Happy New Year! I’m so excited for a fresh start, a fresh year, and hopefully fresh opportunities. While I’m not a huge new year’s resolution person, I do love the energy this time of year brings for each of us. We’re taking the time to reflect on last year, identify what we loved, where we could make improvements, and hopefully start to plan a way to implement change. I’ll be writing a blog post soon about how I’m approaching my 2018 goals. For now, I’d like to take a look back at 2017, which was filled with change, adventure, and lessons.
In January, we found out that our lease would be up on the townhome we were renting. This forced us to make a decision and we felt it was a good time for us to purchase our first home. With lots of support from friends and family, we closed in February and started making this house a home.
While moving is never a fun experience, it was worth it knowing we were moving into a home that was fully ours. We learned so much in the process of buying a home and I’m happy to say it only made our marriage stronger in the end. If you’ve ever been through the home buying process, you know it’s awfully daunting for newbies. It was a complete team effort and we really enjoyed decorating and filling in the nooks and crannies of our home.
Just two weeks after moving in, Devin and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary. Since we had been through a lot during the first couple months of the year, we decided to stay home, pop open a bottle of champagne, and cook up a delicious steak dinner.
In April, I headed to State College to attend an Executive education program through the Smeal College of Business. As a registered dietitian who spends a lot of her professional life working on the business side of health coaching, I felt it was necessary to gain a few more skills. This was a great place to start and I’m already looking at another executive program to attend.
It was a beautiful week in central PA and I enjoyed staying in town for the Blue & White game with my family as well. Overall, it was a fun way to celebrate Spring!
In May, Devin surprised me with a delicious dinner in Frederick at the restaurant Volt. It has been a place on our bucket list and it lived up to all of our expectations! I highly recommend it if you’re in the area.
In early June, I traveled to Arizona for the first time. It was a quick trip for work, but it’s always nice to visit a new area of the US. I was amazed at how different dry heat is!
For Father’s Day and Devin’s birthday, we had a fantastic time hosting his family in our new home. We spent the day in Annapolis for Dev’s birthday and enjoyed some ice cream by the water!
It was a scorcher of a summer and we definitely didn’t receive any relief the evening of our Suds n Soles 5K. The start was right down the street from our home, so the walk was a warm up. After, they had local breweries offering samples and tastings to finishers. It was one of my favorite races! Plus, it was only the 2nd race Dev and I’ve ever done together – which made it that much more special 🙂
We spent our 4th of July weekend back in Pennsylvania. It’s always nice to be in the mountains during the summer. Well, let’s be honest, it’s always good to be in the mountains <3 We also had the opportunity to visit the Flight 93 memorial, which is less than an hour from where I grew up.
In July, we also discovered our new love of hiking. We ended up going to Harper’s Ferry for a day trip per a recommendation Devin received from a colleague. While there, we completed a 5 mile hike and really enjoyed the workout and the ability to be outside! Being under the trees helped us tolerate the hot July sun. If you’d like to read more about our visit, click here for that post.
We went on a couple more hikes throughout the month before we geared up for a trip to Florida and Georgia. The day before we left, we found out our flight was cancelled and would have to fly out a day late. We decided to get out on the AT instead of mope. The hike allowed us to start our vacation on time and visit a new part of Maryland. We started in Middletown, MD and hiked to the Washington Monument (in Maryland, not the one in DC).
We spent a few days in Florida visiting Devin’s family. It’s always fun to see our nephews and catch up with our Florida family!
From there, we headed up to Jekyll Island to celebrate our anniversary. Yes, it was a few months late, but we had to enjoy the anniversary package! We spent 4 nights on Jekyll, enjoying the summer sun and reminiscing about our wedding.
Summer 2017 was really the summer of hiking. I think Devin and I counted over 10 hikes we went on, which is just amazing. Hiking replaced running for most of the summer, but I feel like it really kept me in great shape for it. I’m not a hot weather runner, so I was glad to trade it in for another form of outdoor exercise.
Below is a picture at the lookout of Raven Rocks, VA.
At the end of August, Devin and I went to California. I had a business meeting and we thought it would be fun to have him tag along! We were in the Salinas/Monterey area (aka America’s Salad Bowl). I still want to write a full blog post about our trip and all that we visited. Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, and San Francisco in 6 days was a blast and very tiring since we hiked during 4 of those days.
September brought us a new member of the family: Sully! We went the rescue route and adopted him through Lucky Dog in DC. He was 5 months old when we brought him home and he’s stolen our hearts ever since!
Fall also marks the start of college football in our house! Devin is an Ohio State fan and I’m a Penn State fan. So most the season is a ton of fun – except when they play each other. Let’s just say we’re not going to review the OSU vs. PSU game this year. Shawna, my bestie from high school, came up for the Pitt game, which is her alma mater, and we even got to meet Todd Blackledge!
Also this fall, my mom ran for School Board in my hometown. Devin and I took a trip to PA to work the polls for her! We had a blast (even though it was the coldest day of the fall season ) and enjoyed seeing the results come in. Yes, she did win!
Devin’s sister, Shannon, is expecting her first baby, so we stayed at home for Thanksgiving this year so we can have a long visit in a couple weeks ! Because we were home, that also meant we got to host. It was an adventure and challenge, but in the end fun and delicious! Of course I enjoyed coming up with my own recipes and adding my touch to this holiday. I can’t decide between the butternut squash risotto, which I made in my instant pot, or the cranberry sausage stuffing as my favorite dish.
Christmas is by far our favorite season. We try to do quite a few things over the holiday to enjoy every minute. This year we went to the NeedtoBreathe concert. We also hosted a holiday get together with friends. We set out a baked potato bar which was so much fun! It’s like an adult version of an ice cream sundae bar. And then Devin surprised me with tickets to the National Cathedral for their holiday choir. We spent the night in Georgetown at the Four Seasons. It was such a wonderful staycation!
For Christmas, we packed up and headed to Pennsylvania to celebrate with my family. We also stayed in the mountains with full intentions on skiing. However, negative degree wind chills made us just want to stay in next to the fire. We did, however, get out to visit Ligonier with it’s cute downtown and adorable shops (we recommend the Kitchen on Main). And, since we were only 40 minutes from Pittsburgh, we spent one day visiting Phipps Conservatory and the Andy Warhol museum before having dinner with Shawna.
It’s been one crazy 2017! A lot of change led us into the year and we’re grateful we had a relaxing end to it. I’ll be back to review how I’m goal setting this year to stay accountable. Stay tuned 🙂