10. Volunteering I spent most Fridays this year helping out in Ava's kindergarten class. At first, 30+ kindergartners in a small enclosed space was overwhelming but now it's the best thing when one of her friends spends the night at my house and still calls me "Miss Tracey". Plus, I get to pretend I'm Billy Madison every time I ride the school bus on field trips. In the last two months of this year I also started volunteering at the food pantry in Bay View and I stepped up to be co-leader for Ava's Daisy Scout troop. We'll see what new adventures that will bring.
9. Seeing my BFF graduate nursing school. Steph used to always go on about how she had never graduated anything before. Well she can't say that anymore! The speech she gave at the pinning ceremony had me, and many others, in tears. I'm like a proud proud mama when it comes to her accomplishments and now my best friend of twenty years is a freaking nurse!
8. Kentucky Road Trip It may sound a bit weird but Jason and I go on vacations specifically to eat. This year we drove to Louisville and had one of the best meals ever at the Seelbach Hotel. Yep, four star dining in Kentucky. Whoulda thought? Touring the Woodford Reserve distillery was the icing on the cake. Now if only we could bring home a barrel in 2010.
7. Eating Well. I can't say this enough times but I'm so glad that I finally started appreciating good food. Some of my favorites this year were the of course Seelbach, Carnevor, Lake Park Bistro and the James Beard Foundation dinner at Bacchus. We also enjoyed places like Hinterland, Mr B's, Saketumi and Balzac. Good times. (Also, good thing I like to work out so much.)
6. The Presidential Inauguration in D.C. This was one of the most amazing things I've ever been a part of and I'm so glad we were able to to take the girls with. I will never get over how full of joy that mob of a million people was and it was beyond worth it to be smooshed for a few hours. When I see photos or video of that day on tv it still seems unreal that we were there. This has been a rough year for our country but I have faith that we will pull through and recapture that feeling of hope and elation again. Rock it, B-rock.
5. Blogging I found my blogging voice again! It started with Milwaukee Moms and now Fit Milwaukee really seems to be taking off. We have so many plans for fitMKE in 2010- from the weight loss challenge to sponsoring our own race. Everyone working on it is pumped. Much thanks to Brennan for brining everyone together to work on the project!
4. Becoming a "Real" Runner You knew this was coming. Although I ran my first 5K in September of 2008 I dont feel like I really came into my own as a runner until this year. At my last count I ran 10 races since April from ( 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon) and I'm getting ready for my final race of the year this morning. I'm so glad that I challenged myself to do this and it's been so rewarding in every sense. I've logged 1,000 miles since I started keeping track on April 1st so who knows what's in store for next year?
3. The Badgerland Striders I don't know if you know this about me but I'm a total hermit. After living in Milwaukee for four years I've always felt like I've had a hard time making friends until I joined the marathon build up runs. I was SO nervous that first Saturday like I was a little kid. Turns out our little group of 10 minute milers stuck together all summer, through thick and thin and crossed the finish line together! I love that Anne and I have kept up the Saturday long runs post-marathon even in the freezing cold and I can't wait to meet up again with some of the others again to start training for the spring marathon.
2. Lakefront MarathonThe absolute highlight of my running year. I can never thank my bestest running buddy Anne enough for convincing me to do it. I doubt I will ever feel like I did at the finish line again when I saw that little crowd of people holding signs with MY name. I'm sure going to try though.
1. The Internet. (Specifically Daily Mile and above all Twitter.) In case I haven't said this enough, I'm a total introvert. This year the Internet really brought me out of my shell- not only online but in real life. Every day I login to Daily Mile and am inspired and motivated by the people I've connected with on there. And Twitter? I've met some of the most amazing people this year on Twitter that I can't even begin to name them all because I'm sure i"ll leave somebody out. I've been fortunate to meet many of them outside of just on the computer screen and I hope to meet many more in the coming year. Milwaukee Tweeps are the best! Holla.