Lucky ’13


I can’t believe 2013 is (almost) over!  This year has been one of the best years of my life!  I have learned so much about myself, stretched my comfort zone, taken some amazing trip, laughed, cried, sang and danced (however, no one will find evidence of the latter 2).  I can say I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life and feel completely blessed for all the big and little things God has done this year.  I look forward to each and every day that comes and cherish the moments I get to share with family and friends.

At the beginning of this year, I shared with a friend how 2012 wasn’t the best of years for me (probably one of the worst actually) and if I wanted 2013 to be better, I had to change me.  I had to change my attitude, my direction, my focus and really evaluate what was important.  I started this year with a LIST (yeah, I’m a list person) of things I wanted to do in 2013.  This way, If I was bored or ran out of ideas, I had something to go to try something new.  This was perfect!   I highly recommend starting 2014 with a list and doing the same!

Cassie’s 2013 List

1 – Go on a Winery Tour – I’ve never been on a winery tour before and with my love of wine, this definitely made the list.  A few months ago I visited the San Sebastian Winery  in St. Augustine, FL and took a tour of the facility.  Honestly, I was disappointed to learn that we wouldn’t be doing a deep dive into the winery and wine making process and that the vineyards are actually located in the Panhandle.  However, I had great company and the short tour gave me a small taste (literally) of a winery.  Now I have bigger dreams…  Napa or Italy anyone?!?!?!

san-sebastian san-sebastian-winery

2 – Complete the Katie Ride – The Katie Ride is an annual road ride in Amelia Island benefiting the Katie Caples Foundation to increase organ donor awareness.  The Y had a team I joined and complete my first ride back in April!  I blogged about my Katie Ride adventure here and was hooked on cycling after it!

KR sigh

3 – Try Hot Yoga Hot Yoga seems to be popping up everywhere and before I judge something, I’ve learned I need to try it.  I do like yoga and would do it more if I had more time, but a run just seems more efficient. The idea of hot yoga is great, but I didn’t know if it was for me.  So I bought a Groupon for 10 hot yoga sessions at Radiance Bikram Yoga Studio and  guess what?!  Yeah, I love it.  I love it for the sweat.  I love it for the relaxation.  I love it for the deep breathing.  I love it for the all-about-me-time a yoga practice brings.  I even love it for the no-make-allowed-smelly-feet-sweatiness I get when I go!  The last part of that is why there will be no pictures posted of yoga. 🙂

4 – Take Tennis Lessons – I used to play tennis.  I even played for my high school many, many years ago!  I loved it when I played but I hadn’t picked up my racket in years.  So I put on my list to take tennis lessons and start playing again.  And guess what… I did!  I took a lesson at the Y and hit around with a few friends.  Time constraints and an injury held me back but I am glad I got to try it again! (Below is a picture of my dad and I before we hit the courts one evening)


5 – Start the CPA Review – When I got my Master’s a few years ago, I told myself I would start the CPA exam right away.  Well that didn’t happen.  Life did.  So this year I make it a point to make the CPA a priority and I am currently studying for the first exam!  It is going to be a very long however-many-months-this-takes to get through it, but I am motivated more than ever to study, pass and move forward with my career!

cpa books

6 – Go Camping.  I bought my Kelty gear and hit the trails backyard one evening.  Ok, so I didn’t go camping for real but I did sleep outside, on the ground, in a small tent, with a sleeping bag.  I figured I had to test out all the gear for the real thing.  The best part about camping was waking up to the sound of birds and the sunrise.  It really was priceless.  So peaceful and amazing.


7 – Visit a U-Pick Farm.  I love fresh fruits and veggies.  I love going to farmer’s markets but I haven’t picked from the ground in a really long time.  I vaguely remember picking blueberries and peaches as a kid and wanted to try this again. So on the list it went.  I couldn’t find any farms in the northeast Florida area that had fruits or veggies this time of year except the U-Pick Strawberry Farm in St. Augustine.  So I made a little day trip with some friends and picked fresh strawberries!


8 – Go to a Dog Park.  If you’ve been following me awhile, you know I love the dog park.  It’s such a safe, mostly clean place that dogs can go and socialize and be leash free.  The dog park people are also a hoot and I love listening to their conversations.  I’m guilty of being a people watcher and the dog park makes this really easy and fun.  (That’s my nice way of says some dog park people are weird!)  This year I wanted to make a point to go to the dog park as much as I can.  I bought a Groupon for visits and took a few trips there.  Most recently, I took my pup, Emmie, for a puppy play date at Dogwood and it was awesome! I think she loves this place!

emmie at dog park

9 – Visit Susan in Colorado. I have been wanting to go to Colorado in the summer/fall for many years but kept making excuses about why I couldn’t go.  Well, not anymore.  This year I planned a long weekend to visit Boulder, CO with a side trip to Aspen.  It was absolutely beautiful and definitely  a place I want to visit again!  They say people visit Colorado for the winters and stay there for the summers.  I can definitely relate to that!  I posted on my trip to Boulder and Aspen earlier this year.

10 – Coach Girls on the Run.  I coached GOTR a few years ago and love the program.  The curriculum, coaches and girls are so much fun and I’m always sad to see the season end.  I couldn’t coach the past few seasons due to the timing of practices and my work schedule, so I decided to get a site going on Saturdays at the Y so I could.  This past fall season, I coached again and had such a great season!


11 – Complete a half marathon.  Completing a half marathon has always been something I’ve dreamed of doing.  I think the distance is perfect and something I could test myself at.  I tried to do a half in June in Chicago and it didn’t pan out due to injury.  Two weeks before Thanksgiving I decided to do the Thanksgiving Day Half here in Jax.  The run was cold but amazing!  Now I can’t wait to keep doing more!  Anyone have and good cities they would suggest?

run start

12 – Adopt a dog – I adopted my happy little puppy on October 13, 2013 from Their Lives Our Voices.  She was a rescue and we think she’s a husky lab mix.  In just 2 months, she has outgrown a collar and gained over 15 pounds!  She’s getting move used to people and loves other dogs.  She’s obsessed with giving kisses and has stinky breath!  <— BAD combo!   I love every minute with her – except for that time when I found poop under my bed.  And that time she drank all the toilet water.  🙂  Oh the joys of having a puppy!!  She’s so cute and loves toys and taking naps on the tile.  She likes to talk when she wakes up from naps and loves doing tricks for treats!  Meet Emmie…


13 – Get a new job.  That’s right!  I got a new job about 2 months ago that I absolutely love!  It’s the perfect fit for me and was the last piece of the puzzle in order to be able to start studying for the CPA exam!  It couldn’t have come at a better time and offers so many new channels for the future!  I don’t think people are just given opportunities but their hard work and determination align them with opportunities.  The whole “I’m just waiting for the right opportunity” doesn’t exist in my book.  I believe that you have to work hard and seek the opportunities.  When they come, you can say – I’ve taken a great opportunity.

Surprisingly, this list wasn’t a stressor at all.  In fact, these were actually motivating things I looked forward to (well I guess you have to appreciate CPAs to look forward to that one!).   Looking back and reflecting on this year just brings me joy.  Personally, professionally, spiritually, emotionally and physically, I think I have had one of the best years of my life.

2013 might not have been your year but don’t give up!  2012 sucked for me (to sum it up in one word and spare you the details) and I took that to make 2013 the best one yet.  If 2013 wasn’t your year, start 2014 off right!  Maybe that means making a list of things you want to accomplish, short term goals or steps to achieve something.  Maybe it’s taking a class, finishing school, reconciling with a loved one, traveling to a new place, doing something you’ve never done, helping other or overcoming fears.

Once you write it down, DO IT!

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