Friday, January 1, 2016

Start of 2016 and 2015 highlights

Happy New Year, friends!

We celebrated last night by getting dressed up and eating a delicious dinner at Wink, the restaurant that we became engaged at.

I even had my hair and make up done at Blast Blow Dry with the same stylist and make up artist that did my hair and make up on our wedding day.

It was such a fun night, and I really enjoyed dressing up. We ate the most wonderful meal (still dreaming of our cheese plate dessert), drank lots of wine, and shared a midnight kiss. It was our version of the perfect way to celebrate New Years Eve.

I also completed a big personal goal of mine yesterday when I attended my 100th ever barre class. I did this with 6 months of barre studio membership, the last 5 months being consecutive. I attended 98 of the classes at Define (both Midland and Austin locations) and 2 of the classes at Barre3 in Austin. When I got home, Brendan and my mom surprised me by putting these candles on a cake we had leftover.

 I didn't actually eat any of the cake, since that would feel pretty counter productive. I'm SO glad I discovered barre classes this year. Attending 100 classes in 2015 was definitely one of my favorite things about this past year. I feel stronger, more toned, and happier. Going into the fall semester, I doubted that I could make time to workout 5X a week every week (4 barre classes + 1 yoga class), but I did it, and I even managed to keep it up over the holidays (when I normally lose my focus). I went to class 6 times the first week of winter break, 4 times the week of Christmas, and 4 times so far this week. I have been eating WHATEVER I want (which includes a lot of sweets), so at least barre has kept me a little more balanced.

On Tuesday, Brendan had a great time at the Longhorns vs. Huskies game, especially since UConn won. I felt conflicted about who to root for, but I was happy he was happy. 

So that was the end of our 2015. It was a great year with many highlights. In January, we became homeowners, which has been a wonderful and life changing experience. I feel so lucky to live in our house. It has really improved our quality of life greatly. In March, we threw a housewarming party and Brendan got to go to Florida and see Red Sox spring training games with his Dad and grandparents while I spent quality time with friends and family in Austin. In May, I came to Austin to throw my cousin Amanda a bridal shower and be at her bachelorette weekend. In June, we cruised Alaska with my family and visited Seattle for a few days. Once home, we continued working on our backyard. In July, we took an amazing 3 week trip to Costa Rica, celebrated 2 years of marriage, and got to see Mimi and a Red Sox game. In August, we both got promotions. In September, Amanda and Matt came to Midland to spend Labor Day weekend in our new house, and in October, we flew to New Orleans and celebrated their big day. In November, a conference in Nashville allowed us to see McNeese friends and present our work. Brendan's parents came to Midland for Thanksgiving, saw our new house, and we celebrated our first holiday in our home. We ended the year by celebrating Christmas in Austin. 2015 was a great year, and I am very, very thankful for it.

2015 was also (unofficially) the year of the baby. Friends Peggy and Eric welcomed daughter, Audrey, in January. After a bit of a lull, there was a baby boom: friends Will and Missy welcomed daughter Lyla in August, while friends Jennifer and Michael welcomed son, Sidney, in September. My cousin Stephen and his wife Casey welcomed son, Callen, in October, and 3 weeks later, friends Julie and Dave welcomed daughter, Ellie. Just 2 days later, friends Lauren and Steve welcomed son, Alex. In November, friends Justin and Lauren welcomed daughter Morgan, and in December friends Bill and Megen welcomed son, William. If you lost count, that is 8 babies in 2015 and 7 of them in a span of 4 months. The fun continues next year, as friends Curtis and Katie are expecting a baby in March and Brendan's cousin Jack and his wife Becky are expecting a baby in June. We are very happy about all the new additions and thrilled for our friends.

I'm not making resolutions for 2016, except for resolving to draft a list of 6 specific and reasonable goals on the first day of each month of the year. So far, I have 3 goals for January: Organize my closet, attend 17 barre classes, and cook 3 recipes from my new cookbook, Inspiralized. Tonight, my dear friend Corley is coming over for dinner. 2016 is off to a great start.

We hope for health and happiness for each and every one of you, friends. Happy 2016!

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