Goodbye ’13, Hello 2014!

Hello friends!

What a crazy holiday season finally behind us! We had a great time spending some days with family/friends in Indianapolis and Cleveland. Most importantly, we had time to RELAX, and hope you did too!

I’m going to put a little spin on the 2013 recap, doing it in photos. Looking back through the big events of the year, it was another busy one. How?

1) We ran the Rocky Raccoon ultramarathon (north of Houston, TX) - Ben’s longest run and my first 50-miler.

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2) As always, I got crafty and built some stuff, like this entry bench and built-in coat rack (looking great all the while)! Power tool safely, friends.

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3) We welcomed a new member into our family – Toby. He was a chunk from the time he was born and quickly showed us he has a very big personality. Born on January 19th, Ben and puppy are birthday twins!3

4) We welcomed another – human – member into our family, our nephew. This is Xavier, or Xavi (pronounced Cha-vee) for short. This kid loves to laugh and smile.

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5) I experienced my third Boston with some good friends. It was a good weekend, but unfortunately interrupted by some murderous psychopaths. We finished and left Boston safely.

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6) We went to a lot of weddings in 2013.

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7) Like, a lot (of weddings).7

8) We tried out and permanently adopted some new eating habits in Whole30 and a paleo lifestyle, and even got a blog shout by Whole9! It’s changed what we eat, the way we shop, and definitely means we skip to the farmer’s market (almost) every week! [Sidenote: Ben would like me to tell you that he doesn’t skip.] Bonus: I LEARNED TO COOK!8

9) We introduced family & friends to geocaching. Yeah, sometimes you have to climb tall trees.

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10) Meanwhile, Toby puppy continued to grow and take in lots of new experiences (and receive strict puppy training from his mom and dad)…10

11) And then Ben ran one of the most well-known, difficult ultramarathons at Western States. It was also his first 100-miler. He did it in 27 hours, with high temperatures of up to 108 degrees! 11

12) Actually, the trip to the Western States 100 became somewhat of a friend-cation (get it? Friend+vacation?) as friends and family came to crew/pace for Ben during his race from Squaw Valley, CA to Auburn (Sacramento), CA. This means we met him every few aid stations to make sure he had the shoes, food, drink, and clothing he needed. It takes a village…. especially when it’s hot out. Lake Tahoe was deliciously cold, perfect for ice baths!12

13) WS100 was so cool, I decided to sign up for my first 100 a month later. It rained almost the whole time. I had an amazing crew of Erin, Ben, Mom, and Toby! Unfortunately, this July race led to an injury that took me out of running almost completely until late December. [Update: Just ran my first 2 consecutive days with no pain. Hooray!] I like the distance, so it won’t be my last.

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14) But then we realized that spectating at a race for some of your best running friends is equally as fun, if not more fun, than actually participating. We made them some Fat Head signs as a surprise. And Toby came to cheer!

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15) Speaking of Toby, our big-boned boy got way bigger– about 10 pounds bigger than expected. He’s now a solid 40-pound full-grown puppy who LOVES snow and LOVES running with us. He’s also on Strava, and we recently bought him some running boots for long runs to protect his paws from glass, ice, and salt.

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16) Eventually it was time for some R&R so we took a cruise vacation with Mom from Port Canaveral, FL on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas.16

17) Sometimes random opportunities/activities present themselves so we go for it. Apple picking, seeing Bob Knight speak, and cross country nats in Hershey, PA.18

18) But I/we had another brush with a murderous psychopath at LAX. The moral of this story: Don’t travel to large cities with me, ok?

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19) I went to my first Ohio State football game at OSU since I graduated, and Ben got to experience Buckeye pride. We almost made it and stayed to the end, but in windy sub-30-degree near-white-out snowy conditions we eventually couldn’t feel our feet (or fingers or noses or teeth or faces or legs) and left with 5 minutes to go. Sacrilege? Yes, but for the love of frostbite, it was worth it. We lasted longer than 50,000+ other fans…

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20) And to finish off the year we spent some family time in Cleveland. A little sight-seeing, more puppy travel, and lots of food (as usual).

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Happy New Year to you from the Bartleys!

Can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for all of us!

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