Dec 312012
 

I kind of knew 2012 would be a challenge. Michael had gotten word from his boss in December of 2011 that he may be losing his job and sure enough, restructuring happened and he lost his job at the end of January. Because of that, it’s been a year of ups and downs. Going down to one income was difficult, especially since my paltry income in no way could cover the mortgage. Luckily, we scraped by on my salary and his unemployment without going into any debt or suffering too much.

Stress levels were definitely high this year but I tried to focus on my personal growth and used fitness as my stress-reliever. I increased my cycling this summer more than I ever did last year. I was able to somewhat successfully commute to work by bike 3 times a week (with some bumps in the road because of lots of flat tires).

The cycling training I did didn’t prepare me for that full Century I wanted to do. Instead, Michael and I biked the Salem Metric Century (64 miles). It was a great ride and I felt strong and happy at the end.

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My knees, however, ended up being a literal pain the remainder of 2012. I was diagnosed with the dreaded runner’s knee but immediately started physical therapy, altered my workouts, and was able to rehab my knees enough to try running again. I’m still not 100% but I’m glad I can do something!

The Highlights

The biggest highlight of 2012 was Michael landing the perfect job. I really do think things happen for a reason and the reason for our struggles this year was for Michael to find an even better job than his last one with better people, benefits and pay.

I had my 15 minutes of fame when I was on the local news about my weight loss. And I found an agent for my book!

Traveling

It’s funny how the year that Michael loses his job ends up being the year we do the most traveling. I don’t know how, it just ended up that way. We were really, really lucky this year with our vacations.

The first one was to Vegas. We cashed in all our airline miles to make the trip doable. We stayed at the Monte Carlo and had a wonderful time (but I never have a bad time in Vegas). I won on roulette the entire trip, we saw a Cirque show and ate some amazing food.

vegas

The second trip was to Texas for his sister’s wedding. Since it was a family event we didn’t have to pay for airfare or a place to stay for the wedding. It was nice seeing his family and the wedding was beautiful. We ended up going to Austin for a few days to celebrate our 4th anniversary before heading back home.

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I surprised Michael for his birthday and whisked him away to the beach. We walked in the sand, saw sea otters, ate some good food and drank beer at Rogue.

rogue

Lastly, the trip to Hawaii. Man, that was a surprise! Another gift from the universe. Our friends invited us to stay with them at their condo and all we had to foot was airfare. I have to say that the best parts of Hawaii were running and swimming in the ocean.

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Also, the flowers.  :)

Moving Forward

What does 2013 have in store for me? Only time will tell. I have a lot of goals I want to achieve in the new year and I’m going to be focused and determined to achieve them. A lot of my goals revolve around cycling, my book, and hopefully some personal enrichment. I’m forming a book club, I applied to volunteer at the cat shelter I used to volunteer at, and I’m planning some fun trips (of course one will most likely be Vegas!).

Cheers!

QUESTION: How was 2012 for you? What were the highlights?

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Dec 282012
 

32things

It’s been awhile since I did an update on my goals for this year. (Here is the first update where I knocked a bunch of things off my list.) Back in January, I decided to do a list of 32 things I wanted to accomplish this year for my 32nd birthday. I’m now thinking that I should have done this 10 years ago so my list would be shorter. :)

7. Run another 5k and beat my old time. & 10. Bike the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Yeah….that damn runner’s knee squashed that goal for 2012. Maybe 2013.

6. Smile more.

I think it’s a good goal to have. I’ve been consciously trying to make myself focus on the positives and try and “Fake it til I make it” with the happy thoughts. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I think it will be something I have to work on for awhile.

12. Learn how to can food.

This was my goal for the end of summer. I wanted to can as much of the things I grew in my garden as I could and I just never had the time to do it.

14. Eat at Beast.

Beast is a very nice, very expensive restaurant here in Portland. The chef was on Top Chef Masters last season and Michael and I have wanted to go since we saw that show. Unfortunately, he was unemployed for the bulk of 2012 so that went on the back burner. I’m sure we’ll get there in 2013.

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21. Do the Corn Maize in October.

Michael and I did this in October. We went to the pumpkin patch on Sauvie’s Island and it was a really fun day. I’m glad we made it this year, and I had a Groupon for it!

22. Do the Roy Webster Columbia River Cross Channel Swim in September.

Sadly, I did not do this. I psyched myself out, honestly, about the open water swimming thing. But I also had a good excuse–I was in Hawaii!

23. Bike a full Century.

I ended up doing a Metric Century because my training didn’t go quite as planned this year. I don’t feel like it’s a failure that I didn’t do 100 miles. I am proud of my performance completing 64 miles.

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24. Wear my bikini–in public!

YES! I wore it in Hawaii! I told myself to get over my self-conscious, negative voice in my head telling me that my body wasn’t perfect and JUST DO IT. It was very liberating! I mean, I’m never going to see these strangers on the beach ever again, so why not wear it?

26. Organize a book club.

I’m working on it! Finally! I have a small group of friends who are interested and I think we’re going to meet in February to discuss the first book (to be decided still).

28. Perfect my book proposal.

Did it. And got an agent. Stay tuned. :)

3. Read 32 books in 2012.

Why yes I did, and many more than that. In fact, you can read the post here where I described the books I read, and you can also follow me on Goodreads. I read several books a week.

31. Go camping more.

I went camping a few times this summer but not as much as I would have liked to.

32. Have another flourishing vegetable garden this summer.

Our garden was awesome this summer! The jalapenos were amazing and super spicy. Michael pickled a bunch of them and we also enjoyed some homemade jalapeno poppers, too. The tomatoes were beautiful and delicious clear through til Fall. The real hit of the summer garden was the kale. It was fabulous and the kale chips were my favorite thing I discovered this year!

5. See 32 movies I’ve never seen before.

Seeing 32 movies seems like an easy task, but it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I have Netflix but I usually watch TV shows on it, not movies. So these are the movies I saw this year and I enjoyed quite a few of them!

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows Part 2 The Dilemma
The Hunger Games: LOVED it! Dark Shadows: fun!
The Five Year Engagement: dark, depressing Drive
Alien movies – 1, 2, 3 Event Horizon
The Avengers: Awesome! 3-D was even better! Crazy Stupid Love
Prometheus: Fell short. The first half was good, the second half was awful. Cabin in the Woods
Magic Mike: Go for the fun of it, not expecting something quality. :) Contagion
The Dark Knight Rises: I liked most of the movie. Bane was a cool nemesis. The Grey: Scary as hell!
The Descendants: Dark but funny at times. The Change Up: Smart writing, good dialogue.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy He’s Just Not Into You
Water for Elephants: I wanted to like it. Reese and the Twilight guy had zero chemistry. Shame
Skyfall: one of the best movies of the year. 50/50
What’s Your Number?: It was a cute chick flick. Casino Royale
Lincoln: Amazing! Should win many Oscars! The Road
Safe House The Iron Lady

(I just have to say that I am super proud of myself for figuring out how to do an html chart in wordpress!)

The incomplete goals are: try pilates, go on 12 hikes (again with the runner’s knee!), perfect a signature dish (still trying to find it) and go snowshoeing with new friends (hopefully next month).

So those are my goals. Completed. For the most part, anyway, but I am satisfied with how I did this year.

QUESTION: Name the best movie of 2012!

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