I’m counting down until my 29th birthday, which is exactly one month away. I’m not literally x-ing the days off on my calendar (I use google calendar religiously anyway, and permanent markers and monitors don’t mix), but I’m getting my ducks in a row to make 29 the best year of my life so far.

Really, at the time that I live it, each year of my life should be the best year so far. So here’s to 28!

Starve Rock State Park, IL

My 28th year started out here in Oakland. Ben and I had moved into our current space two weeks before, and we were already in the midst of the seemingly insurmountable feat of making the place livable. Mount it we did. We conquered this warehouse. I learned that I have what it takes to tackle painting 25 foot high walls, power cleaning our kitchen of it’s acquired nastiness, stripping paint off the walls to expose the concrete underneath, clearing out the debris outside our door, carrying a couch upstairs, and unpacking a mountain of boxes in the hours before house guests arrived. “No problem,” Ben and I said. “We’ve got this.” Now we say, “Never again…. There is no question of whether we love this warehouse, if not loving it opens the door to the possibility of moving and setting up a new home again.”

Before

After

Shortly after moving in, I got the job that I wanted, in order to learn what I could. I did learn a lot of things, mostly about myself. Writing a killer cover letter, knowing that I had and deserved great recommendations, and acing the interview were accomplishments I feel proud of.

Navigating Lake Tahoe

Ben and I, together, navigated what many consider major relationship hurdles: figuring out budgets and merging our finances, making our first major purchase together (the car – which took us most of this year to decide on), and discussing religion, holidays, and future plans and goals in a deeper way than ever before.

Vacation on the California Coast

We also had a lot of fun. We hosted Ben’s family for Thanksgiving for the first time. We spent a lot of time with family and friends, considering that we live so far away (thanks for visiting, everyone). We had some great mini-vacations and made the most out of our weekly dates, the one day a week that we’re both (almost always) off of work and are able to check out the highlights of San Francisco and the surrounding area.

Hosting Thanksgiving

I think that 28 was a year of personal growth, an intermediary year that was necessary for making the most out of the years to follow. It wasn’t the easiest year, but it was a great one. Stay tuned for what 29 will bring.

Male Tarantula Looking for Love at Mt. Diablo

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