Is it just me, or does New Year's Eve get a little shorter each year?







Do you remember how epic NYE used to seem, back in the days before people called it NYE? Maybe it's just been my experience, but a lot of the tingly excitement has kind of evaporated as I've gotten older. Through high school, my New Year's Eve consisted of going to a hotel with another family and spending the night. The parents sat around and (...come to think of it, I'm not really sure what they did, so I'm only speculating here...) drank champagne while the kids (my brother, our friends Briana and Callie, and myself) ran rampant and played in the arcade and ate lots of candy and pretended we were Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen in The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley (okay, maybe that was just Bri and me, and to be clear, we only did this when we were younger). Because there were so many people at the hotel, it was still exciting to count down and shout, "Happy New Year!" and watch people hang over their balconies, blow into noisemakers, and throw confetti. In college, I started to go to smaller gatherings, and there were a few times that we almost missed out on midnight because we were playing games or watching a show on another channel instead of waiting for the ball to drop. This year,  I felt like we had barely gotten to the party when somebody was suddenly saying that we had fifteen seconds until 2012 and I found myself running through the house to find Toby for a kiss. I didn't even have time for anticipation; the night just flew by.













Perhaps the level of festivity is simply in the eyes of the beholder. For all I know, everyone else at that party spent the whole night glancing at their watches and waiting with bated breath for the stroke of midnight. I, on the other hand, purposely tried to do the opposite. When the moment came, it was fun to count down and kiss, but I've spent the last few months procrastinating on making some real changes in my life by telling myself I'd wait for 2012, and as I sat there drinking punch and checking my bobby pins to make sure they weren't falling out (I actually did my hair, and there aren't any pictures to prove it), I couldn't avoid the fact that the end was nigh. I knew that in a couple short hours, I would no longer have any excuse. The time had come to go big or go home, git 'er done, etc. Sigh.

Are you depressed yet? Here:

My little jungle 'splorer boys
Better? Thought so.

So midnight came, I kissed Toby, and then the weirdest words came out of my mouth: "This is our year, baby". I said it, and a split second later I realized I meant it, and a split second after that I realized that my overall attitude about this fresh new year is actually a positive one; it was just my specific resolutions that were weighing me down. With that in mind, I woke up the next morning and revamped my list. I ended up whittling it down to the achievable basics that I think will make a great basis from which to launch the new and improved Boss Bitch Rachel. Because this is my year, right? Why pressure myself to do lots of detailed things when all I really need are some guidelines to push me in the right general direction? If something more specific comes up, then I'll make a(n) *insert day here* resolution and move on. No need to figure it all out right now.

I'm also going to keep my resolutions to myself, with the exception of one: do a Happiness Project. I've mentioned it before, and true to my word for once, it is actually in the works. It's technically already begun, since I plan on doing something different every month, but give a girl a break, would ya? Stop begging. I'll tell you more about it when I'm good and ready.

So anyway, NYE was a good time.






















But New Year's Day ended up being the real treat. Did you know that in some parts of the world, it's eighty degrees on January 1st?










Toby could hardly believe it either.










It was pure balminess. I walked out of the apartment, took a deep breath, and promptly sang the Hallelujah chorus while doing a little jig. The rest of the day was just as grand.














And what about January 2nd? Was it just as fantastically magnificent and full of sunshiney warmth? Why thank you for asking, yes it was.












































It's hard not to be optimistic about 2012 with scenery like that.

Some things I'm diggin' right now:

:: Ben Folds does another awesome cover, this time of my IDOL, Ke$ha

:: Wine etiquette. This probably would've been a good one to post during the holiday season, but it's applicable to me all year long, so enjoy =]

:: A scare montage from The Ellen DeGeneres show (she has people dress up and creep up behind celebrities she's interviewing - hilarious)

:: All three seasons of Arrested Development on Hulu Plus. I will never get tired of re-watching this show.

:: What a wonderful world.

Happy New Year!