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When I arrived in Boulder four years ago, I landed in North Boulder. I knew pretty much nothing about Boulder’s geography but this quickly became my preferred stomping grounds. I found myself the wonderful condo I currently live in about a year and change after I moved here and have settled in nicely. I have said on numerous occasions that as long as I lived in Boulder, I was going to live in this townhome. Rent was cheap for Boulder standards, it was sunny and spacious, it had a backyard perfect for throwing epic BBQs (or just lounging in my hammock) and was a convenient walk to pretty much everything. I loved this place. (It’s for rent if anyone is looking, hint hint. My roommate Julia is wonderful and comes highly recommended!!)

When I started house hunting I was pretty set on staying in North Boulder. It was trendy, closer to downtown and a lot of my friends live on this side of town. I had grown roots up here. The very first place I looked at was an open house and it was right in the chic little North Broadway complex of coffee shops, small shops, bakeries and nice restaurants. It was stunning–all new everything and very modern with the most beautiful of views. I thought, this is where I want to be living! So it was somewhat surprising that I wound up buying a condo in the very southern most part of town.

I mentioned in my last post that I had always had my eye on this neighborhood and that was true. When I first moved here, my dad bought me this book on Boulder hikes. One weekend I was flipping through the pages and came across this one hike that sounded nice and it soon became one of my favorites. It’s right up in the foothills and is connected to some of the major trail systems in Boulder.

The neighborhood borders right on the open space which equals views for miles and the peace and quiet that comes with it. Also, very easy access to the trails. All were very appealing to me but I’ve never found a rental condo down there that I could afford. When I found the first place that I fell in love with that happened to be in this neighborhood, my hesitations lay with how far south it was. I was a North Boulderite! I love it up here. I saw South Boulder as the land of college students and I wanted as much space between them and me as possible.

I didn’t get that first apartment but by the time this condo came about, I had no hesitations about the neighborhood or living in South Boulder. Sure, I now have the college between me and downtown but it’s not like I go downtown all that often anyway. This condo, this neighborhood, feeds right into the lifestyle that I want to be living. I want to be able to walk out my front door and be on the trails within moments. Preferably without getting in my car. I have both of these at this place, and the trails are some of my favorites in Boulder. I will also be closer to Denver and have easier access to my friends there and to the sports and culture of the city.

It will take some getting used to, living in this very quiet, tucked away neighborhood. After the second time seeing it and realizing how quiet it was there, I joked that I was going to need a very loud noise machine to help me sleep. It’s funny but also sad because that’s probably true. (Thanks, insomnia!) I currently live on one of the busier streets in Boulder and so I’m constantly hearing street noise. It’s fine for me, but I know it’s bothered roommates in the past. I will have very little of that in my new condo and definitely won’t be walking to the grocery store anymore.

Which might actually be a GOOD thing. Cravings for ice cream will be weighted with hmm I have to get in my car…

I’m really excited for this new home in a new part of town. It’s time to hand in my North Boulder badge and trade it in for the South side of town. A big back yard for a pine tree shaded porch and a peaceful front patio with a big garden. To go from Upslope Brewing to Southern Sun. Walking the bike trail within ten minutes to hiking in the woods within fifteen minutes. There’s a whole new little world to discover down there and I can’t wait to start.

Diptic

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Back in early February, in an over-caffeinated burst of crazy energy one random Saturday, I came up with that elusive five year plan. You know the one potential bosses ask you about in interviews and I panic because I don’t have one. Six cups of coffee later and suddenly: there it was.  I was bursting at the seams that I finally had one! A real, live, five year plan! I couldn’t wait to tell everyone. I was also pretty damn jittery from the six cups of coffee I had just drank.

On this five year plan was a bullet point that I figured would be more on the ten year plan but put it on there anyway. It was far fetched and I knew it was something that would take something close to a miracle to make happen. My coffee brain wanted BIG THINGS though, so I wrote it down anyway.

I wanted to own my own home.

The caffeine eventually wore off but the five year plan still sat there written in my journal. Tugging at the edges of my consciousness, a reminder of all that I want to do. Being that it’s a five year plan, I figured I had some time to figure it all out.

Just a couple weeks later, an email popped up in my inbox that changed everything. I’m not going to tell you what was in that email but it set into motion a chain of events that eventually lead to April 11, 2014.

The day I officially became a homeowner.

Yeah, that bottom dweller dream that I figured in five years would be pushed into the ten year category happened within a couple months of that five year plan being written. No, I didn’t discover a pile of money hidden in the crawlspace of my current apartment. But I do have help that I am forever grateful for. I have been handed an opportunity that I realize is very rare and after spending a weekend in my new place, I’m in awe that I managed to get this lucky.

I started looking at places in early March. I saw beautiful, updated condos with all the amenities. I saw small, dark, crowded spaces that made me itch to get out of them as quickly as possible. I fell in love with one place only to be told no by the other deciding parties. There were a lot of tears shed; there was a lot of anxious, sleepless nights while I stressed over finding a place that would meet all of our needs and a lot of excitement when I did see something promising.

The problem was that things were moving super fast. I would see a place that had literally just came on the market, and it would already have offers on it. I knew if I liked something, I had to act fast if I actually wanted to have a chance of getting it. Couple that with being a horrible decision maker and you get a lot of stress.

Katie, a good friend of mine in Boulder, hooked me up with her realtor and I remember going onto his website right before starting my search and seeing a listing for this condo with a hideous red wall but thinking I want this place! It was in this neighborhood I’ve had my eye on since right around the time I moved to Boulder and while it was the complete opposite end of town from where I lived, I wanted to live there. When I finally talked to this realtor, he gave me the bad news: someone else was closing on it in three days. Bubble burst, and I officially started the house hunt.

A couple weeks later my Dad and I were standing in this small condo in the same neighborhood while he was in town to help out. It was a cute place but didn’t quite meet my criteria, plus it had three offers on it and they had already counter offered one of those. Chances were slim that I was going to have a chance with that place if I had wanted it. We are about to head out the door when my realtor turns to us and said, oh, remember that condo you were interested in from this neighborhood? The buyer backed out.

You see, a pipe from the freezer had burst while no one was living there. It destroyed the kitchen flooring, the lower cabinets, the ceiling downstairs and the master bedroom walls. The condo was a bit of a mess and I guess the buyer didn’t want to deal with it so he cancelled the deal. The place wasn’t on the market yet, but was going to be.

We insisted on seeing it as soon as possible since my Dad was leaving town soon. On St. Patrick’s Day we got to see it. It wasn’t much to look at but I got a feel for the space and I liked what I saw. I would be able to get a whole new kitchen and would have to renovate quite a bit but it would have more of me in it. I would be able to customize this space more to my standards.

Things moved pretty quickly after that. Once we found out that the mold and asbestos had been taken care of, we moved on the place. There was insurance negotiations for fixing the kitchen, the inspection which went a hell of a lot better than I expected given the condition it was in, and two weeks after we started, we closed.

It’s been pretty surreal–and has been a super crazy whirlwind. I’ve spent nearly every waking moment away from work trying to design this kitchen. I’ve probably designed and redesigned it a hundred times and have been ready to throw it all out the window on numerous occasions. I have a million projects I want to do and so many things I want to replace (namely–all the lighting). I can’t wait to do it all but right now? I can’t wait to finally move in and be living there!

I spent the weekend with my Dad tearing out cabinets and the most hideous counter known to man, ordering new kitchen cabinets and counters and picking out paint colors. I’m exhausted but so happy. I own the cutest damn little condo out there and I’m totally in love with it. I cannot wait to share with you all the many projects I’m undertaking with this place! (You better believe I’ll be documenting it!)

Since when have I become so adult?!

I promise to show pictures soon and give you all a tour of this place and talk about the renovations happening right now. Two weeks till I move in!

 

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February. Whew. What a whirlwind. A whirlwind of awesome!

Sorry, I just had to say that.

Beaver Creek

I can’t believe it’s the last week of February. This is just another great month in a line of great months, yet this one may take the cake as the best so far. I’ve taken my skiing to new levels, spent a lot of quality time with great friends and have pushed my boundaries in whole new ways. Basically, life is good.  To finish off this month, six friends and I went to Beaver Creek for probably the most epic weekend of skiing, ever.

Beaver Creek

Since I’ve started skiing harder hills I’ve gotten a lot more confident in skiing and have definitely enjoyed skiing more. I have advanced more in the past three months than I have in the last eighteen years, thanks to my friends pushing me, and my willingness to be pushed. I have been working on my technique, watching other skiers and snowboarders closely and imitating as best I can. I never learned proper technique–I skied into a lodge wall, decided I needed to learn how to slow down and stop, so I learned how to snowplow (or pizza) and that was it. That’s all I did. Pizza all the way down the mountain. Goal: not hit lodge walls was successful. Now I’m learning how to french fry. It only took 18 years….

The confidence that I have found over the past few weeks definitely took a beating this weekend. I found myself way out of my comfort zone and pushed really hard these past couple days. The blues I went on were far more technical and steep than any I had been on before and there were several moments where I had to stop mid-way down a slope just to gather strength to continue. I’m not talking physical strength, but mental strength. I know I can do these slopes, I know I’m capable of it and my ability is there but the heights. The lack of feeling like I’m in control. I couldn’t get myself out of my head. I would be in the middle of attempting to go down this spectacularly steep hill–steeper than anything I’ve ever done before–and would just have to take a holy shit moment and tell myself that I can do this, over and over and over again.

Beaver Creek

These scary moments usually followed getting lost and winding up surrounded by blues and blacks. Saturday was great, I was on slopes I wanted to be on but Sunday was definitely plagued by getting lost. Lost, lost and more lost. Despite all that though? I HAD A BLAST.

Beaver Creek

I got to spend an entire weekend with good friends and new ones, laughing and goofing around, and got to spend two entire days doing what I now love most–skiing. I pushed myself super hard and am really proud of myself for doing the hard stuff and not backing out, even though I sometimes wanted to. I remember stopping once, looking back up the hill and contemplating how bad it would be if I took off my skis and walked back up the hill to the other run. The important thing was, though, that I didn’t and I kept going. I kept doing the hard hills, even if they scared me, just to prove to myself that I could. The holy shit moments were outnumbered by the holy crap this is amazing moments.

Beaver Creek

I skied hard. By the end of the day Sunday the thought of making the effort to stop myself at the end of the hill was just too much. I was that sore. And it was awesome. I literally skied until I couldn’t ski any more. I think everyone else felt the same way, too.

Beaver Creek

The car ride back while stuck in traffic, with Brian passed out, JoJo having too much fun, all our crap and can you spot the pomeranian?

What a great weekend.

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I’ve only ever broken one bone in my life–my toe. I stepped on it my first week at my first real job in NYC. I was holding like twenty pounds of stone samples, climbing up a foot stool to put it on a top shelf and had taken off my four inch heels so I wouldn’t break my ankle. In true klutzy Ashley style, I lost my balance, stepped back off the stool and stepped right onto my second toe and SNAP. In two places. There’s not much you can do for a toe besides buy your first pair of flats, waddle and look ridiculous for a couple months.

Now, I can’t say whether I’ve actually broken anything at the moment because I’m not about to go get an x-ray taken but I know bruised ribs and I do not have a bruised rib. This weekend was a long weekend and a bunch of friends and I rented a cabin up in Estes Park for a couple nights. There was plans of our own version of the winter games which mainly ended up being hot tubbing, competitive eating, drinking something called a painkiller that tasted a lot like a pina colada, the hardest puzzle on earth, watching a lot of skeleton on TV and Cards Against Humanity. You may be confused as to why I started this paragraph talking about my not-really-bruised-ribs, which may be implying to my broken ribs.

I wish I could say it was because of skiing, or an epic trail run, or even in making snow angels which were really ice angels because it’s been too warm and then freezing too often for nice powdery snow here in the front range of Colorado. I wish I could say it was any of those things. Instead, Friday night there was an incident with a hot tub, me being a klutz and falling. I was getting out of the hot tub when I slipped, crash landed into my poor friend Scott and his unfortunate knee and then, thinking nothing of it, carried on my merry way the rest of the weekend, complaining only mildly of how much my ribs hurt. They hurt, but I figured it was your standard bruising and since I don’t actually bruise, what the hell did I know?

Sunday morning I woke up in more pain than I’ve known in a while so I opted out of snow shoeing and went home, hit up Trader Joe’s (because TRADER JOE’S!!!!!!!!!), lounged around in my hammock in the backyard because it was 60 out and became increasingly more and more worried because it fucking HURT to lie down and it hurt to breathe and OMG DO NOT COUGH.

It was becoming increasingly more obvious that I had not bruised my ribs. I had most definitely cracked one of them. And yet I still skied on Monday, despite screaming gasping every time I bent over to pick up my skis and we won’t mention the buckling of my ski boots. That wasn’t pretty. Ohhhh no. 

Of course during skiing I was still pretty much in denial that I had actually hurt myself. So I’m giving myself a little bit of credit.

Last night I found I could only lie in one position–on my left side. I could not sleep on my back, I could not sleep on my stomach (my favorite) and I could most definitely not sleep on my right side (my second favorite). Getting up was agony. Every time I tried to roll over in my sleep I woke myself up because HI, PAIN. Today was absolute hell–to the point where my coworker made me laugh and then I cried real tears of pain because DON’T MAKE ME DO THAT.

There’s nothing I can do for a cracked rib so I’m not even bothering going to the doctor. Let’s take x-rays so a doctor can show me where I cracked my rib and not be able to do anything about it! Money grows on trees! My friend’s fiance recently broke his rib snowboarding (he was on flat ground about to go put his board away so he could eat at a restaurant so it almost makes me feel better except he was still snowboarding and I WAS IN A HOT TUB) so he gave me some pointers, like breathe deep. Something which I don’t really like doing but am trying since they have scared me into submission by saying I could get pneumonia or other lung problems. Because of a cracked rib! WHO KNEW.

Who knew I was also the biggest klutz whose only injuries ever sustained were caused only by her own doing?

Oh, yeah, everyone. Remember when I gave myself a concussion with my laptop and refused to get stitches? I still have that laptop, thankyouverymuch. And barely a scar.

At least I pick bones that can’t be mended by more than just time and patience. Right? Silver linings. Now I’m going to go figure out a way to prop myself up on my left side so that I don’t accidentally roll over and scare my roommate half to death when I shriek bloody murder at the pain it causes. Oh, and so that I can sleep. That may be important, too.

Also? My mom is going to be so mad at me that she found out I broke a rib on my blog. Hi, Mom! Look, you’re on my blog! Shiny objects! It’s really not that bad….

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I quit dating six weeks ago and you know what? I don’t miss it one single bit. There has not been one single minute where I have sat and been like, wow I miss dating. Not one regret, not one longing, not one single second devoted to I WISH I WAS STILL DOING IT.

I kind of thought it would be harder than this.

I dated a lot. There’s no sugar coating that; I have spent the past seven years dating one guy after another, after another. Hell, in New York I had nights where I had two dates in the span of a few hours. One for dinner, one for drinks. Moving to Boulder definitely calmed me down but I still dated a lot more than my girlfriends. I was a little self conscious about it at first. You would think with all this dating, all this “putting myself out there,” I would have met someone. I met some great guys but in the end, I wound up quitting. Not just because I hadn’t met anyone, I wasn’t even that frustrated, but I was bored, my expectations were too high, and I have forgotten to think about what I want.

For a while I was looking for a guy to fill a void in my life, a void that I knew no guy could fill but I kept trying anyway. I’ve stopped that, I’ve filled that void myself and no longer feel that hole that was so present for so many years. My life feels full. I’ve been feeling for months like I want to find someone to add to my life, rather than be my life. Be honest with yourself, how many people can actually say that? Who aren’t just saying it because that’s what we’re supposed to say, what we’re supposed to feel? Because I sure have been saying it for the past seven years, believing myself when I would say it to friends, but I wasn’t actually living it.

The biggest hurt I ever did myself was allowing me to put my feelings, my wants, and my needs behind those I dated. I have been told countless times that it’s not ok to want what I want, that what I want will scare guys away and WE DON’T WANT TO SCARE THEM AWAY, GIRLS. Because their feelings are more important than ours. Their wants are more important than ours. Since when did what someone else want trump what I want? So I’ve accepted things that I shouldn’t have. I’ve put up with shit because I didn’t want to scare the guy off. I sacrificed what I wanted, kept in the constant fear that I would be found out, just so that I could be with someone.

I also believe that treating guys like they’re fragile, fearful beings has not given them enough credit. They can handle it. But maybe, just maybe, it has given them an easy way out of anything that may not be “comfortable.” Maybe at times in the past I’ve come across as too clingy, maybe I’ve just wanted too much sometimes, and maybe I’m a little too intense when I want something. I have both showed this side of me, and I’ve also hid it, catering to what I thought the guy wanted me to be. Neither have worked for me. (To my credit, I knew none of these relationships were right for me. There was always some red flag, something that I noticed–and ignored–that made me realize that things weren’t right, but I kept at it. I was–dare I say it–that afraid of being alone.)

I’m still waiting for someone to surprise me….ok, maybe not waiting. That makes me sound like I’m sitting on my sofa waiting for him to walk through my front door. I am sitting on my sofa but I’m just watching the men’s slopestyle skiing and men’s ice skating (INCREDIBLE, RIGHT?). Right now I’m more concerned with not giving up my life, or my wants, for a guy. I want to continue to build up a solid foundation for a great life and not give that up the minute a guy enters the picture. I don’t want to lose myself in someone. Despite all the work that I have done on myself recently I’m still wary of my ability to keep my self intact while in a relationship.

What was the point of this post? Oh yeah, it’s been six weeks of being 100% single and it’s so much better than I thought it was going to be. So much easier to do. Now I MUST go pack for my weekend with friends in the mountains performing our own Olympic winter games that include competitive snow angels, snowball fights and I’m sure some competitive drinking.

Oh, and I guess, Happy Valentine’s Day?

 

 

 

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Do you ever feel like you have nothing to talk about? I’m sitting here, bursting at the seams wanting to write about something, anything, but nothing is coming out.  I feel like when I do write, it’s very repetitive and I have nothing new to add to this space.  It doesn’t really make sense to me because my life is great! I should have a lot to talk about! Things like rainbows and unicorns and unicorns pooping rainbows but…what do I write about?

I think it all winds down to expectations. I have been blamed in the past for setting them too far in all areas of my life. For guys I date (which winds to feeling like I’m being needy or clingy), for friendships (which has lead to disappointments), for my career (which has lead to feeling bored), and for myself in general. Then there’s this blog. This is my space, I know that I should not be writing for anyone else but me. However, I can’t help but feel the pressure–that only I place on myself–to write something that people will want to read, will respond to and will relate to. I constantly compare my blog to other people’s blogs, people who are much more devoted than I to creating content and making a life out of it. While it sounds nice, being able to make money off of blogging, it’s never been something I have strived for. It’s not something I want. So why do I want to be like them?

How do I get myself past that barrier that I’ve placed in my own way?

Of course this is all rhetorical. Like, why, when food falls, it always falls peanut butter side face down?

I have struggled with this space ever since I turned from anonymous to not. I don’t know why, I’ve written about it a few times before but when it comes to getting personal, to really putting myself out there, I hit a glass wall. One I cannot seem to break through. Three years is a long time to struggle with this and I’m wondering at what point I stop struggling and just put it to rest?

And sometimes when you’re in the middle of writing something, you realize oh, yeah, you just don’t like being vulnerable in real life. Really, really don’t like. Maybe that’s why you struggle with getting real on this blog, Ashalah. Maybe you should work on that first.

If you’ve encountered this in blogging, and have gotten through (or maybe haven’t), what did you do?

A shift of energy

Feb
2014
09

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Diptic

I was snowshoeing in the middle of a snowstorm, through this beautiful stretch of woods with my friend Katie yesterday. It was so quiet and peaceful and the snow falling around us made it even better. Getting outside in nature always centers me and takes away any stress I might be feeling (and oh, I’ve been feeling some this week). I know this remedy well, but it always takes me by surprise each time the calm settles over me once I get outside and into the woods. It certainly helps that Colorado is a breath-taking distraction itself.

We almost didn’t even make it out; we drove up from Boulder where it was nearing 40 degrees and sunny and as we got closer and closer to Nederland, it started snowing harder and the road conditions were getting a little slick. Neither one of us is a very confident driver in these conditions so we questioned whether we should make the trek back the 5 or so miles into the woods to get to this one area that would be a little more protected from the wind, but would have more snow on the roads with more potential to get stuck. We stubbornly kept going, though, and I am so glad we took the risk.

I always enjoy hiking with Katie because we always have these amazing discussions on life. I feel like she makes me really evaluate different areas of my life and helps me see things through a different perspective, something we all need from time to time. Today as we stomped around in the snow, icicles forming in our hair (hairsicles?), we were talking about relationships and the stages we’re at in our lives and she commented about all the changes I’ve been making. This past year for me has been huge, I think we can all agree upon that, and I feel like I’m finally coming into my own and figuring out who I am as a person. There are definitely parts of my life that I want to shake up and change around and for a while, I’ve been frustrated that I haven’t gotten off my ass and done it.

I am doing some serious standing in my own way. I have been bitching and moaning (and more bitching and more moaning) for a year or more now, and yet I haven’t done a damn thing! I just can’t seem to make the time, put in the effort, and do something about it.

Katie saw it completely different than I did. Yes, we do stand in our own ways a lot of the time but I had been focusing on other things–other personal developments like becoming more active, building a community and being happy with myself–and maybe I needed to focus on those first, put myself in my own way, before I could properly tackle this other area of my life that I’m not 100% pleased with.  Maybe I just wasn’t ready yet.

She said she knows I’m more ready now because I’ve taken steps towards making these goals a reality. She saw a recent post of mine on Facebook about my external hard drive and my attempt to recover the valuable files that are locked on there so deeply, that the first company to attempt to get access, couldn’t. (Hence some of the stress this week.) I didn’t see it as anything big but she said that at some point in the past month, something in me has shifted away from personal betterment, and towards this other area of my life. I used to stress out over forcing myself to go for a run, or motivate myself to go do things I wanted to do but was afraid to because I might not have anyone to do them with. Now, my focus is shifting away from that, and towards this other. I’m still working on all that other stuff but I don’t need the same amount of energy that I once did to really kick start it. That energy that I’ve been placing on this active lifestyle, this community and this happiness can now be transferred over to new things and without my realizing it, I have started that process.

By the end of our trek the snow was coming down pretty hard and despite the  wind blowing snow in our faces and our hair being completely coated in snow and ice, we felt like we were on top of the world. Having someone show me her observations on my life really helped me see things more clearly from inside my bubble.

2014 is shaping up to be a spectacular year.

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Today is the BIG GAME here in Colorado and I’m gearing up to host my second super bowl party. The difference? I’m actually super excited for the Puppy Bowl, commercials, AND the FOOTBALL! Oh, and the food, too. I’m making a Buffalo Chicken dip that my wifey Shareeza introduced me to and the spread is pretty epic: bacon ranch potato nachos, homemade pretzels, atomic elk chili, a spinach dip that is basically crack in dip form, and lemon bars. Basically, my Super Bowl party is better than your Super Bowl party. Aside from the food, I’ve become a huge Broncos fan in the past couple years and I’m beyond excited to see them play. GO BRONCOS!!!!

Remember when I cried on top of a mountain just 8 short ski trips ago? Seems like ages ago. For probably the first six times I went skiing, I got super nervous and wanted to stay only on trails I knew. I was a green skier through and through and would often take my time standing at the top of the hill, psyching myself up (or down in this case). I remember Jason and Nicole questioning whether I actually liked skiing.

Well, I can safely say that I’m addicted, hook, line and sinker. I don’t know what happened in the three weeks I took off between Christmas and last weekend but whatever it was, it changed me as a skier. I hit my first blues last weekend and yesterday I barely even touched a green slope. I had one or two fantastic runs down blues and now I’m not a nervous skier. Now when I get on a lift I’m not worried about what I’m going to find at the top because I know I can do them.

Yesterday Cassie and I hit the slopes at Breck again for her last time skiing this season. (She’s sadly getting ankle surgery this week.) It snowed a TON this week and I was excited for my first true powder day. We immediately went up Peak 9 to hit some of the blues we had conquered last week and after one run, the guys in our group asked if we wanted to head to Peak 8 and hit maybe some harder hills. The swiftness to which I agreed to this was a little scary.

The length of time I stood at the top of my very first black diamond, a hill I had to go down to get to Peak 8 from where I was, also surprised me. As in, I didn’t spend much time up there. As in, I WENT DOWN MY FIRST BLACK DIAMOND. And there were no tears, no fear, no panic, just some mild “You guys are trying to kill me, aren’t you?”

After traversing around the mountain way more than I ever want to traverse a mountain on skis again (best upper body workout EVER), we found ourselves back at the base of Peak 9 where I said something along the lines of Let’s do an easy blue to a few laughs from Cassie who has been skiing with me three times and knows just how rapidly I have grown as a skier. I don’t know who I am anymore but I kind of like this new skier that’s developed in me. One blue run and now I feel like I can go anywhere and do any hill. Although, let’s be honest, moguls and I just aren’t ever going to be friends.

I have really enjoyed running and the half marathons I’ve been doing, but skiing has become my one true love. It’s definitely unexpected but buying that ski pass has been the best decision I’ve made (right behind moving to Colorado!).

I must go prepare for the game and run some errands but before I go, one last GO BRONCOS! And now begins the I can’t wait for next weekend so I can go skiing again! Colorado has created a monster.

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Can we talk about something? Something that’s not serious? I feel like that’s all I write about lately. That, and how much I’m changing my life and how happy I am about it. I feel like I don’t turn to this blog to talk about daily life as much as I used to. I do miss blogging, real blogging. Like I used to do.

Anyway, that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

I’m here to talk about two things: my weekend, and beards. We’ll start with the beards.

I used to like clean shaven men. Of course when I lived in New York, every guy was clean shaven. It was before hipsters were in style so not even mustaches were seen. I didn’t quite understand the point of beards, if we’re being honest.

But within the last six months I’ve grown to really like the beard. There’s something sexy about a man with a full face of facial hair. Now, it has to be a full beard. I still hate the mustache and while I’ve always enjoyed a good goatee, the full beard? It takes the top spot right now. I don’t even know why! And I actually prefer it to clean shaven.

I know, WHO AM I?

Now of course, if you remember, I’m taking a nice long break from dating which means I’m taking a break from those beards, but a girl can still look.

This Tuesday marks my four year anniversary of moving to Boulder. It’s hard to believe it’s been four years already and this weekend I decided that I wanted to do some of my favorite things, including another day on the slopes skiing–my first of the new year. It’s been since right after Christmas that I had last skied and I actually missed it.

Luckily, I had missed it so much that I didn’t mind sitting in an hour extra of traffic on the way up to the mountains and then the struggle to find parking thanks to a snow sculpture exhibit in Breckenridge. All was forgotten by the time I put on my ski boots and headed down the mountain. It was 40 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, the perfect Colorado winter day and probably the best weather I’ve had skiing yet.

The entire day was perfection. I had met up with my friends Cassie and Zak and after a couple runs down the easy green it was quickly decided that we were going to go further up the mountain and try some blues. The last time I had been on Peak 9 in Breck I had felt like I wanted to try some more challenging hills but it had been three weeks since I last skied and my confidence wasn’t that strong then.

Sometimes, when you don’t give me the opportunity to worry and stress about it, I…don’t. We got off the lift, started traversing across two hills and then BAM, like that, I’m standing in line for the Mercury chairlift to head towards the top of Peak 9. I joked that maybe I should try to make it a thing, to cry on each peak in Breck. After all, I did cry on the top of Peak 8. And by top of Peak 8, I mean like a 1/4 of the way up the mountain. But, details.

I don’t even remember being nervous. In those three weeks I was not skiing, I somehow found my confidence. The first few times I went skiing, I stood at the top of the hill and debated and worried and panicked. I was fully expecting that to happen since I have probably been on a grand total of two blue hills my entire skiing career and considering how scared greens have made me? I was fully prepared to actually cry on top of this blue hill.

Diptic

Instead, I took off down the mountain and I had the most fun I have had skiing so far. I was confident, I wasn’t worrying about heights or my ability to stop or whether I was going to fall and hurt myself. I was just having fun and you probably couldn’t have wiped the smile off my face if you had tried. I cannot wait to get back on the mountain and try more challenging hills–aka next weekend!

I should also mention that the mountain is a great place to spot some nice looking beards.

Today I had a chicken and waffles brunch and then went and saw August: Osage County. I have seen more movies in the past two months than I have in the past two years and I’ve seen some great ones. Her was amazing and I completely related since so many of our relationships these days are developed online and over text;  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was super cute and made me want to travel rightnow; American Hustle was great as well and I still can’t believe they were able to make Christian Bale ugly (gah!). But August: Osage County? Oh my goodness. It was so intense, so great, that after leaving the theater I had no idea what to even say about it. It took me a while to process everything but I cannot recommend it enough. Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep deserve Oscars (especially Meryl Streep), if only for the fight scene alone.

That turned into a much longer blog post than I had originally planned. Hope everyone had a great weekend! Do you celebrate the anniversary of when you moved to where you live?

Diptic

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Guys. My toe is disgusting. It’s black and blue and now the blood blister that was hiding out underneath my toenail? IS OUTSIDE OF MY TOENAIL.

I’m so hot you can barely contain yourself, right? I have never liked feet, especially my own, but mine just reached a new level of nastiness. I said to myself right after my first half, and right before my 2nd, that I was going to treat myself to a pedicure after all this was done. Any hopes of that in the next year have been dashed thanks to the blackness of the toenail that I’m pretty sure no one wants to see and I sure as hell don’t want anyone touching it. And you know what? I miss nicely manicured feet. I do.

Don’t worry, I’m never going to become that runner who posts pictures of their gross runners toes. If I did, I surely would win prizes though because I haven’t seen any this gross. I apparently have no qualms giving you graphic mental images though. You are so welcome.

I love running. It’s been the one thing that I have found that makes me genuinely happy. I can actually tell if I haven’t run in a while because I become mopey, a little angry and I definitely cry randomly for no reason. So I keep running and I stay happy and I don’t scare strangers by random teary outbursts.

Unless I look at my right big toe. Then I cry a little for my long lost pedicure dreams. (OK OK I’LL STOP ABOUT MY TOE.) (I can just hear my mother’s voice telling me about how I shouldn’t be so graphic with my toe problems) (Love you, Mom)

I remember finishing my first half marathon and thinking I never, ever, ever wanted to run 13 miles again and knowing full well that in a month, I had to do just that. I told myself I would finish the second half marathon and then that was it.

This past Sunday I finished my third half marathon. So much for that. And I’m now planning my fourth–a half marathon up in the mountains between Georgetown and Idaho Springs, two awesome little spots. I didn’t train at all for this third half marathon so  I’m sore, I’m a tad gimpy and well, we know the state of a certain appendage, but I’m so happy because of it. I got a new PR of 2:09, a whopping 13 minutes off my last time. Suddenly I’m eyeing the sub-two hour half marathon prize, which scares me because this next race will be the first time I actually have a goal in mind. The past three I just wanted to survive.

The actual running itself is great, but what really makes it wonderful? The people I’ve met through running. Back in August I finally bit the bullet and went to my first Meetup.com group. I have belonged to that site for years and haven’t been to a single meetup off of it–until this year. I now have a group of friends who meet every tuesday (and many other times during the week) to run and drink beers and belly laugh and plan our own winter olympics in the mountains. It’s a wonderful community and I count myself very lucky to have found myself in it.

Diptic

They are a big part of the reason why I’ve finally embraced the Colorado lifestyle and why I’ve come to consider Boulder home. So, before this becomes a bit of an Oscar speech where I won’t take home any little gold men statues, I just wanted to say that yeah, running is pretty awesome and it’s brought so much more into my life than I thought possible.

See, this post wasn’t as disgusting as it sounded like it was going to be right?