Tuesday, December 31, 2013

au revoir 2013

I am not one bit sad to see 2013 give way to the fresh start of 2014. 2013 was a difficult year for me, marked with a lot of change and personal growth that was hard even though I am now in a better place because of it. My 2013 started with an ongoing 2 month battle with a sinus infection that had my doctors stumped. January was marked with a litany of medical tests, MRI's, CT Scans, X-Rays, specialists visits and too many blood draws. When they couldn't give me any answers and just gave me antibiotic after antibiotic that threw my body out of whack, I turned to alternative medicine & I'm so glad I did. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs got me back on the path of healing as did switching from pescatarian to a full fledged vegetarian and going gluten free.  It's been a long journey all through this year, but I'm feeling better each month. 

February brought with it a new exciting job offer to further my career in Michigan and a chance to be around family again. As sad as I was to leave California (& as much as I said I would never leave that glorious sunshine) I knew I needed to do it for my health and well being. My mom thankfully came out to help me pack and I had one last hurrah soaking up some of my favorite places in SoCal the last two weeks I was there- Lunch & people watching at the Grove, one last Allstar Weekend concert at House of Blues Anaheim with my favorite girls, two Disneyland trips, the San Diego Zoo, one last walk around Balboa Island (my absolute favorite place in California), walking the shore of Newport Beach, one last Bachelor Monday at my friend Jen's, Native Foods Cafe, Mother's Market, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Lunch at Fisherman's on the Wharf in San Clemente and one last drive down PCH to Laguna to eat at the Stand & watch the surfers at Thalia Street Beach. Oh & one last Burke Williams massage, there is seriously nothing like it. I also was traveled quite a bit in February, spending a weekend in downtown Toronto and in Chicago
March, April & May brought me my first winter in 5 years. I forgot how cold it could get in Michigan. I also met some new friends and explored Downtown Royal Oak a lot. I found two awesome vegan restaurants that I absolutely loved; Cacao Tree Cafe & Inn Seasons Cafe. They made my Mother's Market & Native Foods withdrawals a little bit easier! I saw Taylor Swift & Tim McGraw! I also went to a few advanced movie screenings which brought me back to an epic summer I spent in LA going to as many movie premieres as I could get passes to! 
June & July brought warm weather and the start of some summer fun! I went out on my aunt's boat as much as possible. I also went on a roadtrip with my friend Aly to see warped tour in Toronto, Buffalo & Detroit! I also got to see one of my dearest friends Kasey who lives near Toronto! July was all about the music. I also saw the Jonas Brothers for the last time ever in concert and saw OneRepublic for the second time this year.
August brought more traveling & adventures!! I spent a long weekend up in Traverse City & Elk Rapids, Michigan with my parents. I have been vacationing here with my family every summer since I was born and rarely missed a summer, even while in California. Elk Rapids is just a hidden gem and my absolute favorite place in the world to go. Just the best little town. It even tops my beloved Balboa Island. The weekend after this trip I went to visit my friend Courtney & we had the BEST time in NYC, CT & Atlantic City, NJ!! I am hoping to post a long overdue recap of these trips soon. So much adventure and so many laughs. August also marked a turning point for me professionally as I officially became a small business owner. I launched my photography website www.jenniferborisphotography.com after pouring my time and energy into creating it and shooting my little heart out for the past year. 
September brought with it my 26th Birthday & my baby sister's 21st Birthday. We are exactly 5 years & 1 day apart! I also enjoyed the entire 3 day Labor Day weekend out on the water having one last hurrah before summer ended. 
In October I went up to Ann Arbor for Michigan's homecoming weekend & I went to the football game with some of my best friends from college, Nicole & Shannon! If you have never been to a Michigan football game you are missing out. The atmosphere is unlike anything else. I also thoroughly enjoyed fall, my favorite season. I got to drive through the middle of Michigan to see the leaves changing colors with my mom & Grandma. I went to the pumpkin patch/ cider mill with my college roomie Meaghan who was in town from LA and dominated the difficult level 5 mile corn maze with my sister. I also saw Hanson & The Summer Set in concert and dressed up like the Star from Mario Kart and Where's Waldo for Halloween!
In November, I saw Matt Nathanson in concert as well as Hunter Hayes & Josh Gracin, who is from my hometown! I went to high school with his sister & my Dad knows his wife well from before he was on American Idol. I also celebrated Thanksgiving twice with family and ate lots of good non-turkey food. ;)

December brought the snow and freezing weather with it. I love being able to spend so much time with my family and cousins in December. There are always fun sleepovers! I got to go sledding for the first time in at least 10 years with my little cousins down the awesome hill my aunt and uncle have in their backyard! I also got to shoot my first wedding as a second shooter and I don't think I stopped smiling once that entire day! It was a fantastic blur. That was a turning point for me, one that helped me prove to myself that I could do this. Being a wedding photographer is my dream. I've always been a big dreamer and I hope I never stop chasing after them.

Here's to 2013 - the good and the bad. I'm glad I was able to grow personally and professionally in 2013 and hope that 2014 brings me health, happiness, a continued sense of self and some weddings to photograph. Life is a journey and I'm grateful for every year of mine. Cheers to all of those who read my blog and I hope all of your dreams and goals are realized in the year ahead.