My Top 13 in 2013

I just got home from Christmas vacation in New York.. we had a wonderful trip visiting my husband’s friends and family and it was great catching up with everyone. 2014 is going to bring some wonderful things.. weddings.. babies.. graduations.. and so far it looks like I’m gearing up for some great races.

I read a friend’s blog recently about her top 2013 highlights (Hi Sarah!) and I thought.. what a wonderful way to review your year. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs this year, but overall, I think I came out on top. Here’s my top 13 in ’13!

1- Running my first marathon

WHOO!!! I'm a marathoner!

WHOO!!! I’m a marathoner!

In January, I ran my first marathon. This was my second time as a Team in Training participant, in which I raised over $3k for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I was running in honor of my grandmother who sadly lost her battle with CML only two days before my race. I hurt my knee on my last big training run, and while I had a few weeks to recover, it still hurt like hell going into the race. I made it to mile 12 run/walking, and then I couldn’t run any more. I was able to jog a little by mile 19, but I walked most of the race. I finished in 6 hours 57 minutes. It was a HUGE moment to cross the finish line.. and still brings tears to my eyes whenever I think about it. This may have been the proudest moment in my life.. let alone 2013.

2- Finding My Wedding Dress

Every girl dreams about wearing the most gorgeous white dress to marry their Prince Charming. I was SO excited when I found my wedding dress. It had all the features I was looking for in a dress.. a little bling, some rouching, some pickups, a corset back, a sweetheart neckline, and a little poof. It killed me that I had to wait 9+ months to wear it.. but every time I put it on again (when I picked it up and when I had my fittings) I was so giddy and in love with it. And it was totally awesome to share that moment with my best friend/maid of honor and my mother. Wouldn’t want it any other way!

the day I found my dress!

the day I found my dress!

3- Inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon in D.C.

In April, I got to run in the Nike Women’s half in D.C. I entered the lottery the previous Fall and was selected to run. This was my second half since the marathon, and while I was still wearing my knee brace, I ran this one without walking. I finished in 2:24 and got a pretty awesome Finisher shirt and Tiffany’s necklace. I was selected to run again in 2014- this time with Dawn. So excited to do it again!

Finisher shirt and Tiffanny's necklace.

Finisher shirt and Tiffany’s necklace.

4- Watching My Sister Get Married

In May, on only 2 months notice, I got to watch my little sister get married. It was the first time my family was in the same room with each other since my parents were divorced.. and everything went surprisingly smooth. (except for the bridal party & bride/groom being late, the heat/humidity.. and a cranky hungry 1 year old) But the ceremony was short and sweet, and the luncheon afterwards was really great.. (even when my nephew pulled the fire alarm! highlight of the whole experience, really) and now I have my first ever brother-in-law.

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5- Reduced Furlough

In March, it looked like we were going to be in for a 14 week furlough period. (Thanks Congress) Over time, the number of days were reduced from 14, to 11, to 8, and when we were mid way through, only 6. Paying for a wedding and being furloughed didn’t help my stress level.. but we got lucky when we were told we would only have 6 days. Right before our wedding, Congress again failed to pass a budget and the government shut down. BUT, I was one of the lucky few who were exempt from the shut-down furloughs and was able to work. We were also lucky that the government was only down a week, and my husband was able to get back pay for his furlough. We needed that.

6- Celebrating The Marriages of Friends

Two of my husband’s friends got married this year, one in May and one in July. We were so excited we could be there to celebrate with them!

Matthies Wedding

Matthies Wedding

Landsman Wedding

Landsman Wedding

7- Rafting in the Poconos

In August, my husband and I went white water rafting in the Poconos. I had never done anything like that before, and wasn’t really sure I would like it. But my husband re-assured me and said the one time he went, he had a blast. So I figured, don’t knock it til you try it, and I decided to go. It was a BLAST! So much fun.. like the rafting rides at the amusement park, only real. Definitely recommend it!

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8- Commander’s Award For Civilian Service

In September I was awarded the Commander’s Award for Civillian Service, for a project I contributed to. Apparently it was a big deal!

my certificate

my certificate

my medals

my medals

9-Bridal Showers

I had two very awesome bridal showers thrown for me.. one by my wonderful friends and bridesmaids/maid of honor

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missing my sister though!

and one, thrown by some pretty great co-workers

Capture

They were both great surprises and I had wonderful times!

9- My Bachelorette Party

My awesome bridesmaids and maid of honor took me downtown to Howl At The Moon. I’m not a bar scene kind of girl, but the place is interactive. They may or may not have gotten me to take a shot from an inappropriate place.. and may or may not have made me get up on stage in front of everyone to dance to girls “Just Wanna Have Fun” I’m not your center of attention kind of person.. but overall, I had a great time. (and even got to go home and watch a lil Magic Mike.. perfect ending ;))

10- Our First Look

For my wedding, I had two goals in place: 1- to blow my (almost) husband away, and 2- to make sure all our guests had a fabulous time. Our “first Look” shoot accomplished #1. The whole time leading up to our wedding, I kept telling my husband.. just wait til you see my dress.. it’s SO pretty!! He always came back with a variation of “you’re really hyping this up..it better be.” All the blood sweat and tears (and money!) I pooled into this wedding.. watching him utterly stunned on our wedding day was well worth all of it.

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11- Our Wedding

We had such a beautiful day, it was perfect!

our beautiful day!

our beautiful day!

married!

married!

12- Honeymoon Cruise To The Bahamas

Sailing out of Baltimore was the best. And Don’t listen to anyone who says Carnival Cruise Lines are awful.. they were great! We had the best time, and a MUCH needed vacation. The picture speaks for itself πŸ™‚

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13- Our First Holidays

From Running the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot with my Husband, to cooking Thanksgiving dinner together for my Dad, to spending our first Christmas together as husband and wife.. this holiday season has been pretty great. Can’t wait to see what wonderful things 2014 has in store for us!

we were really cold!

we were really cold!

Our New Christmas Ornament

One of my favorite new Christmas ornaments!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

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