32 to 33
I turned 33 on November 19th. As I'm thinking of fun things I want to cross off my list for my 33rd year, I wanted to remember what I did in my 32nd year. After procrastinating, I realized it was because I ended up feeling the urge to write so much. Documentation... In no particular order, and with plenty of rambling, I present 32:
Played Aeron Chair Hockey for Herman Miller and made it to the Final Four. Got four bruises just on my left knee. Had the best time ever.
Attended Art Basel 2010 in Miami with my Mom, Aunt Marty and Amanda. I got to see and touch one of Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds from the Tate Modern, roll on indoor hills with palm trees, squeeze through a 18" wall, visit a huge Frank Stella painting and run into a Philly friend randomly.
I learned how to make a chevron friendship bracelet when they had a nostalgic return this past year. It had always eluded 4th grade Marissa. I'm shocked at how easy it truly was (kind of like knitting cables for the first time).
I paid a lot of attention to my surroundings, colors and combinations based on my color study project. Did a project for Mike's Color Theory class and killed it!
I got to hang out at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and see some old battleships. I learned and helped run a program on GPIC (Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster). I became Co-Chair of an educational programming committee for the local chapter of the United States Green Building Council.
I got to travel by car, by cruise boat, by train, by airplane, by bicycle and by flippers.
I had dinners with friends, BBQs, mussels, walks, ice cream trips and beers.
Mike and I took a road trip to my hometown in South Florida in July to meet up with our Swedish honorary relatives, and their six month old daughter, Norah who stole my heart with a toothless smile and lots of drool. We had an amazing time catching up with Norah and her parents, whom I consider honorary siblings. I can't even properly explain how much their family means to my own.
And speaking of family, my husband's family also came down to Florida where we hung out with my parents before heading out on a Caribbean cruise. It was a great to spend time with everyone, and have my parents get to know Mike's family more. I feel very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life.
On the cruise, we cheesed it up and did everything that you're supposed to on the cruise, including the Electric slide in bikinis, water slides with my nephew in the first hour, banana and pina coladas, snorkeling with barracuda, lots of sunscreen, and hamming it up by taking fake romantic prom type photos with my sister-in-law, Becky (to the horror of our nephews and various passengers!) I discovered that I very much like playing Roulette (and winning 7 hands at a time) with my brother-in-law, Todd while sipping on Amaretto Sours. Lastly, I introduced a true Surf and Turf meal when it was not on the menu and got my sister-in-law Cheryl and nephew to follow suit. It was epic.
This year presented the opportunity to work in our Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina office most of the summer. I made some wonderful new friends, got to enjoy gorgeous weather (and skip the tail end of Spring in the North), and enjoy lots of retail therapy with my overtime pay and savings due to lack of grocery shopping.
I visited Carol's farm where I met her 17 hand horse (1600 pounds!) Indy and saw her garden. I explored the area. I went to Nantucket Grill to eat their pecan crusted tilapia, freshly baked beignets and free cake on Tuesdays weekly. I was introduced to "beach music" and reintroduced to Shag dancing (shout-out to my favorite movie growing up) by my sweetheart of a friend, Dana.
I inherited a pseudo "work dad" and learned a lot from my friend Bob. I got my friend Kevin to laugh at one of my jokes finally! I bonded with Amy and her daughter who is smart as a whip, sweet as the cotton candy we got hyper on, hilarious, artistic, well read and a jeweler in the making. I took the team to a Durham Bulls game in 100 degree weather during a brush fire, but we still prevailed. Then I said goodbye, but promised to keep in touch, and visit again someday soon.
I got to spend time with more of the babies I'm an honorary Aunt to. My best friend Heather and her husband Nathan had sweet Caleb in July! I got to go on walks to the park with my 10 month old friend, Liam. I went trick or treating for the first time in years with Liam and adorable 2-year-old Gavin. We ate Indian food with the most affectionate and dimpled cutie, Marco. I also got to see my 3-year-old godson, Sonny, who continues to amaze me with his intelligence, sense of humor and dance moves. We danced, swam and played lots of imaginary games. I love hanging with these little dudes so much.
Watched from the other side of the world as my dear cousin had to say goodbye to her own four-day old son who is now their little angel, Liam. Grieved with my family for them, and sent lots of love and prayers in my own way. Through it all, I was amazed by my cousin and her husband's strength and faith.
I joined a book club with a group of the coolest and friendliest bunch of ladies that I immediately heart times twenty. They're mainly friends of friends, and for good reason - everyone rocks. I wish I had met all of these people when I moved to Philly 7 years ago.
I merged this group of awesome women with some Quizzo / art related folks and my amazing group of Degenerate Knitters for the Tie Dye party. Success and new friends aplenty!
I rode my bike 17 miles with Robin and Layla and enjoyed it.
Walked home in the rain and loved seeing the watery reflections. Walked / ran 3.5 miles in 17 degree weather with Layla and Kim. Watched my friend Layla go from not being a runner to completing her first 1/2 marathon!
Flossed 100% of the time, 89% per cent of the time. Oh, and watched Anchorman, The Legend of Ron Burgandy at least twice.
Painted a bunch of color studies. Painted with oil paint. Drew. Wrote. Read.
Baked loaves of bread. Made soup. Made sweets!
Learned to rewire a lamp. Rewired a lamp I'd been meaning to fix for years.
Made the prettiest and brightest quilt for Norah with Jay McCarroll's fabrics. Never got around to taking a picture, or bringing my camera to Florida or our cruise for that matter.
Cooked a couple of the nastiest meals ever, which resulted in calling Domino's pizza (I know, it was that bad), and eating Cheetos and cereal another time. On the flip side, I made some amazing dinners to counterbalance the universe as well.
Played more than my fair share of Angry Birds and Angry Birds Rio. Full disclosure.
Bought myself a pair of Ray Bans to replace my scratched up but much-loved Arnettes from the 10th grade! Purple ombre shades pleased me, and act as a souvenir from my time in North Carolina. (Treat Yo Self!)
Mike and I saved our pennies and treated ourselves to a MacBook Pro!
Put some money into my emergency fund and future house fund. Yay for saving instead of spending, with a few thoughtful purchases thrown in.
Purged my belongings, donated, gave away and recycled. Tried to be more thoughtful about what I brought into my home.
We celebrated our first anniversary and nine years together. Sheesh! Coincidentally, we were home at my mom's where she had saved our wedding cake, ate it and it was surprisingly not only good, but outstanding, moist and decadent. Impressive.
I knit my third sweater, and am giving socks another try. Met some knitters in North Carolina. Knitted with some Philly knitters at Courtney and Kate's new digs for Kelbourne Woolens and had the best pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting thanks to Maura. I attended a wonderful craft night at Andrea's house where I met even more cool women (seriously, 7 years after living in Philly, they all appear?)
We tried to see more live music this year, since we've been lazy about doing that. My favorite shows of the year were seeing The National and Yo Lo Tengo at The National Academy of Music, and Jens Lekman at The Philadelphia Ethical Society.
Danced along to Milli Vanilli videos (a semi-annual occurance) as an impromptu and always exhilarating activity in honor of my brother.
Enjoyed some seriously good television shows, and got sucked in to the storylines. Arrested Development (after meaning to watch for years), Dexter (with the girl from White Chicks, ha!), Homeland, Parks and Recreation, Community, True Blood (more fun than anything, I'll admit) and the Big Bang Theory (I get way too many of the nerdy references though!).
Reconnected with old friends from high school this summer. Had drinks at a bar that with a giant shark and wolf painted in the restroom. Went dancing and stayed out until past my bedtime and felt like I should have a curfew again. (Did I mention I was staying at my parent's house?)
Further researched the finesse and tricks to imitating the Boston Accent. Failed miserably but continued to use my new catch phrase, "I'd like a beeh and a buhrh-gah" enough times to annoy Mike in a good way.
Visited Amanda and D in New York for a wonderful day including the Sonia Delauney show at the Cooper Hewitt Museum and some heart to heart talks.
Visited with KJ and Trey for more NYC time including a summer picnic in the park, belly laughs, cheese plates, new ways to slice mangoes and giving KJ an airplane ride while wearing my zigzag maxi-dress like a diaper for modesty.
Recaulked the tub.
Won Quizzo at least twice.
Participated in Cheesesteak Friday with my good friend Erika. It's an unofficial sometimes weekly event where we decide our lunches are inedible, boring and not fatty enough, so purchase foot long cheesesteaks from the cart outside of work. It's the best way to end the work week!
Started blogging on my new blog (hello, and thanks for reading this far!)
Read Julia Child's My Life in France and loved it. Bought Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume I right after, and made Quiché Lorraine and Coq Au Vin.
Went to the Headhouse Farmer's Market with Olivia on Sundays, often. Cooked together and made some fun meals.
Cried while watching the last Harry Potter Movie this summer.
Donated blood consistently every...6 weeks? O positive, baby!
Was re-certified in CPR / AED training.
Felt an earthquake.
Saw a memorial to the late, great, Steve Jobs.
Visited Virgina. Visited Valley Forge. Visited D.C. Visited N.C. Visited Charleston, S.C.
Witnessed one of my best friends, Helena marry Doug in Charleston, South Carolina. Got to hug her mom one last time and show Mike how Florida girls all booty dance when they get together. At the request of the bride and groom, ran out to the Rocky theme song, fake punched her uncle and was completely victorious. Philly represent!
Helped Mike reach his goal of finally setting up his artist website! Watched him get into a juried show in Cincinnati. Proud of him for finishing his major painting. Nice job, dude.
Took a decent headshot for my professional life and LinkedIn, etc. By myself. Booyah.
Got to read my nephew's first chapter of a WWI novel that blew my mind away.
Hosted a Degenerate Knitter's brunch at my house and got to make Creme Brulee French Toast yet again.
Had Jeremy and Becky (sis and bro in law) visit us in Philly!
Wore my highschool letter jacket once this year, until it nearly destroyed my friend's stroller due to some disintegration.
Discovered delicata squash and french lentils.
Expanded our cocktail / bar cart collection.
Reconnected with an old friend, Kari, who stayed with us while her ceramic pieces were in a show. Love the types of friends where you pick right back up after 3 months, 5 years, etc. Friends where you can truly be yourself.
Played some board games. Played Poker. Watched Mike's mom beat everyone majorly playing poker (priceless).
Got to give my dad lots of hugs while I was home. Get to chat with my mom almost daily.
Cuddled with some of my favorite dogs (to tide me over until I can get my own). Spent Christmas in Indiana with the East clan.
Watched a lot of sunsets from my kitchen and studio windows. Called Mike over to watch too and vice versa.
Was grateful for another year, filled with highs, lows, laughs, tears, love and life.