My 9 best moments from 2016

I’ve seen this a lot on my friends’ feeds, and figured I maybe should participate (if late).  2016 was not a kind year for many of us, and I had difficulty identifying three things that went well in the year.  I started reviewing photos, and found 6 more!  Here goes my list:

  1. April 2016: Won the BigBlue Healthy Kitchen Wars cooking competition at ODU with the Faculty/Staff team.
  2. May 2016: I got to take my Mom to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens for the LanternAsia exhibit for Mother’s Day (it’s rare for her to be in my area).
  3. May 2016: I got to go to Seattle, WA and give a presentation at the annual Immunology conference!  I’d been wanting to do a talk (rather than just a poster) for a few years.  I’ve also always dreamt of Seattle; I’m a pluviophile, and the city just captured my imagination.  While there, aside from the conference, I got to visit a friend and see the Seattle Japanese Garden which was gorgeous, the Space Needle (so geeky) and the quite stunning Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit, the EMP museum, and the Museum of Flight (loved the space exhibits).  It was a great trip filled with amazing food, fantastic scenery, and a lot of really good experiences that I’m glad I had.
  4. July 2016: I got to visit friends and family over the summer; in particular, I went to see Luray Caverns with my best friend.  I’d never been.  It was spectacular.  I have literally hundreds of photos and videos from that (and filled up my phone completely).  They even played the stalactite organ while we were there. We also did the garden maze (and I think we chanted “get through the Labyrinth? Get through the labyrinth?! … movie reference) and the rope adventure park.  You know, for someone who doesn’t like heights, I certainly got some altitude this year!
  5. December 2016: I was a co-author on another manuscript, accepted for publication and published online! Not primary author or senior author, but I’m very happy that some of my data was useful.   http://www.jni-journal.com/article/S0165-5728(16)30336-8/abstract
  6. September 2016: My 20th high school reunion.  Yikes!  Has it been that long!?
  7. October 2016: Survived Hurricane Matthew (not a highlight) and had a great visit with a friend I haven’t seen in years!
  8. October 2016: Halloween is always a highlight.  I did the Corpse Countess this year and utterly delighted in my costume!
  9. December 2016: I got to visit with my friend, and although the Santa Claus Shuffle did NOT qualify as a highlight, our tour through the Norfolk Botanical Garden of Lights show did!

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New Year’s Resolution Complete: Santa Claus Shuffle 5k!

Official Race Results.
Official Race Results.

I did it! I did it! I did it!  Not only did I beat my former best time of 39:52 on a 5k, I did so by about two and a half MINUTES.  I finished the 2015 Santa Claus Shuffle 5k in 37:18 (official time).  Thus, I completed one of my New Year’s Resolutions.

As usual, the Santa Claus Shuffle was held in early December in Portsmouth, VA.  Three years ago, my friend Carrie suggested we run it together–and we set our first pace and time.  The next year, we also ran–though not as well.  Last year we missed the race because I was recuperating from surgery.  This year, I expected to be running it alone–Carrie moved back in January–but much to my surprise, she was in town and met me at the race start!  We didn’t stick together during the race, but we both set new best paces and times.

Race tracking by Microsoft Band
Race tracking by Microsoft Band

Ric was there at the finish line. No video this time–he missed it because I was significantly earlier than expected (gee, darn)! I also don’t have any official race finish photos or anything else except my personal favorite: the post-race celebratory banana photo of Carrie & me.  Yes, that’s a snowman-Dalek.  I did NOT want to run in costume this year, so settled for the most Christmassy short-sleeved T-shirt I had!

Carrie & Me!
Carrie & Me!

Photo of the Week: Week 45

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This week, I went out with a friend and coworker.  We had a very enjoyable evening over some wines!  It’s fairly unusual for me to have any type of social life, and it was nice to get to know my friend a bit better.