Monday, December 29, 2014

What a year it's been!

Hello everyone and Happy New Year to you all!  As 2014 comes to a close and I think back and reflect on the year, the only word that immediately comes to mind is "Wow."  This past year, 2014.  The year I turned 28 years old, has been one of the most incredible and life changing years I could have ever imagined.  I have been looking forward to writing this post for weeks now, and in fact, over dinner in early December as I started to reflect back on the past year, I was told, "Not yet!  We haven't even gotten through Christmas!"

Which was true.  Dammit.

So I held off, and am now, sitting down to reflect upon the year and already I am choked up and tears are coming to my eyes.  Okay, fine, they aren't just "coming" to my eyes, they may be streaming down my cheeks a bit.  But, that's just because they are tears of amazement, of wonder, of happiness, of pride, of just awe of what the past year brought into my life.

In 2014, I ran TWO marathons, which still blows my mind.  I had the most incredible, life-changing experience of training for and running the Paris Marathon with some incredible friends and all around women.  I then ran and trained for (mostly) on my own the Kansas City Marathon, which I experienced with incredible people at my sides and cheering for me, bringing a new friend into the running religion.

In 2014, I traveled the world.  I experienced some new places for the first time - some I never would have imagined going otherwise - Spain, Romania, Turkey, France, China (2 separate times!), Korea, Japan, and Singapore.  I also traveled within the U.S. to California (multiple times... San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tehachapi), Las Vegas, Florida, Texas, and more.  It was a whirlwind of a year and even now writing this out, I can't believe I fit all of that into just 365 days.  How is this possible???

In 2014, I celebrated the weddings of so many dear friends and family.  Being a part of E & James' wedding, and seeing my uncles wed were incredible, incredible moments I will forever be thankful to have been a part of.  I also traveled home to Rhode Island and to New Jersey for weddings of loved ones who amaze me and whose happiness shines through in everything they do.

In 2014, I moved to Atlanta!  For the first time in my life I moved somewhere a plane ride away from home.  I have spent the past 10 years in Upstate NY (4 in Syracuse and then 6 in Albany) and before that have only lived in Rhode Island, so making the permanent move to Atlanta, Georgia, was a very big deal for me.  And to be honest, I don't even think I realized how big of a deal it was until I've gotten there and started to try and settle in. It has been harder than I thought and it is still taking me time, but I'm learning to become a southerner!  I'm learning up on college football (Go Aggies) and have fallen in love with shrimp and grits.  I'm still working on sweet tea and accepting that Atlanta is apparently filled with hills, which makes even a short run a challenging one, but I'm getting there!

In 2014, I became an aunt to the most incredible little boy and girl in the world (twins!!)  I know this is brand new news to the blog, but some things I do try to keep more private in my life.  This alone could have made this year be one of the most incredible, but wow, just on top of everything else it seems unbelievable.  Back in March right before I left to spend 4 weeks in Europe, I found out that my sister was pregnant with twins.  And then when I was in China in May, I learned the sexes of the babies - and that our family would be joined in the fall by one little boy and one little girl!  We threw my sister a shower in August that was so much fun and I was so thankful to be able to do for her.  And then this fall was on the edge of my seat quite a bit waiting for news but on October 15th my sister gave birth to the two most precious little things in the world, Bridget Carolyn and Jack Richard.  My whole family could not be more in love and the amount of joy and happiness they've brought into all of lives so far has been overwhelming to say the least.  I love these two peanuts more than they'll ever know! (Sorry for the picture spam!)

And finally, although lowest on the importance scale here, but because this is a food and fitness blog... in 2014 I did not weigh myself once!  I vowed to take a break from the scale, and try to use other methods to keep myself on track. which I did, although I am not sure to what success as I definitely ending the year above where I was last year at this point in time.  Getting back on track and likely, weighing myself, is on my list of things to do in 2015.

And then, in 2014 I ran more than 1,100 miles!  I set a goal at the beginning of the year to run 1000 miles in 2014 which was really just a silly "something to reach for" thing that I had no idea if it was realistic or not.  I ended up smashing it and had I maintained my running after the second marathon, probably could have smashed even further.  I ran a personal best 5K this past summer as well as a personal best 10K.  I tried new races such as a Tough Mudder and a Ragnar Relay, and I ran in new places around the world.  Thinking back on it all, AMAZES me.  2014 compared to 2013 is such a huge improvement.  2014 compared to 2012 is like I am two different people.

What a year it has been 2014.  You have challenged and excited me and brought incredible new adventures - and people - into my life.  I am up to the challenge for 2015, so let's bring it on.