Happy New Year!!!! Who else is super excited to see what this next year brings?!
First, though, I wanted to take just a minute here to look back on and appreciate the past year. 2018 was a big one. I did a lot of growing, working, adventuring and learning. I guess that could be said of a lot of years, but this one was different. I saw things I’d been working toward for a long time actually happen. I did more last year. I took more action, worked a little harder, dreamed a little bigger, and had a little more faith. Going into this new year my attitude is one of overwhelming gratefulness and also a lot less fear than I had this time last year. I honestly cannot wait to see what 2019 brings!
Elko MN. January. Our 2018 started out gloriously snowy!
Minneapolis MN. February. I’ve pretty unabashedly crushed on Chris Young for years now, so going to one of his concerts with my sister and one of my best friends was a highlight!
Look at this chunk! Safe to say I’m obsessed with my nephews.
Pinellas Park Florida. March. March brought some exciting changes! One was my leaving my job at Watkins Family Chiropractic. And another was the beginning of an extended stay in Florida.
Want to see wildlife? Drive through the Everglades! And then go to the Keys to see iguanas. 😉
Madeira Beach Florida. April.
I met a cool friend who spins fire. We got our own private show on the beach one night, with the waves crashing in the background. Epic about sums it up!
Paris France. May. This trip still doesn’t feel real. It’s hard, looking at pictures, to believe we even went.
If you’re ever in Paris, do an evening bike tour with Fat Tire Tours. It’s not only an extremely fun way to see the city and learn about some of the history, it ends in a nighttime boat tour on the Seine.
A “classy selfie” in the Louvre
Right after this picture was taken we had what was one of the most random interaction of the trip.
A man walked by and asked if we wanted him to take our picture together. “But here,” he said after we took him up on the offer, “hold him for me.” All of a sudden he had my camera and I had his dog’s leash. And that’s how we got our picture taken with a little French dog.
On the left is a picture of me being a tourist.
Saint Chapelle contains more stained glass than I’ve ever seen in my life. The Notre Dame was amazing, and it’s really awe-inspiring to be inside such an old historical structure, but Saint Chapelle was my favorite.
Hannah took the picture on the right while being attacked by pigeons, who were being fed by a little man that was convinced I was either French or Dutch. It was an extremely chaotic moment and so entertaining.
We had a little picnic of wine and mango at Luxembourg gardens, drinking our wine out of paper coffee cups we’d swiped from the deli section of the grocery store. This was the day that our awesome hotel concierge-turned friend was kindly showing us around his favorite parts of Paris. There is no better way to see the city than through the eyes of someone who knows it as home.
Inside the Notre Dame
Our next stop was the beautiful village of Füssen Germany.
And Neuschwanstein Castle
Naturally, the day we spent mostly inside castles was the day it was gloriously sunny. And the day we had planned to hike and view the castles from the outside was when it decided to rain. And like the fearless and perhaps slightly reckless travelers we were, we hiked anyways.
There was a path that was anything but official looking, that you could take further up the mountain for a better view of the castle. The lookout is somewhat precarious when the ground is dry, with no guardrail to keep you from falling over the ledge and to your death 100 or so feet below. On the wet ground, it was even more fun, and I may have hollered at Hannah a couple times asking her to please be careful and not die.
No one died, and this view was more than worth it.
Never let rain stop you from hiking. Unless there’s lightening. Then maybe reconsider.
After Germany was Lauterbrunnen Switzerland; a village of waterfalls, cliff faces and cowbells.
Some lucky people have a garden with this view! I think I’d weed carrots all day long if I got to look at this view while doing it.
Our second time up to the Schilthorn we got to see the peaks! The first time we went up everything was in clouds, but we did see mountain goats from the gondola.
A gondola full of people saw us taking this picture and it was every bit as awkward as that sounds.
The sign I’m overly excited about here is indicating a little store that you can buy local, farm-fresh cheese, sausage, jerky, eggs and milk. The “store” is basically a fridge filled with the food, and where they’ve placed a dish for you to leave your payment in. I was obviously a fan.
Trummelbach Falls is a glacier fed series of waterfalls inside of a mountain. It’s even cooler than it sounds. It’s also loud, which just adds to the cool factor.
I took this picture on our last night in Europe. Standing on a bridge in Paris, eating an ice cream cone, listening to a man play guitar and sing Bob Dylan songs.
Holyoke MN. June . If ever there was a cure for the post-magical-trip-slump it’s watching your nephew try to coax a cow into a friendship.
And your not-so-little brother explore the newly flooded sand pit.
Minot North Dakota. July.
That sweaty, dirt-smeared face. I sure love this kid.
And this one. Eating grass.
Yep. I’m obsessed with these nephews of mine.
We are perfectly normal. And possibly relate.
Crookston MN. August.
Saint Augustine Florida. August.
I’m so thankful to have these women in my life!
St. Paul MN. September. The Great Minnesota Get Together.
Farmington MN. September. Ramble Jam weekend is one of my favorites of the year!
Concerts with your siblings are more fun.
Crookston MN. October.
Jameson tolerates our kisses. Grayson was beyond excited about his slime kit. It’s messy stuff, slime! Don’t let it get on your clothes; it’ll make a mess and leave a weird stain. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.
Madeira Beach Florida. November.
Elko MN. December. And just like that it’s a new year!