2015 in a Blog

Merry Everything from Ebby L Photography in Champaign, IL Photos

2015 will forever be known as the year we got Bear.  But in addition to getting him… 2015 was filled with some pretty wonderful company, places, adventures, celebrations, and more.  Rather than write a long post about everything this year, I thought it would be easier to show the year in pictures with a couple of captions to explain.  This post was a way for me to reflect on the amazing year I had and another way to express how grateful I am for the life I live.

 

To start the year, I lived in the cutest little three bedroom apartment with two of my best friends, Kate and Nicole.  We hardly took any photos because we were always lounging on the couch in our pajamas or trying to decide who had to clean up our messy kitchen.  I loved our little home and wish I had more photos to show it to you.

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I spent at least one day a week for six months with this cutie, Svea, and her older brothers.  I was able to see her learn to sit up, crawl, and even walk by the end of our time together. I loved my mornings with her and really valued the time I spent getting to know her family.

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My mom and I threw a surprise birthday party for my dad! He thought I had a wedding a the Hawthorne Suites and forgot something that they had to bring me… little did he know we had over 50 people waiting to celebrate and party the night away with him!

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I spent time at home with my family and their crazy animals.  The little Jack Russell twins have become my parent’s new set of children since my sister and I are both out of the house.

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John and I traveled to South Padre Island for the third year in a row.  We met in March of 2014 there when we were both on Spring Break with our friends. We had tons of mutual friends and had spent many nights in the same places at the University of Illinois yet didn’t know each other.  Three weeks after meeting in Padre, we started dating and have been crazy about each other since.

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I spent lots of time cheering on my favorite team (the Bulls)… and spent a little bit of time supporting my sister’s Kentucky Wildcats.

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I was able to travel to South Africa with my parent’s and best friend Kate for two weeks. My parents judged an American Saddlebred Horse Show there and Kate and I got to tag along.  We were able to play with lions… REAL lions. We saw zebras, meer cats, a hippo, a pair of monkeys, and lots of other amazing animals at Bagamoya Wildlife Estate. In South Africa, we also spent time out on the ocean… we saw penguins, seals, fish, and boats. We drank lots of wine and had fresh sea food and braai (their version of meat on the grill). We went on a wine tour and also got to see the best of Cape Town. It was an unforgettable experience and I hope to be able to go back again. To see more of my trip, go to South Africa.

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Two weeks after returning on a 19 hour plane ride from South Africa, I boarded a 12 hour plane ride to Italy.  I went with my second family, the Cassel’s, and hung out with Hannah.  Hannah and I have been travel companions for the last five years and have been able to experience so many wonderful things together.  In Italy, we explored the Tuscan region along with all of the Cinque Terre villages.  We drank lots of wine, ate wayyyyy too much bread and pasta, and even learned how to make our own Italian pizza.  We were able to ride bicyles around the city of Lucca and pose with the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I can’t thank the Cassel family enough for allowing me to join in on their adventures and am so happy to have photos to remember this trip forever. Go to Adventures in Italy 2015 to see more.

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Shortly after returning home from Italy, what started as a trip to “play with puppies” led us to the best addition to our lives.  John and I found BEAR! 🙂 Bear is 11.5 years old and is from the Champaign Humane Society.  He is the greatest thing ever and makes my everyday filled with more fun and snuggles than I could have ever imagined.  I probably could’ve filled the entire post with photos of him but stuck to just a couple of my favorites.

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John and I went to Colorado for Andrew & Margeaux’s wedding.  We were able to stay in their apartment and get a truly authentic experience in the city of Boulder. We fell in love with Beau Jo’s pizza and tried to work it off hiking up the Flagstaff trail.  We witnessed the most beautiful wedding and example of love while capturing Andrew & Margeaux’s special day. After one day of being in Colorado… we were already trying to make plans on how to get there again. The Trip that made us fall in love with Colorado can accessed HERE.

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After a year of living with my two best friends, I made the move to live with John.  However… our lease started a month after my lease with Kate and Nicole.  That put us in a bit of a pickle and resulted in 22 days at the Extended Stay America. While the first week was very fun, living in a single room with my office, John, and a 90lb dog was a lot! We made it work though and had wayyy too many Einsteins Bagels and even more Papa John’s pizzas. More of our hotel life can be seen on this BLOG post.

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In August, we celebrated my mom’s 50th birthday in Nashville! We went on a Pub Crawl and made sure everyone knew what a great clogger my mama was.  We all wore matching shirts and had an absolute blast hitting up lots of different places on Broadway Avenue.

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John, Bear, and I moved into our first home! 🙂 It’s an older place with lots of little quirks, but it’s just perfect for us. Click HERE to see more of Bear showing off our home.

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I spent a week in Louisville, Kentucky working for Howard Schatzburg Photography at the World Championship Saddlebred Horseshow.  I even got to cheer on my parents while there!

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I made two trips to California… one for work, one for fun.  🙂 To see more of my fun trip to LA, check out A Weekend Getaway in LA.

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I got to be a wedding guest! I hardly took any photos, didn’t have a clue what the wedding schedule was, and made sure to be on the dance floor 90% of the evening!

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I spent a week in Corolla, NC with the Headley family.  I babysat two little cuties and took family photos while at the same time enjoying lots of sunshine and the beach. My trip to Corolla and more pictures from it are HERE.

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John and I invited lots of our college friends and hometown friends to come celebrate University of Illinois Homecoming at our house. Bear also participated in the festivities.

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I had a wedding on Halloween but John surprised me with this lovely Bunny costume to wear to one of our friend’s parties.  I was the only one wearing a bright color and not a single person could talk to me without laughing due to my ridiculous bunny nose.

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We made a trip to Scottsdale, AZ to visit our the Schatzburg family and our favorite Alex Mooney.  We had our favorite foods and explored downtown Cave Creek.

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We spent December celebrating Christmas and the Holiday season with our favorites.  My Christmas morning had lots of entertainment from my sister’s hilarious bulldog Ollie and my parent’s fat kitty.

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