Tour de Fat Festival in Chicago, Illinois

The 2015 I didn’t share.

It’s nearly 2016 and I can’t believe this year is almost over. It doesn’t feel like a whole year, an entire 365 days, has passed since the last New Years. But, here we are.

I’ve made it no secret that I’ve felt off this year. That nothing was really clicking for me. That I was just stuck. Every time I felt like I was coming out of this hole something happened to push me back in. Nothing big, mind you, just small set backs. A friend moving away, jury duty, throwing my back out, bronchitis, jet lag, insomnia, moving and all the new bills and responsibilities that came with that. I feel like I’m always swimming to catch up but never quite getting there.

I bring it on myself, I know. Most people I know go to work and then are done, are free. I go to work and then come back and have my blog, side projects, and online classes waiting for me. I take on so much, maybe too much, in hopes that some day it will all come together. But then I make too much work for myself and then I get overwhelmed and just want to go to bed.

As I keep saying, as I keep forgetting, I need to find balance.

I have this whole week off and have been trying to use it to catch up. I spent the weekend cleaning and organizing my entire apartment, all my closets, all my cabinets. I’ve been trying to tackle a backlog of blog posts. I’m hoping a new year brings with it a new faith that things will turn around. I’m hoping to finally catch up to myself. To finally find that balance. To finally feel whole again.

I’ll be back again soon with a plan for the new year, what I hope that 2016 brings. For now I’ll leave you, leave 2015, with a few things from the year I never got around to blogging about, the 2015 I didn’t share…


Heather and Jeremy’s Baby Shower

My friends Heather and Jeremy had a baby! But before she was born we threw them a baby shower. In a bar. With arcade games. Because that’s what friends do.



This spring I joined a softball team. I’m just wait here while you finish laughing. Done? Good. It was less scary then I expected. The games lasted no more than an hour so I only had to swing at the ball a handful of times all season. And they put me in right field so I never actually touched the ball. And then there was a fact that we had the rainiest summer ever (don’t fact check that) and most of our games were cancelled. I still played enough to learn the true meaning of softball: pizza, wings, and beer.



I made it my mission this summer to visit as many festivals as possible. I wrote about a few of them here and always meant to write a follow up with more. I made it to Tour de Fat, Forest Park German Fest, Old Town Art Fair, Randolph Street Fest, and Square Roots Fest. Maybe next summer I’ll make it to even more? And maybe next summer I’ll write about them all?


Farmers Market

All summer, twice a week, there’s a farmers market that pops up down the block from me. I became a regular, picking up veggies and fruits each week. I always tried to pick up at least one thing I’d never cooked with before. It was a fun challenge and forced me to eat more vegetables all summer long. Part of me really wants to join a CSA next year, but I’d miss the banter with farmers as I picked out what I wanted. And CSAs seem like they’d be way too much food for just me. We’ll see.


Taco Trough Throwdown

I wrote about competitive eaters eating a goat at Taco in a Bag. But I never shared that while they were in town, a few eaters took the Taco Trough Throwdown trying to beat the clock to be the fastest to eat 8 pounds of taco and and soda. Molly Schuyler, Bob Shoudt, and Takeru Kobayashi all faced it, and Kobayashi came out on top finishing in a minute and 45 seconds.


And there were other things I didn’t really talk about. I only briefly mentioned my friend Chelsa’s wedding in Ohio. I didn’t tell you that I played laser tag for the first time in my life. Or that I shot my friend Emily’s wedding. And the The Incredibly Strange Holiday Spectacular…for the Needy. And I didn’t blog on Christmas, like I intended, because my memory card ate all my photos. And I still haven’t written about Thailand. And i’m sure there are a million other things I forgot to write about…


See you in 2016! Hopefully more often…

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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

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