Well, I have not posted since August - but that does not mean I will miss my annual Top 100 list. This year, my NYE message is much different than it has been. The past few years I have been eager to see the year end, but this year, I feel different. This year was not less challenging than the others. Jan. 2013 started with myAunt Fran gaining wings and Steev getting cut - but I honestly and truly had a great year. I am going to miss it - and instead of expecting more of 2014, I am just excited to see what is next - so before I get too sappy here is the list of a bunch of personal things that may not make sense to many people (but I am seven years in and can't stop now) of the 100 things that made this year great.
100. While Steev's surgery didn't provide great results, hearing his voice after hours of waiting during his surgery was one of the best moments - ever.
99. Music this year was awesome. I got into so many different bands, and listened to music more frequently.
98. My nails.
97. I cut all of my hair off and while I am not always feeling it, it also felt good to get rid of it.
96. I worked on doing away with masks, the ones that I wear, the ones that I am afraid of, and it has been so brutally freeing.
95. Origami Owl - love my new jewelry
94. My new Third Man Records headphones
93. Dafont.com and the many hours I spent downloading and designing. I love words. I love font. Deal with it.
92. How many hours did I spend on Buzzfeed? I regret nothing.
91. Ipsy - discovering ways to feed my product addiction - again - I regret nothing
90. My new Bare Essentials regimen and pretending I am a little more low maintenance
89. My Christmas Decorations this year made me happy
88. Texas Roadhouse
87. Discovering new food and new restaurants
86. Instagram. Yup I finally got an iPhone, downloaded Instagram in 9 months I have added almost 500 photos. You ain't about this life.
86. You ain't about this life coming into my constantly used phrases
85. My photo wall being new and improved with art and constantly updated photos.
84. My lipsticks.
83. Caring less about money and more about living life
82. Getting to Theater Three to see The Spelling Bee - Jackie Hughes you are one amazing person and I am looking forward to becoming a regular audience member.
81. Taking myself on dates, and spending more time with myself. It was peaceful keeping myself company and bringing myself to the city, to the theater and to just places. It was fun getting to know myself better.
80. Learning more about astrology and teaching myself something new.
79. Steev & I both filled each other's stockings with toys and childlike things which was so fun on Christmas Day
78. The blizzard, bitch all you want but the snow was gorgeous, fun, and brought me nothing but joy.
77. Ceil brought me a note I wrote her when I was about 6 when she used to poke me, I wrote a note saying I was poking her. Mark Z stole from me too.
76. My cousin Meghan got married, and the wedding was gorgeous.
75. Photos like this:
74. And this:
73. And this:
72. And this:
71. And this:
70. And this:
68. And this:
67. Still not knowing my camera too well but capturing moments nonetheless.
66. Not apologizing for sentimentality - there is nothing wrong with being touched by things.
65. Also, not apologizing for being a paparazzi - those photos are only a few highlights of moments captured.
64. Photo booths - those are so much fun, always, what is with that?
63. Having people over more often
62. Cooking more
61. Going out more
60. No longer fearing my ambitions
59. Those really cute gift boxes from Walmart for Christmas
58. All of the adorable, loving pets in our lives
57. My cousin Haylie's funny, precious one-liners
56. Snapchat and how it hilariously keeps us all connected
55. Bacon Bash - yes - I attended something called Bacon Bash this year
54. Jessie's graduation party & Jessie letting me do her make-up for Prom which was so fun for me and she looked so pretty!
53. BREAKING BAD - Uncle Matt & Aunt Vicki fed our addiction and now without it I don't know if we can be revived of this crash
52. More time with family and the people I love overall.
51. My Christmas Cards - my arm may still be numb but I care about sending them.
50. Hey, my nose ring is back!
49. My tattoos. I went from two to seven this year adding 5 pieces that make me so happy. I love what each one means to me and how beautiful they all are. Looking forward to more ;)
48. Liberty Tattoo in general - love supporting honest, hard working business people and love this shop.
47. My time at Little Lotus may have ended this year but I loved the time I spent there with Susan and the kids
46. Fashion shows with my cousins and being able to give a lot of what I don't use to people who can use it and appreciate it.
45. Being able to identify with travel stories and share some travel advice.
44. Going Down Port more than twice
43. Us getting my Mother-in-Law her first Tiffany for her 50th birthday and celebrating with her
42. My Mom's gorgeous Christmas table
41. Syracuse, and cousin trips becoming a real, regular thing.
40. Zoo and aquarium trips in general.
39. Citi field is pretty nice, so are free Met Games - but I still dislike baseball
38. Baby Kirsten, she is so beautiful.
37. Seeing friends more, even if it was just for a little bit (Coffee with Jen, free concerts with Anthony) it is nice to keep connections there
36. Speaking of concerts…
35. The Sound City Players for Valentine's Day (um, Stevie Nicks - STEVIE NICKS)
34. Pokey Lafarge (and Luke Winslow King)
33. The Devil Makes Three
32. Trampled by Turtles (free concert in Brooklyn, the whole group may have bailed but I waited all day to be first so Steev and Anthony could enjoy with me)
31. BNL & BF5
30. The Counting Crows
28. Seriously, great year for concerts for me
27. Amanda's Halloween Party
26. Our third Halloween in Salem - our costumes were creepy and cool and the vacation was so fun.
25. We bought a car. I am pretty proud that we bought a car, and it is ours, and I absolutely love it.
24. My 24th Birthday was one of the best days ever. Steev planned such a beautifully sweet and simple day that made me relax and feel special. It will always be a perfect memory.
23. Seeing my Addictions Girls grow and flourish. Alexa is a flight attendant, Tori is traveling all over, Sam & Patti keep in touch and Riley you continue to make me smile - you ladies are amazing and I look forward to seeing what else you do!
22. The anticipation for Tracey's NYE party tonight.
21. The Rise with Liz, Seb, Katie, Steve and Steev - the pumpkin walk may have been an overhyped fraud but spending more time together this year was really, really nice.
20. Finally getting some of Tracey's famous Irish Soda Bread!!
19. Showing some people my writing and pushing myself to keep going. Also making more time to write this year really paid off (and which is why I may have blogged less)
18. Amanda the Florist's wedding to Pete - seriously - best wedding. Cocktail hour (wow), flowers (expected wow - but impressive wow - and totally HOLY WOW), and the most beautiful dress, bride, and couple. So happy to have new friends and be a part of their journey!
17. Spending a lot of time at Hallockville and being a part of their wedding showcase this year. What incredible opportunities it has brought.
16. My Uncle Matty O turned 90, had a day declared for him, and just proved that Nice Guys only finish last at living a long happy life.
15. Annie's 4th Birthday and her continuing to be the best damn dog on earth.
14. Even though DC sucked, we celebrated 2 happy years of marriage.
13. Nashville. We went to Nashville and it was awesome. Going to Third Man, hanging out down town, and seeing the most gorgeous fireworks I have EVER seen in my life on the Fourth of July - it was a great vacation.
12. My parent's lent us their car for the first few months of this year and it saved our asses and allowed us time to research and buy our car. My in-laws continue to be there for us whenever we need an egg, or someone to watch Annie. I cannot thank them enough for being there for us this year - it means so much having people who we know will support us through anything.
11. The annual cousin city trip - the group keeps growing, but the fun stays the same.
10. Going back to Middlebury Vermont for Steev's Birthday.
9. My Brother Tom's paintings. They are beautiful and interesting and I am so happy he has been doing them, and so proud to have one hanging in my home.
8. Alicia coming into our little friendship family and becoming the most wonderful girlfriend for Big Steve who has been a true and important friend and part of our lives.
7. Lake George in April with Manda, Alyssa, & Katie. This girl's trip was incredibly awesome and I love you ladies more than I could tell you and cannot wait to make this a tradition!
6. Krystal got engaged. Calvin proposed. My older cousin, the beautiful, smart, funny, driven woman that I have looked to my whole life for advice and comfort is getting married to a man who loves her and values her for everything she is. What is better than that? Nothing.
5. My cousins - sure the stuff we have done is all over this countdown but they deserve their own space. This year has been fuller because we have spent more time together and talked more overall. They are more than just blood relatives, they are true friends and the reason why the years are worth living.
4. Steev's graduation. My heart grew seven sizes watching the man I love shake hands with his mentors as he accepted his certificate as a Car Repairman. Sure, to most people this looks like a promotion - but he worked so hard for nine months to achieve this position and I could not be prouder to have him as my husband.
3. 2013 meant that it has been ten years since 4-15-03, and while we are working on forever, Steev and I paused to reflect on 10 years together. We started our relationship as kids, group dates and disposable cameras were a regular thing. We were on the phone for hours at a time and relied on nightly AIM conversations. We knew we were more than just a silly childhood love story, and here we are together and stronger than ever. My husband, my love, my best friend chose me when I was fourteen years old and we have never looked back.
2. Paisley becoming an LLC. I got a text on Good Friday that we were official and from that moment I have become a business owner. My best friend, Nicole Mastromonica is hands down the best business partner there is. I am sure we drive each other nuts and disagree about dumb things but it has never, ever, effected our friendship or the business. I am eager, and excited to see what 2014 brings for us. It can only go up from here - we're sure to make Events by Paisley a known and respected name in the industry, just you wait.
1. Project Hope. This job that I dared to last longer than 2 months is now facing it's end. I started as an unsure Crisis Counselor and am concluding this journey as a Team Leader. Last year I had just started Project Hope, and ending a chapter of my life that left me a little lost. The people I have met, the friends that I have made have reassured my outlook of people and of life. I was sure I would never meet friends and make deep connections that would be returned. For the first time people brought me out for my birthday - and meant it. For the first time I could tell someone something personal and revealing and not feel judged or afraid. For the first time I met people who could make me laugh louder, cry harder, and never prove me wrong. Through the work in the community my spark came back, and through these people, I came back. I love, love, love my team - and even though it is all ending this part of my life will hold such value. So Maureen, Melissa, Josh, Donna, Theresa, Pete, Nicole, Kristin, Maria, Maria, Donna, Mike, Erick, Patti, Danielle, Hector, Frank, Janet, Elissa, Franci, Jonathan, Joe, Jon, Lou, Bob, Theresa, Ruth, Ronni, Khadija, Whichimine, Linda, Beth and anyone I may be forgetting you have been a part of my personal journey this year. Your friendship and dedication to what you do has shown me so, so much - you will all never know how much you truly mean to me.
Bring it on 2014 - 2013 made me know that I am ready for ya ;)
Have a wonderful New Year everyone, hope to see you all soon!