Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Farewell 2013

The year kicked off with what may have been the best New Year's Eve I've ever had.  The first day of January definitely set a high precedent for the rest of the year as well.  Like the rest of non-SEC fans, I was disappointed in the much anticipated National Championship a week into the new year.  I started a new book with intentions to finish it for the first time in a few months, but sadly, I didn't finish before the month was up.  My older brother came to visit for a while, which extended our Christmas into mid-January.  And I also went shooting for the first time in my life!  I also went back to school in January, taking just one class for the spring semester.  Having just four classes the entire month, I'd say it got off to a great start.  I celebrated the last day of the month by saying goodbye to one of my all-time favorite shows, 30 Rock.  My friend Krista came over a 30 Rock themed dinner and the last hour of 30 Rock we'd ever see new.

Favorite post of the month: Nordic

February!  The shortest month of the year!  My obsession with Qwirkle and frozen yogurt continued it grow.  At the end of January and the beginning of February, I was across town at the frozen yogurt place at least once a week.  I watched the Grammys for the first time in my entire life...or at least in its entirety.  I had no idea that it was just a big concert and they barely showed any awards!  That was definitely confusing.  Valentine's Day was nothing special.  Every year my dad gets a rose for his wife and three daughters and chocolate covered cherries for my brother along with a "Roses are red..." poem.  It's my favorite thing about Valentine's Day.  But I went to one of my sister's basketball games at the high school that night and then took her and her best friend to see Safe Haven.  I went to two CU basketball games in February, one was extremely exciting, the other was a landslide win.  We had some exceptionally great weather in February, but we also had a couple snowstorms.  At the end of the month, we celebrated the biggest night in Hollywood with our First Annual Oscar Party.  It was such a blast.  We created a spread inspired by the nine Best Picture nominees.

Favorite post of the month: First Annual Oscars Party

Rachel, Travis, and I volunteered at Shine at our church for the second time.  We were all escorts, and I had a blast escorting my old friend from high school.  It was certainly a night I'll never forget.  I celebrated 3 years of my blog, and later saw some major changes on my blog.  I also had my favorite Ten on Ten to date.  I went to see Anberlin with Rachel and Travis, seeing them for the third time.  It was a great show and it was the closest we've ever been to the stage.  I had a pretty low key St. Patrick's Day, but fun nonetheless.  Right when spring began, the weather in Colorado turned pretty crummy and we got a couple of major snowfalls.  Of course March Madness began toward the end of the month.  It's one of my favorite times of year, but the one bracket I cared about winning, I didn't do very well in.  I guess that's why they call it madness!  I got to have a free tasting lunch at Noodles with my sister, brother-in-law, and good friend Krista, then I went to a going away party of some friends at a local brewery.  (Did you know Colorado has more microbreweries than any other state?)  The last weekend in March, I went to the batting cages for the first time in my life, I threw a surprise birthday party for my mom with my sisters, and I celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus.

Favorite post of the month: Shine 2013

Only three days in to April, I picked up my first litter of foster kittens since July 2012.  I brought home Onyx, Ruby, and Pearl for what I was told would be a quick foster.  It took them a while to get used to me and their new home, but it was nice having cute, adorable kittens around again.  Both Onyx and Pearl had hernias that needed quick medical attention, so they were back in for surgery within a week of being home with me.  The first Saturday of the month was part of Opening Weekend for the Rockies, so Christian and I went down to Denver for the afternoon for the game.  He's a Padres fan since he's from San Diego, but fortunately, the Rockies swept them!  It was a blast, though.  Much to everyone's dismay, the middle of April brought A LOT of snow.  A LOT!  We celebrated my brother Scott's 18th birthday at a new Mexican place in town and I made a camo cake for dessert.  I took my kittens back to the humane society two and a half weeks after I brought them home so they could go find their forever homes.  I went to Red Rocks for the second time in my life when Christian invited me to a Slightly Stoopid concert.  It was such a cool experience because I got to go back stage since he knows the founding members of the band!  Almost exactly a month before the race, I signed up to participate in the Bolder Boulder for what might be the second time in my life--the first time in ten years.

Favorite post of the month: Clean Eating

Even though May started off with a blizzard, it finally felt like summer, especially when I finished my first semester back (and got an A in my class).  I started my third 30 for 30 challenge with 29 new items, but I slowed down in the middle of the month and only got 15 outfits completed by the 31st.  May was certainly a month of walking.  I started using Nike + Running and tracking my walks (and occasional jogs) and went over 30 miles around town.  I also got new shoes, which my feet were very greatful for (as my old ones were over a year and a half old).  Christian and I had a fun sushi + mini golf + champagne date night to mark the end of his first year of law school.  My family celebrated my newphew's sweet sixteen, Mother's Day (with afternoon tea), my oldest sister's birthday, and Scott's high school graduation.  I spent many warm afternoons lying in a hammock and reading the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series and eating Outshine popsicles like it's my job.  Christian and I went camping one weekend and I actually enjoyed spending time in the great outdoors, but Colorado is pretty wonderful.  I celebrated Memorial Day by running in my first Bolder Boulder since 2000 (but getting my worst time yet).  I also gave up dairy for the last week of the month in a quest to eat better and get healthier!

Favorite post of the month: Colorado Camping

I continued walking in June and quickly got halfway to my goal of 100 miles for the summer, bumping it up to 200 miles before September 1st.  I got into the swing of things with school, having started the quest for a Paralegal Degree the last week in May.  Summer was in full swing with warm weather, blooming flowers, traditions like Monday night food trucks, and random outings for patio margaritas.  Christian and I went to another Rockies-Padres game with his friend Denver, this time with the Padres winning.  The next day, Christian and I threw a Game of Thrones finale party for our nearby friends who are fans.  The next weekend, Christian and I went to Denver to see Fitz and the Tantrums at the Gothic Theater.  It was so much fun and one of the best concerts I've ever been to, hands down!  My family decided to go for a hike in Boulder for Father's Day, which turned into quite a climb, but still an enjoyable day.  Not even a week later, Christian and I went for a 13 mile hike in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, which wasn't planned, but ended up being so much fun and so worth it!  I ended the month with three nights in a row of babysitting on top of housesitting for Christian.  Mostly, I was just longing for July!

Favorite post of the month: Red Deer Lake Hike

The first week in July was one outdoor adventure after another, thanks to the relatively cool weather.  Most of the Coloradans in my family headed down south to Westcliffe, Colorado for a mini family reunion with my family from Louisiana and to celebrate the Fourth of July at my grandparents' "summer house".  It was great to see my aunt, uncle, and cousins since we only get to see them about once a year.  And it's always nice to get out of town and enjoy fresh mountain air.  I finally successfully made an American flag cake to celebrate our country's independence!  I started working longer hours at my job the week after my vacation.  (As if returning to work after 5 days off isn't hard enough!)  I signed up for 2 weeks of unlimited classes at Pure Barre Boulder and took my first class on the 14th.  We celebrated Rachel's 26th birthday with two rounds of food trucks.  I went to the Renaissance Festival with some family members for a trip back in time and one awesome day.  Most of my exercise focus for the month was my #50MilesInJuly challenge, which I completed on July 24th.  The rest of the month was spent reading, working, schooling, and enjoying summer.

Favorite post of the month: Pure Barre, 5 Classes In

August is one of my favorite months because it's my birthday month!  My walking goal for the month was 55 miles, so I got started with that right out of the gate.  On the second, Christian made me dinner for my birthday, complete with champagne, surf and turf, and delicious fudge brownies.  The next day, we drove up to Grand Lake with his dogs for a relaxing weekend at his neighbor's cabin.  It was heaven!  It was great having a long weekend and I got to take my birthday off, to make it a four-day weekend.  I walked, did Pure Barre, had a great lunch with Rachel and Christian, and then had a birthday dinner with Cady, Tristan, Rachel, Travis, and Christian (more steak!).  It was a great 23rd birthday!  Rachel's friends threw their annual Salsa Party in August, where I submitted a batch of guacamole and won!  I had my last birthday celebration the next day at Snooze, my all-time favorite brunch place.  (If you're ever in Colorado or San Diego...GO!)  I was able to finish the fifth book in the series Game of Thrones is based on and I loved them all!  I needed a good series to kick-start my reading again!  Christian and I went to San Diego for a few days and it was a great time.  We went to the the beach, went  to the zoo, went to a Padres game, and ate a lot of good food!  I can't wait to go to California again!  Christian threw an end-of-summer barbecue and had my dad's side of the family over for the first time.

Favorite post of the month: A Weekend at Grand Lake

September meant the return of college football.  CU played their first game against CSU on the first day of the month and thankfully won!  For Labor Day, Christian and I went over to my dad's house for a low-key family barbecue.  I finally went to the doctor for my knee and got doctor's orders to take it easy for a while--that was tough.  CU won their second game and started the season 2-0 for the first time since 2008.  (YAY!)  We celebrated Christian's birthday with biking brewery tour: we road our bikes to different breweries around town.  On his actual birthday, I took him to sushi (our fave) and we watched the Chargers in Monday Night Football.  I got three foster kittens from the humane society who I renamed Nymeria, Lady, and Summer, after three of the direwolfs in Game of Thrones.  They were just four weeks old when I took them home, the youngest we've ever had.  On the 9th, it started pouring and by the 12th, huge parts of Colorado had begun to flood, including my town.  I wasn't able to go home for two days due to flooding of the river, but luckily I stayed at Christian's.  Of course everyone went nuts for the Phillip Lim for Target release, at least in the blogging/fashion world.  I went to the Pepsi Center with my aunt and stepmom to see Muse, the biggest concert I've been to.  They were awesome!  My knee finally started to heal and I got back to my workout routine.  I went to Utah to visit my friend Julie toward the end of the month.  We hung out a lot in Salt Lake City, but also went to Park City, which I absolutely loved.  I had my first-ever blogger meet up at the airport when I got back to Colorado.  I ended the month by taking Christian to Pure Barre with me, throwing a Breaking Bad finale party, and completing my goal of 60 miles for the month.

Favorite post of the month: Happy Birthday, Christian!

We all know October is synonymous with pumpkins and with the cooler temperatures, it finally feels like fall.  At the beginning of October, my little sister turned 16 and I made chocolate peanut butter cup cupcakes for her family birthday celebration.  #2 Oregon came to visit Boulder and for the third time in as many years, I went to a Colorado-Oregon game...and watched my Buffs lose, badly.  In October I decided to start a new monthly tradition with Christian and plan a special date for us each month and deliver a date card to him for each date.  For our first date, we went to the pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin each, went through the corn maze (in record time), and then headed back to his house for homemade chili and cornbread.  I interviewed with the Sundance Film Festival volunteer program and have never done so well in an interview before.  In the middle of October I started a challenge at Pure Barre Boulder to do 40 classes in 60 days.  Christian and I booked a trip to go to Cabo in January, which was very exciting.  I completed my 50 miles in October challenge early in the month.  I went to CU's 99th Homecoming game, where they lost to Arizona.  Halloween festivities this year were pretty low key.  I made sugar cookies with my sisters and carved pumpkins, but I spent most of the 31st sleeping since I had a horrible night's sleep the night before.  I was in bed by 8:30 on Halloween; I'm lame.

Favorite post of the month: October Date Night

At the beginning of November, I met up with some local (Denver) bloggers at Snooze for brunch.  It was a lot of fun meeting bloggers, as it always is.  I had to take my foster kittens back to the humane society, but they were able to find forever homes right away!  I did my first race of the month, the local Turkey Trot and PR'ed--and so did Rachel!  Krista and I visited the apple orchard again this year and I reached 50 classes at Pure Barre.  I attended a fundraiser for Denver Rescue Mission with some bloggers I already knew and some bloggers I was just meeting.  Later that week, I met an out-of-town blogger who was in town and then my mom and I attended a movie at the Denver Film Festival.  We were finally able to celebrate Sam's 16th birthday with brunch at Snooze (where else?).  I took over The Blog Baton one day. For November's date night, Christian and I went to a local Mexican place and then painted some mugs down the street.  I picked up a new litter of kittens: Sherlock, Holmes, Watson, and Moriarty.  On Thanksgiving, Christian and I walked (very slowly) a 5K with Stephy and her family.  I made my very first pecan pie, as well as a pumpkin pie and the best rolls ever.  Thanksgiving was a success.  I completed my 40 miles for the month without a second to spare.  The most important thing that happened during December is I found out I got was accepted to volunteer at the Sundance Film Festival in January!

Favorite post of the month: Comparisons

Maybe it was because Thanksgiving was so late this year, but as soon as December hit, I had Christmas fever.  I kicked off the month with a fresh batch of gingerbread to deliver Christian's December date card.  We also picked out his Christmas tree later that evening.  The next day, Scott, Sam, Christian, and I ventured down to the Pepsi Center to see Jay-Z live.  It was awesome.  I was also feeling very pinterest-y and with a winter storm brewing, I decided to set up a hot chocolate bar for the house.  I went back to the paint-you-own-pottery studio for the annual craft night with some ladies, so Crackpots might turn into a monthly occurrence!  We also finally got around to decorating our own house on the 8th after picking out a totally frozen tree on the 7th and waiting for it to defrost in the living room. Once the halls were decked with boughs of holly (or something like that), I really got into the Christmas spirit. I mean, more so than ever before. I was all about Christmas crafts and cuddling with my kittens by the fireplace and admiring the twinkling lights of the tree! Halfway through the month, I completed my Pure Barre challenge of attending 40 classes in 60 days! My friend Stephy and I had a Christmas craft night, my first time crafting pretty much ever! For December date night, Christian and I went ice skating and made a gingerbread house. It was the perfect Christmas date! My family and I went down to Denver for an amazing FACE concert and dinner at Larimer Square. Christian and I spent our first Christmas together since he was in California last year. It was so great to have him at my traditional family gatherings. And Christmas was wonderful! Two days later, my family went cross country skiing at Devil's Thumb Ranch and it was an absolute blast. However, I was pretty sore the next few days, due to a fall...or two.

Favorite post of the month: Christmas via Instagram

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