Looking Back on 2015

Yes, it is February 8th and yes, I am about to write my recap of 2015.

It has been so long since I last blogged that WordPress has changed the interface in my absence and I’m not even sure I know how to blog anymore.

But the only way to begin is to just sit down and do it.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I just haven’t been sharing my writing. So it’s time to start.

Despite the fact that I spent the first day of 2016 with with a killer hangover and the second and third days with a terrible cold, it was a good start to the year. I realized that I am in a much better place beginning this year than I was a year ago.

I went through some of the past year’s writing and I realized that I was just so miserable at the beginning of 2015. I was in such a rut with my job, and I was struggling in a big way. I was mentally and emotionally drained from having to deal with work drama. Going into 2015, I was desperate for a new job, I was watching many of my friends leave the company, I was putting on a fake smile every day, and I was dreading driving in to work each morning. Granted, I had great things going on with Jim and my friends were cool and I was exercising, but when work is such a big part of life it’s hard to not let that cross over into everything else, even a little bit.

So here’s to 2016. Cheers to a new year – but also cheers to the majority of 2015, which turned out to be literally the best year of my life, so far. Highlights being: I got a new job, I got engaged and I bought a house. This was a HUGE year for me. Most of the year was just so incredible, and it was so crazy and chaotic and stressful and fast-paced that I barely had time or energy left to breathe. But it was amazing.

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Just a random picture of Pittsburgh that I took from the Gateway Clipper.

So here’s your recap. All the great things that happened in 2015. I hope to go into more detail for you in the coming weeks, but no promises. Because by now we all know that I break my promises.

In January, despite being tired of my job, I got to go to Hershey for a work convention. It wasn’t quite as fun as the first time I’d gone – the novelty had worn off – but I do like traveling, especially when everything, including the chocolate martinis,  is paid for.

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In February, Jim and I saw the Phantom of the Opera downtown. I love, love, love this musical and I was so excited to introduce it to Jim. Also I listened to the soundtrack on repeat for about four weeks straight. Jim thinks I might be a bit crazy.

In March, we visited Jim’s cousin and then-fiance at their old apartment in Cleveland. They took us on a mini tour and we got to see the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Brewing Company, a couple different maybe-famous restaurants, and the Arcade shopping mall. Oh, and Jim went to a comic convention.

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Later that month, we vacationed in Bonita Springs, Florida, where Jim’s parents had just bought a condo. We relaxed on the beach, we kayaked, we went to Universal Studios for a day and experienced Harry Potter World. And Jim proposed. On the beach. At sunset. With a poem he’d written in a fake book. While dolphins swam by. It was epic and it was the best vacation ever.

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Don’t mind that girl on the right. 

I started my new job at BarkleyREI on March 17th, when we got back from vacation. I remember the date because it was St. Patrick’s Day and I wore green to be festive and fun. Working for BarkleyREI for the past almost-year has been absolutely amazing and I can’t believe I got so lucky to work for such a great company.

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Barkley headquarters in Kansas City. The mothership. 

April was average.

In May, Jim and I took a mini vacation to Buffalo and Erie wine country to celebrate our birthdays. We stayed in the cutest bed and breakfast and tasted tons of wine and went to the Presque Isle Casino and just as we walked up wondering when they have races at the downs, the horses took off and we got to watch.

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First tasting of the day – 10 a.m.

In June, I got to travel to Kansas City, Missouri for an all-staff company meeting with Barkley. New city, new adventures. That was a fun little break from the daily grind. And it was inspiring to hear the higher-ups talk about our accomplishments, our vision, and our growth over the years.

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It’s a party! 

In July, I got to go white water rafting – twice. First I went with Jim, my sister and my friend. The second time was with my company as a fun corporate outing. A bonding experience, if you will. Both times were awesome, and if you haven’t been white water rafting, I recommend it.

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I do help paddle. I swear. 

Also in July, I said “yes” to the dress! My mom and my sister went shopping with me and I chose the most beautiful dress ever. Jim will fall over when he sees me.

Lastly in July, we (finally) had our engagement photos taken. We got to traipse around downtown for an hour kissing each other at opportune moments. We had been trying to get them done since late May but it was quite the rainy summer. Our photographer was so great about rescheduling though (four times) and they turned out amazing.

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So in love.

In August we went to my cousin’s wedding in Columbus. We didn’t get any sightseeing done there, but it was a beautiful wedding at the Art Museum followed by a fun reception at the hotel ballroom.

During Labor Day weekend, Jim and I went to Hershey to experience Hershey Park. We might have had a bit too much fun riding the roller coasters because by the end of the day, I was really feeling my age. (Compared to the age of 12, when there is no limit to the thrills of stomach-dropping, neck-wrenching, death-defying twists of wood and iron.) Our trip to Hershey was our celebration of six years together. Crazy.

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In September, we went to Jim’s cousin’s wedding. The Cleveland cousin. But the wedding was in Canton, Ohio. We may have had the opportunity to visit the Football Hall of Fame, but we passed in favor of more drinking and celebrating.

Also in September, I got to travel to Corpus Christi, Texas for the first time, to meet with clients for work. We did lots of working, but it was just really fun to be in Texas.

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That’s the Lex. NBD.

We bought a house in October and closed on it the day before Thanksgiving. That was the most terrifying and exciting decision we ever made. That month was also the most stressful. Followed closely by December, after we moved in.

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Don’t be fooled. Those smiles are filled with terror. JK.

In December, we tried to settle in to the house, failing miserably. We managed to unpack about 1/4 of the boxes. We painted two rooms over Christmas break. And we hosted our first guests in our new guest bedroom over the New Year.

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That’s our kitchen. If you can’t tell. 

That’s all for today, folks. So much happened in 2015 that I can’t even cover it all. There were a couple UD Alumni events in there, we celebrated my grandma’s 80th birthday, we took Jim’s family on a Gateway Clipper tour, we got to party at Stage AE with Jim’s company, we went to Pens games and Pirates games, we biked and hiked, we had fun in Shadyside and we said goodbye to Shadyside. See, this is why I need to keep up to date on this blog.

I would say that this was a pretty amazing year. The most amazing.

 

 

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