Saying thank you to 2011.

Well, she’s here… the new year has come. 2012, I have big plans for you. 2011 was an interesting year and I honestly have so many things to be thankful for.

I decided to stay home today, clean the house and be (mostly) alone with my thoughts since Rob is off at work.  Here are just 10 of the big things I thought of and wanted to share.

10. Health.  50 lbs ago… I was not thankful for my health. I was definitely spiraling, but I didn’t care either.  With 2011 gone, so is over-weight and unhealthy Autumn.  Depression just does not look good on me. With the right motivation, I got myself in gear.  I rarely get sick and this is the only body I am going to get, so here is my promise: I am going to take care of myself from here on out. Photo below: On the left, is me at my 25th birthday party. On the right, is me in the same dress about a month ago. There is an honest 50 lb difference between these two photos. Good God it feels good to be in my skin right now. Thanks to those who were honest with me… those who gave encouraging words and everyone who helped me say no to french fries. The journey isn’t over and I wouldn’t have this kind success without your support.

9. Pets. I have the best 3 pets a girl could ask for.  I offended Rob the other night when I told him that Sydney is my best friend.  Maybe she’s just my best furry friend…  but I owe her for getting me out of the house even when I don’t want to, lots of cuddle time and endless love. She turns 3 this week. The cats are great too. I just love them and I love having a house that allows me to have them.

8. Technology.  This might seem silly, but with my family and friends all over the place – I have a special love for technology.  I spent our first 6 months in San Francisco rationing internet data and hunting down wifi.  We finally have internet again! Facetime, Skype, Gchat…. ok – I also love Facebook and I am developing an unhealthy addiction to Pinterest but I love being in touch with everyone no matter where they are. Pinterest officially wins the award for my new favorite Web site. All of you who reaped the benefits of this year’s Christmas cookies should know that those are all discoveries through Pinterest.

7. Public transportation. Huh? Really, Autumn? Yup, you read that correctly.  I love being able to get where I need to go without my car.  I’ve never really loved driving and living in San Francisco has given me a new found freedom.  Me and my Clipper card ride all around town without having to worry about parking or traffic. I can get almost anywhere and without question, this is the single biggest contributor to my weight loss.  I walk 1/2 a mile from the house to get to the Bart station, I ride and then walk to where ever I need to go and then I ride back to the Mission and walk home again. I stack up miles without even thinking about it and I love it.

6. Food. I made some incredible things and ate incredible food in 2011. Even with losing weight, I have managed to eat some fabulous things.  Our favorite establishment is what I call Asian comfort food and we find this fabulousness at Yamo.  The Burmese ladies who own Yamo are hilarious and we just can’t get enough of the house noodles. Check out their Yelp page here.

5. San Francisco.  Ok… enough about all of the little things about this place.  I love San Francisco. There, I said it. Even though many great things came together for Rob and I this year, moving to San Francisco is the single greatest decision that we have made together. This is why SF got #5 (my favorite number). We have a great place, a fantastic neighborhood, and we are starting to really get familiar with where we are. Check out the building we call home, below.  People stop and take pictures all day long.  It’s pretty awesome. Notice Syd and Trisket on top of our garage. ;)

4. Wedding! We finally got married. We are both so glad that we waited until we were really ready.  It was the most gorgeous day and nearly everyone that we love was there with us. I am blessed to have a man in my life who is patient with me, eats all of my food experiments (even the bad ones) and encourages me to become a better person. I am proud to finally be Mrs. Garibay and I really love hearing it at the bank and at Safeway when I check out. It’s the little things.

3. Family.  I miss my family. Those who are here, I need to see more and those who are gone are deeply missed.  I wish that I could suspend time, go back and even fast forward. This year I have learned to take things moment by moment and focus on what really matters. Rob has an incredibly gracious and loving family who I am blessed to be part of.  My Dad, Gram, big brother and sister and nieces and nephews, aunts and cousins all mean so much to me. I promise to be seeing more of all of you in 2012. No excuses.


2. Learning.  I am so thankful for all of the lessons I learned in 2011.  I really believe I am a better person now than I was coming into 2011.  I learned to love myself again, forgive myself and others and let go of things that can’t be changed.  I learned that growing up means more than just getting a job and making a home, but it also means standing up for what you believe in and making decisions that don’t always make other people comfortable.  I am still learning… I don’t ever want to stop and I am thankful to live in a place that is giving me lots of opportunity for more of this.  The changes that come with each passing year aren’t always easy, but I can always rely on finding my new normal.

1. My New Normal. ….and that brings me to the number one thing that I am thankful for right now.  In 2010, I thought I had found my new normal – but that feeling didn’t last long.  I still have really rough days and I miss my Mom and Brandon a lot, but I am finally turning the corner to where I will find peace with their deaths. When the feelings of loss and loneliness try to take over, I am finally finding comfort in the moments that I had with them. I know that I have an incredible ability to love others very deeply and they both experienced that from me.  I don’t have regrets with either of my relationships with them, other than I want more time with them.  I miss them as deeply as I love them and that’s what makes it difficult. My new normal is shaping into something that I could never have guessed or imagined – but I like what it looks like and I am proud to call it mine.

Here’s to 2012.  I have big big plans this year and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us.

What did 2011 give you that you are thankful for?


8 responses

    • Thanks, Danielle! I love reading through your blog too. I’m glad to see that NYC is treating you so well. Sounds like you had a great Christmas with your family. :)

  1. I hope 2012 is the best yet for you, Autumn Lovely! :-)

    And seriously… is that where you LIVE?!??! That house is AWESOME! You’re right… the ad sounds amazing! LOL. I’m SO glad you got that place! Looks adorable! Cant’ wait to see what you do with the inside too… allowed to paint?! That’s amazing!

    • ah – Thank you! There is a lot to be done, but this is where we live. Unit #1 was the front windows on the first story. We’re now in the back and we get incredible sunshine all day long. I am going to post soon about my awesome new kitchen and all of the renovation. :) I wish I had an unlimited budget.

  2. Autumn,

    You are so inspiring, you have me in tears over this and I don’t even know why. You have encouraged me to try harder in life and to not let my days pass me like they have the last year. You have been through so much in life and you still have managed to find a way to live and live with a purpose and desire. Thank you for helping me fully realize that life moves on and we need to live it to the fullest!!!

    • Shauna –
      Thanks for taking a second to reply! Don’t cry though! It means so much to me to know that other people can make a difference in their own lives by reading through one of my posts. Life definitely keeps moving – even on the days you don’t want it too. You are so welcome and please keep in touch! :)

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