The year that was.

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by Lauren | Celiac Teen on December 26, 2012

It’s been awhile. Well, that’s a mighty understatement, but my life has moved away from this space bit by bit. Or rather, the longer I’ve not posted, the harder it’s become to post.

I started writing here at fifteen, headstrong, full of energy with nowhere to let it out as my body was slowed by illness. Yet, in this last year, I’ve had places to put that energy. I flew across an ocean and took my first steps out on my own. I travelled through Europe and lived alone in a tiny apartment in the French Alps. Then, I came home and fell in love all over again with Alberta, BC, and the Rockies that are at my core. Summer was a whirl of joy, friends, baseball, kids, travel, and work. Before I knew it, I was moving cross-country to start university. Now, I have a semester of Engineering under my belt, and am thoroughly excited for the next one.

This is the season for reflection, so I took some time looking back at 2012. The year I leapt. What an incredible leap year it was.

If you hover over the photos, some tell more tidbits.

January.

I finished up classes, said goodbye to Calgary, and hopped on a plane set for Europe.

February.

We spent a day or two in Geneva, before making our way to Annecy. It was a bitingly cold day, but exploring a little bit of that city was marvelous.

I got settled, and fell for that sweet town. I lived in the old town, in a little studio apartment. The stone stairs I climbed each day had held up that place for hundreds of years. Annecy was a wonderful mosaic of old and new, in that unmistakable way that europe takes old and fits the new around it.

March.

I started to explore the area a bit more. Guided tours with my language school, and ventures on our own. History in each step.

To Chambéry, to Lyon.

Annecy’s Venetian Carnival brought incredible costumes and crowds with cameras. It was a treat to see the town in the spotlight. I missed the summer crowds, so this was fun. That said, I was grateful to be able to get to know the place at an off-peak time. By May, it was bustling all the more.

We hiked. We laughed. We explored.

April.

I spent Easter weekend at Vimy, remembering and honouring those Canadians who fought 95 years earlier. An experience I will never forget.

I celebrated my nineteenth birthday with friends from all over the world. They treated me to each of the songs they sing for birthdays in their countries. Mostly, they were to the tune of “happy birthday” that I know so well, but the Swedish one was it’s own thing entirely!

May.

Traveling to the Netherlands, I spent Liberation Day with a dear friend. She shared her homeland, and I left a piece of my heart in that beautifully bike-friendly country.

May meant saying adieu to Annecy. Until we meet again, my fair friend.

With 10 free days, I traveled around France. I happened upon delightful graffiti in Lyon, and played with film as my friend and I explored that city with disposable cameras.

I met a 103 year old man, as I sat quietly on a park bench in Beaune. He kept repeating: “Enjoy your youth“. It was a conversation I won’t soon forget.

I stayed with a friend, where our common language was French. Occasionally, we limboed through our conversations, but mostly it was a joy. One afternoon, we caught a city bus to Germany.

On the last day of May, I flew home. Full of stories, craving my own bed and hugs from my family.

June.

Baseball. I photographed my brother’s games. Thousands upon thousands of photos, wherein I fell for the game. When the season finished, I dearly missed the whirl of my shutter as I captured each play.

Old friends and roadtrips. Bubbles and twirls. Quiet moments and bursting laughter.

July.

Baseball. Baseball. Baseball. (With extra baseball on the side.)

Quick trips to visit friends I’ve made through this space. Lunches at exquisite Seattle haunts, ice cream at local gems, and many more meals full of delight.

August.

These boys. Making sure they didn’t get into too much trouble throughout the summer.

September.

Moving East. Starting University. Orientation week, filled with new friends, the unexpected, and much excitement. Diving into Engineering.

October.

Thanksgiving, with family. The flame of fall as it spreads through all of the trees, like wind.

Midterms. Round One.

November.

So many mornings, I watched the sunrise through my window.

Some days, I even caught the sunset over campus.

December.

Finals. Finals. Finals.

The occasional whisper of snow, whisked away within a day or two.

Now, I’m home again. To savour my winter wonderland, spend time with those I love, and decompress before next semester kicks off with a bang. Thank you for the laughs, for the sights, and for the friends, 2012. I’m looking forward to what your friend 2013 has in store.

Merry, merry to you and yours.

xoxo
Lauren

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kimberly December 26, 2012 at 11:55 am

It made me so happy to see you pop up in my blogroll today! Glad things are going so well for you. It’s so good to hear that someone so creative and energetic as yourself is going into engineering. I know what it’s like to be ‘the girl’ in Engineering classes, but hopefully things are a bit more balanced these days. Even if you feel this ‘season’ of your life has passed and you don’t post here any more, know that your creative outlet has touched a lot of people. Yours was one of the first and most helpful blogs I found when I went gluten free. Best wishes for a wonderful 2013!

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2 Paulina December 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Lovely to read about your year Lauren! Reading about Annecy takes me back to the last spring, and great to see that you’re now enjoying uni. Love from Sweden :)

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3 Erica Lea | Cooking for Seven December 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Thank you so much for sharing these photos, Lauren! It was fun to see how your year progressed. Looks like it was full of excitement and joy. Hope 2013 holds the same for you! :)

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4 Jade Sheldon December 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Gosh, congratulations on such an incredible year! You know what though? I have a feeling 2013 is going to be even better!

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5 Isabelle December 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm

What a beautiful recap Lauren. You have definitely had a year full of adventures. I love your photos. And I hope you keep coming back to this space, though your life is changing fast.

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6 Jinny December 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Beautiful photographs and writing. It was lovely to spend some of 2012 with you, Lauren!

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7 Barb Wood December 27, 2012 at 11:59 am

You are right, it has been too long. Your words are as picturesque as your photos, each one tickles the imagination and makes me want for more!
Our Christmas dinner included potato & cheddar pirogi, made with your delicious G/F recipe. This is the second year my family has enjoyed them and will continue to be a family tradition on our holiday table!
It is easy to get caught up in this crazy life we live. I hope you find time for this special place and your friends and fans of Celiac Teen. You have a gift which allows your thoughts and feelings to be shared with your readers. This blog is very special and I am so glad I stumbled upon it.

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8 Jenn December 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Such an exciting year! I hope your 2013 is everything it can be, I know you will go far – have a very bonne année :)

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9 Alessa December 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

:D Sounds like an awesome year.

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10 Kristine December 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

What a beautiful post! I can’t believe you’re so young yet write with such maturity. Well done, you are very talented! Thanks for a really nice blog! – Kristine

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11 Angela January 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I’m so glad to see you post. I made your peppermint marshmallows over the holidays and sent a friend here for the recipe. I also send customers looking for gluten free stuff here all the time.

So happy to see you are still fabulous and living life fully. Don’t ever lose that zest for life.

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12 Jas January 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Wow what a gorgeous year! Your words are so lovely and I hope the year ahead brings you as much joy, knowledge and life as the year past xx

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