But what made this summer exceedingly important for me was that it would be last summer before I turn 30. I know that in reality 30 won't be any different than 29, but I've had a bit of a tough time accepting the inevitable.
And so the “Summer of Kristy” was born. As I explained to Bradd that I
How did I do?
This is at least what I can remember, tweeted, twitpic'd, or had written down in my planner.
-Sacrificed good hair for driving with the sun roof open every day.
-Wandered aimlessly around the Philadelphia Free Library because I'd never been in there.
-Watched the bike race from the Art Museum steps.
-Danced enough to make my calves hurt the next day.
-Saw my grandmother turn 90 and look better than ever.
-Watched 5 straight hours of Lost on finale night and cried about once every 15 minutes.
-Made new friends who introduced me to new perspectives.
-Caught up with (lots and lots) of old ones.
-Discovered the most awesome name tag ever.
-Saw Sugarland and Something Corporate in concert, and got to meet Jake Owen.
-Played in my first golf tournament.
-Helped send off the U.S. Men's Soccer Team to the World Cup.
-Shrieked out loud in my cube when Donovan scored in the 91st minute to beat Algeria.
-Ran the Media 5-Mile and discovered how obnoxiously hilly Media is.
-Celebrated (other people's) new homes, new babies and new marriages.
-Finished a book. If you know me well, you know that's an accomplishment. ("Try" - read it. Awesomely honest and steamy cowboy romance novel)
-Spent more time on the beach or in the sun than I have since my teenage lifeguarding day and got a wicked tan to show for it.
-Watched my dad body surf hurricane-influenced waves on his 65th birthday.
-Helped Bradd go Three Sheets in Philly.
-Met the founder of Yards Brewery.
-Stalked out Manchester United at the Four Seasons til the entire team walked past 10 ft. in front of us.
-Balanced bittersweet goodbyes with exciting hellos.
-Got paid to go to the beach for a day with my awesome coworkers.
-Got up at 7am to cheer Bradd's cousin on in the Philly Tri.
-Saw Jersey Boys. For free.
-Ate real New York City pizza (annual craving)
-Got pelted by flying Twinkies at Bastille Day.
-Stayed out til 2am. Ok maybe only twice but still that's pretty good for being nearly 30.
-Discovered Seacrets, one of my new favorite places on earth, and saw Trent Cole there taking shots.
-Celebrated 2 years of marriage to my best friend with a picnic and a nap in the park.
-Built a princess castle on the beach.
-Got my company in the Wall Street Journal. Twice.
-Didn't freak out when my car got hit with random acts of violence. Twice.
-Watched Bradd make the most awesome five-course birthday dinner ever.
-Sat in LOVE Park on a Saturday night by myself to watch the fountain.
-Never missed a chance to acknowledge the sunlight coming through the trees while commuting up Lincoln Drive.
-Ate ice cream for lunch.
-Spent a cool weekend in the mountains taking cool pictures of the campfire and roasting marshmallows.
-Biked the Valley Green trail AND got Bradd to stop in Manayunk for a healthy brunch with me.
How do I feel about it?
Amazing. I don't think I could have possibly squeezed more good times and thoughtful experiences into one summer without getting fired, fat or broke, or permanently damaging my liver. For someone that's always struggled to focus on the fun in front of me, instead of wondering if something better is going on around the corner, this summer reminded me that life isn't a Katy Perry music video. We aren't all perfect people who look perfect in every picture. But me, the people and the city around me are perfect for each other, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
And a special shout out must be sent to Bradd, not only for coming up with the Summer of Kristy, but for encouraging me, picking me up when I fell down, and never once threatening to divorce me while I steadfastly carried it out, whether he was invited or not :-).
I hope this list doesn't sound like bragging, because I bet if you stopped and thought about all the things that made your summer, yours would be just as long. And the best parts would be free.
So what now? Well, I still have 47 days til the big birthday. Maybe this will end up the Fall of Kristy, too... although I'm looking forward to getting back into a work-school-run pattern, with some fun times - and of course good food - tossed in between.
Til then... the pictures.