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The Year of the…

Back in January, Andrew and I were discussing our hopes, plans, and dreams for 2011.

Andrew said, “I want to read more this year. I want 2011 to be the year of the book!” And I said, “What? Read more? [Pause. Look at him funny.] Okay.” And with that the Year of the Book was born. Andrew’s goal is to read 10-12 books this year.

Me? I didn’t really have a goal. And I wasn’t interested in reading 10 books. But on Martin Luther King Day it dawned on me. As my Google Reader overflowed with MLK quotes and references to spending the day “on” and not “off”, I decided that I wanted to spend 2011 celebrating holidays with an awareness on their original intention. Holidays honor someone or something; I want to understand and appreciate that. I often spend these days eating hot dogs and playing Wiffle ball without regard to the significance of the day; without celebrating the purpose we were intended to celebrate. So in 2011 I want to focus a little of my attention on the dreams, the causes, and the fights that people gave their lives to. I want to be cognizant of the reasons why I get to sleep in and spend extra time with family and friends.

So throughout this year I’ll post recaps of what we did to celebrate holidays. Some will be more exciting than others. And I know that some holidays have varying traditions or have changed over time, so don’t judge us too harshly on the tribute that we pay.

And to honor the year of the book, Andrew will post reviews and recommendations of the books he’s read.

Nothing too exciting, but a little window into our life in 2011.

 

First up: President’s Day

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This weekend for President’s Day we went to the JFK Library in Boston, MA. 

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And then we drove past the birthplaces of former presidents John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and George H.W. Bush. While the Adams were born in the same town (later named Quincy), Bush 41 was born a couple miles away in Milton, MA.IMG_67450


And we even tried to eat a few favorite presidential meals. Unfortunately, our detour to Ikea set us back a little and all that was open was Panera. But we didn’t let that stop us! Andrew had macaroni and cheese a favorite of Ronald Reagan and I had a grilled cheese, a favorite of FDR. Panera’s macaroni is amazing. The grilled cheese was pathetic. I think they generally make them for kids meals so it was terribly lame and cheeseless.

And we may or may not have watched the Presidential DVD series my mom gave Andrew two Christmases ago. And we may or may not have watched all three DVDs.

Happy President’s Day!

Reflections on a 365 Blog

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Now that the year of pictures is over I wanted to reflect a little—for my own personal processing, but also for my loyal and faithful readers who patiently waited when I took months to put up a new post:)

In one word, I'd describe the year in pictures as: Bittersweet. Bitter because I hated it at times. I hated the pressure that it put on me and the weight it put on my shoulders. Sweet because I am so thankful for the finished product: A year of special memories and reminders all documented in pictures.

Bitter
As the year went on, it amazed me how difficult finishing what I started would be. You don't realize how busy/lazy/tired you are until you plan to take and post one picture every day for an entire year. And with every day that passed there were more images to sift through, more memories captured, and more posts to be written. And every day that I wasn't able to post, more pictures piled up. It might have seemed like I had forgotten at times, but trust me, I didn't. It weighed on me. I was always aware that there were photos to be uploaded and blogs to be posted.

I always seemed to be a month or two behind. And the further behind I got, the more overwhelmed I felt. But it was cyclical; wavering between the bitter and the sweet. I'd get behind and feel defeated. And eventually, I would get caught up (aka only a few weeks behind) and feel relieved and satisfied.

But I made it! I came out on the other side:) I know it wasn't without bumps and hiccups and delays, but we finished. And that is enough. Yes, at times, it has been a bitter journey. But let's be honest, it came with loads of sweetness and goodness.

Sweet
I love having so many pictures of our first year of marriage.
I love having captured so many fun memories with family and friends.
I love having documented every vacation and visitor and day trip. Every holiday and dinner party and party for two.
I love that it pushed me to take photos every day.
I love that it pushed me to take better photos every day.
I love that we are able to relive so many easy-to-forget moments so well. To live in the moment again. And see details our brains have cast out.
But mostly, what I'm thankful for, is that it forced me to see (and capture) the little moments in life. The small, thankless moments like putting together a bed or melting when it was 90 degrees in our apartment and we couldn't sleep. The looks and glances and smiles; the burnt dinners, the bad cupcakes and the flat cookies. The warm summer air on our faces. These are the little things we take for granted. They are life. The 365 project helped me to step back and enjoy the small things in life. On days when we didn't do anything except wake up, brush our teeth, eat a few meals, and do chores, I had to look for the beauty in each moment. And I loved that.

For all of these things, bitter and sweet, I am truly grateful.

We look forward to continuing to document our life right here. While it won't be a 365 blog, it will still be our blog. And I hope that without the pressure of taking pictures everyday I will continue to notice the small things and stop to capture them. And then, of course, share them here. My hope is that less is more. Less commitment, less pictures, less expectations on myself will = more posts, more stories, and more for you to read. But I'll be honest, sometimes our life is just not that exciting.

We do have a few plans up our sleeves for this year and fortunately they are not nearly as time intensive as 365 days of pictures. I'll be putting a post up with more details soon. (And I do mean soon as in days, not months!)

Thanks for putting up with me!
Kim