Goodbye 2013, You Will Be Missed!
|Starting 2014 with a "bang" in Winter Park, Colorado!|
Obviously we're almost a month into the year 2014, so I'm late to the party on my mandatory end-of-the-year blogger recap. I promise I'm much more punctual in "real life." Normally, I would have skipped this post but 2013 was seriously one of the BEST years (if not THE BEST YEAR) of my life and because this lil blog here is somewhat of a diary, I am going to recap the heck out of it.
So, if you're interested in reading why 2013 totally knocked my socks off...keep reading. If not, skip it and I promise there will be something more running/travel related later this week.
-We spent New Year's Eve with Casey's family. It was such a blessing to see his family healthy, happy and most importantly...home.
-After 6 years, I finished paying off my student loans and therefore finished paying off ALL of my debt. I wouldn't normally post or talk about my financial life to strangers over the "interwebs," but this has been by far one of my biggest accomplishments in life and I'm proud to have pulled it off in that time frame.
-I ran my first sub-4 marathon (3:55:44) with two of my best friends (and the support of Casey)!
-We started the first four months of 2013 in sunny California (San Diego, Los Angeles and Sacramento). It also happened to be our first time in San Diego!
-I PR'd in the half marathon on my birthday (just two weeks after my first sub-4)! I was able to squeeze in a race before work and it ended up being such a wonderful experience that I'm heading back in 2014 to do it again!
-I flew my mom out to San Diego (she was my #1 supporter for my birthday half). It was her first time in America's Finest City and we had such a great time showing her around.
-Garmsy and I spent our fifth Valentine's Day together and Casey gave me the sweetest gift; he registered me for the Eugene Marathon and registered himself for the half. *tears commenced*
-Casey and I ran the Coronado Valentine's Day 10K together. We saw blogger STUFT Mama, and spent the most perfect day hanging out on Coronado Island.
-We attended a taping of the Price Is Right!
(After the Price is Right taping we were walking around The Grove and saw HGTV's "Property Brothers." We didn't plan this, but we were pretty stoked because we're total HGTV nerds).
-We went to Las Vegas and had so much fun with my best friend Amie and Savannah! A little too much fun...in fact, I was wearing wedges (bad start, since I usually only wear flats) did a little too much running, jumping, 80s dance moves (don't act like you've never busted out the sprinkler before) and woke up the next morning unable to move my knee. After returning to Los Angeles, my knee popped as I bent down to straighten a table cloth and that was the start to a long injury in 2013 (the only downside, but mistakes happen and lessons are DEFINITELY learned).
-We saw a taping of Jimmy Kimmel!
-Despite previously taking a tour, we crossed off ballpark #15--AT&T Park! It was AWESOME as the Giants faced the CARDINALS but sadly we were there to witness the presentation of the World Series rings to San Francisco...which was a little heartbreaking for this Cards fan. ;)
-We finished up work in California, flew to Chicago/St. Louis to regroup and then we were back at it traveling to Portland and Eugene, Oregon for the Eugene Marathon. I ran injured (still disappointed in myself for doing that) but Casey ran his first sub-2 half! I really think Oregon is one of the most beautiful states!
-From Portland, we flew to New York to start our next tour: Yahoo! On the Road, a highly publicized tour starting in New York, ending in San Francisco, with 28 different cities in 29 days with 9 pop-up concerts across the country--definitely an experience we will never forget.
-As part of the tour, we saw concerts featuring John Legend, Kendrick Lamar, Empire of the Sun, The Lumineers (my favorite!), Imagine Dragons, fun., Twenty One Pilots, Fall Out Boy, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and more!
-We celebrated the end of the Yahoo! On the Road Tour (#yontheroad) with our team in wine country (Napa/Sonoma). Not pictured and truly missed at this celebration: Mary Beth!
-And then we rewarded ourselves even more by staying at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.
(the view from our hotel room)
-My mom celebrated her 2-year anniversary cancer-free! This was a big moment (especially for the type of cancer my mom had) and Casey and I were lucky enough that we were able to celebrate with my mom by walking by her side, stride for stride, in her 2nd annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in St. Louis.
-One of our favorite memories/times when we started dating (when we still lived in Illinois) was going to Cubs/Cardinals games together because obviously we are on different ends of the spectrum and we have a lot of fun
-I finally got a cortisone shot for my knee and the long, lengthy, road to
-We took our first international trip to....Italy! We cashed in our hotel points and took some time off to take a 16-day excursion bouncing around this gorgeous country starting in Rome, heading south to Sorrento/Positano/Amalfi, then north to Florence/Siena/Tuscany/Pisa, Venice and then back to Roma. It was incredible and something I'm still dreaming about. It ignited a spark, and I can't wait for our next international adventure. We really do live in a "small world," and I hope anyone reading this takes the time to travel albeit domestic or international. We live in such a beautiful country and taking risks, learning new cultures, adapting to new languages, customs and people is something much more valuable than anything you'll ever read/receive from a textbook.
-We crossed off ballpark #17, Citizens Bank Park and had an incredible time with Casey's friend Nick and his lovely wife, Megan.
-We went to Boston for the first time and loved everything about it! It's quickly become one of my favorite cities (probably in the top 5). We also went to Virginia Beach (Casey had been there previously) but it was another first for me!
-We FINALLY made it o FENWAY (ballpark #18). Best part: I won a signed John Farrell ball from my first tour with Verizon Wireless (they had a team set up in the stadium). I'm all about paying it forward and gave the ball to my good friend, Pat, who is a diehard Red Sox fan...little did I know it would bring him luck and they'd beat us in the World Series. ;)
-It has been a tradition to spend Casey's birthday in a different city, so we took a little trip and went to two major cities we had not been to yet, Asheville, North Carolina (LOVED) and Charleston, South Carolina (many of these experiences still have yet to be featured on the blog).
-Between driving from Atlanta to Chicago, I was able to swoop into town, grab my mom and take her to game 5 of the NLDS! One of the most memorable/best experiences of my life! I will cherish this memory with my mom forever!
-We went back to Denver to take part in one of our favorite 5280 events, Oktoberfest! (We also enjoyed time in our most treasured place, Winter Park (and Tabernash), Colorado. Note: Thank you to our dear friend, Matt Farley, for always showing us a great time!
-I had my first DNS (Chicago Marathon) but my friend Savannah absolutely owned Chicago!
-We started off our fourth tour of the year with Emergen-C and traveled back to Atlanta (our second home), Chicago, Boston (for a second time) and New York (and Andy, Casey's brother, came to visit)!
-Casey and I celebrated FIVE years together. Holy cow, time flies when you're having fun. And, no, we are not in a hurry to get married. To us, we don't need a piece of paper to validate our love for one another
-I surprised my mom with a three-wheel bike for her birthday! ;)
-I ran my first 5K post-injury with the support of my family by my side. With both my brother and I traveling, it's difficult for us to always get together. I was so blessed to spend the second year in a row with my mom AND my brother and have their support during this race.
-Our Runner's World Holiday Running Streak Facebook group celebrated it's 1-year anniversary and we successfully motivated a group of runners through the streak for a second year. The group gained more members from across the country and truly continues to inspire me daily.
-I got Casey, Casey's mom, and his younger brother's girlfriend, Erica, to run the Rotary Santa 5K with me. Talk about a dream come true and the best Christmas gift a girl could ask for, there's nothing better than sharing something you love with people you love. *Later this evening, we celebrated 1-year of great health for Casey's father; talk about an amazing day.
-Mom and I spent Christmas in Jacksonville, Florida with my brother, my sister-in-law and her lovely family. We drove to Atlanta for a night then continued the drive to Jacksonville and Nate and Kate showed us a great time in Jax, St. Augustine, Orlando and St. Petersburg! I think this could become quite the family tradition.
-All eight of us from Casey's family (Mr. & Mrs. Garms, their three boys and us three girlfriends) went to Blackhawks vs. Blues in St. Louis! Thank you, Tom and Cari!
-My love and I closed out this wonderful year in our favorite place, Winter Park, Colorado! We felt so fortunate to end the year with both of our families in good health, with both of us in good health and we just felt at peace counting our many blessings in life.
WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS/BLESSINGS IN 2013?
In 2013, I was reminded that we are truly fortunate to lead the lives that we do. At the same time, we had the guts, the work ethic and the desire to make it happen. You are not confined to the lifestyle society has set forth for you, you can lead the life you want if you have the courage to do so.
DID 2013 PROVIDE ANY LESSONS FOR YOU?
There were many other wonderful memories I could have mentioned in 2013 (San Francisco with our best friends, Sacramento with Amy and Clint, dinner with Natalee and Jarek or Alondra in Boston, our many adventures with Mary Beth, discovering Austin, Cape Cod, etc.) please don't be offended if I forgot, we love you and appreciate you all! Because I may not be the most frequent blogger, the best way to keep tabs on us in 2014 is to follow us on Instagram.