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.

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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 🙂

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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)

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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:

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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.

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Balboa Island, California

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Top of the Hitchcock Building, Chicago

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Who’s ready to see Micky and Minnie?

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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!

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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!)

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Girls night out to see “Wicked”

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TJ’s wedding with my sister!

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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:

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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:

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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:

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Rode in the Denver Cruiser Duct Tape and Cardboard night:

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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:

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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!

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Consider this my acknowledgement of the fact that I haven’t posted since… holy crap! August 10! And that was the day that so much happened 🙂

Anyway, I have a lot of boy-related news to share with you. And I’m apologizing in advance: this is kind of long. But I didn’t want to make you wait to hear all the details by making this a multi-part story.

For those of you who may have forgotten where we left off, I last told you all that I finally admitted my crush on my coworker. I’m calling him Company Ink (CI for short) for now until I think of a better nickname. Well, after inviting me over to his house that next night to watch a movie (which we actually watched, thankyouverymuch!), we spent hours making out on his couch.

I then proceeded to spend every available moment with him the rest of the weekend.

The most amazing part about everything is just how normal and natural it all feels. That anticipation as he leaned in for the first kiss– since I was finally sending the “I’m truly interested” and “OMG! Kiss me!” signals– and everything has flowed without any hesitation. Spending the entire weekend with him didn’t feel overwhelming or like we were going to fizzle out once reality hit (aka work the next day).

Even when we went rock climbing with his good friends on that Sunday, it was not a big deal that we were dating. It made sense to them and was kind of expected. Apparently, he had been lamenting to these friends about how he couldn’t figure out if I liked him or not, and even got them involved in trying to figure me out… As I explained to CI later, it wasn’t that I didn’t like him. It was the fact that I work with him that was my big hold-up. So they were never going to figure me out!

We’ve had quite a good laugh over how I just couldn’t figure out what to do. And my mom was appalled about just how mixed my signals actually were: I invited him over to my house to watch a movie in the middle of the day, but then cancelled on dinner when he was clearly asking me out on a date. I went to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival with him, but would drag coworkers along with us when he asked me to go to lunch. And that’s just the beginning. He sure is lucky (and relieved) I finally made up my mind!

My biggest anxiety about dating him was the fact that WE WORK TOGETHER! But come to find out? It’s really no big deal. I see him in the hallway, I chat with him just like I had before, and we give each other quick pecks on the lips when no one is around. (Let me just state for the record: soundless, quick kisses are completely disappointing… but that’s what we have to do for now since we still haven’t told anyone at work yet). So far, there’s not much difference between before and now– which is exactly like it should be. We have been able to maintain our professional/business relationship and keep our personal life outside of work hours. Well, except for the covert pinch I gave him in the elevator with all our coworkers around 😉

I’m really happy with how things have gone and it’s happened like I would have wanted– I was friends with him for almost 9 months before something romantic happened. Meaning: we were friends first. We know we can talk easily, we have a lot in common, and we connect on a deeper level than just physical attraction. I’ve dated guys where there really was no depth, and it was so unsatisfying on an emotional level. Instead, now I have someone I know I like to talk to and we can spend hours talking and hanging out– and it’s never strained or filled with awkward silences.

One of my favorite things has been that making plans has not felt stifling or overwhelming. He emailed me a link the other day that had a hotel deal in the mountains that we can go away for the weekend. So in a few weeks, I’ll be in Beaver Creek enjoying the views of the changing aspen trees and wandering a ski town I’ve never been to. We’re also talking about going to New York City for a weekend some time in November. Our company has every other Friday off, so it makes it really easy to plan long-weekend getaways really easily! He even told me, after a second-failed attempt to win “Book of Mormon” tickets, that we could just go see it on Broadway when we’re there…

So after spending most weekends together (when one of us isn’t out of town) and a couple of nights a week, we finally had THE talk.

We had spent 8 hours at Wash Park on Labor Day with a bunch of friends. My sister was introducing CI to her friends and she ended it with “he and my sister are…. dating?” He told me about the conversation on Tuesday and that was the catalyst that was needed to talk about what we were calling each other/what we were doing. We’d talked a couple of weeks ago about what we were looking for, so we knew at least we were on the same page there.

So, over some mediocre sushi, CI officially became my boyfriend!

To continue our natural progression of our relationship, even that conversation was simple, easy, and natural. It wasn’t dramatic or anxiety-filled. We knew we liked each other, we’ve been spending a lot of time together, and we want things to go to the next level.

Even though I don’t really like labels, especially that of boyfriend/girlfriend, because they sound cheesy and weird (which I explained to my mom that I now understand why Dan Savage calls Terry his “huuusband” on his podcast) I call CI my “buhfriend” (it sounds better if you hear it).

Company Ink has already been to 2 family nights, and tonight will be the third. It’s also the last family dinner The Roommate will be at for a while, but that’s for another post. I’m basking in the happy thoughts of me and CI and I’ll get to the “I’m really going to miss her” emotions and blogging tomorrow.

For now, I’m happy 🙂

I probably shouldn’t admit this since my track record for talking about crushes is less than stellar.

But I have to get this off my chest.

I’ve developed a crush on the Sales Manager/Engineer at my office. He’s 29 (almost 30), a fellow CSU-alum, and we have gotten along since the minute he walked into our office.

It’s also clear that he has a crush on me as well, and has for quite some time.

I’ve never had to deal with inter-office romances because my old job was working with a bunch of men who were married and most could be my dad.

So I just spent the last 5 hours at a happy hour with him and neither of us noticed how much time had passed. Except that the sun had gone down, that was our only indication of how late it was. And all of our conversations are that easy and stress-less.

What do I do about this? Do I let something happen between us?

I have been aware of his affections from day one, but have (unintentionally) sent mixed signals about my feelings in return. Up until recently, I felt completely platonic towards him, but for some reason, those platonic feelings have morphed into romantic feelings.

Take tonight for example. I went with him back to our office so he could grab his computer, and my first thought was “how scandalous this could  be!” Then, as I was standing and looking out over the western horizon of city lights from our conference room, he joined me and my thought was “this could be incredibly romantic… I wonder what it would be like to kiss him…”

Nothing happened, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that I didn’t pay attention at all to what he said to me and was instead playing out fantasies in my head while he was talking. I mean, really. We were in a dark, empty office all by ourselves!

As I said before, I don’t know what to do. Has anyone ever dealt with this? I have friends who met because he was her intern and now are married, so I know it can work out in the end. Could it work out for us? Can it not be awkward? Or is the possibility of the drama that would occur if things don’t work out enough of a deterrent and it should be avoided at all costs? Please! Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!

Thankfully The Roommate likes this guy, so I already have approval there. The Lawyer is also on board with it, too, but I think that’s more about winning a bet with himself about the fact that something happened when I so adamantly insisted that it never would.

For now, I’ll let it ride out and see where it goes. But I know those butterflies that have taken residence in my stomach wont let me forget my feelings any time soon… sigh…

After an enlightening conversation with my mom this weekend, and fateful timing of hearing John Mayer’s song “Say What You Need to Say,” I actually wrote a response to Funny Man’s email. She had asked me why I was still as emotional about him even though we didn’t date that long. My response to her was: “I never got the closure I needed.” After a long conversation, we talked through how I could email him and tell him how I felt without sounding hysterical or over-reacting. I’m disappointed and bummed out, and that was the true cause of my frustration. But in no way was I going to excuse his behavior or sugar-coat how I feel. And I’m a blunt person (just as my sister), and my response shows that.

So, I wrote out the email, had The Roommate read it and give her feedback, and sent it this morning. I’m hoping this will finally take that dread out of the pit of my stomach when I run into him, think about him, or he is mentioned by mutual friends.

I really hope this gives me the closure I so badly desire:

 

Funny Man—

It was a surprise to get your long-overdue email. While I appreciate the sentiment, I wish you had taken actual responsibility for your actions. Your dishonest behavior was deliberate and intentional– and leaving information out of our interactions didn’t “just happen.”

I’m very disappointed in how you handled things and how you treated me. You were one of my favorite people to be around and I liked being your friend– I know I told you more than once how much you made me laugh. And now, because of your inexcusable behavior, we can’t even be friends.

All it would have taken would have been a short, albeit uncomfortable, conversation telling me what was going on and where things stood. I honestly believe that if you had done that, we could have stayed friends and all of this could have been avoided. Instead, you deceived me and led me on—and that was just cruel.

I hope that you really do feel as bad as you said you do. And because of this experience, I hope you have learned to treat women with respect and have learned the importance of having open and honest communication with them.

I wish things had turned out differently and you had treated me better and with an ounce of respect. I really am disappointed in you—I truly expected more.

Kate

I’ve been thinking a lot about a conversation my mom and I had last weekend. We were talking about a topic that comes up with a lot of frequency within my family and with The Roommate– how women are portrayed in media.

I’ll save the rant for now, but one topic made me think more about my life than just how my age or gender are portrayed: they all encourage the passivity of women.

And it’s this passivity that has been nagging at me recently. It’s rare that things “just happen” to people. And most importantly in my life right now is that dating doesn’t just happen to someone. If you log onto a dating website, you’re being active and if something romantic happens, it’s because you took the time and effort to log on and interact. And if you go out “on the prowl,” you are inviting conversation by how you act and dress. And life, I’m finding out, is NOT like a romantic comedy where you happen to run into your soul mate while perusing the ice cream aisle at the grocery store…

And it’s this necessity of action that has inspired a new step in the dating process for me. As well as this quote:

There’s a time to let things happen and a time to make things happen

-Hugh Prather

I realized I’ve been waiting for dating to magically happen for me. I’m still digging my heels in about not doing online dating, I lament about all of my friends being coupled-up/married, and I realized I only know 4 single people! So my dating network is pretty limited.

So I’ve decided to stop sitting around being passive and make something happen!

…drum roll…

I’ve decided to host a singles party! I know that there HAVE to be people out there who are single and looking for a good place to meet others that isn’t a bar or online (Right? Or am I the only one who still insists on meeting someone “organically” (aka not online)?).

I’ve chatted with The Lawyer about it, and I’ll be chatting with my sparse group of singles friends to gauge interest. I’m hoping to have this be a fun and relaxed night and even if romance doesn’t happen, maybe some new friends can come out of this!

What do you all think? Is hosting a singles party corny and stupid (and desperate)? Or is it a fun way to mingle with other singles (I swear I didn’t type that on purpose) and possibly get connected to people who have gotten a stamp of approval by being invited by friends/trusted people?

Personally, I think it could be a lot of fun– but only if people are willing to come and put themselves out there. Otherwise, it’ll be me sitting at home with my mom’s delicious food (she’s going to cater the party) and hanging out with my 4 single friends (two of whom I know have a crush on me…).

Let the party begin!

Because my knee-jerk reaction to getting an apology email from Funny Man yesterday (after 4 months of absolute silence) was to write him a scathing email in return, I thought it would be more productive to write my thoughts/response here and never reply to his lack-of-taking-responsibility email. Plus, I don’t want him to know just how much he hurt me…

 

Wow, Funny Man. It took you 4 months to write an apology to me. Glad to see your conscience at least sort of works. You might want to work on your timing though.

And I must admit, your ability to write that entire email and never once take any sort of responsibility for your actions is quite impressive. I never knew that dating someone “just happens” to people. I must be going about this dating thing all wrong.

All it would have taken would have been to call, or even email me (although, if you did that, I would have called you a coward), about what was going on. Instead, you fleetingly mentioned a trip to Mexico and never responded to my email about who you were going with. So technically you never lied to me.

But the deception and misleading abounded. But no, you never lied. That must be a major distinction in your mind since you made a point to reassure me that “I never lied to you.” Do you really think that is going to make me feel better? I know what happened and I watched everything unfold– the issue isn’t that you lied, the issue is that you lead me on and never came clean about what was going on. Instead, you just slinked away and hid behind not responding to my email. You really are a quality guy.

Strangely, the most annoying part of your email was that you told me you saw me at the restaurant with my sister. My sister and I were so sure that we ran fast enough that you didn’t see us. Both of us are bummed about that. But that “bummer” was redeemed when you told me you saw me at The Rio. I did not see you there, so it makes me happy that I unintentionally completely ignored your presence.

You claimed in your email that you still consider me a “really special person” to you. If this is how you treat the “special” people in your life, I can only imagine how you treat and handle relationships with people you actually like. Also, I think that statement is complete bullshit, so you should have just kept that to yourself. It’s not at all reassuring. “Wow, Funny Man is such an asshole, but at least he thinks I’m special”…. yeah….

And lastly, Funny Man,  you broke my heart.

And for that, I don’t know if I can ever forgive you. You knowingly handled me and our relationship the way you did, so there is no justifying that away. Yeah, you found some pretty blond to be with instead. But you could have continued the “oh so honest” conversation our relationship took a break because of. It would have taken a simple phone call or conversation. Yes, it would have been hard. Yes, it would have been uncomfortable. But we could have probably stayed friends. Or at least I wouldn’t despise you to the core of my being.

You were one of my favorite people to be around and I’m really sad that that friendship is no longer there. I guess I should have kept my crush to myself and all of us could have been saved from this disaster. I pushed for something I wanted and it came back to bite me in the butt. I now know to be a lot more cautious when approaching a new love-interest. I’m trying not to let my experience with you taint how I open up and let myself be vulnerable with other people in the future. But boy is that a challenge.

Now that we work in the same building (the universe really is a bitch sometimes), I’m sure I’ll see you more often than I have. And I plan to continue to ignore you. I don’t know how I’m going to handle it if you somehow initiate a “hello” but we’ll cross that bridge if/when that happens.

So now you’re just another guy I used to know.

And good riddance.

Guess what I’m doing tonight?

I’m going on a blind date!

And when I say blind date, I mean I only have a vague idea of what he looks like based on his LinkedIn profile picture and a site I found when I googled him… and I know his name and occupation. That’s all I know.

My sister met him and his friends out at a bar this last weekend while she was out for a friend’s bachelorette party. After a long conversation, my sister decided he was worthy of her stamp of approval. She then told him that her sister is single and that we should go out! So she got his number so I could call him.

For the first time in my life, I finally understand the agony of men in the dating world. Calling someone new is terrifying! I wanted to text him because it’s easier and way less scary.

But I called him!

I hoped and prayed that it would go to voicemail– I had the message rehearsed and everything. But no, he answered. He laughed when I told him who I was and we engaged in a brief conversation.

He then offered for us to go out for happy hour to actually meet in person.

So in an hour I’ll be sitting across from some guy my sister found for me and engaging in first-date banter… and “I’ve just met you” banter.

Well, I hope it’s banter. If it’s not, then the family stuff I (actually) have to leave for will miraculously happen earlier than planned.

But my sister is a pretty accurate and strict judge of character, so the fact that this guy passed whatever test she puts people through really tells me a lot about him.

Here’s hoping her radar continues to be spot-on!