2019 Year In Review

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I haven’t posted anything here since October of last year – oops. Sometimes blogging about life takes a backseat to, you know, actually living your life. 2019 had a lot of highs and lows. It’s fairly often that I have someone commenting on an Instagram post telling me they’re jealous of my life or that I’m lucky. Trust me, my life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and hanging out with movie stars (okay, so there are some movie stars involved). The truth is I’ve worked really, really hard to get to a place where I can fully appreciate and celebrate the wonderful things I have in my life while still waiting and wishing and working towards the things I don’t yet have. Some days I’m better at this than others. A lot of really shitty things happened this year as well – I just choose not to focus on them and focus on the good things instead. Keeping a daily gratitude journal has helped with this a lot – I highly recommend this. Any old notebook will do, or Amazon has a ton of journal options for this purpose.

And now, I present to you, my favorite things about 2019 (in no particular order):

I traveled to 10 states and 5 countries, and dozens of cities within those. I visited Nevada for the first time, as well as Greece and Croatia for the first time.

I saw Hamilton, Come From Away, and Mean Girls!

Laynie and I at Hamilton in January 2019!

I got to watch my dear friend bring her dreams to life by publishing her first two novels. Even more, I was completely floored and honored to discover she had dedicated one of them to me (and released it on my birthday – what a gift!).

If you haven’t read these books yet, do yourself a favor and add them to your 2020 TBR list. You can purchase US Kindle copies here:
Welcome To The Big League
Saints & Sinners
For other formats, check out Mer’s website!

I accompanied my BRF (Best Running Friend) as she accomplished her mission of running a half marathon in all 50 states. We celebrated her victory with a brewery/brewpub tour of Knoxville, TN (and added some stamps to our National Parks passport as well, of course)

Photo credit: Dani White (thanks for the mad photo editing skills/lessons, lady!)

I spent 15 days traveling throughout Italy, Greece, and Croatia. I made amazing memories with dear friends, made new friends, and also enjoyed the joys of traveling solo in a foreign country. I drank way too many Aperol spritzes to count, pet all the Italian dogs I could find, and tossed coins in the Trevi to ensure I’d return again someday (hopefully sooner rather than later).

Many summer days were spent with my niece and nephew. They’ll be 7 on Saturday and it’s so fun watching their personalities develop.

Quinn and Dex, Age 6.

Teenage me got to see her favorites, the Backstreet Boys, in concert! The show was a blast and as an added bonus, it was my friend Sarah’s first time seeing them!

BSB 4 Life!

Dear friends got married and threw a hell of a party.

#WillYouGaryMe #Sorrrrryyyyyyyyy

More friends got married and the cookie table did not disappoint.

I traveled to the Great White North in December to be there for wedding of the dear author friend mentioned above. We proceeded to spend the days following at a Nordic spa in Quebec and taking a little tour around Ottawa, chattering away the whole time and making up for lost time.

The Rideau Canal, Ottawa, ON, December 2019

I got to visit the set of a movie as a guest of the director. In my experience as a background actor, I’ve spent a lot of time relegated to an extras holding area where you can’t really see any of the action. And you certainly aren’t allowed to talk to the cast or crew or photograph anything. This experience was the exact opposite. I got to spend the day at alongside the kickass female director, Tosca Musk, as we went through the day’s scenes. The crew welcomed me and explained what they were doing and why they were doing it. I got to meet the cast and get photographs with them. I got to be a stand-in for the lead actress and had great conversations with the actors about their roles. I got to witness one of my favorite books being adapted into a movie, and while I was able to photograph everything, I can’t share basically any of those photos until the movie comes out in May. But I cannot even describe how incredible the experience was and how proud I am to be a Passionflix Founding Member. And 2020 has SO much in store already!!!

Tosca Musk: Director, Producer, Network Creator, and all-around badass!

Speaking of movies, another movie that I worked on came out in November. In addition to this being a truly amazing movie about Mister Rogers and full of Pittsburgh goodness, it’s also really easy to spot me in the wedding scenes so my friends and family are actually able to see me for once! If you haven’t seen A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood yet, do yourself a favor and go see it! It is directed by another amazing female director, Mari Heller, and Tom Hanks does Mister Rogers complete justice (this is high praise from a Pittsburgher haha). It’s like watching a brand-new episode of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, made for the now-adults who grew up in the Neighborhood.

So there’s the highlights of 2019. I’ve already got several awesome things in the works for 2020 and can’t wait for more adventures!

Merry Christmas from a Very Good Dog!

What was your highlight of 2019?
Tell me in the comments!

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