So the year ended with a whimper, kind of like this blog I haven't updated in half a year. Not that it wasn't a very eventful year. We moved back to Delaware, started new jobs, bought a house, got married, and then the week before our honeymoon, I helped open up our new office at the STAR campus at University of Delaware. Actually, a ton of HUGE LIFE EVENTS in a short span of time!
Good-bye's and Hello's.
We had to say good-bye to all our amazing friends in DC (well more "MoCo"), and hello to new and old friends and coworkers in Delaware. A little more than 2 years in Montgomery County, MD was just long enough to finally have a really tight group of pals, our crew, our "framily". Of course with real friends, we knew it wasn't really good-bye, just "farewell for now".
We went back to visit, there was a bachelorette weekend in there somewhere, and of course they came out for our wedding in September! Caitlin even made our cupcakes to complement the ice cream cake. :)
The saddest good-bye, however, was my Grandma who passed away (ironically the day of our MoCo good-bye happy hour) back in February. Kevin and I made the first of two 2015 California trips to be there for the family. Unexpected but necessary!
A whole lotta family.
2015 was definitely very family-oriented. Following the funeral and throughout the wedding planning process, house hunting, and aftermath, we learned what it's like to not just bring two individuals together but two families together.
|The parentals all meeting for the first time. They all got along. PHEW.|
|The side of the beach house was a perfect backdrop for family photos!|
Baby nephew Harvey just got more and more adorable!
Carrin, his mom and my sister-in-law, did our make-up, and my mom made the bridesmaids dresses and her own amazing outfit.
We spent a good chunk of the summer house hunting with Aunt Mary (Kevin's grandma's youngest sister), our realtor. She helped us find a cute little 3-bedroom house near UD, and we closed 3 weeks before the wedding!
|Aunt Mary wearing her gold "SOLD" pin!|
My bridesmaids ended up being my sister and favorite cousin, and our ushers were my brother and Kevin's favorite cousin.
Of course we couldn't pull it off without two key members of the extended "framily"--my mom's best friend Terri and our "race track mom" Georgia, who is my #2 emergency contact on my Road ID (after Kevin) and went to all my dress fittings with me. The two of them were our unofficial wedding planners/decorators; Terri made our gorgeous bouquets!
We also had my "First Mate" AKA Soda as our master of ceremonies, because with a title like First Mate, who else do you ask to do the job?
We capped off the year with California trip #2, a Christmas trip that included a proper 10-course Chinese wedding banquet, and teaching Kevin how to be more Chinese. (Which is really just saying "yes" to your mom/mother-in-law more.)
|Tea ceremony outfits from the September wedding.|
Athletically, a disappointment? But not really.
In years past, I would've judged if I had a good year/bad year solely by how I did athletically. 2015 was my last year in the 30-34 age group and it was extremely anti-climactic. I went into the half at Challenge Atlantic City undertrained (story of my year), got my first drafting penalty, finished 12th woman but got bumped down with the time penalty.
|I did get to meet KBG and get a 5Q sign in AC!|
Yeah, in 2015, there was much more to life than being
My best finish this year was actually doing a 5k at the last minute to support my friend and prosthetic patient, Jaime, in an Osteosarcoma Awareness 5k. I won the women's 5k and a $50 gift card to a local Italian restaurant. (Yeah! Me and Kevin are going to start funding date nights this way!)
I also got to help my new niece Brittany in her weight loss journey (over 40lbs since August!) by doing her first two 5k's with her.
The Beach2Battleship honeymoon wasn't a complete wash as we got to cheer our friend Joanna to her first ironman, and literally help our new friend Tom get back on course for his first ironman.
The athletic highlight of the year was pacing Will to his first "post-prosthetic" marathon at the Philadelphia Marathon. There was an awesome article on Philly.com that covered this: Two marathoners: Iraq vet with prosthetic leg, a man running his 64th. We ran it in a very respectable 4:09, and plan to whittle that down to his "pre-prosthetic" PR of 3:00!
It was an honor to be Will's first prosthetist at Walter Reed and an amazing experience doing our first big city marathon together! We are still close friends and virtual training buddies--he is the one who convinced me to finally join the Strava. (Actually he only asked me 7 weeks before the marathon if I could run the race with him...I seriously did ZERO running all summer! So I crammed like a boss! Don't try this at home, kids.)
Learning to be Team Neill.
The absolute highlight of the year, of course, was becoming Mrs. Neill! It's now been over 3 years (we just had our 4th and most boring New Year's Eve together) that we've been an item, and 3 months since the wedding. Every day since becoming Team Neill, we are learning to make each other better, love more, and be happier together.
|Post-ceremony, pre-reception. PHEW!|