Here's what you missed this year:
- I joined Partners Mentoring Youth. I hang out with a sweet 12-year-old girl every week for a few hours.
- I signed up with eHarmony again (this is after the other 'again' times that I've joined), even though I find it a bit fruitless. All the guys take photos of themselves on mountaintops; in the mirror; or with a crowd of people so it's impossible to decide which one is the future Mrs. Benes.
- I spent a period of time biking almost every day to work for a roundtrip of about 16 miles a day. This required me to lift my bike over a fence, until someone bodily moved the end of the wooden fence to create a path to the road. I still bike on occasion, but have fallen off the wagon the last couple of weeks.
- My nephew was born! His name is Benjamin Vernelson IV. And I can't wait until he's old enough to introduce himself as that. He has little dark eyes and a cute bald head with this cute scrunched up dimple line on his forehead and he plays with his tongue and wobbles his head around before head-butting you in the neck. And falls asleep instantly in his front pack and grunts when he eats and is just plain adorable. And that's not just because he's my nephew.
- My parents and I went to Washington DC to visit the Ukrainian host sister I lived with during Peace Corps, who worked this summer as a lifeguard in Virginia. My mom brought 36 boiled eggs and vegetarian muffins and cookies in her suitcase. She had to put some of her clothes in her backpack to make room. Vegetarian muffins, you ask? I mean they were made of all vegetables like squash and carrots, not that they were for vegetarian diets. Oksana was teased a lot by guides on the trip, which she found baffling.
- We flew Oksana and her friend Dasha to visit us in Colorado. And we had a blast. We packed as much Colorado as we could into four days. On Friday, I drove them all over Loveland, showed them our sculpture park and helped them pick out souvenirs at our Visitor's Center. Yes, we have a Visitor's Center here with a pond and a garden and all these sculptures! On Saturday we went to Water World and Sunday, we drove to the top of Trail Ridge Road. Dad is scared of heights so he backed out of that part. On Monday, we biked the Loveland bike trails and around Lake Loveland before they packed up to go back to Virginia.
- I was a city away from President Obama, who visited Fort Collins to speak at Colorado State University. I stayed back at the office to tweet, Facebook and upload reporter and photographer videos and photos to our website, www.reporterherald.com. But I got to see him speak on a live Internet feed, if that's any consolation!
- Which brings me to today, when nothing of note happened except for it being a Wednesday and me forgetting to finish a calendar item for my editor.