14 things I look forward to this year

I’m a bit late in making a list for 2016, but you know what they say: better late than never.

For my fellow list-lovers out there – here we go – 14 things I’m kick-you-in-the-crotch-spit-on-your-neck fantastically anticipating in 2016:

1)  So many movies
…so little time. I still have some catching up to do from last year (e.g. The Intern, Jurassic World, Creed, The Revenant), but there are some flicks I’ve been waiting for patiently that are finally dropping this year: Deadpool, Suicide Squad (because of Margot Robbie, let’s be honest), Zoolander 2, Super Troopers 2, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Finding Dory… I’m sure I’m forgetting some. I foresee lots of pizza and popcorn nights in bed.

2)  Game of Thrones: Season 6
Once we find a way to get internet at our house (long story – apparently in the year 2016, internet isn’t available everywhere), we’re investing in NetFlix. I need Parks and Recreation in my life. And because I have to know what happened to John Snow, we’ll be getting HBO Go. By the way, have you seen Natalie Dormer as a blonde? Jesus…

3)  7-day vacation (somewhere)
It’s been more than three years since the hubby and I have taken a vacation. My step-brother (sounds so weird to say) planned to get married on Clearwater Beach, FL this May. We figured why not make a week of it. Unfortunately, we just found out the wedding has been cancelled. Our hearts were set on going somewhere (anywhere) this year and still are. That said, we’re thinking either an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean (fairly budget-friendly) or road trippin’ it to a national park. Either way, we both agree, we gotta go somewhere. Now’s the fun part of choosing…

4)  Making our home… well, ours
For those that don’t know, the hubby and I (and two cats) live (sort of) near the Ozark foothills – absolutely stunning scenery – in a secluded log cabin seated on 15 acres. With a wet-weather creek running through the mostly-wooded property and an above-ground pool, life doesn’t get much better. We sold our house fully furnished, meaning the only furniture we brought with us was our metal bed frame and a chintzy card table. We’ve been there for about six months now and are slowly but surely settling in. About a month ago, we purchased a gorgeous aspen and barnwood table. (Thanks, Dad and Kim!) This weekend we’ll be installing a new light upstairs. We’re saving for our bedroom furniture, then for our living room. We’ll get there eventually. The beautiful thing is, after flipping two homes, we finally get to take our time on this one, make it completely ours and enjoy it as we go.

5)  The rough draft of my book
A couple years ago I toyed with the idea of challenging myself to write a book. I’d written a few short stories and wanted a bigger, tougher project to hold my attention. I went into it completely blind. I had no idea what I was doing and had no plan. I just began writing. No surprise, I hit a wall, looked back and went “eww.” I put it on the backburner for a while, tinkered with it here and there, contemplated deleting the whole thing, and now I’m back in the swing with that funny “inspired” feeling. Most of the story has been outlined. My goal is to have the rough draft (a.k.a. vomit draft) completed by the end of the year. Yeah, we’ll see how that goes…

6)  Experimenting with photography and videography
I like to pretend I have an eye for photography. Really I just enjoy playing around with fun angles and lighting. Last year I built my own pinhole camera, finally got around to developing the pics and was pleasantly surprised (see this post’s featured image). I’d eventually like to purchase a toy camera, like a Lomography Diana F+, and decorate my office/craft room with the results. One of my goals for 2017 is to take a new photo every day. (Look at me, already planning ahead.) I also have a strong itch to play around with some videography. I’m guilty of listening to a song and visualizing (what I believe to be) the perfect music video. With work’s 24-105mm and some pretty people, I should be set. Any takers?

7)  Summertime poolside
Did I mention we have a pool? And a Harman Kardon Aura? When we bought our home last year, our plan was to move in two days before our anniversary, three days before the Fourth of July. In that short amount of time, we were going to pull off an extravagant house-warming, 4th of July bash. Our close date got bumped back a few weeks, so this year marks our first Independence Day in the new house, meaning we need to break it in and break it in right. Dad, I’m looking at you: Bring the things that go BOOM in the night.

8)  The hubby’s 28th birthday
In case he’s reading this, I can’t say what it is, except that my plan for that day (weekend) is going to be epic. Tough thing is I have to keep my mouth shut for another six months. Stay tuned…

9)  Setting up my office/craft room
You know what’s awesome? Having an entire room to do whatever you please with. You know what’s not awesome? Deciding what to do with an entire room you can do whatever you please with. If you know me, you know I’m indecisive. So although I’m ecstatic that I finally have my own space to basically go ape shit nuts with, I can’t decide how I want it to look. Do I want photos here? What about storage? Should the desk be against a wall or window? What if mint was the wrong accent wall color? Should I write on one of the walls? What about cool artwork? Do I want any white space? I think I want every wall to be different. Yeah, that’s what I want. Wait… do I?

10)  5-year anniversary
That’s right, it’s hard to believe but in July the hubby and I will be celebrating five years of marriage. Crazy, right? I remember our first anniversary. I gave him a leather journal and wrote a promise/vow for each day we’d been married. The reasoning was twofold: They say the first year is paper, and the vows I wrote and spoke on our wedding day was more of a recap of our journey than a list of promises (whoops). The following three-and-a-half years flew by. I haven’t yet figured out what this year’s gift will be, but I look forward to another five wonderful years with this wonderful man.

11)  Project: Kindness
A year or so ago I stumbled across Hannah Brencher and her global initiative to spread love through handwritten letters to – not friends, family or loved ones – strangers. I’ve implemented something similar at my work and want to continue to spread the love in my personal life. Why? Because, to put it simply: The World Needs More Love Letters.

12)  Six Flags season passes
Last year we bought Six Flags season passes which, after only two uses, was more or less a waste. (Though we did go to Fright Fest, which I completely forgot how fun that is.) For Christmas, family got us season passes. This year we’ll be sure to make it worthwhile especially since we won’t be bogged down with moving and settling in this time around.

13)  My little sister’s graduation
I was 11 when Ally was born and can’t believe this fall she’ll be a freshman in high school. It’s bittersweet. With such an age difference, we never got the chance to really connect the right way. Fast forward a few years, I started college and only saw her on weekends. Fast forward another few years and I got married. Now, I live further away and see her less than before. I need to play big sister before it’s too late. I haven’t been much of one, and soon she won’t need me or seek my guidance, and I’m not ready for that day. I’m protective of her, so I’m worried but also excited for her to be starting her next chapter. I’m proud of you, Lu.

14)  Twenty One Pilots concert
It will be fourth time we see them in concert. Last time we waited in the pouring rain for six hours to score spots in the 12th row of the pit. It was an incredible view (even if I was banking on making it to the very front). This year, they’re stepping up their venue game and filling the Scottrade Center; they will sell out and I will make it to the front. The concert falls on a Tuesday, so I’ll be taking the day off. I imagine us camping out overnight. It being downtown St. Louis, I have yet to talk to the hubby about that… Question is: is one day enough?

This may turn into one of those add-on lists, but for now this is what I’ve got. Cheers.

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