December’s Diary Doodles: A month of dogs, my family, and Christmas

Nope, there will be no 2017 reflection or 2018 resolution posts here. I feel like they’re sort of unnecessary, really. Most of my main moments in 2017 are in my catch-up post last month and my resolutions? They’re always the same each year and almost always a fail.

I know what I need to do to lead a happier, healthier life. I just don’t know when I’ll actually do any of it for longer than a week.

That being said, I would like to start a new monthly series here on the blog: diary doodles. Each month I’ll pull together the doodles I’ve made about my life and discuss the thoughts/experiences behind each. I think it’ll be a fun way to see what moments in the month I felt justified an illustration and give you guys a chance to see what I’ve been up to throughout the month.

Plus, as I said in my Instagram Inspirations post, diary doodles are one of my favorite types of illustrated content. If one should create content they would like to consume, well, it only makes that I write blog posts featuring illustrations about my life.

So here are my diary doodles from December featuring dogs, my family, and Christmas. Enjoy!

12.8 Master Tree Fluffer.

Honestly, I don’t really care for putting up Christmas trees.

That’s not to say I don’t think they’re worth the effort. Not at all. I don’t think Christmas would feel like Christmas without at least one decked out tree to stash the presents under.

But to put up four Christmas trees in one year? That’s just madness I tell you, madness. Especially when you factor in the knowledge when three of those trees belong in one house (my parent’s) and one of those three live in the basement where not a single person apart from our family gets to see it.

That being said, I am pretty damn good at fluffing up the branches of artificial trees to make them look real. My friend was amazed by how much better her tree looked after I got my hands on her branches.

12.9 Snowball fights with Dio.

The one thing I looked forward to this December was seeing Dio’s reaction to snow for the first time and, well, it was a bit anti-climatic? I mean he was a little curious when he went outside after our first big dump of snow, but there was no running around excitedly like you see from videos of other dogs having their first snow experience.

We did end up having a lot of fun during our snowball fights though. He would enthusiastically chase the snowballs I threw to where ever they landed on the ground and hopelessly attempt to pick them up. I don’t think he was as thrilled when I would aim the snowballs at him, but luckily my aim is pretty bad so he didn’t have to worry about that too much.

12.10 The Christmas Cookies Tradition.

As if choosing to start a diet before Christmas wasn’t a bad idea on its own, my family decided we would make it worse by still participating in the annual tradition of baking and decorating christmas cookies with my mom’s side of the family. Because, you know, having a house full of cookies and frosting is totally okay when you have no self-control and are attempting a no-sugar diet.

I have to say, we did well enough the day of the cookie baking. Informing every one of the diet in advance helped hold us accountable and apart from one or two licks of frosting without thinking, we stuck it out. But the following week when there were loads of cookies just lying around the house with no one to eat them? Yeah, not so much. Whoops.

12.15 Names at the dog park.

I drew this illustration on the 15th of December but honestly, this is pretty much what happens every day I’m at the dog park. I could tell you the names of almost all the dogs at the dog park (I made a list, there’s 35+ dogs that I know by name), but none of the names of the people who go with said dogs. To me, they’re just “so-and-so’s mom/dad”. (Okay, that’s a lie, I know the names of TWO humans: EJ and Pebbles. And that’s mostly because they’re unique.)

I don’t think this is a problem though. I don’t go to the dog park to make friends with people. I go to make Dio happy and to love on some dogs.

(Also, yes, all the dogs drawn above are based off real dogs we see at the dog park. Alf and Duff are older dogs who don’t like to play with others, Sophie is deaf, Wrigley won’t let me pet him, Penny and Rosie like to play with Dio, and Rogue sometimes humps him.)

12.16 The Christmas Lights and Pizza Tradition.

A week after failing our diets because of the lack of self-control with cookies in the house, my parents and I decided to give in to our tradition eating pizza while driving around looking at Christmas lights. (I say this is a tradition, but we’ve only done it two years in a row and I likely won’t be here next Christmas to partake in it so I’m not sure it totally counts. It’s just more of an excuse to order some pizza.)

I have to say, I didn’t enjoy this year as much as last because traffic was bad and the lights weren’t as impressive, but it was an okay time. I sufficiently annoyed my parents with my attempts to sing along with the Christmas music on the radio and enjoyed my pizza so can’t really complain. I think I’ll miss it next year.

atypicalnarrative illustration | My week with my Christmas presents: drawing, eating chocolate, skying my husband, dancing, and taking bubble baths

12.26 My Post-Christmas agenda.

If you were to ask me what my favorite things in life are, I’d say Dave without a beard, chocolate, bubble baths, drawing, and dancing. Compare those to what I got for Christmas this year and ding ding ding – I hit the jackpot! Every day after Christmas I pretty much revolved my days around my presents and I have to say, it filled me with lots of happiness.

And yes, I did ask Dave to shave as one of my Christmas presents. I love Dave but I am not a fan of the scruff. He wasn’t allowed to Skype me until it was removed.

atypicalnarrative illustration | game night with padre ft battleship

12.30 Board games and banter.

Every once in a while my parents and I decide to challenge each other in some board games and while it can often lead to a fun time it usually involves a lot of cruel banter. We don’t hold a lot back.

I mean, my own father told me to go to hell during a game of Battleship – what is up with that?! But hey, I don’t blame him. It may not be clear above, but I definitely was rubbing my lead in his face when it happened so probably deserved it. Somehow he was always one spot off each boat he was trying to hit where I was finding his without too much difficulty. I was enjoying it way too much.

Don’t feel too bad for him though, he got his revenge when we played Sorry. That sorry is just too lucky when it comes to cards.

12.31 New Year’s.

Ah yes, New Year’s resolutions. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I didn’t really set any this year – this illustration above is one of the main reasons why.

I used to run a personal blog called Oh, Asti and while that blog is no longer public I do still have access to its archives. I decided it’d be interesting to see what my resolutions were for earlier years in preparation for 2018 and lo and behold – the ones I set in 2016 are all things that I’m still struggling to do to this day. I could just copy and paste that post here and pass it as my current day resolutions if I were bothered. But I’m not. Honestly, it just made me disillusioned with the idea of new year’s resolutions.

But hey, that’s not to say I don’t have goals for this year or won’t continue to work on any of those things. I just don’t feel the need to announce it. I’m a continual work in progress and that’s okay. I’ll get there someday. (Maybe. Hopefully.)

That’s it for my diary doodles of December. What do you think? Any similarities with the things that happened in your December? Did you do anything fun for Christmas? Participate in any traditions? Have you ever been shocked by the things your parents have said? Let me know in the comments below!

And if you want to see these doodles as they go live instead of waiting until the end of the month, be sure to follow me on Instagram.

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My 30 before 30 list // Please let me be a functional adult after I leave my 20s

During the week of my birthday, I noticed a couple of posts popping up around the blogosphere that revolved around setting goals for milestone birthdays. (The two in particular that crossed my path were Vee’s 25 before 25 and Amanda’s 30 before 30, but they are definitely not the only ones to create posts like this.) While I was hesitant to come up with my own list at first, worrying that if I were to not reach these goals by 30 I’d end up being disappointed in myself, I ultimately decided it was worth a go. Not only did I want to see what thirty items I would come up with, but I decided that even if I didn’t do them all just making a conscious effort towards making them happen would make me a happier , better-functioning person (and really, these days that’s all I really want).

It’s actually funny when I think about what I thought life would be like a decade ago vs now. It just felt like once high school was over I would figure everything out and by 30 I’d have this whole list of accomplishments I could rattle off: a family, a home, a good job. It all just seemed so much simpler then… and of course it was, everything was before my brain introduced depression into my life.

But now? Well, I would just like to figure out how to be a functional adult. I’d like to be able to make and maintain friendships without having a meltdown or letting my insecurities rule me. I’d like to find a job and actually stick to it without having a breakdown in front of everyone and ultimately quitting once I hit the lowest of lows. I’d like to learn how to accept the bad days and not let them consume me to the point that months pass by. I’d just like to do a lot of the everyday things that I think some people take for granted.

Continue reading “My 30 before 30 list // Please let me be a functional adult after I leave my 20s”