2016 has been a really big year for us -- lots of change and grown-up decisions.
I had one of the most memorable birthdays ever -- not because turning 26 is any sort of big deal, but because we had a blizzard on my birthday. My sweet friends walked/braved the subway to spend the day sledding with me, and then walked to our favorite bar in Park Slope (one of the few things that was open) to keep hanging all day. I will never forget this special birthday.
Favorite Posts of January:
Matt and I celebrated our 4-year wedding anniversary by going to our favorite date spot on the planet -- River Deli in Brooklyn Heights. It sounds lame because the word "deli", but it's actually a tiny, cute Italian restaurant in a really nice neighborhood right by the Brooklyn Promenade.
In March, I also found out that I had been accepted by the lottery system to run the NYC Marathon! At this point, we already knew we were moving to Colorado, so that meant a guaranteed trip back to visit our friends.
Favorite Posts from March:
April was big. We left Brooklyn to make the drive/move to Colorado on April 13th. Gosh, as much as NYC was kicking my butt and as much as we were excited about the move, leaving NYC was super hard. I cried so much. The friendships we had in NYC are still some of the most important friendships I've ever had in my life. I think that NYC breeds that culture with deep friendships. My theory is that since it's so hard to live there and most people don't have family nearby, people lean hard on friends to get through it all.
Our good friends Per & Rachel lightened the goodbye by sharing that they were engaged to be married!! So many emotions.
Additionally, I found out that my company was willing to keep me on remotely, so I started working from our apartment in Colorado in April, with the plan to fly back for one week each quarter.
We drove from Brooklyn to Boulder over the course of 3 days, making stops in Indiana and Nebraska to sleep at Best Westerns (they allow dogs in their hotel rooms). We shipped most of our stuff the previous week and had been making due with just the essentials that we could pack into our car.
Favorite Posts from April:
- On The Move Again
- Our New Home in Colorado
- Getting Used to Running at Altitude
- Southwestern Scramble Recipe
I decided that my fitness goal for the year would be to qualify for the Boston Marathon at the NYC Marathon. And I figured I needed some help to get me there. I hired my coach Neely Spence Gracey in May and have been working with her since.
Matt graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary -- what an accomplishment! He worked really hard for almost 5 years to get this degree. We couldn't afford to send him to school full-time, so he did school part-time and worked part-time. It was kinda unreal to see him cross that stage and start his new chapter working at our church here in Boulder as their Missional Community Director.
We knew nobody when we moved to Boulder, so I tried really hard to step out of my introvert shell to make new friends. We went to our church's night of Prayer and Worship and met some people who invited us to come camping with them and ~30 people, some from church and some not from church. Normally, the idea of camping with 30 strangers would be a huge deterrent for me, but knowing that we needed friends, we signed up. I'm so thankful we did. I'm not going to flood this post with photos from our trips, but we went camping with this group every month from May through September. Because of this group, we slowly started feeling like we actually have friends here.
Favorite Posts from May:
- Thoughts on Crossfit
- Races on My Bucket List
- Why You Should Wear Sunglasses When You Run
- More Reasons Why You Should Start Running
I made my first work trip back to NYC in July, and got to see my first-ever magazine print advertisement in person. Doesn't sound like a huge deal, but I was pretty proud of it.
I got to spend time with my friends, whom I missed so much. Christy and I went on a little sailing adventure on the Hudson, which was awesome.
July was also really sad. We found out that Hudson Adams, one of the youth from the church Matt worked at when we lived in Houston passed away from a brain-eating amoeba that he contracted while working at a Christian summer camp. Hudson was one of the sweetest kids that we had the pleasure of getting to know while Matt was leading the youth group at that church. I'm still in disbelief that he passed away after having just graduated high school.
We got our first niece! Matt's little sister Maddy had a baby, Raven. She's precious.
Favorite July Posts:
- Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa Recipe
- Negative Side Effects of Chronically High-Protein Diets
- Healthy Foods That Have a Surprising Amount of Fat
In August, my good friend and co-worker Clare came to visit us for a week. It was fun to work from home together and go on hikes when the day was over!
Also in August, my twin-in-law Mason moved to Colorado and in with us.
I ran my first marathon since Houston in 2010, and finished in under 4 hours, which felt like a really comfortable pace. I treated this race as a long run rather than a race because NYC was the goal and it was only a few weeks away.
We went on a couple day-trip dates to nearby towns -- Nederland and Lyons.
This was a big one. After years of SweatStretchEat.com, my fitness-oriented blog, I rebranded my site to BridgetMcGahen.co. I was feeling fed up with the vanity of the fitness industry, especially on social media, and wanted to write about more things that I care about, like faith, family, photography, home stuff, and more. The rebrand lost me a lot of followers, but I do not care. I'd rather write about what I like writing about than have more followers. I've also since deleted my fitness/blog Instagram account, in favor of maintaining just one account that showcases more aspects of my life. Again, this lost me followers, but I don't care.
Favorite Posts from September:
- Prana Fall 2016 Line
- Welcome to BridgetMcGahen.co
- Anxiety & Running
- A Long Engagement
- Top 5 Feelings: Boulder Backroads Marathon Week
Matt and I took a little local trip to Crested Butte, which turned out to be one of our favorite places we have ever traveled to. It's a cute little mountain town with gorgeous scenery, especially during the peak fall leaves time.
Favorite Posts from October:
- Weekend in Crested Butte
- Race Recap - Boulder Backroads Marathon
- The Social Pressure to Rush Through Life
- My NYC Marathon Playlist
November was a whirlwind. I made my second work trip back to NYC, and this time Matt came with me. My company let me coordinate my trip so that it enabled me to be in town the week leading up to the NYC Marathon. I beat my goal of 3:35 (the Boston qualifying time for my age group) with a 3:28!
We were home for just a few days before heading out Breckenridge for church staff retreat! Breck was gorgeous, and I had a great time getting to know the staff/staff wives better.
We picked up Morton on our way back from Breckenridge and then drove straight to Texas to visit family for Thanksgiving.
I ran the ColderBolder 5K with some of my good friends and running buddies. It was a PR, but not probably the best I could do a 5K at this point. I was doing it more for fun than for time.
We put an offer on a townhome in Erie, CO, which was accepted! It's a 3 bedroom, which is perfect because Mason can keep living with us until it works out with his friends' leases to move in with them, and then we have another room for me to have an office. Working from home will be so much better with a real office, rather than a built-in desk in the kitchen.
It will also allow space for guests and babies eventually.
Christmas was low-key. We went to Christmas Eve service, ate Thai food, and then came back home to watch Home Alone and bake gingerbread cookies. Christmas Day, we watched movies and then had hoped to go on a hike, but the wind was insane, like 40-90mph. We went over to our pastor's house for dinner and went to bed relatively early.
The next day, we went on a gorgeous winter hike which ended with a beautiful frozen waterfall. It felt like something out of Narnia. The water was trickling beneath the frozen exterior. It was really cool.
One of our Brooklyn friends, Luke, has family in Denver, whom he visited for Christmas. He drove up to Boulder for an open mic night and spent the day hiking and touring the town with us.
Favorite Posts from December:
- Race Recap - ColderBolder 5k
- We're Under Contract!
- Too Normal to be Interesting
- A Not-So-Cheesy Christmas Playlist
It was a good year overall. I'm excited to see what 2017 has in store for us.
If you don't mind taking a few minutes to fill out the survey below, I'd really appreciate it. With switching over my blog from just fitness to more lifestyle, I'd like to know what you guys are interested in reading about. Thanks in advance!