A tour of NE Ohio

Come on a little trip with me, ok?

I left my house Friday around 2:30 to head up to the Cleve.

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I was attending this BGSU alumni event.  My old grad school coordinator said there were a few people he’d like me to meet, plus this was a well connected group of alumni.  In my plan for world domination, networking with the good alum is an important step.  The host of our evening was the CFO of the Cleveland Port Authority.  As part of his hosting, he gave us a presentation on what the Port Authority does, what they’re responsible for, how they operate and it was really interesting.

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After the alumni event, I took myself out to dinner.  I’m such a good date.  I was thinking about going to one of the ole Cleveland standbys, Greenhouse Tavern or Lolita, but it’s time to try new things.  I found a restaurant that looked right up my alley - Spice Kitchen & Bar.  I had a delicious homemade pappardelle pasta and a blood orange cocktail.  I had dinner at the bar, and towards the middle of my dinner a man sat next to me.  Turns out he’s on the board of this restaurant (which also does catering and has a farm) and he was waxing poetic about this new kind of liqueur that was in out of a distillery here in Columbus.  It’s an after dinner drink, a black walnut liqueur called Nocino.  He asked the bartender to give me a sample too.  It’s always fun to talk food and cocktails with people who love food and cocktails.  And local ones at that! He left shortly after and I continued to enjoy my dinner.

I headed back to my hotel after that to get a good night sleep because I had plans for the next morning.  I was planning to get up kind of early and go for a run in downtown Cleveland before heading to Mill Creek Park for hiking.  I had a path all mapped out that took me by all the stadiums.  Then I woke up at 2:30am and didn’t get back to sleep until sometime after 5:30am.  I watched an entire movie and several tv episodes.  When I woke up again at 8:45am, I regrouped on the plan.

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 5.06.28 PMAfter so many recommendations to try Lucky’s Cafe, I finally got there.  It did not disappoint.  I had the Lucky Latte which is sweetened with honey and it was awesome.  I would have never thought about honey in coffee.  Mmmm.  I was intending to order some kind of pancake dish, but they still had gingerbread pancakes.  That was not going to work with my spring focus.  So, I went outside my standard order and got these amazing biscuits and gravy.

Cheddar biscuits, soft scrambled eggs, sausage gravy.  I could barely eat half of it.  It was incredibly delicious.

Cheddar biscuits, soft scrambled eggs, sausage gravy. I could barely eat half of it. It was incredibly delicious.

That breakfast provided plenty of fuel for the next part of the day – hiking!

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Months ago I started following this Facebook page called Only in Ohio.  There was a picture of this mill around Christmas.  It was all covered in snow.  I decided I wanted to visit that mill.  When I decided to go to Cleveland for this alumni event, it seemed like the right time to make the trip over.  Mill Creek park is pretty big, I found the closest parking lot to the actual Mill and set off on my way.

You see the mill almost immediately.

You see the mill almost immediately.

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It isn’t open to touring until summer, but you can walk around.  Then I headed off on the trail in search of the Cinderella suspension bridge, which I knew was about a mile from the mill.

I walked the wrong way for about half a mile.  But it was beautiful, so no big deal.  I turned around and headed back past the mill in the other direction.

I was just starting to worry maybe I had gotten directions wrong again - when I saw it!

I was just starting to worry maybe I had gotten directions wrong again – when I saw it!

Nicknamed the Cinderella Bridge because of the spires and scrolls.

Nicknamed the Cinderella Bridge because of the spires and scrolls.

On the other side of the bridge were these stairs to nowhere.  Just mossy rocks.  But they were fun to climb!

On the other side of the bridge were these stairs to nowhere. Just mossy rocks. But they were fun to climb!

In front of mossy rocks.

In front of mossy rocks.

When I crossed the bridge I thought I’d take the trail on the other side of the creek back to the mill and my car.  This turns out to be a bad idea.

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Much of that (narrow) trail is covered in ice.

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And the trail doesn’t have any space between it and the edge of the cliff leading down to the creek.   This led for some very perilous walking for a while.  When I could I stayed as far as I could to the outside edge, but that wasn’t always an option.  Eventually, the trail (still icy) veers further away from the edge and I start to relax.  I even say outloud to myself, okay – now you can fall.

30 steps later I fell.  Landed hard on my right hip/thigh.  I can’t even be mad about it because I’m just so grateful I didn’t fall into the creek.

Once I was in the clear, I enjoyed the rest of the trail back and got in the car.

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And then I came home.  I listened to an audio book so the drive time was well spent.  My hip and knee are kind of sore, so I’m icing those.  The sun just came out and it’s a pretty night in Columbus.  Overall, a very good 26 hours in Northeast Ohio.

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Bookmarks

I read (and write) far less blogs than I did in years past.  But one I stay connected with is Iowa Girl Eats, and mostly for her Friday Favorites posts.  I have gone on more than one clicking rabbit hole adventure because of stuff she’s posted.  Often it’s lifestyle related, but you never know.

Yesterday I was looking for a website that I had bookmarked to discover I have more than 200 bookmarks.  This prompted me to start thinking I need a better way to catalog the things I’m bookmarking, but that’s another post.  It also prompted me to share some of the things I have felt were worth keeping.

This article on how we introduce people.  I’ve introduced a few people recently – some social, some business – and often over email.  I’m careful to talk about why I think they’re great instead of lead with what they do.  My friend Chris (who I was introducing to a mutual friend who lives in his city) replied after I sent the intro email and asked if I would follow him around and always introduce him after that.

This recipe for a six layer salted caramel chocolate cake.  I’ve never made this, but is there any question why I’m holding on to the recipe?  Although – it taunts me with making caramel.  The culinary task I fail every time.  I just tried again for my Oscar party with disastrous results.

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This how to guide on incorporating Evernote into your life.  I think that’s where I’m headed with the bookmark organization.  I loved Evernote during grad school.  I really like the idea of creating a one place online filing system.

This site that has pretty underwear.  I’ve always been a fan of pretty underwear.

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This baby knit hat pattern.  I made my niece a hat for Christmas.  It did not turn out exactly right.  I didn’t use a pattern, thinking, I know how to make a hat!  And I do.  But my best guess for how big a baby head is was allll kinds of wrong.  The hat is way too big (length wise – I got the circumference right – just saying).  I’ll have to try again, and I bookmark these patterns for a reason!

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 This idea for making individual pies in jars!  I’ve had this one around since 2009.  Still have not made it.  Clearly the bookmarks are just an early version of the pinterest ideas I’m not doing anything with.  What is it I’m doing with my time if not making pies in jars?

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This website that is a collection of beautiful things in design.  Web design, menu design, calendar design.  It is a total rabbit hole of more clicking.  Beware.

This journal prompt – 30 days of lists.  An easy writing prompt for each day.

This cocktail recipe for a Cherry Whiskey Smash.  Since my friend Becky’s homebrewed cherry whiskey is my most favorite beverage, but also one I can only get in limited supply, this cocktail recipe should get me through when I’m out of the good stuff.

CherrySmash-2And there you have it.  Some of the things that will make it through the bookmark purge.  Happy Friday.

Playing more, nerd style

I resolved to play more in 2015.   I nailed that resolution this weekend.

It’s Saturday night.  I won’t be able to post this until Sunday afternoon because I am in 20 miles from anywhere that has cell service.  Harry Potter Murder Mystery Weekend has been pretty amazing so far.  First of all, major props to the company that puts these on.  They are complex and smart and challenging and fun and run by really great people.  There are puzzles within clues within questions.  The basic premise is solving a murder, but there are also ciphers to solve, secret locations to identify, garbage to sift through…

I should also start off with I was one of the killer’s.  After an initial questionnaire from the game leader’s a few weeks ago, one of my answer’s prompted him to ask if I’d like to be a killer.  Um, of course I would.  This required me to write and send a note in advance, and include a lock of my hair so they could be used as part of the “evidence”.  Believe me when I say the day I was sealing the envelope with a note written to a Harry Potter house elf and a lock of my hair in it, I did pause to recognize that this was an odd thing to do.

I should also add that it turns out I’m a terrible killer and I kind of misunderstood the instructions and almost ruined the game the first night.  The game leaders managed to salvage it, but I think they’ll be telling my story for a while. But enough about that because I’m actually pretty embarrassed by it.

The game started at dinner Friday night.  The weather made for a perfect start to the evening.  It was a dark and stormy night and I’m driving along super twisty roads in the middle of nowhere to get to this castle.  I drive up this big hill and I’m beaming because already I love the ambiance of this weekend.  There are probably 50-60 people here.  I came with 4 friends, and 4 more joined us.  Together we were the Hufflepuff house.  The other HP houses were represented along with Muggles and Death Eaters.

The game basically has no rules once you get started.  You’re on site from Friday night until Sunday morning.  Almost no place is off limits.  Everything (including nearly 1600 books in the library 100’s of games, 100’s of movies) can be opened.  A new clue could be anywhere.

A clue.

A clue.

Here’s what I know about me: I’m not so good at the puzzles.  Or, I wasn’t in the mood to sit and concentrate on the puzzles.  I liked the interaction part of the game more.  I’m decent with a word puzzle and solved a Wheel of Fortune like puzzle early on for our team and felt pretty good about that.  That was pretty much my only legit contribution.  Besides nearly ruining the game and then killing several people.

The 9 of us that were the Hufflepuff group were awesome.  The two new couples that joined us were so funny and really into it.  I am surprised at the group of people who came.  People from Akron to Cincinnati, from 9 years old to 70 years old, people who were total HP nerds and people who never saw the movies.  Our group was almost entirely people in their 30’s and 40’s and we had a blast working together.  Also amazing were these 9 year old twin girls who were dressed as Fred and George Weasley from the HP series.  I was dressed as a character I made up, Penny Iona Pyle, prefect from the Hufflepuff house.  I had a kind of costume on.  It was mostly made of stuff I had around the house.  I mostly resembled a Catholic school girl.  I did buy a

Evidence Day 1.

Evidence Day 1.

yellow and blue striped tie to wear, to go with the Hufflepuff colors.  The Weasley twins and I had a great time.  They were funny and smart kids – they had been to one of these mystery weekends before.  The bartender/inn runner even assumed I was a kindergarten teacher because of how well I connected with them.  Umm, no.  Smart girls who can rock a mystery weekend and play a fun make believe game?  Why wouldn’t I love them?

By tonight (Saturday) we’ve had a full day of puzzle solving, scavenger hunts, dinner, drinking, nighttime tag, observation tests and most importantly, winning stuff.  We solved where the diamond was (which involved so much gross trash – this game is serious), we found the train ticket from London to Hogwarts which got us major bonus points, members of my team decoded some super hard cipher and got extra points.  The rain finally stopped around 3pm and we played a few outdoor games.  Then the weather turned beautiful.  From 8 – 10, the nightsearch is scheduled.  There are 2 dragon eggs, 1 giant spider, 1 severed head and 1 arm out in the woods along the perimeter of the castle.  There are glow sticks that indicate something is within 10 yards.  My team found the spider.  All I did was get tagged by a death eater.  We were outside, essentially playing a giant game of flashlight tag in the woods with total strangers and sooo many amazing stars in the sky – and it was so much fun.  It was so fun to play.  Around 9pm, our team decided to go in to the tavern and have a drink.  We thought that was now the best use of our time.  It was pretty much just the 9 of us in there for a while and we had a nice time talking and laughing.

10pm starts the official wind down and story time, but I decided to escape back to my room (The Cinderella Suite – naturally).  I had a long day of being in character.  Heading back to my room to take a bubble bath in the huge tub, start a fire and watch Princess Bride sounded like the right ending to my day.

And that’s what’s happened.

Guys, I had so much fun.  I’m bad at puzzles, I should ask more questions to clarify expectations, but I’m good at a theme event.  And my catapult won.

Sunday Update:

The game officially ended at breakfast.  I was revealed as one of two killers.  All the bonus points we received were added up and our team came in 2nd place.  Gryffindors won (as per usual).

Overall, it was just a really fun weekend.  It was nice to be outside after the last few weeks of particularly gross weather.  It was nice to work well with new people.  It was a fun break to play around with the 9 year old twin girls and solve puzzles with them and tease them about where clues might be.  After a mostly dreary weekend it was bright and sunny as I drove home this morning.  A good ending to a very enjoyable weekend.

At one point I had a Quackers spell put on me.

At one point I had a Quackers spell put on me.

During lunch on Saturday they send you on an off site scavenger hunt for a few hours to ready the castle with new evidence and clues.  We ended up at the pencil sharpener museum, which was awesome.

During lunch on Saturday they send you on an off site scavenger hunt for a few hours to ready the castle with new evidence and clues. We ended up at the pencil sharpener museum, which was awesome.

It's about the size of a good walk in closet and lined like this on 3 sides.

It’s about the size of a good walk in closet and lined like this on 3 sides.

Part of our team doing a little drinking post flashlight tag Saturday night.

Part of our team doing a little drinking post flashlight tag Saturday night.

Our table in the Giant Hall.  One night one of our team decided to play the ghost.  Just for the heck of it.  Seriously, pretty much anything goes here.

Our table in the Giant Hall. One night one of our team decided to play the ghost. Just for the heck of it. Seriously, pretty much anything goes here.

Putting stuff together

Tonight, I assembled a small catapult. I’ve clearly been watching too much Game of Thrones. Not really. This weekend I’m off to a murder mystery weekend at Ravenwood Castle. I’m pretty excited.  It’s a Harry Potter themed mystery and goes Friday night to Sunday morning. The curator of game weekend told us all to pick characters, we can be whoever we want. And bonus points if we brought a catapult that could launch grapes. Who am I to leave bonus points on the table.  Not having enough scrap wood and small  tools to create my original sketch from scratch, I did why I do second best, I bought a solution.

ages 5 and up. no problem



It’s awesome. Took about two minutes to assemble and 30 seconds to launch all the little foam balls at the cats.  Good times.  I’ve decided to create my HP character. Every house needs a Hermione, so I’m going to be the smarty pants of the Hufflepuff house.  My name is Penny Iona Pyle. My friends call me Pip.  I have a slew of black and yellow clothes for the weekend and a catapult. I’m staying in a castle.  The makings of an awesome weekend. 

Mystery weekends are not a completely new idea for me. Back in high school, my super nerd friends and I found these kits at a game store that had the invites, characters, story guides and a cd that gave instructions. We did two of them, always dressing up and getting our parents to make 3 course dinners for us.  I took a pic of the scrapbook page from my high school album. Yes, we’re all posing like that on purpose.





In other putting together news, me and my 80 year old inner self are putting together this puzzle.  I have all but one edge piece together. I have some key sections started in the middle. I do not have enough space on this card table to dump out the rest of the pieces to sort through them. How does one do this? I needed to start on a bigger table.  I’ve started to sort through some of the postcard lettering.  That’s the next step. 

I’ve been everywhere, man



Looking forward to sharing tales from the weekend!!  I really need to finish getting my stuff together.  

Sarah goes to Lowe’s

I have a hypothesis that sooner or later everyone is going to be a participant on a reality show.  Not necessarily something dramatic like Real Housewives or Survivor, but there are just so many on every channel.

If I get a reality show, there’s a chance it will be called Sarah Goes to Lowe’s.  (The other option is a cooking show called “Cooking for Dudes who want to Impress their Ladies”)

I had a whole weekend with nothing on the calendar.  It’s been some time since that has happened and I was looking forward to doing whatever I wanted.  I reached into the small projects jar and pulled out linen closet.  The only hall closet on the 2nd floor of the house is a regular clothes closet.  The bathroom doesn’t have a linen closet.  This needed to be fixed.

So badly needed to be fixed.  Here is the before picture.  I just kind of throw sheets and towels in there after I wash them.  That seemed like the right thing to do.

So badly needed to be fixed. Here is the before picture. I just kind of throw sheets and towels in there after I wash them. That seemed like the right thing to do.

I wake up whenever the heck I wanted Saturday morning.  I made breakfast.  Then I went to Lowe’s armed with the closet measurements.  Telling a friend about the project on Friday afternoon, he cautioned me to measure the back width and the front width of the closet, sometimes they are different, especially in old closets.  Editor’s Note: In English class, this is called foreshadowing. 

When I added shelving to the master closet, I bought this handy Rubbermaid solutions kit and it was super simple.  No such luck with the linen closet.  I wanted the deepest shelf possible, and the clothes closet solutions are only 12″ deep.  Linen shelves are 16″ deep and you get them custom cut in the store.  No problem.  I get the shelves cut to 38″.  I buy back wall brackets and side wall brackets (different kinds).  I bought braces and was on my way back home.

All my stuff!  Plus a La Croix.  I'm handy and fancy.

All my stuff! Plus a La Croix. I’m handy and fancy.

I empty out the offending closet.

I empty out the offending closet.

Before I start installing the brackets I hold the shelf up against the wall to gauge where I should make the marks.  **See foreshadowing note above** Shelf gets stuck in closet before hitting back wall.  Aw, man!  I try each of them, all just too wide.  For a minute I think about getting very angry at the Lowe’s people who cut the shelf.  That is short lived when I measure the shelves and they are all 38″ long.  Just like I asked for.  Next up I think – what might I have around the house that could cut through this.  My little wire cutter is MIA, and probably not enough anyway.  I have what I think is a stroke of genius and think of my giant limb trimmer.

No dice.

No dice.

Sarah goes (back) to Lowe’s!

Now the proud owner of the 18" bolt cutter.  I brought a spare piece of shelf and made the tool guy at Lowe's make sure it would cut through it.  I did not want a third trip to Lowe's.

Now the proud owner of the 18″ bolt cutter. I brought a spare piece of shelf and made the tool guy at Lowe’s make sure it would cut through it. I did not want a third trip to Lowe’s.

I trim up the shelves and return to bracket marking.  I do what I do a lot… eyeball things.

Which leads to this.

Which leads to this.  

I finally get the back brackets level, hinge the shelf onto them and prepare to attach the side brackets.  They go on easily enough.

I finally get the back brackets level, hinge the shelf onto them and prepare to attach the side brackets. They go on easily enough.

Shelf one done!

Shelf one done!

It took about 40 minutes from start to finish to get this one installed.  There was the redrilling of the back bracket hole.  And what you can’t see from any of the photos is that the right side of the closet backs into the window seat at the top of my stairs.  When I drilled the guide hole for the bracket I went right through that wall.  From the window seat you see two small holes.  Meaning, on an upcoming Sarah Goes to Lowe’s we’ll be patching and painting or wallpaper the window seat area.

The second shelf went up super fast.  I originally intended to put three in, but after seeing how the first two spaced out, I deemed it unnecessary.  If I decide to add it, I’ll probably put it up top.

Success!  I'm a step closer to being a real grown up!

Success! I’m a step closer to being a real grown up!

And there you have it – Sarah Goes to Lowe’s has a happy ending.  Stay tuned for the window seat work, spring planting and…

(Trailer voice over) In a world where refinishing wood is a major pain in the ass, one woman debates what kind of laminate wood to put down.  Medium stain or dark stain... Find out in Summer 2015.

(Trailer voice over) In a world where refinishing wood is a major pain in the ass, one woman debates what kind of laminate wood to put down. Medium stain or dark stain… Find out in Summer 2015.

Auld Lang Syne Superlatives

The words of Much Ado About Nothing are so familiar to me.  I watched the 1993 version so many times.  It was the reason I wanted to travel to Italy.  In 2012 Joss Whedon remade it, set in modern day LA and it’s equally fantastic.  The words are the same – the magic is still there.

This is how I am ringing in the New Year.  I’m sitting on my living room floor, surrounded by words and pictures clipped from magazines or printed out.  These are making their way onto the 2015 Vision Board – a favorite annual tradition.  I have the obligatory champagne with a splash of pomegranate juice and jewel-like pomegranate seeds flit around the bubbles of the glass.  Familiar chorus of Shakespeare, favorite drink, fire in the fireplace and Vision Board scraps.  And a feeling of contentment and determination that is strongest on this night.

2015.  A year yet to be defined.  Romantic and mysterious new beginnings!  And all that jazz.

Recapping 2014 is unnecessary.  It’s all here in this silly blog, right?  Let’s take a different approach.

Favorite moment of 2014: The Tinkerbell and Princess 10K/half marathon weekends.  (Recaps here and here)  They were Life To Do List items.  The Tink one led me to one of the best races I’ve run.  The Princess one brought me a super fun vacation with my best friend.

Claire begged and begged for pictures with princesses.  Only, replace Claire with me.

Claire begged and begged for pictures with princesses. Only, replace Claire with me.

The Tink runs were such a great experience  all around.  So happy that was my first runDisney event.

The Tink runs were such a great experience all around. So happy that was my first runDisney event.

Favorite new person of 2014: A tough one since I met so many new friends this year – but hands down the winner is my niece Avery!  I love this tiny person and am so happy to be a part of her life as godmother.

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Favorite new place I visited: Los Angeles.  I am a person who loves movies and old Hollywood and it is about time I got out that way.  I only spent a very brief time exploring during the time I was out there for the Tinkerbell runs, but I can cross it off as done.

Favorite new place in town: Cray Eatery and Drinkery.  It’s a bar that does a lot of tasty infusions (cranberry gin and tonic was a holiday favorite) and delicious sliders.

Favorite new song: I Wanna Get Better by the Bleachers.  It’s fun to run to. It feels empowering to shout/sing it.

Favorite new skill learned in 2014:  Fire building. Duh.  I can safely say I had never built a fire before this year.  And right now I am staring at a really beautiful and well burning blaze.  One that will not need tending or poking for a while.  It’s so great.

Most frequented location in 2014: Lowe’s.  I’m not proud of that – mostly because sometimes it meant I was there 3 times a day while working on the kitchen and not realizing I needed something.  Thank goodness for living one mile from the place.

Best purchase of 2014: My house.  I have a way of settling in emotionally with places I live.  Loved the last house I shared with Ex Hubs, was practically in a relationship with the apartment above the coffee shop I lived in right before moving to Columbus, and now here.  This is my house.  I knew it for sure just about five weeks ago when some friends came over for dinner, two people who were here for the first time.  Kevin walked in and said, “What a cozy place.”  That is my favorite house compliment.  I want my home to be warm and comfortable to me and to visitors.

myhouse

Most surprising purchase of 2014: Oh man, all the random tools I’ve bought that come with home ownership. Electric tree trimmer and tile saw and such.

And let’s flip the story a little – what am I looking forward to in 2015 right now?

– Two scheduled trips to Las Vegas, both for work – but Vegas is always a good idea and I have some old casino friends I can visit and catch up with.

– Harry Potter murder mystery weekend.  Yup.  That’s a thing and I’m going.  So excited to see this fun castle/lodge south of Columbus and spend a weekend having some silly make believe good times.  In general I want to play more in 2015.

– The big vacation.  I’m currently narrowing down options for a longer vacation later in the year.  The options are Madrid, St. Lucia or Costa Rica.  I had coffee with my friend Lisa yesterday and she made a good point about Costa Rica being a spot that I might want a buddy to take pics of me while I’m ziplining through a rain forest or to know I’ll like at least one person if I’m on a group tour.  They were good points.  Apartment for a week looking out over Madrid or this wellness/health resort in St. Lucia – what to do, what to do.

– Downton Abbey returning!  What happened to Edith’s man?!  Can Anna and John Bates just have a normal life for a while?  Who will Lady Mary choose to woo her?  Man, I love some Downton.

– Group running!  I joined a running group that starts on Jan 10.  I look forward to the schedule and accountability and coaching that this running group offers.

– Picking up knitting again.  It’s a hobby I like and I stopped doing it.  Look for it to make a glorious return in 2015.

– Slowing down.  I’m looking forward to being more present this year.  Reading the books that have backed up on my Kindle, getting more sleep, and thinking about how the decisions I make affect not only present me, but future me.  Every decision matters.

Happy New Year, lovelies.  Start strong.

And with that, I need a champagne refill.

Vision 2015

I like Vision boards.  My 2014 board had four themes: get more involved in ACMP, buy a house, get my financial crap together, and health – specifically run a 10K in under 60 minutes.

Three out of four isn’t bad, right?

Claire and I see my 2014 very differently.  I see it as a giant mood swing.  Sooo many great things happened.  Sooo many stressful things happened.  And I can’t decide which feeling is winning out.  At the end of this year I find myself with the right job, super friends, a cozy home, some new bucket list items checked off, a committee position with ACMP…  Claire tends to focus on those things.  I focus on that fourth thing.  Friends – I cannot run the 10K in under 60 minutes.  I’m pretty sure I can’t run a 10K at all.  I’m pretty sure I can’t run a 5K.  I won’t get into the food = love issues I worked through this year – but let’s at least acknowledge them, yeah?  I’ve been unhealthy in my life before, and it doesn’t take the Mosby boys to find the pattern.

The thing that came to me as I watched the credits of Wild last week is that I spent 2014 making over my external environment.  I joined as a full time associate at the end of December last year, so I spent this year learning a new company and job and culture, looked for and bought a house, renovated a kitchen, solidified the friends and social networks and also adjusted to doing things alone…  While there will certainly be stressors in this upcoming year, a lot of the stress was caused by major life changes that I don’t have to do in 2015… I don’t have to buy another house, renovate another kitchen, end a significant relationship, or be new at a company this year…

It can be the Year of Penny.

I get to make over the internal environment.  I get to get back to looking and feeling like a good version of me.  The me that makes me happy when I look in a mirror.

A me who looks good in hats.

A me who looks good in hats.

A me that has fun

A me that has fun anywhere she goes

A me who digs her booty in these pants.

A me who digs her booty in these pants.

The me that finishes shit.

The me that finishes shit.

Me that reads and is interesting

Me that reads and is interesting

Me with the good long super hair

Me with the good long super hair

The me who keeps long distance friends feel special and thought of.

The me who keeps long distance friends feeling special and thought of.

I want to be the me who had a reason to get this dressed up.

I want to be the me who had a reason to get this dressed up.

The me who makes good food choices.

The me who makes good food choices.

The me who can run this distance in that time.

The me who can run this distance in that time.

I just want to look and feel like me again.  I'm pretty cool.

I just want to look and feel like me again. I’m pretty cool.

So that’s that.  It’s not original or that interesting.  But as kids are counted down the days to Christmas day, I am counting down the days to New Years Day.  I know there’s nothing magical about that day.  I know I could start today.  As I said above, I like grand statements.  This year I only have one thing going on the Vision Board – me.