25 Things of Importance from My 25th Year

I kicked off the 25th year by going to the Red Bull Flugtag in Saint Paul.  Grown adults, about 6-8 per team, build falling flying machines and throw them into fly them over the Mississippi river.  Very fantastic way to celebrate one’s birthday!

Brewhouse Triathlon in Duluth, MN.  This trip also included my first time swimming in Lake Superior and a chance to see the beautiful tall ships in a special event in the Duluth Harbor. 
The Muddy Buddy Race, where I learned that ski slopes are for skiing and mountain bikes are heavy.
A pop/rock concert with my grandma at the Target Center (American Idol on Tour).
Two lovely camping trips to the North Shore with two lovely friends, one of which who has a gift for cooking over a fire.

A trip to our nation’s capitol, which I think should be called the City of Learning.  You cannot possibly be seeing Washington, DC right if you do not learn something.  Also got to see an exhibit by one of my favorite contemporary American artists, Chuck Close.
Defended my Masters thesis on a sunny Tuesday afternoon.
(So I am using my calendar to make sure I don’t miss any important events) I wrote “Christmas Tree Extravaganza” on a weekend in December and at first couldn’t figure out what on earth that meant.  But then I remembered: it means even as an adult, there is something very safe and a bit magical about getting to go to the home where you grew up, even if it is only 15 miles from your current home.

Right away into the new year I met someone who weekly reminds me to ‘chill out,’ taught me to play frisbee golf, also has good taste in beer, tells wonderful stories from around the world, routinely emails me “must hear this” music, and provides a lot of perspective when things feel chaotic.
The ladies of the family took a clay tiles class.  The lesson? Canvas and paint just makes more sense to me, but I did walk away with at least one awesome coaster and a cool trivet.
Had an article I wrote about going to ASA Fastpitch Nationals as a young teenager published in the ASA Softball magazine.
Weekend trip to Fort Myers, Florida to watch Twins Spring Training, hang out with two fabulous ladies, and eat delicious seafood at quirky restaurants.

Moved into my first “on my own” apartment in a quiet Saint Paul neighborhood.  Quickly discovered how expensive that is. 
Celebrated Mom’s first 5K finish at the Get in Gear 5K at Minnehaha Park!
Toured local brewery, Surly, and fell in love with their story (I was already in love with the beer).
Bought a kitty.  Rescued a kitty.  I already can’t remember what my home was like before he walked under my feet, meowed constantly, and left little bits of shredded [fill in with: paper, cardboard, styrofoam, flowers, spider plant]. 
Celebrated the graduation of 2 lawyers, a dentist, and a physical therapist.  My friends are freakishly smart.
Traveled to Decorah, IA for good beer and a lot of potato salad, good friends, a trombone quartet in a farm garage (as deer ran across the field- no kidding!), and 5 people in a tent.  Oh, and a dog the size of a horse. 
A long and trying few weeks responding to the North Minneapolis Tornado.  Today, I am proud to have been a small piece of the puzzle that helped bring the needed resources to those affected and hopefully in the coming months we will see a stronger Northside. 
Personal best time at the Buffalo Triathlon. Thank you, less hilly bike course!
Hung my first art show at the Minneapolis Skyway Senior Center.  Apparently drew a lot of opinions from some of Minneapolis’s most experienced citizens…
Went to several Twins games (finally seeing Target Field) but the highlight had to be watching one from a suite.  Nothing makes me a fan like free food and cushy seats.
Enjoyed the Ordway’s production of “Guys and Dolls” with Mom and Kim for Mother’s Day/Kim’s birthday.
Accepted and sponsored to present my work at a national summit in Atlanta, GA.
Started selling artwork on Etsy.  Sold 2 so far, although only to people I know…

It’s been a good year.  I am feeling ready to head into the next quarter century!

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