What can I say? Last year was quite an interesting year. Many trips, memories, and a year full of good times. There will always be negatives, but I would rather focus on the positive. So, to sum it all up...*Noteworthy in 2015:
- Went snowboarding
with some friends in Salt Lake City Utah
in February (1st time to Utah!)
- Worked onsite at Cedar Point
theme park for nearly a month (1st time there, my hubby visited for our anniversary, and we rode the coasters!)
- My loving honey bunches
got the nasty kitchen floor replaced while I was out of town so I didn't have to deal with the construction mess. Best birthday present EVER!
- Met nearly all my goals I set for last year! I donated
many items, bought some toys for Toys for Tots, but didn't do volunteering like I wanted. Will have to pick up the slack this year.
- Worked a super fun freelance
job where I got to design dragon characters for a workbook to help children manage ADD.
- Played laser tag
for the first time, loved it!
- Participated in "the great chair hack
" at Piedmont Park with some friends.
- Visited San Diego Zoo and Safari Park
! Bought VIP tickets for hubby's birthday and we had an unforgettable experience! Saw Nola
... one of the last Northern White Rhinos on the planet before she passed a few short months later.
- Started taking more Cx Core/Body Combat
classes at my gym, plus some Body Pump classes. I feel pretty fit!
- Had many game nights
with friends and family, and found a new favorite game! Codenames
! Smash Up is still a favorite as well.
- Went to Paradise Island Bahamas
! Stayed at Oceanside which gave us full access to Atlantis
. What an amazing place!!
- Did a light Christmas
with friends and family, and instead donated
much more to Toys for Tots
, and food bags at Sprouts
- Went snowboarding
again with family in Steamboat Springs, CO
right after Christmas. It was sooo cold, but I mastered my arch nemesis... the ski lift! (Seriously... dismounting the lifts on a snowboard is tough!)*This Year:
- I want to take my parents with us on a trip, possibly to Big Island Hawaii. Still working out the details of that one with the hubby-man
- Wipe the dust off my children's book and actually send it to some publishers.
- Work in one more snowboarding trip before winter is gone
- Play less games, do more art (This will be a tough one XD)
- Continue to be generous to those who have less, and always be thankful for everything
- Visit my dad's family in NC. I haven't been since my Gran's funeral several years ago... but I have to get over the fact that she won't be there anymore and visit my family that is!
- Look for the good in everything instead of getting fed up with the bad. I will continue to pray for this country, and even those who have been lead astray to do us harm. May God still see fit to bless us here despite current events!
So, that's that. Even with everything I learned, did, and saw last year, the most important thing I "learned" last year is this:If your beliefs or ideals allow you to mistreat or exclude another in any way, they are incorrect.
I believe this. Of course, I already knew this. Anyone raised in a home where real love is taught and shown, or those who choose to seek love over hatred themselves should know this. And yet, all of us have been guilty of leveraging our beliefs to judge or hurt others. Religious systems are among the guiltiest parties. It's why I have at times been apprehensive about telling others that I am a Christian. So many of us relate Christians to the negative acts of those who claim to believe in God. I, myself was mistreated for years by those who were supposed to be Christians all through grade school. It's amazing that I still chose to seek God.
But I realized something.
None of us are perfect. We all have low points, we make mistakes, and we recover from pain in different ways. Our beliefs grow and develop and sometimes change over time. As for me, I will continue to strive to treat everyone equally and with respect. I will forgive everyone who has ever wronged me, and those who will in the future. It's not always easy, but I have decided I'm going to do it. Love is actually far more difficult than hate, but it is the only way to set yourself free from guilt, grudges and negative feelings.
I believe that love comes from God, but if you don't, then I will still accept you for who you are
If you don't accept me for believing that, then that's ok, too. It's your choice to treat others how you feel is right. Either way, all those who are living are in this life together. Those you have met, and those across the world you will never meet. May as well do our best to spread positivity! I just choose to do it in the name of God.
So, video games! Everyone has weak points, right? Anyone who knows me knows that mine is video games! It's where I waste a great deal of my time XD Not all of it is a waste. You could argue that some games are educational, or help you stimulate different parts of your brain. True, true.
But, I do recognize that I need to tone it down a bit. They are keeping me from advancing my art skills, and also may have been contributing to me being more of a homebody last year. I definitely do NOT want to end up a recluse. Not that it has gotten anywhere close to that... but still. I always feel as though I could have done more, helped more, been there more. I'll still play of course, just not quite as much as I did last year. Mario Maker
... I don't want to know how many hours I dumped into this game. It was such fun creating new levels, and playing the courses of others. There is room for so much creativity. Some levels I have played have truly blown my mind. I have definitely staved off from this game but only because I got...Xenoblade Chronicles X!
Oh my, I'm still a little nervous about getting too into this game. Also, I accidentally gave my character the most annoying voice ever x_x Gonna have to figure out how to change that later. For now, I have just been doing side quests and still trying to figure out all the menus and customizations. The game is so huge, I can't even explain it. Instead of getting too sucked in, I have been trying to finish all the missions in...Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon!
It has been a fun little game, but I still miss the amazing character development from PMD: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky. I suppose you just can't top it. But PSMD has its charms. It has certainly held my attention longer than Gates to Infinity. Though I dislike the method of recruiting Pokemon, I do understand why they made it this way. The emera system is fun! I also enjoy the new Alliance system. It satisfies my collecting desire even more than...Yoshi's Woolly World!
This was a fun and refreshing return to console for Yoshi. So many things to collect, right down to the different colored Yoshis. I found nearly everything in the game, and enjoyed it the entire way.
What else came out this year?
Er.... I played through Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
. It was pretty fun. I have downloaded Metroid Fusion
, but haven't gotten too into it yet. At some point, I played through the first Paper Mario
again, and Xenoblade Chronicles
. I finally decided to download Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
with some Wii points credit I had leftover, and failed miserably at it thanks to getting used to the super tight controls in Mario Maker, haha. A miiverse friend advised me to try out Golden Sun
, so I may end up purchasing that one if it goes on sale. Still cheap, I know XD
Now I'm drawing a game blank. That can't be good. I know I played a lot of them...
Oh! I finally went back and finished Mario Galaxy
! I hadn't touched it in years, but it bothered me that I never finished it.
Another friend showed me many of the games from her massive collection over the course of the year. We played some Don't Starve, Shovel Knight, Radiata Stories
(yick), Limbo, Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival
, and some others. She offered that I should start my own backloggery account so we can keep up with each other's gaming progress. She's waaaay more serious about it than I am, but I have entered a great deal of what I own. This has been mostly for a record should my games ever get stolen or destroyed. If anyone's curious, my backloggery is here:backloggery.com/sugarpirate
So what about art? As you can all see, I had surges and dry spells last year. Some of it was due to traveling, and some was due to feeling totally uninspired or uninterested. When you get bored easily, it's hard to keep up with anything. I also didn't post everything I created. Sometimes I prefer to keep certain pieces to myself, or share them only with close friends and family.
I did try speedpainting for the first time, and found a new idol. Aaron Blaise has his own inspiring story of where his art career has taken him. If anything, I took away that you can always find a new beginning and reason to create. He chose to help others further their art education even if they can't afford art school. I mean, I went through art school and still feel like a novice. There is just so much to learn and do.
Perhaps I will get back into animation more this year. I want to continue sketching and painting animals as well. My character development has improved, but could still be better. Lots of room for improvement on all accounts! I'm going to stay positive about learning instead of getting negative over what I could have improved already.
Oh! One Piece.
I can't help it. The anime has been a part of my life since, I believe, 2001. My honey and I are caught up to current still, and we are dying to see the conclusion to Dressrosa. No other show has ever stuck with me this long. Especially not anime. I don't seek it out or watch it anymore unless I'm at a friend's or something. The last show I really got into was Ouran High School Host Club
. Or was it Vampire Knight
? Anyway, point is I really just don't watch it anymore. The time I used to spend watching has been spent more on gaming, heh.
There may also be a move in the near future. I'm waiting to figure out if the first month of summer will see me back at Cedar Point, or if we are going to plan some other trip for our anniversary. Either way, we are trying to decide where we would like to buy a new house. This old "bachelor pad" has been great for the time being, but this area is just too noisy and gridlocked with traffic to want to stay here permanently. Even the cats get stressed at times by the sound of the rush hour traffic right outside our door. Probably we will remain in GA, but we have also discussed other options. They would require the ability to work remotely, so I doubt that would happen. But I'm excited to see what the future will hold! Here's to a happy 2016! May you all strive to become the best versions of yourselves and seek out your own happiness!