2013: The Luckiest Year to Date

I can honestly say that in 2013, more positive changes have taken place in my life than at any other time.  Perhaps a close second would be 2006, in which I graduated in the top ten of my high school class, worked my first real job, started college, and made a whole bunch of new friends.  I tend to be a pretty easygoing person and overlook the negatives in life in favor of focusing on the positives; that being said, 2013 was an especially good year to me.  Let me break it down.

January: I started my RN program, joining a group of passionate and talented individuals, many of whom became fast friends, and all of whom are supportive colleagues.  We look out for each other in Nursing School, sharing study guides, having get-togethers, and generally being kind and caring towards one another.  It’s a great group that I am proud to be a part of.
: I also began a journey to take my personal fitness more seriously.  I had been running casually for the past two years, so the next step was to get a trainer and set some more ambitious goals.  The first goal was to run a half-marathon, by which time I would lose 30 pounds.
: Alyssa came to visit! We did some local historical tours.
: Celebrated Ben’s 1st birthday. What a cute little goose!
: I also established a new group of friends at the dog park.  I talk about my ‘dog park family’ a lot, and those are people whom I’ve known for 5+ years.  This new group is from the ‘big dog side of the park’ and mostly comprised of 20-somethings.  The five of us (Zach, Steve, James, Anna, and me) started going out to dinners and movies, etc.
: Hosted a baby shower for one of my dear friends and her first son.  The theme was “Welcome to the Jungle.”

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February: I really started to open up with my nursing buddies when I particularly hilarious incident happened to me at what started out as an innocent housewarming party.  I don’t drink often, and this was not a “bad decision related to drinking.”  This was simply a circumstance that involved drinking, and I have no regrets, only a smile and a slight shake of my head.  In any event, it was a turning point in a number of ways.
: Super Bowl party at Regan’s, and other random social events, still managed to fit in to my busy school schedule.
: Epic road trip with Carlie down to go to her sister’s wedding reception and stay with our friend Beth.

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March:
: Megan came to visit!
: I visited Jabote for a couple days.  Met some of her grad school friends, also met her new dog for the first time.
: I also visited Emily for a day trip.  She took my to my first ever Thai restaurant, and an obsession was born.
: It was my spring break.  Some of the girls and I enjoyed leisure activities such as running together and taking a boat to a restaurant.
: We had a pretty epic easter egg hunt for Henry and Ben and baby Haley. It involved a trick egg hanging from a ceiling fan that Henry had to figure out how to retrieve!

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April: Expanded my new dog park friend group with more get-togethers, including a party for Steve’s birthday and a dinner in honor of John’s elective surgery.
: Little came to visit!  We had tons of fun, despite the fact that she could only stay a few days.  We saw my Little Little as well.
: Roomie came to visit!  We got up to lots of hijinks that were sort of similar to reliving our college days.  It’s fun to be nostalgic.

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May: With my last final, my first semester of Nursing School was complete!  Dee and Rose hosted a BBQ to kick-off summer.  It was great fun, and we partied well into the wee hours.
: Lyds graduated! There was much celebration all around!
: Visited my aunt and uncle a few states away.  They took me to all the great local spots, including a cool outdoor club and a small zoo.
: Kayaking adventure with Carrie and her family.  It was one of the prettiest days of the season.
: Ran in my second ever 10k with Jabote, Regan, and Kaitlyn.  Also, started my official half-marathon training.

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June: Kicked my running into high-gear with my first 7-, 8-, and 9-mile runs this month.  It was a challenge to beat the heat and built the mental and physical endurance for this task, but as the miles got longer, things actually seemed to get a bit easier.  Getting started was the biggest challenge!
: Had lots of funtimes with Steve before he did us all the disservice of moving a few states north of here.  All of this culminated in a goodbye party for him where the whole extended dog park group got together.
: Ran in an 8k with Regan and Carlina.  The weather was surprisingly cool for June, for which we were grateful!
: Hosted a pool party for many of my ‘friends with kids’ which was tons of fun.
: Dealt with a bathroom remodel, necessitated by water damage.  It turned out great in the end, but getting there was a ride on the strugglebus.

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July: Started dating James. Most momentous moment.
: Ran my first 10 mile run, but afterwards I was plagued with what turned out to be an ‘overuse injury.’  I had to take some time off to rest and take short course of anti-inflammatories before I got back on my feet again.
: Katrina came to visit!  We did fun things like kayaking and exploring local historical sites and generally reliving the summer she was my housemate.
: Bid farewell to Lydia and Molly, two more friends moving away.  I tried to give them each a meaningful send-off.

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August: Henry’s 4th birthday party and their family’s moving-away weekend.  Carlie and David elected to stay with me so they could pack up and move out without traumatizing the kids too much.  It was a hectic weekend and one of the saddest “see-you-soons” I have ever experienced.
: Went to see MatchBox Twenty & the Goo Goo Dolls with Heather.
: Ran my first 11- and 12- mile runs, having recovered from the hamstring strain.  Needed to get those in before the half.
: Epic travel plans: visited my grandmother, then visited Carlie & the family, also attended Josh & Abby’s wedding reception, and then headed back home to see James.
: Tumultuous start to my second semester of nursing school.  Also started online classes working towards my BSN.
: Helped James pack up his stuff and move into his first house!  He moved a bit further away from me in the interest of no longer renting, but his new neighborhood is beautiful and the drive is scenic.

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September: First thing…ran 13.1 miles with Regan!  I also ran 75 total miles this month, which blew my previous record out of the water.
: Went to see Maroon 5 with Olga.
: Ran The Color Run 5k with Carrie, Dee, Tina, Rose, Leah and Erica.
: James and I went on an epic 2-hour kayaking adventure.
: Ended the month on a high note (sarcasm) due to a minor car accident that, while no people were hurt, kind of smashed Fifi the Fit.

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October: Turned 26!  James and Zach took me out to dinner at our favorite restaurant (where I met James back in January).
: Did a lot of scrambling for rides this month.  Janet was especially helpful because she’s my neighbor and she works from home, so she let me borrow her car a lot.  Also James spent much of the month visiting me because I only had vehicular access for short periods of time, not enough to spend days at a time out at his place.
: Ran in a Zombie-themed 5k and my favorite Halloween-themed 10k!  Both with Regan!
: Carlie and the family visited.  Got most of the dog park family together for a delicious dinner at Jimmy’s.
: Hosted Katrina and Emily for Homecoming, and also got together with Gabby and Heather who were in town visiting that weekend.
: Pumpkin carving party with the dog park family.
: Finally got MY CAR back!

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November: Started the month out with a visit to James.  No car accident this time!
: Voted.  For the winner, obviously.
: Visited Jabote, during which we accomplished some epic running, baking, shopping, and painting.
: Special outing to see Catching Fire with Lara and Rebecca!  Also that weekend, Haley’s first birthday party and the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special.
: Traveled to spend Thanksgiving with Little & her family.  It was warm and cozy with quite a lot of lovely food and company.
: Total miles for this month: 80!  New record!

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December: Finished my second semester (and first half) of nursing school with a whimper rather than a bang.  But that’s okay, because either way, most of the month was completely school-less!
: Holiday scrub party with nursing school buddies!
: Took an adorable Christmas Card photo with James, and mailed out almost 50 cards this year!
: Joined the local Y and worked out with Carrie!
: Walked in a local parade with some dog park friends.  Bonnie and I both had a blast!
: Ran in a Christmas 8k with Regan, very hilly but also quite pretty.
: Celebrated Asher’s first birthday and Carlie’s visit with the kids.
: Hosted a gingerbread-decorating party, or just a holiday party for those who did not want to be crafty.  Lots of local friends in attendance to eat and be merry.
: Traveled out of town for the holidays.  First to see Lynne and Norma, then to stay with Carlie’s family.  The trip was filled with lots of love, good food, and a little bit of snow!
: Alice came to town for a visit!  We spent some time “downtown” and otherwise just hanging out.
: Celebrating the New Year with James at Kim’s party!  Without the dog park, I would have so many fewer meaningful relationships, and I am so grateful for those that I have found as a result.
: Total miles this month: 82.5, another record.  Total miles this year: 536.9.
: Total weight loss this year: 50 pounds!

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Here’s hoping that 2014 is as full of memorable moments!

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