100 things that made my year in 2015

1. Roasted chicken with dijon mustard.

2. Taking pictures out of airplane windows.

3. Kombucha.

4. Growing my own tomatoes in the backyard.

5. Thinking about not having to know everything. Noah Baumbach’s clever dig at Google-happy hipsters young and old. Rilke on living into the questions.

6. Continuing to keep a logbook.

7. Flipping my part to wear my hair down a second day.

8. Practicing yin yoga again.

9. Reliving my college days and dressing up for a Gonzaga game with my baby sister.

10. Revisiting brilliant essays by Joel Peckham, Brian Doyle, and Patricia Foster in The Sun magazine.

11. Humor. Tig Notaro at the Aladdin. The Maria Bamford Show. Marc Maron’s self-deprecation.

12. Barry Lopez speaking with Jon Krakauer at Wordstock.

13. Modern womanhood made easier: Lola subscription service. Stowaway cosmetics. Lenny newsletter.

14. Speaking on emotional intelligence at the inaugural Tipsy TED Talks hosted in my Portland friends’ basement.

15. Joining other writers for regular critique sessions and conversations on the writing process.

16. Local restaurants. Bollywood Theater. Dick’s Kitchen. Por Qué No?

17. The Joe Biden compliment generator.

18. Live music: The exuberant creativity of Kishi Bashi. Brittany Howard’s self-possessed power at Edgefield. Seeing Brandi Carlile live for the fourth time and hearing her cover of Murder in the City. Introducing my sister Erika to the jaw-dropping talent of Punch Brothers.

19. Finding the productivity sweet spot.

20. Discovering the smart women at Of A Kind

21. Farewell brunch to the original Besaw’s location.

22. Midi rings.

23. Those who poke fun at the artisanal, perfectly curated, just-so zeitgeist

24. Good music. BØRNS, Dopamine. Alabama Shakes, Sound and Color. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie and Lowell. Fleetwood Mac, Rumors. Andrew Belle, Black Bear (Hushed).

25. Epsom salt baths with Dr. Teal’s.

26. Jenn Armbrust on the feminine economy.

27. Completing my third Whole30. Talking about and eating real food.

28. Bison, antelope, and elk at Yellowstone National Park. Hot tubbing on a crisp Montana night. Talking long and deep with my cousin.

29. Temporary tattoos.

30. Eating barbecue and drinking beer on Valentine’s Day with two of my best girlfriends.

31. Discovering the joys of wearing earplugs on flights.

32. Louis C.K. on fairness and perspective.

33. Spiritual direction. Grounding. Imaginative prayer.

34. Starting this website.

35. Patacones at the Portland Mercado.

36. Making a list of “Grandma-isms” and hanging from pine rafters with my cousins during a long weekend at Black Butte Ranch. 

37. Essay workshops with Brian Benson and Natalie Serber at the Attic Institute.

38. Lexapro.

39. Turning off the alarm on weekends.

40. Getting my creative nonfiction published for the first time.

41. Making dinner for the family at my place on Mother’s Day after my dad rescued our Aerobie from a neighbor’s tree.

42. Thai omelets.

43. Twitter as an art gallery

44. Wine tasting with Grandma. Renting a trolley. Investing in a few grown-up bottles of wine.

45. Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See.

46. Nick Ripatrazone’s literary reader for Lent.

47. Two-stepping with strangers in Austin, Texas.

48. Wearing my opinions and feelings on my chest, thanks to Balm and Otherwild

49. Melanie Lynskey on WTF with Marc Maron.

50. Letterpress artwork from Hatch Show Print.

51. Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance.

52. Hearing Eula Biss speak on immunity, science and fear, and being a “citizen thinker.”

53. Lady Hill Winery’s Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir.

54. Watching movies. Foxcatcher. Whiplash. Chef. Me, Earl, and The Dying Girl. Inside Out.

55. Revisiting our 2014 trip to Japan with a picnic under a cherry blossom tree on Mount Tabor.   

56. Drinking decaf coffee in my Helen Levi mug.

57. Jumping on the literary bandwagon. Elena Ferrante. Karl Ove Knausgaard. 

58. Saying yes. Speaking to fellow parishioners at my parish’s annual Novena of Grace. Accepting a new job offer and moving to Kansas City. 

59. Stephen Colbert’s interview with Joe Biden. 

60. Mary Karr’s response to a friend commenting on her open blouse: “Aw, I was just trying to bust a bone.” Also, The Art of Memoir.

61. Picking up the phone and having long conversations with fellow writers and friends.

62. Pope Francis. 

63. George Saunders on his writing education.

64. Walking. Around my neighborhood, to the coffee shop, on Mount Tabor on a Sunday morning.

65. Adele’s Hello music video.

66. Leather oxfords from Will Leather Goods.

67. Being moved by poetry. Carrie Fountain, Want. Dan Albergotti, Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale. Mary Karr, Who the Meek Are Not.

68. Rereading Jhumpa Lahiri on James Salter

69. Oliver Jeffers’ dipped paintings.

70. Watering the houseplants on Tuesday. Making coffee in the french press. Stacks of books in my bedroom and critiqued essays in my sunroom.

71. Cupping.

72. Making an emergency preparedness kit with my roommate after we all freaked out over The Atlantic doomsday article

73. Birthday prosecco at Bar Avignon. Birthday s’mores at Ned Ludd.

74. Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.

75. Swimming in the Atlantic Ocean first thing every morning while on Cape Cod. 

76. Repurposing my Rifle Paper Co. desktop calendars to use as notecards.

77. Kate McKinnon being her glorious self…and doing a bang-up job imitating everyone else while she’s at it.

78. The Dear Sugar Radio podcast. 

79. Embracing the silly and the serious. Adam J. Kurtz. Dallas Clayton. Jenny Slate

80. Home Alone live with the Oregon Symphony.

81. Slim Palate’s Chewy Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Sea Salt.

82. Maira Kalman’s The Principles of Uncertainty.

83. Live-tweeting my road trip with Dad to Kansas City.

84. Finding a mouthwash that feels as straightforward and effective as it looks.

85. Obama’s interview with Marc Maron. His eulogy for Beau Biden. His rendition of Amazing Grace at Clementa Pinckney’s funeral.

86. The soundtrack for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

87. Buying jars of pickles in Montreal and Bozeman.

88. Peppermint tea.

89. Ana Marie Cox on coming out as a Christian.

90. Amy Poehler’s Yes Please.

91. New York City. AirBnB with a view. Dinner at Balthazar. Oysters at Cull & Pistol. Cubanos and Mexican street corn at Cafe Habana. Walking the High Line at night.  

92. Using all of the vegetables from our CSA. Except for the turnips.

93. Rereading the Harry Potter series.

94. Simone Campbell on spiritual boldness

95. Meghan Daum’s The Unspeakable.

96. Nashville. Eating at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams more than once. Revisiting hot chicken. Shopping for cowboy boots. Shouting over the music at honky-tonk bars. 

97. Eating too many Hood strawberries all June long.

98. Thinking about strength and softness. How to project power. How to hold a stranger’s baby

99. Going to readings at Powell’s Books.

100. Bright, quiet early mornings.