Saturday, January 11, 2014

Look Back and Smile Forward (Part 1)

As you know, I love traditions. One activity I've been able to keep up is reviewing the past year and looking at the future every new year with my best friend, Alicia. The last two years we've had to Skype but that hasn't stopped us! Here are my 2013 revelations and my 2014 expectations.

2013, you blew my mind! 


Simply said, I got to be with John. We created adventures, fought about trivial things (cheese?!), and decided to move all of our crap together for better or worse.

Friends, new and old. 

I made many great friends in Minnesota that I'm thankful for. Rachel, Germaine, and I have explored this strange Midwest world and had quite a few laughs because of it (you drive on ice?!). Couchsurfing, Sierra Club, work and volunteering have opened the doors for me to ask the hard question, " wanna hang out...or something?"

I had quite a few visitors to my new home: Christina in January, Alicia in March, Julia in April, Mom in June, and Hannah in September. I hope to have many more visitors in 2014! (Hint: get your ass over here)

Explored my new home. 

With my new MN drivers license, I zoomed across the Cities and state to visit friends, go to events, and check off state parks. I got out during the winter to an kite festival on a frozen lake, ice fishing and ice skating. My summer was filled with To-dos (I did 18 of 25--not bad)

I turned 30!

I still feel like I'm 28. That's a good age. But alas, I'm going into my forth decade on this earth. My birthday was insanely awesome! A week of events with friends culminating in a surprise visit from Hannah for the big day. (Credit: Thanks John for my awesome birthday gift of Hannah.

I had longed to go to Italy for my 30 birthday with my sister, but that idea floated away when I couldn't make the finances work. Instead, Julia and I went to Costa Rica. I had dreamed of going since I learned about the cloud rain forests in elementary school. It was an unexpected and completely amazing trip.

Screw you, credit cards!

I am proud to say I met with a financial counselor from Family Means, a non-profit to help with your budget and debt management. I held to my budget and cash-only spending the whole year (a few hiccups occurred) and was rewarded with paying off 2 of my credit cards. I'm tired of being in debt and finally feel like I have control. I didn't use credit once last year even though I had many unexpected expenses pop up.

And now for 2014....

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