Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

Alright I know I haven’t written in awhile…and I know that I’m a little late with the “out with the old, in with the new [year]” post, but it is what it is. πŸ™‚

Wrap-Up of 2014:

I’d say that 2014 was a pretty great year. D and I kicked off the New Year with my parents which sounds somewhat lame, but was actually really fun and saved us a ton of money (we were initially planning on doing something in Chicago which would have been about $100 each). We spent a lot of time with friends in January and February, nothing super exciting. For Spring Break we went to visit my sister and her adorable kids in Atlanta. In April I did a 10k in Chicago with my friend Bethany (PR!), and during that trip we got to eat at my favorite pizza place–Piece Pizza. It is a pizza place/microbrewery in Chicago that is DELICIOUS!

In May we finished up our classes, and then in June…Ragnar! So much fun (well, the majority of the time!). Our van was full of Β great people, and it is definitely something I won’t forgot!

Our Van with our driver (D) in the middle πŸ™‚

Our whole team after we finished

The rest of June and all of July were very busy! I went to a conference at Michigan State and gave a talk (my first one ever!), and a conference in Boston. During this time Dustin and I were both scurrying to finish our theses, which we did (!). After we defended, we officially graduated with our Master’s Degrees in August.

The fall semester was our first official semester in the PhD program, so it was an exciting time. I took a great class about mechanical vibrations (I realize that sounds super nerdy…), and D was busy TAing for a new class, which was a lot of work! In September, we got our sweet doggie, Nova, who has been an amazing addition to our little family. πŸ™‚

D and I ran the Monumental Half Marathon at the beginning of November, which was his first big race. My sister and her kids came to visit for Thanksgiving, so we spend some time with them, including a water park visit, a movie, Steak n’ Shake, and lots of coloring. πŸ™‚ After Thanksgiving, we started getting prepared for our PhD qualifying exams, which are at the beginning of February. We took a few days off around Christmas to visit both of our families, but then we really got focused on studying. We stayed home for New Years, ate delicious food (chicken enchiladas), and shot off a small rocket. Low key, but definitely enjoyable. I’m happy with how 2014 turned out!

Goals for 2015:

I do not usually make any strict New Year’s Resolutions, but I do try to think about things that I would like to improve, and goals that I have. Here are some of my big goals for this year:

  • Pass Qualifying Exams: This is a big one! These exams are very intimidating, and if you don’t pass (you do get 2 tries), then you kicked out of the program. I’d like to get them out of the way on the first try so that I don’t have to go through the stress of studying for them all over again.
  • Practice Spanish: I am making two trips to Spain this year (woo!). One with the orchestra, and one for a conference. I was getting very comfortable with Spanish by the end of college (I minored in it), but I haven’t spoke it much since, and I’d like to be able to speak it while I’m in Spain.
  • Run 800 miles: I forgot to say in my 2014 recap, but I just passed 600 miles in 2014. I think I can up that to 800 for this year (although with this extreme cold, I haven’t been making a very good start). I want to be more consistent with my running and I definitely want to do some runs in Spain while I’m there!
  • Break some PRs: I want to break 55 minutes in the 10k, and 25 minutes in the 5k. I would also really like to get my half time under 2 hours. Besides running, I want to do at least one sprint tri, and I hope to crush my previous time. Don’t know if all of that is possible this year, but I’m definitely going to work towards it.
  • Be more consistent with blogging: I like blogging because it helps me lay out my thoughts. It also acts as a journal that I can look back on and see how I was feeling, what I was thinking, and what I was doing. That is pretty neat! I’d like to be posting at least twice a week (hopefully more, but I will set that as a minimum).Β 
  • Travel: 2014 was a low travel year for us (I did get to travel a little due to conferences, but I was alone and mostly just doing a lot of work) since we were finishing our Master’s and then studying for qualifying exams. In addition to my Spain trips, D and I want to do a US trip in May, and an international trip in December. Not sure where we will go yet, but we always have a great time together!
  • Enjoy the year!: I think we often get caught up in trying to “do” lots of things, but we don’t really live in the moment and appreciate what is going on around us. This year I am going to be very focused on living life to the fullest.

That’s it for now! Hope everyone is having a great start to 2015!

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