I write this blog to keep my mom and aunt Geri happy.  I also write this blog in anticipation of my eventual fall into forgetfulness and dementia.  So I am going to do a year in review so that one day far, far in the future (I hope far), I can look back at this and remember what a blessed year I experienced.

I attended some awesome concerts in 2012!  Lady Antebellum with Darius Rucker and Blake Shelton, who started his concert with “Footloose,” which is my favorite song of all time.  I was so happy and dancing around like a crazy person, because I was hydrating with beers after a 6 mile rain filled run.  It sure was a fun Thursday night and one of the best concert moments of all time for me!

I met Micah, my long time friend and former roommate, in Austin, Texas, for Presidents weekend.  I convinced Micah to run the Livestrong Half Marathon with me.  Who knew Austin was full of rolling hills.  We did once we headed out on the course.

Austin was the first time I used airbnb to book lodging.  We stayed in a cute little mother-in-law cottage in north Austin.  In addition to great lodging while walking out of the marathon expo, I ran into a college friend and fellow resident assistant from my days at Roosevelt University.  It was such a fun surprise to see Emily. She was kind enough to take us out for dinner and drinks after the marathon.

Enjoying the sun and the feel of a medal about our neck.


Roosevelt University alum reunite.

February also brought one of the best days I have had in my career.  I got to take my students to Airborne School at Ft. Benning.  We got to try on parachute packs, pull parachutes, and jump from the 30+ foot tour.


2012 also brought another trip with Rand and Donna.  This time we met in San Francisco and headed out to California farm country to see my Dad’s half-sister, Linda, who we had not seen in many, many years.  From there we headed to the town of Fort Bragg, Calif., to see the coast and redwoods.  We took  State Highway 1 down the coast, spending time in another airbnb with a view of the ocean and lights of San Francisco.  We ended the trip in the heart of San Francisco seeing the sights of a vibrant city.

I ran the US Half Marathon on Easter morning, which included running over and back on the Golden Gate Bridge.


May brought a wonderful weekend in Pittsburgh with my dear friend Tessa.  We explored a great little city and both had successful runs. Tessa did the full and though that had been the plan months before my right knee did not agree with that decision so I did the half marathon.


May also brought two weeks in Kenya with Project Helping Hands.  Another wonderful chance to help people in rural Kenya with medical care.  Beside 9 days of clinic we also went on a safari.


June brought time at home with family and friends.  At the time, I kept thinking why am I spending such a long time in Minnesota, but then I got the job in Japan and it was meant to be.

My dear friend Tessa and her son Owen at one of my favorite places. The lake, up north. Always relaxing, always fun. At this time we were boating across the lake to get Tessa’s parents who could not drive to the house because of the flooding from the heavy rain.
The flooding. That is the road I am standing in.
I have known these handsome boys for many years. They even came with their parents and visited me when I lived in Colorado. When home in Minnesota I spend hours watching their baseball games and playing board games and best of all their mom feeds me yummy meals!
June also brought the privilege of becoming a Godmother to Adalena Kjersten Berg. Lena is my cousin Amanda’s daughter and she is so beautiful, don’t you agree?


July brought the phone call I had been praying for for many years.  An interview and a job offer the following morning and then everything got busy.  Planning, filling out paperwork, and packing up.  And saying goodbye to good friends.

A quick trip to the Gulf Coast with my parents allowed for last minute relaxation before flying to Japan.

St. George Island, Florida.

August to December is recorded in my previous blogs.  Friends who are becoming my family in Japan, dreams coming true, new experiences, travels near and far.  Life is good, I am blessed.  Thanks for reading.  Have a wonderful 2013.