Monday, December 14, 2015

2015, A Jam-Packed Year: Christmas Update!

Hello Friends and Family!

It's so hard to believe that another year has gone by, and I'm writing a holiday blog post again. I hope you've enjoyed this year as much as I have, and I'd love to hear what you've been up to! So send me a note, email, text, phone call, or even just stop over and visit.

I had a lot of big changes in 2014 (moving, new job, etc), but 2015 has held fewer changes and more settling in, relationship and community building in Dayton, adventuring, and exploring all the ways I can push my work to be more what I want it to be.

Hey all! Emmy here. I had big changes in 2015. First, I decided to coach youth basketball, then I changed my job to work for Bike Miami Valley. Then Katie and I decided to pack up a hundred boxes and make shuttle trips back and forth unloading my stuff, as well as my cat, Tiger, into our new home (well new to me).

Katie here again, Emmy and I have had a great year overall, and we're happy to have you in our life either close by or far away. Don't be a stranger and come visit! Or make us an offer we can't refuse and maybe we'll just surprise you with a visit.

Continuing the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to say I'm thankful for all the good memories and experiences I had with all of you over the years, and want to share a few from this year with you now.

 Ice skating at RiverScape in downtown. This was a first for some in the group.

 Then we helped assemble new Link Dayton Bike Share bikes. That's right, women with wrenches. Look out now. Labor Day exploration in Indianapolis. So much fun with our friends. Lots of bike riding, good food and drink, and then the concert to see Bronze Radio Return (our group's favorite band).
 Drew, my brother, came up for a visit to see a baseball game and made a new friend - Kona - our friend's super happy-go-lucky dog.
 Back to the bikes. But this time, I was teaching people basic bike maintenance skills on Earth Day. Emmy was also working the Bike Miami Valley booth at the event.
 One of most fun things I did to support sexual health advocacy was participate in a Ladies Arm Wrestling tournament-fundraiser. I pumped iron all spring and my yoga teacher was my sponsor! My competition name was Ragin' Red. Emmy was my training coach, encouraging me to workout and get stronger.
 Em got a new job working with the local bicycle advocacy organization in the region. She came up with some new safety campaigns and did tons of outreach booths all around the greater Dayton area.
  Here is one of my proudest accomplishments and projects at work this year. I created a local program for artists to paint 9 murals that provide storm water education while beautifying downtown streets!!!
 Nothing like a good paddle down the Mad River, which we did several times. It's a nice wild stretch that makes you feel like you're far away from the city. Emmy also instructed three kayak workshops for the Sierra Club. She's pictured here in all her nifty kayaking gear.
 Power tool time! I spent several weeks building my new sewing table with my friend Mike, who has a pretty sweet workspace in his garage. It's a custom design drop-leaf table. The only tricky part was getting it back to my house. Thanks Mom and Dad!
 Yummy! Emmy and I bought a C.S.A. (Community Supported Agriculture) produce box, which got delivered to our house each week. We got creative with new recipes and sometimes figuring out what the heck kind of vegetable we were given.
 We spent time on the boat with the family fishing, stargazing, and my favorite - sailing with my Dad at Cowan Lake.
 Not only does Dayton have excellent rivers and an aquifer (where we get our drinking water), but also great MetroParks. Here Emmy and I took our kayaks out to Eastwood Lake MetroPark on a night to explore and nature watch.
 Emmy's old roomie Sky (he's a great cook) got married at a lovely place in Kettering. It was a small, beautiful wedding with some great dancing tunes. You gotta watch out for Em, she's a dancin' fool!
 Road trip! We hit the road one weekend randomly in August and made our way east towards Pittsburgh. We explored by bicycles, went to the science museum, ate amazing donuts, drank good hard cider, and of course found the confluence of the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela Rivers.
 So our neighborhood is the BEST! Seriously, we have movies in the park. Everyone brings food to share, the kids run around playing games, and this time we decided to watch a classic - The Goonies! It was magical. We love our hood.
 Wedding and friends! In September, we travelled to northern Kentucky for my good friend Pattie's wedding. It was great to see old friends from my girl scout days (and to introduce them to Emmy finally).
 Vacation! So neither Em or I have had a real, real vacation in years. We decided now that we have adult jobs, with real vacation days, we should probably get away for a whole week. We went on an amazing trip to NYC and Boston. We flew into NYC first. Here we are in front of the Lady Liberty (way, way off in the background).
 Then we took the train up the coast to Boston. This is actually the first picture we took when we got into the city. We visited an old friend, stayed in a cool part of town with nice people, ate yummy food (do you see a trend here in our trips?), and of course explored, rode bikes, and took self-guided tours.
 In Boston, our fondest memory was getting in line for some famous Boston Cream Puffs and cannolis, after eating at an authentic Italian restaurant. We were so stuffed when we ate them just around the corner from Paul Revere's house!
 In this house, we take Halloween seriously. Well, as serious as we can get when you make your costumes. We geeked out and put together Lego Movie character costumes. Watch the movie, you'll understand.
After Thanksgiving, Emmy and I joined my family on the trek into the woods to cut down a tree. We got a nice size tree that fit into the car, popped it up in the living room, and decorated it while listening to Christmas music. Emmy has a rule, no Christmas music before December, so we can get into the spirit slowly and let it build. We also decorated our house and put a bike on the front porch!

And who knows where the new year will take us in 2016. We hope to see you soon!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Katie and Emmy

Tuesday, April 21, 2015