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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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

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!

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.

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

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

Image

  • 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

Image

  • 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

Image

  • 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

Image

  • 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.

2013-08-09 09.44.12

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.

2013-08-09 09.47.05

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.

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!

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