My 2017 Intention

In 2016 I chose the word settle as my intention. I anticipated a quieter year, with less obvious growth and change, and I wanted a word that would help me feel grounded and at peace even as I saw big things happening for the people around me. After all the change that came with 2015, I wanted 2016 to be a restorative year. And I think it really was.

But looking forward, it seems 2017 will be a year of adventuring. We’ll be taking our honeymoon trip to Italy in March (Derek’s first time abroad). I hope we spend the summer hiking and day-tripping around the Pacific Northwest. We’ll be in Colorado in the fall. And maybe if I’m really good, I can convince Derek to spend Christmas in Hawaii. 🙂

I also see some professional growth on the horizon for 2017. But I also know that in order to get there, I’ll need to have some honest conversations about what I want and how I can best contribute to the team.

And, finally, I have some personal goals that I hope to accomplish in the new year, like running a 10K in under an hour, making more time to write, and maybe even getting a little more involved in our growing Everett community.

So I’ve decided to set be brave as my 2017 intention.

I hope 2017 brings fearless travels, courage at work, and the confidence to achieve more, share more and give more.

If you’re reading this, thank you. I know I haven’t shared much in the last few years but I’m hoping to make it more of a priority in the year to come.

Cheers to a bold, beautiful and brave 2017!

Intentions from years past:

2016- settle

2015- focus

2014- enjoy

 

Top Sixteen of 2016

16. Turning 30. (July)

15. Buying a new car. (May)

14. Taking on more writing projects at work. (February-December)

13. A Sunday night wedding in Bellingham. (December)

12. The Lumineers concert. (June)

11. A long weekend in Portland exploring and watching Erin marry her love. (August)

10. Celebrating my sister’s 21st birthday in Leavenworth. (January)

9. Hiking old favorites and exploring new trails. (May-November)

8. Moving into our own place in Everett. (March)

7. Finding out that I’m going to be aunt again. (October)

6. Establishing healthier eating habits. (November)

5. Celebrating our first anniversary. (July)

4. A long weekend in New England with my grandparents and dear friends. (October)

3. Girls trip to Austin. (May)

2. Watching my brother and his best friend open their own bar. (February)

1. Finishing the half marathon–and training all summer long with Derek. (September)

My 2016 Intention

2015 was a big year. Essentially everything about my life changed; I moved cross-country, got married, and started a new job. It was a year full of love and celebration and excitement, but there was also a lot of anxiety, long discussions and difficult choices. It was probably my most beautiful and, simultaneously, my most challenging year to date.

And so, for 2016, I’ve chosen the word settle as my intention.

With all these life changes behind us, it’s time for me and Derek to settle into our new lives. For me to settle into my new job. For Derek to settle into his dissertation work. In the spring, we’ll settle into our own apartment. We’ll settle back into Seattle. And of course, we’ll settle into our marriage.

I’m anticipating a quieter year, a year where our growth will be a little harder to see from the outside. I’m looking forward to a little more consistency and less chaos. I guess this is a sign of growing up—when a year of just living my life as it is sounds great, but that’s where I’m at.

But I know myself, too. I worry that I’ll grow bored of the quiet and start looking for change. I hope I can remember this intention in those moments, and instead appreciate this period of relative peacefulness in my life. I hope for myself to make 2016 a restorative year that sets the stage for whatever might come next. Because sometimes you just need some rest, you know?

To every sweet person who supported me in 2015, thank you. Your love and encouragement means more than you know. Cheers to an amazing 2016!

Two Sleeps Til Move Day

I wrote this post six months ago, a few nights before I left Boston, and then left it as a draft. I wasn’t ready to announce our move online and I wasn’t ready to share these mushy feelings. But I’m ready now.

I have aspirations of writing about the last ten months of life—because I like having this journal and because I miss writing—but I’m not going to make any promises about when I’ll find the right words. So I leave you with this…

The apartment is nearly empty; I’m sitting on the only piece of furniture we have yet to sell, our couch, and that too will be gone by the end of the night. It’s rainy and grey. I’m alone and the place is quiet, save for the sound of the rain. I find myself caught in some emotional middle ground—desperate to be back home in Seattle but not quite ready to leave Boston behind. I’ve been busy—so so busy—that I thought I might escape these feelings. But they found me (as they always do).

I’ve never experienced a love/hate relationship like the one I have for Boston. Derek and I have grown tired of the cost, the distance from our families and the lack of opportunity; but this is the place where we became a “we”.  We had some truly great experiences, overcame some really tough stuff, met a lot of wonderful people and ultimately decided we were all-in, forever and ever.

I feel like I’m coming home a completely different person. I left Seattle with a lot of things to figure out; I’m coming home as a bride-to-be with a solid start to a marketing career. I changed my diet to reflect my ethics—ethics that I hadn’t defined until after I moved. I learned what it truly means to care for my body and have developed healthier routines accordingly. I know who I am and what I want from life in ways that weren’t previously clear. I didn’t “grow-up” in Boston, but I sure did a lot of growing.

All this to say, I’m going to miss you Boston.

And to my Boston people (you know who you are): You have changed my life in radical, amazing ways and I am so thankful for each of you. Thank you for sharing your city with me. Let’s be friends forever, no matter where we live, mmkay?

Until next time,

A

A 2014 Summary and a 2015 Intention

If I had to choose one word that summarizes the last year, it would be enjoy. Comparatively, it was a carefree year. There was so much to celebrate (engagement! Super Bowl Champs!). I spent a month in Seattle, traveled to Mexico, Tennessee (twice) and saw Niagara Falls for the first time.

But even more than the big things, I learned to enjoy the everyday. I settled into my job and the freedom and flexibility that comes with working from home. I spent more time with Derek and with my friends. I slowed down a bit and took more time for myself.

There were challenges and heartbreak–but they didn’t define me or keep me down for too long.

2014 was a year of relishing, reveling and rejoicing. Ah, it was a good good year.

Even though I chose enjoy in retrospect, I really love the idea of choosing an intention for each new year. I was never very good at resolutions anyways. And so for 2015 I’ve chosen focus.

To me, it means a few things:

Focus my attention and be present in the moment

Especially with our wedding on horizon, I want to get better about truly experiencing the special moments and everyday joys rather than getting overwhelmed with what’s coming next. I think this is going to be the hardest one for me, but I really think it will be worth the work I put in.

Focus my consumption and limit my belongings

I’ve been drawn to stories of minimalism a lot over the last year; this year I want to take steps in that direction in my own life. To start, I did a major closet clean-out and started my first capsule wardrobe (35 clothing items/shoes for a 3 month season). I’m looking forward to cleaning out our basement storage unit next and really pairing down what we have to just what we need. But more than getting rid of our extra stuff, I’m hoping I can permanently shift the way I buy–choosing quality and function over quantity.

I imagine in a year, when I reflect on how the word has manifested itself in my life, I will have more to add. But I feel encouraged by the concept of focus and how it will guide me through the year to come. It already feels like a year of big change.

Thank you my darling friends and family for the part you played in my enjoyable 2014. I look forward to what’s to come.

Holiday Celebrations

Well, now that we’re more than a week into the new year, I figured it was about time I got around to sharing some photos and stories from my holiday season. Derek and I didn’t go to back to Washington for Christmas this year because we have this expensive thing called a wedding that we’re saving up for. But, even though I missed our families, we really made the best out of it.

Our holiday season kicked off with a potluck and gift exchange with some of our awesome friends. It was a perfectly low-key get-together filled with delicious food and lots of laughs. D and I had to bounce early to catch the Seahawks game, but we truly enjoyed the day.

Dec 1The next weekend was full of Christmas cheer: I saw The Nutcracker with my lady loves and then we celebrated Lisa’s birthday with an Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl. I’ve never gotten into the ugly sweater theme in the past, but this year I was all in. And it ended up being such a fun night; definitely in the top 5 night’s out of the year. Those Christmas tree sunglasses brought out the gangsta in me. 🙂

For the actual Christmas holiday, D and I piled into my grandparent’s car and roadtripped to Tennessee to visit my Aunt and Uncle. It took us a day and a half of driving each way–and honestly it wasn’t too bad. I’m not a big road trip person, but the drive was easy, the car was comfortable and I had endless entertainment on my iPhone.

Dec 2We spent a lot of our time just hanging out at home which was really nice. One night we went out for a group dinner in Knoxville. The next day we spent time in Gatlinburg. D and I tasted moonshine and rode a (slightly terrifying) skylift so we could get a good view of the Smoky Mountains. It was a cool experience–but as soon as we got to the top, it started to rain so we pretty much called it a day after that.

True to Anderson tradition, my Aunt bought us all new pajamas to wear to bed on Christmas Eve. But after giving out the jammies, she couldn’t resist and ended up giving us the rest of our presents that evening too. On Christmas day, we had a family breakfast, lounged around and then some of their friends came over for Christmas dinner and boardgames.

Dec 3We left Tennessee the morning of the 27th which got Derek and I back to Boston with just enough time to grocery shop and unpack before meeting friends at a bar for the Hawks game. I was never more thankful to work from home than I was that Monday morning.

For New Year’s Eve (also our anniversary), Derek and I joined a gym, cooked dinner at home and then met up with our football friends for drinks to ring in the New Year. I usually have high expectations for NYE and then end up feeling let down. But this year, we went with the flow and ended up having a great time. I got to wear heels and a NYE crown, drink champagne and kiss my boo at midnight–everything I needed to make it a success, but without the hangover that comes with bigger celebrations. It was the perfect way to end the year.

I’ve got another post marinating in my head about my intention for 2015, so stayed tuned. More on that coming soon…

xoxo,

A

Fall in New England

This year I’ve really been taking advantage of the awesomeness that is fall in New England. The perfect weather, gorgeous leaves and seasonal events *almost* make up for the bitterly cold winter we’re headed towards.

fallThere has been apple picking, wine drinking, pumpkin festivals, and a beautiful 5k run (I set a PR!). There were three birthday celebrations for people I love, sunshiny afternoon walks, Seahawk Sundays, and a shopping date in New Hampshire. Plus, I spent a day with my grandparents in Connecticut–Gram and I crossed a few things off the wedding to-do list. 🙂

fall 2Oh man has it been a good season. So fun and so festive!

I’m really looking forward to the holidays this year too. Derek and I plan to cook our own little Thanksgiving day feast and then meet up with friends for football that evening. And we’re roadtripping with Gram and Gramps to visit Aunty Sharon and Uncle B for Christmas. There will be lots of eating, drinking and laughing. I can’t wait!

Summer of Travel: Tennessee

Two weeks ago I left for the first leg of a three-state, seven-week trip. My first stop was Tennessee where I spent a week with my Aunt, Uncle and cousin pups at their place outside of Knoxville.

TN 1

A few highlights from the trip include checking out the progress on the house they are building, enjoying a comedy show, brewery hopping in Knoxville and just generally hanging out like we used back when we were roommates (or…I was homeless and they let me stay with them, however you wanna say it).

TN 2

My Aunt also made some fun plans like a history cruise on the river and a Willie Nelson concert. We spent time outside when it wasn’t raining and they showed me around the village they live in. All in all, it was a great visit with the perfect balance of adventure and laying around.

As much as I miss having them nearby, they really seem to love their new home. And I can see why–everyone is so friendly and the weather is so much better than New England.

Aunty Sharon and Uncle B, thanks for a fun week. I miss you like crazy and can’t wait til our next visit. (Also, I forgot to set up Skype for you so let’s try to do that soon.)

Love,

A

A Happy June

June was a really, really good month. The days were filled with sunshine (most of the time, at least), lots of outings with friends, brunch & beer and healthy habits.

The nice weather makes me want to get outside as much as possible, Since I work from home, it’s all-too-easy to spend the entire day indoors. So in addition to going for runs, we’ve been taking coffee breaks in the park or going for after-dinner walks. Whenever and wherever we move next, an outdoor patio is on my must-have list so that we can enjoy more time outside during the warmer months.

june1

We started the month with a visit from my cousin Justin and his girlfriend Sarah. The weather was pretty fantastic while they were here. On the days D and I had to work, they explored the city on their own. But we had plenty of time to hang-out together. We toured the Sam Adams Brewery and Harvard. We ate at so many restaurants. We took them to a few parks and walked through Boston College’s campus. It was such an easy and enjoyable visit. (Justin and Sarah, if you’re reading this–feel free to come back anytime!)

june2

Mid-month, I went to see Rascal Flatts with two of my friends (shout-out to Laurie and Lauren!). Honestly, I had low expectations since I’m not a huge country music fan. But I had the.best.time! It was the perfect way to welcome the official start of summer.

The next morning wasn’t the best, but we had plans to meet my grandparents and Aunty Sharon for lunch so I had to put my hangover aside and get myself together. Lunch was nice; I hadn’t seen my aunt since she moved in February so that was great.

After lunch, D and I drove to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut to settle him into his temporary summer home. He’s doing a 5 week research program on maritime history that keeps him in Connecticut on the weekdays. 😦

Spending last week alone wasn’t so bad, though, because I took a day off and went to the beach with Lisa. It was perfect beach weather. But despite my best efforts, the sun was too much for my pale skin and I came home with an unattractive and uncomfortable sunburn on my back. #palepeopleproblems

june3Last weekend D came home for a night and we mostly just relaxed. I convinced him to cross a few things off the wedding planning to-do list and we went for a short hike. I felt like he had to leave just after arriving home so I’m looking forward to the upcoming long holiday weekend.

July promises to be an even busier month as I’ll be traveling to Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Ohio and then back to Washington in the span of three weeks.

Hoping that there is plenty more sunshine, friends and beer in my future (and yours too!).

-A

Over the Weekend(s): Part 2

I was looking forward to last weekend’s music festival for months. My absolute favorite band of all time is Death Cab for Cutie. Yet, despite my love for them, I had never seen a live performance. I would have paid the same ticket price just to see them. But fortunately for me, they were part of awesome festival line-up that included some other faves, new and old.

bc set list

My friend Laurie and I arrived to the plaza just after 1pm on Saturday afternoon. We watched the first few bands from afar; enjoying our beers and catching up in the sunshine. She’s a big fan of The Neighborhood so we worked our way close to the stage for their set. Although I wasn’t familiar with their music before the festival, I really enjoyed it. I think they may have given the best performance of the weekend. #newfan

bc day 1

Once The Neighborhood ended, and we could break free from the crowd, we grabbed some lunch and found a good spot to sit between both stages. I was looking forward to The Head & The Heart but I was a little disappointed by them live. After that, it was just a countdown to Death Cab. Unfortunately, the weather turned right before The Decemberists started playing. It rained enough to thoroughly soak us and then once the rain stopped, the wind started blowing. It wasn’t so comfortable but I’m glad we stuck it out. Death Cab played all my favorites; it was such a soul-filling experience. Definitely worth waiting in the rain.

On Sunday, we weren’t familiar with any of the early bands so we took our time waking up and making our way to the plaza. I think it was 3ish when we arrived. It was another beautiful day and we were content to sit in the sun and take in the music for a few hours. Laurie was excited to see Tegan & Sara. I only knew one of their songs, but it was an enjoyable performance. Bastille killed it and made me love them even more.

bc day 2

Then Brand New was up. So here’s the thing. I like Brand New and I thought I knew quite a bit of their music. But standing amongst super fans at a live show put things into perspective–they played some songs I had never heard before and then even the songs I knew, I couldn’t quite sing along. Maybe I should have studied. 🙂 Oh well, it was a great performance and now Laurie is a fan too.

Modest Mouse closed out the weekend with a solid show. I’m only a moderate fan, but they are one of Laurie’s faves so it was cool to share in her experience. The weather held up better on Sunday so the whole evening in general was more enjoyable.

I don’t know how else to describe the weekend, and the festival, other than really really great. There is something about live music–especially in an outdoor venue–that is so enchanting and inspiring. It was the perfect kick-off to the summer season.

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