resurrected and resolved

Hello, world.  I forgot about this little corner of the internet for quite some time, as evidenced by the fact that the last time I wrote in this space, I was gallivanting across the country as I moved my life from NYC to LA.  One year, four months, two weeks, and four days later, the following email popped up in my inbox:

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No blog posts = a very boring end of year personalized blog report. See also: statistically insignificant.

In actuality, 2013 and the few months leading up to it were packed with milestones – a trip to Tahiti, moving into the first place The Guy and I would call home together, my sister’s engagement & picture-perfect wedding, landing a new job that I love, and the arrival of the world’s cutest nephew. After reflecting on all the change that’s happened in the last year and a half, I realized I miss having a place to chronicle some of these moments.  So in the cheesy spirit of resolution that seems to be unavoidable at this time of year, I’m dusting off the keyboard and making another attempt to resurrect this zombie blog.  (Is it super obvious that I started my year off by binging on AMC’s The Walking Dead marathon?)

This past year ended perfectly.  It had been a while since I’d cooked a holiday feast, and I was craving an excuse to put together a dinner party menu, so Chris and I had my brother, sister-in-law, and 4-month old Vincent (the aforementioned adorable nephew) over for a low-key night in.  Bacon was featured pretty prominently throughout the courses, which made both Chris and Cop pretty happy.  We started with a meat and cheese platter and a bottle of Cabernet Franc that Chris and I picked up recently in Oregon.  Our next course was beet and goat cheese napoleons and bacon-wrapped scallops, which we paired with Flying Dog’s Oyster Stout.  Finally, we feasted on a giant pork loin roast stuffed with spinach, bacon, and parmesan and a shaved Brussels sprouts salad with pomegranate, almonds, and – yep – more bacon.  Dessert was baconless, but still decadent: a red velvet trifle and bourbon chocolate peanut butter cups.  We also set up a champagne bar with blackberries, pomegranate seeds, and some other festive garnishes.

Ringing in 2014.  Vincent was not on the menu.

Ringing in 2014. Vincent was not on the menu, but is adorable and therefore should always be featured in photos.

Even though I’m pretty awful at achieving them, I thoroughly enjoy the process of making New Year’s Resolutions.  I used to enjoy keep track of my resolutions on this blog, so after mulling things over for about of week, here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish in 2014:

  • Set a marathon PR – This seems pretty achievable, considering my only marathon finishing time on the books is a pretty average 4:38 from the NYC Marathon in 2011.  I was definitely in better shape and a much more disciplined runner, though, so I’ve got some work to do.  I’m hoping to run 2 marathons this year – the OC Marathon in May, which I can use to gauge what I need to do in order to PR for the Long Beach Marathon in October.
  • Log all of my running miles – I’ve been struggling mentally with the fact that my running pace is about 2 minutes per mile slower than it used to be.  While this should be motivation to run more often, I find it has the opposite effect on my motivation.  I resent my slowness.  I’m hoping that setting a goal that’s focused on something other than speed will help rekindle my commitment.
  • Complete one of these 30 day muscle/fitness challenge per month – I’m usually pretty sporadic with strength training.  I’ll be pretty diligent for a few weeks about a new routine before it quickly fades into oblivion.  By committing to a routine that’s intended to be temporary, I’m going to harness that lack of attention span!
  • Cook one new recipe a week – I spend a good chunk of time looking up and pinning things I want make in my kitchen.  Food – whether it’s cooking, eating, reading, or just thinking about it- really is one of my biggest passions.  I probably already try a new recipe at least every other week, so I don’t think I’ll have any problems in this area.  It’s good to set yourself up for success from time to time, hence a resolution that will practically take care of itself.
  • Start one new book a week – Whenever I write out New Year’s resolutions, some form of “reading more” invariably shows up on my list.  I used to devour books, but fell out of the habit of reading for pleasure right around the time I started college.  “Reading more” isn’t really measurable, so I’m opting for this more assessable version instead.  I rarely start a book without finishing it (even if it takes a few months to find my way back to it) and have never had a problem juggling multiple books in progress (I know it drives some people nuts), so I think if I focus on just starting something new every week, reading will abound.
  • Leave for work every morning by 7:45am – I can’t control the traffic on my 30+ mile drive into the office, but I can control what time I leave.  I was really diligent about giving myself well over an hour to get to work when I first started, then gradually that window of time became smaller and smaller.  Cheers to being more punctual in 2014!
  • Cross one item of my So Cal bucket list each month – No explanation necessary. =)

I shared my list with Chris, and he laughed at how long it was.  He laughed even more when I told him that relative to years past, this is a tiny list.  His (much more manageable) list includes going to the movies at least once a month, taking an international trip this year, and leaving for work earlier, too.  We then each added something to each other’s list.  Chris’s addition for my list was for me to get a bike so that we can ride together.  My addition to his list was for him to cook once a month, since he’s been excited about honing his kitchen skills from time to time over the past few months.  And, because, let’s be honest: food tastes better when someone else makes it for you, and I’m looking forward to that upside.

Any resolutions on your list this year?  Books I should add to my Kindle cloud?  Awesome recipes we should attempt?  Let me know!

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