We Interrupt Wedding Wednesday for All Things BIRTHDAY

I am so excited for the wedding– just in case you haven’t noticed. But there is one thing that can even top that excitement: The Ben & Jerry’s Vermonster. My birthday!

I love birthdays. And I really love my birthday. It’s sort of fun to get another year older and wiser, really. And a chance to celebrate another successful year and many more to come.

This year, in honor of my 27th birthday, let’s recap 27 awesome things that happened since my last birthday (in chronological order? Well, let’s try):

  1. I went to my first NordicFest, a traditional festival in Decorah, Iowa. Highlights include: seeing some lovely friends, enjoying cold beers on hot days, and a parade with candy and conservative Christian pamphlets. Non highlights include eating rommegrot, a Norwegian sour cream porridge. Dudes, it was rommegross (sorry, Aaron.)
  2. We officially began house hunting, where we learned the true meanings of the phrases “charming,” “character,” “quaint,” and “totally unfinished upper level, watch your step.”
  3. We got engaged in a little Minneapolis neighborhood on our way to one of our favorite bars. Completely by chance, we happen to now live 1 mile from that spot. I ride my bike by every chance I get. It was lovely.
  4. We bought a house. From the Bozeman, Montana airport using our smartphones. One of the scariest things I have ever done at a baggage carousel, hands down.
  5. We vacationed in Yellowstone with my family, in part to honor the adventurous spirit of my late great-grandparents, who loved to travel America’s greatest places. We saw bison, elk, a deer, and a coyote. We summited a mountain. We drank fruit wine with my family in the evenings. We took Aaron to his first rodeo. A splendid time in a most unique and beautiful part of our country.
  6. I ran the Warrior Dash and raised money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. It is good to do fun and it is fun to do good.
  7. We played the Fall season of softball on the Christus Victor God Squad. We never won a game, but we had a ton of fun. Super awesome: I hit a triple. Super un-awesome: I slid and ended up with a staph infection that nearly landed me in the hospital. Wash your wounds, kiddos.
  8. My sister hosted an engagement party with so many people and so much love and everyone was saying, “If you think this is a lot of people/chatting, wait until your wedding!” to which I was thinking, “Dudes, this is AWESOME. Bring on the wedding and the fun and the love and the chat chat chat all night long!”
  9. I “officially” returned to mid- to long-distance running by running the Twin Cities 10 Mile, one year after breaking my leg on the same course while running the marathon. I felt awesome, I ran pretty awesome, and (most awesomely) did not break any legs. Still remains the most beautiful course I have ever run.
  10. We moved into our house by tricking a bunch of friends into thinking that hauling furniture down 3 flights of old windy stairs would not be so bad with the help of some truly remarkable and understanding friends and family. I love it more and more every day. Even when an outlet stops working… or the light socket shorts… or the doorbell breaks… or the door knobs fall off…
  11. We got a dog. He moved into our house and then right into my heart and has asserted himself so much as a member of our family that I actually miss him when he doesn’t climb into bed, I catch myself wishing he could come run errands with me, and wondering if he misses us when we go out of town. He is a gem.
  12. I voted No to the proposed marriage amendment in Minnesota that would make marriage a constitutional institution between a man and a woman only. The momentum of that defeat helped lead the way for a same-sex marriage bill to pass this summer, making Minnesota a state where love is the law. I could not be more proud of my state and more excited to be married in a state where all of our guests will have the same rights as we do. What has been given to all can be taken from none.
  13. We saw Bob Dylan in concert. Two times. Which is like watching history happen in front of you. I don’t have a bucket list, per se, but if I did, seeing Bob Dylan in concert would have been on it.
  14. We navigated the combining of 2 families’ Christmas traditions with some success and a lot of driving. Worth it, as we are so loved and so blessed to have much our our family close to us during the holidays. That said, by the time the New Year rolled around, I was pretty darn exhausted.
  15. We hosted a very relaxed and fun New Years party at our home. The next morning we discovered the Chinese take out place in the neighborhood. By necessity.
  16. I went skiing for the first time since I have had permanent molars. I was terrified. And, as expected, I cried on several occasions. But then I went again, and cried a tiny bit less. And then I bought my own skis and a 2 year season pass to Welch Village.
  17. I joined a book club of remarkably smart, witty, and fun women.
  18. I bought my wedding dress.
  19. We went to Twins Spring Training in Fort Meyers, Florida. It was cold until the day we left.
  20. I discovered that Iowa is keeping a huge secret from the rest of the Midwest: Des Moines. Had a great time enjoying their art and their beer and their botanical gardens and our friends that call Des Moines “home.”
  21. We were successful in reaching our goal of becoming members of Club 41 during our first season as Timberwolves season-ticket holders. Club 41 is for all the season ticket holders who use their tickets at all 41 home games of the season. It is essentially the equivalent of being a Mathlete in high school. We honestly couldn’t be more proud of ourselves.
  22. I set a goal to ride my bike 1000 miles in the season (March through October). So far, I have gone 881 miles. I think I got the goal in the bag, even with the unseasonably long winter/spring we had.
  23. I took (and passed!) the CHES exam, making me a Certified Health Education Specialist smarty-pants.
  24. I ran the Fargo Half-Marathon. Which was not actually that awesome, but gave me some awesome perspective on running and injury and health and giving my body a break once in a while. And the finisher’s medal is awesome.
  25. We Rocked the Garden like true hipster/Democrats. Highlights included, but are not limited to: copious amounts of bike riding, local beer, pouring rain, BUCKET OF FRIES!, and an awesome show. Un-highlights include: people who do not know how to line up efficiently (and fairly!) for a row of porta-potties.
  26. Also, in gardens… we have one. And I am sometimes furiously trying to keep up with it, other times just pulling everything out of it, and mostly ignoring large sections of it hoping it will just figure itself out. In the “Backyard grass vs. Kate” fight, the score is 0-1 in favor of Kate. In the “flower boxes vs. Kate” fight, the score is 2-0, in favor of the flower boxes (can nothing live in them?!), and in the “vine vs. Kate” fight, the score is approximately 23561-0, in favor of the vine, which I am pretty sure is taking a run at just lifting our little bungalow right off its foundation and walking away with it.
  27. We committed to (and even bought the first bike for) a pretty big adventure to take in 2016– to ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Trail from Banff, Canada to the US-Mexico Border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico. There is still a lot of planning and training to do, but I think we are all in on this one. Excellente!

Last year was pretty awesome and included many firsts and some pretty big life changes. Happy to have made it around the sun (safely) another time! Cheers!

Oh, and if you don’t know what a Ben & Jerry’s Vermonster is… get our your spoons:

It’s a BUCKET of ice cream with bananas, cookies, brownies, whipped cream and more. Seriously. I die just thinking about it. Yum. And Type 2 Diabetes. But mostly yum.




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