Today, I am 24. Yikes. Like, really?! It's actually pretty funny to think back to when I was 10 and where I thought I would be now back then. My prediction wasn't even close. But you know what, I couldn't be happier. I have an awesome family, the best friends I could have asked for and so much unpredictable excitement ahead. I love looking back at all the good and not so good things that have lead me to where I am today and so here's yet another ... my 23 best memories of my 23rd year.
Last night out in Maine - All of the really great people in my life out at the same time the night before I left for Ithaca. Such a bittersweet night.
Ithaca hosting D3 Women's Basketball Regionals - The Ithaca girls basketball team made the NCAA tournament and hosted the first round. I love watching any Ithaca team do well at the national level, but it was even more exciting because Southern Maine (my undergrad, gooooo Huskies!) and Bowdoin traveled to Ithaca for the tournament, too. Two of my favorite things in one place.
Gorge Jumping - When I first saw people jump off the 45-foot rock and into the Second Dam gorge I thought they were crazy. Then I added it to my Ithaca bucket list and checked it off the list with a little help from Nina and Tony. I am sooo glad I did, it was scary and I screamed but it was awesome!
Jello Museum and Wine Tour - A little requested and unexpected fun on the way home from Rochester turned out to be one of the most fun days ever. Tony acted like a good father and took his ever-so whiny children (aka Sam and I) to the Jello Museum, which we all discovered while working on a final paper weeks before. Sam followed with an off-the-cuff idea to do a wine tour and there you have it - great day in the books. Definitely one of my favorite memories with these two.
The Uprising of the Gronk - He went from being some random tight end that I thought my dad stupidly drafted on his fantasy team to becoming my new NFL obsession. I loved watching him go crazy on the field running over defenders and most importantly celebrating each touchdown with a super awesome Gronk spike. This also led to my friends Gronk-spiking everything. So awesome.
Curling in Vancouver - As a little kid my grandmother forced me to watch curling during each Olympics and this winter I got the opportunity to try it out myself. I had only seen it on television and never really appreciated how hard it actually is. Needless to say my Olympic curling career began and ended that day, just as my biathlon one did days later.
Hanging out of Marshawn - I'm not really sure what prompted this photo shoot but Jackie and I thought it would be a great idea to take pictures in, around, outside of, hanging out of and on top of Tony's car. We had his keys and he wasn't there so we had a little fun. This will always be one of my favorite memories because the pictures make me laugh every single time. And of course a special thanks goes out to our photographer, Liberty.
First Ithaca hike - At this point early in the year I didn't even know Sam but for some reason I trusted her to take me hiking in the unknown woods. We scaled mountains, squatted down cliffs, took pictures, shared random stories and I figured out that Sam would be one of my best friends for the rest of my life that day.
Spring break - Again, my not-so-typical spring break makes an appearance on a favorites list. Maine, Washington D.C., Rochester, Candor, Ithaca. My best friends. Nine days. Boom. So. Much. Fun.
Photo-bombing Jon's office - This takes the boss-prank cake because it was totally not planned. Sam and I actually thought of it mid-workout and then plastered Jon's office with 270 photos immediately following. That was Friday. Everyone else saw it over the weekend and poor Jon didn't see it until Monday. Sucker.
Birthdays in Seattle - Turns out six inches of snow in Seattle is the equivalent of four feet in the Northeast and shuts down absolutely everything. It seemed like the worst thing ever after 10 days in Canada with a few boastful individuals until we turned it into a double birthday party for two of our fellow travelers. I would do this night over in a heartbeat.
Taking GA pictures - As part of our going away gifts for our bosses the four of us GAs took specific group pictures for each individual boss. Since each picture had meaning and memories behind it, we had so much fun taking them, laughing about the year and anticipating their reactions to them. It was such a fun way to sort of recap our year.
Sledding with bros - Since we legit had no snow all winter, we took advantage of it when we could. Even when it was only three inches we threw on our snow pants, blew up tubes and made hot chocolate. Pretty sure it'll be really hard for me to find friends that will do this with me in the future.
Syracuse Basketball with Dad - The first day of Christmas break Dad flew to Ithaca to accompany me for the six-ish hour drive back to Maine. We caught a Syracuse basketball game that night and took our time getting back to the Pine Tree State the next day. I had missed my dad-daughter time and was so excited that we got to explore a new place together.
Tyler's Birthday - Since I met Tyler that first week of the year, I was excited for her birthday. Not that every other night wasn't awesome, but I knew to expect lots of fun on that February night. And it was a Tuesday, which meant trivia, which always meant fun. No pictures from this night are necessary.
Anything involving Super Bass or House Party - Those songs always led to fun. We played them at night, screamed at the bar DJ to play them, played them in the morning, played them in the car, played them at the gym and even quoted lyrics on a regular basis. Chances are if either of those songs were involved, it was a phenomenal time.
Easter Egg Hunting - Even though I couldn't go to my Maine home for Easter, I was able to go to my Rochester version and celebrate with my New York family and a couple of my closest friends. We even had a super awesome Easter egg hunt that totally brought me back to being a little kid. Memories like that are the best.
Graduating with my Master's - I can't believe I received my graduate degree before I even turned 24 and needless to say, it was a very proud moment for me. I didn't really appreciate it at the time, but it is pretty cool and will eventually lead to a PhD.
Family photo night - A photo shoot with three of my best friends. Couldn't have been better.
One night at Andy's - I believe Andy refers to this night as 'four words' and that's exactly what it should be referred to as. At one point I had permanent marker on my face and at another I was eating protein bars with a best bro of mine. The rest of the night ... well ... it was even more fun than that.
Coddington Games - A memory that started with 'I bet you can't pick up that bag with your foot and bring it to the counter without touching the floor' turned out to be one of the best moments of this last year. Like I said earlier, I can't imagine it will be easy for me to find friends that will join me in Olympic-like competitions with household items.
The night our infamous Moonies competition name was created - Although we may have opposed this name in the initial five seconds of hearing it, we embraced it from there on out. I also believe this was nearly the start to the establishment of an awesome trio. Can't wait to bring this back when we visit next year.
I think it's pretty cool that I have 23 awesome memories that I wouldn't even think twice about recreating from an unforgettable 23rd year. I consider myself super lucky for all I have and for all I've done. I can only hope I have half as much fun every year in the future. Bring on 24!