2013 in review|a year of changes and blessings galore

2013 in review

just like sand through an hour glass, these are the days of our lives. 2013, you were full of surprises. both pleasant and well, rather unpleasant. through the tears, the laughter, the smiles, the hugs; the tests of my strength (mentally, physically, emotionally); the time spent with family; the celebration of accomplishments; and anxiety of life. throughout it all, i grew. and i am loving the person i have become, because i have worked so hard to become her. i feel so blessed and thankful for all i have, and am over the moon excited to see what this year brings.

Almost crumbling to the ground, she stopped. Looking at how far she had traveled and all it had taken to get there, she recognized her strength. The strengths she had inside of her, the strength she had gained along the way ~ her inner power. And so, she stood up. standing tall, she faced forward and continued on.

places traveled:

  • san antonio, tx (x2)
  • miami, fl (x2)
  • ochos rios, jamaica
  • grand cayman, cayman islands
  • las vegas, nv (x2)
  • ft myers, fl
  • birmingham, al
  • orlando, fl (x4)
  • manchester, nh
  • marco island, fl
  • okoboji, ia
  • indianapolis, in
  • anaheim, ca
  • albuquerue, nm
  • new york, ny

airmiles flown: 37,643

miles ran: 205


  • officially moved in with [b] & #starksthepup and went from being and uptown girl to a burbs girl
  • traveled to san antonio and rode a legit texas longhorn
  • spent priceless bonding time with family in miami
  • went on my first cruise to ochos rios & grand cayman and watched friends get married 

January | 2013 Recap


  • [b] and i survived gluten-free february 
  • went to the tpups vs. knicks game
  • ran the Valentines Day 5K and didn’t die
  • an amazing Valentines dinner at la grolla

February | 2013 Recap


  • march madness of travels: Vegas, Florida, Vegas
  • mini vacay to Ft. Myers Beach with friends and celebrated [b]’s birthday with fish bowl(s)
  • made my EXHIBITOR2013 presenter debut and hosted my own half day workshop
  • went to Bemidji to visit Panda

March | 2013 recap


  • celebrated 3 years at PeopleNet
  • accepted an invitation to be on the conference advisory board for EXHIBITOR2014
  • ran the Get in Gear 10K with a respectable finish time
  • said goodbye to my apartment

April | 2013 recap


  • Haley would have celebrated her 20th birthday on May 2nd
  • watched my momma’s Dancing with the Star’s debut
  • oodles of fun celebrating my 24th birthday
  • 2 year blogiversary <3

May | 2013 recap


  • daycation to stillwater and visited the liftbridge brewery
  • travels to: Florida (x3) and new hampshire
  • drove a jet ski for the first time and it was awful
  • weekend in Duluth for [b]’s half marathon

June | 2013 Recap


  • was selected to host my half day workshop at once again at EXHIBITOR2014
  • ran my second half marathon (in pouring rain, wind, thunder & lightening)
  • had a blast relaxing in okoboji on our family vacay
  • accepted into grad school (decided in sept to take a break from the program. more on that later)

July | 2013 Recap


  • went to see les miserables at the orpheum
  • traveled to san antonio for one of the most sleep deprived, rewarding, crazy, hysterical, fantastic weeks of my life for UC 2013
  • ate lots of goodies and epic people watching at the mn state fair with brandon and young pup

August | 2013 Recap


  • brandon and i celebrated our one year anniversary
  • had a blast at rich and angies wedding
  • went home for the weekend for a little durby side family reunion
  • got crazy and ditched my platinum blonde roots for some darker tones

September | 2013 Recap


  • enjoyed my first juicy lucy at matts bar
  • went apple picking and pumpkin selecting at emma krumbees
  • traveled to orlando. twice. 3 days apart. same hotel.
  • carved pumpkins or at least tried to.

October | 2013 Recap


  • held down the fort while [b] was in china for 2 weeks
  • mom came up for semi annual girls weekend (fall edition)
  • mom and dad’s 29th anniversary
  • traveled to new mexico to spend thanksgiving

November | 2013 Recap


December | 2013 Recap

tales from my {very} merry christmas

tales from my {very} merry christmasi can hardly believe that one week ago tomorrow was christmas eve; quite honestly it feels like it was a month ago already despite the fact that we still have our tree up at home. (which is crazy because i was raised that christmas decorations should be taken down the next day, if not the day of. true story) but with being out of town and busy i just felt like i haven’t fully gotten to enjoy it so i opted for christmas to extend until new years and i’m feeling very pleased with that decision. the older i get, the harder it seems to get really into the christmas spirit – all part of growing up i suppose. but it certainly helped raise my spirits to be home for the holidays and get to spend them celebrating with my family and my favorites. so, here’s the breakdown of my holiday season, it was full of love and laughter; wine and food; family and sarcasm. and i wouldn’t have it any other way. i hope that yours was a holly jolly, merry and bright kind of time.

christmas 1: durby side christmas

our first christmas celebration of the year began the saturday before the holidays when we got together with my mom’s side following my big brothers graduation from st cloud state (YAY!) [b] and i hosted and i realized how much work it is to do that (mad props to my aunt cindy who ususally does it each year) but i loved having our home full of family.

Durby Side Christmas | 2013

christmas 2: christmas eve with the dahls

 the second celebration of christmas was on christmas eve when the entire dahl clan. 4 generations worth of dahls got together for the first time in about 10 years. it was so great to get to see everyone and to see how happy it made my grandma to have her house filled with her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids – priceless.

Christmas Eve 2013

Christmas Eve 2013


christmas 3: christmas morning

the third celebration of christmas is hands down my favorite, because the events of that morning are one of my most treasured traditions. the morning begins with breakfast of an egg bake, monkey bread and fruit & marshmallow dip with beverages of orange julius, and now that (most of us) are of age; bloody marys and mimosas. (soon, carter, soon). then we head downstairs to open presents. the rest of the afternoon is spent hanging out and playing games, this year it was the app, ‘heads up’. and then we eat our dinner of pork tenderloin with maple mustard sauce, strawberry salad, and green bean casserole. a truly wonderful day and i loved getting to share my traditions with [b] and #starksthepup.

evolution of christmas morning (07-13)

Christmas Day 2013

christmas 4: call with brandons mom

since i’m an “adult” now with a job i’ve had to start heading back to the cities christmas evening. so we packed up the car and headed up to the burbs. when we got home we made some tea and called [b]’s mom who lives in new mexico so that we could open up presents “with” her.

christmas 5: our christmas

after calling [b]’s mom we got to have “our christmas” together and exchanged gifts followed by watching polar express and staying up until i couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore because i didn’t want christmas to be over. it was the cherry on top of a wonderful christmas. though i’ve gotten older and find it harder to get in the spirit, i still absolutely love christmas and how it brings everyone together.

[5th annual] dad & emma day

the older i get, the harder i am finding it to get into the holiday spirit. perhaps it’s because  the mystery of christmas is gone; because i’m getting older and find things less magical; because the season now comes with snowy and trafficy filled commutes; and most importantly because i no longer get a glorious month long break this time of year. whatever the cause i’m having to dig a little deeper each year to find cheer and holly jolliness. brandon and i got out tree and decked it out with 1600, yes sixteen HUNDRED lights, which helped get me in the spirit. but what really made it feel like the holidays was last friday on the 5th annual dad and emma day.

i’m a sucker for a good tradition, and this one has become one of my favorites. started 5 years ago (you can read about year four here, year three here, and year two here.) my daddy would take a friday off in early december and make the trek up to the big city, and the agenda has remained virtually unchanged. it goes a little something like this: bloody mary’s (& breakfast), barnes & noble to get dad’s calendar, a stop at target to look at christmas decor, macy’s santaland (minus the year the line was WAY too long), cookies from mrs clause’s bakery, starbucks and people watching at the IDS building. it’s the perfect holiday morning.

i am so blessed to have these traditions. and especially now that i don’t get to go home as much, they mean that much more to me. i love my life up in the burbs, but a part of my heart is always home with my family. and every moment we spend together is another memory in the books. no matter how old i get, i will be my daddy’s little princess, and i can’t wait for many more years of dad & emma days to come. love you much daddy! xoxo

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

[dad & emma day’s through the years]

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day