December 31, 2015


4 years worth of New Year's Eve pictures. If 2015 taught us anything this year, it was that we can grow stronger from the ashes. And we did just that. Happy New Year!

Best of... 2015

December 28, 2015

magic monday + thoughts on UP

My best Instagram photos of 2015 #2015bestnine

When I saw that photo grid generated, I thought, "Yep. That sums it up perfectly."

This year was all about trying to read more (and somewhat succeeding), THE SCRAP YARN BLANKET, pretty skies, selfies, sunshine, and all the coffee I could consume. I am so thankful for that, for learning how to appreciate the little things, and for using that tool when life threw me more than I could handle. 

My one little word this year was UP. At this time last year, I was a mess. Justin had just found out I'd cheated on him and we were trying to figure out if our relationship was worth saving or not. I needed something to help lift me back up so I could breathe again. UP really helped me do that this year. 

I am proud to put UP on the shelf with Unafraid, and I am so excited to announce my word for 2016 on New Years Day. 

Thanks for the Magic (and the Monday's I guess), UP. 

December 24, 2015

christmas eve

It's been rainy all week. It doesn't feel like Christmas. I drove 3 hours home today. I miss my grandma. And Justin and the cats. 

Merry Christmas, everyone. 

December 21, 2015

magic monday

It's the shortest day of the year. This means from now on THE DAYS WILL START TO GET LONGER. We'll eventually have sunlight until 5 pm again. And more sunlight makes me a happy girl. 

December 19, 2015

family is forever

Broke out the big camera tonight to take some pictures of my best friend & her little family. They make my heart so happy. This is just a short weekend visit home, but I'm so excited to see them more this week when I come home Christmas. Happy Saturday!

PS... here's a throwback to Baby Sage when he was only 6 months old

December 18, 2015

i want to remember: mornings

I always want to remember mornings like this one. I had to kick the cats out of bed so I could get up and start my day. They came back shortly after I chased the Mew cat out from behind the Christmas tree upstairs. I had a cup of coffee with peppermint mocha creamer & 2 pieces of peanut butter toast for breakfast. Whiskers fell asleep at the end of my bed. I've been catching up on blogs, email, and social media on my phone before I actually get ready for the day. It's quiet except for the hum of the heaters and the occasional squeak or scuffle from the cats or someone walking upstairs. 

Mornings like this are my favourite. 

December 17, 2015


I'm looking through Elise's archives, all the way back to the college days, and I am ridiculously inspired to photograph everything and play with paper and make a mess all at the same time. 

I am missing my people and counting down the days until I go home for Christmas. 

I received a call yesterday from the hospice group that took care of my grandma in her last weeks. They wanted to know how I am doing. Things kind of suck right now, because the holidays suck without her, but their compassion and caring struck a chord deep in my heart. 

It's cold again. Feels like December now, instead of early March or November. Still no snow in the forecast for Christmas, but I'll take it anyway. The less time I spend brushing snow & scraping ice off my car this winter, the better. ;)

Time to finish my coffee & get ready for work. Happy almost weekend!

December 16, 2015

currently, december edition

enjoying my mornings, even if they do happen at noon more often than not

catching up with my best friend via an hour long phone call is THE BEST

counting down until Saturday when I'm going home to bake cookies with my momma

wrapping all my gifts this year in pretty turquoise & red wrapping paper

listening to badlands by Halsey on repeat

using Snapchat (@annagutermuth) to capture every day life

thinking about new goals & resolutions for 2016

writing down ideas for photos I want to make in the future

feeling so inspired right now

missing my grandma every day; this time of the year is so rough without her

snuggling with the cats every night before bed

learning (always) to let things go

wishing everyone a stress free holiday!

December 15, 2015

inspiration: light

Super inspired by light lately. Thinking about skin and sunlight and hotel windows and beds that aren't mine. Writing down concepts for images that I want to make in the future. Feels good to be inspired again. All images are not mine & were found on tumblr. 

December 03, 2015

one year out

If we were in a movie right now, you'd see me flipping through a book of my relationship with Justin. 

The beginning would be melancholic. I was sad and lonely and as broken as I have ever felt. Justin saw that in me and still wanted to love me. He wanted to try. He listened to me, actually heard me when I told him that it felt like everyone always talked over me and nobody lets me do things the way I want to. His decision to let me handle cutting my very manipulative and abusive ex out of my life is the decision he says that he will regret for the rest of his life. 

Fast forward a few pages in the book and you'd see that we were the happiest I think we have ever been. I was faithful, he was coming down to see me for his birthday, and we were so in love. I can't think about the first week we spent together without getting teary-eyed because it was so perfect. That week was the real beginning to our fairytale love that would later turn into nothing short of a nightmare. 

Justin and I did long distance for 8 months. And in that time that manipulative, abusive ex that I mentioned earlier weaseled his way back into the picture. Justin watched me slowly get stolen away from him, as the princess gets kidnapped by the villain in all those fairytales. In April, when I moved up here to be with him, he could hardly believe that I had chosen to be with him. 

In the two years that followed, Justin has watched me on and off go back to being manipulated by a monster. One that indulged my fantasies and fueled a world of alternate reality that I had created in my head. He watched me flirt with and daydream about a coworker who drove a hard wedge in between us. 

We are one year out from D-day. One year out from Justin's discovery of my affairs. It's been a year since the bottom dropped out from beneath me and We have spent a year trying to climb back up that ladder toward normal. 

We are still broken. A lot of good things have happened this year. We got engaged. We adopted another cat into our kitty family. We have reopened a lot of avenues of communication between us. But some days, some weeks and months even, it feels like we take one step forward and 22 steps back. The last few weeks we have been barely speaking. We struggle with being close to one another. 

I never want to go back to last Christmas, where spent holed up in the second bedroom that we never used screaming at each other. I get a pit in my stomach just thinking about it. I have faced a lot of my demons in the last 365 days, but I am largely still working out how to balance and tame my hypersexuality. I have come so far personally, but Justin and I are still very far from being a normal couple again. 

It never gets any easier. On the days that I am racked with guilt and shame, I burrow into myself. Some days Justin will come home from work angry and lash out because he is hurting. We are trying the best we can and that is all that I can hope for right now. We are working on ourselves so we can work on our relationship and then turn that into a marriage and our own little slice of forever. We've decided to hold off a wedding until we are ready, and I'm still learning every day that that is okay. 

We're making baby steps in recovery but we're still doing okay. Every day I remind myself that it takes time. It took time for us to fall in love, and it's going to take even more time for us to repair all the damage I have caused. I'm learning that love is a choice, and I'm choosing to be excited about what the next year is going to bring us in recovery, instead of being sad that all of this is happening in the first place. 

December 02, 2015

first snow

December never feels right without snow. I was pretty excited when I woke up this morning to see the familiar sight of white covered tree branches out the bathroom window. Today is the perfect day to stay inside, drink coffee, listen to Christmas music, and be cozy. (And tbh I'll probably end up window shopping online a little for Christmas gifts.) Happy December!