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Last weekend was full of Michigan bucket list fun. After running the Run Walk Boom 5k Saturday morning, I made the trek north to Kensington Park to check my next item off the list.

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The humidity was still pretty brutal and the temperature was still rising, but now it just felt almost like a Texas summer day! A quick spray with my sunscreen and I was good to go.

KensingtonPark

The trail was roughly 9 miles around, and I looped it twice. It was chalk full of fully-shaded areas, lakeside biking, and it was pretty flat. It was also very twisty-turny and had something I’d never seen before on a bike path… a SPEED LIMIT. At first I definitely scoffed at it. This was ridiculous. But the further into the path I got, the more I realized how necessary it was! There were  a lot of blind corners and it intersected with parking lots quite frequently. If you were really booking it around a corner and there was a biker or runner just outside of site, someone could get really hurt!

KensingtonPark_Lake

I was pleasantly surprised that despite feeling burnt out after the run, I felt great as soon as I got on the bike. The 18 miles flew by and I was back at my car for the last time. At that point I was definitely ready for some real food. I’d definitely go back there if I have time! Especially to kayak and then lay out on the sandy beach area. It’s really fun to get to explore a whole bunch of new places, the shine definitely hasn’t worn off yet a little over 2 weeks into this trip.

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Michigan Bucket List Item #25–Run a Race

Wow 2 posts just a couple days apart?! Insanity. That hasn’t happened in years!

I knocked a couple things off of my Michigan Bucket list last weekend and had a blast doing it. The first thing I tackled was to run a race. I found a 5k being run in Huntington Woods, which was walking distance from where I’m staying. (I also quickly found out “walking distance” means very different things in Texas than it does here as I walked 2 miles each way, 4 miles round trip, to get to and from the race!)

It was a super small race, so I got there about 15 minutes before it started, grabbed my bib and shirt and walked over to the start line to get started. Amazing! In the entire race, there were maybe 50 people?

RunWalkBoom_StartingLine

I usually run in the mornings, and honestly usually don’t eat anything before I go. That morning I had half a Lara bar and some water and headed out. Big mistake! I’d checked the temperature, but never looked at the humidity. I was getting lightheaded pretty early in the race. And then I realized I’d made mistake number two… I didn’t have my ID, insurance card, or any $$ on me. I’d pulled all three pieces out and put them into my bike bag for my ride, but didn’t have them on me when I left for the race. Way to be a responsible 30 year old adult, Liz!

RunWalkBoom_FinishLine

The first mile went by fairly quickly, but I could definitely feel that I didn’t have enough fuel in me. Despite that, I actually threw down great times for the first two miles and both of them came in at 10 min/miles!! Third mile I totally crashed and run/walked. I really didn’t want to pass out on the course, so I let up. I finished in 33:17. Especially for being a runner who never-ever-ever enjoyed running for time, I was very pleased with how I did all things considered. AND I know what not to do next time.

The homes in Huntington Woods were gorgeous. It actually reminded me of where I live in Dallas with lots of German architecture, big trees, and brick homes with some siding. Everything was maintained really well, and clean. I bet their HOA is very particular! And there were some bigger homes than what I’ve seen so far in Michigan, but no crazy McMansions or anything over the top. When you live in Dallas where everything needs to be so grandiose, it’s really refreshing to see these modest and very well kept homes. Seems so much more real-life and down to earth. Getting to see (read: stalk) another part of a new city is always fun, and it definitely made the race go by so much faster!!

5kSelfie2

Needless to say at the end, I definitely was ready for some food, and was really excited to have a bunch of water, a banana, and some plum-like fruit at the finish. It was delicious! Perfect cap to the day.

And I’m learning to embrace the selfie while I’m here. Since I’ll be doing a good amount of these bucket list items solo, I just need to get over it. I’ll giggle at myself, but oh well, it is what it is.

First item to be checked off the list, success!!

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Michigan Bucket List

Yep, I blinked and all of a sudden it went from April to the end of June!! Holy bananas!

There were softball games, a bike injury, crawfish boils, days spent poolside, and lots of laughing and hanging around with friends. The biggest change actually came on the work-front though.. and I got the opportunity to spend 6 weeks up at our corporate office in Michigan! That’s where I am now writing this. Initial thoughts… it’s AMAZING up here!

Now, it’s been highs in the 80s (!!), light breezes, quick thunderstorms, ability to walk to work, working in our office and not onsite at my client, and new projects and challenges. I also am playing on the Team Detroit softball team, so it’s a little like life at home. It’s probably worth mentioning that I’ve only been here a week at this point… so this is still shiny and new!

One of my coworkers put together a ‘Michigan Bucket List’ of things I needed to complete while I am here. And since I’m actually in town this weekend, I’m excited to get started tackling some of the more adventurous ones on the list. I’m only actually here in Michigan for 2 of my 5 weekends, so I’ll admit it’s ambitious. But I love a challenge.. so bring it on!

The ones in green are ones I’ve already done, the ones in yellow are the ones I’m doing this weekend and early next week.

1. Explore Kensington (bike + kayak)

2. Explore Stoney Creek (bike + hiking trails)

3. Explore Island Lake (Bike and paddleboard)

4. Bike Belle Isle

5. Softball

6. Trivia 

7. Fun Foodie Dinner in Birmingham

8. Detroit City FC

9. Eastern Market Saturday AM in Detroit

10. Explore downtown Rochester- hit up Lipuma’s Coney and Shake at Knapp’s Dairy Bar

11. Full day in Ann Arbor- get lost at UofM enjoy a nice lunch and dinner in city

12. Live Music

13. Visit DIA or 9b49 with coworkers

14. Tiger Game

15. Visit West Side of Michigan (planned for 2nd weekend of July with Kim & Douger)

16. Go to CANADA!

17. Greektown for Greek food

18. Middle Eastern food at Anita’s

19. Valentine Distillery- Ferndale

20. Griffin Claw- Birmingham

21. Cadieux Cafe- feather bowling

22. Buy something uniquely Detroit from the Detroit Shoppe, Shinola, Willy’s, City Bird

23. Try some Detroit BBQ at Slows, or Red Smoke

24. Ferndale Bar Crawl

25. Sign up for local triathlon or 5k

26. Hit at least 4 of 6 Breweries that don’t include Griffin Claw or ROB: ideas include: Lily’s, WAB, Bastone, Rochester Mills, Keuhnnen, Atwater

27. Adopt a Metro Detroit bar to become a ‘regular’ at while in town

28. Eat a burger from red coat tavern and mercury and tell us your favorite burger

29. Head to Port Huron for the Port Huron to Mackinac sailboat Race day festivities and day at beach on Lake Huron

30. Comedy show night with coworkers

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Blogger TMI Questions

These have been floating around the blog-world for the past few weeks, so I thought I’d participate!

1. What are you wearing? Blue sundress, pink sweater, grey Tom’s

2. Ever been in love? Yep!

3. Ever had a terrible breakup? Oh goodness yes, about 4 years ago. Very glad all the drama associated with the breakup is over and well in the past!

4. How tall are you? 5’5”-ish.. which actually means 5’4”

5. How much do you weigh? Eekkk do I have to answer this?? About 140 lbs

6. Any tattoos? No chance!! I had to get a tetanus shot over the weekend and definitely started crying! Safe to say a tatoo is not in my future.

7. Any piercings? Yep, 2. One in each ear.

8. Favorite song? Any piano bar song I can sing along to! Also, Friends in Low Places and Standing Outside the Fire by Garth Brooks

9. Quality you look for in a partner? Sense of humor!! They also have to be trustworthy

10. Favorite Quote? Everything happens for a reason. (Because it does.)

11. Favorite actor? Another hard one to answer! Um…. Chris Hemsworth?

12. Loud music or soft? Soft and chill please

13. Where do you go when you’re sad? Outside anywhere… softball fields, batting cages, golf course, the pool. Basically anywhere there’s sunshine!

14. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Including showering, between 20-30 minutes. It’s closer to 30 when I have to blow dry my hair.

15. Ever been in a physical fight? Nope.

16. Turn on? Eyes and smile, they tell a lot about a person

17. Turn off? Liars, narcissists, and folks who like drama. No thank you!

18. Fears? SPIDERS

19. Last thing that made you cry? The bike accident I was in yesterday and then the tetanus shot after it! So. Much. Pain.

20. Last time you said you loved someone? Yesterday, to my daddio

21. Meaning behind your YouTube Name? I think it’s the same screen name I have for most all my accounts. Nothing special.

22 The relationship between you and the person you last texted? Softball teammate who is going to sub for me tonight since I’m healing from the accident. Stupid sprains…

23. Favorite food? Breakfast tacos or Migas

24. Place you want to visit? GREECE! And I’m going this summer

25. Do you have a crush? Chris Hemsworth… now my favorite actor choice makes sense, eh?

26. Last time you kissed someone? My dad kissed me on the cheek after he took me home from the ER yesterday. Good times.

27. Last time you were insulted? Being told I wasn’t good enough, yeah that stung and made me mad all at the same time

28. Favorite piece of jewelry? This little heart necklace from the grandmother

29. Who should answer these questions next? Any and everyone!!

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2 bucket list items in 1 week!

Not to completely brag, but last week was one of those weeks where I was very much reminded how blessed I am! I got to knock two things off of my bucket list in a 5 day span!!

First up, I went to the NCAA National Championship Game with Marco and Puga. The game was out at Jerry-World. I’d never been to Jerry-World before, it really was an impressive site to see. It was HUGE! We got there about 45 minutes before the game started and joined the tailgate going on outside. We had just gotten our first round of beers when the vendors started announcing ‘last call’, so we did the only natural thing… Marco found a vendor and bought us each another 2 beers a piece. We went from 4 beers to 12 beers in a span of less than 5 minutes!! I was able to put down about 2 of those, and the boys took care of the rest!

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And the ginormous 60yd tv screen really was something to see!! I couldn’t believe how big it was! (TWSS) The tv was easily twice the size of the basketball court, or at least with perspective that’s how big it looked.

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The energy, the noise, everything about the game made it such a night to remember! Marco somehow got the tickets, so the cherry on top of all of it was that it was a FREE bucket list item with some of my oldest friends. The only only way this night could’ve possibly been any better would’ve been if Purdue was playing in it!

So Monday night, baller-status-basketball-game!

Then on Friday, I checked off another item! Dave got his pilot’s license a year or two ago. He’s logged over 100 hours in the air, and since he started taking lessons, I’ve whole-heartedly volunteered to be a passenger when he flies. Well Friday this finally came true! Dave took Jax and myself up, and we flew over across Lake Ray Hubbard and landed in Terrell, in Rockwall, and then came back to Addison.

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As Dave went through his pre-flight and while he was up in the air, he did a great job of explaining what he was doing, and what each of his displays did. Of course the uber-science-nerd in me thought it all was FASCINATING! I loved it!! Randomly Dave would throw out a question to see if I was paying attention… and the nerd in me was able to answer them all correctly. Points me!

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In Terrell, Jax and I traded seats and he rode up from with Dave and I moved to the back seat. The little Cessna 182 we were flying in definitely in was smoother than I was expecting. I was thinking we’d get blown around and it would be bumpy, but it really wasn’t bad until we were just about to land back in Addison. The up-down of the plane on the last descent really wasn’t playing nicely with my stomach. I was starting to get nauseated. Luckily we landed without incident. (I’m sure Dave was particularly pleased I didn’t get sick!)

Anyone who gets the chance to go up in a little plane, absolutely should! I had a great time and it was really neat to get to see the city from another point of view. (Ps- we were only up about 3,000ft in the air, we were well under commercial airline traffic)

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2014 Resolutions Check-In: Three Months In

Well we are just about a quarter of the way through 2014 (side note, can you believe the year is already a quarter over?!). Life has actually calmed down substantially since 2013. Work has found a calm rhythm, if not a little slow, but knowing how much it’s about to pick up over the summer definitely has me enjoying the last little bit of non-crazy! I do have to say I’ve been absolutely nailing my resolutions so far. I hope I can keep this up!

So how am I doing on my resolutions?

  • Travel more, at least once internationally and ideally someplace new – Check!
    • I’ve spent a weekend in Austin and one in DC. And with a trip to Ireland in the works for the end of the summer, I’d say I’m hitting this one. I do need a couple more weekend trips on the agenda, but have no doubt that I can get that going!
  • Get back into running shape and run at least one race a quarter – Sort-of check
    • I’m not quite back completely into running shape, but with the warmer weather I have been running more regularly. There is definitely a correlation between the two with me!
  • Patience – Check!
    • This one was going to be hardest one for me on this list… and I really do think I’ve done a really good job at this since the last check-in. I’m pleased with it so far.
  • Cut debt in half – Check!
    • A good friend of mine is becoming a Financial Planner, so taking that step to get some more ‘legit’ guidance on the best strategy to knock this out is a big one. It’ll only get better from here!
  • Get 4 solid workouts in each week – Check!
    • Definitely still nailing this one!! I joined a gym about 3 weeks ago and have been alternating doing spin classes and swimming in the morning. I’ll still lift when I get home from work a couple times a week and I’ve been going for long bike rides on the weekend. I also got a Fitbit and have been loving all the metrics it spits out.
  • Bring breakfast/lunch to work at least 3 days a week – Check!
    • I’ve done really well with this the past few weeks! I should tally to see the savings as motivation to keep going!!
  • Blogging once a month – Sort-of-check
    • Ehhhhh I’ve posted twice so far in the 3 months of 2014. I think that speaks for itself. But looking at the schedule coming up I think I should be able to post a little more regularly.
  • Do at least 4 things this year that really scare me – Check!
    • I absolutely NAILED this one. I really put myself out there and it didn’t work out in my favor. It hit one of my resolutions, but it does make me question wanting to fulfill this this resolution.. We’ll see what the next quarter has to bring!
  • Kick the soda habit… again – Check!
    • DONE!! I gave up caffeine for Lent and (of course) soda is included. There was an awful lot going on personally that first week of Lent so I was too distracted to really notice. Do I miss it? Yes and no. I really notice a difference that I don’t constantly feel a little bloated, but it’s so hard to find something to drink other than water. I don’t want to swap chemical-sugars in soda for chemical-sugars in juice or Lipton teas. Even the MIO products are just a bunch of chemicals. I haven’t figured out that dilemma yet. So so far it’s been water, beer, and wine. Definitely rough life!
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2014 Resolutions Check-In: One Month In

2014 is absolutely flying by so far! I can’t believe it’s already been a month!! I really do want to nail my resolutions this year (somewhere Jax is saying ‘TWSS’ in his head right now..) so because of that I’m going to try to check in monthly. I did that a few years ago and I really think it helped keep me focused.

So just about one month into 2014, here’s where I am. I have to say I think it’s been a good start! I’ve made good strides in each area.

  • Travel more, at least once internationally and ideally someplace new – Check!
    • I’m heading to Washington DC this weekend, to Austin here in a few weeks, and with Nadia and Cory moving to London, there is definitely international travel in my future this year!
  • Get back into running shape and run at least one race a quarter – Sort-of check
    • I’ll be honest, I haven’t really been running. I have gone on one long bike ride every weekend in January though! So far there has been 2 fifteen milers and 1 almost 35 miler. I’ll take it!
  • Patience – Sort-of check
    • This one was going to be hardest one for me on this list… and so far I think I’m only doing ok at it. It’s funny because 3 days into January and I was failing miserably, but I was able to take more of a breath and have some patience towards the end of the month. Note that I said ‘’some” and not “a lot”. Oh well, keep trying next month.
  • Cut debt in half – Check!
    • Knowing I had a servicing coming up on my car, and a potential trip on the agenda in January, I saved up in December. I was able to cover both costs with what I saved without needing to put it on a CC while still putting a good chunk towards debt. I’ll take it!
  • Get 4 solid workouts in each week – Check!
    • Definitely have been nailing this one! I’ve been lifting 2-3 times per week (my poor hamstrings!!) and with the weekend bike rides I’ve been fairly active. I haven’t gotten strict with a clean diet yet, but my regular diet is pretty well rounded with proteins/veggies/fats. I took measurements at the beginning of the month and I’m definitely still in the ‘puffy’ phase where my body gets bigger before it starts to lean out. For next month I’m going to cut back on the carbs and kick the soda habit and see what happens.
  • Bring breakfast/lunch to work at least 3 days a week – Sort-of check
    • Only ok. I’ve been much better about bringing breakfast to work, but even when I bring food I’ve found myself going out for lunch. It’s hard because sometimes it’s just fun to leave and get out for an hour. And since I haven’t been break-neck busy, I’ve enjoyed that this month. This is pretty much an excuse, butttt it’s what happened. I’ll do better next month!
  • Blogging once a month – Check!
    • I’m blogging today for January, check! I also owe a post on my big 30th birthday!!
  • Do at least 4 things this year that really scare me – Check!
    • Definitely have been nailing this and pushing myself this month! In hindsight there are areas where I could’ve pushed a little more, but on the whole I’m pretty happy with this so far.
  • Kick the soda habit… again – Epic Fail
    • Really haven’t tackled this yet. At. All. The plan is to get through February without it and see how I feel. I’ve done this before, I know how awesome if feels when I’m not drinking soda, but I need to buckle down and do it.
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2014 Resolutions

A new clean slate, yep, I’ll take it. I’m pretty psyched to mentally have 2013 end! A lot of these are carry overs, but I really wanted to nail them last year and they were important enough to want to try them again. With a little more focus, I’m really hoping I get there! Goals are good!!

  • Travel more, at least once internationally and ideally someplace new
    • Self explanatory. Bring on the adventure and new experiences!
  • Get back into running shape and run at least one race a quarter
    • Hot Chocolate 15k is on the agenda for February. Other than that, I’d like to run in at least a 5k every quarter. I thought about making this every month, but that seemed like a lot to commit to given everything else that I know will go on. The goal needs to be do-able
  • Patience
    • Like I mentioned in my re-cap, I couldn’t decide if it was a success or failure. I really need to take a deep breath sometimes, and I really did not do well with that in 2013. My job is stressful, so this year I really want to try and focus on not letting it and everything else get me so sped up that I look back on weeks and months and wonder where the time went because all I did was sit on my laptop or phone working. I know this will be a challenging goal for me! I don’t really know how to measure this, so there’s no real tangible way to know. But I think mentally I’ll know at the end of next year if I succeeded. There’s a fine line between having patience and being passive, and I went from one end of the spectrum to the other over the past few years. Now just to find my own personal happy-medium!
  • Cut debt in half
    • Alright getting out of debt was a huge-reach goal for last year, probably too ambitious. Let’s see if I can halve it and still find a way to plan and save accordingly. I re-worked my budget and even with some unexpect-eds, I should be able to hit this. It’s just a question of doing it!
  • Get 4 solid workouts in each week
    • I know time is at a premium, I don’t have the time to spend an hour a day at the gym. I have about 30-45 minutes each day to get something in so I’ll need to be diligent about what I do, but I want to hit the magic number 4 each week with a mix of weights, HIIT (<- love those!), and more biking/running.
  • Bring breakfast/lunch to work at least 3 days a week
    • I was terrible about this in 2013. I’d race out the door and many many times purchased breakfast and lunch out. It would give me an excuse to get up and leave my desk so I usually enjoyed the break. If I didn’t get the break, I ended up not eating lunch. That unfortunately happened way too often!! I like to cook and I very rarely end up eating dinner out, I should be able to do this with my other meals.
  • Blogging once a month
    • I’ve been doing this since 2008, it would be a real shame to let this die at this point!
  • Do at least 4 things this year that really scare me
    • By scare me, I really mean pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I don’t need or want to be doing anything really dangerous, but it’s good to push myself in new ways.
  • Kick the soda habit… again
    • I’ve done this twice and gone several months without any soda. Both times I’ve slipped back into this. I know I can do it, just a question of pushing myself through a few rough days at first.
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2013 Resolutions Check-In

Part of me has been dreading this a little bit, but being the end of the year it’s time I check back in on my resolutions. I’ve always loved goals (yay goals!!) and this year I didn’t quite get where I needed or wanted to be. So spoiler alert, let’s just say I could be doing better and several of these will be on the 2014 resolutions list…

  • Travel moreCheck!
    • This one I did a great job at this year! Nothing international, but I got to bounce around and experience a bunch of different areas of the country this year! Booyah!!
  • Get back into running shapeEpic Fail!
    • I started off the year kicking butt at this, I ran in the Hot Chocolate 15k and smoked my old PR at that distance. But that was back in February and never caught back up after that. That race is on my list again for 2014, it was a fun one to run!
  • PatienceUndecided
    • This is a hard one to really evaluate, and since it’ll re-appear on 2014’s resolution list then I guess it’s a ‘fail’. So many things happened this year that were totally and completely out of my control. And not just out of control, but I couldn’t even prepare or do anything to prep for them to happen. (<- Hahaha somewhat a nightmare for a type-A-er). Back before this year, and before I started at this job, I used to have a good amount of patience. It used to be something I was pretty good at, and I think in the past year I let too many things get to me and get under my skin. I’ll try again in 2014 to take a deep breath and keep some perspective.
  • DebtEpic Fail!
    • Yep, just like last check-in, this one hasn’t changed all that much. The first quarter of the year I was really kicking butt at this! Between the car accident, a bunch of unforeseen and some forseen expenses, I netted back out at a zero here. It didn’t get worse, but I didn’t make the headway I wanted to in this. On the plus side, after moving into a new apartment and having my rent almost double what it was, I was able to figure out and stick with the new budget. I’m pretty happy with myself about this last part!
  • WeightsEpic Fail!
    • I haven’t been regular at. all. about it. There have been a few weeks here and there where I stuck with it, but for the most part in general, working out took a back seat to the rest of the craziness of the year. That will definitely change in 2014!
  • ReadingCHECK!
    • Unlike the others, I absolutely nailed this one out of the park!! I’ve read a lot and read a bunch of new and different things. Hopefully I can keep this up next year
  • BloggingSort-of Check!
    • Nope, another not-so-bueno ones. I did well-ish with this the first half of the year and then it completely disappeared over the summer. Honestly a lot happened I didn’t really know how to write about it, and then I was so over-the-top-overwhelmingly-busy that I didn’t have time to sit and think about it. By the time I had time again, I was so back-logged I didn’t even try.

Clearly this wasn’t the year for resolutions for me! I’ll try again next year. But there were a lot of positives that came out of this year. I’m not completely down on myself … even though looking at the lack of green color up there isn’t exactly making me happy! I gained a lot of valuable experience this year. I learned a lot about myself, about life, and things had to be snapped into perspective a few times. But I think I got it, or at least I think I’m mentally more ready for those surprises. Or maybe it’s all just wishful-thinking! But at least having gone through this stuff once, if it does ever happen again, at least I’ll have something to look back on and know I got through it. Things can only go up from here, and I honestly couldn’t be more excited for 2014 to get here tomorrow!

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Eff Yeah 2013

Like the past few years, with the end of the year wrapping up it’s time to sit down and look back through the awesome things I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of this year. I’ve done this the past few years (2011, 2012) and it’s always fun to go back through and reminisce through these lists.  This list is, “…that list of badass things you accomplished throughout the past 12 months – big and small – that makes you want to dance naked around the kitchen with pride.” I won’t lie, it’s been a hard year and coming up with things was harder than it’s been in years past – but this was also one of those years where I learned a whole lot.

So without further ado, here is my list of things that made me say “EFF YEAH” in 2013!

1. After 2 years of living with my sister, I moved into a little place of my own that I love!
2. I’ve been more or less able to stick with my budget this year. I haven’t been able to save or as much towards debt as I wanted to, but given everything that popped up I did the best I could with the circumstances.
3. I attended not one TWO Purdue football games! One at Michigan State (with my work-family) and one at Penn State (with Kristin and Tommy). I need more Purdue football in my life!
5. I got to travel a lot! From May through mid-July and from mid-August through early November I was gone almost every weekend and off on some adventure. It was so much fun!
6. Purdue’s bowl game this year was in Dallas and I got to spend New Years Day out at the game with Doug, Jax, and Andy. Now if only they had won it would have been the cherry on top!
7. Getting to be a part of Nadia and Cory’s special day.
8. WE WON THE DSMA CITY TOURNAMENT IN JUNE!!
9. Enjoying the ASWS even more than last year, which I didn’t think was possible! Definitely my favorite year out there, I played and hit the best so far and had a crazy fun time with my teammates
10. My dad is ok and we got to spend the holidays all together.

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