"Wake me up when it's all over."

The year is actually ending. A year that felt, at first, like it would never end. Now that it's over, I'm glad I didn't wish it all away. It was a pretty incredible year after all. 

I had another year of racing adventures with some of the best friends a person could have. I trained hard, I met my goals, I relayed, I color ran, I raced, I enjoyed. When I look back on my year of running -- all 1,279 miles -- I wouldn't do a single thing differently. The memories I make every year are some of my most cherished. I can't imagine a life without my running shoes or the people who make all the running worth it.

I also spent some time in the sky this year, both jumping out of airplanes and just going for a ride. Skydiving was incredible (and nauseating, as you may remember) (boy, do I remember). But more recently, my friend Marty flew his Cessna to town and took me for a ride (a fly?) in a plane he once likened to a "flying lawnmower". He wasn't joking. That plane was TINY. I flew in it. IN THE SKY. As evidenced by the fact that I'm here writing this post, I survived. It was pretty amazing to see my city and surroundings from the sky. It was also pretty amazing to not have to jump from the plane. 

There's an ongoing adventure in 2013 that's definitely my favorite of the year. In early June, he knocked on my door. Literally. I was home that Thursday afternoon, which never happens, and I was packing up for a weekend away. He took a chance and knocked on the door of the apartment he was about to sign a lease for. My apartment. 

Hurriedly, I opened my apartment door, and there he stood. A stranger, albeit a handsome one. He introduced himself, explained that he was in the neighborhood, about to sign a lease, and hoped to ask some questions about the place. So I let him in. Because that's what I do, apparently -- let strangers into my home. But he was friendly and we chatted, and when he left, I wrote my email address and a smiley face on a yellow Post-It note so he could contact me about some furniture he wanted to buy from me when I moved out in a couple months. 

Today, he tells me it was the smiley face that did it.

The weekend came and went, and on a rare occurrence, I checked the spam folder of my email. Sure enough, there sat an unread email from the stranger at my door. It was friendly, he thanked me for my help, and at the end wrote, "You seem nice. Would you want to grab coffee sometime?" It might be nice to have a friend in your old apartment in case you get homesick, he added. I smiled. That night we grabbed a beer at a neighborhood bar. Tonight we'll celebrate New Year's Eve together.

It took a bit of time to get our footing, but I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend the last half of the year. 

Here's looking to 2014, and a good year for everyone. Especially my parents. They deserve the best in the new year. Thanks to everyone and everything that made 2013 into the happiness it became. 

Happy New Year, friends.