31 December 2009

59 things (or, the good that sort of fell into my lap)

I'm not going to lie. this is a really long list. go ahead, scroll down. it just keeps going and going. and going. but this is what I like to do. around this time of year, I like to put together a different kind of list. I like to throw a little party for the unexpected and you are cordially invited to attend. because sometimes the best things are the ones that slip in through the back door. for one reason or another, this is how my 39th year went down. it was a big year, maybe the biggest ever. I traveled to twelve different cities in ten different states. I experienced what felt like a hundred firsts. if ever there was a year to celebrate unpredictablity, this would be it. I'm telling you, my 39th year was a force to be reckoned with. my 39th year was not kidding around.

this year, I:

1. photographed a tulsa sky.

2. found myself on a warm beach in south texas in the middle of february.

3. walked halfway across the brooklyn bridge at night.

4. watched ava take her first ballet class. and cried.

5. discussed motherhood with my best friend over chocolate cake.

6. hit the vintage brooch motherload at olga's house of stuff.

7. became a regular contributor for a beautiful publication.

8. visited disney world. for the first time ever.

9. taught my first photography workshop.

10. had my fortune told at the 24 hour church of elvis.

11. fell in love with armenian baklava.

12. rode a clown bike through the streets of queens.

13. swam in the warm waters of the atlantic ocean.

14. stumbled onto a sea of red lanterns.

15. shared a cherry-dipped ice cream cone with my brother on the last day of summer.

16. planted a little garden of wildflowers that took over and grew beyond my wildest expectations.

17. photographed the wedding of one of my favorite women in the whole world.

18. threw a penny in the fountain at fellini's on ponce.

19. collaborated with the man behind dustbrand films.

20. scored ava an awesome old banana seat bike at a church basement sale.

21. traveled down a small section of historic route 66.

22. fell in love with an installation.

23. brought home a pack of candy cigarettes and the world's smallest deck of cards from archie mcphee's.

24. dangled my feet over the edge of a quiet dock.

25. photographed 23 third graders.

26. spent an entire day alone at one of my favorite places in the world.

27. had my polaroid portrait taken by an amazing polaroid photographer.

28. became a regular contributor for one of my favorite blogs.

29. put together the wall of sunshine.

30. found great solace in the rainbow that appeared just moments after a tornado touched down a few miles south of our florida hotel room.

31. was published in one book, one zine and a few very stellar magazines.

32. wandered through chinatown with leslie.

33. had a polaroid show at my church.

34. contributed to the delinquency of a few juveniles at a party for hannah.

35. realized that pretty much everything tastes better when eaten on an old yellow school bus. especially grilled cheese sandwiches.

36. photographed dan aka listener.

37. spent a morning up on the roof of my brother's building. stood silent while trains sang in the distance, looked out over the rooftops of queens, swooned over a miniature manhattan skyline.

38. watched my mom dance with my grandma.

39. lost myself in a rainbow of mexican wrestling masks and tiny guitars at san antonio's el mercado.

40. learned how to turn a head lamp into a disco light while navigating pitch dark wooded paths.

41. meandered down the aisles of the alameda fleamarket and came home with a vintage suitcase full of happy.

42. lounged with jen in the living room of her brooklyn apartment.

43. watched quietly as my dad waded out into the pacific ocean.

44. held my best friend's newborn baby girl in my arms. a child I am sure to spoil mercilessly for decades to come.

45. photographed jon the originator.

46. purchased a sweet little camera.

47. stood high above the golden gate bridge.

48. and then way down below it.

49. watched ava and ezra catch their first fish.

50. found myself at karen's house on a sunday morning. feasted on pancakes while marcus and alex charmed me into a sweet oblivion.

51. ran my fingers over a piece of guerilla knitting downtown portland.

52. beamed with pride at my husband's first book signing.

53. shared a deep-fried avocado with my brother while a 17-piece mariachi band rocked the house.

54. had a meaningful conversation with a man on a new york subway.

55. walked the streets of the mission with mati.

56. spent a morning alone at a deserted carnival.

57. found the equivalent to ruby red slippers.

58. woke up to a window full of bridge magic.

59. laid in the hammock in the backyard and saw my first shooting star.


  1. dear goddess, woman! look at the magic that you create and that weaves through your life :)

    it is my absolute honor to call you friend and i am blessed to have made your list because that means you came to stay for awhile.

    and that makes ME all kinds of happy.

  2. what a lovely year you've had! here's to 2010 (and coffee sometime in the next week or so!)

  3. Won. Der. Ful. Thanks for sharing this with us Hula ;-)

  4. Andrea, this is beautiful.
    Simply beautiful.
    I bet 2010 will be even better.
    Happy New Year.

  5. You inspire me.
    This is so. so glorious.
    Now I am going back to look at every link.
    Love it.

  6. what a beautiful year it's been for you. i wish you a very merry 2010!

  7. the thing is, your pictures make life look beautiful. which it is, but really you capture is beautifully.

  8. i came across your blog via twitter...
    having said that
    yay!!! for all good bits youve done this year.
    quite lovely to look and read it all.
    and yay for more to come :)

  9. i wish i could say i have a favourite but i don't ... 2009 rock for you & i hope 2010 does the same. May all your hopes, dreams & wishes come true & that you continue to love, laugh & believe! happy new year from germany! xx

  10. Such a beautiful post! Youve really captured some special moments of your 2009. Hope you have a wonderful 2010 :-)

  11. i love this list. and that's all i'm gonna say about that.



  12. This list, is simply gorgeous ~ and I'm so inspired by (and happy) the experiences you have had.
    I met you @ # 9.
    Have a Happy 2010 - wishing you and your family the best.

  13. Love this post. Magical and wonderful all at the same time. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  14. What a year, indeed! I hope 2010 will be as wonderful as 2009 for you and your family! Happy new year! :)

  15. I have been lurking and reading your blog quietly for about a year (?) now and this list has finally made me unable to not 'speak'! I so enjoyed having a cup of coffee and going thru your list! Thank You for sharing! Happy New Year to you!

    Hello, my name is Vickie :)

  16. Absolutely beautiful. It so made me happy to enjoy your talented way of capturing fabulous moments. It was a perfect way to start my own 2010.

  17. What an amazing and beautiful year you've had!

  18. A wonderful year, full of so much variety. I especially like the little things, such as sharing an ice cream with your brother. Here's to another year of treats!

  19. this is an amazing list! thank you for sharing your year and i think i am going to make an 09 list of my own now.

  20. amazing & inspiring. happy new year, andrea. xo

  21. what a beautiful list! such joy :) thanks for sharing :)

  22. what an inspiring year! Thanks so much for sharing. Wow.

  23. That's a lovely year. Congratulations.

  24. By far, this is the best end of the year compilation that I've ever read. Sounds like the most dreamiest yet simple year, I sure hope my 2010 will sound as lovely! Happy New Year!

  25. so inspiring, andrea. wishing you a beautiful 2010. xo

  26. It sounds like an amazing year! By the way, I did not know your husband was an illustrator. I checked out his website and LOVE his work!

  27. Your year sounds incredibly fulfilling-- I hope the next is even better!

  28. 39 and saw your first shooting star?
    Um, wow.

  29. gina, I know. it sounds crazy. but it's true. actually, I'd kind of given up on shooting stars. I got tired of everyone always pointing them out. saying look! a shooting star! wow! where? I'd say. WHERE? might as well have been a unicorn. I was convinced I was being lied to. but then, this past august, there it was. just like mother nature to prove me wrong.

  30. Awesome list!!!! I only found your blog a month or two ago but it makes me smile. I love lists & yours are full of sunshine!

  31. I love your lists! I'm going to keep a list this year of all the amazing and wonderful things i do. well, i'm going to try at least :)

  32. this is just beautiful. happy new year to you!
    best from berlin,anja

  33. Thank you for sharing your excellent eye for coolness, and your heart of gratitude. I love your photos and your reflections. Happy New Year Andrea!

  34. So cool, so inspiring. I know Wards work (whose link I followed) and love yours too. What a couple! Mosaic looks like a a great place. Greetings from Tel Aviv!

  35. what a lovely list of loveliness. :)

  36. this is so damn awesome - love the list and love that you can reflect back and remember all the wonderful things you did this year! xoxo

    ps. meeting you and taking your class was one of my all time highlights!

  37. All's I can say is hooray that you finally witnessed that split second of Nature's magic! It's good luck you know.

    Now, when are you gonna crack open that ball?

    Happy, hopeful, healthy New Year wishes.

  38. most beautiful and spectacular! i would have thoroughly enjoyed being a fly on your wall this past year, for all of it's ups and downs, there is greatness!

  39. love your list! I've been to a few of the places on your list, feels like a small word. I am smitten with your photography (I have one of your prints). Feliz ano neuvo!

  40. wow! pretty awesome year andrea! and cool that you're hanging with me once a week! here's to 2010! you deserved all the good that fell into your lap!

  41. Wow! What a wonderful year. All of your captures have me in awe:: and are a great reminder that i need to always be carrying all my cameras! Thank you for sharing your magic! xxxoo happy new year:: Here's to another year of joy!

  42. It was a very good year. There's nothing like a solo museum day and hammocks and shooting stars pair together so nicely. I hope 2010 exceeds all of your expectations!

  43. I always love your lists Andrea! I also did a little recap of my year on my blog, www.vivacindy.com

    it really makes you feel lucky when you remember all of the good that flies by in 365 days right?

    keep em coming and have a great 2010!

  44. wow, who can really ask for much more than that in a year?
    so lovely, so beautiful.
    our lives are indeed marked by the small delicious moments as well as the big milestones.

  45. that is an amazing list! so glad you had such a lovely year. (and yay for the shooting star! I've only seen one a couple of times - but it was so magical.)

  46. What a beautiful year. Your sense of wonder and gratitude are always so inspiring. Happy New Year.

  47. This is beautiful, Andrea. I love waht LeS said. I hope you're teaching again this year--I plan to be there this time.

  48. Love your blog...found it after I posted mine and pushed NEXT. You had a wonderful year and I plan on trying to keep up with your blogs for all of your accomplishments and adventures!

  49. Love your list and your photos - they are amazing!!!

  50. What an amazing year you've had, full of living life to the fullest. Inspiring, I hope 2010 will be full of adventure and life too!

  51. What an amazing list. I love that you celebrate the great alongside the everyday. And that you make the everyday great. Awesome. All the best for 2010 I hope it brings you and your family as much joy as 2009.

  52. Truly moving and full of inspiration, Bless you and your talent!

  53. You rock! Your list of unexpected life treats puts a smile on my face. Hope 2010 treats you well :)

  54. Your pictures are beautiful and inspiring and magical. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago, but I've been enjoying so far :) I hope your holidays were just as beautiful!

  55. I really love your list!
    happy new year!

  56. I totally read this last week and totally forgot to comment. all i want to say is that i adore you. please don't ever stop being so amazing.

  57. wow. this is amazing. love lists and love the way you did this one. inspiring!!

  58. this was magical just to *read*. ! thanks.

  59. Such a beautiful year. Thanks for sharing.

  60. Oh dear, I had a heart attack over the 'wall of sunshine', I hope you don't mind but I am absolutely using that idea in my own house. Sunshine is one of my favourite things in the world, and a wall of it would make my day, every single day.

  61. your first shooting star? How can that be?

  62. love love love everything you do.
    love how you see the love and beauty in the simple everyday. how blessed are you?
    long time admirer...first time commentor....

  63. this is AWESOME.
    man, how much do i love your lists?
    VERY. much.