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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Paperless Joy...

For the past many years, typically in early December, I have sent out Christmas Cards.  This year, I was lazy.  No cards.  No address lists.  To be honest, my card sending was always spurred by finding the perfect cards...always with "Joy" incorporated in some way.  That is one of the many perks of having the perfect first name!!  So, maybe it wasn't really laziness at all...it was just that I did not find any "Joy" cards this year.  Let's go with that explanation...

So, this year, I'm sending along some Paperless Joy for you to enjoy...an electronic wish from me to you (and yours) for an amazingly wonderful new year.  2013...look out...it is going to be FANTASTIC!!

In case you are curious, here is a list of some of the fun adventures I had in 2012...

List of 2012 Happenings...

Meeting Joel's Brother and Sister in Law - On New Year's Eve last year I had the pleasure to meet my Camper Joel's Brother and his wife...it was so perfect.  Chatting about Joel...sharing stories...good people are always fun to find.

Caps Game on my Birthday - A long weekend at the Mayflower in DC...and a Caps Game on my Birthday with my family...my Mom, Sister, Nicol, and Rob.

DC United -  So the love of soccer which was discovered in the Fall of 2011...carried over into 2012 with my first MLS (Major League Soccer) game at RFK stadium.  It was an instant love...so much so...that I am a DC United season ticket holder for the 2013 season.  It is serious...I mean...I have a magnet on my car and everything. We made it to the playoffs this season...and I even got to see my favorite player at UMD games a few times at Ludwig Field (you will read about UMD below).  Following soccer has transformed my life...it motivates me at the gym and gets me out and about in the world. And evidently...makes me much more fun to talk too.

St. Patrick's Day -  On the eve of the one year anniversary of my Grandma heading out and about in the universe...we spent a long weekend  in Baltimore making my Irish Grandma proud at James Joyce.  We saw Henry Rollins perform...which is always a pleasure and sets you on the path to be better in the world.  We also headed up to Philly to catch our first Philly Union (another MLS Team) game at PPL Park.  We had so much fun at PPL that we went back in the Fall to catch a game and then drove back to College Park to watch our Terps play...the same day.

GYM - My boyfriend Gym and I had an absolutely magical year together.  Cardio, strength training, the sauna...my stress relief is now found in clocking time at Lifetime Fitness instead of eating lots of nasty carbs. My trainer Stacy K creates the most amazing workouts for me...constantly challenging me to do more.  It has been (and will continue to be) an amazing transformation.

Kennedy Center -  I saw my first ballet and added two more operas to my list...story telling in any form always spurs the writer within me.

Spring Family Weekend and Reunion Weekend -  My camp season with Special Love started off with a bang...it brings me such joy to be able to know and spend time with such amazing people.  It keeps me motivated...constantly...to work harder at work.  I hate cancer and even if I am not a scientist, I feel like I do something to help...just using my uber organizational skills and drive to get stuff done.

Foster the People - Probably my favorite show of the year...I had such a great time.  I forgot how much their album was a part of my journey in 2011 to get healthy.  I was jumping and dancing...it was the perfect summer concert experience.  Plus, they had a section of the Ravens Marching Band join them for one of my favorite songs.  There is nothing better...seriously.  Such an awesome night.

July Power Outage - After a crazy thunderstorm...almost hurricane like...which we were oblivious too because we were in the movie theater when it was happening...we lost power for a few days.  On a whim, we decided to just stay in a hotel.  Off to the Mayflower for a week stay...it was fun to Metro and play DC city girl for a week.

Coldplay -  For my b-day gift for my Mommy (it was a big number this year)...we went to see Coldplay...right up front.  It was amazing.  We had a really good time.  It was a once in a lifetime experience for sure.

Camp Fantastic - It was my 11th year volunteering for Special Love this year...it is always hard to put into words what this one magical week means.  This year was a new challenge...after many, many years...I got to be a counselor again.  I had no idea how much I missed it.  I got to have that role and also had my regular role as the hostess with the mostest at the Hot Spot.  I had so much wonderful help...it made for yet another perfect week in the best place on earth.  Two years in a row...a camp dream has come true.  I am so lucky to be able to part of such an amazing group of people.

Annapolis - Immediately after my return from camp, my sister whisked us away to Annapolis.  Always fun to be near the water.  It was by no means our first trip.  Our favorite place to watch EPL (English Premier League) soccer is at the Fado's in Annapolis.  We even watched some DC United away games there too.  Always fun.

University of Maryland Men's Soccer -  It is on my list to try to and write a few words about what following this team has done for my Mom, Sister and I.  I never would have imagined that watching a sport would spur the healing after our many years of care giving were suddenly over.  Our first game in August 2011...after my sister's instance that we go...brought us back to life.  We did not miss one home game at Ludwig Field in College Park this year.  We watched them win the ACC Championship at the Germantown Soccer Plex (which is where we first saw them play).  There were games in the pouring rain, rainbows, and even more driving rain.  And yes...it gets pretty damn cold when they play into December.  I leave work early to catch games...yep...you read that right!!

Trip to San Antonio, Texas (October) -  My good friends moved to Texas in August...so of course I hopped on a plane to visit them in October.  It was a true break from work...I really ignored things...and enjoyed some good quality time with my friends...who are the true definition of Ohana...they are family.  Shopping (of course...but no Vera Bradley!!).  Hockey Watching (Go Rampage!!)  Eating (Hello Chuy's!!).  Chilling (Couch Sitting, Drinking, Chatting, TV watching).  It was perfect.

NanoWrimo - National Novel Writing Month brought my 8th win...I clocked most of my words at Panera surrounded by nanowrimo writing buddies.  It was probably my most epic finish ever...there were some moments there on the last day where I was writing 1K words in 20 minute sprints.  Crazy Fun!!  Still nothing finished or ready for anyone to read...but then...that is not my goal at the moment.  I just love to write. ;)

Trip to Hoover, Alabama (December) - The Terps made it to the College Cup...so we traveled to Alabama to watch them play for the NCAA Championship.  We played Georgetown in an epic match.  We came from behind at the half (they had 3 goals, we had 1 goal)...we tied it up to 4 - 4.  I was on the jumbotron with my sister...we were on the broadcast of the game on ESPN U too...cheering like soccer hooligans...because we are.  We went to penalty kicks...my Mom, Sister, and I ran with the members of "The Crew" (the amazing group of student/alumni fans who chant, jump, and taunt the opposing goal keeper throughout the entire game) to be behind the goal post to offer our support and cheering and good energy.  It wasn't enough...we lost.  We stood by the bus to still cheer.  We hugged some players.  We shook the hand of the coach.  True Fans...always...win or lose.

Trips to Virginia Beach (November and December) -  I had not been to the beach in a long, long time.  It was always on the list...but I never made the time.  Virginia Beach is always special...it was where my Grandparents would always escape too when we were little.  They would hop in the car and take a long weekend.  I was able to go in November and December.  In November I got to spend time with my camper Becca and some of her family (her Mom Gina and her brother Drew).  I got to spend the night and everything...I felt like an honorary member family.  Actually...I felt like I was the first time I met all of them 10 years ago...at their first camp event.  I got to be Becca's counselor at camp too...I had always wanted to be and .my camp dream finally came true.  The visit again to Virginia Beach in December was bittersweet.  I brought my Mom and Sister with me.  I stared at the Atlantic.  I walked along the beach.  I randomly ran into one of my friends at a pancake/waffle house...and got a perfectly timed hug.  I...with my campers and other camp family...celebrated Becca with stories, tears, hugs, pink, and lots of laughter.  As always, when camp family gets together...there is nothing better...it is the best medicine.  We are never alone...

An assortment of Joy Cards...

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