Sunday, January 20, 2013

2012 Photo Review

After being devastated when Mark told me that my photos had all been lost, I was thrilled when he figured out how to get the computer to work again! Yeah for being married to someone who knows how to make things function :) I thought I'd post a few photos to go over the past 12 months, and finish off some that I never got around to posting before.

January saw me working frantically on the last few pages of my novel (my goal is to get that thing published this year, one way or another) and continuing to enjoy the good life over in Czech.

February saw us enjoying every last minute of our time in Marianske Lazne, while planning for the future. Who knew that a year later we would know the shop we were contemplating so intimately. (We just finished inventory yesterday, which means we now know everything that is and is not in the store.)

Need I remind you, it was really cold there?

March brought us back to the US, and into silence. We spent a dizzying month making business deals left and right, and driving back and forth to Idaho. We relocated to McMinnville, and there really aren't any pictures from that month to speak of.

In April, May, and June we continued to settle into the new routine. Daily drives to Portland became the norm. In what little free time we had we took in some of the local sites, and planted a little garden.

July was a super busy month. We finally had a little vacation which we kicked off with my nephew Ryder's wedding, followed by a week long family reunion to celebrate my parent's 50th anniversary.

My previous posts about the family reunion were cut short, so I'll share just a few more pictures from the trip to Sunriver.

My second cousin runs a ranch for abused horses called Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, which is located out in Bend. We headed out there for a day, which had all my horse crazy nieces and nephews ultra excited.

There was also an afternoon of rafting that lent itself to some lovely scenic shots, and left my front half a brilliant lobster red.

What can I say about August and September but that they were lovely warm months. There were a lot of beach trips, but with the computer not working, and my obsession with Instagram growing, most of my photos were not taken with my camera. October also lent itself well to beach trips, and I think that is when the incident of the seagulls took place. My parents had come for a visit, and we had to entertain them by making the birds fly!

In November I aged once again. I was joined in the celebration by my dear friend Rebekah, who flew up for the weekend to celebrate both of our birthdays, as well as the birthday party for Jessie's girls who are Novemberians as well. My sister Janet also planned a little surprise, which meant she, my sister Julie and her baby Myrtle, and my mother all landed on my doorstep Saturday morning. It was good fun to spend the day shopping, celebrating, and eating more than my usual share. Good times were had by all. No photos, I'm afraid. I think I'm getting too old for posing...perhaps...

December was a crazy time at work. Anyone who has ever done retail, or worked in a post office, can understand. We were excited by it, of course, because it meant we had a little extra to start our insanity January.

And that pretty much sums up my past year. Except for the fact that I spent 80 percent of my time trying to wrap my simple little brain around the concept of being a business owner, I don't have a whole lot of excuses for being so blog silent. I won't promise a hundred posts this year, but hopefully as things progress I'll be better able to keep it all in stride. I'll also have to add a few shots of our renovation progress. Wish us luck in this big new undertaking as we attempt to improve on all levels in the new year.

A New Year

So last year I wrote up a bunch of goals for 2012. I thought I might go back and reread them as it is January again, and then I realized just how depressing that would be. They were pretty good goals, as I recall. And I didn't do any of them. Naturally, there are plenty of reasons for that. We bought a store, which sorta changed everything. All the same, I can't help but be a little dissatisfied with my performance over all.

I'm not sure I really want to set a whole lot of visible goals for myself this year. We still own a store. It takes up at least 75% of my time. There is no way to work around that. However, I do want to do better with certain things this year. I want to remember that living is still the most important part of life. It is crucial to find a way to live well, even in the midst of working for success.

Being a business person is still not the core of my being. It won't ever be. But it is the life I have now, so it's time to make the most of it. We are currently in the midst of a massive makeover project on the shop. My sweet husband has been working tirelessly to find ways to dress the place up, and searching for new inventory to make it a place we can really enjoy spending time in, rather than being filled with left overs from the previous owners, and a style that clearly reflects that it was founded in the 80s. This breath of fresh air has the potential to invigorate us and our customers in this new year.

Besides seeking to be more driven in business, it is essential that I find more ways to connect with people. Sure, I spend all day chatting with customers, but it just isn't the same as spending quality time with people. Hopefully we will find more ways to engage with friends in the area, as well as maybe getting to know some new people. A girl's got to hope.

I did join up with the Portland Bloggers list, and I would really like to attend some of their meetings this year. It would be good to network with other people in Portland, as well as having a chance to keep my writing skills in focus.

So here's to hoping that this year will be more successful, social, and balanced than the last one. Happy 2013, all :)