Before we jump headfirst into the new year, I feel like 2012 (and all its craziness) deserves a proper goodbye.

First things first, I feel blessed that it was a good craziness. Sure, there were a few bumps and hiccups along the way but that’s life. And for this messy-haired girl, life is best lived fully, with ample amounts of happiness, fun, adventure, laughter and love. As for the small rain showers that appear along the way, I’ve found that it’s best the channel the attitude of Dolly Parton who says, “If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”

With that said, it’s time to take a look back on 2012. While it was a year that will likely be most remembered for a devastating hurricane, a heated political race and national heartache, it’s my hope that we will also remember the good…that we can remember how neighbors helped each other, prayers were sent to the heavens, the kindness of strangers increased and love was openly shared.

January, February & March
Confession: Sometimes I think of winter as a curmudgeon. Why? Oh gees, I don’t really know. Probably because I don’t like being cold. And yes, I know I should be a HUGE fan of winter, as I’m a Montana girl through and through and to live here, you kind of have to love winter. And I’m not happy to tell you that in 2012, I discovered that winter is really not that curmudgeony.

What changed my mind? I got out and explored! Instead of grumping at winter, I learned to love it. I also faced my ridiculous fear of chairlifts and got back on a snowboard. Winter + Montana snow + looking a chairlift right in the eye and learning to not fall every time you get off it = A happy winter.


Other highlights included a trip to see the family, my baby sister’s Senior Night at The University of Great Falls, as well as a visit to the beautiful island of Hawaii. Because after all, once you face your fears of snowboarding and chairlifts, it’s best to reward yourself with a trip to the beach.


April, May & June
Spring and early summer brought more adventures, both personally and professionally. During these three months, I spoke at a tourism conference, visited Paradise (literally), bunked with hobbits, traveled to Los Angeles for work (my very first visit ever), biked the Going-to-the-Sun Road before it opened to vehicular traffic and planned a family reunion.


August, September & October
For me, this is the time of year when Montana really shines. These three months also happened to be some of the busiest of the whole year, both personally and professionally. During this time period, my grandma passed away, I took a spontaneous trip to Mexico City, visited my best friend in Chicago, did some river therapy in the form of fly-fishing and simply tried to soak up every morsel of summer possible. I also “welcomed” my 30th year of life (yikes) and turned it into a week-long celebration instead of just a day. You only turn 30 once, right?


October, November & December
Ah, the last few months of the year. A time of crisp autumn air, gorgeous fall foliage and the changing of seasons before the holidays arrive. For some reason, these months were also action-filled with a wedding, winter’s first snow and trips to both El Paso and Seattle. The year ended with a few much-needed days spent at home playing with my favorite 3- and 4-year-old, topped off with just the right amount of family time.


All in all, 2012 was a good year. As for 2013? I feel like it will be even better.

Adios, 2012. You were lovely...and for that, I thank you.
Adios, 2012. You were lovely…and for that, I thank you.

Wishing you each a happy, healthy, successful and love-filled 2013.


January 4, 2013

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