Sunday, December 31, 2017

Putting 2017 to bed. Forever.

Ah, it's almost over. Though an annus horribilis in many ways, there have been many bright spots that kept life afloat in the midst of down now being up and wrong now being right. Here are some of the moments of grace, fun, love, laughter, hard work, and pure joy that have come my way in the past 12 months.

Best Vacation at a Place I'd Never Been Before: Key West with the family. So much fun - great fun, beautiful sights, comfortable accommodations, and watching Liam and Charlotte fall in love with the area. 

Best Sabbatical Moments: I had no bad moments at Atlanta History Center or The Center for Puppetry Arts during my 3-month stint serving both amazing organizations. I learned so much, and even better, I worked with incredible people - creative, gracious, innovative souls who welcomed me into their environments. Still, a couple of standouts: checking the progress of the Cyclorama installation at the History Center and working in Puppetry Arts' museum studio during DragonCon. Two incredible experiences for vastly different reasons. 

Best Family Gathering: As always, our Bully Bartows Christmas get-together, where I store up a whole year's worth of love and laughter. Tides me over through any rough days. And re-creating our 12 Days of Christmas video was the highlight of highlights!

Best Theatrical Experience: Hands down, Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly! I'm still high on "Put on Your Sunday Clothes." Sometimes, you just have to go old-school. (Props to The Great Comet, though. Sad it had to close so soon.) But y'all - Bette Midler!!

Best Weather Experience: Snow! In Atlanta! In early December!

Best Place to Work: As much as I loved working at the History Center and Pupptry Arts, I love my crazy, constantly-under-pressure colleagues who work on the Presiding Bishop's staff. 

Favorite Liam Hockey Photo: The boy loves his hockey! Go, #5!

Favorite Photo of the Year: Last year, it was Liam being pulled off the ground while ringing the church bell; this year, it's Charlotte's emotional Cherub Choir performance before the annual Christmas pageant. Thanks, Lisa Bell-Davis, for capturing the moment.

Thankful for good health, good friends, good job, and great family. We can and will overcome the rest of the mess we're in, so let's put Mr. 2017 to bed and wake up Ms. 2018.  And if all else fails: Put on your Sunday clothes when you feel down and out . . . 

Happy New Year! Cheers, y'all!