Photo Year in Review – 2015

ok, gonna try to do this, because I need to remember that 2015 didn’t totally suck.

So here is just the good stuff.

January

One of the best things (which was a carryover from 2014) was Athena’s Daughters 2. I’m so proud of this antho and the amazing stories in it. And I’ve made some great friends from the authors in it.
http://www.amazon.com/Athenas-Daughters-vol-Science-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00YF6L99Q

Athena's Daughters 2

We went to a beautiful winter 12th NIght ball at Riversdale House, which came with a period-accurate supper.
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We had excellent seats for Fleetwood Mac, who I’d never seen before live:
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We had some nice rooftop sunsets, including this one wherein Alex spontaneous felt to his knees and screamed “All Hail Fire Orb”:
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JWST’s Pathfinder backplane headed out to NASA Johnson for cryo tests:
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February

We went to the Birthnight Ball at Gadsbys and I finished a new dress in time and was actually happy with how I looked:
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D&D with friends:
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We had some snow and let Willow enjoy some of it. She was skeptical.
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March

The Francaise dinner weekend! Not only was the dinner wonderful but I got to hang out with a lot of normally distant friends that weekend. So it ended up with a lot of good quality time with folks like Katherine, Megan, and Sarah.
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I finally realized my quest to get a picture with the Colbert portrait that was back at the Portrait Gallery in its original position by the bathrooms.
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April

Cherry Blossoms in DC
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I saw two astronauts talk in one day on the first day of “Safety Week” at work. This is Scott Altman – not only was he on the last Hubble Servicing mission, but he did Tom Cruise’s F-14 flying in Top Gun! How cool is that?! The other astronaut was Alvin Drew.
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May

Regency Card Party
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Abbey Road on the River – so good to see so many friends, even if I missed my Norwegians, and Mars, who also wasn’t able to be there!
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June
No real pics, because they didn’t allow them, but we saw one of my fav bands, The Weepies, in Annapolis.

We went on our usual Florida beach vacation with Doug’s family. Not our best week ever. We did get to Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner and wandered around the awesome Old Town Kissimmee after. Here’s me at Boma – is is probably the happiest I was until probably Norway.
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July

Terribly hazy/smoky 4th of July:
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This was our only “real” trip this year. But it was a big one! I have friends there and have been learning the language and Norway did not disappoint. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I loved getting to see so many friends! We flew, drove, trained, and boated – and saw parts of the country from Oslo up to the very northern coast. And we also tour Finnmark with my friends’ band, and I got to sing with them in both Hammerfest and Berlevåg. And we saw the midnight sun.

With Håvard at dinner in Oslo:
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With Karin at breakfast at Starbucks at Oslo S
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The beautiful Oslo Opera House:
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On the Bergensbanen (train to Bergen)
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The famous Bergen Brygge
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Mt Fløyen
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Driving around the fjords:
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A boat cruise through Nærøyfjord:
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Our hotel room in Sogndal:
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Stave Church:
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And another Stave Church:
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Flying over northern Norway to Alta:
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The view from our hotel in Alta of the Nordlyskatedral (Northern Lights Cathedral)
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At midnight (midnight sun!) after dinner with Bjørn and Vegar – we were being silly here.
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The next day we saw the old rock carvings:
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The carvings are all along this area of Alta fjord:
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and I met my friend Kjetil’s son (and sometime penpal) Leo, and got to see Kjetil’s awesome recording studio.
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Reindeer!!
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Singing with the guys in Hammerfest:
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Beautiful Hammerfest:
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The beautiful northern coast of Norway:
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The midnight sun in Berlevåg
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Berlevåg:
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With a tetropod:
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With the Håvard and Kjetil, hanging out in Berlevåg at a village festival:
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Eating shrimp:
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Singing with the guys:
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Checking out Finland on a “harrytur” en route back to Alta:
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Vigeland Park back in Oslo:
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Ending our trip with dinner with Unni and Jonas:
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BNL/Violent Femmes concert:
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August

Dirk and his fam visited us at work and after we went to The Beach – a cool temporary installation at the National Building Museum:

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One of the best things of the year happened during a rough week with serious health problems for Willow – a friend had asked if we could host a student named Jasmin for a week, since she was on an internship with travel money. It was really hard to get this to happen given the short notice and the foreign citizenship (she’s British), but we got it to work. It was a hectic week given Willow’s issues, but Jasmin turned out to be the best. We had so much fun with her and she was a great fit at work, and we like so many of the same bands and I taught her guitar and we still talk all the time. Her first full day here, Doug and I met her and toured around DC. Here’s us with her at the Einstein Memorial:
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One of the best parts of the week – was our cupcake birthday party for John Mather – eating cupcakes in front of a Nobel Laureate was somehow intimidating for Jasmin and we all still joke about how we traumatized her with cupcakes!
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Jane Austen Ball at Gadsbys
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The actual flight JWST telescope structure came to Goddard for mirror assembly!
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My high school friend and her son came to visit me at work!
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We saw a great Indiana Jones exhibit at the National Geographic museum in DC:
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September

Thanks to our friend Tim, we found out about and spent a lot of beautiful late summer/fall weekends hiking and photographing butterflies at Glendening Nature Preserve.

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A magical performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Shakespeare Theater in DC plus dinner at Luke’s Lobster, Red Velvet Cupcakery, and the first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.

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I got to go into the cleanroom and talk about JWST (and then be on a panel talking about telling the story of JWST) for Explore @ NASA Goddard day. I’m in the cleanroom on the right in the bunny suit:
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A hard-shell crab lunch with my parents:
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A really fun afternoon showing these two acquaintences of Koji around Goddard – Jerry and Ismar were really nice!
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October

More Glendening:
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The Riversdale Masked Ball
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A super fun visit from Angela, wherein they visited me at work, we went to Udvar-Hazy, and had a couple of dinners!

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Silly photo for Jen:
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One of Willow’s fav hiding spots:
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Dinner with my oldest friend:
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November:

A regency dinner in Baltimore:
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Corn Maze!
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Washington International Horse Show with Doug, Mike, and Gloria:
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Halloween Party:
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Regency Pumpkin Tea:
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The German interns I helped out a lot with:
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Dave planned this shot for when the Sun, NASA meatball, and moon would be aligned diagonally:
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Mirror Assembly on JWST started:
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Holly came to work to film with her How Stuff Works crew:
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My story was published in this book:
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December

Christmas shopping in DC plus this maple bacon donut at Golden Brown Delicious:
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STAR WARS! (No spoilers here!)
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Permanny’s – er, Primonti’s in Pittsburgh:
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Family Progressive Dinner (here are some of us – Doug and I with nieces and their boyfriends)
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So that was the year pretty much. Honestly, it was much lighter on good stuff (though it existed to be sure) and heavier on bad stuff. Some of the good stuff (friends and Norway) was VERY good. But the bad was VERY bad.

Here’s to 2016 being on the balance more good than bad.