12 April 2013

2012 Stregerlady Annual Report

Hello. How are you?
It has been awhile. A L O N G while.
I needed to take a break from writing. Life took a bit of a turn last spring, and I just couldn't write.
But lately, there has been an urge, a longing, desire to string words together to make sentences and then into stories to share with whomever stumbles over here.

For some reason, I set up this hurdle that I needed to post a 'year in review' of 2012 before anything else. Over a full quarter of the way into 2013 and the "2012 Stregerlady Annual Report" is going live, which means maybe - just maybe - new posts might start appearing here again. (It also means that I need to update you on the first part of 2013 as well.) So with no further ado, here are the highlights from last year.

2012 Stregerlady Annual Report
January – New year & new peepers gave me a new outlook. Lasik surgery took my vision from 20/1500+ to 20/40 – truly amazing! A medical marvel. I participated in the global virtual Nike women’s half-marathon. 13.1 miles on the treadmill at the gym was tedious, but the finisher’s bling was well worth it!

February – My friend Lisa and I, we’re a couple of heartbreakers when we did the Heartbreaker race for Valentine’s Day. The Justice conference was held in Portland where I represented The Micah Project, and a special Honduran came up for the event to help me staff the booth. One of the best days of the year was taking Marvin up to Mt. Hood to play in the snow, making his long-time dream of making a snow angel come true.
March – Life started getting… interesting... in spring. I began to fall down Alice’s rabbit hole; up is down, down is up. My spiritual director says growth is the great “un-ing” and lots of “un-ing” started happening, leaving me feel like I was (am) being tumbled in a series of waves. Mom and I went to see Wicked, which became my 2nd favorite musical ever. The month also included a quick trip to Denver, Colorado to be part of a Bridal Shower for my (then) soon to be sister-in-law, Amy. (That's her below, on my left.)

Photo: March 22
Psst... Elphaba, don't listen to Glinda. I know it's not easy being green, but i got your back girl! 
Wicked was super amazing fantastic hilarious and stunning! WOW!! Loooooooved it!!! 
(wanna know a little secret? This was my teen age dream - to be in a traveling Broadway musical. Oh, to have an ounce of the talent the two main actresses have...)     Photo: Colorado Shower Weekend. Linda & Jenn flew out for!
April – With a desire to be more graceful and add a few legitimate moves to my "dancing," I started an adult ballet class! I attended three whole classes before I landed from a jump weird and totally tweaked my Achilles  which took ages to heal - and had to quit. At work, my huge team of three went for a team building lunch to Andina, a restaurant in the Pearl District, and quite possibly the best meal I've ever eaten in my life! Seriously. Good. Food.

May – At the beginning of the year I set a goal for myself to walk/jog a half marathon in under 3 hours. Four and a half months into the year and I met my goal with the Rock n’ Roll Portland - my best half marathon time to date. I just about puked and passed out in the finisher's corral, but I did it!
Yes, I'm cheap and didn't pay for my photo.
And, yes, it was raining - I don't sweat that much.
Streger family photo at Rob & Julie's wedding.

June – Over the years a few of my brother's friends have become pseudo-siblings. I call them ‘little brothers’ (as opposed to "baby brother" which is reserved for my brother-brother. Got it?) One of my 'little brothers,' Rob, married the lovely Julie "super long name" in June. Thankfully, she took Rob's last name so now I can pronounce her full name. (Just don't ask me what her maiden name is!)

July – A good month for a little stay-cation which I desperately needed. Work had been crazy busy and I needed to get away, even if it meant still answering email every day of my vacation. I visited my cousin in Bend for a few days. I also re-learned how to kayak, which was a blast.

If I found the rabbit hole in March, by July I had fallen down, drunk the potion, and entered a confusing world. I decided to not pursue joining the staff of the Micah Project in Honduras after being fully focused on that path for the past two years. A decision that is scary and sad in turn, and completely unsettling. It feels as though the rug was pulled out from underneath me, but I trust that God is in control and am certain He was not opening the doors for that opportunity at this time.

August – With the summer heat, my running heated up as well and I ran the “Every Girl” 5k and recorded a personal best. I decided to conquer my fear of white water rafting and used a Groupon for a trip down the Deschutes River and ended up going on the exact same stretch that had caused the fear 20+ years earlier (completely coincidental)! Not only did I survive, I had fun! It must have been a water adventure kind of summer, because I also tried stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). It had looked like so much fun and I love being on the water. I recruited a friend to do an intro class with me, much less intimidating that way. While not easy, it was a lot of fun and Julie and I enjoyed ourselves.

Photo: Oh, yeah! Just a couple hot chicks who are totally SUPing it!   Photo: August 23
Dinner date with my hijo tonight! Loco chico - showing me his "better" side.

Probably the biggest event of the year...
The snow loving Honduran came back to Portland - TO LIVE!! That's right, the Micah Project decided to send Marvin to Portland to attend school. He is living with a host family in Lake Oswego, going through the English intensive program at Portland Community College, and loving life in the Pacific Northwest. Most Wednesday nights he comes over to "mama jenn's" for family dinner.
September – Best.Wedding.EVER!!! My beloved baby brother got MARRIED!! (MARRIED!!! Chris?!?! A husband!?!? WEIRD!!) Until a couple years ago, I was doubtful that he would ever get married, but then... then he started dating Amy. And on the 15th they were married in Colorado on a perfect day. I now have a sister!!!!


I came home and did my first mud run – the 5k Kiss Me Dirty women only event. After eyeing various obstacle runs and wanting to try my mettle, but lacking the confidence in my ability to survive one, I took the risk to attempt one when I came across a deal to volunteer at registration in exchange for the entry fee; I just went for it and triumphed. Although watching Lisa literally wallow in the mud, which was completely unexpected, may have been the best part of the race. The next weekend was the 5k Color Run which of course required a tutu. In between the fun runs I celebrated 3 years post-surgery on my back and am loving the ability to walk and run and generally be active. (Bet you couldn't have guessed that one, huh?!)
October – Portland half marathon done with a cranky left Achilles (still! that darn ballet class) and a sprained right ankle and a sour stomach. I really am that competitive with myself - or persistent, determined, focused - or maybe out of my mind.

November – After debating colors for months and months, the dining nook finally took on a new shade of blue. It's lovely and I'm much calmer now that I'm not seeing red. To my delight, I gained a new roommate while she finishes support raising.
December –One last race for the year, the Jingle Bell 5k, which I always do as it supports the Arthritis Foundation. My time improved, even holding my red nose the whole time; I didn't think about how hard it would be to breathe with it on. Christmas festivities have a new perspective when experienced with someone seeing it for the first time. I always love all the twinkle lights and decorations in December. Amy and Chris came the day after Christmas for a few days, which meant we got to celebrate Christmas all week long!
MJ and I check out the big tree at Pioneer Courthouse Square
   A very good year overall.

2013 Prospectus - the events I'm anticipating this year
January – in the books. How did that happen?? 3 Blazer games – 2 with mom, 1 with MJ. A huge department reorganization at work meant I switched teams and joined the Test Publishing team and am now part of a team of 5 others; I'm no longer a lone wolf - I have co-workers to cross-train and share the workload with, a very good thing for my sanity. But sadly, it also means that Jon and I are no longer on the same team; the dynamic duo has been split-up. I'm still in mourning.
February – start training. Despite the enormous improvement in my eyesight thanks to LASIK last January,  I am once again with glasses. Originally meant for just night driving, my spectacles are handy driving at any time of day. And in theaters. At work. At church. At concerts. The big difference in comparison to the last 30ish years, I can get by without my glasses now and be okay, just a little hazy - not blind.

March – kick the training into gear and give it a test with the Hop Hop 5k. I got to wear bunny ears! (I was also kinda sick, my judgement may have been impaired.)

April – National capital, here I come!! I'm meeting up with my friend Courtney from Texas to do the Nike Women's Marathon (half) in Washington, D.C. I'm not ready, but there will be a blue Tiffany box at the finish line with a specially designed finishers charm. Nothing is keeping me from that blue box!
Sadly, my roommate has moved out as of today. I knew from the get-go it was a short-term stop-gap solution, but I'm bummed to see Maureen leave; she has been so wonderful to have around.
May – Rock n’ Roll Portland for the 2nd year.
June – Rock n’ Roll Seattle – going for the Pacific Peaks medal.
July – Flat Half because I’m crazy enough to think I can do one half marathon a month.
August – Cascade relay race. Okay, not quite a half-marathon, but close.
September – possible trip to NYC to visit Amy + Chris for US Open. Sharon (a 'little sister') and Manny are tying the knot. I enter the fabulous forties! (meltdown and denial to ensue shortly.) No race planned... yet.
October – Rock n’ Roll San Jose – because they give you a super cool “Triple Crown” medal if you do three RnR events in one calendar year. I won a "Pass the Lottery" ticket to the NWM San Francisco so I'm planning on going back down for that race as well. It's better than Wonka's Golden ticket, better than a "Pass Jail" card in Monopoly - how could I not take advantage of it?
November – I'm hoping to make it down to the Micah Project in Honduras for graduation. It will have been two years since I was there last; far, far too long. While I'm no longer pursuing being on staff, I still plan to support and participate in the ministry.
December – My favorite time of the year! I'll be doing the Jingle Bell run for Arthritis again, with my Rudolph nose and antlers - come do it with me!

Wow! You reached the end. You deserve a special treat - a virtual pat on the back from me.
Thank you for stopping by, and hopefully there will be more reason (and more interesting reasons) to stop by in the near future. Tell me, what are you looking forward to in 2013?

Cheers! Niff

1 comment:

Short Round said...

Thank you for this! I enjoyed reading it and I look forward to the next time we get to hang out!!!