Ah yes, my annual year in review. Doing one last year seemed sort of pointless but at least I was able to do a few fun things this year.
I took off inauguration day from work to watch my first ever inauguration, and of course, there were snacks. And the best meme probably ever: Bernie Sanders and his mittens (which I later did a cross stitch of).
We celebrated Sadie Mae’s 12th birthday!
I also started volunteering with a local theater group at the end of the month. And I’m still working with them! I’m really glad I said yes when my friend asked if I wanted to volunteer with the publicity team.
I experienced the loss of a co-worker at the end of the month, and it was really hard on the entire department, especially since we were all still working from home and couldn’t be together at the time.
Most of this month was spent reading and watching Netflix. February is New England is usually cold and snowy and you just don’t leave the house anyway.
I hit my one year anniversary of working from home in the middle of the month. Boy, was that not just the two weeks we thought it was all going to last.
At the end of March two years ago, I did a 5K with one of my friends, and we were supposed to do it last year but our registrations got moved to this year. The race went virtual, so we decided to meet up at the track at the high school in town and run/walk it together.
We celebrated Maggie’s 9th birthday!
I got my first dose of the COVID vaccine on April 11. I seriously thought I’d never get an appointment but thankfully I did. My parents were fully vaccinated by the end of March, so I was next in line to get mine.
This was also the month when I started condo searching! I started looking back in January online at what places were available and after talking with my parents and waiting a few months to save up some more money, I got in touch with a real estate agent and a mortgage lender.
I got my second dose of the COVID vaccine and was fully vaccinated in May! It was such a relief to get both doses because I finally felt like I could go back to doing normal things safely.
The theater group I volunteer with had their first fully streamed musical. I was able to stop by one of the dress rehearsals and then a few of us got together to watch the stream. The musical was Something Rotten! and it was my first time ever seeing it; I really enjoyed it.
I bought my condo at the end of the month, which was super stressful but also exciting. The entire process of first looking at the condo to having the contract signed was four days. FOUR days.
I took the week of my birthday off and celebrated my birthday (and my mom’s—we share the same birthday) by going out to dinner. And I was also thrown a surprise party by some of my co-workers! It was our first post-vaccinated hangout, and it was a lot of fun.
I started the month off going on my first ever trip to IKEA to get some things for my condo. And the tiny horse that watches over my modem and router. After wandering around IKEA, I had my first New Haven pizza experience at Sally’s Apizza; would highly recommend.
Then just a few days later, I officially hung up my ice cream scoop and retired from my job at the ice cream shop after 11 years. It was time for me to move on, especially since I had bought my condo and was starting a new chapter in my life. I miss the girls I worked with, but I know I’d be welcomed back if I decided to pull a Brett Favre and unretire. Everyone was super supportive when they found out I was leaving and said I’d always be one of the girls.
That following week, I started talking to this guy I met on Hinge named Josh. We texted for almost a few weeks before meeting up for a first date. We went to a brewery and ended up staying there for five hours, which neither of us was expecting. Less than a week later, we went on our second date and were there for four hours. So we figured something was going right for us.
On June 30, my parents and I unfortunately lost our Golden Retriever, Sadie Mae. She had experienced 2 seizures within 12 hours, and it was incredibly scary to watch her go through that. Aside from the seizures, she was healthy for a 12-year-old dog. My parents took her to a veterinary hospital with a neurosurgeon and he said it could get worse for her. So they made the decision to put her down. It was so hard for all of us, and we still miss her terribly because she was literally the best and sweetest dog ever.
I started out the month running my first in-person race of the year! It was a 4 mile race on the Fourth of July, so obviously I had to dress up to match the occasion. It was my longest in-person race distance—I originally had signed up for this race thinking it was a 5K—so I was just going to have fun and try my best.
I closed on my condo on July 9. It only took about 15 minutes to sign all of the paperwork and then the keys were mine.
On July 15, my mom and I got tattoos to honor and remember Sadie Mae. It was originally my mom’s idea to get one, and then I talked myself into getting one. We had our appointment together for our first ever tattoos.
We both got them on the inside of our right wrists, and it didn’t hurt as much as I thought. It felt prickly from the needle more than anything else.
Since our tattoos were small, it didn’t take more than 15 minutes for each of us. This is a picture of mine, and my mom got the same paw print—her heart is red—and Sadie Mae’s name. I got the pink heart because Sadie always had a pink collar.
My parents got a new Golden Retriever puppy on July 17, the day before I moved out. I joked and said that I was being replaced. We spent a total of 6 hours in the car to get her because of traffic, but boy is she cute. Her name is Lucy and she was 8 weeks old when we got her.
I officially moved into my condo on July 18, and on July 20, I officially had a boyfriend. Josh and I made it official after going to Tree House Brewing. I hadn’t been in a relationship in over 6 years—since college—but it was an easy transition with him.
I started back in the office full-time in the beginning of the month. It was definitely an adjustment going into work five days a week again for the first time since early March 2020. My commute became a bit longer since I moved, and I had to find a new backroads route to work.
Josh and I went to a Hartford Yard Goats game, my first baseball game since 2019 and his first-ever Yard Goats game.
We also took an afternoon trip to Northampton, MA to go to Raven Used Books, Fitzwilly’s, and Progression Brewing.
The theater group I volunteer with had their first live and in-person show this month, Shrek The Musical. It was a youth production, meaning the actors were ages 8 to around 22, and the show was so good. It was so funny and all of the kids did amazing.
And my couches were finally delivered. We ordered them in June but there was a back-log on furniture due to COVID, so I lived in the condo for a month without couches; I used an air mattress and butterfly chair instead for living room seating until my couches came.
On Labor Day, Josh and I took a day trip down to southern CT and went to Niantic and Mystic. It was a ton of fun but we were so tired by the end of it. The weather was beautiful that day and it was great to get out and visit some new places.
I ran my first in-person 5K at The Big E, a race I did two years ago and was looking forward to doing again. I did this race with some of my co-workers—some of us ran while the others walked—and after we went to Two Weeks Notice Brewing where everyone got to meet Josh for the first time. (He lived nearby and I suggested he meet us there after so he could meet my work friends.)
I started my hybrid work schedule this month. The University put out a work from home policy earlier this fall, and applications would be reviewed on an employee by employee basis. After working from home for over a year and a half, I’ve realized I can do some of my job from home and don’t necessarily need to go into the office. My agreed upon schedule is working in the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and working from home on Wednesdays and Fridays.
I ran my final race of the year early on in October, a race that was postponed 4 times: from April 2020 to June 2020, from June 2020 to September 2020, from September 2020 to April 2021, and finally April 2021 to October 2021.
It took place at a brewery, so obviously we hung around after and had a lot of good beer.
Josh and I had a fun fall weekend over the long holiday weekend that included a corn maze, wine, bar food, apple picking, and seeing the pups.
I also finally posted a condo tour, a few months after moving in. I was waiting until I got all of my furniture and it looked more like a home.
Some of my monthly adventures included seeing Mamma Mia! (put on by the theater group I volunteer with), going to a brewery with some of my co-workers, and taking an afternoon trip to West Hartford with Josh that included going to Elizabeth Park, New Park Brewing, and World of Beer in Blue Back Square.
I finally got around to hanging up stuff in my living room and office to make it look like someone actually lives here. I also decorated for Christmas the weekend before Thanksgiving because there are no rules.
I went home for Thanksgiving, and you can read the recap here, which includes pet pictures and what entire bottle of wine I drank throughout the day.
Josh and I spent our month crossing things off our winter activities list:
- Ice skating at MGM Springfield and Bright Nights
- Bonus: we saw David Ortiz at TAP Sports Bar in the casino
- Springfield Thunderbirds game
- Tree House Brewing and Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village
And then unfortunately I woke up the next day after our last adventure with a cold that lasted into Christmas and most of my time off after the holiday. (Campus is closed Christmas Eve to New Year’s, so we get our own little winter break.)
I’m glad this year sort of felt normal again, but at this point, I feel like there’s no concept of time and the days just blur together. We’re all still trying to process 2020 and 2022 is just a few days away. It’s insane.
I want to thank all of you guys for following along this year as I had a few crazy busy months. I love sharing my new chapter in life and getting to follow what happens in your lives, too 🙂
My blog stats for 2021 (as of this post): 67 total posts, 45,643 total words, and about 6,600 views. Taylor Swift Songs Bracket is my most viewed post of the year—the same most viewed post as last year.
My 2022 bucket list will be out next week as well as the entire list of books I read this year!
PS: Here’s a bonus picture of what Lucy looks like now.