This year was truly amazing. Every year gets better and better. I figure out how to manage my hair, how much sleep I can really thrive on, new hygienic products that I’m convinced change everything and I just know myself better. This year I experienced some extreme highs and major heartbreaks. I took chances and followed my gut. I busted my ass and then spent tons of time watching shows and consuming large amounts of ice cream. And I loved most of 2013. Here are some highlights.
First and most importantly, I was offered my first full-time job as a Neighborhood Engagement Coordinator. And I love it!
I planned and executed a few major events:
- National Rebuild Day on May 4 in Des Moines through my AmeriCorps position at Rebuilding Together. We repaired around 30 homes throughout the metro and used hundreds of volunteers to make it happen.
- The Water Ride on May 11 in Des Moines. With the help of The Move Project, a local nonprofit, and a dedicated committee, we saw just around 60 cyclists come together and ride so people in Africa could receive clean water. And they did! We were able to use the funds to install a well in Ghana. Unbelievable.
- A neighborhood Holiday Party on December 19. We prepped enough food, crafts, donations and so forth for 1,000 individuals. While only 350 showed up, it was a major success in so many ways I never even thought of.
- MacBook Pro (on Craigslist!)
- Mazda CX-5
Random events I went to:
Greek Food Festival, 80-35 Music Festival, Glow Run, Tacopocolypse, Zoo Brew, Iowa State Fair, World Food Festival, Ben Rector concert, Aaron Carter concert (don’t judge), Wicked, Ugly Sweater Run (which we didn’t run, but still got decked out for).
Other random fun facts:
- I learned how to line dance.
- I seriously considered moving to Denver, but decided to stay and here’s why.
- I mastered a smoothie that everyone should try.
- My children both turned one. And I forgot both of their birthdays. Jeez.
- I joined a mentoring program with several C-level leaders in our community and learned a ton.
- I apparently ran six miles, which is the most I’ve ever run.
- I purchased my first polka dot button up and my first velvet dress.
- My old boss and I started scheduling same-day hair appointments and bringing sangria.
- The first tutu I’ve ever made was a) never worn and b) destroyed by my kitties.
- I almost started a business selling these amazing breakfast cookies that are literally the most delicious consumables ever. I even bought a book, The $100 Startup and made a website. It never came to fruition. Or… hasn’t come to fruition, yet.
- 2013 was the first year I missed Tulip Time in 23 years.
- I got my nose pierced!
- I was well-informed and continue to learn about women in leadership, or rather lack of women in leadership and how we need to lean in.
- YNPN started and I joined the social committee, except I suck at going to meetings.
- My parents moved to a new house on a golf course. They love it.
- Taylor Swift came to town and I got to see her with my best friend!
- Created this blog.
- I started CrossFit 8035 and Power Life Yoga this fall.
- I drove a 1993 Ford Ranger for a couple months and it was awful.
- In September I helped put on a duathlon in Bloomington, MN for IronGirl.
- Juicing became a big part of my daily life.
- Ben Rector sat across from me in the East Village and I said hi and got a picture. It was magical.
- I was introduced to essential oils.
Some memorable (big trips):
- Oklahoma City for MLK day…er week. We repaired homes and I learned how to operate a drill. Then, continued to use that drill by demolishing and building a new deck.
- Durham in March for Safe and Healthy Homes training. And yes, I came away with some awesome tips for taking care of homes. Like making sure your vent works in your bathroom. And if you don’t have one, it’s very necessary that you get one.
- San Francisco to visit a pal, Jon. We walked almost a full marathon. I think it’s one of my favorite cities in the U S of A. And. Best sushi ever.
- Portland to visit a pal, Stephen and explore the city I was told time and time again I needed to visit. I surfed, bought one of my favorite dresses (below) and discovered LUSH, which changed my life.
- Bike ride around Lake Michigan to raise money for educational programming in Chicago and Thailand. We raised a ton of money and got to see some beautiful scenery all while enjoying great conversation, meeting lots of new people and doing some soul searching. Here is a snippet of that experience.
- Dubuque and Galena for a weekend with a gal pal. We went grape stomping and accidentally entered a contest. It. Was. Epic.
- Washington D.C. to see awesome gillies from London. Reunion!
Shows I started:
- Gray’s Anatomy, season seven
- Orange is the new Black, season one
- Nashville, season one (that was taken off Netflix, so I have yet to finish)
- Scandal (best decision of my life)
Some of my favorite books:
- The Top Five Regrets of the Dying
- Gone Girl
- Lean In
- The Power of Habit
- Sharp Objects
I also reblogged tons of quotes and photographs on Tumblr that either represent myself or things I love.
Cheers to a year of crazy, wonderful relationships, opportunities and experiences!