It’s safe to say that I’m into sending an annual Christmas card.
Jason and I joined his family (now my family, too!) in Iowa just after the start of the new year for a belated Christmas. I also met an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor for the first time after my ear drum ruptured at the end of 2014 (and it ended up being somewhat disappointing though ultimately good news – hefty price tag to have a professional tell me that nothing else was wrong with my ears). I had a small cameo in the MPR membership team’s annual video for the MPR holiday cabaret, which was fun (Kristi was my date, we took a selfie in front of the A Prairie Home Companion house at the Fitzgerald Theatre). I joined my Rock Band friends at IHOP for Sexy Dress Up Day. At the end of the month, Jason and I went on our fabulous week-long honeymoon through the Florida Keys (which inspired this year’s Christmas card).
Jason and I celebrated our engagement anniversary during Dan Navarro’s annual show in Minneapolis. I got connected to a local contracting agency in town and started the search for a new job. My calendar says I spent a lot of the month with friends, going to a cousins’ brunch, celebrating Valentine’s Day together, meeting some previous coworkers for happy hour, and even participating in a murder mystery dinner party.
I had a consultation with a periodontist to have a gum graft (for the exact same spot where I had my previous gum graft in 2007). I celebrated Brenda’s engagement. It was apparently a very quiet, snowy month because my photostream is mostly cats.
My family and I celebrated Hannie’s 6th birthday in Sioux Falls over Easter weekend. I participated in the annual Minnesota Yarn Shop Hop at Needlework Unlimited after being part of the official planning committee for the previous few months. I went to MinneWebCon and had a brilliant time rubbing elbows and being inspired by other people in my field. Vani and I rode the ferris wheel at Betty Danger’s Country Club. I finished my 2014 Knit the Sky project (finally). Cousin Michael moved to Minneapolis and I introduced him to some of my Rock Band friends over pizza at Jakeeno’s (where I had never been before). At the end of the month, I had the gum graft performed and later than night got to Jason on the big screen when we went to the showing of Cloud Cult’s “Unplug” movie (we were in the audience for the live show that was recorded in 2014).
Bryan and Hannie joined my for a trip to the Sheep and Wool festival in Lake Elmo. Karyn and I saw NKOTB (and TLC) at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul. Jason and I went to visit our Iowa family over Memorial Day. Jason and I went to see Juno and the Paycock at the Guthrie Theater thanks to the MPR membership team (who was thanking me for lending an extra hand during one of the member drives).
My first job interview of the month was at tena.cious. A week later, I had another interview at a different location but tena.cious offered me the job that afternoon! I missed both my Gramma D’s 80th birthday and Nikki and Jimmy’s wedding thanks to the tickets for Rock the Garden that I had purchased a few months prior. (How would you even pick between either event, knowing you can’t attend both?) (I still feel guilty, clearly.) Rock the Garden was fun as always, though. I won some Twitter or Instagram contest which allowed Jason and me to stand on one of the private side-stage viewing areas during Conor Oberst’s set. Jason and I went to see the Saint Paul Saints play at their new home, CHS Field, in downtown Saint Paul. Jason and I also attended the second annual Travail outdoor festival in Robbinsdale. We went and ate, went home while torrential rain rolled through town, then went back and ate some more. I wrapped up my work at MPR.
I started working at tena.cious! I also picked up a few more hours at NU to cover some of the paycheck weirdness between jobs. My family and I celebrated Sullyfest over the 4th of July again since it worked so well the previous year. Jason and I happened to find Iowa’s highest elevation point that weekend, too. Dan Navarro came to town again, so of course Jason and I went to see him.
Jason and I traveled out to New England. We stayed with cousin Michelle in Newport, Rhode Island for a night, then went to New Hampshire to stay with Chris and Matt for a couple of nights. Renee met up with all of us and we ventured up to a Dalrymple family home on Lake Winnipesaukee to bury uncle Fred’s ashes and celebrate his life. Jason and I spent a couple more nights afterwards in Boston, where we had lunch with Lynn and her beau, walked all over the Boston Commons (and took a swan boat ride!), and went to see the Red Sox at Fenway again. We celebrated our first wedding anniversary at the end of the month in Stillwater, where we stayed at a delightful bed & breakfast that had been mostly funded by wedding gifts from friends.
I joined Karyn, Bryan and Hannie for a morning at the Minnesota State Fair. Jason and I celebrated our wedding again with a trip to the RenFest. Crystal, Jess and I road-tripped to Cannon Falls to meet Bertine (who had moved to Rochester) for brunch. We also saw the last covered bridge in Minnesota. Jason and I went to the annual downtown Robbinsdale meet-and-greet for the first time. We also got tickets to a Twins game from Kristi and Jared. A team from the local IKEA came to my house to get demographic information and build ideas for future in-store displays. This inspired me, so I painted one of the rooms in the basement and tried to make it passable as a place to hang out (we still don’t hang out there). Jason and I monitored the super blood moon and tried to capture good photos.
I made a quick weekend trip to Vermillion and Sioux Falls to visit some friends and family, as well as to pick up an heirloom sewing machine from my grandma’s old home. I flew out to Los Angeles to volunteer at CSSDevConf (still intend to blog about it sometime, oops) aboard the Queen Mary. Kirsten picked me up from the airport and we spent the whole first day exploring the boat! It’s huge. We took a break for tea (wine) and biscuits, though. I had the good fortune to be working with a great crew during the conference.
For Jason’s birthday, I gave him tickets to see the Vikings play at TCF Bank Stadium — a rare warm day in November in Minnesota for outdoor football! I also celebrated my (34th) birthday! And early the next morning I attended the Minnesota Blogger Conference with a few of the tena.cious team members. I enjoyed being part of the audience at the Prairie Fire Lady Choir’s season finale at the Cedar Cultural Center. I finally getting a good video of the song I contributed when I was a member, We Belong, as well as a couple other videos as requested. One video was for Wilkerbooty who contributed “How Can I Sing Like a Girl” by They Might Be Giants — who then shared the video on both Facebook and Twitter and it sort of when viral! It has over 2,000 views and its only been online for about a month; the only other videos in my YouTube stream that have that many views are over 10 years old. I invited some friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with Jason and me (and learned how to play Exploding Kittens), then we spent the rest of the weekend with the family in Iowa.
Karyn told me about a weight loss challenge at the taekwondo academy she’s been attending with Hannie; $20 for a 2-month challenge, with free kickboxing classes: so I decided to join. So far so good! I have lost a little bit of weight but it also feels really good to be getting some exercise again. I also finally went to a couple classes at Embrace the Wobble, a yoga studio that opened in Robbinsdale earlier this year. Jason and I had our first overnight visit from Hannie. Jason and I celebrated Christmas weekend in Vermillion and Sioux Falls. We went to see the new Star Wars in the theater with the rest of the population of Sioux Falls and when we left the movie, the season’s first big snow storm had started. I received eight sensible Hanukkah gifts from Cards Against Humanity. This last week has been a little off-schedule: a spontaneous team work-from-home on Monday, a snowed in work-from-home on Tuesday, worked at the office yesterday and today I’m off. Jason and I will probably lay low tonight, possibly play some board games or the new Jeopardy for Playstation game I picked up, then tomorrow we head to Iowa for second Christmas.
All in all: a pretty good year for me! I had been thinking about doing that meme about picking your nine best photos for the year until I put this whole thing together; it was hard enough trying to narrow down my highlight photo for each month to just one (or two) photos!