My biggest personal achievement this year was this: I started training for and completed my first half marathon. Not only did I do it, I beat my anticipated finish time by about 16 minutes. I don't expect it'll be my last ;)
But some of the greatest times this year were brought on by other people...my friends and family. To be sure, MrP made this an unforgettable year and for him, I am completely grateful. I can't even begin to describe how much I love him and our relationship.
My friend Swillsey and I had some awesome volunteering experiences to end the year, our gifts to each other being those of time well spent, helping others and I love that she's so giving like that. Also, the fact that she showed up to take pictures of my half...well that just meant the world to me.
My fitness buddy, SB, completed the half training with me and was a huge source of support and inspiration through it all for which I am utterly grateful. I'm not sure I would have finished like I did without her.
RunnerJen got me through the long Sunday runs when SB was working and I just needed someone to keep me going. I'm in awe of her ability to make people feel like they can do anything. Plus, a super sweet gift for Christmas - photos that she took of our runs together - was very appreciated.
Joc is courageous and sweet, witty and inspiring and she's got me running into the winter months, having agreed to train with her for Vancouver (although I'm thinking I'll likely run Red Deer's half marathon with SB the weekend before instead of Vancouver).
Chelsey is my super crafty bestie who gave me the single coolest gift this Christmas, spoiling me rotten, that really did blow me away. She created the advent calendar seen below...
and for every day, there was a gift bag to open. In a year that MrP and I chose to not exchange gifts, somehow, our tree was
overflowing underflowing (?!) with gifts. The crazy thing was the timing of them as I opened. I had one day where I had a nail file on my list of things to pick up at the store and what did I open that morning? A seven way file, perfect for my exact needs! There was a Starbucks gift card, socks, chocolates and even one of my favorite treats that I'd gotten a raw deal on a Halloween - Sour Patch Kids. It truly was a glorious thing, to wake up every morning to a little surprise. It really made my crazy busy month something to look forward to and I can't wait to return the favor sometime!
Speaking of our tree - I don't think I shared a photo of our 7.5' - 1,300 light beast that is the bane of MrP's existence. He wanted blue, green and purple lights (don't tell him they look pink!)...and LOTS of them, so after buying individual strands, he sat for about three evenings, restringing the strands so they had the correct sequence. PLUS, the green bulbs were a different brand that we ordered from the US, so he had to swap out all of the bases for the bulbs on those strands. It was a heck of a process and now he basically despises having to pull out the tree every year, but man is it a spectacle (I think).
But I digress. I was talking about the people who've made this year what it was...and that includes YOU. I'm so grateful to have me so many amazingly talented, kind hearted and genuine people through this blog. I had, at one point, decided to shut it down, but it's the friends I've made along the way who are non-judgemental, sweet, giving and so full of inspiration that have kept me going.
To all my friends, I look forward to sharing in your times of challenge and celebration in the upcoming year. May yours be filled with love, laughter, health and friendship!