I’m about a month and a half late in doing this, but better late than never, right?

I started out my 26th year with 26 goals. How well did I do? Guess you’ll have to read to find out!

BEHOLD: Pictorial proof that I accomplished 15 of the 26. Ones in bold are ones that did not get accomplished.

1. Hike a 14er – my friend who said she’d take me didn’t… so hopefully this summer

2. Canoe/kayak Dillon Reservoir – Colorado is in the middle of a major drought. I don’t have pictures but I probably could have walked around in the water of Dillon Reservoir it was that shallow. So no canoeing for this girl.
3. Go to the Sundance Film Festival – I talked about going with The Lawyer, but then both of us got a significant other, so it was forgotten.
4. Snowshoe in RMNP – I did this TWICE! And to the exact same trail… the park is 415 square miles and I went to the same trail twice in a week… clearly I need to get better about planning this stuff.

P1040859
5. Fall in love – This is worthy of its own post, and was technically a month late of the one-year goal, but it happened 🙂

P1040818
6. Get the full bonus amounts at work each quarter – When I started my job, I thought it would be more about my work and productivity, so this was important. Little did I realize that it had everything to do with the guys in the field and how well they did that would determine the outcome of my bonuses. But I got to go to the field twice, which was always a treat– including having to wear a men’s size large of coveralls. (I don’t have permission to post pics of my coworkers, so please ignore the blacked-out faces)

P1040432v2
7. Go to Cheyanne Mountain Zoo – The Roommate and I went here after we accomplished #8. What a fun zoo and experience!
8. Have brunch at the Broadmoore – I don’t know if I can fully describe just how over-priced that brunch was, but at least I had a fun companion and ate till I felt I was about to burst since it was a buffet and I insisted I get my money’s worth!
9. Grow a lush garden – I don’t know if I can eat store-bought lettuce ever again! We did have a broccoli plant that we neglected and went to seed. It was actually quite beautiful, but got really top-heavy and fell over and uprooted itself… oops! I didn’t get any pictures of the end result, so you’ll recognize the pictures from this post:

A
10. Learn to roast a chicken – Didn’t do this… I find chicken boring so being motivated to roast it didn’t happen. But I love the roasted chicken from Costco, so I want to at least try it once to see if it’s worth doing it myself or keep only spending $5 to get it.
11. Travel somewhere that requires my passport – This didn’t happen, but I DID go to four states, so it half-counts since I accomplished #12 four times! I’m going to two countries this year (maybe more if timing works right for my trip to France in the fall), so I’m making up for it this year.
12. Travel somewhere outside of the state – Balboa Island in California, Chicago, Orlando, and New York City– and they all happened in the last half of the year.

561009_4208585247293_1149618948_n

Balboa Island, California

P1040312

Top of the Hitchcock Building, Chicago

photo_1

Who’s ready to see Micky and Minnie?

P1040816

Central Park, New York

13. Eat at least one thing a week from our CSA bag – I didn’t keep good notes on this, but it was always in the back of my mind… I’m pretty sure I did this. I even made baba ganoush with the eggplants we got!
14. Learn to grill the perfect steak – Thanks to reading a lot of grilling books, watching Americas Test Kitchen, and getting some pointers from The Roommate’s dad, I can say I now know how to cook a perfect steak, on the grill or on the stove/broiler
15. Throw at least one party/get-together a month – If I missed a month, then the next month had more than one party, so it made up for it!

P1040035
16. Have a reason to wear each of my three LBD’s – Wicked with the girls, TJ’s wedding, and dinner at The London by Gordon Ramsey with Company Ink in New York (so I actually wore one of them twice… I still count it as three!)

P1040061

Girls night out to see “Wicked”

P1040446

TJ’s wedding with my sister!

P1040827

After the most delicious dinner of my life in New York!

17. Go on a full-moon snowshoe hike – As mentioned in #2, Colorado was in a drought. So to find a time that it had just snowed, hadn’t warmed up enough to melt it all, AND be a full moon was pretty near-impossible. Maybe next season…
18. Treat myself to a shopping-spree for new clothes for work – I never did an actual shopping spree, but whenever I found a piece of clothing I liked, I would buy it. I’m not good about treating myself to things like that, so I count it as a win!
19. Go to at least one concert – LMFAO for a friend’s birthday, Gotye (where we sat in the 3rd row!) with my sister and her BFF, and Aimee Mann with my mom:

P1040102

P1040372

photo (3)
20. See fireworks in DC – They did fireworks at the City and County Building in downtown Denver, but not in Glendale where they have the best ones. I also saw the fireworks at Disney, which I was slightly disappointed in, but I should be happy I got to see any at all… but for the record, Glendale’s fireworks are the BEST!

P1040248
21. Go hiking with my parents at least once this summer – My mom has 3 jobs, so hiking rarely happened. But I did go hiking with the guy I went on the blind date with. So I’m counting it as a win!

P1040280
22. Jump in a pile of freshly-raked leaves – The leaves on my tree are lame for jumping in, and Company Ink took his away to add to mulch piles before I could jump in his… and everyone else I know lives in an apartment so they don’t have trees to rake because of. Major fail 😦
23. Ride my bike every day to work in the summer – I need a new bike. And a better system of getting out of the near-impossible garage that we park our bikes in. So I only rode a few times. Once I get a lighter bike (seriously, my current one weighs about as much as I do!), I will definitely ride more. Plus, I might have more riding buddies this year, so that always helps.
24. Make limoncello –  I looked up a recipe and video on how to make it… does that count? I will make it soon and have it in time for summer and sitting on our porch and looking at our great view of the mountains!
25. Go to a game for each of the Denver professional sports teams (except the Nuggets– I hate basketball) – As of last night, I actually succeeded in going to a Nuggets game! Boy can Company Ink be persuasive! But I did go to a Broncos game twice– once with my family and once with work people, a Rockies game with The Lawyer, and an Avalanche game with Company Ink. It sure does help that our company pays for a box so we always have tickets available for the Avs!

21769_4485208802709_942721018_n
26. Write my 3rd NaNoWriMo novel in November – This was covered in this post. But 2013 will see the awesome comeback of me as a novelist!

Even though I only accomplished 58% of my goal list, here are some other things I did:

Met famous people:

P1040142

Angelo from Top Chef

Went to Wicked twice:

We totally won the Best Dressed award!

We totally won the Best Dressed award!

Danced in the Denver Pride Parade with Colorado AIDS Project, the organization I volunteer for:

318108_3801573512254_1274483584_n

Rode in the Denver Cruiser Duct Tape and Cardboard night:

P1040184

Chopped my hair off:

photoMade home-made sushi with The Roommate and Company Ink:

photo (2)And saw a ton of elk while driving through Estes Park and driving across Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park:

photo_2

And lots of other things that I didn’t get a picture of 🙂

Hopefully I’ll make a new list for this year. But seeing how long it took me to write this post, don’t hold your breath!

Hey there! I know it’s been forever since I last posted, but life has just been so crazy for me ever since the Christmas season started. I have told numerous people that I honestly thought I would ease into the year when I got back to work after Christmas… hahahaha!

(I shouldn’t admit this, but I also had the thought that maybe I would get better about posting on here… clearly that was another New Years Resolution that can be classified under FAILED!)

I’ve also noticed that I don’t tend to feel the need/urge to write when nothing bad or dramatic is going on in my life (or if it’s super dramatic, I don’t have the energy or brain capacity to write). Since life has just been busy, typing away on my computer has been the last thing I want to do.

So all that to say, I’m here, I’m still alive, and there is much to update you all on. And I really, truly want to be better about posting more often– even if it’s my favorite video of the week!

Speaking of:

I seriously laughed uncontrollably when watching this video… which was awkward because I may or may not have been at work where all my coworkers could hear me snort and giggle! These guys have a whole series of videos that I spent most of my day at work watching while mindlessly working in Excel watched at night after I had gone home and was sitting on my couch.

And that’s why they pay me the big bucks!

My updates:

The biggest changes in my life are all happening this month.

The saddest thing is that I had to say goodbye to The Roommate because she is following her lifelong dream of living in Washington DC. I’m going to miss her terribly and it’s weird to think that she’s not coming home any time soon, like it was when she went to Europe a few months ago.

The Roommate and I get along so well, which makes sense since we are practically the same person, so I am really going to miss how easy it was to live with her and how much fun we had as roommates. She and I can talk for hours about anything, but it wont be as easy to do via the phone. So I’m already planning a trip out to see her some time in the spring. I can’t wait!

The other thing happening this month is that I’m moving. I was all set to stay in my beloved house another year and have my sister move in when her lease was up. However, with only 3 days left on my lease, my landlord sent me an email telling me he was going to raise my rent $200 starting in April if I wanted to sign for another year…

Yeah, no…

So in a mad scramble, my sister and I found a new place to live in only 2 days! It ended up working out for the best because she will be able to move in with me March 1 instead of March 30 since our new place is owned/managed by the same property managers!

So yay for things working out!

So needless to say, I’ve been on a packing frenzy. I hate packing and I hate moving, so I’m trying to be good about getting all my packing done waaaay in advance of my moving date so I don’t end up in as a sobbing mess on the phone with my mom the night before I move… which also happens to be my birthday, so that’s really not a good plan.

I’m also still trying to cross a few things off the last of my Birthday List, but I didn’t do as well as I  had hoped. I guess it shows that I had a very different outlook on my year than it ended up being. But in lieu of not doing things on the list, I did OTHER things that are just as interesting and exciting! I’m hoping to post about a few of those things on here to share in the joy.

And of course, I’ll make another list for this next year… holy crap, I’m going to be 27! Just one more year away from my Golden Birthday!

I have things I also want to process about Company Ink, so if Excel continues to be as big of a pain in the butt as it is right now, I’ll have plenty of time to talk all about what’s going on really soon!

I read these articles on the Daily Dish (here and here) and I’ve been thinking a lot about the post I was going to write in response to those.

I can definitely say that I fully agree with those articles. I believe friendship is the key to happiness– Yes, finding a romantic connection with someone for life is great, but if you’re lacking strong friendship connections, you will feel a lack of something in your life. A single romantic relationship is not enough to make you feel fulfilled or dynamic. Everyone needs more people in their life than their significant other.

Not only do I seek out new friends on a regular basis, I strive to be the best friend to people that I can. I have learned the value of friendship, especially as I went through my divorce, and want to be the kind of friend to people that I want them to be to me.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had me make (or offer to make) food for you for a birthday, a new baby, a celebration for something awesome happening, to meet new people, to make new friends, for a holiday… or even heartache. Yeah, that’s most of the people I know. Food is definitely one of my “love languages,” which I don’t hear anyone complaining about 🙂

What that shows is that I want to be there for people in the most fundamental and connecting ways possible– over a shared meal. But a night of talking over drinks is also a great way to spend my time!

All of these thoughts I’ve been formulating in my head for this post came to a complete collapse today when I realized I had let down a friend in a pretty substantial way. Thankfully (OMG, am I thankful), no one was hurt or harmed, and my friend will probably never know what happened. But I let her down and I was on the verge of being labeled “the worst friend in the world.” As I was wiping tears from my eyes on my way to her house, I had an epiphany:

I really do value friendships over all other relationships. The verythought of letting down a friend was sending me into hysterics, but I’ve been in romantic relationships where I act cold and calloused about how my actions effect them. I (hopefully) never do that any more, but I know that the thought of an upset or angry friend makes me more anxious than the thought of an upset lover.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that friendships are truly a choice. There’s a great quote that I have framed on my wall that says:

“Friendship is the only relationship that you have because you really want it, there’s nothing keeping you together other than that you want to be.” — Jean Theisen

Finding great friends is rare, and the idea of losing any of them makes me sad and anxious. As much as I’m a believer in fate, I have a harder time believing that any friend can be replaced, that they wont leave a giant hole if they ever weren’t part of my life in some capacity. For romantic relationships, it’s the ol’ “plenty of other fish” mentality that doesn’t have me so concerned. I think finding those friends who “just get you” is rarer and more precious than romantic relationships. So no wonder I value them so highly.

I’m always so thankful when I’m able to help and be there for friends in their moments of need. Yes, being there during the good times is great as well– don’t get me wrong– but it’s during the hard and difficult times that true friends show their true colors. And when I can be one of those friends who people can call when they need help, are in a bind, or need a shoulder to cry on, I love it. I know how refreshing it is to have those people in my life and comforting it is to have someone(s) in the world who isn’t blood related to you who will come to your aid at the drop of a hat.

So during this time when I am wishing I had a boyfriend, I sit back and marvel at the wonderful friends I have. I have the overwhelming honor of being in their lives, and I would hope they feel the same way about me.

Friends are so precious and I hope and pray I can continue to be the best kind of friend to everyone that I meet. I love you all!

According to WordPress, this is my 100th post (including both private and public posts)! Thanks everyone for reading and commenting!

******

Living in Denver increases one’s probability in owning a dog by about 537%… or so it seems. I think I know about 3 people who don’t own a dog (I count my BFF as having one because one of her cats acts like a dog).

In case you were wondering, I do not own a dog.

BUT…

I own a toad.

That’s right, a toad. Dogs and cats are WAY too high-maintenance.

Because of his dedication to me and ability to not die after a week (or more) without eating (because I’m neglectful), I want to tell you about him.

First off, I should expose my extreme lack of creativity and tell you his name: Mr. Toad. Completely original, I know.

This is pretty much what he looks like (minus the leaves– he lives in a plastic cage with moss):

(Source)

Mr. Toad has stuck by me through countless boyfriends, about a dozen of houses/apartments, a husband (who?), and even flaky friends.

He also seems to be the invincible toad. Christmas this past December marked his 7th birthday with me! (His friend, Pickles, only lasted about 3 years to give you some perspective).

I got him as a Christmas present from my mom to have in my dorm room– she claimed, rightly so, that fish were boring. Little did she know that this toad would still be around over 7 years later.

I am too busy and lack the desire to commit to taking care of a pet that has much more maintenance than Mr. Toad. I clean his cage every couple of weeks, add water when needed, and feed him LIVE crickets every few days. Best. Pet. Ever!

Most importantly, I don’t have to pet him, hold him, or interact with him physically for any reason.

And that’s the best arrangement for both of us. He clearly loathes being held (as has been shown by him leaping out of my hands and behind a small bookcase when I was in college… what a brat!)

If you ask any of my friends who have dogs (or dog-like cats), my tolerance for them is very low. I will pet them once (if at all) and then wash my hands immediately. Except for my friend E’s dog– that dog is awesome. But she’s also really old and extremely low maintenance, so she isn’t coming up to me every 30 seconds wanting to be petted and drooling all over me.

Anyway, Mr. Toad sits happily in his cage, untouched by my hands, and I just say “good morning” to him every day in what The Roommate has deemed my “Mr. Toad voice” and that’s about the extent of our interactions. When he has been fed, I’ll watch him leap at the crickets, but he gets distracted by me and even after all this time, still thinks I’m food…

I never said he was the smartest toad.

He’s the perfect pet for me and I strangely love him. I had a complete and utter meltdown when I thought I had accidentally killed him when I thought the cage lid had squashed him– yeah, that was not the birthday phone call my dad thought he was going to get. Thankfully he came away unharmed.Whew!

Mr. Toad has been through everything with me and is one of those constants that I know I take for granted. That strange, slimy, erratic toad is one great pet.

Plus, he’s way more interesting of a topic instead of being just like everyone else by owning a dog. So even more bonus points for him!

My favorite story to tell about Mr. Toad is this one:

I got him my freshman year of college and I lived with a sorority girl (who I’ll call Pi Phi for no reason whatsoever ;-)) who I did not really get along with. We coexisted– she and I werenothing alike. So one day I came back to the room after class and Pi Phi said to me, “your toad was barking.” I looked at her like she was insane. I thought she was hearing things, and just brushed off her weird comment.

That night, I was laying on my bed watching some tv show, with Mr. Toad in his cage behind my head on my desk, and I swore I heard the a chiwawa in the room across the hall barking up a storm. “Why do they have a dog in their room?” I thought to myself. And then it hit me. I slowly sat up and turned to look at Mr. Toad. There he was, head up, and making a faint barking noise. It sounded like a small dog barking behind a closed door. I laughed and laughed and when Pi Phi came back, I told her I finally believed her. So maybe she wasn’t as crazy as I thought. The End.

Oh, and if you ever call him a “frog” I just might punch you in the face. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I love you, Mr. Toad. I just wish you didn’t eat live crickets–they’re really disgusting.

I go through phases where I become completely obsessed with a song and will listen to it non-stop. The repeat button is worn out on my itunes (if that is possible…).

Here is my current obsession: (for those of you who get my blog via email, you may have seen a random post that had this video… I seem to fail in figuring out how to attach a video in wordpress’ weird “quick post” layout…)

I’m pretty sure I’ve contributed to at least a million of the 120+ million views the video has. I just can’t get over how hauntingly beautiful this song is.

The reason I’m sharing this song obsession with you is the fact that when I listened to the lyrics, I realized that when I think about my life, I have actually had the thought “oh yeah, I was married once…” My ex, Voldemort, is just some guy I used to know. I’m not at all connected to him. I don’t wish to have him back. I hope to never even run into him. I never use the term “ex-husband” even– he’s always “my ex.” He doesn’t even have enough standing in my life to be acknowledged in his past standing of importance.

When I was in the middle of my divorce, I couldn’t imagine how I would ever not feel sad about it. And yet, here I am, 3 years later, vaguely recollecting that I was even married to him… It’s crazy how I went from committing my life to this guy to labeling him under “some guy I used to know.”

Time really does heal all wounds.

I have an official announcement to make:

The majority of men are cowards.

Even at the age of 36, a man can still treat the end of a relationship like some awkward 16 year-old. Seriously, A? Stopping talking is your M.O.? I would have thought after all this time you would have come up with some new strategy that isn’t popular with teenagers the world over… but being 36 and single–never married or engaged (and possibly never even lived with someone)– should have told me that one…

Also, I think I  have a case of the jinx.

Next time I start going on and on about a new relationship and how this one is different than all the others that have preceded it… stop me.

The minute I start talking about how great a guy is, what potential he has, he goes and does the exact opposite of what I’ve been talking about and proves, yet again, that I talked too soon.

Sigh.

On to the next.

Hello my readers, if in fact any of you have stuck around a month after I promised to be back from my hiatus for the month of November.

These last couple of months have been a complete whirlwind. During November, I successfully wrote a 50,915-word novel! It was easier than it sounds, but it completely consumed my thoughts and time. I was able to celebrate it with my fellow NaNoWriMo writing buddy with a toast of champagne after we both “won” on November 30. I’ll post some excerpts of my novel on here to give you all a taste of my writing.

In December, my company finalized a billion-dollar deal– that was billion with a B! The tension in the office was extremely high leading up to it, and I worked overtime almost every night for two weeks. I even had to come in on a Saturday to help get things finished before we closed. We closed on Dec. 8, and the funniest thing was that had anyone come into our office not knowing the deal had gone down, you would have thought it just another Wednesday. No one was celebrating, no one was congratulating each other– NOTHING! It was so bizarre!

But with that closing came a huge bonus, that I was excited to spend on my family for Christmas. It was actually the thing I was most looking forward to when my boss told me the amount I was getting (Fruition and pedicures, here we come!!). Also with that bonus, I bought myself a NEW CAR! It’s a red Mini Cooper! I’m so excited and just want to go out and drive it around and pretend even more that I live in London! A funny little side story: As my mom (who came with me to get the car) and I were standing at the service desk giving my email address, I realized I had the premonition of getting a Mini Cooper all the way back in high school (or was it middle school…?) my email address starts with mini-… it’s a joke to the fact that I’m really short, but now it just looks like I’m completely obsessed with my car :-/ Oh well!

My life has finally calmed down a lot, so I can finally finish the blog-per-day I was attempting. I will hopefully pick that back up here in the next day or so. I hope you are all still reading and you didn’t feel abandoned 😉 I promise, I couldn’t even think about what groceries to buy, let alone what to write in a blog post these last couple of months!

How about all of you? How has your last month been?