Hello, 2013!

Happy 2013! Jeff and I welcomed the new year with one of the most relaxing, enjoyable NYE nights in recent history. As much as I love celebrating in Chicago and sporting glitzy dresses, it felt so appropriate to stick around Portland, grab whiskey-glazed boneless BBQ wings at Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub with Lindsay and Daniel, catch “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” movie (which was good!) at McMenamins’ Mission Theater, and huddle around our apartment building’s back patio fire pit with a bottle of champagne and our little buddy Cooper.

Happy New Year Eve from Kells!

Happy New Year Eve from Kells!

Yet the special occasion called for an extra-special fire pit atmosphere. Jeff spent the afternoon rigging up the pagoda with blanket walls, snaking a cable line from our back window to power a TV, and picking up Prosecco, Veuve Clicquot, Session beers and snacks for late-night noshing. It. was. perfect. The four of us shimmied into sweatpants and blankets and toasted the new year with Coop in our warm backyard fort.

Like in years past, Jeff and I jotted down a few personal goals to lay the foundation for a stellar new year. Little financial, little physical, little fun. Here’s a sampling of mine:

  • Read at least 35 books. My first book of the new year: “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg – super interesting!
  • Run or bike in at least three races.
  • Volunteer for at least two events or activities.
  • Try to be the best sister, daughter, friend and wife I can be.
  • Make it the best year ever for Cooper. He wrapped up radiation treatments late last year, and he has his second carboplatin chemotherapy treatment tomorrow. The little guy still seems happy and healthy but we know we’ll be extremely lucky if he sees another New Year’s Eve.
  • Take at least two classes to learn new skills. I’m thinking a basic photography lesson would be right up my alley!

Today, the crisp, clear New Year’s Day morning beckoned for a hike. With more than 220 miles of local trails at our disposal, it’s easy to find new and exciting terrain to explore. Today’s pick: Rocky Butte Hike, 15 minutes northeast of our place. According to PortlandHikers.org, “Rocky Butte, one of Portland’s Boring volcanoes, lay in the direct path of the Bretz or Missoula Floods, some of the largest known on the planet, which blasted down the Columbia Gorge from what is now Montana over a period of about 2,000 years until about 13,000 B.C.” We tackled that butte beauty with Cooper, who was more than happy to lead the way up the 612-foot-high extinct volcano. The hike culminated with an epic summit at the Joseph Wood Hill Park, which boasts amazing, 360-degree views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Saint Helens and a peek at downtown Portland. Breathtaking!

One more 2013 resolution: Take more hikes!

Fireside viewing of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve

Fireside viewing of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve

Jeff's handiwork: a New Year's Eve cabana in our backyard!

Jeff’s handiwork: a New Year’s Eve cabana in our backyard!

Cozied up in our cozy clothes

Cozied up in our cozy clothes

Lindsay and Daniel popping the bubbly

Lindsay and Daniel popping the bubbly

Midnight celebrations with Veuve Clicquot!

Midnight celebrations with Veuve Clicquot!

New Year's Day hike on Rocky Butte

New Year’s Day hike on Rocky Butte

Mt. Hood view on our way to the Rocky Butte Hike summit

Mt. Hood view on our way to the Rocky Butte Hike summit

Mt. Saint Helens, dormant since 1980

Mt. Saint Helens, dormant since 1980

My two guys at Joseph Wood Hill Park

My two guys at Joseph Wood Hill Park

Jeff and his great love, Mt. Hood

Jeff and his great love, Mt. Hood

Panoramic views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Saint Helens

Panoramic views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Saint Helens

Coop and I leaving Joseph Wood Hill Park

Coop and I leaving Joseph Wood Hill Park

Cooper (still sporting his shaved patch from the biopsy)leading the way back down the Rocky Butte trail

Cooper (still sporting his shaved patch from the biopsy) leading the way down the Rocky Butte trail

Hooray for the first hike of the year!

Hooray for the first hike of the year!

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