Happy holidays and happy new year!

Sorry I went off the grid there for a while. (Announcing that I “went off the grid for a while” is one of my new favorite things to tell people after not replying to texts or emails for a significant period of time. It basically just means I fell into a fudge-induced stupor and failed to do anything for days on end except reflect on my own mortality and pluck my eyebrows to perfection. But throwing the word “grid” in there makes it sound way more important and mysterious).

Doug and I crammed a lot in to the week between Christmas and New Years. First we visited his family in Indiana, where we received the unique and memorable gift of a violent stomach flu that kept us in bed/hunched over the toilet for three days straight. Then we drove to St. Louis and got to spend a few days with my family and some of my dearest high school friends. Then we returned to our college town for the first time in years to spend New Year’s Eve with friends and to re-enact our first date in the very booth where it occurred.


(Crazy Horse, Bloomington Indiana, March 2008. We talked about New York and his ex-girlfriend and pot. I ordered a tenderloin sandwich and got it all over my face. Afterwards I went home and said to my roommate, “That was fun, but I think I’ll probably just stay single forever.”)

Then we came back to Iowa City and our friend Peter–who, luckily for me loves to thrift shop– came to stay with us for the whole weekend.

It was a whirlwind. And now here I am, spending my first bit of quiet alone time with 2015.

I’m not doing the resolution thing this year, though I already know it’s going to be a year of book writing and wedding planning and trying to not look like a bloated walrus on my wedding day.

However, I was recently looking through my phone and discovered a list I created a year and a half ago titled “Things I Like” where I listed all the things I like best in the world. (This was back when the thrill of having an iPhone was new, and I was using it to make lists for every category imaginable).

And I thought, maybe that’s what 2015 should be: taking time to surround myself with more of the things I like and less of the things I don’t. Maybe that’s what every year should be. Maybe we should all make such a list and live our lives accordingly. Here’s mine.

Things I Like

  • Talking to myself
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Blogging
  • Editing other peoples’ writing
  • Therapy
  • Taking walks
  • Hiking
  • Driving
  • Planning trips
  • Traveling
  • Visiting friends in other cities
  • Googling random things
  • Painting nails
  • Plucking eyebrows
  • Decorating apartment
  • Fashion
  • Thrifting
  • Art
  • Planning for the future
  • Listening to music
  • Amusement parks
  • Adrenaline-filled activities
  • Collecting things
  • Reflecting on the past
  • Analyzing romantic relationships
  • Musicals
  • Baking
  • Eating out
  • Socializing
  • Random adventures
  • When things go wrong
  • Reunions
  • Book stores
  • Animals
  • Toys
  • Hearing about peoples’ lives
  • Airports and airplanes
  • Documentaries
  • Clothes
  • Jewelry
  • Puzzles
  • Caricatures
  • Drawing and painting
  • Bodies of water
  • Shopping
  • Getting mail and packages
  • Stand-up comedy
  • Humor writing
  • Puns
  • Kayaking
  • Unlikely animal friendships
  • Styling outfits
  • Music videos
  • Hotels