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)

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Oh hi….

Remember when I used to blog? Well, I’m ready to get back into it. I’m gonna start this off with a speedy-quick recap of the last nine months. Sound good?

September and October

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  • Lauren’s beautiful wedding
  • A visit from D’s parents
  • Electric Run 5K
  • Meeting my precious nephew
  • Not pictured: An overnight trip to Salem with my ladies

November and December

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  • A trip to NYC
  • Home for Christmas
  • We’re engaged!
  • SEA-HAWKS (Thanks for the awesome tickets Dad)
  • Not pictured: Thanksgiving, Ugly Sweater 5K

January and February

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  • Ringing in the new year with my favorite people (and celebrating 5 years with D)
  • Seahawks win the Superbowl
  • Aunty Sharon and Uncle B move to Tennessee 😦
  • Surprise engagement party for D and I
  • Not pictured: Tubing with friends

March and April

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  • Work trip to Mexico…not so bad, right?
  • Rebecca visited!
  • Pentatonix
  • New shoes, new habits
  • Not pictured: Easter with Gram and Gramps

I’m a little bummed that I took such a long break from blogging. As you can see, some really amazing things happened since last summer and they definitely deserve more than a bullet point. But at least it’s better than nothing.

May’s shaping up to be a great month. I’ve got a road trip, an epic concert and a visit from my cousin to look forward to over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

Doug and Megan Got Married!

Megan was a beautiful bride and Doug was a sweet, teary-eyed groom (turned dancing machine after the ceremony). And they threw the best party! It was so great to celebrate D + M, see all my old friends again, eat vegan wedding cake and dance the night away.

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While the ceremony was only about three minutes long, it was uniquely Doug and Megan. Their good friend Mike D. officiated and they wrote their own vows. Doug got emotional as he read his commitment to Megan, which made me a little weepy too. They said their “I do”s, sealed it with a kiss and walked back down the aisle as a married couple. It was simple and sweet and left plenty of time in the evening for the party everyone was looking forward to.

We took some family photos on the dock before dinner which proved to be a little challenging since no one told the photographers that Doug’s immediate family was 15 people, but we made it work.

And then it was time for dinner. At that point, I was so hungry and so thankful that the meal was entirely vegan. I loaded up my plate (using restraint not to grab the entire bread basket and bring it back to my table). After we ate, Megan’s sister and Doug’s best friend gave toasts. They both did an excellent job–their stories captured the best qualities about Megan and Doug and reminded everyone why they make such a great couple.

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With dinner finished, it was time to get our party on. There was dancing (including some fun window/instructor/copycat dancing), drinking, cake eating, more drinking and more dancing. It was the best time, like grown-up prom where you can drink and only your best friends are invited!

When the DJ shut things down at 11pm, we weren’t ready to end the night so we loaded into a limo, a van cab, and two cars and headed downtown to a dive bar. Since it was Thursday night and the bar wasn’t very busy, we were able to commandeer a separate room just for us. Amongst the talking and shot-taking, Doug taught drinking games at one table, Derek played pool with a poorly dressed British man and Jake threatened to kill anyone who looked at him the wrong way (he was drunk-joking, obviously).

Finally just before 2am, we called it a night. There were 12 of us staying at the hotel upstairs so we made our way, split into our rooms and fell asleep to the promise of brunch in the morning.

Mego’s Bachelorette

Thursday morning I returned home from a month-long trip to the West Coast. Oh man was it a blast. I’ve got a lot to catch up on, so I’m going to break it down into a few posts. The primary purpose of the trip was to see my brother marry his sweetheart–so I’ll start with this first wedding activity: the bachelorette party.

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We may have been a small group, but it was still a really great night. We started at Mego’s apartment with some drinks and primping. Then we headed downtown for dinner, more drinks and dancing. The night started a little late, so our first choice restaurant didn’t work out. Since we were all starving, we went to the next closest place open. I don’t even remember what it was called, but I do remember that the Seattle Police Pipes and Drums band came into the restaurant and played two (or three?) songs. And then a little while later, the restaurant was invaded by clowns. I wish I was kidding.

After scarfing down our food, we started walking towards the dance club that Megan had chosen. Along the way, we saw a bar with a sign for half-price drinks so naturally we had to stop. Since it was two-for-one, we each had two shots and then continued our walk. We got to the dance club two minutes before 11pm–which is when the free cover ended. The woman at the door tried to say that the cover charge began at 10:30pm, but I sweet talked us in for free. 🙂

The club ended up being really small–and mostly full of men who weren’t into dancing–but we still had a good time. We had a champagne toast, did another shot and danced for a little while. When we had all had enough, we headed back to Megan’s favorite neighborhood bar for some karaoke.

At that point, I was exhausted. I wish I could blame it on the time difference, but at that point, I had been on the West Coast for two weeks. The truth is, I’m getting old.

After Megan sang, I convinced the group that walking up the enormous hill to her apartment was a terrible idea so we grabbed a cab to take us home. We got home just as Doug was getting off work, so Megan told him all about our night while the rest of us got ready for bed. The night ended with a 2am showing of Pitch Perfect but, in my usual fashion, I only stayed awake for about 10 minutes.

The next morning, Megan, her sister Tess and I went into Ballard for manis and pedis. The women at the salon were super sweet and it was a really relaxing morning/early afternoon. We finished up our girl-time with some sandwiches and a quick walk through the Farmer’s Market before parting ways. It was the perfect ending to her bachelorette.

Stay tuned, the wedding recap is coming next. 🙂

Top Twelve of 2012

12. Finally joining the iPhone club (December)

11. Planning and executing a huge work event without any major problems (June)

10. My 1st Veganniversary (September)

9. Spending time with Chris before he moved far, far away (January)

8. Girl’s night out at Foxwoods with Laurie, Lauren, Lisa and Ashley (November)

7. Birthday trip to the beach (July)

6. A promotion at work (May)

5. Katie’s wedding (September)

4. Visiting NOLA (January)

3. Doug and Megan’s Thanksgiving visit (November)

2. Watching my sister’s graduation speech (June)

1. Moving in with Derek (July)

Thanksgiving 2012

So I’m a little late with this post, but that’s only because Thanksgiving, and the long weekend following it, were so amazing that it’s taken me over a week to recover and settle back into my rhythm.

The reason that Thanksgiving was so great was because of these two:

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Doug and Meg made the trip up from New Orleans and stayed with us for five days. We used to live right down the street from each other, so the reunion was much needed and so much fun.

They arrived late on Wednesday night and as I expected Doug wanted to go out drinking. We discovered a new bar by our apartment and stayed out pretty late catching, and drinking, up.

Thursday morning, after a little lazy time, Meg and started cooking the vegan Thanksgiving feast. D and I did some of the prep work in advance so the dishes came together fairy quickly. We sat down to eat around 2. Our meal included veggie pot pie, green bean casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and cranberry wine. It was delish!

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After the feast, we played some games,  watched a lot of football and ate some more. Around 7 we were getting a little stir crazy so we adventured out to see if any of the bars nearby were open. Surprisingly, many of them were. We bar hoped for a little while and then made our way home around midnight.

Friday we drove down to Connecticut for Thanksgiving part 2 at Aunty Sharon’s. Meg met the family and even though it was an adult dinner party, things got a little crazy. My family said or did so many inappropriate things that we made a drinking game out of it. After dinner, we taught the group some other drinking games before switching to Apples to Apples. It was a really fun, sorta out-of-control evening. Meg was likely overwhelmed; Doug loved it.

On Saturday we headed downtown to see How the Grinch Stole Christmas the musical. I had purchased tickets a few months prior and I was so excited to see the show. I should have expected that the audience would be mostly kids, but even still it was a fun time. After the musical, we walked (the long way because we got a little lost) to Quincy Market for lunch and then headed to Boston Common. Doug and Meg got a short tour of the city along the way and when the winds got too cold, we headed back home. We had a low-key night in spent watching Arrested Development, talking about their upcoming wedding and eating leftovers.

For football day, we went back to the first bar and watched the Seahawks. It was fun until they didn’t pull out a W. Doug was upset so the boys went home. Meg and I walked to Fomu for vegan ice cream sundaes. We spent the afternoon watching more Arrested Development, talking more about the wedding and playing more games. It was another easy night but it was so nice to have their company.

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Monday was their last full day in Boston so I wanted to make the most of it. Derek had to go to campus so Doug, Meg and I ate lunch at Red Lentil, a delicious vegan/vegetarian restaurant. Then we dropped Doug off at the apartment and Meg and I went wedding dress shopping. In just a few hours, she had picked out her dress and the bridesmaid dress. By the time we got home, Derek was almost home, so we celebrated her dress purchase with a champagne toast, ate some leftovers for dinner and then headed to Kings for some bowling. After bowling, we tried out one more bar for some darts. We got home around 12:30 and everyone had to go to bed because they had an early flight the next morning.

I was so sad to see them leave. I want so badly to be neighbors again. Derek and I are hoping to make it to NOLA before they move back to Seattle. And then we’ll all be together again for their wedding next summer. Woohoo!

Here’s to hoping that there are many, many more shared holidays in our future. I love you both and I can’t wait to see you again.

Until next time,

A

A Photoless Update

Hello and happy fall my friends. The weather in New England has cooled off, the leaves are changing and it’s prime time for all things cozy–my favorite time of the year. It’s startling how fast the days go by even though they are fairly routine. I really don’t have anything new or exciting to report, but I figured it was time to check in.

D and I are settling into a routine in our apartment (although I’m sufficiently jealous of his routine since he only has to set an alarm two days a week). The space suits us nicely and we’ve started to do some exploring around the neighborhood by way of weekly date nights. I wish I was home a little more–my commute consumes almost two hours each day. But I’m trying to make the best of it. I know that I promised a more complete photo tour awhile ago but the truth is, we’re still not done. After the initial rush of buying new stuff and setting up the apartment passed, we’ve lost our motivation and budget to finish up the last few details. If we ever finish, I will post a tour.

Work is pretty much the same. We’re trying to hire a part-time marketing/graphic design assistant to help out the marketing department. If we find the right person it will be great. I could definitely use the help. Plus, I’m scheduled to do some traveling for events next year so I’ll need to have someone back at the office to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Derek is hard at work studying for his comp exams. He’s also prepping to speak at conference this weekend and making plans to teach a food history course in January. He’s a busy little smarty pants–I’m so proud of him and his dedication. But also a little jealous of the books he spends so much time with. 🙂 We’ve discussed taking a short vacation after he passes his exam–any suggestions of where to go? I’m voting Italy but I don’t think D’s on board financially.

Everything else is good. I miss my friends and family back home, but I’m very excited that Doug and Mego will be spending Thanksgiving in Boston with us. (I’ve already started mentally planning the vegan menu and it’s gonna be good.)

Much love to you all,

A

New Orleans: Land of the Open Container

I’m back! And I had so much fun that my body didn’t know what to do with itself and I ended up catching a cold. Boo…

I found my old camera with a cracked screen while I was packing so I actually have some photos to share. We couldn’t preview them or even see what we were taking a picture of most of the time, so I’m pretty impressed that we got so many decent photos.

This is us riding the streetcar (I pretended to drive and was apparently SUPER happy about it):

This is us eating lunch:

This is us enjoying Lake Pontchartrain:

And this is us spending our last evening together at their local bar:

Some of other things we did that lack photographic evidence:

  • Played Uno at a couple bars
  • Walked the streets with beers/daiquiris/mixed drinks in our hands (not all at once, though)
  • Piled on the bed and watched funny Youtube videos
  • Enjoyed the BEST chocolate cake ever (thanks for baking it Mego)
  • Listened to some live jazz
  • Acquired a greater appreciation for Parks and Rec
  • Shopped the boutiques near their house (Doug sat this one out)
  • Visited Doug at his bar
  • Sang Tenacious D while we walked the neighborhood

You see? It was an amazing trip. I was so bummed to come back to real life and back to work. But that’s what being a grown-up is all about. Now I’m left counting down the days until Doug and Mego come visit me. I’m serious you two, start planning.

Love,

A

See Ya Lata Chris (and Three Sleeps til NOLA)

I dropped Chris off at the airport shuttle this morning. It was so great to see him. He ended up spending two weekends with me–and the week in between in New Jersey and New York visiting other friends. It worked out perfectly because I worked late every night last week and I would have been absolutely no fun if I had been responsible for entertaining him.

On the 7th we spent the day in Boston; we tasted beer at Sam Adams (if you get a postcard from us, please realize that we were a few beers in when we wrote it); walked around Boston Common and drank some more at Cheers. The weather was beautiful- sunny and much warmer than it should have been for January in Boston. On the 8th we drove up the Cape, stopping at some state parks along the way, and ended our adventure in Provincetown, which seemed like it would have been a cool place except that it pretty much shuts down during the off-season.

This past weekend I had previously committed to dog sitting for Aunty Sharon and Uncle B, so we stayed in Connecticut. Saturday we drove south and visited Groton and New London. We walked the trails at Bluff Point State Park and toured the inside of a submarine at the Submarine Force Museum. Both were pretty neat–and free. We cooked a yummy meal at my Aunt’s and settled in with the pups for a lazy evening. The lazy evening extended into the next day as it was too cold to do much of anything (serious props to Chris for running in 8 degree weather). Aunty Sharon and Uncle B took us out for Mexican food then we came back to my apartment and hung out til bedtime.

Now I’m back at work for three days. On Thursday I’m off to New Orleans for some long over-due time with Doug, Mego and Katie K. The weather report is showing temps at least 40 degrees warmer than what we’ve got going on in Mass. I may even bust out the shorts and sandals. Weird.

Hope you’re well (and warm),
A

2012 is Here

2011 is gone. I’m naming it “The Year of Playing Grown-Up and Realizing It’s No Fun.” I took my first career-like job and I moved into my very own apartment. Turns out… I’m not really into a cubicle work-life and I’d rather live with Derek than be alone. But I did make some great new friends, changed to a plant-based and spend a lot of time with my family. So I’m counting it as a win.

To ring in the New Year (and celebrate our third anniversary), Derek spent the afternoon in Boston. Then we met our friends Lisa and Jim for dinner and drinks in Watertown. We drove home before midnight (so that we wouldn’t be on the road with drunks) and opened a bottle of champagne. I managed to stay up just long enough to see the clock strike 12:00 and then promptly fell asleep on the couch.

I thought life would slow down after the holidays. But that’s just not the case. In 4 days my long-lost friend Chris is coming to visit me. I haven’t seen him since I moved away so I’m super excited. And then in 2 1/2 weeks, I’m flying to New Orleans to see Doug, Mego and Katie. Pretty great start to the new year, huh?

This year, I’m resolving to live in the moment. I need to find a better balance between making plans for the future and enjoying the present. How ’bout you? Any resolutions?

Hope you had a lovely New Year.

Love,

A

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