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!

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!

Life has been absolutely crazy lately, and I want to take a moment to breathe and express my gratitude about where my life is right now.

At this time last year, I was in a job that I loathed. The office was described by my fellow-coworkers as toxic, crazy-making, and just downright miserable. But now I am in a job where my boss regularly acknowledges my contributions, I’m respected by my coworkers, the new engineer’s manager even said to all of the engineers that he was so glad that I was a part of that team because I bring so much value to it! It still makes me smile just thinking about that. Towards the end, I never smiled at my old job. There was nothing happy and my contributions were never acknowledged. It’s such a breath of fresh air to finally be in a place where I’m treated like an adult and respected as a valuable member of the office.

Plus, they sent me to Williston again to continue learning about what the engineers do on a day-to-day basis and to learn more about what our company does. I went in February where I nearly froze to death (and coinsidentally is the first time I met Company Ink!) but I had just started at that job 2 weeks before– so I was still pretty unfamiliar with the intricacies of our work/company and I didn’t know any of the engineers yet. But I was reminded that I take quality half-way decent restaurants in Denver for granted…

While The Roommate is gone for the next month and a half, which I miss her so much so I’m packing my life full of other things so I don’t have to think about it too much or be at the house by my house too often (denial really is a beautiful thing), I’ve been spending quality time with friends, family, and Company Ink.

I’ve gone to Chicago to visit my old college roommate, I went to Balboa Island in California with my family (no one wanted to kill each other by the end of it, so that is a definite success!), and got to spend an evening while we were there with a few of my cousins who I only have interaction via facebook, but don’t really know them at all.

Company Ink and I even spent a weekend up in Beaver Creek to look at the foliage. It was our first weekend getaway together and it was so much fun (although I got a little drunk… stupid altitude messing with my already lightweight-ness!). So New York for a long weekend is definitely in our near future… 😉

And I’m getting ready to go to Florida for a week with some friends to go to Disney World the day after my BFF’s little sister gets married (congrats TJ!) Wow, the wedding is a week from today and I leave for DW a week from tomorrow… I have a lot of packing and shopping to do! Hopefully my friends’ children behave relatively well and we all walk away still being friends. I went to Disney World when I was 6 and I have a vague recollection of it– plus, I’ve heard it’s completely different so it doesn’t really matter! Watch out Mickey and Minnie– here I come!

I know I can take the simple things for granted in my life, but taking a moment to reflect on where my life was only a year ago really takes my breath away. Now if only The Roommate would get back from Europe– then things would be perfect! (P.S. Roommate, in case it isn’t clear, I really really miss you! I cannot wait for you to get home so we can have normal face-to-face conversations and have major, quality boy-talk!)

Anyone have any positive things going on in their life they’d like to share?

 

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.

I’m hoping by posting about my current feelings about my love life will help alleviate my frustration. So please bear with me…

I have great friends, a great job, a loving family and most of my evenings and weekends are packed. I would describe myself as happy and content with my life.

However…

I am extremely lonely.

Both my sister, who in the past has been the biggest relationship-phobe but is now in a full-fledged relationship, and The Roommate are dating men who fit them so well and I have seen how much joy they get from being in those relationships.

I look on their relationships with envy and really wish that I was with someone who made that much sense with me. Instead, I end up on dates with players, dickheads, crazies, and bores. Or on no dates at all.

And don’t get me wrong– I am so happy for my sister and The Roommate and can’t wait to see where their relationships end up (it’s like a real-life romantic comedy for The Roommate… and I have front row seats!). Their relationships show me that there are people out there who fit perfectly with another person. And it’s been so great to see the positive changes that have come from them being in those relationships.

I like dating, I like going out and meeting new people. First dates don’t give me any sort of anxiety and I’m never nervous about them– which helps me be relaxed and a good conversationalist. But I’m not meeting anyone who would be a good match for me.

Not by a long-shot.

I have a dating philosophy that says “I never say no to a request for a first date” (within reason, of course). My thought is that if a guy has had enough courage to ask me out on a date (or even for my phone number), I will oblige. And I will go with a positive attitude and hope that something comes from it. Unless I’ve known the guy for a while, how can I know how good of a match they’ll be for me if I don’t give them a chance?

But do I need to change that philosophy? Am I not being discerning enough, so I continue to end up disappointed more times than not? Or is that the “right” way to do it, and hope that eventually I’ll go out with “the one”?

And I’m not even asking for much at this point. I know that the shaming of single women is “you’re just being too picky,” which I honestly don’t think I am. At this point in time, all I’m looking for is someone who has a job, can carry a two-way conversation, I have chemistry with them, and he isn’t an asshole.

I feel like I’m too young to have to start lowering my bar/expectations. Or has 26 become the start for spinsters? Maybe it is– during a recent conversation with a friend, we started talking about how it’s nearly impossible to find someone who is not either: A) completely immature, B) recently divorced, or C) not looking for a relationship. Sounds like a list of the traits of my recent dates…

I don’t want to whine. I hate when people whine about “no one loves me!”

But I can’t seem to help myself. I’ve been doing everything I can to meet people out in my world (as opposed to online)– I’ve joined social groups, attended meetups, drank at networking happy hours, I’m currently captaining my kickball team, volunteering more– but none of that hasn’t seemed to get me anywhere. Yes, I’m making new/more friends, but any guys I meet at any of those get-togethers are unavailable, way older than I am, or sleazy.

I’ve been bound and determined to not get back into the online dating world because I REALLY want to meet someone “organically.” But more and more, I’m finding that that has really become nearly impossible.

Is online dating really the only way to meet anyone any more? Or should I continue to be a “Ted Moseby” and hold out hope that I’ll meet my future mister out about in my life?

I’m feeling down about this, and I refuse to let it bring my entire out-look on life down, but I also can’t shake the dark rain cloud that is lurking in the background, ready to swallow me if I give it more than a moment’s attention.

Thanks for listening to me whine. Hopefully getting this off my chest will help me get past it and just live my life and tell that dark cloud to go away.

To help cheer me up (and tell you where the title reference came from), I’m hoping Winnie the Pooh will help:

 

I spent my evening last night at the Denver Center for Performing Arts to see the show “Wicked.” It’s quite possibly the best show I’ve ever seen! And I had the unique opportunity to see it twice!

I went last night with my friend, The Lawyer, who had never seen a live musical before– quite the travesty since he’s 32 years old! However, it was really fun to be there with someone who had never experienced the wonder and amazement of quality live theater. I’ve been going to plays for as long as I remember– my family and my BFF’s family saw the play “The Frog Prince” at least a half a dozen times when it was at the Arvada Center when I was about 10 years old… and we still quote a line or two from it to this day- “pass the peas please, thank you!”

I actually dated The Lawyer a while ago, right before things started to happen with Funny Man, but I just didn’t feel any chemistry. I was actually really disappointed about that because he and I are so similar– he likes to cook, we have similar tastes in restaurants, movies, music and I feel relaxed and comfortable around him. But no romantic spark… sigh…

But we have become really good friends, and even talk about other dates we go on with each other– which I consider the true test of a male/female friendship– being able to talk about dating other people with them. And because we’re so similar, we have been able to enjoy a lot of random things together. We’re even compiling a list of restaurants we’ve been wanting to try to go to together.

Last night was one of those nights! He wanted to go see “Wicked” and he asked me to come with him. Oh, twist my arm, I guess I’ll go see it again. We decided to get dressed up to go to the theater– the only way to go, in my opinion. I donned one of my homecoming dresses from high school and he wore a really sharp suit and we had a night on the town.

It was so refreshing to be able to go out and enjoy a good meal (I paid since he paid for the tickets to the play) and a show with a male companion and not have to worry about the romantic implications of everything. I was able to relax and laugh and enjoy myself without worrying about what he thought of me, or trying to be the “perfect” date and, in turn, making myself anxious or nervous.

One of the best nights I’ve had in a while!

And because I was looking super cute, and I got permission to post this pic, I want to share it with you:

We totally won the Best Dressed award!

Wow, all that’s missing is a corsage and boutonniere and we’d be at prom.

When I was in high school, I was known as the “phase” girl in my youth group. (Background story: I was super-involved in church all growing up and into college. (I’ve taken a 180 degree turn from that life since then.) So to say that church and youth group were my life in high school would be a total under-statement). When we (being the girls) used that term, we referred to the girl who all the boys in the youth group liked. And their affections came and went– hence the term “phase girl.” But they all seemed to be in love with the same girl at the same time.

I believe I hold the record for longest time in that position, but no one kept an official count 😉 I knew all the guys liked me and I liked all of them. I flirted like crazy and was very friendly and uncharacteristically outgoing. I was friendly with everyone, not just the guys, and wanted everyone to feel included. Having struggled to make friends when I first came to that church, I made it a point to reach out and help anyone who was new to make friends and feel included. That plight ended up leading to my demise, but that’s neither here nor there.

That relaxation and not-being-self-conscious seemed to disappear once I entered college and by the time I graduated, it was pretty much gone for good.

I then got married, so flirting and interactions with other men was scarce and I had no need/reason to be that flirty.

But even after my divorce, that flirtiness never returned. And I’ve never been able to really relax when I interact with men.

I distinctly remember a session with my counselor about relaxing. I’m not talking about relaxing being a night drinking tea and taking a long bubble bath. I’m talking about the kind of relaxing around people that came so naturally to me in high school.

I didn’t care about what people thought, I was friendly and outgoing and enjoyed the people I spent time with. My goal to be “perfect” has ended up interfering with my natural friendliness and now I am rigid and awkward and struggle with just go with the flow.

My counselor had me sit on one couch like I would have in high school– I slouched and put my legs out in front of me– clearly comfortable and relaxed. She then had me sit in my normal chair (I literally sat in the exact same chair for 2 years solid… OCD much?) to show how I feel now. I crossed my legs and arms and sat up straight.

I don’t remember if there was even a “lesson” that was supposed to go with that exercise, but it’s one of the few sessions that I replay in my head pretty consistently. Deep down, I know what it feels and looks like to relax and just be myself. But those feelings seem to be eluding me.

During an email exchange with a new-found friend, I asked him about how to meet guys in the real world (as opposed to online). His answer was simple: be relaxed, smile a lot, and be friendly with everyone you interact with, even if it’s the person standing behind you at the supermarket– you never know what can/will happen because of those interactions.

As I read his advice, a vision of myself from high school flashed through my head. That girl is so different from who I am now, but I realized I envy her. I envy her relaxation and care-free attitude about life.

I wasn’t told any advice I hadn’t heard or even done before. But it was the reminder I needed that I can relax, be myself, be flirty and friendly. As a result, I’ll be happier with myself, my interactions with other people, and I just might finally attract the attention of a guy who values that kind of person.

I’ve dated guys who are attracted to my more mature attitude– no one ever guesses my real age– they either guess 17 because I look like a high schooler or 29 because I act a lot older/mature than people “typically” do my age. And I’ve ended up dating some pretty big a-holes… so clearly not being myself is not getting me anywhere good.

So thanks to Zak for the reminder to be myself. The real Kate is in there somewhere, possibly stuck back in high school, but maybe I can at least glean some advice from her about how to stop being so boring! Plus, I’ll have a lot more fun when I am my friendly self as opposed to the stuffy, rigid person I’ve been for the last few years.