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12 Photos for 2012

After I wrote about last year’s resolutions, I got a comment about how it still sounded like I accomplished a lot, even if it wasn’t what I originally planned to accomplish. I kept thinking about this and ya know what, that person was right. I knew I had a great year, and I wasn’t upset about the lack of accomplishment toward the goals I had set at the beginning of 2012. But when I wrote that post, I didn’t appreciate everything that I did  accomplish and experience.

So let’s give credit where it’s due. For me, 2012 was awesome. I experienced so many amazing things and crossed a lot off of my bucket list. Let’s take a look back on the last 12 months and every wonderful thing that happened.

January: I celebrated my three-year anniversary with Dustin. He’s a pretty cool guy, so it’s fun that he likes to stick around.

flowers

February: I danced the night away with Dustin and our friends from his hometown while one of his close friends, Cayla, tied the knot. We got a surprise the day of the wedding, too: she was pregnant! Now she has a beautiful little boy who is adorable and unbelievably well-behaved.

dance

March: Dustin and I traveled to Washington, D.C., where he watched me run a half-marathon for the first time. Oh, and I got an unexpected PR.

dc

April: After a lot of tears and a tough decision, I dropped from the full marathon distance and raced the half in Nashville. This was the first time my dad ever saw me race, and while it wasn’t even close to my best performance, I wouldn’t change any of it. I learned about leaving it all out on the road, and how to really push through to the finish line.

dad

Seeing Rodney Atkins in concert post-race was pretty cool, too. I got one of his guitar picks and a T-shirt. WIN.

May: A lot of fun things happened at work while we celebrated our 20th anniversary, like hanging out with a bunch of awesome bloggers and meeting Mia Hamm.

sam-and-mia-hamm

June: I surprised my mom for her 49th birthday, then returned home a few weeks later to participate in my sixth Relay for Life. I walked over 26 miles and helped raise over $78,000 for the American Cancer Society.

relay

At the end of June, I moved out of my old apartment and into a new one. During that same weekend, I drove 12 hours round-trip and danced the night away at another wedding. We are never packing that much stuff into one weekend again.

July: Dustin and I roadtripped it to Boston so I could go to Fenway for the first time! We crossed an item off the bucket list and caught a Red Sox vs. Yankees game.

fenway

At the end of the month, I hiked my first mountain with my brother!

August: I had a skin cancer scare and vowed to be better about my skin care.

frisbee

We also sent summer off with a bang at the annual Lefave summer party, where we raised money and collected toys and canned goods for local charities. Before that though, we saw Keith Urban in concert. Since he’s my favorite musician in the world, I could not have been happier.

September: Check another one off the list! Dustin and I went on our first cruise vacation and had a blast out in the Bahamas. 

cruise

The week after I came back from vacation, I hightailed it up to New Hampshire and had a girls weekend with my Aunt Sue, where we caught the opening show for Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away tour. Amazing.

October: Seriously, I dominated my bucket list this year. This month I  learned how to surf and went stand-up paddleboarding for the first time.

sup

I also threw my best friend a baby shower and found out I was officially named Kassidy’s godmother and guardian. #warmfuzzies

November: I flew down to Disney World for the Wine & Dine half-marathon – my first night race!. Despite my lack of training, I pushed through for a shiny new PR.

disney

I also celebrated my 23rd birthday, saw Wicked on Broadway, reunited with Karla, spent Thanksgiving upstate, and went back to my roots as a guest lecturer for creative writing and journalism students at SUNY Oswego.

December: I went to my first football game ever and saw the Bills actually win for once (note: I am not a Bills fan. That’s all Dustin. Go Pats!) I also ran the Race for Recovery 5K to raise funds for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, and got a new PR. A week later, I  ran my first 10K race on Roosevelt Island (I still owe you a race recap, I know).

christmas

Dustin and I also saw The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, sent out our first Christmas card together, traveled to visit a ton of family for the holidays, celebrated his 24th birthday and rang in the new year down in Chattanooga, TN with my dad, step-mom and step-brothers. Phew.

Like I said, 2012 was a great year! I have a feeling 2013 is going to be even sweeter.

Tell me about the cool things you did in 2012. Some might be over the nostalgic look-back-at-the-year stuff already, but I’m a sucker for it. Help a girl out. 

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I’m Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving-Eve! Tomorrow marks the celebration of my favorite holiday in the whole entire world. It has all of the important F’s: family, friends, food and football! It’s not very often that you get all four of those together and I want to soak up as much of it as I can.

Pudding puff pastries for dessert tomorrow!

But more importantly, this holiday is about being thankful for all the beautiful, wonderful things happening in your life instead of focusing on the negative, which happens more often than most of us like to admit (at least me).

Every year, my mom requires us to all go around the dinner table and say at least one thing we’re grateful for and one thing on our bucket list. She’s a big believer in goals and dreams, and this is an annual reminder to keep on keeping on. What am I thankful for? I’m so glad you asked:

My family. First and foremost, I’m so unbelievably thankful for the family in my life. I have a great support system and people I know I can turn to with any problem. I’m grateful they are in good health and I get to spend time with so many of them this holiday weekend.

Justin and I on the Brooklyn Bridge. We're happier than we look. It was windy.

Liz. Yeah, she’s in Oklahoma. But she’s my best friend. Even though she’s a bajillion miles away, or at least that’s what it feels like, we still talk on a regular basis and she’s the first person I call with good and/or bad news. I can’t wait until the day she moves back to New York for good and I can see her all the time again. Until then, I’ll cry a little inside as I constantly search flight sites to find something semi-cheap to Oklahoma.

Dustin. We’ve been through a lot this year, some great stuff and some really difficult things. No matter what, we’ve been able to work through it all and he’s really been my rock. I’m so thankful that we’re living together and continuing to grow our relationship awesome-ness.

My friends. Old and new, I love you all. I’ve made some great friends in the last few years and I’m so thankful for each and every one of them. People come in and out of your life for a reason, and I honestly believe every single one of my friends has made a great impact on me. Love you all.

At Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans. Our version of Where's Waldo?!

My health. I’ve been relatively healthy for the entire year and I could not be more happy about that. It’s allowed me to do a lot of fun, fit things that I’ve had on my bucket list (like running a half-marathon) and kept me out of the hospital. That’s always a good deal.

Being in New York City. I’m living the dream. It’s not easy, but I’m doing it. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to really prove myself and work toward success in my career.

Running. It’s awesome. I’ve fallen in love and I’m so excited to start marathon training soon.

All of you. Thank you so much for coming to check out the blog and read whatever I have to say on a random day. It really means the world to me. And I get all sorts of excited whenever I get an email saying someone “liked” my post, I have a new subscriber, or a new comment is waiting for me to view 🙂

And in honor of mom’s Thanksgiving tradition, here are a few things on my bucket list for the year (until next Thanksgiving):

  1. Complete my first marathon.
  2. Volunteer at the Hope Lodge in NYC.
  3. Raise money for the American Cancer Society during a race.
  4. Get my personal training certification.
  5. Run at least three more races in new states.

I hope everyone has a fantastic day tomorrow; Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for? Tell me something on your bucket list!

p.s. If you want to see photos from my birthday trip to New Orleans, check out my Facebook page!