Friday, December 28, 2012

That was fast...

I cannot believe or fathom that 2012 is almost gone. We are down to the final days, hours and minutes of yet another year. Forget resolutions, party hats and plans for the new year. I've never been one to make resolutions. Instead of making plans for the next year, I simply want another 2012. I want another year of more ups than downs, more smiles, more laughter, more friends.

I started 2012 with a new job, a job I can actually live off of and look forward to going to everyday. It's had it moments and while I work for a large machine, I do not oppose the corporate culture as I've discovered I can blend right in. I do not save lives at my job and this has never been my career goal but there are days when I do the smallest things and see how it has the largest impact on people. I can honestly say I enjoy my job and that is so rare these days. I have not been able to say that since 2008.

Material collected for cancer patients.
The year continued on with travel that I've missed for the past three years. Since my best friend left for college in August of 1995, we've flown or driven back and forth religiously for visits (about 2 visits a year). For the past three years due to job transitions and general life obstacles, I have not been able to travel. This year, for possibly the first time ever, I enjoyed a vacation with a layover in New York City. It was only one night but it was a night of belly laughter, gin, pictures, and enjoying my friends company that I'd missed so dearly

Birthday package for Annie-a 17-year tradition
My vacation continued onto Maine. Before 2012, I've only driven through a small portion of Maine. This year, I enjoyed the full New England experience complete with shore line views, sailboats, amazing seafood and a few visits to LL Bean. I met all of the future in laws. It was a great reprieve from work. Unlike previous attempts to have a vacation, this time, my phone did not ring. My boss did not have any urgent calls. I was too busy enjoying the sun and food to take them anyway.

Real Maine lobsters.

Our wedding literally started off the fall season. The weather held out even with a wind storm. No one passed out. JC and I showed up for each other. Everything was calm, relaxed and fun. The hours flew past and we are still cleaning up from the wedding here and there. It was a perfect day even though we did not have many traditional elements.

A bicycle wedding
Forget a honeymoon, cyclocross season began one week post wedding bliss. On a chilly Sunday morning, predawn, we stepped into spandex to get muddy. Neither of our race season were stellar. In fact, I barely finished 3 races. It was not for the lack of trying but maybe just too much going on in life. New job, planning a wedding, vacation, and unknown work schedule do not lend time to train. While disappointing, I finished the season uninjured and this is always a good thing.
Me, suffering.
As the holidays approached, I resigned to do the normal "family thing" my family always does which is hang around and do nothing. We are not formal folks and mom has never cooked a turkey in her life. I was prepared to cook but mom suggested a road trip to St. Louis to visit our cousins. The St. Louis family is some of the only family we have left and in all of my years, my mother has never suggested a road trip. I love road trips but I was not sure what to expect with mom. I am a seasoned traveler and mom does not drive on the highway. To my surprise, the trip was seamless other than a little mild car sickness on mom's part. We enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving feast around a dining room table with family. For the first time in my life, I enjoyed a post card holiday.

Cousins in St. Louis
 My plans to wrap up the year were simple with the planning of dinner with friends. However, in late November, I received an email announcing Project Improv was having a 10-year reunion. I was not a part of the original cast. I was a part of the second cast but without any hesitation, I said yes to a show. So tonight, for the first time in about 4-years, I will be doing a little improv with a group of people I have enduring respect for. All three troupes will be performing. I did not predict how this year would end but literally when the curtain goes down, the year will be near an end.

Project Improv Pic 2007 or 08

I have no plans for 2013. There is discussion of another vacation. There has been mention of racing bikes. My best friend recently got engaged so I am on standby for a pop-up wedding at some point. I do plan on using my new 5qt mixer over and over. However, I am not about to make any formal plans. Instead, I plan to ride the roller coaster that is the new year and hope for the best. More friends, more food, good health, bike rides, and lots of laughter. It sounds simple so I hope it happens this way.