baby shower, and I'm super stoked about it. Love is freaking awesome. I saw two of my best friends get engaged this year, and I'm beyond thrilled for both of them. I was lucky enough to be part of Brittney's surprise proposal up in Paso Robles, and it was definitely one of the best memories I'll take with me from this year. From being the solo girl partying with all the boys who were also in on the plan the night before, to witnessing the proposal firsthand, to excessive wine-tasting afterward, it was 24 straight hours of happiness, love and alcohol. Epic. 5. Photography (wedding). Wedding shoots are stressful, chaotic, demanding and exhausting, and they are still my very favorite moments to photograph. I feel very lucky to look back on 2012 and think of all the amazing couples I've been blessed enough to meet. Five years ago, I would have never been able to tell you my professional life looks the way it does, and I'm happier than I've ever been because of that. 6. Any and every moment with this Cujo. Did I mention I love my dog? Maybe once or twice? I don't know, maybe I need to work on showing that more. 7. Drunk Duffy boating at Balboa. Because my memory is horrible, there are few very distinct days that stand out to me in the last year, but this one - a few weeks after I was laid off from my magazine job, deciding it was a good idea for the four of us to rent a Duffy boat after 4 straight hours of unlimited mimosas at Cabo Cantina - is hands down one of the best summer days I've had, ever. Even after my new iPhone took a dip in the waters of Balboa. 8. Turning 27 with Celeste (who for the record, will always be one year older than me). Having a birthday so close to Thanksgiving usually means I don't celebrate much, but this year my sista from another mista, whose birthday is a day after mine, persuaded me to have a joint celebration for anyone who happened stick around town for the holiday. It was exceptionally fun and left me actually excited to be another year older. 9. Fancy-pants birthday dinner. Danny took me out, we ordered food that we pretended we could afford, then made his dad be our chauffeur so we could both enjoy an outrageously priced bottle of red wine together. I loved it. 10. A return to The Register. I equate my relationship with The Register to that of a first love. We met, were reckless for a few years together, and ended things in a fiery flame-ridden explosive crash; I decided I wanted to see other papers, and after a while, learned the hard way that other papers just didn't do it for me the way the very first paper did. So now I'm back, work too much, am too loud and unprofessional, but genuinely enjoy every deadline-ridden second of it (sometimes sleep would be nice, but whatevs). 11. The boy. He's OK, I guess. I kinda like him. 12. Drive through the Grapevine. Solo road trips are oddly my favorite. I belt out tunes in my car I have no business trying to sing, ingest far too much caffeine, pull over at any whim to write a line or poetry or snap a photo alongside long, empty freeways. This trip was all of that and more, shoved into 15 straight hours. 13. My mom. She is basically the one person in the whole world I know without a doubt will love me no matter how intolerable I get. I can't wait to embody that sense of unconditional love with my own kids one day. 14. These girls. My unofficial children till I have actual offspring of my own, I love these two girls with all my heart. Every time I see them, they are smarter, more beautiful and more witty than the last visit. Their dad is so screwed. 15. N'awlins, y'all. Travel tops all, and I'm very grateful three friends and myself miraculously lined up our schedules for a vacation to New Orleans this year. Gorgeous scenery, rich history, amazing food, and nights out we all agreed never to talk about again.So good. 16. Being outnumbered by brothers. The four of us are different from one another in a lot of ways, but as we get older, things seem to click. I love these boys, and can see us having some pretty great family BBQs and outings in the future. In a year, they will all be taller than me, and that will suck.