Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Year of Awesome: Part II

Now for the second half of my 2014 recaps!  While the second half of the year held fewer milestone moments, I still packed a whole lot in...  

In July I got to spend the 4th of July with my family and saw a lot of my extended family.

I also made a lot of great memories with Phil.  One of my favorite date nights was a group date to Minnehaha Falls with some of his college friends.

Another highlight of this month was attending Amber's wedding in Iowa.  It was my first road trip with Phil and we had a really fun time.  I also learned at this wedding that Phil LOVES to dance at weddings.

Lastly, in July I achieved a major accomplishment of paying off my grad school student loans!  The balance was so high when I graduated but I worked my butt off and made other sacrifices in my life to pay them off as fast as possible.

In August I got to introduce Phil to my entire family, minus one brother-in-law and he got the thumbs up from everyone.  My sister and her husband were home and while my time with them went way too fast, it was great to see them.

We closed out the month by attending another wedding, this time it was a college friend of Phil's.

The highlight of September was most certainly my trip to San Francisco for our running rendezvous.  I fell even more in love with San Francisco and was happy with the strong trail race I ran.  I especially appreciated the fact that Amber and I ran every step of the race together.

October was the month for visitors!  To start off the month, my friend from Austin came up for a college girls weekend which was so much fun.

The following weekend, Iowa Amber came to visit and we went to a book fair (plus 2 other bookstores) together. 

Lori came to visit at the end of the month and I got to play tour guide and show off some of the reasons I love Minneapolis so much.  We packed a lot in but also spent a lot of time relaxing and catching up.  I miss seeing her on a regular basis!

During the last week of the month, Phil and I also hosted a pumpkin carving party.  Thanks to a stencil and Phil's steady hand (he did the carving), we had the nicest pumpkin design I've ever had.

November featured our 6th annual Julia Child night.  The apron photo grows and grows each year!

I ended the month by celebrating Thanksgiving with my family at the lake.  I got to spend a lot of time with my grandma and we played a lot of games.  This picture shows 3 generations playing cards together!

Of course the highlight of December was our trip to Jamaica.  This was my first vacation with Phil and we had the best time. 

We came back to the holiday season and celebrated the season by attending a couple of parties, exchanging gifts, baking cookies, and looking at lights.

I spent Christmas at my parents' lake home.  With the exception of the stomach flu that hit several family members (including me), it was a great holiday!

My nephew Matthew dictating his letter to Santa to my sister Abby

The boys and their gadgets

Evie is one happy baby

There's no limit to the amount of whipped cream that goes on a hot cocoa at Grandma's house!

Anna with her cap with an Anna braid (my brother also tried it on but it was cuter on her!)

After writing these two posts out, it's no wonder that 2014 flew by as fast as it did...  What can I say - I lived the hell out of 2014.  While 2014 was an awesome year, I'm ready to close it out and start a new year.  There was a lot of awesomeness in 2014, but there was also a lot of change so I am looking forward to 2015 as I am hoping it will be a bit more peaceful and quiet. 

Our New Years plans are fairly quiet as we'll ring in the New Year by hanging out and playing games with some friends, which is the ideal way to celebrate New Years in my opinion!

What are your plans for New Years?  I hope that everyone has a safe and happy celebrations and that 2015 holds many great things for all of us!


Emilie said...

Another awesome recap of your year! I am so impressed that you paid off your grad school loans. What a huge weight off your shoulders that must have been! I have been making the minimum payments on my loans and really should make an effort to pay them down faster. I have a small amount compared to most people (less than 30k) so I haven't felt a ton of pressure to pay them down but the interest REALLY adds up.

We are doing a game night as well! We are hosing my siblings and a couple other people for appetizers, drinks and games. I'm looking forward to it. Have a happy new year!

Jeanie said...

Lisa, your year has been terrific and I loved all you shared. Especially happy you are back up north and reunited with Phil! Your Christmas pix are wonderful!

A quiet dinner tonight with friends and tomorrow just hanging out, maybe a movie. Happy!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

You and Phil have so much fun together - what a cute couple!

That trip to Jamaica - wow! I want to go there one day!!!

We are staying in and eating and drinking bubbles, and will likely be in bed before midnight! Haha!

Amber said...

You deserved an amazing year more than anyone I know and I'm so glad you got it!

I really want to slow down a bit in 2015. I also had an amazing 2014 but I felt way too burnt out and exhausted as the end of the year approached. Just yesterday Jen said to me "do you ever get sick of being so busy?" and I was like yes, yes I do. The goal in 2015 is to slow down, step away from my phone and technology and just be more. I am really looking forward to our New Year's plans tonight as we haven't had fun plans on New Year's EVER I think. I'm going to dress up a bit too. Happy New Year to you and Phil!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

You did have a busy and fun year! We are planning on drinking beer and I'm trying to convince my hubby to play cards with me! We will have the tv on either football or NYE stuff on.

Gracie said...

Definitely a full year for you! The year I paid off my loans was the year that I suddenly realized I could BUY THINGS. For someone who grew up on a tight budget always, being able to buy, say, new shoes just because I wanted to was a huge deal. I felt so spoiled!

Shoshanah said...

I just love the photo of all your nieces and nephews wearing matching shirts for 4th of July!

And I hope you have a very happy 2015 and that it's even better than 2014!

Caroline said...

Happy New Year, Lisa! 2014 was quite the busy year for you, excited to see what 2015 brings! :)

Charis Faith said...

Congratulations on paying off the student loan debt! You inspire me so much!!! Love the pic of all the kids on July 4th, what a beautiful group! Your pictures from you SF trip still blow me away! You looked so gorgeous at all the wedding!!! Each dress was absolutely perfect! I'm thrilled that I got to come visit and see your amazing city! I am so thankful I was with you that weekend!!! I am already looking forward to hearing all about Julia Child night next year! I love that this year was so amazing and here's to the most fabulous 2015!!! Hugs!!!
ps: I may have shed a few happy tears reading this :)

Anonymous said...

What a fun year for you!

I love that your family has so many kids. That is just wonderful! Right now, our families don't have anyone under 20.

Best wishes for 2015 and that it turns out just the way you want it to be!

Elizabeth said...

What a great and busy 2014! Lots of positive changes and lots of settling in for you two. I'm on the same page looking toward this year as one of peace and a bit more quiet. So much love to you gal! So glad you're back to where your heart is more settled, returned to running, and back with Phil. So many amazing and gentle moments are to come :)

Abby said...

This is so fun to read. I have to stay, the 2nd half of 2014 was amazing for you! Getting settled back home, Phil, San Francisco, getting to see you twice! I love seeing my sister happy

Carolina John said...

I love Anna's cap and braid! Ha. You did have a busy and fantastic year. Getting those grad school loans paid off is huge! Such a big burden to have lifted.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I am so proud of you for paying off your loans. I am a firm believer in not having debt, although some is harder to get rid of than others! Imagine the extra money you will have now to put towards something else! The possibilities are endless.

I am so glad I got to be a part of your year of awesome! It really was a good year, and it DID fly by because there was so much going on! I am looking forward to accomplishing some goals in 2015 and having a good time doing it (hopefully)!

Becky said...

Favorite line: "What can I say - I lived the hell out of 2014."

Yes yes yes! Here's to 2015 my friend!