Wednesday, December 30, 2015

looking back on 2015

The end of the year and the beginning of a new one is always time for reflection, isn't it? I like to go back over the year's blog posts and my planner to ponder on not just the big things, but all the little moments that make up a life well-lived. 

Unfortunately, it's typical that my new year usually begins with me being sick. I think it's from all the busyness and stress of Christmas and being around so many people that time of year. I get sick a few days after Christmas and it carries into the new year. 2015 started out with me having the creeping crud, and guess what - I have some kind of virus going on right now that looks like it'll carry into 2016. Nothing major - just a sore throat, headache, and feeling foggy-tired. I'm keeping the symptoms at bay with extra vitamin C and D, the herbal supplement Allibiotic, hot herbal tea with fresh lemon and raw honey, lots of water with fresh lemon and raw, organic apple cider vinegar, and essential oils (custom blended oils to make your own Thieves Oil found here) in the diffuser.

January also started out with us having well problems and having to replace some major parts ($$) and being without water for a few days. Not a good start to 2015!

Things perked up in February when I won a giveaway from Connie at Crafty Home Cottage. Connie is so talented and artistic...I don't think there's anything this woman can't make! She sent me a beautiful banner and embroidered dishtowel and pot holder.

In March, I took a class on making your own sourdough starter, from which we made English muffins. Fun!

April brought an awards ceremony where my hard-working hubby was presented and honored with the Employee of the Year award; and in May, my beautiful niece graduated from high school.

"Miss Begonia" came to live with me in May. She was another blog win from Judy at 20 North Ora. Judy adorned her in a lovely lace dress; I adorned her with necklaces.

June was a month of summer fun with a two outdoor art fairs, a ghost tour, and a couple of outdoor concerts. It was also the month that we finally painted our bedroom walls. They had been a light blue and we chose a soft gray. In July, we also got a new mattress. My back feels so much better!

I celebrated another year of life in August, and in September, Brian and I celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary.

More work was done in the master bedroom - this time, old carpet was ripped out and hardwood floors installed. Found the area rug at IKEA. Still need new bedding, curtains, lamps and a nightstand, but at least the major work is done.

September is also a cruel month for me and my family, as it brings the anniversary date of Phil's passing. See the painting of the woman hugging the shadowy figure? I recently bought that from a local artist (teresacashart) that I met a few years ago at the Midwest Blogging Conference. She calls this piece, "If Only". I thought it was perfect for Phil's memory shelf. 

October was a happy month with an extended family get-together downstate, the birth of a beautiful, healthy baby girl to the young woman in my life who is like my niece...

and the wedding of my best friend's son.

Good things come in threes...I won my third blog giveaway - a gift card from Target - from Jemma at At Home With Jemma in November. Who doesn't love Target? I'm ordering new bedroom curtains from the Target web site, so this gift card is much appreciated.

On a beautiful, sunny day in November, my dad's side of the family had a mini reunion at a golf club. That's me and Brian on the right side in the green jacket and maroon striped shirt. My mom is the redhead in front of me (my hand is on her shoulder), my youngest niece is to the left of me, and my sister is next to my niece/her daughter in the Blackhawks jacket. The rest of the crew are some of my aunts, uncles, and cousins, some of who came in from out-of-state. I think my dad would be mighty proud of his beautiful family. He's been gone 17 years now. 

In December, I finally got a new laptop. My old one had been slowly giving up the ghost all year. I chose an Asus Zenbook, which I'm really enjoying. It has a Solid State Drive, meaning no moving parts, no noise, is more reliable, and consumes less power.
(image from Microsoft)

So, here we are on the brink of 2016. What are you doing for New Year's Eve...will you go out and celebrate or are you staying at home? We'll spend a quiet evening at home with takeout pizza and Netflix. I might get dangerous and make us Moscow Mules. We'll most likely be asleep at midnight. ;-) 

Thank you, dear friends for reading my blog. I treasure each one of you and wish you good health, lots of love, and peace in your hearts for 2016.


  1. I am glad that you had a good 2015! I hope that 2016 will be even better. Happy New Year! xx

  2. Hi Melanie, I'm so sorry to hear that you are under the weather . . . sounds like you have what I'm getting rid of. Here's wishing you a speedy recovery :)
    Thank you for the shout out, you are so sweet.
    Happy New Year!
    Connie :)

  3. Health, happiness and love to you and yours in 2016.

  4. All the best in 2016, Melanie! Enjoy those Mules! ;)

  5. Hope your feeling better soon! Wishing you and yours a happy new year!

  6. Hoping that 2016 finds us together thrifting again and especially enjoying each other's company. May the new year bring you good health, happiness, peace and love. Your long lost but hopefully not forgotten pal, Penny

  7. Wishing you a wonderful 2016!
    I enjoyed your walk through 2015. I especially liked your niece's photo in her beautiful dress.

    We are having a quiet evening at home and are happy as 2 bugs in a rug.

  8. Get well soon & happy new year! I hope you win a giveaway each month of 2016!

  9. Melanie,
    I so enjoyed this review of the year. It is fun to look back at what was, so much nostalgia and so much good.
    Thinking of you and wishing you good health, laughter, much love and all the happiness you so deserve.

  10. You've had a full year, and now it's on to 2016. May it be better than the last! I know it will for me as I learn to live with my new knee. I'm already doing more and more than I was able last year.

  11. Happy New Year! I hope 2016 brings even more happiness your way... :)

  12. It's been a busy year for you Melanie- how fast they fly by! I hope you're feeling better. I got hit the day after Christmas and had to drag myself to work all week. I'm just now feeling better, so time to pack away Christmas!

    Here's to another year of blogging (maybe) and good things ahead! Happy New Year!

  13. I remember many of these! :) You've had a wonderful year and wishing another one for you :)

    New Year's Eve found me babysitting a puppy / fun :)

  14. Lovely thoughts on looking back.

  15. It's good to look back before we move forward. I'm wishing for you a lovely 2016!

  16. Two things- one, your niece is beautiful! Congratulations to her for graduating high school. And two, you don't look nearly old enough to be having a 31-year anniversary! Wow! Such a milestone, and something to be incredibly proud of :-)


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