it was much harder than i anticipated selecting my top 12 photos from 2014.
here’s a weird quirk about me…i really hate classifying things as ‘favorite.’ sure, sometimes i say ‘oh drinking cocktails is my favorite’ or ‘this candle is my favorite’ or ‘clean underwear is my favorite’ but when it comes to pairing down and selecting something, “favorite” stresses me out.
so, for this exact moment in time, here are my top choices from 2014 and in no way do i mean any disrespect to my other photos that weren’t selected (please tell me i’m not the only one who gives inanimate objects intense feelings??).
in chronological order:
1) moving back to portland
for newer readers, my husband and i decided in may 2013 to quit our jobs in portland, move to texas, move in with his parents and start our business. it was crazy and terrifying but also exhilarating in many ways. the day after christmas last year, we packed up and headed out from houston to portland because we missed it so much. that photo was taken on our second night from our living room (free from editing or filters, this is just what our eyes saw) and it was glorious.
2) completing our 50-city tour in chicago
one of the reasons we sold all our shit moved to houston was actually because we went on a 50 city tour around north america so we didn’t have a need for a place of our own since we literally lived in hotels for a very solid (and wrinkly) 3 months. we moved back to portland in the midst of this because my in-laws decided to fulfill one of their dreams and live on the beach so they moved to florida!
this was my first time speaking on an international stage only hours after getting my lost luggage (and deoderant) back! there was a crazy microphone malfunction but i felt very proud of myself for not passing out or running off stage. you can read more about how to not panic on an international stage right here!
(i also did a workshop in china (!) last month but this one gets the photo since it was my first one and people are laughing in it).
4) a holocaust survivor sharing his food
at first i had the picture of me and alter wiener, a holocaust survivor but the above simple gesture still makes me tear up.
as i said in my full blog post “i am not sure why but seeing this tupperware containing pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and a chocolate assortment set out for us was quite emotional to me. here is a man that has gone through so much and could very reasonably be filled with hatred, but instead he has chosen kindness. for someone who almost died from starvation and witnessed many around him suffer this horrible death, it was powerful to have him share his food with us.”
you can read our full interview here (it’s not all sadness, he also said he can’t wait for me to take him to bed…via his book)
5) toby passing away
the above photo is of my sweet puppy toby, the best beagle ever. my dad got him for my sister and me when i was in 8th grade. i was thankfully home in april for a world record attempt (more details in the next photo) and got to tell him goodbye and give him one last kiss. he passed away later that day.
the amount of sadness i felt was deeper than i expected and also had to be compartmentalized because of the massive event i had to smile and nod for the next day. i am so thankful my husband randomly snapped this photo because to me it captures the love between us.
6) the world record attempt
the planning and orchestrating of attempting a guinness world record pretty much consumed our whole lives from the beginning of the year until april. thank you to everyone who bought a book that day to help support my husband’s attempt for the largest book signing in history! unfortunately it turns out college students would rather spend $15 on beer and not a book but he still wants to try it again!
7) alaskan cruise
if you haven’t been to alaska, please go because it’s spectacular and it will make you feel like you should live atop a mountain and live off the land. i selected the above photo (from my 3,831 taken) because this was after our whale watching adventure and we were taken to a private island for lunch. it was right at this exact spot where i looked out, saw the world and felt connected.
she flew 13 hours to get to us from florida! my in-laws originally rescued her from the streets of texas, we planned on taking her once we moved to portland but then our travel schedule got too crazy so she stayed with them. then their other pup started getting jealous of her (because hellllllo! look at those curls and that face) so she came to live with us! she brings such cuteness and happiness to our lives. most importantly…she feeds part of the ‘baby-fever’ my husband has so keep being cute, little sugar (or ‘agave’ if we are amongst portland hipsters).
9) my sister’s wedding
isn’t my sister the prettiest bride ever?! her wedding was SO fun and i am still so proud of her for handling much of her wedding being covered in torrential down pour. this was a special week for me not only because my whole family was there to celebrate and we got to play on the beach but something more. it was one of the first times i saw her as truly an independent woman and not just my ‘annoying little sister.’ i will be the first to admit that i was indeed one of those mean older sisters and kendal…i’m very sorry for never letting you drive the barbie jeep and making you carry my viola.
it was amazing to meet her friends, hear their funny stories and see her marry a sweet and kind man. i am glad that i’ve stopped being such an a-hole sister and feel thankful for the relationship my sister and i are building, especially since it involves a lot less yelling and pinching.
10) traveling to malaysia
even though we were at a conference for most of the time in malaysia, we had time to climb the steps to the batu caves (pictured above), have fish suck on our toes and try fruit that smells and tastes like garlic/gasoline/rotting flesh! this was our first time in this part of the world and was amazing to see. there were even monkeys on the steps stealing water bottles from people’s backpacks and food from children.
11) our 5th honeymoon in thailand!
we received sage advice from my grandparents about taking a honeymoon every year and since we were in malaysia, we decided to take a 1.5 hour plane ride to thailand! i super love this photo because my husband was being all cocky while we were playing cards and made a bet that whoever lost had to get their hair braided. guess who lost. heeeeeyo! oh and he held a baby monkey!
12) traveling to china
it sort of blows my mind how much travel we were able to do this year after putting these photos together. no, we aren’t millionaires (yet-ha!) and we choose to go without new clothes, fancy gadgets or eating out very much so that we can put our money towards travel. it also helps when you own a business and it’s part of your business expense.
i didn’t write about our experience at the forbidden city because earlier in the day we hiked on the great wall of china and that took my breath away (literally). just know it was incredible and that stone directly behind my head weighs more than 3 tons and was brought there by icing the roads and pulling it along.
there are my top 12 photos from 2014 at this moment in time!
sometimes my husband gets annoyed that i take so many photos so i finally explained to him why i do. it’s because i love capturing a moment that i can later simply look at and have the feelings reappear for me. i love flipping through my files and phone of the places we’ve been, the foods we’ve eaten, the mishaps that have happened and i especially love capturing life as it moves along.
also, i changed up the hashtag a bit to “12×2014” if you post to instagram or twitter since we had some interest in people posting after today! if you post today, please still use 12x12x12 because look how awesome that looks and be sure to check out the husband’s top 12 photos too!
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