Most people start these types of lists several years before a milestone birthday. I am not one of those people. I am the type of person who decides on her 39th birthday that it'd be fun to have a list of things to do before turning 40. After all, I successfully took a photo every day in 2014, so I knew I was up for the challenge.
Some of the things on the list are experiences I had long ago and wanted to revisit as an adult. Like going to the Black Hills with my parents and Scott. It was my first vacation as a kid and reenacting it seems like a great idea! Other items are places or events I keep meaning to get to but haven't made the time. Finally, I threw in a few items that would be personally meaningful during a year when introspection is increased because of this milestone birthday.
Extra Credit or for 2016
The last month of 2014 had some serious mood swings. Around the time I began feeling the winter blues, Scott and I went to Dallas, Texas for a weekend in the sun. Here's the full recap of our time in the city I once dreaded visiting for work far exceeded my expectations as a winter getaway.
Our high from walking in the sun abruptly ended when around midnight on Sunday, December 18 when I received the news that my last living grandparent--my father's mother, Mary Tish Larson Holm--died at the age of 90. We joined my parents, sister and her boyfriend Jonathan and the rest of the Larson clan in Fairmont, Minnesota to honor my grandma's life. I'm extremely grateful that our entire family gathered in May to celebrate her 90 years. As with most funerals, the silver lining was having the chance to share meaningful time with family. I do not see many of my uncles, aunts, and cousins so it was an unexpected bonus this holiday season.
We then spent the next few days in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and we were able to spend time with my mom's side of the family. We enjoyed the culinary talents of Jonathan and attempted to work it off at Anytime Fitness and Sky Zone for Skyrobics.
My parents and sister returned to Minneapolis with Scott, Stewie and me (Jonathan stayed in St. Paul with his family) and we spent the next few days together here. We all went through the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and my parents and I visited the American Swedish Institute. On Sunday, my parents left as did Scott because of a business trip. The next day Emily and Jonathan returned to DC so Stewie and I were left to fend for ourselves. I worked from home the rest of the week and took some time off because of headaches.
December by the numbers...
12 gym visits
360,332 steps (11,623 steps averaged a day)
895 active minutes (28 minutes a day on average)
Houlihan's (with Lisa and Mitch)
Axel's Bonfire Grill
Cafe Brazil (Dallas, TX)
Gloria's (Dallas, TX)
Lucky's Cafe (Dallas, TX)
Lockhart's Smokehouse (Dallas, TX)
Carnival Barker's Ice Cream (Dallas, TX)
The Pizza Ranch (Fairmont, MN)
Bean Town Grill (Fairmont, MN)
Chedd's Gourmet Grilled Cheese (Sioux Falls, SD)
The Mill Northeast
Caribou Coffee (multiple locations in three states)
Starbucks (Dallas, TX)
World of Beer (Dallas, TX)
Deep Ellum Brewing Company (Dallas, TX)
Katy Trail Icehouse (Dallas, TX)
Sparrow Cafe (with Lisa)
Monk's House of Ale Repute (Sioux Falls, SD)
Watching & Reading
Six Feet Under season three
The Americans season two
The Hundred-Foot Journey
On New Years Eve, I stopped by the Fort Snelling State Park for their candlelight walk. It was a gorgeous way to say goodbye to the year. I saw several deer cross the frozen Minnesota River and enjoyed the warmth of bonfires and cheer of fellow outdoor enthusiasts. I wished Scott could be with me but fortunately I was reunited with him for the rest of the evening to celebrate the New Year together.
I had many bright spots this year with lots of dear family and friends.
Looking forward to what 2015 will bring.
The Nivens Family