2015 Wrap Up


It is hard to believe 2015 is over in hours. What a whirlwind year it has been. From moving into a new house to a variety of travel to meeting an amazing man, this year has had more than I could of imagined. It has also had a share of drama and stress. But hey, life can never be perfect.

One of the highlights of the year was the fact that I finished my first full year of blogging. I started in the fall of 2014 and wasn’t really sure how it would go. Now that I have a year under my belt, I wish I would have started sooner. One of my biggest fears was that people would tell me to stop writing. However, people of that mindset have stayed strangely silent while others have encouraged me to do more. (You followers have an odd sense of entertainment and I appreciate it!)

Over the year I have dabbled in some fiction, commentary, and even poetry. I have shared some stories from my past and present. It has been wonderful to finally start writing again, especially when it always seemed to be on that …one day I will…list. Well, one day turned into 2015 and I could not be happier.

So for my 2015 wrap up, here were a few highlights of my writing blog:

Top Viewed Posts

A story from my past: It Was My Fault He Punched Me.

A free verse poem about meeting a wonderful man: Falling Into You.

A fictional story about a dog and a dead lover who appears in the form of a bird. He’s Awkward and Cute and Breaks my Heart.

A found form poem on liars for Poetry 201: Keeping up With Lies.

A memory from a deployment, which was a Daily Prompt response: Falling on my Face in Iraq.

A haiku for Ronovan Writes challenge, which I tend to do weekly now: Growing Cold.

My first and only florette poem that had a serious topic-suicide: Hidden in the Dark.

My top One Word Photo Challenge (with commentary): Gentle Giants of Biege.

My story (which was in response to a Daily Prompt and The Seeker’s Dungeon) about meeting a wonderful man: From Blind Date to Fairytale.

A pet photo challenge: Lazy Sunday.

My top haiku that was several haikus together, which spoke on the death of a lover (fiction for me thank God): I Forget I am Alone.

My top Phoneography Challenge (which was my first real attempt a macro photography) that had an article with it. Now, I try to do this challenge, every Monday when I can: It’s all in the Details.

 

Phew! That is a scattered range of topics. But hey, those are my thoughts and blog. I can only be me.

 

Of course, I need to thank some people. My blog is growing and growing, but much of that has to do with other bloggers. So, there are some shout outs I want to give. Thank you so much to all of you who send people my way. I really appreciate your help in my writing adventures.

Top Referrers

Ronovan Writes

Lens and Pens by Sally

Hope the Happy Hugger

The Seeker’s Dungeon

Katzen World

Cee’s Photography

As for my followers, you are all wonderful. A few of you have given me extra feedback though. So, to you folks, I am extra grateful. Thank you so much for all of the input. It really has helped me learn and stay motivated. Those bloggers filling up my comment boxes include:

Top Commenters

Amy from The World is a Book

Dan from No Facilities

Janet from This, That and the Other Thing

Sally from Lens and Pens by Sally

Melinda from in medias res

Well, thanks again to for the wonderful blogging year. I hope to keep up the pace with some tweaks to the schedule as needed. Feel free to let me know what you want to see more or less of. Who knows, maybe it will prompt me into a new idea or remember a story.

Take care everyone and be safe tonight on your celebrations.

Happy New Year to all of you and your families. May 2016 bring you all that you desire:)

See you next year!

Nato

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50 Happy Things in 2015


To wrap up 2015, I wanted to list a few things that made me smile. In an effort to be more thankful for life and all that I have, it only seemed right to do the Blogger’s Unit in a Flood of Gratitude challenge.

So, here is my list of things that made me happy this year, with some  links to previous posts and pictures to follow. (In random order.)

  1. My children
  2. My horse Daisy
  3. Guy, my grand dog I care for
  4. Simba, my huge cat
  5. Trip to Jamaica
  6. Meeting my soul mate
  7. Running in a half marathon, for the fourth year in a row now
  8. Going out and seeing more local sites this year, like the Buford Dam
  9. Learning about the Jewish faith through my boyfriend
  10. Buying my first all-mine house
  11. Buying my first all-mine car
  12. Having a great sister weekend full of fun events (hiking, concert, laughs, food and more laughs)
  13. Octoberfest weekend at a cabin with loved ones
  14. Doing unique, fun things like paddle board yoga
  15. Kayaking down the river a few times this year, and with friends
  16. Doing more fiction writing this year
  17. Getting promoted to major in the Army Reserve
  18. Getting honored at an Atlanta Brave’s baseball game as a Soldier
  19. Playing paintball with my son
  20. Starting to market my photography on Instagram/Twitter/LinkedIn
  21. Getting to see my high school best friend, and two times at that!
  22. Visiting the Lake Erie islands
  23. Thanksgiving and Christmas day parties with loved ones at my new house
  24. My spontaneous romantic weekend at Saint George Island
  25. My health
  26. Continuing my education on photography via blogging and classes
  27. Reading more books for fun
  28. Painting more and realizing I am actually getting better
  29. Baking/cooking new and old recipes
  30. Finding new music to love on Pandora
  31. My faith in God
  32. Trip to Barbados
  33. Girls weekend to Disney World
  34. Weekend with friends in Hilton Head
  35. Going to the symphony
  36. Pumpkin carving with family
  37. Visiting with one of my Army mentors on Veterans Day
  38. Helping my son with his Eagle Scout project
  39. Helping at community events via volunteering my photography services
  40. Discovering a magical purple flower in a field
  41. Dancing with a peacock in Jamaica
  42. Seeing Casting Crowns in concert with my wonderful boyfriend
  43. Friends that helped me move into my new house
  44. Seeing the Nutcracker at the Fox Theater
  45. Seeing the FSU flying circus on my birthday
  46. Sunsets and sunrises
  47. Sushi and green tea
  48. Being a featured blogger for a day on The Seeker’s Dungeon‘s November series
  49. Photographing a few weddings this year
  50. Trying macro photography

 

 

If you’d like to join in the Blogger’s Unit in a Flood of Gratitude, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list. The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful!

 

To join the bloggers who have come together for this project:

1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours)

2) Click on the blue frog at the bottom of this post.

3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post.

4) Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List.

Please note that only blog posts that include a list of 50 (or an attempt to write 50) things that made you feel Happy or 50 things that you are Grateful for, will be included. Please don’t add a link to a post that isn’t part of this exercise.

 

 

frog link

 

 

 

Christmas is Here


Christmas Eve and Christmas were a little different this year. The kids are older and were making their rounds to other parts of the family, so I had Christmas Eve and Christmas morning to myself. Therefore, I decided to use them wisely.

The much-desired white Christmas did not come. Instead it was replaced with a wet Christmas, a very wet one. So, on Christmas Eve, I ran around taking pictures of the growing water levels of a nearby river, ate a Mexican lunch with my boyfriend and then went home into a dessert-making/present wrapping mania.

Christmas morning I slept in for hours. It was a beautiful rare thing. By early afternoon I was cooking and prepping for dinner guests. We ate, drank and opened presents that evening and it was perfect. Though things are changing with time, I am realizing, life is still wonderful. It is just a different version of wonderful and that makes me smile:)

Here are a few pictures for you all to enjoy…

 

For more pictures of the flooding, stay tuned to my photography page, Michelle Lunato Photograpy. I will be posting some pictures there soon. There are a few up on my Instagram right now though.