2018 Wish List
January 2018 Highlights
January 2018 Low Point
On January 11, the office I have been working in for almost six years was closed as part of a reorganization. I had to say goodbye to some amazing colleagues. I still have a job at the U of M but we are all in a transition period and my day-to-day work life has been upended.
Moving My Body
Total steps: 442,899 (14,287 steps averaged a day)
Total miles: 189.78 (6.12 miles averaged a day)
Most active day: Tuesday, January 23 (20,679 steps/8.76 miles)
Least active day: Sunday, January 14 (10,293 steps/4.36 miles)
Read + Watch + Listen
Eat + Drink
After completing my goal of riding the entire length of the Midtown Greenway, I knew I wanted to start riding a bike more often. So, I finally took the 30 Days of Biking pledge this year. I've been following a few of my friends who have been participating since it's inaugural year in 2010. Even though I didn't complete all 30 days, I'm proud of the 109 miles I rode in 26 days and for the many "firsts" I tackled during the month.
Special thanks to Patrick Stephenson for creating 30 Days of Biking and enthusiastically encouraging cyclists of all skill levels to take the pledge. Because of you, I'm more comfortable riding a bike on both streets and trails. Learn more about "The man who invented 30 Days of Biking."
Also thank you to:
Day by Day
Day 1: Ride to Urban Bean where a bunch of people were meeting for a group ride downtown.
Day 2: Cold and windy 1 mile ride around my neighborhood.
Day 3: Gateway State Trail with Julia (double dipping for our 125 mile challenge).
Day 4: Afternoon NiceRide break on the University of Minnesota campus.
Day 5: NiceRide downtown as part of my commute.
Day 6: NiceRide to Minneapolis City Hall to attend a Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting.
Day 7: Mid-morning Nice Ride break on the University of Minnesota campus.
Day 8: Partial commute home on a Nice Ride via Midtown Greenway.
Day 9: Group ride to The Bachelor Farmer Cafe with Perennial Cycle's Saturday Pastry Ride. Meet new friends (Suzanne and Kjensmo) and reconnect with people I've met through streets.mn (Suzanne's husband, Jeff and Heidi).
Day 10: Nice Ride with Scott in Northeast Minneapolis after a beer walk to Able Seedhouse + Brewery.
Day 11: Ride to Studio 2 for a neighborhood association meeting.
Day 12: Ride around Lake Harriet.
Day 13: Partial commute home via Hiawatha Trail.
Day 14: NiceRide for errands on campus.
Day 15: Short 2 mile ride around my neighborhood.
Day 16: Ride on the Grand Rounds Trail to Lake Nokomis and back.
Day 17: 1 mile ride around my neighborhood.
Day 18: Ride in the rain.
Day 19: 17 mile ride to Anne's house for tea and to listen to stories from her 3 month vacation in India. I met Anne through Minneapolis Bike Coalition at an Open Streets volunteer meeting.
Day 20: Rainy ride with my neighbor Jersey.
Day 21: Nice ride on campus.
Day 22: Nice ride around Lake Harriet. I wish there was a station closer to our home on the south side of Harriet.
Day 23: 3 block ride to a store. Learned that it's more hassle than it's worth for such short trips.
Day 24: Nice Ride from 36th & Bryant to Lake Harriet.
Day 25: Ride around the Page neighborhood.
Day 26: First skip day.
Day 27: Second skip day.
Day 28: Third skip day.
Day 29: Ride around Grass Lake.
Day 30: Fourth skip day. Bummer this happened on the last day. I had family in town and just didn't fit it in.
Map My Miles
April 2016 highlights
Moving my body
Total steps: 533,600 steps (17,786 steps averaged a day)
Total miles: 231.98 (7.73 miles averaged a day)
Most active day: Sunday, April 17 (40,641 steps/17.22 miles)
Least active day: Thursday, April 28 (10,589 steps/4.63 miles)
Watch + Read + Listen
I waited too long to document this so I can't remember!
Eat + Drink
March 2016 highlights
Moving my body
Total steps: 599,979 steps (19,354 steps averaged a day)
Total miles: 259.49 (8.37 miles averaged a day)
Most active day: Saturday, March 12 (40,641 steps/17.22 miles) (Luce Line Trail walk)
Least active day: Wednesday, March 9 (10,909 steps/4.62 miles)
Watch + Read + Listen
Eat + Drink
February 2016 highlights
February 2016 photo album
Moving my body
Total steps: 492,961 (16,999 steps averaged a day)
Total miles: 217.35 (7.49 miles averaged a day)
Most active day: Saturday, February 27 (28,964 steps/12.55 miles) (58° walk)
Least active day: Monday, February 29 - Leap Day (11,697 steps/4.97 miles)
Watch + Read
Eat + Drink
Beer + Cocktails
Date completed: Friday, February 5, 2016
Related: 16 Things List
I don't know about you but when I see a photo of a kid express the full range of the six basic emotions during the course of a 90 minute movie, I want to experience it in person. Both Erin and Ben Reichelt have been known to post photos of their kids' expressive facial reactions to movies and other tough situations in a young person's life like being made to try a cupcake. I can't like/heart/favorite those photos enough (more please!). After about two years of seeing photos of them watching movies, I wanted in on that fun. I cleverly added seeing a movie with them to my list of things to do in 2016 (with a safety net of a more general request to crash people's traditions in case it didn't work out). Fortunately it did and this time I was doing the documenting.
Questions about the tradition
Before movie night, I emailed Erin a few questions about their tradition. Here's her answers:
Inside Out (2015) - runtime 95 minutes
Winner of the 2016 Academy Award for Best Animated Movie
Transcript of Reichelt children watching Inside Out
My experience with their tradition
a What a fun way to spend a Friday night! I know it may not be considered a "tradition" to the Reichelt's right now but I guarantee when Annie, Luke, and Charlie are grown, they'll look back on family movie nights fondly. I liked watching movie with Annie and Luke and was impressed with how engaged they were by asking thoughtful questions and making observations of the character and plot development.
While Inside Out didn't have the high drama that elicits killer facial expressions, I liked the discussion we had because of the subject matter. Annie seemed to grasp the more subtle messages. Luke definitely understood the movie but was quick to switch the topic to his feelings about The Nut Job which I think may be his current favorite movie.
I hope I'll be invited back for another Reichelt family movie night. Or, if Erin and Ben are ever in a pinch for childcare, they can hit me up as long as I can watch movies and eat pizza with their kids.
Invite me to crash your tradition
I'd love to tag along as you observe one of your traditions. Email me with the details!
2016 wish list
After having so much fun completing my 40x40 list, I created a list of 16 things I want to do in 2016. A bit more manageable but full of fun things I want to be sure to do this year. Read the list>>
January 2016 Highlights
January 2016 photo album
Moving my body
My 2015 FitBit stats inspired me to keep moving and shoot for more 15K step days.
Total steps: 617,568 (19,922 steps averaged a day)
Total miles: 272.21 (8.78 miles averaged a day)
Most active day: Friday, January 15 (40,366 steps/17.13 miles) in New Orleans
Least active day: Sunday, January 24 (10,843 / 5.06 miles)
Watch + Read
Eat + Drink
Last year, I made a goal of walking a minimum of 10,000 steps every day in 2015. For motivation, I used a year calendar and color code stickers to visualize my daily accomplishments. I am proud to say that in sickness and in health; rain (snow) or shine - I did it!
Thanks to FitBit, I have some data to share. There's a couple surprises - like October not being as active as I would have thought since I love autumn and January is pretty active considering it is typically the coldest month.
Total Step Count in 2015
Total Miles in 2015
January 17: Winter warm-up walk (that day I walked 35,135 steps/15+ miles)
March 21: FiKA walk (that day I walked 27,481 steps / 11+ miles)
March 28: Lyndale walk (that day I walked 45,012 steps / 19+ miles)
April 4: Surly walk (that day I walked 45,025 steps / 19+ miles)
April 18: Accidental 1/2 marathon to get coffee (that day I walked 31,307 steps / 14+ miles)
April 26: Grand Rounds Loop (that day I walked 75,528 steps / 34+ miles)
May 8: FitBitGoalDay walk (that day I walked 80,606 steps / 35+ miles)
June 21: Summer Solstice walk (that day I walked 63,115 steps / 26+ miles)
September 26: Minneapolis Marathon Route (that day I walked 61,270 steps / 26+ miles)
November 7: Lake Street/Marshall Avenue walk (that day I walked 31,424 steps / 13+ miles)
Related: 40x40 List
Date completed: January 23, 2016
A year ago when I wrote my 40x40 list, I envisioned myself laying on a beach on January 23, 2016. Thankfully, a variety of factors prevented that from coming true and I was able to surround myself with some of the most important people in my life. I also spent five glorious days in New Orleans with my sister Emily and her fiancé Jonathan. It was also a bonus on that trip to have dinner with my good friends Kate and Tim whom I've known for more than 15 years as we met at Grinnell College.
To complete this 40x40, I found ways to transport myself from 23° temperature outside.
My first attempt to capture warmth had mixed results. I bundled up and broke out my hand warmers for a walk around Lake Harriet at sunrise. It got my blood flowing and it was a beautiful walk but Mother Nature did not delight me with a stunning sunrise like she has in the past. Good thing my love for her is unconditional.
When I returned home, I decided to take matters into my own hands and brewed some hot coffee and added a splash (ok ... a healthy shot) of Amarula, a cream liqueur from South Africa. I was first introduced to Amarula when my parents and I visited my sister Emily in Namibia where she lived for a year. Because my parents made this trip-of-a-lifetime happen, I was happy to be able to talk to them on the phone over the spiked coffee. We will be having a belated birthday celebration in February when Scott and I visit them in their new home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and also celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary and my dad's 68th birthday.
Next, Scott and I went to Washburn Library where we like to spend leisurely Saturday mornings flipping through magazines, including one of my favorites - Sunset. It has beautiful photos of the west coast of the United States and I always find places to add to my travel wish list.
After our time in the library, Scott chauffeured me to Cosmo Nails, a neighborhood nail salon. While sipping on an extra hot chai tea latte, I had a pedicure and manicure while tweeting up a sappy storm thanking all the people who helped me complete my 40x40 list.
For lunch, Scott and I went to La Ceiba Bistro, a Caribbean restaurant by Chef Hector Ruiz. To start our tropical adventure, I chose the Caribbean drink and instead of selecting one of the juices, I asked for a splash of each - blood orange, pineapple, mango, coconut, and strawberry. We split an order of tostones (fried plantains) and I had a campesino torta which is grilled zucchini, grilled squash, grilled peppers, avocado, baby spinach, queso asado, black beans puree, telera bread. I highly recommend a visit to La Ceiba Bistro anytime of year but for Twin Citizens who may be tired of winter should get their immediately.
While at La Ceiba Bistro, I opened the birthday cards I received in the mail from my parents, my aunt Marlene and uncle Dan, my dad's cousin Cheryle, my cousin Erika and her husband John and kids Avery and Jay, my health coach Mary, my former co-worker and friend Joyce, and my friend Anne who arranged to have the card sent while she is currently traveling in India. I am once again reminded that sending handwritten cards and notes can really make a person's day.
Next, I surrounded myself with the warmth of friends and neighbors at Eastlake Craft Brewery in the Midtown Global Market for happy hour. It's always a joy to gather people who are important to me but it was particularly meaningful to me on my 40th birthday. I've been so fortunate to meet many interesting, smart, and funny people over the years. I also thought a lot about people who were not able to be at the party in person but sent greetings via USPS, text, Facebook, and Twitter.
To end my birthday, our neighbors Zach and Laura hosted Scott and I for a late dinner. It was the perfect way to end a perfect day. The homemade pie was as delicious as it looks in the photo and they even put a candle in it and sang the happy birthday song. It's always fun to spend time with these fantastic neighbors and I'm so glad they were able to be a part of the day.
Earlier in the week I was able to celebrate with my workmates. I had a '70s themed party had a soundtrack, photo slideshow, ice cream and hot cocoa bar, and photo booth.
Related: 40x40 List
Date completed: December 31, 2015
A couple years ago, my dear friend Lisa gifted me a framed photo of the two of us on a walk. I look at it every day and its presence reminds me of how lucky I am to have a friend like Lisa. It is also a physical reminder of our commitment to our weekly walks and how our friendship has strengthened because of them. The takeaway for me is that I need to print more of the photos I take - even if they are quick iPhone snapshots and not works of art.
Taking the digital files and making them into something to display in my home is so easy thanks to the many businesses built around getting us to print our plethora of photos. For this 40x40, I used Social Print Studio. I ordered 30 round magnets, two 8x8 metal prints, and two 20x30 enlargement prints.
For the enlargement prints, I chose two photos from our trip to Puerto Rico. For the metal prints, I chose one Instagram collage from our trip to Chicago and another Instagram photo I took on the way to work at the University of Minnesota. The magnets are a collection of 30 random Instagram photos.
Printing the magnets made me realize how easy it would be to give gifts to friends and family to celebrate memories we've made together. Just like Lisa did for me with her framed photo. Next time we snap a photo together, it just may turn into a gift!
The Nivens Family