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November 28, 2015

Hello from the Other Side

A year ago at this time I woke up every morning with my heart pounding. I could barely imagine making it through the hours of that day - forget anything beyond that.

I actually tried really hard NOT to think about the future. I kept a gratitude journal (that Piper long ago chewed into pieces) where I tried to find the good in facing a breakup, lost job and nowhere to live at the same time. 

I wrote a blog post about the journal, saying: "It's a good thing to do anyway, even later when you're happy in a new relationship. Or, rocking a new job and settled with Piper in a lovely place of our own."

It's mostly weird, moderately funny, and slightly painful for me to read that post now. I'm so lucky to have versions of all those things now, but sometimes I still feel stuck in the don't-think-past-today, everything-could-implode-at-any-moment mode.  

Sometimes I'm afraid that my happiness is just relief. I love my job, but a small traumatized part of my brain questions whether I just love the fact that I have a job and wonders if I'm really doing the right thing. 

So as aggressively as I avoided all things future, I'm now trying hard to relax and look forward to whatever lies ahead. Plus the moment anything becomes un-fun, I know I'm a pro at the restart. :P

Life has been excessively fun though and I have a lot to be thankful for! In the last few months...

I went to Colorado to visit Jen G! We camped in Salida for a weekend of Mumford and Sons:








We climbed some Great Sand Dunes:




Frolicked in the Garden of the Gods:




Took a casual stroll through Jen's workplace:




And acted fancy at the Broadmoor:



Thanks Jen for showing me as much Colorado as humanly possible in 4 days!

Then I turned old in Ocean City with Allison and Frank:



Thanks friends for making it one of the best birthdays ever! :)

Then Chewie's dad moved to DC and we've had ourselves some days. One weekend, we drove 6 hours to celebrate AJ getting hitched:






Thanks Fishers for letting us share your beautiful day!

Then we woke up a couple hours later and drove 6 more hours to Charlottesville for a Notre Dame game:


Then we woke up on Sunday and hit a couple wineries before driving back to DC for the first day of football!

The next weekend I drove home to NY for the Adirondack Ragnar relay. (I have damaged plantar fascia and am not really supposed to run, but ya know).

A Ragnar is a 200 mile relay race. There are 12 people on a team, and each person runs 3 times for a total of ~16 miles. You leap frog along the course in a van as each person runs. In the end, we spent 30 hours in and out of the van without sleeping, I ran 7 scary lonely miles in the middle of the night, made some awesome new friends, and had an absolute blast.

It started in Saratoga on Friday morning...
Van 2 at the start!


Exchange in Lake George



And ended in Lake Placid on Saturday afternoon!

Team at the finish!

We spent the rest of Saturday in Lake Placid, doing lots of refueling. :P

The best kind of fuel
Sunrise on Lake Placid.

Thanks team #GSD (get shit done) for making that bucket list check so much fun!

A few days later, Pat turned not-very-old and we went to Pittsburgh for a Steelers game.

Britt and Vinny went too!


Didn't take long for this Ravens fan to embrace the Terrible Towel.  ;)


We also went to a Ravens game in Baltimore.

Represent, always.

And spent a weekend in a cabin in Deep Creek with 25 high school friends. I managed to take one picture haha.


And then we also drove back to upstate NY for a long weekend to celebrate Val getting hitched!


Thanks Macchias for letting us celebrate in your beautiful day too!

While in NY, we hiked with my mom:


Explored the historic Saratoga battlefield:


Spent a long time at Druthers brewery:


Went to the baseball hall of fame and Ommegang brewery with my dad:


And then drove back down to Maryland for the most wonderful, restful Thanksgiving. 

Pit stop in Havre de Grace
The hard life of a doodle on Thanksgiving.

Whew.

The few weekends we did spend in DC obviously revolved around food.

Prime rib in Bel Air.
Dinner at the Teppers
Burrito bowls
Crab cakes 
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Brown Butter Bourbon Peach Pie

And I didn't get pictures of our crockpot turkey chili, baked eggs in avocados, parmesan encrusted salmon, fancy grilled cheese, pumpkin whoopie pies, soft pretzel bites w/ beer cheese, paleo pumpkin dip, and a roasted chicken. 

I've also visited some new and old faves:

Astro donuts (thanks Criselda!)
Flat white at Killer ESP
Sangria for Pope-cation.
Donburi
Dram & Grain

Co co Sala to celebrate Allison and Frank's engagement!!

Cause I'm definitely not surrounded by enough beautiful food everyday at work...





On the other side of the energy equation, my bum heel has forced me to explore new activities like crossfit!
Crossfit with co-workers & doodles

And do lots of biking, swimming and dog walking.


...which brings us to a Piper update! She is now a year and 5 months (!), and possibly thinking about starting to transition to a calm and classy adult dog.

Eating is still by far her favorite thing in life:


Followed by destroying things when I leave:


Bad Piper!


She also enjoys an occasional trip to the office:


Taking dance lessons:

And embracing her inner derp.




We took her hiking in Lake George last week, exactly a year after her liberating first hike in Lake George. What a silly ride this past year has been for both of us!

Piper in Lake George a year ago and now.

Thanks Piper, for being simultaneously such a challenge and joy in life.

And thanks life, for being so full of surprises and love.

Peace!


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