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)

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

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

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

We Ran, We Drank, We Napped

ImageSpring has finally arrived in Boston and we were treated to spectacular weather over the weekend. Well, mostly. Our weekend started earlier than usual with a morning 5k along the Boston North Shore. It poured for most of the drive but the rain slowed to a drizzle just before the race started. It was a little chilly, a little foggy, and a lot humid–but we survived. Our running time was 33 minutes, which is a little slower then I thought we’d do, but that’s ok.

We came home, cleaned ourselves off and promptly fell back to sleep. The sun was shining when we woke up so we decided to walk to a new-to-us bar and have brunch. We were able to enjoy the perfect weather in their hidden outdoor patio. The beer was delicious, the food was satisfying and the company was adorable.

ImageWe weren’t ready to go home yet, so after brunch we hopped over to another bar and sampled a few more beers. We got in touch with some friends who decided to come meet us in a few hours, so we (wisely) went home to nap, shower and eat before going back out. Once the crew was gathered, we enjoyed ourselves at our two favorite neighborhood bars and then ended the night with a few episodes of The Inbetweeners (do yourself a favor and check it out).

Sunday got off to a slow start due to the aforementioned all-day drinking, but we managed to tackle a few overdue chores, go for a walk in the sunshine, call our moms and take yet another nap. I mean, that’s what Sundays are for, right?

The weather is even better today, making this Monday quite enjoyable. Add to that the fact that we’ve got a short week at home and you might say this Monday is actually a good one. We leave on Wednesday afternoon for our road trip to Cleveland (for my work); Erie, PA (for D’s conference); and Niagara Falls (for fun!).

Love,

A

Sunshiny Summer Weekend

I know it’s Tuesday now, but I’m still smiling from the wonderful weekend Derek and I had. It sort of started early–I had a convention to attend in NYC on Thursday and Friday. So while I was technically still working, we were able to spend some time in the evenings exploring the city.

pretzel

We drove in early (really really early) on Thursday morning–arriving at the hotel by 7:30am, I spent the day at the convention and then after a quick nap, we got fancy and went out for a date. We ate at a cute Asian fusion vegan cafe, then walked up to Central Park and ended the evening with some beers and street vendor snacks. It was perfect. Until I had to get up early for day 2 of the convention, but whatcha gonna do? After the convention on Friday, we picked up some burritos and headed back to Central Park for a little picnic dinner. We left the city around 7pm and drove to my grandparent’s house in Connecticut for the night.

roses

After taking us out for breakfast Saturday morning, Gram and Gramp showed us the rose garden at Elizabeth Park in Hartford. It happened to be Rose Weekend, so there was a little festival going on and the speaker informed us that it was the one weekend a year when all 800 rose varieties are in bloom. The flowers were beautiful and the company was great. We wandered around for an hour or so and then headed back. Derek and I drove back to Boston and had a low-key Saturday night. Our bodies were tired from the long days and all the NYC walking.

Sunday was another beautiful day and I was determined to spend some time outside. We met up with Derek’s brother Tyler and his boyfriend Mark on the waterfront for some drinks on the patio. While it was just a little too hot in the sun, the shaded patio was perfect. Several drinks later, we all felt refreshed. We walked along the harbor for a bit, before making our way to Boston Common where we parted ways. Tyler and Mark, smartly, went home. Derek and I went to another bar.

beer

After our fourth drinks of the night, at about 9pm, we realized we hadn’t had dinner yet. So we hopped on the T, back to our neighborhood, and headed to our usual spot for more drinks and dinner–a basket of pretzels for me and a quesadilla for him. We ate. We drank. And then we eventually went home. I crawled right into bed and sleep happily until my mean alarm told me the weekend was over.

It was just one of those perfect weekends, the kind that exemplifies summer: carefree, sunshine, time with family, beers on the patio. I hope you all welcomed summer with equally amazing weekends. Here’s to many more!

An Overdue Update

picstitch
Hi friends, It’s been too long. Since I last wrote many exciting things have happened including:

– a visit from Chantha

– a girl’s night trip to a Connecticut casino

– a job interview

– many date nights

– the start of a running routine

– a job resignation and a job acceptance

– a Duck Tour around Boston

– a lovely Memorial Day weekend at my Aunt’s lakehouse

– a fun dinner party with some (former) co-workers

For the sake of brevity, I won’t go into all the details. But I do want to tell you a little more about my new job! About a month ago I started working for a new company. It is in the same industry (that would be print and promotional products), but the company is much larger than my previous place of employment. My position is fairly similar to what I have been doing since moving to Boston, managing the marketing efforts of the company.

This new company is based out of Cleveland…but I’m not moving there. I was fortunate to take the position as a remote office–which means I primarly work out of my tiny Boston apartment with the occasional trip to the Cleveland office. That means Derek and I spend a lot of time together at home. 🙂 And the best news is that I have more flexibility in my schedule so I’ll be in Washington for almost a month this summer! Working, of course, but still–I’ll have time to see you all.

It’s been an adjustment, but so far I’m really happy with my decision. I’m thankful that I no longer have an hour commute each way to work. It’s a teeny bit lonely without the social aspect of an office, but I’m getting to know my new colleagues and making lots of plans with the friends I made at my last job. The pros definitely outweigh the cons.

So that’s my big news. What’s new in your life?

xo,
A

My Neighborhood, Episode 2

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This stuffed pony is for sale on the sidewalk. (It’s $60!).

Weekending

photo-1This weekend started a little early for me as I wasn’t feeling very well and left work a few hours early. I didn’t make exciting use of the extra time, though. I ended up sleeping for about 16 hours. But, thankfully, that must have been what I needed because I woke up Saturday morning feeling just fine.

It’s still pretty cold in Boston, but the sun was shining so Derek and I went for a long walk. We’re estimating that we explored about 4 miles of our neighborhood before walking ourselves over Sunset for drinks. I’ve recently decided that I love sour beers, and the Monk’s Cafe Flemish sour they had one tap was delicious. D had a big glass of Irish stout and we shared some fries (we’re fancy like that). We got home around 6, cooked dinner and watched a movie. All in all, it was a pretty awesome Saturday.

Today, we met up with Lisa for brunch at a new vegan/vegetarian restaurant that just opened in Newton. The food was good, but it is very obvious that it’s a new restaurant with a very new staff. Nothing went seriously wrong, but they have some kinks to work out in their service.

Derek and I were feeling crazy after a yummy meal, so we went to The Container Store and got our organization on. When we brought our goodies home, it started a chain reaction in which every closet was emptied and reorganized. It was kind of a disaster in here for a bit, but it was worth it. Our place looks gooood. Wish I could have you all over for dinner. But we only have two dining room chairs, so it would be a little cramped.

Now, as the days winds down, we’re both sitting at our computers dreading the terrible necessity that is Monday Morning. The good news is, next weekend is Easter. And Easter means pudding shots. Alcoholic pudding plus a family get-together is enough to get me through the week ahead. Hope you all have things to look forward to as well.

Miss you all,

A

My Neighborhood

On my walk home from yoga a few nights ago I saw a man taking his ferret for a walk. The ferret was harnessed and on leash.

Tonight, there is a man in the laundromat washing his clothes sans pants and shoes.

So, yeah, I live in an interesting place.

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