2013 Recap: September - December

Here it is! The final installment of my 2013.

Here’s a fun fact about September: I didn’t blog once. I thought there would at least be a post or two, there’s usually a few per month if it hasn’t been crazy. But no. September is missing from the 2013 Archive. And I’m not surprised.
September was the month I finally decided to quit my dead-end job, and I made that choice the first or second week in.
It was something I wasn’t really ready to share with friends, let alone anyone on the internet.
Things I remember from September, aside from that large detail, would be a trip to Knoebels with Brad’s family for his father’s company picnic (in which I was hysterical and anxious about quitting the whole time), Oktoberfest at the casino, and the wedding of Nick and Paulina, in which Brad was the Best Man.

1508 1519 1568 1690 My last walk around the neighborhood on my last day of work.

Since my last day of work was September 26th, the beginning of October also coincided with the beginning of one of the best months of the year. It was a strange time. I kicked off my month of unemployment by getting a pretty bad cold.
The month itself was such a great refresher after years of the same crap. I got to fully enjoy the changing leaves, early morning walks with Artie, a random trip to take photos at a cemetery, and trips to a corn maze and pumpkin patch!
After a slight disappointment in my attempts for employment, I applied for Old Navy.
By the end of the month, I had earned my gig as a seasonal “sellebrity”.

 1840 1897 1926 2065  2135 Our last minute, makeshift Wizard of Oz costumes!

Starting a new job with a lot of shifts that start at 5 or 6 in the morning, experiencing the first little snowfall, sleepovers with Jenna, finally seeing Catching Fire, and Thanksgiving! A very fast month, with barely any time to process it all.

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And here we are, the end of the year! The final month of 2013. There’s only hours left, and then we will be embarking on a new year to fill with moments, low and high, and hope for all the best. December also flew by.
I spent the month trying to get in the holiday spirit while working retail at the busiest time of the year.
I was offered to stay on as a part-time worker at Old Navy, instead of ending when the seasonal time frame closes.
I took it, though I will always be looking and trying for more, because work is work!
I’m excited for the new year to come. This one ended the way I had always hoped but never let myself have…with a clean slate. No ties to what made me sad. Just the open road of possibilities.

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Here’s to a Happy New Year!
Let’s do this, 2014!


2013 Recap: May-August

I may (teehee) be a bit biased because my birthday falls on the 19th, but I’ve always loved the month of May. Weather-wise, things get stable, greener, and warmer. I think I also associate May with the end of the school year, those pre-summer jitters that were always so exciting and still kind of exist these days, even with work in the way. Highlights of May 2013 include seeing the (amazing live) Foals in concert with Maria and Lauren. I loved their show, despite the fact that I was getting a massive cold and deteriorating as the night went on. For my birthday, we had a small brunch gathering. Mimosas and Bloody Marys and bagels and a yogurt station…it was great! Finally, we closed out the month with a Memorial Day celebration at Lauren’s parents’ house. Good food, even better people…a great month, indeed.






My friends know me SO WELL.





June was a super quiet month on the blog.
I got my hair cut the shortest it had been in a while, and I’ve kept it that way all year.
I saw a local baseball game with my sister and dad. Other than that…same ol’ same.



You can check out the video Brad helped film here. It’s super cute.077076

The first week of July was stay-cation with Brad. It’s always nice to have a week off from work.
The usual 4th of July festivities with tons of relaxing and enjoying heat waves and cookouts.
We also had to say goodbye (for now) to some friends who moved out to Arizona.
Always a bummer when people you love leave, but I’m pleased to say we have continued to stay in touch.




This last picture makes me smile.

I think it’s safe to say that August was an extremely tough month for me. It was the month I finally got fed up with my former job, to the point of saying, “I can quit, despite the fact that I don’t have a back-up.” Because I wasn’t confident enough to do anything about it just yet, I spent a lot of the month debating and worrying and weighing my options. You know the eventual choice, but I really didn’t think it fully possible just yet.
Highlights of the month include my parents’ birthdays, my first trip to Turkey Hill Brewing Company, and the addition of the record player to the living room at Brad’s, which we take advantage of all the time and has really made the place cozy.
I also had an insatiable (until October) need for soft-serve ice cream.





And that’s 2/3 of the year!




 As always, Christmas came and went faster than I could comprehend. The last thing I posted before today was my goal to get into the holiday spirit before it was too late. Christmas shopping and crafting and wrapping and music and movies certainly helped. However, I notice that it’s the actual holiday and the traditions it holds, such as dinner on Christmas Eve and watching It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story with my sister, that add the missing link.
It’s on the holiday that I finally feel that joy, relaxation, and spirit.

I cried on Christmas night. I cried because Christmas is over, though my mom always says the season has only just begun (despite what the stores tell you, it’s okay to continue celebrating and gifting and being merry). But really, I think I cried because I left my home that evening (I had work at 5 a.m. the day after Christmas) for Brad’s. And while it was great to give each other our presents under his silly beer bottle-topped Christmas tree, I think I was hit with that realization of growing up and things changing. Work the next day, away from my parents and sister, all back to reality.

My sister and I have had a tradition for as long as I can remember. Growing up, we shared a bed and, even when we finally got separate twin beds, we shared a room. It was only in 2004, the year we moved out of the house, that we got separate rooms. But Christmas isn’t meant for separate rooms, so we would move my mattress into her bedroom and we’d wrap presents and watch A Christmas Story and set an alarm so we could sneak out and check out the goodies underneath the tree and annoy our parents. As we’ve gotten older, we still sleep in the same room and bed, but we stay up later, we sleep longer, we don’t really check the tree.

It was the first year I realized that I am getting closer to a future without these kinds of Christmas Eves. Though there are no plans for nuptials or babies on the way, eventually I will have my own place to live, a husband, some kids…if all goes well, of course…and these traditions will disappear in favor of new ones. I will always cherish them, and I can only hope that (if I am lucky to have them) my future children share the same excitement as my sister and I have all these years. There’s no specific time that my current traditions will stop, but I’m so close to it. I know it’s coming.

I guess the best part is, no matter what, Christmas will be about family.

2013 Recap: January–April

2014 is fast-approaching. It’s time to recap this past year, as I have in previous years.
I can say that 2013 isn’t ending the way I thought it would, in the beginning or even a few months ago.
One thing stayed true, though. I got out of my dead-end job and my life has improved greatly from that result.

I had a good chuckle looking at the list of things I wanted to do this year and realizing that I got pretty much none of it done. I still want to do these things, and they seem a lot more tangible now, but it’s always disappointing to realize what you could’ve done. No better time than now, though! Two memorable moments from January were the little road trips I took. First, I joined Brad and his parents to visit his brother and sister-in-law in Boston. Then, Brad joined my dad, sister, Josh, and I on a trip to Troegs Brewing Company and the Philly car show (it’s become a yearly January tradition). I love both of these cities, even in the freezing cold weather.
I also started my 52 books in 52 weeks challenge at a great pace.






Aside from Valentine’s Day, which isn’t always important (aside from the fact that Brad and I celebrate our anniversary then, too, just to combine it all), February tends to be a quiet month. Brad went to Vegas for a sales meeting (and got really sick on his trip) and we eventually celebrated our 3ish years together with a good meal and cocktails. I also decided to make a good steak dinner for my family and Brad for Valentine’s Day, as well. Tax Return season is always fantastic, and I treated myself to my first expensive Deborah Lippmann polishes (double bonus because they were created and inspired by the show Girls, one of my favorites). It should also be noted that I got the iPhone 5, fell even more in love with that stupid device, and that’s why so many of my pictures were taken with my iPhone camera.


Things are always a little quiet in March. Aside from my sister’s birthday on the 13th, nothing else exciting tends to happen. I’m not big into St. Patrick’s Day and I’m usually so over the cold and dreary weather. This one remains the same as always. Low-key weekends and entertaining myself against the dull days of winter, with highlights including a new coffee and tea station by Brad’s Keurig and dog-sitting my favorite schnauzer, Sophie.


So…April started off with a cruel April Fool’s joke…I (and most of my family) got the stomach flu the day after Easter and it. was. terrible. I laid in bed deliriously, watched the entire series of Freaks and Geeks for the fifth time, and wished for health. Not long after, I found out that my precious Buick would be put to rest, along with all the memories that hunk o’ junk held with it. Aside from those bummer days, April started to look up. Spring was arriving, my friend Jenna (who resides in California for most of the year) was in to visit, and a beautiful couple (Mark and Amanda)  got married on a beautiful day in a beautiful place.



So that’s the first 1/3 of the year.
I enjoy looking back, because the time flies and I often forget some of the excellent things that happened along the way!
Look for 2/3 tomorrow!