Months are backwards, because... you'll see. You get a story at the end.
I actually got into the Christmas spirit this year (unlike all the past years filled with finals). Went home for 6 glorious days which became 8 glorious days thanks to a glitch in Delta's booking system!!
My brother Marcus said it best when he said that Brown Thanksgivings are his new favorite holiday. I am blessed to come from two of the most entertaining, warm, funny, faithful, close extended families known to man, and it was a joy to bring Russell home to meet everyone for the first time. We sang, we stuffed ourselves, we made good use of the Strip... I even made a custom Google map documenting our adventures!
A pilgrimage to the Rosslyn garage where Deep Throat Mark Felt dropped off his FBI papers for Washington Post's Bob Woodward (if you are a history nut like Russell and I, go see it soon, the garage is going to be torn down!), a hike in the Shenandoahs during the government shutdown with roommate Kathryn, the Fall White House Garden Tour, and Halloween with my boyfriend the L-shaped Tetris piece!
Imagine Dragons concert, freakishly rainy UVA-BYU football game in beautiful Charlottesville, and this:
My brother Spencer leaves Virginia forever :( but then I chase him across the country on two GREAT trips to San Francisco and Utah! Gone almost the whole month!! Come home to an immediate roadtrip with Russell to Louisville, KY to cheer on my friend Ben as he completes an Ironman!!!
Fourth of July, of course, and a date to the Woodrow Wilson pool, the most beautiful pool I have ever seen!
Got back together with Russell after 76 days apart (every great couple breaks up at least once or twice!), bridesmaid at my beautiful friend Marissa Pugmire Findlay's wedding, whisked away to NYC for an artsy golden birthday and then a "Russell day" the next day, which meant seeing famous NYC sports arenas :)
MAY:Complete a relay half-ironman with a bunch of friends, go to my fifth Duck Beach trip, GRADUATED...
Second year of going to the Richmond International Speedway for NASCAR with friends, finally checked Mount Vernon off my list! Road trip with friends to St. Augustine Florida for my first ever Olympic triathlon!!!
|(One of my favorite memories of the year! Loved that race, that state, but most importantly, my friends!)|
Skiing at Wisp with Rachel and Megan, indoor triathlon in Baltimore with Kathleen and Ben, quick trip to Utah to be a bridesmaid at my wonderful friend Ashley Crist Girvan's wedding.
For V-day, I got him Spandex, he got me flowers :)
WARNING!!!! Moosh alert!!! I am very happy and ready to talk about it!!!
Around 1 am on January 1, 2014, Russell and I celebrated the one-year mark since our first kiss. I want to close by telling that story, because it really basically set the stage for 2013.
Before Christmas 2012, Russell had called me, his friend (and secret crush) of two years, to ask me out in celebration of my finals being over and my Master's coursework finally being complete. Unfortunately, I flew back to Vegas that very night so I had to say "No, but raincheck please?" Over Christmas break I remember showing my best friend Jessica the facebook pages of the three eligible young men I had in mind for the new year 2013. Jessica was absolutely Team Russell, who was bachelor #2. I remember her explaining, "He looks like your style. It's like you already dress him!" PS. I AM crazy about the mix of good-old-baseball-cap-boy and buttoned-down-casual-man he has fashioned for himself (see: the swanky collar above and the adorable fanboy outfit below).
After a sweet 2012 Christmas spent with family, I flew back on New Year's Eve, donned my stripey new Dress with a capital D, and set out to attend a big party thrown at a friend's house nearby. I saw Russell there, and I remember we had to shout at each other to have a conversation, the place was so packed. He actually asked me to step outside for a second, explaining that crowds like that get him anxious. Since then, he's told me he was worried I didn't feel comfortable around him, because the conversation didn't last long. I have since reminded him that he brought me out into 20 degree air wearing nothing but a simple sheath dress! We talked, we returned to the party, the countdown to 2013 came and went, I think we were in different social orbits in opposite sides of the room. About ten minutes later he noticed me gathering my things to walk home and offered me a ride (leaving behind his brother, Michael, who was just visiting for the weekend and knew no one there :). We sat in his car outside my house talking for probably 15-20 minutes, and a youtube video was mentioned, so I invited him in to watch it. At this point, apparently, he thought I was TOTALLY on the hook for hooking up. It crossed my mind that we might kiss, but I brushed off that thought before I'd even unlocked the door because I thought Russell was WAY too gunshy for that, and besides, we were just friends. We talked on the couch for at least an hour, I remember discussing really deep topics for "just friends," including, ironically, the idea that no one needs more than one year of dating to decide to get married (look at us, eating our words!). Sometime after one am Russell realized his brother was stranded and he rose to leave. He hugged me and I hugged him... for a while. :) Both of us still fight over who was "lingering" during that hug!! I swear he was the one holding on!! We then pulled back, and bam- three little kisses! Said good night to one another, and I closed the door, smiling, although slightly worried that I had just shot a giant hole in a great friendship. Fortunately, he called the next day to ask for a date and so here we are, a year later, marveling at the fun two people can have and how cool love is. Here's to a great 2014 ahead!