Happy Groundhog Day!

It was 1 year ago today that I wrote my first post– what can I say? Groundhog Day inspires me.

Click here to watch a round-up of the best scenes in the movie! (Photo via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day_(film))

Click here to watch a round-up of the best scenes in the movie!
(Photo via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day_(film))

One of my life goals is to make the trek to the little town of Punxsutawney and partake in the festivities, honoring the furry little Phil. If it’s anything like the jolly happenings portrayed in the movie, Groundhog Day, then I want in on it. People dancing around a bonfire, children on their parents’ shoulders, and Frank Yankovic’s Pennsylvania Polka blasting through the town square…. true, small-town fun.

Gobblers-Knob-Wake-Up-Phil

Well this Groundhog Day, on Sunday, 2014, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and predicted 6 more weeks of winter! And I sure believe it– it’s been a blustery, snowy, frigid winter with no end in sight! I can’t complain either– I have to admit, I really love the snow. It makes everything look pure and new and fresh. It’s magical. And I secretly like the cold temps because it gives me an excuse to stay cozy at home and hibernate with my little family.

gty_groundhog_day_10_kb_mn_140130_wmain

And today is no exception. Mike, Denver, Colette, and I are currently curled up on the couch drinking hot coffee and watching Bill Murray lose his mind while the snow falls outside.

So, Happy Groundhog Day everyone! And if you’re going anywhere for the Superbowl tonight, don’t forget your booties, ’cause it’s cold out there!

Until next time.

~Steph

It’s A Great, Big World

Hello all. It’s been a while. I’ve been missing my little space here. The truth is, I haven’t even really been too busy to post. I just wasn’t feeling inspired. I got into this niche of posting photos, and not stories or thoughts, and I suppose I sort of forgot how to create a post that doesn’t revolve around photographs of my life. Don’t get me wrong– I have masses of photos from the last couple of months– happy hours, trips to the dog park, moments with family. But I feel like all I ever post about are my dogs, and if that’s redundant to me, it must be redundant to any readers! Also, sometimes I simply don’t feel like recounting an evening I’ve just had… I just want to enjoy the memory of it and continue living in the present moments of my life…you know, rather than dissecting past events and such.

So, here I am today, and rather than recounting some great memories from the last couple of weeks, I wanted dream about future experiences. Lately, I’ve been lusting to travel and to wander. I’ve never been out of the United States (well, okay, I’ve been to Toronto, but it’s not so exotic, nor is it overseas) and I have always had vivid thoughts and dreams of what life is like in other parts of the world. I don’t necessarily want to go to new places and do touristy things… I want to go places and see the remote areas of them… the true beauty, known by locals and legacies. Most recently, I’ve been imaging myself strolling the greenery of the Ireland coast. Perhaps it’s because Mike and I have been watching far too much Downton Abbey (though it’s set in Yorkshire, it’s still part of the UK) and since I’ve never been across the pond, I imagine much of the UK to be green, gray, foggy, and romantic.

Ireland road

moher

Irish Cottage

It just seems like such a cozy, romantic, ethereal place. I definitely want to see it some day.

***

In the mean time, Mike and I are planning a trip to the mountains of Asheville, only an 8 hour drive from Cleveland! We’ll go for 4 days over my spring break.

asheville-blue-ridge-mountains

T2Asheville-NC-Dusk-Skyline-Banner-1

smoky-mountain-view-pan

There are so many different places we both want to see, and rather than dream about places far and away all the time (though that’s certainly fun as well), we’re trying to make an effort to see as much as we can in the here and now.

It’s such a great, big world out there.

What do you want to see?

For Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne. Arguably one of my favorite songs of all time– whether I can remember the lyrics is always debatable, but that doesn’t change the fact that  I swoon for that song. The melody is beautiful. The sentiment is beautiful. I just love it. It marks the end of a year and the beginning of a new one. It remembers old friends and celebrates new friends. It commemorates life and the beauty in the days gone by.

You can listen to my favorite version of the song, from the Sex and The City movie, here.

Auld Lang Syne is how my blog got it’s name. One of the English translations of this Scots song title is “days gone by”. This time last year, when I thought about starting a blog and what I wanted my blog to represent and how I wanted it to function in my life, my main desire was to have a space for my thoughts and snapshots of my life. I wanted it to be a positive space where I could share important moments from my life. As much as it is for any potential readers, it is just as much, if not more so, a place that I can come to years from now and flip through a catalogue of beautiful days from my life. Since I always like to play the song, Auld Lang Syne, at midnight on New Years, the song and it’s meaning were at the forefront of my mind when I was starting the blog. And so Beautiful Days Gone By was born.

When I started the blog, I thought I would consistently post 2-4 times per week and that I would get into style and entertainment posts, but I found that mentality took away from my enjoyment of this space. I know that blogs gain readership by consistently posting new, exciting content that is relevant to others, but I felt that posting about clothing, jewelry, make-up and shoes falsified the blog and falsified me. Though I love fashion and design, when attempting to write that type of content, I didn’t feel authentically me. I love reading style blogs with beauty and fashion posts, and I thought that I wanted my own blog to be a mirror of those types of blogs that I visit. But it turns out that, though I thoroughly enjoy perusing those blogs, I do NOT thoroughly enjoy creating my own version of those posts.

As I have looked through my archives, I’m so pleased to read posts about my boyfriend, Mike, our house, our dogs, and our adventures together. Although I don’t post as frequently as I originally planned to, this blog is still serving a wonderful purpose– a celebration of life.

So here’s to looking back on some beautiful auld lang syne from 2013.

NYE '12

NYE ’12

NYE '12

NYE ’12

NYE '12

NYE ’12

New Years Day '13 Denver's Adoption Day!

New Years Day ’13 Denver’s Adoption Day!

New Years Day '13 Denver's Adoption Day

New Years Day ’13
Denver’s Adoption Day

New Years Day '13  Denver's Adoption Day!

New Years Day ’13
Denver’s Adoption Day!

He was so tiny!  January '13

He was so tiny! January ’13

February '13

February ’13

February '13

February ’13

February '13

February ’13

February '13 at Bonbon

February ’13 at Bonbon

February '13 at Clark Fields

February ’13 at Clark Fields

Valentines Day 2013

Valentines Day 2013

February '13

February ’13

February '13

February ’13

February '13

February ’13

February '13

February ’13

IMG_3175

March '13 Lake Erie

March ’13 Lake Erie

My pet-loving, artist of a little stepsister. March, 2013

My pet-loving, artist of a little stepsister, Molly. March, 2013

March '13

March ’13

March '13

March ’13

March '13 West Side Market

March ’13 West Side Market

March '13

March ’13

March '13, Lake Erie

March ’13, Lake Erie

March '13 Lake Erie

March ’13 Lake Erie

March '13

March ’13

A family. March '13

A family. March ’13

April '13

April ’13

April '13

April ’13

Me and Dad, May'13

Me and Dad, May’13

sand man at work on our kitchen floors, May '13

sand man at work on our kitchen floors, May ’13

Done with Montessori Exams! May '13

Done with Montessori Exams! May ’13

May '13

May ’13

May '13 Our First House!

May ’13 Our First House!

May '13 Our First House!

May ’13 Our First House!

Lincoln Park May '13

Lincoln Park May ’13

Lincoln Park May '13

Lincoln Park May ’13

Denver and an old buddy of his at the Tremont Dog Park,  June '13

Denver and an old buddy of his at the Tremont Dog Park, June ’13

Popping some champagne! Housewarming Party June '13

Popping some champagne! Housewarming Party June ’13

Strolling our neighborhood. June '13

Strolling our neighborhood. June ’13

Our whole group camping. July '13

Our whole group camping. July ’13

Tremont Farmer's Market July '13

Tremont Farmer’s Market July ’13

Our Denver Boy is growing bigger! July '13

Our Denver Boy is growing bigger! July ’13

July 4th '13

July 4th ’13

July 4th '13

July 4th ’13

Ohio hike July '13

Ohio hike July ’13

Weddings July '13

Weddings July ’13

Weddings July '13

Weddings July ’13

Weddings July '13

Weddings July ’13

Taste of Tremont July  '13

Taste of Tremont July ’13

Finding this kitty at Taste of Tremont, July '13 (She has since been adopted by my mom and stepdad and is named Lorelei)

Finding this kitty at Taste of Tremont, July ’13 (She has since been adopted by my mom and stepdad and is named Lorelei)

Birthday July '13

Birthday July ’13

IMG_3851

A little flip cup before heading to the bars... we all felt so old because we couldn't remember how to play... we reclaimed our coolness though, don't worry. Take that, 25!

A little flip cup before heading to the bars… we all felt so old because we couldn’t remember how to play… we reclaimed our coolness though, don’t worry. Take that, 25!

Mules in Denver August '13

Mules in Denver August ’13

In Denver with Erin August '13!

In Denver with Erin August ’13!

Denver August '13

Denver August ’13

Kellie in Denver August '13!

Kellie in Denver August ’13!

We welcomed this girl off of the street & into our home! August '13

We welcomed this girl off of the street & into our home! August ’13

Tremont Farmer's Market with the new family August '13

Tremont Farmer’s Market with the new family August ’13

Romantic gestures October '13

Romantic gestures October ’13

I have the best little sisters October '13

I have the best little sisters October ’13

Mohican hike October '13

Mohican hike October ’13

babes October '13

babes October ’13

Family walk with dad, stepmom, and little half-sis, Sam. October '13

Family walk with dad, stepmom, and little half-sis, Sam. October ’13

Trolls for Halloween with Draps besties! Pre-Cleveland Museum of Natural History Halloween Gala this past Saturday. October '13

Trolls for Halloween with Draps besties! Pre-Cleveland Museum of Natural History Halloween Gala this past Saturday. October ’13

Off-leash glory with our pups November '13

Off-leash glory with our pups November ’13

Colette learns to trust and let go!

Colette learns to trust and let go!

My handsome boy. November '13

My handsome boy. November ’13

Friendsgiving November '13

Friendsgiving November ’13

Doggie Destruction November '13

Doggie Destruction November ’13

Thanksgiving high school "reunion" November '13

Thanksgiving high school “reunion” November ’13

Draps November '13

Draps November ’13

Reunion with Erin! November '13

Reunion with Erin! November ’13

We almost finish the kitchen face lift! November '13

We almost finish the kitchen face lift! November ’13

Mike decking the house with lights! November '13

Mike decking the house with lights! November ’13

Our first Christmas Tree in our First House! November '13

Our first Christmas Tree in our First House! November ’13

Honeybucket at The Cleveland Museum of Art November '13

Honeybucket at The Cleveland Museum of Art December ’13

December '13

December ’13

Denver the elf and Santa Paws! December '13

Denver the elf and Santa Paws! December ’13

Annual overnight at The Renaissance downtown with my mom! December '13

Annual overnight at The Renaissance downtown with my mom! December ’13

December '13

Renaissance with my mom, December ’13

Park time, December '13

Park time, December ’13

Tremont Santa Shuffle, December '13

Tremont Santa Shuffle, December ’13

Tremont Santa Shuffle, December '13

Tremont Santa Shuffle, December ’13

Dana's in town for the holidays! Propserity, December '13

Dana’s in town for the holidays! Propserity, December ’13

Christmas Eve Brunch with Laurel friends. December '13

Christmas Eve Brunch with Laurel friends. December ’13

Our first Christmas morning in our very own house, as real grown ups! December '13

Our first Christmas morning in our very own house, as real grown ups! December ’13

Our first Christmas in our first house! December '13

Our first Christmas in our first house! Notice all of the ornaments situated at the top… Denver and Colette thought they were free toys and tried eating them all. December ’13

Colette in her Christmas cocktail dress, December '13

Colette in her Christmas cocktail dress, December ’13

Christmas, December '13

Christmas, December ’13

On the way to our New Years Cabin, December '13

On the way to our New Years Cabin, December ’13

New Years Eve, December '13

New Years Eve, December ’13

NYE December '13

NYE December ’13

NYE December '13

NYE December ’13

Looking back on the past year, so much has happened.

In January of last year, I was still in my Montessori training, we lived in our first apartment in Cleveland, we had JUST adopted our first pup, Denver, we were just beginning to develop friendships with people in Cleveland, and Mike was at his first job in Cleveland.

Since last January, I have graduated from my training, landed a job at a Montessori school, Mike bought our first house, Mike got a new job, we adopted our second pup, Colette, and we’ve become best friends with the people we’ve connected with in Cleveland.

It’s been a year of ups and downs, as every year is. There were great challenges, there was deep sadness, and there were humdrum moments. There was extreme stress, intense confusion, and pure exhaustion. But it wouldn’t be life without all of that. There were also incredible surprises, supreme excitement, and thrilling news. There were laughs til we peed our pants, elated joy, and renewing peace.

Experiences were had, moments were created, mysteries were solved, and questions were raised. It was another year in my life. It was another year on earth. Whether painful or blessed, the past 365 days behind me have certainly been beautiful days gone by.

Happy New Year, everyone.