…at thirteen of the best things that happened around here.
|Rob & Katie and the sparkler sendoff (a favorite moment from a favorite day)|
1. Katie and Rob’s wedding. The day of – May 18 – was wonderful, but the planning and preliminary parties – notably the bachelorette weekend in February where Katie and her friends shared one cottage and my friends and I shared the other (and there was snow) and a shower in April hosted by my sister and sister-in-law – and sharing the celebration with friends and family made it truly memorable. I’m so grateful, too, that we have hundreds of photos to remember it all.
|Marc & I – November 17 before a wonderful dinner in the Dominican|
2. Our 30th anniversary. and getting really comfortable with the whole empty nest thing. Marc and I celebrated with a trip to the Dominican Republic back in November. It was the first time the two of us had taken a vacation together on a plane since our honeymoon. We ate and drank and read and lounged for five whole days in the sun. We also had a Nespresso machine in our room and I lost count of how many espressos I had.
3. The half marathon. Way back in March, Katie, Rob, Sara and I ran 13.1 miles. This was my first half marathon…and likely my last. In a burst of post-event enthusiasm I signed up for two more – one on Thanksgiving morning and another next March. Our Dominican trip pretty much put me off the Thanksgiving one and I just realized today that I’ll be out of town for the one in March. Oh well. I’m glad I did it. just once.
4. The mid-distance running group at the Y. More post-event enthusiasm encouraged me to join a running group, and this part is sticking with me. I’ve made friends and like running with others now more than running solo. Quite a change in just 12 months!
5. Yoga. I resisted at first. The one class I took last year wasn’t very good and I was too into Pilates to give it a second chance. But then I took a class this spring – the teacher subbed for one of my Pilates classes, but she taught a Yoga class – and I had second thoughts. The girls at running raved about a 90 minute class on Friday mornings and I decided to give it a shot. First class…and I was hooked. My routine now includes three classes a week – two Vinyasa Flow and one Yin. Combined with a few days of running, I think I’ve found a fitness routine I can live with for a while.
6. Katie & Rob built a house (and moved in) that’s just three and a half miles from ours. I love having them close. I especially love that we see them (ok, mostly that Katie and I see each other) regularly and have fun together!
7. The prayer shawl ministry is real. The timing was right, for sure, because we had more than 20 women show up for the information session in April. Monthly meetings started in May and eight months later we have a solid core of about a dozen ladies. We’ve made several dozen shawls, lap robes and baby pieces and have expanded the ministry to include a local cancer infusion center and a single mother’s outreach program.
8. Our whole family is on Instagram. Katie and I started back in early 2011, then Sara joined, and we got Marc on board the morning after the wedding. I was enjoying looking at all the photos that the guests shared…and he wanted in. Now he regularly shares photos on his Asian adventures and it’s great to follow along. But I have to say that the photos he shares of our lives here together are my favorites. Also, #tbt.
9. Photography. I took a phone photography class in July and learned so much, especially about iPhone/iPad apps to edit photos (PicTapGo and A Beautiful Mess are my favorites). Inspiration spark! Then Katie & I both bought a 50mm 1:1.4 lens last month and whoa. I’m in love with my DSLR all over again.
|my “stats” view from Goodreads|
10. Reading books and audiobooks. I read 28 (those two unstarred books at the bottom are “not gonna finish” ones) books this year; more than any recent year by a long shot. In addition to discovering short stories, I also found a few new favorites – Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany. I started listening to bookish podcasts, too, and would highly recommend Book Riot, Books on the Nightstand, Bookrageous and (if you’re ok with R-rated language) Literary Disco.
11. Another 2-day walk. It’s a fall tradition. and now we’ve raised over $20,000!!!!
12. Teaching knitting. I started nearly four years ago (!!!?!!) and I am finally feeling like I figured it out. I have about 15 regular students who fill three classes each week. They keep me on my toes – did you ever hear the way to really learn is by doing? it’s true – and they inspire me.
13. Our new home. not just our 2nd house, and I know it helps that we sold the first a few months back. Now we’ve made new friends, figured out the traffic patterns and really settled in. We love it. and it’s home.
Thanks for reading all this. I didn’t think it would be so long, but … that’s how it goes sometimes! Reviewing the list, it strikes me that most of these things were not ones I planned a year ago. And so I’m reminded again how important it is to be flexible about my priorities and really, to simply be present in the moment with the things – and the people – that matter most.
Did you have any “aha” moments this year? Please share!