Thursday, January 1, 2015

Four in four

I don't know if it was just me, but it certainly feels like the past year has flown by. LOTS of things to reflect on, learn from and laugh/cry about. I don't really have a plan for this blog, which is the opposite of what I would say the summary of 2014 is. I'd have to say that 2014 was the year with goals and plans, both short and long term and then just lots of fun in between. 
January started with me being very motivated to run lots of 5Ks. Some great friends and I ran a 5K in our pajamas over Martin Luther king weekend to start the year. Although I didn't so that great thanks to the altitude and I didn't really run again until the summer time, I haven't lost my desire to run. I signed up for a run in October several months before it happened and was not prepared for it, but I did it anyway. Then ran the Veteran's Day run for the third year in a row, improving my time. Continued a tradition from the year before by running a turkey trot in Keller with my brother. I trained for that one and it was awesome! I really enjoyed training for the turkey trot and I'm looking forward to spring to get back outside and start training again....might even go to the gym, so I don't have to start all over! AGAIN!! 
Last year I also made a huge first step in a goal that I've been discussing for many years. I went back to school to take some leveling coursework towards my masters in math. I took Calculus 2 in the spring semester and Calculus 3 this fall. I was quite nervous about how I would handle school after a long break, but not to brag, well actually it is bragging, but it totally rocked it. Got an A in both courses, I even maintained a 103 average in Calc 3, until the final exam, which brought it down to 101. Needless to say, I am quite proud of my efforts in the class. I have one more leveling course to take, which unfortunately is not offered at night next week. So in preparation for the next step on the road to my masters, I've been studying for the GRE this semester and took the test last week. Still waiting in official scores, but I think I did well. I get really excited about the opportunities that the journey and the completion of this journey will bring into my life!!! Can't wait to see what 2015 brings in my education!! 
This year was also the year of the road trip!! Because I tend to ramble here is a list of my road trips and the people that were there!! 

-Jan 10-12: Seguin/San Marcos/Austin/Waco/Keller: workshops, Rachel, Betsy and lots of family! 
-Jan 17-20: Albuquerque: Pajama run: Baylie, David, Teresa, Matt
-March 12-16: Keller/Fort Worth: Dad, Bobby, Jake, Aubrey, LOTS OF FAMILY
-March 21-23: Waco: State debate tournament for school
-March 27-29: Kileen/Belton: State Music for school
-April 6-9: Waco: state Academic/art tournament for school
-May 2-4: Fort Worth: State Tournament for school
-May 25-26: Albuquerque: Wine festival: Baylie and David
-June 7-8: St. Lawrence/Midland: Leslie's wedding with Baylie and  Elizabeth
-July 18-20: Oklahoma City: Cory and Samantha's wedding with Lots of people! 
-July 28-Aug 3: Fort Worth/Dallas: Vacation, Yankees games and good food with Baylie and the Gallegos family 
-August 15-17: Fredericksburg: Elizabeth's bachelorette weekend with Elizabeth, Baylie and more!
-October 31-November 2nd: Albuquerque: Wine tours with Baylie and David
-November 26-30: Keller/Fort Worth: Thanksgiving with the Pace/Richardson's

Dang....that was a lot of trips....I don't think I missed anything...I have to say that I had a pretty fabulous time on all of those trips, although many of them were different from each other!!

This year, I also turned 30. Which was a big deal and a non big deal at the same time. Haha. This year has definitely brought more to clarity to lots of things in my life, which isn't just a result of being 30, but all the things I've done up til now. I am unconcerned with things that five years ago seemed like a HUGE WORRY! My roommate of two years got married in September, which meant the start of a new chapter as my friend Baylie and I found a new place to live. One of my best friends from college got married yesterday. The day she called me to tell me about the engagement, I was quite emotional. Even though they've been dating since last September, the news of the engagement meant a final step. Teresa has been my best friend for a very long time. There are stories that she's not a part of that I always think she is. Hahaha. There was a good chunk of time a few years ago, that we apparently spent a lot of time together. I remember going to events with our friends when Teresa was out of town or sick or had other plans and people would always ask "Where's Teresa?" There are many things that I admire and respect about Teresa and my sadness for the ending of a stage of our friendship has now been replaced with the excitement as we start a new one. 

This has also been a big year for health! My mom started the year still working in her recovery from the year before and her breast cancer journey. I was basically sick the whole month of February and half of March. I even had strep throat and the flu on Valentines day weekend and bronchitis showed up a few weeks later. During one of my many trips to FW, I was expressing my disgust of my constant state of illness, especially with my constant addition of a new medicine. In March, I had an inhaler, two allergy medicines and two nasal sprays and was still spending most days waiting for an ear ache, sore throat or some other illness. So they suggested that I look into my diet to see if that helped. So I did some research and tried out a gluten free diet for a few weeks at the first of the summer. With the help of the cook staff at camp and a fellow gluten free staff, I stuck with it for most of the summer! Didn't do as well on my vacations after camp, but when school started, I recommitted to the diet and for the first time probably ever, I went a whole semester with no sick days! This diet has presented many challenges, there are lots of places that I don't consider eating at anymore because of limited options. I have also received many mixed reviews from friends and family. I'm so thankful for my friends and family that have been so accommodating, especially when I am just a guest in their house for dinner. I have also had a few who have argued with the validity of my claim that taking gluten out of my diet is a solution. My frustration comes with understanding partly because until July, I also questioned the validity of a "gluten free diet." I don't think that being gluten free is necessary a solution for everyone. But let me just tell you some of the things that I have noticed: 
My energy level has increased significantly. I am still not a morning person, but I don't feel like a hateful morning person anymore. I don't feel "stuffed" all the time, or hardly ever actually. Gluten free does not mean taste free. My allergies have significantly improved and have gone back to a "seasonal" state rather than year round. 
So, if I can ask you one thing it would be this. Gluten free is not a cult. We are not trying to "bring you to the dark side" nor is it a disease, like there is something wrong with me. Also, please don't say "I could never do give that up." I used to feel the same, but now if I occasionally cheat and eat some bread or something, it definitely does not taste as good as the memory makes it taste. 
We also had cataract surgeries, knee surgeries, Emergency room visits, and other health problems. 

Well, I think we see what happens when I don't have a plan. Thanks for being a part of 2014 in some way! I am blessed beyond measure!! 

Happy New Year!! 

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