Here is a look back on my year, or at least the stuff I took pictures of. Other stuff happened, I just didn’t photograph it. (P.S. I promise this is my last year-end themed post. Sorry. I like them.)

We rang in the new year pretty low-key: dinner out with friends, followed by Guitar Hero and other stuff that I didn’t take pictures of. Here I am trying to make sure my niece follows in the family footsteps and becomes a musician of some sort.

Remember the February 1 blizzard

snow

In April, we went to Galena to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary

Main Street, Galena

Race #1: Strive 5K. P.R. And we both placed in our age groups.

about to do a race. nice number. post race

Race #2: Soldier Field 10 Mile

Soldier Field 10 Mile ... done! #sf10

Race #3: Commit to be Fit 5K. Won my age group. Another P.R.

Won my age group at this weekend's race

Went to my first and last Cubs game of 2011. But got to watch the game from a private suite (thanks to my husband’s company) for the first time ever. (But I didn’t take any pictures of the suite. Go figure.)

Phillies at Cubs

In July, we went to the Quad Cities for a family reunion (my Dad’s family)

Race #4: Rock ‘n Roll Chicago Half Marathon with my cousin. Another P.R.

In August I went to Detroit to visit a couple of my college besties.

Great Lakes Museum

At the end of August, to help us better tackle our debt, we decided to move in with my parents. Packing up my precious cargo …

And these are just my summer shoes ...

Race #5: Fort2Base 10 Nautical Mile with The Sailor. Beat him by one second.

In September, I saw Ani Difranco in concert for the 4th time

Ani Difranco at The Vic Theater, Chicago, 9/21/11

At the end of September/beginning of October, my friend Scott and I went to Boston to visit our BFF Vera

Marblehead

Race #6: While we were there, I ran the Applefest Half Marathon with Vera. Another P.R.

Applefest Half Marathon

Cape Cod

Cape Cod

Race #7: Monster Dash 5K Obstacle Course with The Sailor and our friend Tiny. I wore an old pirate costume.

Halloween: Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas & Michael Myers

Halloween 2011

Race #8: Palos Park Rec Dept Turkey Trot 5K with The Sailor. We both placed in our age groups. Another P.R. (for me at least … I haven’t been keeping track of his times).

Palos Park Rec Turkey Trot 5K - 2nd in my age group Palos Park Rec Turkey Trot 5K - 3rd in his age group

Race #9: Running For Kicks 4mi Turkey Trot with The Sailor and my BFF Vera.

Running For Kicks 4 Mile Turkey Trot

Race #10: Reindeer Run 5K (which was actually 2.9mi) at Brookfield Zoo. 2nd in my age group. Would have been a P.R. if the course was 3.1mi.

Reindeer Run 5K

Another concert: Florence and The Machine

Florence and the Machine!

Race #11: Dash into the New Year 5K. (Race report coming.) Another P.R. (faster pace than the Reindeer Run 5K). I’ll be sad when I stop P.R.ing every race.

Dash into the New Year 5K

Also this year, I started making more running friends (in person). Here I am with some F’N Runners (Frankfort New Lenox Running Club)

F'N Runners

2011 may not have been the perfect year – we went from renting a room at a friend’s house to living with my parents, so a step down from what already felt like a compromise.

But this year reminded me that I am so very lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing, supportive family, and really great friends. It brought me closer to my roots – not just literally back to the house I grew up in, but closer to people who have known me for a long time, through many different versions of “me,” and still love me.

This year reminded me yet again that I may not have everything I want, but I am blessed to have everything I need. I have a roof over my head and food to eat. I have my health, and I found something I love to help keep me healthy, physically and mentally. I have people who I love and who love me, and I get to see many of them on a regular basis. I have a good job where I am challenged and respected.

And I have some bling! Here’s to a fantastic 2012!

race medals