Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Inviting Light in 2014


For the last three years, I've played along with Ali Edwards One Little Word.  While I've decided not to formally play along this year, I still like the idea of choosing a word and focusing on that word for the year so I've decided to continue that tradition.  My words from the past:
  • 2011 - create
  • 2012 - intention
  • 2013 - action
Each of these words still sits with me every day and are very special to me.  This year, I've decided to use the word:

I'm looking forward to 2014, hoping that at the end of the year I feel more light than I did at the end of 2013. For some reason. 2013 felt like a big challenge for me and the heaviness of 2013 was weighing hard on me at the end of the year.  So, these last few days off work, I've forced myself to look back at 2013 and try to, positively sum up the year.  A few things that happened can't be said in a positive way but most everything else, when you look at it in was a pretty good year. So I'm glad I took the time to do the exercise.

Here is the list - in pretty completely random order - along with a few favorite photos from the year:


Lucas Owen Stout
  • I stuck my toes in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans this year

Sun + sand + surf = <3 at Coronado this morning enjoying the beauty.
  • Continuing the theme, I watched the sun rise over the Atlantic with my dad and watched the sun set over the Pacific with Gayle

Ocean Sunrise

So long San Diego
  • I celebrated 15 years at Ivy Tech
  • I took an awesome Zoo Photography class

  • I spent two weeks at Harvard this past summer

upload Jim

Almost gone
  • Gayle celebrated one of those "big" birthdays and we went on a cruise to celebrate it. I think I helped her make it a good one.


We are on board @disneycruiseline and are ready to set sail!!
(BTW - this is about the only good cell phone shot of us together we've ever shot)
  • G and I also met the cast and crew of NCIS: LA while spending a week in California.  (This is written up in two parts over on G's blog: Part 1 and Part 2)

That's LL Cool J...and he hugged me...three times!




  • I had severe anemia
  • I lost Fluffy

Relaxing in her favorite chair.
  • We settled into our new offices and then redid the furniture in the middle of the year.  But, it made room for the long awaited ping-pong table.
  • I was supposed to fly to Arkansas near the end of the year, but the trip got postponed because of weather at about the last possible second.
  • I visited mom and dad in Florida.

Mom and Dad

Getting Ready

Mom and Dad on Golden Sands
  • I didn't lose any weight, but I didn't gain any either.
  • Joined mom and dad in Phoenix to see Aunt Betty and Uncle Eddie in their new place.  Got to visit with the Conley side of the family while we were there too.

  • Mom and dad decided to sell the farm (sale pending)

  • Aaron lived with me for about a quarter of the year
  • Andrew lived here for a month-ish as well
  • I made a large pledge to the foundation and wrote up my will finally
  • Sara and Tracy joined our team at work


  • Things at work are changing a lot - early retirement packages, a challenging budget, and some significant reconfigurations are underway
  • Two big projects that we were directly involved in launched (ebooks and dual credit).  We did two major software upgrades and released a bunch of new courses and trained a lot of faculty.  My team continues to be awesome.
  • Chuck moved to Virginia
  • Cherry Kay moved back to Lexington, which gave me a reason to head to Kentucky for a weekend this fall

A new friend
  • Gayle started a blog and became a social media icon
  • I didn't blog as much as I would have liked, or create, or photograph things.
  • Susie and I sat at the piano and played/sang on Christmas Day
  • Ate at a Jack in the Box and an In & Out burger for the first time (and hopefully the last...I was not impressed)
  • I finally found a hair color I liked and a great pair of jeans
So I stole a smile
  • My (dental) bridge broke so Dr. Fischer had to replace it.  
  • Ashley finished her coursework and started her rotations (so proud of that girl!)
  • G & I headed to Orlando the week before Thanksgiving for a little R & R and the SLOAN-C Conference

Castle Christmas
  • I kayaked the Indian River with my dad

Dad and I just finished our kayaking trip down the St. Sebastian! Beautiful way to spend a Saturday!
  • I visited the San Diego Zoo (proving the third visit to San Diego was the charm) and saw the pandas and koalas.

Momma Panda

Baby Koala Sleeping
  • I saw the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform live
  • I saw Justin Timberlake perform live

  • I painted something with Chalkboard Paint
  • I saw the Indianapolis Indians play
  • I ate from a food truck
  • I painted the long wall upstairs and added some hand made photo ledges (which I LOVE!!)

  • I helped mom clean out her 20 year collection of cooking magazines and an even bigger collection of cookbooks
  • I swapped art with people from all over the world

Enjoying a quiet night on vacation working on a new art project.
  • Dad retired from working full time (completely this time :-)

  • Lindsay continue to lighten my heart and my life.

But, I don't want to stay


  1. Thanks for sharing--it is inspiring to see the list of good things that have happened in your life and how closely related to some of them that I feel. I wish you the best in 2014.

    1. Diana - you are so related to so many of them! I look forward to enjoying more memories together in the future!

  2. That's a lot of good things Kara! Glad you could see it that way. Having done OLW for three years, you could do the assignments this year on your own - just picking and choosing from what you've already done! My word this year is KIND.

    1. Cheri - I loved watching your journey with Dare - can't wait to see what you do with Kind. I'm definitely planning on picking and choosing some of the old prompts and working through them this year with light.


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