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Happy 1st Birthday to our furbaby, Sofie!  This 55 lb. chocolate nugget has brought so much joy into our little home!  We couldn’t have asked for a better dog —  she is so happy-go-lucky and well-mannered.  (All thanks to James’ amazing training efforts!)

Thank you to all our friends and family for putting up with all the photos I’ve shoved in your faces and stories I’ve forced you to listen to over the past months.  Special thanks goes out Frances of Puddleduck Retrievers for this special girl!

I’m not really sure where the month of February has gone but I do know it’s been an eventful one!  My BFF from back home came to visit a couple of weeks ago.  Lauren had never been to NYC before so we had a lot to do in a few days!  We ate a lot, walked a lot and laughed A LOT.  It was so good to spend time with one of my oldest and dearest friends!

walking over the brooklyn bridgeAfter visiting the WTC memorial, we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge

photo-2The infamous Nathan’s Hot Dog in Coney Island

This past Sunday, I woke up to James asking me if I wanted to go skiing in New Hampshire.  I had the following two days off for President’s Day and there wasn’t really anything keeping us in town so… we packed up the car and the 3 of us were headed out on the road!  We were lucky enough to be staying with friends — one of who works at Crotched Mountain in Bennington.  It’s a great resort off the beaten path and we couldn’t have asked for better weather while we were there.  Monday was sunny and beautiful and Tuesday featured a snowstorm that filled the slopes with 5 inches of new snow (at least in the amount of time we were there!).  The storm wasn’t fun to drive through but it made for an amazing day on the mountain!

photo-3At the top of Crotched Mountain

photo-4Playing with Sofie in the snowstorm!

I know it’s a bit late but Happy New Year to everyone! We spent the Christmas holiday with James’ parents on Crooked Lake.  Sofie was extremely excited by all the snow but shocked to see that her treasured water had completely frozen over.  But that certainly didn’t stop her from walking out on the ice!

James & I rang in the New Year in Marquette, Michigan with our amazing and fun friends, Elly & Bill.  It was cold, cold, cold (if I remember correctly the windchill was -20) but that didn’t stop us from having a good time.  James inadvertently turned into the designated driver that night.  He watched the rest of us slowly consume too many drinks.  On New Year’s Day, James kept reminding us how wonderful he felt while the three of us nursed our hangovers.

sarah-bonk-michigan-travels-photo-1Sofie made some friends when we stopped at the Cabela’s in Dundee, MI

sarah-bonk-michigan-travels-photo-2sign at the Oden State Fish Hatchery where we walked with the dogs almost every day!

sarah-bonk-michigan-travels-photo-3Nellie really wanted to join in on our card game!

sarah-bonk-michigan-travels-photo-4Christmas Day on Crooked Lake

sarah-bonk-michigan-travels-photo-5Sofie showing off her snow beard

sarah-bonk-michigan-travels-photo-6fitting in a nap before we head back home to NYC

It’s always hard for James & I to get back into the groove of things after the holidays.  Our anniversary is in the middle of January which is followed closely by my birthday.  Our anniversary has passed (YAY! 6 years!) and now that I’m officially 29, I can (attempt to) get back into the swing of things.  I’m hoping to make this year the best and most productive one yet.  Here are a few things I’m hoping to accomplish this year:

  • WRITE more — keeping a journal is something I’ve done on and off since I was in 2nd grade.  Since moving to NYC, it’s been hard to find the free time to sit down and write.  At the suggestion of a good friend, I picked up a 5-year Q&A a day journal.  Each morning, I’ll flip to the day’s date, read the question and write down my answer before I go to bed.  It’s 5 minutes that I can easily commit to!
  • FINISH the Stitching the States project — or least give it a better attempt than last year.  I started the project a little over a year ago and in that time, I was only able to complete 9 states.  Only 41 more to go!
  • BEAT this damn candida infection — yup, it’s come back with a vengeance but I’m the only one to blame for it.  I succeeded in getting rid of the pesky thing about 2 years ago and felt absolutely amazing.  Once I felt better though, I went right back to eating the same things that got me into this predicament in the first place!  Lesson learned.

So… Yay for 29!  I’m excited to see what this year brings!

Also, if you happen to be near a newsstand or waiting in line at the grocery store, look for the February 2014 issue of Fitness Magazine and look for Sofie (and my backside! HA) on page 30.

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Around this time last week, James and I hit the road from the tip of the Mitt back to Brooklyn.  We had been in Northern Michigan for two weeks and unfortunately our vacation had come to an end.  We had a great time hanging out with family and friends but I think Sofie was the one who had the most fun!  We stayed at James’ parents house on Crooked Lake and Sofie had her first real taste of the water.  Living up to the Labrador reputation, she absolutely LOVED the water.  There were 4 other dogs of all sizes and ages at the house at one point – even a 6 month old German Shorthaired Pointer who bonded with Sofie right off the bat.  They became instant friends!

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Taken when we first arrived, Sofie instantly took to the water!

sb-north-mich-02Perfect day on Crooked Lake

sb-north-mich-03Max the Schnoodle & Nellie the Wheaten Terrier wait for their turn on the jet ski

sb-north-mich-04Camo the German Shorthaired Pointer & Sof… You wouldn’t know it but they became best buds!

sb-north-mich-05Izzo the Goldendoodle & Sof playing tug-o-war

sb-north-mich-06James wearing his bday present from Sofie

sb-north-mich-07I just love the tall trees that inhabit Northern Michigan

sb-north-mich-08Sun setting out on Crooked Lake

sb-north-mich-09Snow crab on our last night in Northern Michigan – SO GOOD!!

sb-north-mich-10Strawberry-rhubarb pie – DELICIOUS!

This is the 4th year in a row that James and I have vacationed in Michigan over the 4th of July.  It has become a tradition that we absolutely love!

A while back, I made a cross-stitch piece of Crooked Lake, where we stay every summer.  James’ parents loved the piece and at James’ suggestion, I made another piece that will be a part of the Crooked Lake Yacht Club auction next week Friday, the 26th.  I’m very excited about it!

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