Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reflections on 2015

My goodness, 2015 went SO quickly! I am surprised I did as many as 18 blog posts this year! Let's see, what can I recall off the top of my head?


  • I stayed healthy! Not something to take lightly! (I did get my first cold in 2 years at the end of the year, and it sucked, but big-picture - I'm pleased)
  • I kept running. I ran about 220 miles this year, I don't know the exact amount but I was slightly below my goal of doing 250. I participated in some organized runs! I did a 5k in March, another one in August, and a 10k in October. I didn't run the whole 10k but I averaged 12-minute miles which is my regular pace, so I was faster than usual when I was running, and did run the vast majority overall. 
  • I also hiked a lot! I did more than 100 miles of hiking while training to do Mount Saint Helens with friends - and we did it, and it was epic. 
  • I biked some but not a lot. I walked a lot. 
  • I'm about to hit 3 years of home ownership. It's still so great. I joined the board of my neighborhood association, I joined a gardening group (where we meet to talk about our gardens and share information and tour some people's yards) and got to meet a handful of neighbors, and just last month a new neighborhood knit night started up, and I've gone to three of those. 
  • I started a new job in April. It's kicked my butt but it was a good change to make. I still work remotely and would like to have in-person coworkers, but the flexibility is pretty terrific. 
  • I got a raise with my job, and continued to save one mortgage payment per quarter in a stock fund. My mortgage rate is super low (3.5%) so prepaying the mortgage doesn't seem like the absolute best return on investment - my theory is that putting the money in the stock market will be worth more after a few years, and barring any catastrophes, will let me pay off my house many years sooner than the bank plans for me to. This year hasn't been all that great for the stock market though, so we'll see how it goes. 
  • I'm still saving aggressively for retirement: 18% before taxes and 5% after. 
  • Giving back: needs improvement. I did find a cause near and dear to my heart that I was able to contribute to this year (a small family that is so great and can use support), but I can do more. 
  • It was a big busy year! I spent a week in Puerto Rico on the island of Culebra. I spent a week in Paris. I spent two weeks in Canada - one week in Toronto & one a couple hours north at a cottage with friends. I also went to San Francisco at least four times - for work and for play. And I went to Ashland twice, and to RI for Christmas, and to Walla Walla for a long weekend for a friend's big birthday, and to Hood River for a weekend with my book group, and to Hartstine Island with friends, and I even got to spend an unexpected 2 days in Boston with my former roommate when I couldn't get home as planned after Christmas.
  • I have a boyfriend now, for the first time in a super long time, and that's been a nice adjustment - but an adjustment nonetheless! 
  • I have a niece now, who is the absolute cutest and best and squishiest two-month-old you ever did see. I got to meet her over Christmas and it made any travel hassles (which were rather epic, actually) so worthwhile and forgettable. 
  • I got crazy and joined a THIRD book group - we'll see if I can sustain that pace! 
  • Like last year, I slacked off on running in December (even more this year than last) but I see that I was back to running 3x/week in January - that's something to live up to! 
  • I want to focus on connecting better with the people already in my life. I have to figure out how and where to wedge that in, but I think social dinners will be a good starting point - I've already promised to set something up with a long-time friend and his girlfriend, so I'll start small and will see what I can accomplish. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Niecey goodness

I have a niece! She's a month old now and I can't wait to meet her at Christmas. She's super expressive in all the photos I've seen, and looks like she's got a lot of opinions - definitely one of us!

So I've been getting my craft on a bit for her. In addition to the blanket and burp cloths I made, I've also been in Hat Mode. I made a very cute small hat:
But, alas, it was TOO small (though the picture of it wedged on her head is classic and makes me laugh). Fortunately I'd made a second, larger hat, which is a bit too big but will at least go on her head. But now I'm making a bigger version of the above hat, and perhaps a little sweater to go with it. It's December 1st! I gotta get on it!