Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 In Review.

I don't know if you know this about me... but I'm a bit of a New Year's Eve scrooge. My evening has been perfect: I went to dinner at Jack Stack (mmmmm barbeque...), went and saw a movie (We Bought A Zoo, so good, and a great soundtrack that I've already purchased and am listening to now), grabbed a shake at Sonic, now I'm home, sitting on my couch, blogging. If I'm in bed before 12 o'clock, I'll be a happy camper. So, instead of counting down, and cheering, and dancing, and hugging, and drinking (all things I typically enjoy doing on any other night of the year), I thought I'd reflect on the year. More for my sake than yours. But here it goes. Abby Thomason's 2011 In Review:

I had a pretty slow first half of the year. Or maybe it's been so long ago that I don't really remember what happened...

But in February/March I recorded an album with my friend Rob. Remember that? Not a lot came of it, because Rob had to move back to Portland, but it was for sure a once in a lifetime experience for me. (Any interest in checking out the album, you can actually download it for free on Noise Trade here.)
The studio.
Our album cover, designed by my brother Cory.

Multiple good friends moved away this year and God taught (well, continues to teach, I've far from arrived) me a lot through it.
When taking this picture, I thought it was just to throw a get together for the Cunninghams before they moved away. Little did we know that the Crows would be moving away 6 months later... :(
I'm pretty blessed to have cousins that are my best friends, but these guys had to move away, too.

I was crafty, or at least attempted to be, throughout the year.
A painting for my friend Corrie's baby-to-be Theo.
A fall wreath...

At the beginning of July, I took an impromptu road trip to Austin, Texas to move my brother Joel to his new place there. We stopped in Derby, Kansas on the way back to celebrate the 4th of July with our Wichita family.
My first taste of Torchy's Tacos in Austin. The best tacos I've ever had.
Gotta love those sparklers...

In July, my family also went on vacation to Watercolor, Florida. It was pretty fantastic...
Not the best sunsets in the world, but still beautiful.
Vacations are always more magical when this girl is around.

In July I also made this list of things I wanted to do before I turned 24. It kind of transformed my summer.
#17. Ride a bike at least 5 miles.
#5. Send someone flowers.

At the end of the month, we went to the lake with our friends the Wilts. Weekends at the lake with the Wilts hold some of my favorite memories...
The Taco Tube!

In August, I started what I liked to call "Try-It Tuesdays." Where I tried a new recipe every Tuesday...
Burrito Bowls, sans the bowl.

And I also baked a lot this year. Not a surprise. I know.
Gracious's Fancy Nancy birthday cake.
Strawberry chocolate cheesecake for Cory and Erica's prom.
Shannon's 70s themed birthday cake.

I traveled quite a bit in October... I went and visited my brother Joel in Austin, Texas.
It's not vacation without ice cream.
Visiting Tim Riggins' land from Friday Night Lights.

Then my cousins Dana and Marc in Sublette, Kansas.
Shooting targets. I love this picture.
I've said it once, and I'll say it again, Kansas sunsets are the best.

Then my college friends in Columbia, Missouri.
With the ol' roommates, celebrating Megan's engagement.
I had to visit Big Tree, of course.

Then my cousins Julie and Anthony in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
I laughed more with them this weekend than I have all year. That's a fact.
At Cuppies and Joe: the depiction of my dream bakery that I hope to open someday.

Also in October, I made it a full year at JPMorgan. I can't believe that I've worked there over a year...
My co-worker Robert, we just happened to be wearing the same outfit that day.

And, of course, I did lots of celebrating throughout the year, as always...
August birthdays...
Thanksgiving right into Christmas...

What a year it's been! Who knows what's in store for 2012... (If you made it this far, I owe you a date to grab some coffee and talk about YOUR life because you just spent the last 37 minutes reading about mine. Thanks for caring enough to make it this far...)

Monday, December 26, 2011


My last post was a bit... deep... especially for Christmas Day. So I thought I'd lighten things up with a little bit of meaningless commercialism... Ok, not totally meaningless and commercial. But I need a new calendar for work (functional) and so I have been looking for calendars on Etsy (artsy and for a good cause/supporting the arts.) I can't decide which one I want so I thought I'd post my favorites (and their prices, because that's something to factor in) to help give clarity on the matter. I mean, this is a big decision, I'll have to look at this the rest of the year! I can't rush a decision like this... Feel free to give input if you'd like.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas...

The day that we look forward to all year long, Christmas Day, has come and gone. I kind of hate how I do that... How I constantly look forward to things instead of enjoying where I currently am. All month long I've been looking forward to Christmas, and now it's over, and won't be back for another 365 days. When I think about my life, I do the same thing. I am looking forward to hopefully getting married some day, having a house, and kids, and a good job. Rather than enjoying the stage I'm in right now. Sure, I live with my parents, and make fun of myself about it all the time. But what a special time to be able to spend so much time with two really cool people. Yes, I long to find a man that I love and get married. But I should be enjoying the freedom that comes with singleness for now. Of course my job could be better suited for me than it is. But maybe someday I'll have a perfectly suited job for me that requires longer hours and more stress...

I need to stop living for the future. And start living for now.

Today was Christmas, and I'm not thinking about anything else but today. We woke up. Opened some lovely presents. Ate a delicious breakfast that my mom prepared. Relaxed a bit. Went to my aunt's house. Ate some more delicious food. Played games. Danced a little. Laughed a lot. And now here I am. Thankful for today, and the life that I'm currently living.

Merry Christmas...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Favorites.

One of my co-workers exposed me to a new blog, Iowa Girl Eats, and I kind of love it. She does this thing she calls "Friday Favorites" where she shows a lot of her favorites that she saw or thought of that week.... and, it's kind of great. So I thought I'd be a thief, steal her idea, and make it my own and have a Christmas themed Friday Favorites... because Christmas is almost here... Can you believe it? Christmas Favorites, here is the list:

Favorite Christmas Sight: The Plaza lights... Pictured above. I just love 'em.

Favorite Christmas Tree Ornament: I'm not very girly, so this is pretty atypical of me... But my favorite ornament is a sparkly, pink cupcake that my cousin Robyn gave me for graduation a couple of years ago. I don't know what it is... but I just love it.

Favorite Christmas Decoration: White lights. I especially love our white lights in mason jars that we have on our mantle this year.

Favorite Christmas Drink: Eggnog. Fo sho. I love eggnog. It's especially special that I only drink it one time of the year. Man, I want some eggnog right now.

Favorite Christmas Recipe That I WANT To Try: So, this recipe isn't actually Christmas-y at all. But I've been dying to make it since I saw it: Bite-Sized Baked Brie by Joy the Baker. I'm kind of afraid it may be a bit too... hoity toity for the men in my family, but I'm going to find an occasion to try it out over the holidays anyway... Just you wait. (A little more Christmas-y, I also want to try these Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites, but my fam doesn't like gingerbread either... Picky, picky.)

Favorite Christmas Memory: Every year my brothers would sneak down to look at the stockings on Christmas Eve rather than wait until Christmas morning and my dad would set booby traps for them to try to slow them down. This tradition passed down to my little brother Cory, and one year my dad literally tied Cory's door and my brother Kyle's door together so neither could open them. I remember standing between the two doors while 1. Cory was crying because he couldn't get out (he was pretty little...), 2. Kyle squeezed his arm through the crack of the door and used a knife to cut the rope. (Basically, I'm a horrible sister for just standing there watching them try to get out.) What a night... What a tradition...

Favorite Christmas Movie: This is SUCH a tough call. It's a tie between Home Alone and Elf. Am I allowed to have a tie? Actually... I'm the one making this list, so I decide, and yes, ties are allowed. Home Alone and Elf it is!

Favorite Christmas Card: I know, I'm biased, but the Christmas card that my brother Cory designed for our family this year is just plain amazing... Amazing, I tell you!

Favorite Holiday Baked Good: I actually bake/eat these sugar cookies all year round, but they are especially special during Christmas.

Favorite Christmas Tradition: Going to the Plaza for dinner as a whole family - Joel's treat.

Favorite Traditional Christmas Song: Carol of the Bells. I'm not really sure what version I prefer, a really traditional sounding version? I'll go ahead and say the Carpenters version (even though that's not true) because their Christmas album is dear and near to my heart. (PS The Carpenters Christmas album is definitely my Favorite Christmas Album.)

Favorite Non-Traditional Christmas Song: Sister Winter by Sufjan Stevens.