Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It’s My Birthday!

I did a ton of walking Monday and the irony is not lost on me that I’m sitting here with my feet hurting at the end of my 29th year after how fast paced and full this past year has been. The official countdown to the big 3-0 officially starts today. While some people make a 30 before 30 list on days like today…I have different goal…just relax and enjoy life. I plan on really enjoying this last year of my twenties. I’ve come to realize that I spent a good amount of the past decade doing a lot of worrying…either about long or short term goals, about what the future holds, about grades or various social situations, if things in general will stay the same or how much time will it take for things to change. This year was a whirlwind that took me on a crazy ride. It showed me that goals will come and go or even completely change before they are ever reached and that is alright. It showed me that even if things have stayed the same for a long time…it doesn’t mean they aren’t about to change suddenly. That you can’t plan for everything. And that making a 30 before 30 list will only give me more to worry about :).

This year I’m embracing a wonderful change of pace that life has brought my way…after being in what seemed like cruise control for some time…and I am going to just relax a enjoy the ride.

Three years ago I started the tradition of asking myself a few annual questions on my birthday as sort of a reflection of the past year and thinking about what I’d like to make of the coming year. I thought it was a good exercise so I want to keep it up!


Alexandria, VA

What are some of the highlights of the past year?

  • Making a bunch of new friends playing skee ball!
  • Finally upgrading my old laptop.
  • An awesome and unexpected vacation to China!
  • Attending my first Jewish wedding!
  • Getting back to playing soccer after 10 years!
  • Tubing on a beautiful day in Harper’s Ferry
  • Exploring Shenandoah National Park!
  • Enjoying my first Redskins game in person as a fan! In a suite!
  • Surviving Government Shutdown

What life lessons have you learned this past year?

  • See post intro :).
  • Things happen when you least expect it. I had learned this in life before…but it could not have been more true for a lot of tings that happened this past year. Between my trip to China, my new group of friends from skee ball, and various other new things that came my way this year ;-)…life enjoyed teaching me this lesson once again.
  • Like I mentioned before sometimes goals morph or change or go away before you get the chance to complete them….and that is perfectly alright…
  • I am more able to let go of original expectations for situations/plans than I used to give myself credit for. Not that I was over “planny”…but sometimes I used to have to put more effort into keeping my hopes “down” so as not to be disappointed. Either I have been better at letting expectations go, or I have had more realistic expectations…but either way…I have been way more relaxed when things don’t go the way I thought they would.

Did you accomplish your goals from last year?

Referencing what I said in the intro to this post…I will just go ahead and say that my year was so crazy I basically stopped thinking about these goals…and ya know what…I’m ok with that….let’s see what I originally thought I would achieve…

  • Keep working on staying in better touch with old friends. (Sure…a bit…but this could always use some work)
  • Keep working on my weight loss goal #1. (That would be a negative)
  • Sign up for at least 2 5ks next year. Consider a 10k (this is a “stretch goal”). (I did one 5k….thought about the 10k but lost track of training…MAYBE next year).
  • Go on at least 5 bike rides this coming spring. (Went on at least 2…have to get back into biking next season).
  • Work more on Milo jogging with the bike. He was introduced to it this fall and did really well. Hopefully we can work some more when it gets warm again! (Negative)
  • Attain goal #1 in my savings account. Based on my current track I should get there in plenty of time for my next birthday…but you never know what is going to happen in the year! (Yes!)

What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

Last year I made the statement in this section…“Other than those things above I think it is actually going to be a pretty low key year…” I couldn’t have been more wrong haha. This coming year seems like it will be full of more weddings and trips that I’m excited about so I hope I’m not wrong in the other direction this time haha.

  • A fun 30th Anniversary Dinner for my parents with my immediate family :).
  • A New Years vacation to the Outer Banks.
  • Another THREE weddings! And TWO new babies! (And all the showers and parties and travel that come along with those things!)
  • The Winter Olympics! (CURLING!!!)

What do you want to change about your life/yourself in the next year?

I honestly hesitate to give myself goals for this year. Like I said I really want to just enjoy what life has in store for me this year. But I will choose a few things…and I will keep the pressure to live up to them relatively low.

  • Blog more. (This birthday post is a good start!)
  • Make progress with my savings, student loan, and exercise goals.

How are you celebrating your birthday this year?

It’s a skee ball night! I will be celebrating with hopefully a win at skee ball and good friends! It will be a laid back and fun night!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Laura Loves {April 2013}

April has been jam packed for me. I think I have officially over-committed myself. First softball started up and since most of the games in the spring fell on Wednesday I decided to re-join my Tuesday night Skee Ball team. Then there was a deal to join a Thursday night bocce league so I figured…I like bocce…my Thursdays are open…why not? And then I learned that a local adult soccer league happens to play on Monday nights. Well wouldn’t ya know Mondays are open too! I have been meaning to get back into soccer…it’s a sign!

So my weekly schedule for the next month or two is a bit tight…which leaves little time for blogging (and getting the second half of my China pictures posted!) But I’m here JUST in the nick of time for Laura Loves!

Ellen meets Ellen
One of my new favorite SNL cast members is Kate McKinnon. She has been on the show for just about a year now and I think she is a great fit. One of my favorite things she does on SNL is her impersonation of Ellen. Well Ellen had her on the show the other day (for an interview first but then out in character) and here is how it went. Enjoy!

Little Love Stories
A few weeks ago a favorite blog of mine linked to this page of 60 short little love stories and I thought they were so cute I had to share. Here is the link! I dare you not to smile!

Duo Flame
A few weeks ago I came across this video on Facebook. These two dancers from Ukraine (known as Duo Flame?) have some seriously impressive acrobatic moves and tricks. Even though it is apparent this video is made in a few takes, their stunts are crazy! Yea yea….I know her dance shorts could be a bit longer…but this routine was too good not to share!

Dove – Real Beauty Sketches
I thought this piece by Dove was really interesting. They had a professional sketch artist do two drawings of one individual they couldn’t see. The first sketch is the person describing themselves. The second is another person describing them to the artist. The results of the two sketches really tell you something about self perception. I also really like that Dove incorporates this type of thing in their advertising and brand.

Creepy Things Kids Say
To end on a humorous but also creepy note, my friend Brenna shared this link on Facebook that I thought was really funny and interesting at the same time. This is a reddit thread of the creepiest things parents have heard their kids say. Here is the link! Just crazy dreams? Do they just have big imaginations? Super coincidences? I had so many questions after reading this!

That’s all I have for April!

Yay! It’s May! Summer is just around the corner! Smile

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Laura Loves {March 2013 – China Edition}

Considering I spent almost half of March in China…this post has a bit of a theme!


The tour company we found our trip to China through was Chinatour.com. Honestly the deal we got was incredible. The tour guides were fantastic, the hotels were wonderful, the food was really good, and the itinerary was packed! We had a great time and felt like we got soooo much for our money! If you ever see a great deal through Chinatour.com I would recommend them!


We stopped at Olympic Park, saw the Pandas, The Summer Palace, The Houtong, The Forbidden City, and The Great Wall!





We got to see the Terra Cotta Warriors and check out the city wall and night life in center city Xi’an!




We saw beautiful gardens, had a boat ride on one of the many stretches of canals and local markets, and saw the inner workings of a silk factory!




We took a boat ride on the West Lake and saw the beautiful green tea farms!




Stopped at the Shanghai Museum, old China Town, walked along the Bund and East Nanjing Road, took a ferry on the river, and saw the lights of Shanghai from above at the SWFC Observatory!