Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013, a year in review

2013 was a wonderful year.  In early 2013, I decided that my word for 2013 was going to be "change".  I was in a rut - with my blog, with my routine, with my life.  And change there was, in ways both large and small.  

In an effort to sum-up the year, I decided to use some wrap-up prompts that I've borrowed from other blogs, mostly because I enjoyed reading them (and thought it might be fun to do... I was right, I loved it). 

Favorite trip? I love to travel, and while 2013 didn't bring any trips outside of the US, it did bring several smaller ones.  The year started with a January trip to LA (I got to see Christine!).  I also went to New York twice.  To Iowa at least 7 times (although possibly more) including one to watch my brother get married.  Scott and I took a roadtrip through Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota (and then back to Iowa and Illinois) over our Christmas "break".  Several trips to Wisconsin (one to visit my brother Joe before he moved to the east coast, and one to participate in a mud-run/country concert).   I'm hoping 2014 brings even more travel, especially if it means visiting loved ones.

Favorite book? Wild, by Cheryl Strayed.  I loved it.

Favorite movie? Maybe Argo, which I saw belatedly in February.  I'd also say maybe "This is 40" which is a strange choice, both because it wasn't that good (sorry) but because I also kind of hated it.  But it really prompted some self-reflection, and helped inspire the "change" that I had been craving.  So, tie.

Favorite TV show? House of Cards, Scandal, Homeland.  In that order.  (Homeland S3 wasn't all I had hoped for, unfortunately). 

Favorite song? Album?  This is hard to answer, because I have such emotional ties to songs.  Also, I'm terrible about staying on top of current music - so none of these are current to 2013 necessarily.   The song "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line got heavy rotation, thanks in no small part to the fun we had dancing to that on Matt and Kelly's wedding trolley.  The old Eminem song "Lose Yourself" helped me more than I care to admit in the early miles of the half marathon.  Seeing Randy Houser perform his (at the time) #1 Hit "Running out of Moonlight" at an outdoor stage in Wisconsin.  

Favorite purchase? I bought a new curling wand (not iron) in 2013, and it's changed the way I do my hair pretty drastically.  I go curls about 50% of the time now.  This is a total fluff answer, but... whatever.

Favorite meal out?  Scott and I met Matt and Kelly for sushi at this cool new (at the time) Sushi spot called "Seadog".  (Terrible name, excellent sushi).  It's BYOB sushi - my favorite kind - and we had an awesome meal, great wine and even Saki... bet you can guess who brought that?  (Hint: my husband).  Anyway, part way through the meal, Matt asked Scott to be a groomsman in his wedding.  It was so special, and I loved being there to witness it. 

Favorite new recipe? I hope you're kidding.  I literally can't answer this.  ETA: just saw in my archives that I did several recipe tutorials this year!  (I'm as surprised as you).  I'd have to say the champagne infused cupcakes, that I made twice this year (both for bachelorette parties)! 

Favorite day? October 11, 2013.  It was a Friday, the day before my brother's wedding, and the day that REALLY kicked off the festivities.  I woke up in my parents house (in my childhood bedroom!) and spent almost the entire day with my mom.  We went to the spa for some last minute primping, hung out with the bride and her family/friends, attended Kelly's bridal luncheon with my grandmother, and then attended my brother's rehearsal dinner (which my parents were hosting).  I got to see so many of my favorite people, have delicious food (cobb salad for lunch, salmon and an incredible cupcake for dinner) and drink (champagne & wine!), and my brother said incredibly kind words about me in his rehearsal dinner toast.  Their wedding day the next day was wonderful, too, but the added anticipation on Friday tips the scales for me.

Favorite development? There's a few.  I bought KateSpecial.com in late March, something I'd long-wanted to do, but never had.  I got a FitBit in October, and I'm completely obsessed.  Scott and I have started looking at real estate and are plotting selling our place for something bigger.  

Favorite outfit? Sappy answer, but the bridesmaids dress I wore as one of Kelly's bridesmaids.  Also, all spring/summer/fall I lived in a variation of white jeans, a grey top, and nude shoes.  With blue nails, obviously.

Favorite holiday? Easy, Thanksgiving.  My mom hosts every year, and it's typically my parents and brothers, my grandparents, and an aunt and uncle, and some cousins.  In the past few years, we've kicked off the celebration with one-too-many (or four-too-many, as was the case for me this year) Bud Lights in my uncle/aunts basement.  This year was extra fun - as two of my cousins welcomed babies in October, so on Thanksgiving Wednesday I got to meet weeks-old babies, Charlie & Eloise.  On Thanksgiving morning, I woke up in my parents house, with each of my brothers under one roof.  My grandparents drove in for the day, and my aunt/uncle and cousin Megan (with her husband and two children) joined us too.  Great food and even better company.  Football on TV.  We ended the day with a hilarious round of Catch Phrase.  It was just a really great day, full of people that I love and don't get to see nearly enough. 

Favorite accomplishment? The half-marathon, no question.  There were moments in the race where 13.1 miles seemed impossibly long, but the sense of accomplishment that I felt afterwards?  Well - I'm registered to run again in 2014, so that should say something!

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