Summer Camp –May through August I worked for a summer camp, based in San Francisco, but starting up operation in Chicago. I’ve done summer camp before. I’ve done overnight, in the woods, backpacking, canoeing on flooded rivers, cooking over campfire summer camp. I have not done getting-dropped-off-in-your-Land-Rover, playing with iPads all day summer camp. But now I have. There were things I didn’t like and days I hated. But, we pied one another in the face every Friday, I had free gourmet coffee everyday, and the people I worked with made me consistently laugh and smile.
Duke/KU – My husband is from Lawrence, Kansas home of THE University of Kansas. If you are down with the lingo, you call this school KU. The switched the letters around because they’re from Kansas and got confused. Plus, UK is off limits because of some copyright by that other K-titled state. The moral of this is that he is obsessed with Kansas basketball. There are tears when they win, tears when they lose, and blood pressure medicine taken before all games.
In high school I decided I should like Duke basketball. So I have liked them since 2001-ish. I had an homage to their 2001 Championship team on my bedroom wall. They were dreamy then, dreamy now.
Duke and Kansas played in Chicago. This will not happen again, while we are still residents here, probably ever again. We shelled out some cash and have a lifelong memory to tell our kids (cat? dog?) about.
Visits from friends and family – When you move away from home, nothing beats visits by friends and family! I think I could recite a Chicago architectural boat tour by heart now, but it is worth it to play tourist and enjoy the time with our visitors. Mike and Lisa, Emma and Micah, Katelyn, Billi (and Dave on round 2), Kristy, Amanda (and family on round 2), Colin and Ann, my parents, his parents, Peter, my sister, Ish. Thank you! (If I forgot anyone, I’m sorry. I just went through my photos to recall…)
Favorite visit had to be when my sister organized the Tremazing Race for my bachelorette festivities. It was our own scavenger hunt around the city.
Mom’s triathlon – My mom, in her 50-some phase, decided she’d train for a triathlon. In 2012 she finished, but was delirious at the end. In 2013 she trained better, got a fancy triathlon suit, and kicked the course’s butt! This is a 1.5K swim, 40K bike ride, and 10K run. She placed in her age group, even winning prize money! I am so glad we were able to go back to watch her compete. Seriously, if I am able to do that in my 50s it will be a miracle. The way I get up from the couch now, I already move slower than my mom.
Wedding Day – It was perfect. To this day we are unashamed to say that our wedding kicked butt. (Reminds me of the old Guts catchphrase from Nickelodeon – “No ifs, ands, or butts…these kids got guts.”) No ifs, ands, or buts, our wedding kicked butt.
Birthday and Christmas – How can I NOT include these? We were just in Colorado for Christmas. It was pretty awesome and it is pretty cool we got the opportunity to go visit my family out there.
After a big birthday let down my senior year in college (story ETA TBD), I set my standards low: binge eating junk food, buying myself treats, telling The Husband exactly what to get me so I’m not disappointed, etc. (Side note: I’m never disappointed in anything The H gifts me. He is very thoughtful and a great gift giver, sometimes he just doesn’t read my mind as clearly as I expect.)
Deleting the Facebook App from my phone – I still check it on my phone, but it is less tempting when it is the web version and I have to log in. You know when you unconsciously check it and then think, “Wow, I did this 2 minutes ago” that maybe it is time to cut back.
Canceling cable – I hate this decision, but it is good for me. I’m not a worse cook without Food Network, I’m not less fashionable without Project Runway, I’m not less informed without Good Morning America (or the Today Show before Matt Lauer started to make me gag and they brought on Carson Daily). We have Netflix, two very nice laptops, and a new fangled device called Chrome Cast where you cast what you are seeing on your computer screen to your TV.
Book of Mormon and Wicked – One with my husband, one with my mom. I’m a better singer and performer after seeing each of these. They really helped me figure out who I am as a musical theater star.
Corneal Ulcer – Yes, these can happen. Yes, they hurt. Yes, you can have vision loss. No, I don’t have vision loss. Moral of the story: Change your contacts when you’re supposed to and (don’t quote me here) listen to your husband.
Changing my name – The process of changing it, not the name itself. Proud to be a Monshizacoihadohiuoheddeh!
Summer commuting – 34 miles roundtrip on city streets = at a couple hours of my day, holy (literally) potholes, and driving antics that surely only monkeys would try. In fact, monkeys are probably better drivers than many in Chicago.
As you can see, my year was about as horrible as extra pepperoni on your pizza, as dreadful as no traffic jam at 5 p.m. in downtown Chicago, and as miserable as a 72 degree sunny spring day like the one we got married on. Job woes aside, I have nothing to complain about. And as friends have listened to me dwell and reflect (and complain), I know this is a season of life where I’m supposed to be. Jobs are not static, careers are (for people my age) not life-long. I’m not a failure, I shouldn’t be embarrassed of myself, and my life is darn awesome. Yes, DARN!