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Before the end of 2012, I was lucky enough to have a work trip in New York City. This time in the city was almost exactly 12 years after my first trip there, December 2000. Getting to see the city again in December 2012 was a nice treat. But it’s a city that can speak for itself, so here you go…

A little hot chocolate explorin' at some cafes

A little hot chocolate explorin’ at some cafes

Some were fancier than others - but just as yummy

Some were fancier than others – but just as yummy

Loved sightseeing and landmark enjoying...

Loved sightseeing and landmark enjoying…

Empire State Building and original Shake Shack (with most amazing burgers)

Empire State Building and original Shake Shack (with most amazing burgers)!

Times Square and the ball that will ring in the New Year

Times Square and the ball that will ring in the New Year

The Wall Street bull

The Wall Street bull

The one and only Statue of Liberty

The one and only Statue of Liberty

The Freedom Tower

The Freedom Tower

9/11 Memorial Site

9/11 Memorial Site

Enjoying a Gingerbread cupcake from Magnolia Bakery

Enjoying a Gingerbread cupcake from Magnolia Bakery

One of the best parts about NYC are the store window displays...out of this world!

One of the best parts about NYC are the store window displays…out of this world!

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

Some call it Union Station, apparently it's now called Union Center. Either way, it's beautiful and makes public transportation quite the experience.

Some call it Union Station, apparently it’s now called Union Center. Either way, it’s beautiful and makes public transportation quite the experience.

To finish off the trip, milk and cookies in honor of St. Nick. May the Christmas spirit stay with us all year round!

To finish off the trip, milk and cookies in honor of St. Nick. May the Christmas spirit stay with us all year round!

Do you have any favorite memories visiting New York City? Anything I should be sure to do for my next visit, whenever that is?

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One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to finish reading a couple book series. One of these series is written by Emily Giffin. She’s the author behind a five book series that all got started with “Something Borrowed,” made into a film with Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin. The third novel in the series is “Baby Proof.”

 

It’s one of those tales that makes you realize how true love can defeat anything. Not right away maybe, but it usually wins out in challenging, difficult situations eventually. It doesn’t necessarily makes sense, but like the age-old saying, “if it’s meant to be, it will be.”

 

Without realizing that I was getting this type of true love reinforcement throughout the book, only until the end did it click for me and made me reflect back on my own love life. So without giving away the ending, here are some of the moments in the book that now looking back strike me as hitting the nail right on the ‘love’ head.

I shake my head and say, “I can’t have a baby just to get Ben back.”

“Well then,” he says slowly. “I guess he’s not your soul mate…So that should be a consolation when you’re looking up their future marathon results.”

“Why do you say that?” I ask, feeling oddly defensive. As much as I want to feel okay about Ben in the present, I don’t like the implication that what we had wasn’t, at one time, the real thing.

“Well, because,” Ethan says, “you’d do anything to get a soul mate back, right?…I mean, that’s the nature of soul mates. You know, Romeo and Juliet swallowed poison to be together…So if Ben were really the one for you, don’t you think you’d go ahead and have his baby?”

Excellent point.

Essentially, he was just saying what we’ve all heard a million times — love conquers all.

The most basic, yet often forgotten, principle.

“I realized, almost in an instant, that I no longer bought all the propaganda about relationships ending because of bad timing and incompatibility and outside influences, like wanting or not wanting a baby. A baby is huge — it doesn’t get much bigger than that — but so is religion and age and geography and being married to other people and feuding houses and so many other seemingly insurmountable factors that couple encounter and defeat when love is true.” …

But more likely it’s because she’s finally in the kind of sincere relationship where you follow your own gut about things rather than polling your friends at every turn.

A friend once asked me why I don’t ever vent about my boyfriend with our girlfriends. Without ever thinking about it before, I told her that if there’s something that bothers me, I just talk to him about it. It doesn’t make me feel better to talk about it with friends. The other thing is that I’ve known my boyfriend longer than the majority of my friends, so I can talk to him as my boyfriend and best friend.

We will likely be asked to tell it again tonight. I’m sure we will roll our eyes and say, “Again?” while secretly relishing every part of the story — our story… Perhaps I will imbue it with the literary significance that was never lost on me: There we were in O. Henry’s booth, playing out our own version of the “Gift of the Magi.” Each of us willing to give up something for the other, for love.

Having met my soul mate so young in life, our love has often been questioned, misunderstood, not taken as seriously in the eyes of others. For the longest time, that bothered me. A few years ago, having our own time apart, nothing was more clear to me that our love was worth it. That confidence, in knowing, is all I needed to no longer care what others say or think. We’re building our story our way, and there’s something pretty cool about that.

Have you learned any lessons in love and relationships?

 Baby Proof

The GIft of the Magi

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Mitt Romney Style

I don’t care what political party you side with, you should be able to appreciate a funny video regardless. So here’s my warning, if you can’t put aside your personal opinions on political chess players, then probably skip this one.

However, if you’re up for a laugh because of the amazing innovation and creativity, you simply must give it up to college humor and this well done video on ‘Mitt Romney Style.’ (Oh, and yes it’s a spawn of Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style.’)

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P.S. – If you’re saying to yourself, wow Meredith the election is WAY over. Don’t worry, I realize this. But something’s are still too funny not to share even if they’re less timely.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to like some of the more quirky artists because they’re just that. I like Lady Gaga because she takes her own creative interpretation on fashion, music, lyrics, appearances and more. She pushes the boundaries of traditional thinking, sure, but I believe she’s living what she wants and not doing it simply for attention. I’m sure attention-seeking is part of it though.

A unique fashion choice

     A unique fashion choice, but only she can rock it the way she does!

 

Photo Courtesy: Google Images

Sometimes there are artists who take this creativity to how they present their music in a video — enter Gotye featuring Kimbra and their hit song “Sombody That I Used to Know.” It could quickly be deemed odd or weird, but there’s something about it that to me is amazing, genius and open for discussion.

 

If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look and let me know what you think. Let’s discuss! Creative or Attention-seeking artists?

 

 

 

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Go Broncos!

It’s that exciting time of the year again…football playoffs. Whoever you’re rooting for, let’s enjoy the sheer athletic ability these men show in what has got to be one of the top competitive sports in this country! (Actually it is mainly this country right, since we’re the only folks on the planet that embrace this sport?)

 

But for all those Broncos fans, this is a very fun time. New quarterback. New faith in a team that is being led by one of the greatest athletes in the sport. We’re all #UnitedInOrange. So let’s go Broncos!

 

Broncos Fever! #UnitedInOrange

Broncos Fever! #UnitedInOrange

Photo Courtesy: www.briggsphoto.net

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There seem to be two different types of people and New Year’s Resolutions make the perfect divide. Are you a Resolution person or not? You either find them useful or important or just plain ridiculous. I fall in the camp of pro-Resolutions.

 

You might know that about me already if I told you that I love making lists, and even more love crossing things off. A few years ago, I was searching for a bit of direction when it came to writing my resolutions or goals for the year. I found an article that gave guidance on the areas of your life that you can and should have a goal for.

 

This year, I was encouraged to take it and make it more my own. So I thought I would share the areas that I’ve made my own goals for this year. I’m not yet at a place to share all my goals, but I will tell you that I feel committed to them, have broken them up into various months so it’s more manageable and am ready to tackle this year.

 

This is the year for Productivity, Savings, Travel and Exploration! I can do it and so can you. Make 2013 your year!

 

New Year’s Resolutions Areas for Goal-Making

  • Financial
  • Home (I added this one)
  • Career/Business
  • Free Time/Family Time
  • Health/Appearance
  • Relationship
  • Personal Growth
  • Making a Difference
  • Travel (I added this one)

 

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Sept. 15, 2009 and May 2, 2011. Two times where I reviewed, edited, and updated my list of 35 Things To Do Before I’m 35. Having turned 30 a few months ago, I had a little realization…I have less than 5 years until this list expires. The funny part is that when I first created it, it was the end all, be all. It was a life list that I had to achieve or accept the idea that I failed myself.

 

The funny part is how in creating this list and growing up a bit from 27, I’ve developed a truer sense of what achievement means to me. Failing is just one more part of the adventure. (Honestly, I still struggle with this, but just because I’ve failed at something doesn’t make me a failure. It means I was going out of my comfort zone and challenging myself, and it didn’t work out this time.) Sometimes things work and other times they simply don’t.

I recently talked to my best friend about failure, achievement and setting goals. Goals that are not based entirely on known reality, but instead are more than challenging and as a result, help push you to continue to work harder for it. He said something that struck me, as I was arguing the side for setting realistic goals that could be achieved (which is what I’ve always been taught – can anyone relate?):

 

“If you shoot for the moon and miss, you’ll still be among the stars.”

 

Good point. Even setting a challenging big life goal and ultimately not reaching it, means you’ve still achieved amazing things by aiming for the lofty goal over settling for a ‘more realistic’ goal that’s easily achieved. Never to be one to settle, I’m going to shoot for the moon for this year’s resolutions/goals (more to come on those) and update my 35 things list once more. But this time, I know some of these things may not be achieved and that’s okay. Striving for them may unlock other things that I hadn’t even thought of, plus I’m going to keep working at bettering myself and LIVING in the moment.

 

35 Things To Do Before I’m 35

1. Buy my own place – completed June 2009

2. Go skydiving – planned for March 2013

3. One big international trip a year –

  • Ireland in 2009;
  • No international trip in 2010, but did travel to: San Antonio, Hollywood/Los Angeles, 2 trips to Washington, D.C., Austin, Madison, Indianapolis, Aspen, Pittsburgh, Columbia, MO and 2 trips to St. Louis);
  • Australia in 2011;
  • No international trip in 2012, but did travel to: Nashville, 4 trips to Chicago, 3 trips to Seattle, Los Angeles, College Station, TX, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Telluride/Mesa Verde/Great Sand Dunes, Oahu, Los Angeles/Anaheim/San Diego, St. Louis, Baltimore, Yountville/Napa Valley, New York City;
  • Iceland in 2013;

4. Go to South by Southwest to mingle with bloggers and social media addicts – completed March 2010

5. Start my own social media marketing company – completed March 2012

6. Hike at least one Colorado 14er (that’s a mountain above 14,000 feet elevation!) – completed Quandary Peak August 2011 and Mt. Bierstadt September 2011

7. Learn to snow shoe and go during the winter season – completed March 19, 2011

8. Run a race at least once every year –

  • Bolder Boulder 10K May 2008;
  • Fans on the Field 10K September 2009;
  • Platte River Half Marathon 13.1 miles March 2010;
  • None in 2011;
  • Girls on the Run 5K May 2012;

9. Get married and have a family

10. Go on an annual trip with my girls from college –

  • Chicago August 2007;
  • Lake of the Ozarks September 2008;
  • St. Louis/Kansas City June and September 2009;
  • Columbia/St. Louis October and December 2010;
  • New Orleans July 2011;
  • Memphis June 2012;

11. Complete my family tree with as many pictures as possible – have started this

12. Visit the seven Wonders of the World

13. Vacation in a place like Bora Bora where you stay in a hut above the crystal blue water

14. Paint my own piece – completed January 2011

15. Take on a more minimalist lifestyle decreasing the number of possessions I have, and focus more on relationships and experiences – cleaned out closet December 2012, next up: pantry, linen closet, bookcase

16. Visit the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore

17. Throw a spooky Halloween party

18. Start a personal blog – completed Sept. 13, 2009

19. Get a dog

20. Go backpacking in the Rocky Mountains

21. Learn how to make sushi – completed winter 2010

22. Take a photography class

23. Save $50,000 in savings

24. Read the autobiographies/biographies of key figures in our nation’s history including Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King and Thomas Edison

25. Make a Thanksgiving dinner all on my own

26. Read Jane Austen classics including Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma, and Persuasion.

27. Tour the Napa Valley wine country with my family – completed September 2012

28. Plant and grow a vegetable garden

29. Make my own pottery

30. Go with a group of friends on a house boat trip to Lake Powell

31. Volunteer at the Denver Art Museum or Denver Museum of Nature & Science

32. Learn about different forms of art by visiting local art galleries and determine what art style I prefer – completed Santa Fe Art Walk Fall 2011 (I’m a huge fan of Impressionism and contemporary pieces, life-like artwork, paintings where gobs of paint color create a work of art)

33. Cut and donate my hair to Locks of Love – still growing :)

34. Write a poem

35. Host a wine, chocolate and cheese tasting party

 

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