in the past, i'd have to dig through files on my computer to gather my favorite photos from the last year, now i can simply open up instagram. scrolling through my feed, it was easy to see this year had a defining theme. thumbing through photos of babies, marriages and engagements, this was a year of [growing up]. i realize that's a very vague theme to some up a year, but it is true. more than any previous year, i saw the people in my life make choices and go through events which added maturity to their life story, myself included.
instagram had a feature this year where it grouped your best nine photos of the year, however that feature was based only on likes and comments. it didn't take into account the sentiment or personal feeling behind the photograph.
please enjoy ten images i personally chose because of what they meant to me and show this year was all about [growing up].
maybe not the best photo to start off a year of [growing up] as this photograph shows the time i had my girlfriend try an incredibly hot pickle, but i'll explain. my girlfriend and i have very different tastes in most everything. a phrase we always say to each other when trying something new is "open mind" which is exactly what i said before she sampled the pickle. remembering to keep an open mind seems to me a very [grown up] attitude, which is why i included this picture. well, that and it still cracks me up. by the way, she wasn't a fan.
memorial day found my girlfriend and i traveling to tulsa for a long weekend. we enjoyed craft beer, wine, museums and incredible food. we also stopped to visit the blue whale, a route 66 icon. originally a playground and rest stop for the kids of cross country travelers, it now sits as a relic of a time long gone by. she knows i love visiting places like this and we had a wonderful time checking it out. what really made this trip memorable though, is that it affirmed a very [grown up] decision i had brewing in my head.
i love my city and one of the ways i try to give back to my community is being an active member of our local aia. to make that organization more apart of the community i wanted our group to host an art show for the monthly art gallery crawl, but i wanted to do something different, something never before seen here. through a lot of donations, a lot of peoples help and hard work, and through the creativity of friends and countless strangers, we did. in june we hosted a "pop-up" gallery, a shipping container filled with over 500 napkin sketches. by far one of the greatest things i ever helped organized. planning an event like that and caring about the community you live in made me feel very [grown up].
back to the future is my all time favorite movie and 2015 is a very big year in the movies trilogy. as most of you know, it's the year marty travels into the future. a small town near wichita hosted a "back to the future" celebration last summer and there was no way i was going to miss it. i ended up having a great time. when i was eight years old i remember wondering what life would be like in 2015 when i was all [grown up]. little did i know then, ironically, i'd be attending a "back to the future" festival.
i think this is the most "norman rockwell-esque" photo i've ever taken. as a mid-westerner this scene is so typically new england to me, it makes me smile. this photograph gets included because this is the weekend i asked my girlfriends parents for their "blessing" to ask their daughter to marry me. the second most [grown-up] question i would ask in 2015.
as an architect, i had to visit "the national building museum" this summer while in washington d.c. it's a fantastic space and i had the chance to view "the beach". an installation which allowed [grown-ups] to act like kids having fun in a gigantic ball pit. this was also a wonderful trip spent attending a wedding with my girlfriend. a trip which helped me decide the setting for an event later in the year.
this summer wichita took a vacant and unsightly lot in downtown and turned it into a pop-up park. in the grand scheme of large cities, this is nothing new, but for our little mid-western town it was a very original idea. with food trucks, seating, artwork and outdoor games, it seems to be filling a "hole" in our cities urban fabric by creating a dynamic community space for the more and more people living and working downtown. one small way i feel this city is [growing up].
a staple in my yearly schedule is attending the austin city limits festival. i go to great lengths to make sure this weekend is blocked out every october so i can attend. i wouldn't miss it for the world. however this year was the first time my concert going friends entertained the idea of doing something else next year. are we [growing up] or simply getting to old for the three day festival in the texas sun? who knows. that being said, this shot does a great job of capturing the feel of the festival and i'm glad i got to experience it for another year.
this is outside the willard hotel in washington d.c. the spot where i asked the most [grown up] question of my life. from this spot forward i knew my life would be different. from this spot forward i no longer thought about "me" but rather "us." from this spot forward i knew i'd have someone there with me all the time, to laugh with, to cry with, to share good times and bad. this spot changed everything in my life and i couldn't be happier about it.
in a year full of [growing up] it seems appropriate to end with this photo from my friends december wedding. he and i [grew up] together and i was absolutely thrilled to be a part of this moment in his life. we both did a lot of [growing up] the later part of 2015 and i'm glad we were there to talk about it with each other. i love this photograph because there's such a feeling of happiness and pure joy as he and his new wife head into the future. a perfect way to feel as we enter into a new and exciting year.