July … I came, I saw, I conquered (kinda). – life+running

July … I came, I saw, I conquered (kinda).

Wow, this month was a whirlwind, and I can’t believe that it’s over already. Although, looking back at all the things I did this month, no wonder it went by so fast. I’ve hardly had a moment to catch my breath.

Rather than do a formal recap of everything I did this month with photos and all that jazz (mostly because I was too busy to take photos), here’s a rundown of all the things I did in July. Most of these things appeared on my 2012 Summer Bucket List. Better late than never, right?

Let’s dive in, shall we? I’ll try to list things in the order they happened.

In July 2014, I:

  1. Quit my job to be a full-time graduate student.
  2. Participated in Camp NaNoWriMo with a couple of my favorite lady-friends. My goal was 20K words, and I am at 7K. Dang!
  3. Learned how to play disc golf. I’m not claiming I learned how to play it well. 
  4. Sat down and relaxed for once and read a book in a morning. I read The Fault in Our Stars. Here’s my review.
  5. Re-read The Shining.
  6. Finally started reading Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining. Had to put it down because it was way too damn depressing. 
  7. Picked up The Night Circus again and am hooked. If you haven’t read this book, I suggest you put it on your to-read list. The author’s use of imagery alone is worth the read. 
  8. Planted a garden that actually grows. Although, I feel like I cheated because I planted a lot of leafy things. Anybody want some extra kale? 
  9. Dyed my hair a funky color.
    thick, curly, wavy purple ombre hair // lifeplusrunning.com
  10. Got engaged.
  11. Took an 11-day staycation with Mark.
  12. Started taking bass guitar lessons … FINALLY.
  13. Visited the Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens.
  14. Bought a new bed. My chiropractor is going to be happy about that one. 
  15. Celebrated the 4th by grilling with a friend who we hadn’t seen in a long time.
  16. Tasted some brews at the Peace Tree Brewing Co.
  17. Went paddle boating with Mark.
  18. Got a Brazilian wax. I know, TMI, but I thought I would share for those who have been interested in getting a bikini wax. Read this blog post before you take the plunge. My experience was less awkward than I could have ever imagined it being, and it was far less painful than I anticipated it being. 
  19. Tasted wines at Summerset Winery.
  20. Learned all about science at the Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines.
  21. Got my dog to actually go on walks with me. This is pretty impressive. If you didn’t know, Barney does not like walking. He’s a changed doggie.
    happy miniature dachshund, barney stinson, enjoys walks and his thunder shirt // lifeplusrunning.com
  22. Played an awesome game of Cards Against Humanity with our friends who hosted us for a mid-week grill out.
  23. Broke my 10K PR at the Ames Midnight Madness Race. Although their so-called official time was 43 seconds slower than my old PR. They didn’t chip time properly and their official time was for the gun start through finish (which was 6.5 miles for me). I’m going with my time, which was 51 minutes and some seconds. WIN. I may turn this into a blog post about how official race time PRs are kind of BS anyway. Stay tuned.  
  24. Built our wedding websiteI said built, not designed! Design will happen later when we pick an official color scheme. 
  25. Ate both (Americanized) Mexican and Chinese food for the first time since I found out about my food allergies. The trick is finding a server who is willing to work with the kitchen to make it happen. Humungous tips were given to those fine folks.  
  26. Finally found a maxi dress that fits me (hi, I’m short). In fact, I found two dresses and a skirt. Thanks, Stitch Fix!
  27. Started brewing kombucha. My first flavor was hibiscus and I used Tazo Passion and black tea to brew.
    kombucha SCOBY mother grown from a bottle of GT's // lifeplusrunning.com
  28. Went on several long walks with my friend Amanda.
  29. Drank an embarrassing (or awesome?) amount of margaritas. Not all at once, thank you.
    margaritas at Barrio in Minneapolis // lifeplusrunning.com
  30. Wedding Wednesday alert: Toured and committed to our wedding ceremony and reception venues.
  31. Wedding Wednesday alert: Picked a wedding date (Friday, May 13, 2016!).
  32. Took Mark shopping at Extreme Noise Records in the Twin Cities … and marked the first time that I was ever bored in a record shop. I wasn’t shopping for me for once, so I didn’t even take a peek. 
  33. Ate at Hammer and Sickle, a Russian restaurant and vodka bar in Minneapolis. EAT ALL THE BEETS!
  34. Finally hit up the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market. We bought a ton of sauerkraut from a fermented food vendor called Agri-Cultured. It’s SO GOOD. 
  35. Did some pro-bono design for Design Assign through AIGA Iowa.
  36. Bought a new laptop. I’m broadcasting live from my brand new MacBook pro! We finally replaced my old one, the computer that’s old enough to start 3rd grade this fall. 

Whew. July was filled with all sorts of exciting things, and I know that I forgot some of them. All of this … and I still can’t tell you about what I’m going to be doing this fall because I still don’t know if it’s official (and it’s beginning to be quite nerve-wracking, actually).

But, since I had a whole month off of work and school, I was able to spend a good chunk of time wedding planning, so we have all our big budget line items chosen (venue, catering and bar, photographer), and we have pretty solid plans for the rest of the stuff (music, paper ephemera, attire, attendants, flowers, etc.). I’m pretty pumped that I had this free time to do all the planning before school starts next month because I’m going to be hitting it hard for the next year and half to finish in the time I want to finish. No time for wedding planning. I’ve got 11 classes left to take and all of my research ahead of me. If I can get the classes that I need to take, I should be done with classes in December of 2015, and will have the following semester to finish up research and defend my thesis (spoiler alert: I’m researching rock and roll and design. It’s gonna be kickass).

Weeeeee … and here comes August.

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6 Comment

  1. Cassie says: Reply

    I love your blog! Thanks for the link to the Spa blog. Happy running! 🙂 ~Cassie

  2. Thanks for the Design Assign shout out!!

    Man, The Night Circus – that imagery was AMAZing. I need to see if she’s written anything else.

    Venue – so pretty. Love it. And Friday? Interesting choice!

    Missing from the list: visiting Alex!! But to be fair, my summer has been ridiculous. Sounds like you were just as busy :).

  3. doris says: Reply

    Wow, you did have a busy month… Yeah for Wedding Wednesdays! I am a little bit jealous that you are getting married in Stillwater. Was a serious consideration for us.

    1. chimes says: Reply

      Yay wedding wednesdays! It’s going to be an awesome shindig. 🙂

  4. Excited to keep hearing more about the wedding planning!

    I LOVE that sauerkraut stand! The best I’ve ever had!!

  5. Wow, amazing that you were able to accomplish all that in a short time. you’re great at balancing and managing activities with your time. Good luck with the wedding planning.

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