2013 was filled with some very heavy, and very personal triumphs and tragedies. As I do my annual look back at the year and review how I did against the goals I set for myself in January, I have to say that I feel both proud and disappointed.

1. Create an inviting office space. Right now, my office is a fancy way of describing a storage closet. I don’t ever want to work in that room. Instead, I’d rather work on the couch or the kitchen table, which isn’t ideal. One of the first things that I’ve got to do this year is setup the office so that I’ll actually want to work in it and use that room.

At last. I have an inviting office space that I actually want to work in. I spent a good chunk of early 2013 cleaning up and reorganizing this space. Looks pretty good, no?

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And then I made a pretty awesome linen pinboard, which saved me some money.(’cause when Pottery Barn is your inspiration, buying the original ain’t a cheap option) Plus, it was a nice little DIY project.

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Little did I know, the biggest challenge that I would face would be hanging it. In my first attempt, I used these sticky velco tape and they were useless. i bought them based on the promise that these sticky strips of velcro would hold very heavy picture frame. But it was a lie. These things weren’t able to hold up foam board wrapped in cork and linen. They held up for a couple of months or so, but… the board eventually fell…breaking my computer monitor.

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A few weeks later, I did what I should have done in the first place and nailed that sucker to the wall/wood beams. If it falls off again, I may need to use screws. But until then, I’m going to pin away.

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2. Create a cleaning system and station for the house. I saw this in her magazine, and was very jealous. Martha Stewart has a room dedicated to cleaning. It’s where she keeps all her supplies and has a dedicated space for fixing things around the house. While I don’t space to dedicate a room to this, I like the way she thinks and want to create a better system that will make it easier for me to keep my house clean.

Nope, still not even close to completely. As such, I’m moving this resolution to 2014, and will combine it with my goals to do a massive clean up/reorganization of the garage and laundry room.

3. Grow some of my own food. I tried my hand at indoor/balcony gardening. The basil plant I bought from Safeway survived several months, but it’s time to buy a new plant and start over. The olive tree that DL got form work is still alive but no signs of any olives yet. The other plant I have are either not flowering or dead. In 2013, I want to try my hand at raising a lemon tree, a cherry tomato plant and planting flowers in my balcony. I also want to get our backyard done so we can actually use it.

As of my mid-year check-in, this was accomplished.

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But that was the summer. Now that winter has come, the only plant in relatively good health are my olive tree and lemon trees. Everything else is dead.

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So to continue working on my yellow thumb, I’m going to add growing a new garden in our newly-done backyard to the list of 2014 goals.

3. Hang photos and art around the house. Our walls are pretty barren and part of the reason is because I have a hard time making decisions about the art we should hang around the house. But I have dreams of hanging some wall paper, more pictures and actual art. If we can get this done, then we’re getting some where.

Some day, some how, I will hang up some of the travel photography of Irene Suchocki. I love her travel wanderlust photos, especially her “Paris is a Feeling” photo. Moving this resolution to 2014.

4. Start Family Yearbook Series. DL and I are only 1.5 years into our marriage, so it’s still early to start this tradition without getting too behind. I want to start documenting our life together and the things we do each year in photo books. But first things first, I need to finish this wedding photo album.

Getting closer. I am proud to say that I finished and printed my wedding album….two years and three months later.

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And I’ve printed some images from our honeymoon for this nifty little photo album we got from our hotel.

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Now, it’s time to start the family year books for 2012 and 2013.

5. Plan my dream trip to Europe and go. Like my wedding, this trip of a lifetime is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and will take a lot of careful planning in order to do it right. The planing starts now and there’s no time to waste….like actually asking for the time off once my boss is back from his “vacation.”

While this wan’t the grand tour that I’ve always dreamed of (where we would hit up 20 countries in one shot trip), we pretty much spent a month in Europe in 2013, cumulatively. One week in London, one week in Paris, one week in Rome, and one week in Florence and Venice. #winning

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6. Integrate fitness into my daily life. Let’s face it. I’ve never been very excited to exercise and the current state of my health (getting over a cold) is not making me any more motivated. But really, I’m at an age where things can and will go downhill fast. I need to take care of my health before this becomes a super hurdle to overcome.

After the 10K run/walk that I did at the Moo-Light Run, I’ve been more than lazy about my fitness. It’s time to jumpstart that again in 2014.

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7. Watch a little less TV on the weekends, and go explore the SF Bay Area more. I like this list, 7×7′s 100 Things To Do In SF Before You Die, and I’d like to try to cross off more things off it. And really, with some of the free tickets that I got from my friend to the SF Zoo and Academy of Science, there really isn’t an excuse not to go.

While we are far from completing 7×7′s 100 Things To Do In SF Before You Die, DL and I made a much bigger effort to get out of the house and break our usual routine to explore the SF Bay Area. Some of the notable notables include: (1) SF Zoo, (2) Academy of Science, (3) Japanese Tea Garden,  and (4) Biking Across Golden Gate Bridge. And to start the year off right, we’re going to go ice skating in Union Square on New Year’s Day.20130203-183715.jpg

8. Enjoy the last year of my twenties. Cross off more items from my bucket list and try to complete 60% of Marc and Angel’s 70 Things To Do Before You Have Kids. Well, you’re only young once and while it’s not really my last change for a crazy experience and adventure, it sure feels like it.

At my mid-year check in, I crossed or sorta-crossed off 50 of these “crazy adventures” off this list of 70 things to do. Since I have yet to have kids, there’s still some time to pipe this list over to 2014.

9. Send out holiday cards at the start of the holiday season. If I can accomplish this in early December, then I know I’ve got my shit together in 2013 if I can pull this off. This year, I sent my cards out today (New Year’s Eve), which means my cards will arrive sometime in the new year. Ugh.

My holiday cards didn’t arrive before Christmas, but I did get 95% of them out in the mail before the holidays, which means most of our friends and family got them before New Year’s Eve. Yay me. And maybe next year, I’ll send them out earlier enough so that these cards arrive before Christmas.

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