It’s Been Quite a Ride

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

I am ready to close the proverbial door on 2012.  Anyone with me?  It has been a year of great highs and lows both personally and globally, but glass half-full kind of girl that I am, I prefer to reflect on the moments worth celebrating.

One of the highlights of my year was launching this tiny little blog in January.  Talk about a learning curve!  Starting with the retelling of a crazy adventure that was too good to keep to myself, I dove head first into the blogosphere intending to share my, well, my love of life I suppose.  I leave the year much more tech savvy than I entered it and with a clearer sense of where I want the blog to go.  The new format (which I hope you have noticed today!) is part of that focus, and I look forward to bringing you more original images and content that take advantage of this clean, wide, streamlined layout.

my dressing room

February brought what continues to be my most widely read post.  From India to Indiana, it seems women everywhere are still searching for the perfect nude pump.

sleeping sails

Beautiful and unexpected weather visited Chicago in March, bringing runners and revelers to Lake Michigan months early.

 upside down chick

A visit to The Museum of Science and Industry on the last Saturday in April taught our family  a lesson about Perseverance.

mom

In May I counted celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom as one of my greatest blessings.

mini carrot cakes

I also leaked her closely guarded carrot cake recipe.

sharpie triathlon tattoo hugs

Ah, June.  My first triathlon was a great high and horrible low all at once, and because of that I walked away with tremendous gratitude.  And exhaustion.  Thank goodness my little sister sharpied our  favorite expression on my arm before the race because I almost sank  and think it may have saved me!

alligator

sea turtle

A trip to Kiawah Island in July brought us close to creatures big and small.  Witnessing the journey from shell to sea for a group of loggerhead turtles is something I will never forget.

Lucy Vincent Beach

fishing

fishing nets

the bare essentials

Martha’s Vineyard in August was the best part of summer.  Exploring Lucy Vincent Beach, fishing with Captain Tom Langman, and wandering Menemsha were highlights of the vacation.

acorns

September brought autumn’s arrival.

apple picking

And October, a trip to the apple orchard in Wisconsin.

birthday

And my 40th.  Yes I’m fussing with my candles.

The Sartorialist

Fashion blogger and photographer Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist came to Chicago for a book signing in November.

peppermint bark

ginger cookies

Cookies and chocolate were all over December – just ask my poor neglected bathroom scale. Which brings us to the New Year.  Resolutions or no resolutions?  I’m already working on my list….

All images via the aesthete and the dilettante

Gratitude

This is not an easy post for me to write.  After months of training and anticipation, the final result of my first triathlon was not what I had hoped.  Please don’t misunderstand – I am proud of completing the course and thoroughly enjoyed (most of) the race, which should be all that matters.  But I did not come close to the time goal I had set for myself and I’m having a terrible time letting it go.

So I have decided to focus on the overwhelming gratitude I have for my family’s cheers and support and for my close friend Fronzie who was by my side throughout the entire race.  And I am tremendously grateful for the journey.  There were many lessons learned from the day I decided to register to the moment I crossed the finish line, and I will take them with me into the next one.  After I relax.  For a few weeks at least…

Waiting to dive in. Fronzie is next to me in the white swim cap.
Toward the end of the swim. By far the most difficult leg of the race.
My little sister and my son looking concerned.
My daughter and husband walking the shoreline.
My niece Lily.
Seriously one of the top five happiest moments of my life was exiting the water.
Transitioning to the bikes. I lost a full three minutes trying to maneuver my wetsuit over the time chip on my ankle. It was almost comical. Except it wasn’t.
The bike was hands down my favorite part of the race. It was a gorgeous and hilly 25 mile ride through the countryside. Please note the aforementioned time chip on my ankle – it’s so big you’d think I was under house arrest!
Taking off on our 6.2 mile run. The fact that we are smiling clearly shows we cannot feel our legs yet.
Heading to the trail. Also very hilly.
Getting ready to cross the finish line. My father, stepmother and sisters are on the left cheering while my daughter slips under the fence to join us.

I didn’t cry until I hugged my mom.
The end of the chapter. Not the end of the story.