2013: Year in Review

What a year it has been! This is about to be the longest post ever, and I’m writing it mostly for myself and my memories, so bear with me.

We started January of 2013 with good friends here in Denver who came to celebrate the New Year here. In February, we enjoyed cozying up in the cold of the month. I visited Chicago for work a few times and for Valentine’s Day, Leo I bought each other the same sweet gift – a half dozen chocolate covered strawberries. A favorite Valentine memory.

March brought us to Beaver Creek for some skiing/snowboarding with good friends. We celebrated Leo’s birthday with skiing and a great steak dinner in Denver (a must in our family).

At the beginning of April, my best friend in the whole world proposed to me at Red Rocks Park and I said YES! Certainly one of the best days of my life and no hike will ever top that one!

A weekend in Kansas City and a Saturday spent in historic Weston, Missouri with Leo’s dad and his girlfriend rounded out a great month of travel weekends.

The first weekend of May I spent time with family in Georgia for my grandmother’s birthday. We threw her a party and all of her kids that could were there to celebrate with her. The joy of having family to celebrate a birthday, especially for my grandmother, was immense. Seeing her that happy was a once-in-lifetime moment for sure.

The second week of May we were off to Miami for our five year anniversary. A work trip for Leo midweek turned into the perfect opportunity for me to fly out for the weekend. And what a weekend it was! That city is in my heart as a favorite destination in the entire world and I can’t wait to go back. I believe in pied-a-terres and pray one day my wallet can afford this belief in Miami.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we took a quick cruise into the mountains to spend the night with a good friend from Chicago and his now fiancee. Grand Lake always ranks high on our lists of great weekends in the mountains, and I much prefer it to the busy slope towns! The last week of May, and I was back in Chicago for work and then some more family time with my cousins.

The first week of June saw us in San Diego. My first few days in the great state of California were spent on an amazing business trip in LA, and then I took a gorgeous drive down the coast to San Diego to meet Leo, his mom and her husband. Off to a high school graduation with visits to a historic town in SD, dinner with old friends from Chicago overlooking a carnival and horse racing track and frequent stops to dip our toes in the cold ocean under the foggy skies. I fall in love with California every time I visit. San Diego was no different.

A quick trip to Chicago, and then down to Michiana (was it Michigan or Indiana? I have no idea) for a wine festival and bachelorette party rounded out a packed June. Over the last weekend of June, and into July, two of my college girl friends came to Colorado for some R&R – hiking, horseback riding, drinking and brunching were all we did for four fabulous days.

July started off at Lake Wawasee in Indiana for an incredible long weekend with one of our best friends. The house, the food, the company – all absolutely top notch and over the top, but in the most unpretentious way. My birthday came and went with good food and the love of my life treating me like queen! Kid Rock tickets – a favorite of mine – were the perfect gift!

August was another busy month with another bachelorette party in Chicago, and then 12 more days in Chicago at the end of the month for two extra special weddings of two wonderful girlfriends. The honor of standing up next to them as they start this next chapter was such a blessing for me, and we all had a great time!

August was almost a blur with all the excitement that carried into September. Tons of good friends came from Chicago to Denver for a whirlwind weekend of concerts and catching up. Then, another wedding, this time in Michigan City, Indiana, and another adventure. After flying in late Friday night and learning we couldn’t get the rental car we’d reserved, we hopped in a cab into Chicago and had a fabulous night out with friends. 7 a.m. came mighty early, but back to the airport we went to grab a car and drive down to Indiana for the wedding festivities. More drinking. More eating. More celebrating love with friends. A perfect combo.

Rounded out September in Georgia with my family. Kayaking, antiquing and cruising the old roads was just what the doctor ordered to close up shop on a super busy summer. I found my wedding dress that last weekend of September and waited to hear if Leo and I would be relocating to Mexico City. We aren’t (exactly) relocating, but the push to find the perfect dress with my family all around was well worth the initial stress.

The leaves turned and we were off to NYC for a quick weekend in October. Fall is a great time to travel – the colors, the energy of the upcoming holidays, the nostalgia of getting into the swing of the school year. We happened upon some great friends who had left Chicago for NYC and enjoyed catching up and seeing as much of the city as possible in two days, with a nice trip upstate for some army football.

The looming news of the pending relocation to Mexico City made October a blur, but we made it through. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it to two more weddings of good friends (one in Chicago, one in Dallas) at the end of the month. And then November was upon us. Before the Thanksgiving holiday, which we spent in Kansas City, I decided to leave my job for a new position here in Denver. A bit nerve-wracking leaving the comfort of your first job and certainly scary, but mostly thrilling and intriguing.

Our lovely Thanksgiving holiday with family (new and old) and old friends was perfect. And now it is December. A mere 20 more days until the new year, and plenty of time for reflection on a great year that is passing. December, thus far, has been about grounding myself in what matters. Relaxing with hardly a worry in the immediate hours, and spending as much time with Leo as possible before the Christmas holidays and the new year.

2013 was the best yet! Leo and I traveled the country together, spent time with family and friends, celebrated love (ours and many other couples) and enjoyed every minute of it. Feeling absolutely lucky and blessed this holiday season to have enjoyed such a spectacular year!

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