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2012: The Year of ?

By December 31, 2011December 16th, 2014Backpacking, blogging, Camping, DIY, Exercise, Goals, House, Jessica, Neil, Racing, Running

Yay! It’s that time again, New Year’s resolutions! I’ll be honest, I totally forgot what we even resolved to do last year, so it has obviously not been at the forefront of our priorities. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t move any mountains. Let’s first tackle our list from last year:

1983 Peugeot UO14

{New Bikes this spring!}

  1. Take Small Trips: We had some great weekend adventures, but not as many as we would have liked. The big purchase, coupled with the insane summer heat kept us at home more than we would have liked. Lesson learned, utilize the early spring more.
  2. Ditch Our Cars: We made some progress in this area, but again were hampered by the insane summer heat that seemingly went on forever. We bought bikes, and rode quite a bit this summer, but once the temperatures hit the eighties for our morning commute, we were forced to return to auto-commute. Nobody likes to share an office with a smelly coworker.
  3. Start From Scratch: I’ll be honest, I have no idea how I thought I’d quantify the success of this resolution, so to make us look better, let’s just go ahead and say we succeeded. In all honesty, we did some cool stuff in the kitchen. In the first half of the year, we experimented with bread, making our first boule and perfecting an amazing thin crust pizza recipe. This fall, after going Paleo, we’ve almost eaten our weight in vegetables, and come up with some great ways to infuse veggies where we didn’t think we could add any more.
  4. Run More Races: We ran 3 official 5k’s this year. I’d hoped to run more, but the combination of intense course work in the last two semesters of grad school coupled with the long and unforgiving summer heat really hampered our training. Additionally, since joining CrossFit, it’s been the focus of most of our time and attention, and other types of exercise have kind of fallen by the wayside. With that being said, given our amazing progress in CrossFit, I can’t really say that our lack of races is indicative of any kind of failure for this resolution. I think we ended better than we started, a lot better.

Vegan Cinnamon Raisin Pull-Apart Bread

{Vegan Cinnamon Raisin Pull-Apart Bread Recipe}

So overall, I think we did okay. We exceeded in some areas, and were a little lackluster in others. But we’re leaving out one big goal we talked about last year: to move.

It was originally our goal to relocate out-of-state after my graduation a few weeks ago (or as soon as we got jobs). After New Year’s however, everything changed very quickly. Neil got a job in a new field. Because he enjoyed that field much more than his previous one, gaining more experience became a priority. Additionally, we randomly stumbled across and fell in love with our house, which happened to be in a price range and location we would never be able to afford in a bigger city. Practicality won, and here we are. Relocation fail, overall life win.

So where to begin for 2012? We honestly have no idea. Now that I’m done with school, everything feels very open-ended. So much so, that we’ve jokingly dubbed it “The Summer of Neil and Jes.” (Seinfeld reference). A lot of people have been asking us about our plans, obviously hinting toward finding out whether or not we’re thinking about kids in our immediate future. The answer is quite literally Give. Us. A. Break. Not in a bad way, we just seriously need a break. We’ve been going full bore since 2006, moving several times, working what feels like two full-time jobs each, starting a business, completing a master’s degree, and buying a house. We’re overdue for some “us” and “me” time, and we’re taking it. So, how do we want to spend it?

Skiing: This feels like a given goal because the trip is already booked and we’ll be in Colorado next week. Having not taken a vacation since our trip to Montana in 2010, we are long overdue for a vacation, and we can think of no better way of spending it than in Breckenridge with friends. Neil will be hitting the slopes and learning to ski for the first time, so pray for soft powder because we all know he likes to go fast!

{Floating the Current River this spring}

Backpacking and camping: Because most of our weekends were filled with homework and business, we’re itching to get back on the trails. We’re shooting for one trip a month, and are hoping to get back to Estes Park this year with some friends and family. Neil has declared this to trip to be backcountry, so I’ll be testing my fear of being eaten by bears.

Racing: After the devastating close of Gateway last year, we were worried how our decision to stay in Missouri would affect Neil’s racing. Luckily, a buyer for the track was found, it has reopened and event dates are on the calendar. Neil hopes to get his car back on the track and get a lot of seat time in this year. With the transformation from street to track car, he has a lot of re-learning to do with the car. He also hopes to document his track time better so look forward to some fun videos in the future!

Kayaking: After several float trips last year, we’re definitely hooked on floating. So much so we’ve decided to buy a set of Kayaks. Fingers crossed for some fun times on Missouri’s rivers this year!


{The soon to be “renewed” kitchen…}

Renovating: When we moved into the house, we decided to just live in it for a while, and let it all sink in and wait to make the big decisions once we knew truly what it was that we needed and wanted. Well, it didn’t take long, and we’re ready to begin small projects and kitchen renovations this winter and bathroom and electrical renovations later in the year. The long list is definitely loooong.


Brand new pic I took of part of the “fam” down at CrossFit United

CrossFitting: We’re hooked, and because we started at such a busy time in our lives, we’re looking forward to giving our progress in more dedicated attention.
Jessica’s personal goal: 5 unassisted pull-ups
Neil’s personal goal: Muscle Up and consistent attendance.

Nook Color

Reading: I’m embarrassed to say that in 2011 I completed only ONE non-school/work-related book. Shameful! While I am making no specific quantifiable reading goal (that would quickly kill the enjoyment), I’m just going to read for enjoyment. Neil is also hoping to reading more, and you can follow both his and my progress on GoodReads.


{Pork With Almond Sauce (Cabezada con Salsa de Almendras) Recipe}

Eating: It goes without saying that we love to eat, and we plan to keep on keeping on in 2012. While our methods and diet may have changed a little over the course of 2011, we think there’s no shortage of fun and creativity to be had in the new year. Our goals are to continue to create fun and Paleo-friendly meals and hopefully, maybe, create our own collection of recipes. Still just ideas swirling in our heads at the moment, so stay tuned. Remember, we’re still newbs!

Running: Despite being physically wiped out at CrossFit in nearly every WOD, we still love to run, so we’re going to keep working toward our running goals (a shiny half-marathon) as time and energy allows.

Definitely a lot to accomplish, but in a feel-good fun and exciting kind of way. The list of things we want to do and have in our lives seems endless. We were raised to believe that if we worked hard we could have and do whatever we wanted, and we definitely live our lives by that motto. Our biggest connundrum seems to be how to do as much as possible and balance our goals and desires in order to still feel like we’re really fulfilling them. Definitely not a bad problem to have, and we feel so good that our life is finally in this place.