Another year, another entry.

Mabel Pines Gravity Falls Shoulder PadsHello again.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m mentally gearing up for another major event at my pub. I’ve spent the last week stressing excessively over it, the menu, the logistics, and the inevitable people who will complain and make my day a little less than wonderful.

It’s our second New Year’s Eve party at the bar. This year, we’re retaining the Viking-inspired theme, but we’ve focused more heavily on the business. For example, I sold out of a lot of VIP upgrade packages, which is a big win for me. That’s guaranteed money before we even open the doors. We’re also turning the place ages 21+ only, and instituting a $5 cover entry. We’re typically free to enter and play games, but we’re trying to minimize the table campers and maximize the crowd we receive. Last year, it was pleasantly busy and an overall rewarding night for all of our staff. I’m really quite concerned it’s going to affect our NYE attendance, but Markus reassures me that we will just revert to a free cover next year if that happens.

I honestly have no idea how he remains so calm and collected at times. Engineer? I mean, the guy did launch people into space.

I digress.

New Year’s Eve has been one of my favorite traditions since meeting my husband almost a decade ago. The tradition began on December 31, 2006 at Epcot. Together, we watched the fireworks blossom and whirl above the sky of “Japan” and I knew I wanted to be with him forever. We’ve spent many December 31st’s in the countries of Epcot, dancing together and counting down to a kiss.

2015 has been an extraordinarily difficult year, but not without it’s successes, too. Let me put this into perspective for myself.

  • We hosted our first-ever St. Patrick’s Day, and it was lovely.
  • I turned 29! Oh God, I turn 30 next year. Let’s forget this one.
  • My timing belt exploded and ruined my poor car. It’s being donated to the Humane Society today, and hopefully we will be able to purchase a new vehicle soon.
  • I went to GenCon and had an amazing time with friends. 10/10 will do again (and again…)
  • I was diagnosed with depression and put on medication.
  • Insurance denied me because of said medication.
  • I went off my medication and endured a couple months of torment.
  • We lost a friend and manager. We are stronger personally and professionally as a result.
  • I gained 30 pounds. I’m still trying to get rid of it, though my muscles are getting strong ATM.
  • I survived off of my medication, even though my stress levels are pretty high at the moment. The point is, I don’t need it anymore.
  • I became an Aunt, again! My little niece Sadie is beautiful.
  • Markus and I endured some challenges, and came out stronger as a result. <3
  • I *FINALLY* got my Mass Effect tattoo, and convinced Markus to get one, as well!
  • We lost Rugby, my mom’s old man dog, very suddenly. I experienced grief in a completely new way, and it was refreshing to grow in that manner.
  • Our bar witnessed a proposal AND a wedding!
  • Seattle’s arthritis worsened, and she’s been diagnosed with cancer.
  • Seattle and I’s bond has deepened, if possible, and she sleeps curled up in my feet every single night. She remains my little cow.

I’m not sure what 2016 holds, to be honest. The world seems to grow darker each day, and I am afraid. But at least for tonight, I know it involves vikings, friends, and champagne. Thanks to all of you who still read, even if just me. I miss writing, and I hope to come back here more in this new year.

Cheers, A.

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