It’s a good thing that “Regularly update my readers on my progress with my New Year’s Resolutions” wasn’t one of my New Year’s Resolutions, because I would have failed miserably if I had done so!

I told myself multiple times throughout the year that I needed to do so, but then I would forget to do so amidst all of the training and exercise posts I wrote over the year.

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I never thought I’d miss the training runs that I did in 90 degree weather on the Towpath, but on a snowy day like today, I’d give anything for a nice, humid run during which sweat drips off of my head like water!

Before I talk about what I’d like to do in 2014, I should probably wrap up 2013, right?

Without further ado, let’s take a look back and see how I did!

1.) Run a half marathon and a marathon

I nailed this one. During 2013, I ran one full marathon (Northern Ohio Marathon) and two half marathons (Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon and Towpath Half Marathon). Best of all, I can’t wait to run these types of races again!

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2.) Read at least one book per month

I did better than I thought I would with this goal, but I didn’t read 12 books in 2013. I wound up picking up another community college course shortly after I posted my New Year’s Resolutions and life really got crazy.

I did read some exceptional books such as The Hunger Games trilogy, John Grisham’s Sycamore Row, and Gone Girl.

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I wish more young girls looked up to Katniss Everdeen instead of Miley Cyrus or Nicki Minaj. She is an incredible role model for anyone!

Unfortunately, some of my choices—Chris Kyle’s American Sniper and The Wolf of Wall Street—were so bad that I quit reading them.

 

3.) Put money in our savings account every month.

To my surprise, I fulfilled this resolution. God blessed our family in many ways this year. One way in which God blessed us was through our finances. I was promoted to full-time status at my main job and I was also offered several additional community college courses. We endured some pretty lean years after law school that taught us a lot about trusting that God would provide for our needs even when we weren’t sure how He would do so, and I am very grateful that God provided us with a stable and steady stream of income during 2013. I must have matured somewhere along the way in life, because I also made sure that we saved money each month. As we prepare to move into our new home, I’m grateful that we have this money in the event that unexpected repairs arise.

 

4.) Read the Bible at least three times per week

I blew this one. Much to my dismay, I allowed many weeks to go by without cracking open my Bible. Thank God for grace and forgiveness!

 

5.) Take Sheila on at least one date per month

To my (and Sheila’s!) delight, I did pretty well with this goal! Sheila had a rough year in many respects, and I was grateful that our additional income allowed us to enjoy a few more date nights than we had in the past. Here’s a few pictures from our fun times together:

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Sheila had a rough experience with sushi several years ago and was pretty turned off from it for quite awhile. She decided to give it another shot this year and I’m so glad she did. We enjoyed a delicious plate at Sushi Rock in February. Thanks, Groupon!

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Valentine’s Day at Press Wine Bar. No, I didn’t forget to shave on Valentine’s Day – I was trying to grow a beard. Unfortunately, my hair comes in with the sharpness of a Brillo pad and I always looked like I had an Amish neck beard.

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Dining at Macaroni Grill before watching Oz: The Great and Powerful in March. Note the great picture of Gollum on the tablecloth!

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Sheila looking great at La Tosca in April. I love when she wears her hair up like that. The interior of this place is beautiful too!
jurassic park

We followed up La Tosca with a viewing of Jurassic Park 3D. Much better than I had remembered!

fuji sushi

I came home from work on a Friday and suddenly began to feel very old, so we decided to go to on a date to Great Lakes Mall and to go shopping at Hollister and Aeropostale before ending the evening with hibachi at Fuji Japanese Steakhouse. This place is great!

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Enjoying Ticket To Ride and wine on the back patio at John Christ Winery in June. John Christ Winery is one of Greater Cleveland’s best-kept secrets!

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Sheila putting a Golden Retriever at Dodd’s Hillcrest Orchards in October. This dog lives at the orchard and he walks around eating apples all day and allowing himself to be petted by everyone. There is a pond on the property and he will jump into the pond and retrieve an apple if you throw it in there!

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We got a delicious spread of food during happy hour at the Burntwood Tavern before watching Catching Fire, the second-best movie of the year!

small door sheila

Burntwood Tavern has the best of both worlds–great decor and amazing food. When they had a one-year anniversary party, we jumped at the chance to join them for $1 martinis and $1 prime rib sliders. Sheila also found a door that is smaller than she is!

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how things went in 2013. While I need to make more of an effort to read my Bible, I am grateful that I developed some financial self-discipline and that I was able to successfully make a concerted effort to make Sheila feel loved and appreciated. Of course, I’m also glad that I was able to achieve my running-related goals, but I’m sure the numerous posts about my running has already made that quite clear to you!

Cheers to a successful 2013!

How did you do with your New Year’s Resolutions?