TIDBITS THAT REMIND ME LAST YEAR WASN'T ENTIRELY GARBAGE

Staring down the black hole that's set us all trembling, I need to remember that 2016 *did* bring some good to my life—even though it's hard to focus on when faced with the scary and sad things it brought.!
  1. JANUARY
    Happy family trips to see a couple of movies.
  2. Quotes that struck me one morning at church.
  3. Bonded with this little Tasmanian angel, who gave me yet another reason to never have offspring of my own—I could never survive such love for another child who constantly hurt me the way she unknowingly did with her careless cruelty, precociousness, and giggles. Taught me the complexities of J.M. Barrie's last line in Peter Pan about how "children are gay and innocent and heartless." 💕
  4. FEBRUARY
    A little boy from my toddler class gave my a giant Hershey Kiss, which had always been a dream of mine. Not exactly how I'd envisioned receiving it, but still endearing.
  5. Leonardo DiCaprio finallly fInAlLy FINALLY won his Oscar for a role I can't imagine surviving.
  6. MARCH
    My birthday buddy and lifelong friend Sarah got married! As if that weren't enough, it gave several of my hometown friends a reason to come home to visit.
  7. Took a mother/daughter trip to Biltmore to gawk at the "Fashion of Romance," aka stunning costumes from a wide variety of award-winning films—for example, they had several of Meryl Streep's dresses and hats from Out of Africa!
  8. A verse I really needed, a sticker that meant a LOT to me, a bangin' fortune, and an incredibly sweet note from a newly forged friend.
  9. APRIL
    😁
  10. Tori and I went to a free Kaleo concert just weeks before they exploded across the airwaves. We had an incredible evening and each fell for different band members. 👌
  11. MAY
    My friend Olivia (whom I bonded with through English classes and the month we spent in China) graduated with her master's degree in speech pathology! I was in this picture and many others but oh my law do I look enormous. Olivia, on the other hand, is serene and beautiful as always.
  12. After the first date I ever went on turned out to be a complete and utter embarrassment, AND horrible awful gag-inducing photos from graduation were posted online, I said yes to meeting this guy I'd just started talking to. It was a gray afternoon and I was feeling wounded, had mentioned that all I wanted was some soup. He persuaded me to meet him and let him buy me soup. We ended up walking around downtown for over three hours.
  13. I met him again five days later, went for a walk, then came back to his truckbed to look at the stars. He kissed me, my first kiss. 🌟
  14. Autumn got married! She was the very first friend I made when we were freshman at Faulkner University. She is gorgeous and intelligent and strong, and I was definitely not flawless enough to be in her fairytale wedding, but she let me anyway.💖
  15. JUNE
    Had an incredible day seeing Me Before You and going to Blackbird Bakery after, where I had English trifle topped with this little Union Jack.
  16. Not going into explicit detail, but these fortunes were unbelievably relevant.
  17. The eldest son of a family mine is close to married a woman he met while at school in California. The fanciest wedding I am likely to ever attend—it was invitation-only, which is a big deal in my social circle, and they shelled out $50k+, which is jaw-dropping for weddings in my social circle.
  18. This was just a run-of-the-mill day, but it was really nice. Relaxed, stayed in out of the heat, lots of kisses and tv binging.
  19. AUGUST
    Went to $2 ballgame night, where we ranked baseball butts for seven innings then went back to my house to walk the puppy.
  20. SEPTEMBER
    The boy made a special dinner for us to celebrate fall's long-awaited arrival.🍁
  21. A lovely birthday, from ladies' bible study to talking to me sister to Olive Garden to ice cream cake. Turning 25 was frightening, but at least I had people who loved me as it happened.
  22. Planned a surprise trip to Riley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Surprises are my favorite and it was a truly glorious day. ☺️
  23. OCTOBER
    My mom and I saw Julie Fowlis and she was incredible. Also saw Girl on the Train. 👍
  24. Mother/daughter trip to Barter Theatre to see Chicago—sultry fun.🎷
  25. NOVEMBER
    Went to Barter with the boy to see a Ray Bradbury play. 👍 Also, voted early (when I envisioned a very different outcome re: the election) and saw Dr. Strange. 🌀
  26. Dovely advice I'm always too timid to follow, and our Turkey Day movie.✨
  27. Took the parentals to get some Strange.🌀
  28. DECEMBER
    Had a Ladies' Night with a friend and mentor from church; got a surprising amount of enjoyment from Taking 5 during a stressful day at work.
  29. I was feeling extra unattractive so I doodled, but then it became something wildly precious.😇 PS: I'm still waiting for a resort area to become part of my near future.
  30. Ended my 2016 theater experience as I began it: with a Star Wars film (and was thrilled that Rogue One was even better than I'd expected😍). Received a handwritten card with my House mantra on it when I opened present and it was Ravenclaw cardigan! 🦅
  31. 2016
    This blanket that I can wrap up in when I'm having a dark day and be reminded that I always have safety in those who love me. 💜