Because listing your favorite things about the past year is the cool thing to do …

10.  Running more and longer distances – a 15k!
I’ve been a runner since my days in high school. I never did cross country or anything competitive but I would get out on the road and run a few times a week. This continued until college when I was lazy and well … it was cold in South Bend. Can you blame for stopping? I’ve never been much of a treadmill runner. I find them boring and I often get shin splints (NOT FUN). So I definitely prefer to take it to the street where I can just listen to music, be in my zone and pray. It’s my me time with God. This year I upped my game with my distances. I ran a 10k for the first time … and then continued that by running a 15k! It has been really fun and I can’t wait to reach even more distances. I am so proud of myself now for thinking a 3 mile run is short and sweet. I used to be so intimidated! But that is no longer the case. See you on the road!

9. Beer festivals
I went to a few beer festivals this year and even volunteered at Taste of Atlanta, a food fest that actually had a VIP tent with craft beer for the first time this year. It’s been fun to meet other beer geeks while out at the bars and beer festivals. I love having people who can relate to my passion! Thank you!

8. Bocce Ball
This fall, I joined a bocce league with 3 girlfriends! Oh man! We had so much fun! While our only win was a forfeit, we learned a lot and just enjoyed some quality girl time for a few weeks every Wednesday night at Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta. I can’t wait to play again when the weather is warm enough. Maybe we’ll be better next time!

7. Getting to know the City of Atlanta better
I was born and raised here in Atlanta. I lived in the same house until I went to college in South Bend, Indiana. But as someone who grew up in the suburbs, I wasn’t allowed to venture into town much in high school. At the time I thought it was ridiculous, but as I grow older, I see the wisdom in my parents’ decision-making (amazing how that works). So over the course of the last few years since I returned from the Midwest, I have been able to learn the city I have always called my home. There are so many amazing places to eat … and so many places with a good drink! Exploring them with my friends has been an adventure. Twitter has greatly assisted in this as I can keep track of where all the cool events are happening that night so I can go partake. Social media has been so helpful in my efforts to expand my geographical map of restaurant and bar patronage. I look forward to what 2011 brings!

6. Restarting the Saint Mary’s College Georgia Alumnae Club
I am a 2006 graduate of the women’s college in Notre Dame, Indiana who loves her school very much. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without that experience. I tried to get involved in the alumnae club when I first graduated but got busy with my job and never made it a priority. Then I realized the club fizzled out. So my friend Rosemary (a 2007 grad) and I decided to take on the role of Co-Presidents to rebuild the club. It has been so amazing to see the excitement for our college from women of all ages! It reminds me of why I chose to abandon the south and move up north for a few years. Go Belles!

5. Drinking more than 165 amazing beers this year at my favorite group of restaurants, Taco Mac
This has been a sprint for me this year to really take on my love for craft beer. A year ago I was passionate, but not nearly like I am now. I ended last year with having enjoyed 114 unique beers from September 2006 to December 2009. This year I am at almost 280 beers and plan to hopefully make it to 285+ by New Years Eve. Every time I go to the bar, I meet more interesting people. And a lot of the time, I’m able to talk with them about being Catholic. God opens up some amazing doors for me. I hope that I can continue to be His hands and feet! I have truly enjoyed some incredibly unique beers this year. Thinking about it makes me wanna go back and drink some of them again! Cheers!

4. Spending a week on retreat learning about Theology of the Body with Christopher West
If you asked me eight months ago if I would list this as a favorite, I would have given you a resounding no. It was one of the lowest points I’ve ever experienced in my life when God sent me to spend a week in Quarryville, Penn. with 100 strangers studying Theology of the Body and praying. I did not want to go. At all. And to make things worse, during that week, I experienced something so heart-wrenching I wasn’t sure I could handle it. Looking back now, it was an amazing example of God working in my life. It is still painful, but I can see how God was moving. So awesome. If you have never heard of TOB, I encourage you to become a student. I was first introduced to TOB in high school, but spent a weekend with Christopher West my freshman year of college when he went to Notre Dame to give a seminar. It will rock your Catholic world! Pope John Paul II was an amazing man. And the way in which Christopher delivers it will remain in your heart forever.

3.  The Sacrament of Confession
I am human. I sin. But by the grace of God, I am forgiven. This year I really began to embrace the beauty of this Sacrament more than ever before. And boy, I sure needed it this year. 2009 and 2010 were some rocky years for me, but here I am living life and I’m happy! So if you haven’t been to confession recently, do it! Seriously! Go! Now!

2. Being selected to go with The Catholic Guy Show crew to Greece & Turkey next year
This is #2 for many reasons. The main one being the relationships I have built over the course of the last few months of this year with my fellow pilgrims. You guys are AMAZING and I love you! I cannot wait to travel to these beautiful countries. Mountain Butorac is The Catholic Traveler and the one who will serve as our guide there. I have been blessed to share an office with him for a year and a half at work. He makes me smile and getting to know him has been a blast. Mtn, I’ll miss you as I move to another job, but that just means we have to meet for drinks! I can’t wait to meet all these people in person. Texts messages, phone calls, tweets and Facebook posts are fun, but I think once we all finally meet … get ready world! So to my fellow pilgrims, thank you for being such a blessing in my life this year. You have made everything a lot more fun (including the fact that many of you like to drink as much if not more than I do!).

1. Going to the CNMC, meeting some AMAZING people and starting this blog!!
In August, Mountain and I traveled to Boston for the Catholic New Media Celebration. I finally got to meet all these bloggers and social media personalities I’d been harassing for a year about writing about clients! It was as though we were old friends. I love being Catholic. The CNMC brought so many great things into my life: friendships, laughter, stories … and this blog. If you haven’t read the story of how the concept for CD started, read it. In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, people are very important to me. I am a believer that each person I meet makes an impact on my life in some way. I do not take this for granted. So to each of my friends I met in Boston, you have left an indelible impression upon me. Thanks for our continued laughter on the many social networks we belong to and for the emails as well. Oh and for those who live in Atlanta, for the opportunity to continue to hang out (and drink!!) while we talk about geeky stuff like social networking.

I love being called the Catholic Drinkie. Not a day goes by that I don’t recognize the blessing I have to be living this life and reaching out to many through the blog, social media and those I meet at the bar. I don’t take it lightly. That being said, I have some awesome things planned for 2011 and I can’t wait to reveal them to you. You guys are the best.