A Look Back At 2011

It’s hard to believe that 2011 will be over in a few short hours.  It sure has been an interesting year, filled with lots of ups and downs.  Here is a look back.

January
We kicked off the new year at Nick’s best friend’s house.  I stayed completely sober the entire night and enjoyed waking up on January 1st feeling great, unlike years past.
February
It snowed in Dallas!  I can handle driving in the snow, but I’m scared of other Dallas drivers trying to drive in the snow so I worked from home for three days straight.  It was nice!  As quickly as the snow and ice came, it was gone.

 March
We headed to Oregon to visit my mom.  She lives really close to the Oregon Vortex, but it’s always been closed during the winter, which is when I usually get a chance to visit her.  But I finally made it to Oregon when the Vortex was open!  Nick was underwhelmed to say the least, but we still had fun!
We got to explore some of the towns in southern Oregon and got to eat some fresh seafood.
While we were there, we took a drive out to Crescent City, CA to check out the tsunami damage.  This also marked our first “trip” to California in 2011.
April
The month started off rough with Nick’s dad passing away.  We took off for the San Francisco bay area as soon as we found out.  It was a quick trip but physically and emotionally exhausting trip, cleaning out his dad’s apartment, closing accounts, and making arrangements.  Nick’s mom and step-dad came out once we were back from California (trip number one to the bay area and trip number two to California) to have some good quality family time.  It was perfect timing to spend a day checking out the Texas wild flowers, the Bluebonnets in particular.
May
May was a bit of a blur.  Nick was busy trying to take care of his father’s assets and my attitude towards my Mary Kay business was starting to shift.

June
We headed back to the bay area (trip number two to the bay area and three to California) for Nick’s dad’s memorial service.  His dad always voiced that he wanted to be cremated and have his ashes scattered at sea while during a fishing trip that his friends and family got together for.  And that’s exactly what we did.  The ocean was very choppy that day, so we stayed in the bay and scattered the ashes next to Angel Island.  It was very bitter-sweet.

While we were there, we met up with Nick’s good friend when he was a kid, Dave.  Dave was getting married in the fall and had asked Nick to be in the wedding.  So while they were together, we made a trip into San Francisco and all the guys were fitted for their tuxedos.  We almost missed the bus and had to run about a quarter of a mile to get there in time.  I was totally out of breath after this short jog.  It was a wake-up call that I was totally out of shape!

July
The 60+ days of over 100 degree temperatures began, so we didn’t spend a whole lot of time outside unfortunately.  We did, however, venture out to Canton to the Trade Days, which is one gigantic flea market.  It was on my list of things I need to experience in the DFW area and now it’s crossed off.  There isn’t much more to report on it than that.
 The following monday after our adventure in Canton, TX I sucked it up and joined the gym.  I signed up for four sessions with a personal trainer to get me on track.  Those four sessions grew into a total of 15 and I was building strength and endurance.  Shortly after joining the gym, I boxed up all of my Mary Kay products and returned them for my 90% buy-back.

August
I continued to go to the gym five to six times a week.  Twice a week I had my strength training sessions with my personal trainer and the other three to four days I was on the treadmill, alternating between running and walking for three miles.  Slowly, the amount I walked decreased while the amount I ran increased.

September
September was a busy month.  To kick the month off, this blog was born!  The next day Nick and I took off for Tulum, Mexico (trip number one to the Cancun, Mexico area for 2011).  It was a long day of work and travel and we crashed as soon as we got to our guesthouse, but Nick was up before the sun rose and yanked my out of bed for a walk on the beach to watch the sun rise.  A special treat was in store on our sunrise walk.
He proposed!  And I said yes!

Once we were back from Mexico, it was a short work week and then we took off for California one last time (trip number three to the bay area and trip number 4 to California).  Nick’s friend, Dave, was getting married and we made a vacation out of it.  First stop was to visit with my good friend, Megan, and her fiance, Mark.
The four of us headed to Sonoma for wine tasting for a day.  Then Nick and I took off to go to Tahoe for a few days and week one of half-marathon training commenced. (I didn’t stick to the schedule very well that first week.)
After a few days in Tahoe and Nick torturing my at the casinos, we headed back down to the bay area, meeting up with some of my friends from grad school in the city and doing a little site seeing.  Then it was time for the Dave and Ali’s wedding in the Oakland Hills.  Nick made a handsome groomsman.

October
Shortly after we returned from California, I took off for New England to celebrate with my best friend from growing up, Caitlin, at her bridal shower and bachelorette party.  It was a very quick trip, cover three states in three days- NH, MA, and CT.  Although I was eager to get home to see Nick, I gave up my seat on the return flight for a $500 voucher.  That will definitely come in handy with our travels in 2012!

Once I got back to Texas, it was off to our first race!  The Valley Ranch Pumpkin Dash 5K.
A few days after the Pumpkin Dash, I did the Santa Fe 5K, being my Pumpkin Dash time.
Nick headed to Colorado for a weekend and I continued to train for the half marathon on my own.  October brought a lot of struggles and doubt for me as I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to achieve my goal of crossing the finish line at the half marathon in December.  We wrapped up the month of October with the Four Seasons Cool October 10K.  This by far was the race I was most nervous for.  I don’t know why, but I totally psyched myself out about it for days prior.  But in the end, I did just fine.
November
We kicked off November by returning to Mexico for Caitlin and Peter’s wedding.  This time we were in Riviera Maya.  I still haven’t developed that disposable camera, though.
A day or two after we got back from Mexico, I quietly celebrated my 30th birthday.  A week later, it was time for the 8-Mile YMCA Turkey Trot.
The race was beyond packed and most of those who were running the 5K portion were doing it as a fun-run.  I on the other hand was taking my 8-Mile race very seriously.  When Nick and I finished, we were walking to the car and I was telling him how frustrated I was during the first two and a half miles.  I blurted out, “I’m not here for fun people!” and I have yet to live that down.

We followed up our 8-Mile run with a Thanksgiving feast for two.

December
I kicked off the month of December with not one, but two job interviews!  I’m still waiting to hear back, but hopefully I’ll have some news on that end for you all pretty soon!  December was filled with lots of holiday cheer and one last trip for 2011 to North Carolina.  But the most rewarding moment of December arrived fairly early in the month.  The day I’d been spending 12 weeks training for finally arrived: The White Rock Lake (Half) Marathon!  To my surprise, I never once felt nervous in the days, hours, and minutes leading up to it.  The miles passed by and I felt excited to be a part of this race, despite the pouring rain and 30 degree temperature.  Two hours nine minutes and 42 seconds later, I crossed the finish line, fighting back the tears of joy, relief, and excitement.
What a gratifying moment!  I achieved something that seemed so intangible six months earlier.  I went from being winded and out of breath after a quarter-mile jog in June to running 13.1 miles in December.  My body has changed.  I am stronger now than I ever have been before and I plan to keep getting stronger in 2012!

Happy new year everybody!  Be safe and have fun.  I’ll see you in 2012 with more excitement and adventures to come!

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