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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For the past three years, I have participated in what is known as NaNoWriMo. I even took a hiatus from blogging last year when I did it last year. For those of you unfamiliar with the event, participants attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. If you’re dedicated, it’s only 1,667 words a day that only takes about an hour to hour-and-a-half of writing a day. It’s not difficult and very manageable– even with a full-time job and a social life.

The first year, I wrote a novel that will NEVER see the light of day. Only The Roommate has read a passage from it (I wrote a sex scene in my book and had her read it while sitting in the middle of a crowded coffee shop). It was a story that had so much of my life/me in it, it was kind of embarrassing. The amount of projection that happened was appalling! I clearly needed to process through some things, and my story was where it happened.

And it was the worst, most cheesy story EVER! However, it did involve a Spanish chef, so that was fun to write about 😉

After a trip to Spain last year, I wrote a story about a matador for last year’s NaNo. I obviously have some sort of affinity for Spain…

I was so excited about that story! I had the ending in my head before I even had the full story outlined. I knew what I wanted the characters to be like and I knew where the story was going to end up. It was also themed after one of my favorite pictures, which I have framed in my bedroom:

“Billy Boys” by Jack Vettriano

My main character, Enrique Romero, was based off the guy second from the left. See how cool and suave he looks? So sexy!

I loved my story. I loved the characters. I really enjoyed trying to get the story to where I wanted it to end up, and was marveled at how brilliantly it worked!

I sent a copy of it to my parents, my sister, The Roommate, my friend who also did Nano and was eager to hear what they thought. I knew it wasn’t publication-worthy, but the ideas and themes and character development was what I was going for. Plus, I used places that I had actually been, so I could picture my characters there. I loved the entire experience of writing last year. I was proud of my story and I wanted to share it with everyone!

But then came this year…

I tried to write. I even got ideas from friends and family to help make the story fun. But my heart just wasn’t in it. I wrote just over 10,000 words and could not muster the energy to write any more. My characters were fun and entertaining– a cross-dressing boss, a hypochondriac secretary… but the story just could not come together.

I also realized I didn’t care. I didn’t care about my story, I didn’t care about “winning” (which is reaching 50,000 by Nov. 30), and I really didn’t care about my characters. I liked the ideas of where some of their stories were headed– a man following one of my characters home after a cruise and constantly asks her to marry him, a machete fight in the Amazon Rainforest, and money laundering through a travel agency– but I just couldn’t muster the creative juices to get my characters there. I wrote a fifth of my story and they hadn’t even begun doing any of those things…

So after a conversation with my sister, who helped me feel good about giving up on “winning,” I finally said, “enough!”

I know I set out to get novel #3 written, but I just couldn’t do it. But I feel good about it. I wasn’t enjoying myself and I didn’t like my story. And as my sister pointed out, I’ve written TWO novels! Not many people in the world can say that. So when I look at it that way, I really have succeeded.

I’ve convinced Company Ink to try it next year, so maybe he and I can be writing buddies and I’ll have more motivation when next year comes around.

But for now, I’m content with not fulfilling a goal I had for myself. But at least I tried. Maybe “Holland America Line” will be more developed when next year comes around and I can take another stab at it… or find a new story somewhere in my brain to write about next year.