I can hardly believe this year is coming to an end. It honestly feels like yesterday Zan and I were down in Old Town Alexandria counting down 2012 with our friends (and coincidently, we’re doing that again this year!)
This time of year is when a lot of people reflect back on the previous year – what they did, what they didn’t do, what they would change and what they would like to stay the same. When people ask me “what’s new?” I’m so guilty of saying “nothing really.” However, after viewing my Facebook Year in Review a few days ago, I realized that 2013 was a huge year for me, and that my life isn’t that boring after all!
Growing up, my family didn’t travel very much. We took a trip to Disney when we were younger and visited family and friends along the east coast, but we never made it out west or traveled internationally. Once I graduated college and moved to D.C., I promised myself that I would start to travel, even if that meant the money I “saved” would be spent on trips. 2013 was so good to me in the traveling sense, and I’m happy to say my parents have traveled a great bit over the last year or two as well.
Last February, I officially got my passport and Zan and I headed down to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for a wonderful, relaxing seven-day vacation. This was my first time traveling out of the country (well, except for Canada, but that doesn’t count because it’s practically a stone’s throw from Erie.)
In May, I headed out to sunny Arizona to visit one of my college BFFs, Katie, whom I hadn’t seen in years. She lives in Phoenix, so we spent most of our time there, but also drove up to Sedona for a day. Sedona is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The energy is truly indescribable and it has a very spiritual “feel” in the air. It turned out to be such a meaningful trip as I (not knowing at the time) went on the same hike as my cousin, Markie, who spent a lot of time in Sedona before passing away three years ago. I will never forget my time there and couldn’t have asked for a better friend to spend it with!
In August, Zan and I traveled to Jackson Hole, WY and Yellowstone National Park. I had never seen Rocky Mountains in person, let alone the Grand Tetons — what a breath-taking sight. We loved absolutely everything about Jackson Hole – the perfect summer weather, the scenery, and nature, the food, the vibe. I started to cry when we were packing up our bags to come home. I didn’t want to leave!
In less than three weeks, Zan and I are headed to St. John to visit his sister, Lindsay! I absolutely cannot WAIT for some sun and sand, some R&R, some cocktails, and of course to catch up with Linds.
If you’ve been following along, you already know that Zan and I moved in together this September. I’ve never lived with a boyfriend before, so this was a huge step for me (and for us as a couple.) And I must say, I am absolutely loving it. Nothing beats coming home from a hard day at work and seeing the one you love. It just makes it all better. That and being able to watch our favorite shows, cook dinner and just hang out together. I am so grateful for him and for our new home 🙂
Running-wise, 2013 was a little on the “quiet” side. I ran the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in March, but after that, I took some time off from training for races and really got into spinning class and weight training, bought a bike, and hopped back in the pool. I hadn’t swam in many years and I forgot what a great workout it is. In 2014, I want to cycle and swim a lot more in hopes to train for a triathlon.
Once the cool air hit this fall, though, I was itching to start running again. So much that I signed up for my first marathon in March! My sister, Shannon, and Zan will be running it with me, too. I am so excited, but so nervous as this is a huge time and physical commitment. I’m happy with my training so far and am keeping my fingers crossed that it continues to go well.
Last winter, I was out to eat with my friends Sam and Lauren, catching up on life like we always do. Somehow we got to talking about my love of cooking and running and they said, “Why don’t you start a blog?” I never really thought about that before. Sure, I had this blog my senior year of college, which was a part of my PR Online Tactics class and when I thought I belonged in the NYC fashion PR world (oh, how the times change), but I never really thought about blogging for my own enjoyment. I’m so glad they suggested a blog that evening because I have really loved sharing my life in and out of the kitchen these past nine months.
I’ve enjoyed it so much that I’m ready to take it to the next level! I’ll be signing off for about a month while I re-design and build out a blog strategy. Santa spoiled me this Christmas with this gorgeous Nikon D5200, so I will also be learning how the heck to use that, too! I can’t wait to reveal the new and improved Foodie on the Run with you all.
In the mean time, I will still be cooking and documenting my marathon training on Instagram, so please follow along with me at @laurencarll.
Looking back on the last year, I can’t help but thank God for the blessings he’s given me. I’ve also realized that life is too damn short to “wait” to do things. So I am going to continue to not save any money and spend it on traveling because I’m only young once. I’m going to spend my free time focusing on what makes me happy and learning new things. I’m going to continue to nourish my body with great food and set new goals to achieve in 2014.
If there’s something you’ve been meaning to do but have been putting it off or waiting for the right time, I hope you’ll join me in taking advantage of today and get started on going after your dreams. Carpe diem!
Cheers to a happy, healthy and successful new year!