I’ve never been the type of person that wants to go out to a big New Year’s Eve celebration. I have no desire to fight the crowds, be on the same roads as people that shouldn’t be driving or get all dressed up for a party. In fact, I’m not sure that I’ve ever gone out on New Year’s Eve…. hmmmm… you would think in college I might have but I honestly don’t know that I did.
I’ve always preferred ending the year and starting the next at home or at the home of friends. I like to watch the ball drop at Times Square. I even like watching the cheesiness of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. And since I’m laying out my inner party animal for you all to see – I also like being in bed by about 12:30 on New Year’s Eve.
I’m a wild and crazy girl.
So this New Year’s Eve, like so many before it, I’ll be wearing very comfortable clothes. I’ll be surrounded by people I love. And I’ll take a moment to be thankful for the year that gave me:
- The blizzard: It was the kind of snow my kids will always remember. The piles along the driveway were taller than them. We were stuck in the house for a week. We played games, built puzzles, played in the snow and even with all that crazy shoveling, I loved it.
- Day trips with my kids: exploring museums, walking on a frozen Lake Michigan, wandering hiking trails, playing in the city… we may not have had as many day trips as in years past (as the kids get older, our schedules are less free) but we certainly had some fun times.
- Beach Week: A week on the shores of the ocean, surrounded by family has to make the list each year. We didn’t do anything special this year but each day was filled with sand and surf and fun. The whole family looks forward to this trip each year.
- White Water Rafting: The summer of 2011 was our first white water trip and we all can’t wait to do it again. Surfing the small rapids, tucking our feet in for the bigger ones, leaping off jump rock… it was such a great way to spend the afternoon and I honestly think it’s another experience the kids will never forget.
- Taking the kids to the very top and very bottom of Niagara Falls. A short vacation and yet one we all still talk about. There’s something literally awesome about the force of all that water. And while I couldn’t take pictures at night when we hiked down to the rocks at the bottom for the “cave of the winds” tour – the looks on all of our faces as we were drenched and touched the rocks at the bottom of the falls is a mental snapshot I’ll never lose.
- Marathon: Come on, you knew this one was coming. This was a goal I had no right to reach for and yet, somehow I made it happen. In the spring of 2011 I trained my nonathletic body to run more than 20 miles. And while the day itself wasn’t what I planned, the entire experience is something that has marked my soul. The support of my friends on all of those training runs and on that crazy race day. The support of my family as they watched me push and push and push some more. I learned a lot about myself in those three months that were focused on the marathon.
- Triathlons: Another example of relishing in the joy of pushing all out. Whether it was an indoor tri followed by a margarita lunch or a triathlon relay with fantastic friends or getting a PR by more than 15 minutes – triathlons made me feel like an athlete this year.
- And all the small things that make my life so very good: lunch with friends, hugs from my kids, walks to school, watching my kids grow and participate in so many activities, iced tea vodka & lemonade, running with friends, trips to the beach, building legos, making cakes out of donuts, planning themed dinner parties, and so much more.
2011, you were a pretty good year. Most of all I’m thankful that my family, my friends and myself were healthy & active enough to enjoy so many of your moments.