Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Highlights of 2015

It's the final few days of 2015, where did the time go?! I swear I was just doing up my list of heartbreaking moments for my fangirl heart in 2014! I am not going with that theme this year, as I want to go with a more positive less crazy person theme. The social media group Bullies Keep Out tweeted this week for people to share their highlights of the year, I responded with one, but now I want to look back on the year at some of the BIG highlights as well as the small that meant something to me (mainly because when I responded I honestly was not able to think of anything which is ridiculous! 2015 was a big year).

January marked my 30th year on earth. I didn't do too much, but Kassy and Delaney bought me birthday donuts and sang (because Delaney demanded it) and Kassy took me to lunch. I spent the evening of my birthday "with Stephen Amell" as it was the return of Arrow from their holiday hiatus. January also marked some stupidly cold temps with no snow, but amazing sunrises and sunsets. You can find many of my pictures on my blog from last "winter". January ended with the amazing premiere of the History Channel's 6 hour mini series event "Sons of Liberty" that starred several of my favorite actors, and more that I would come to love after the show aired. Oh. My. Word. By far my favorite mini series EVER.
made by annieodaairs on tumblr.

February brought stupid weather that threatened to cancel the major dog sled races (like, oh, you know, the Quest and Iditarod), other races were cancelled (no Tustumena 200!). But we got a roadkill moose (not as redneck as it sounds, I promise) and when dad threw the bones in the backyard for the ravens and magpies to pick at we were visited by some much larger birds. Two eagles spent a week munching and crunching on carrion... and I managed to take many photos (way too many photos) and only ticked them off once or twice. The rest of the time I was busy focused on the upcoming Iditarod and whether or not it would start in Willow or if they'd have to move the race further north - if they could have it at all.

March is always one of my favorite months of the year, it's the Iditarod! The biggest race of the year for mushers, their dogs, and their fans. This year I was not blogging for the Seaveys, which meant I could have fun and follow the race and report on my blog because I wasn't busy moderating their pages. Also meant I could cheer for them and not just worry I sounded biased. I could also be critical of other teams if need be and it not be tied to them. I got to watch (via internet and tv, of course) Dallas Seavey win his 3rd title. But what was really the highlight was becoming part of that small group of bloggers and social media folk that cover the race. I was asked by Sofamushing based out of Europe to be a guest blogger, and the crazy duo of Dog Works Radio asked me to be a guest on their radio program to give my take on not only the race but on the way social media has connected the fans to the race in a way that no other medium has done previously. It was an honor and a lot of fun. Made the race that much more exciting for me as there was a new element to it for me!

March also saw a huge change in our family - my grandfather moved out of his house of 40 years. He has dementia and he needed more help, so we packed him up and he now lives with my uncle (he may be moving in with us soon, however). It was an emotional time, and the family was together which made it easier and harder all at the same time.

April once again brought a happy change to the family, mom and dad adopted their pug Sushi. He was about three years old and we were told he didn't like kids. Well, he doesn't like anyone or anything new - and it took him a long time before he liked me. He still has his moments of grumpy dog, but for the most part he is a hilarious addition to the Reitter household. And this dog LOVES wearing clothes. He's becoming a bit of a clothes horse. It's insane. But he's adorable, so it's okay.

May I was hired at Donna's Gift Shop in Soldotna. It was one of those jobs that falls into your lap. I made it through Christmas with them before deciding to take the job I have now. It definitely helped me get out from under a bit of a hole I'd gotten myself in, but it took a lot of time away from other pursuits like photography and it was putting wear and tear on my Exploder. Delaney invited me to her dance recital and I took pictures of that. It was the beginning of the busy season for the Peninsula. Full of fishing and summer fun.

June saw forest fires, one starting right where 2014's ended... another destroying the prime real estate of the Mushing Community of Willow. Communities rallied, the mushing community especially, and while many homes were devastated in Willow, they have rebuilt and carried on in true Alaskan fashion. Kassy talked my dad into helping her coach T-ball, so I spent a few nights taking pictures of the games for her... when I could get the time off. I also tried fitting in other summer activities. I DID get to go to the Iditarod BBQ with dad, and even while the fires raged further North of Wasilla, it was still a fantastic time. Even if dad embarrassed me (and I managed to embarrass myself).

June also brought with it the very best part of the summer for me. While shooting photos of the dogs and cats up for adoption at the Animal Shelter, I managed to get the first glimpse of a little black PUG DOG that they were getting ready to find a forever home. I fell in love. The little imp was skittish and hyper and I just felt like I needed him. A quick chat with mom and dad later and I was contacting the shelter saying "put him on hold, as soon as dad can get off work they're going to bring Sushi over and meet him". I was at work. Next thing I knew I was getting a message saying he was mine! I can't imagine life without him now... the only regret I have is naming him Stitch... names have power and he definitely personifies his name. He is a super naughty pup!

July was work, and fishing, and Conway Seavey's concert in the park... that I was only going to spend an hour at and then nope I stayed the whole time... which meant I left close to midnight... but I got some of the most amazing shots I've ever taken of Redoubt and the Kenai River. The prints are quite popular. I'm pretty proud of how they turned out. We also said goodbye to my aunt's black pug Bubba Jack the No Eyed ARRRRRctic Pug Pirate. The one we rescued when I still lived with her in Anchorage. We used to joke that he would outlive us all... and, well, he outlived all the dogs in our family.

August saw me getting a new car as the Exploder died on me early on in the summer (grrr). I ended up getting a Kia Sorrento and I absolutely love her. I've named her Miss Daisy (as that's what Donald Duck calls his boat). I was super busy with work and didn't get a lot of anything else done. It flew by, and I was looking forward to the idea of slowing down and getting into a routine, but that didn't happen. Oh well, I had a job, right?

September was work and football... I don't have much high or low lights for that month. Haha.

October through December was just one whirlwind of holidays and work and work and work... and then in November I was offered the job as Administrative Assistant for Liberty Tax in Kenai. This will help when Grandpa moves up early next year, as well as cuts down on gas. Every little bit helps.

I'm sure I'm missing some key points, but those are the big ones that stand out for now. Overall I think 2015 was a pretty nifty year... 30 wasn't so bad... now it's only year 31!

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