I am ready to put this year to bed. In a lot of ways, this has been a really hard year. I’ve tried letting go of the gloom, but there were things out of my control still weighing heavy. As hard as it was, the gloom was a good motivator to do everything in my limited power to make some real changes, and I’m truly amazed at how lucky we are and how the timing of everything has worked out so well. Andrew and I both spent the summer writing applications and resumes and cover letters and persevering, and we were both lucky enough to start new jobs this month. We’ve done lots of other fun stuff this year and had other successes and joys, but this is truly what will give us a fresh start as we begin 2012. I feel so thankful.
As great as this accomplishment is, I think it’s valuable to reflect on the other milestones and accomplishments and experiences of the year, and I’m happy to be able to record them here to review again in the coming year.
2011 in Review
We committed to a healthier lifestyle. We joined our local community center and started working out, and I’ve been cooking healthier and more vegetarian meals. We have come a long way in improving how we feel since December 2010.
We spent the winter skiing and snowshoeing (as best we could with so little snow) and spent lots of time outdoors in the fresh mountain air. I improved enough to commit to becoming a really good skier some day and this year I bought new skis, boots and accoutrements. I’m doing an ok job of not feeling too guilty about spending so much money on myself.
We won worst players in the football pool, and braved a blizzard to attend the super bowl party at the ranch.
I attended my sister’s college graduation in Minneapolis in May. I was home for a whole glorious week and was able to catch up with family and friends and cheer Marisa on as she completed college.
We bought a river raft, and Andrew increased his proficiency in rowing! We (half the family at least) love our little blue raft. This was a big investment in a hobby that we both have really enjoyed but could never do on our own because we didn’t have the equipment. We weren’t planning to buy a raft in 2011, but a great opportunity came up, and we went for it. One of the things we’ve prioritized in our marriage is pursuing hobbies that we can enjoy together and that will allow us to spend time outdoors. This was a good investment in our future fun adventures on the rivers of the Southwest!
We did a small remodel on our cabin, which felt great because we’ve spent so much time just trying to pay it off and now we can actually invest in improving it. We removed a wall and added a door upstairs that will eventually lead to a deck behind the house. We worked together and Andrew got to show off his carpentry skills.
We planted two tasty and healthy gardens that gave us tons of good veggies. My freezer is now stocked with pesto, tomatillo salsa, roasted beet ravioli, roasted carrot ravioli, and veggie broth.
We spent lots of weekends hiking and enjoying spending time together as a family.
We had visits from Andrew’s family in July and December and my parents in October. We tromped around the ranch, Taos, and Santa Fe and went to the Santa Fe Opera.
I started this blog and had the chance to connect with some amazing ladies. Sara and Matt and Henry even visited us in Santa Fe this summer!
We spent Labor Day in Minnesota enjoying the MN State Fair, Garrison Keillor and the Twins. A yearly tradition that I hold very dear.
We celebrated our second wedding anniversary! We love to reflect on the wedding, reread our vows out loud (twice so we can each read to the other), drink champagne and talk about how freakin’ lucky we are. It’s a huge cheese fest, and I love it. This year was extra special because we were at the ranch where we were married.
I became a published author! I feel pleased to have contributed to a field that I am very interested and passionate about.
We spent a few fun weekends at the ranch where we were married, including our second wedding anniversary. We had the chance to visit other parts of the ranch that we had never seen, including the camp house, two 18th century cemeteries, a forgotten shrine, and Chaperito, a town that was abandoned in the 1950s. We brought my parents to the shrine when they visited in October and even discovered Stations of the Cross that lead to the shrine from Chaperito.
We took an amazing trip to Nicaragua and realized that traveling is definitely one of our family values. We are already planning our next trip to the beach for more fishing and relaxing. I will be a paradise people gosh darnit!
We’ve developed a budget that will allow us to live comfortably but also pay down debt and open more options in the coming years for us. I can now day dream about being able to work part time or do contract work or go back to school in five years without knowing that it is impossible.