There was a part of me that wanted to forgo waiting until the next month (to make sure I’d be able to share any moments captured on that last day) to post December in Photos and put this up back in December. I didn’t want any part of 2017 to seep into 2018. You may have noticed there was no letter to 2017 last year. I thought “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!” was a little short for a blog post and that’s all I could think of to write. 2017 wasn’t my favorite year and I wanted to wipe my hands and be done with it as soon as midnight hit. But 2017 in itself wasn’t good or bad; it was a period of time. In that time, a lot happened. There were the not-so-pleasant people and places that I’m happy to walk away from. I’d say that was one of the highlights of the year: walking away from the people and places that weren’t good for me and were holding me back.

During a devotion last week I had to do something that I was avoiding doing: I had to reflect on 2017. It was a year I entered feeling extremely burned out and left still feeling burned out, but less so. And in the midst of those negative people and those negative places was so much good. Listening to my niece play the piano, watching my nephew play hockey, the endless laughs that Little One brings, trips to my home state, so much time spent with horses this summer, Taz’s tiny little horse-tail swishing back and forth, cleaning horse stalls (yep, I’m including shoveling horse πŸ’©Β in the good moments), days spent on the Amazon River with a fisherman who knows the land like the back of his hand, seeing so many pink dolphins he said we must be drawing them to the boat, a visit to the largest tulip festival in the world with my mom, another shared birthday/mother’s day, walking a horse around the grassy area at a truck stop, a beautiful sunrise in Nebraska, a rainy drive through Rocky Mountain National Park, feeling creatively inspired again, getting lost in a good book for the first time in forever, my oldest nephew’s wedding, a lot of hard work–but work I find satisfying, starting a business, the opportunity to see a lot of amazing plays, and I’m sure there are things I’m leaving off this list. So, I guess my letter to 2017 could read, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, but thanks for all the amazing moments that carried me through.”

And all of those moments are captured in these posts. So let’s dive into the last “in photos” of 2017.

(Note – Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using one of these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Dreams, etc.!)

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

The month started with this handsome fella. And apparently out of the 20+ pictures I have of my sweet canine nephew Tino in this very spot, I chose the blurry one to share with all of you. You’re welcome.

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

I ventured out of the house to go see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and if you ever have a chance to see this play, go! It was fantastic. I think I’m going to do a video about plays I’ve seen recently, so I’ll share more thoughts about it at that time, but this is one I’ve wanted to see for awhile and it did not disappoint. Additionally, if you’re ever in Minneapolis (or if you live here!) I highly recommend you check out Mixed Blood Theater. It’s affordable, so if you want to reserve a seat it’s only $25. But they also reserve half of the theater, so if you can’t afford to see a play (or, I guess, don’t want to pay to see one) you can head over to the theater two hours before the play starts when the box office opens and get a ticket for free until they run out. I think it’s so cool that they’re working to make theater accessible to those who aren’t able to afford it. They also feature plays with diverse characters and… they’re just doing some really cool things.

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

This is (obviously) not an OOTD, but I was really feeling my outfit this day so I snapped this photo. If you caught my blog post last week about different ways to refresh your life in the new year, I talked about going through your wardrobe to make sure your clothes really feel like you. This was one day I definitely felt like my clothes–and my makeup–really reflected who I am. It’s such a confidence booster. That day I was also asked if I was an actress. No, but thank you! πŸ˜‰Β (True story: back in the day I wanted to be an actress. It was my dream for quite a few years, actually.)

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

After the weekend was over, it was back home to my Little One, who obviously didn’t miss me as much as I missed her. πŸ˜‚

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

You know that feeling when you’re on top of life and you order your niece’s birthday present a few weeks before her actual birthday and you know your family will be celebrating a few days after the actual day, so you’re feeling pretty good about actually being on top of things for once?

And then the present isn’t actually delivered until an hour before you have to leave to go to her birthday dinner? Yep, that happened. But her Stranger Things Funk Pop figurines JUST in time.

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

The first snowfall. Little One loves to roll around in it.

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

I actually took this to send to someone. We had just been talking about our love for Boom Chicka Pop and I mentioned that Little One goes crazy if there’s an open bag of it around. Shortly after I took this photo, she was trying to climb INTO THE SUITCASE to get to the bag.

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

After the fun packing adventure, my mom and I took off for Madison to visit family/see the state Christmas tree! We decided to take the bus (so that I could work instead of drive), so we made it to the bus stop bright and early.

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

I took this after lunch at a pizza place to show that my lipstick still looked decent after eating a greasy slice of pizza. PS – it’s Urban Decay’s liquid lipstick in Trap Queen.

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

And then it was time to leave this beautiful and quirky city behind. 😭

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

Let me tell you about the time I was in a funk for a week. I was in line to get coffee and as I drove up to the window to pay and collect my overpriced coffee when a thought hit me: “I’m in a funk, I should pay for the person behind me.” I don’t know why the person in front of ME didn’t have that thought, but alas, they didn’t. I kind of chickened out, though. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it just seemed like an awkward thing to do. So, I decided that since I had the thought and I was in a funk and I chickened out that I had to do it sometime that week. I talked to someone who does it periodically and she said she actually buys a gift card, so that there’s a specific amount they can draw from and if someone’s picking up a big order you’re not paying a huge bill. That’s what I did and it worked really well. I definitely want to do it again sometime. And if it’s something you’ve wanted to do, but also thought it was awkward, try a gift card. It requires a little more planning, but worked really well.

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

My friend’s daughter had a speaking part in A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis this year. I’ve always had an interest in checking out their annual production of A Christmas Carol, so my mom, sister, and I decided to go. Unfortunately the day we went she had strep, so we didn’t get to see her in it, but we still had a great time. We had dinner ahead of time, the play was absolutely fantastic, and it was fun to have a night out with my mom and sister!

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

Later that week my mom and I went to see The Phantom of the Opera. Words can’t describe how much I love this musical. πŸ’™πŸ’™

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

Some friends and I have been planning to check out the Norseman Distillery for a few months, so we finally made it out in December. The food was delicious, the drinks even more so, and it was so much fun to get together with them!

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

The things we do for the perfect ‘Gram.

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

The next day my family celebrated Christmas and I made these White Christmas Mojitos, which were a hit. Little One thought she should have a sip, too, and it took forever to be able to get a picture of the drink!

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

Ending 2017 off strong with church, plays, drinks with friends, and the cure to pull you out of a funk! // dreams-etc.com

More Little One shenanigans. She might look sweet and innocent and… well, she’s definitely very sweet… but innocent? She’s always trying to get into something! πŸ˜‚Β In the last picture, she’s trying to get to the bag of Twizzlers.

And apparently that’s when I stopped taking pictures in December.

What were some of the highlights of your December?

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