Best of 2011

2011 was a magnificent year for me.
In this past year, I feel like I really came into my own (as cheesy as that sounds). Things started to click together and I have a vision for my life. It feels good to be in my skin these days.

Anyway, in admiring the remarkable year that was 2011, I wanted note those things that stood out as the 'best' for me:

I loved our overnight in Kansas City and our long weekend in Colorado, but my favorite trip of 2011 was our road trip to Minnesota.

We drove up to see U2 play at TCF bank stadium

It was a mind-boggling show. U2 is an amazing band whose music spans the decades and remains relevant year after year.

We also visited Ikea (Luuuuuv!) and tried out the famous Juicy Lucy.

We had so much fun and got to do so much in just a couple of days!
To read all about our trips:

Minnesota Trip
Kansas City Trip
Denver Trip and here and here

BEST CONCERTIn 2011, we went to ~18concerts. We saw infamous artists at big venues (U2 at TCF Bank Stadium) and local artists at street shows (Envy Corps at Gaslamp). Picking just one as the BEST is pretty much impossible.
So I picked a few

Best out of town show
Since U2 already got a mention, I have to go with Foo Fighters in Council Bluffs. Hands down- my favorite HUGE name show of 2011.

Best local show
Jack's Mannequin at People's. I just got into JM this year and this concert was awesome. People's is one of my favorite venues- it was perfect for this artist.

Best outdoor show
Matt Nathanson played the Simon Estes Amphitheater this summer. His new album had just come out and it was perfect for a nice, hot summer evening.

Best local artist show
Gaslamp Pumpkin Bash: Envy Corps, Bright Giant, Dick Prall, Poison Control Center and a couple others. Need I say more?

This year I read Jane Eyre for the very first time. I know it's not new at all, but it was new to me and fantastic.

As for a current read...it's a toss up between Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Adults by Alison Espach.
I loved Committed so much- I actually wrote an entire blog post about it. You can read it here.
I really connected with The Adults because it's about this girl and her life from middle/high school into adulthood. It's all about her growth into an adult by watching her parents and other adults around her, while also experiencing it herself. It's so true to life in the ways people really are all just screwed up....I loved it. :)

Anyone who knows me knows that I love music. Which is why this category got more than a few mentions...I actually had to narrow it down to four.
Needtobreathe- The Reckoning

I absolutely love this album. There are multiple stand out songs and the flow from one song to the next is perfect. 'Able', 'Wanted Man' and 'Learn to Love' are my favorites.

Foo Fighters- Wasting Light

I'll be honest...never have been a huge Foo Fighters fan. When this album came out, T kept telling me how amazing it was and burned me a copy.
I couldn't agree more. I actually ran a couple races listening to only this album. It's fast-paced, lyrically sound and will rock your socks off. Favorite songs are 'Arlandria' and 'Walk.'

Switchfoot- Vice Verses

I knew a few Switchfoot songs before this album came out, notably 'Needle in Haystack Life' and I was curious about this album. It's a double disc with 11 live tracks. It has faster paced songs 'Afterlife,' 'Dark Horses' and also some soul-searching numbers like 'Vice Verses' and 'Thrive.' My favorite song on the album is 'Thrive.' Love it.

Augustana- self-titled

This was Augustana's 4th full album, but they were brand new to me. :) I love this album from beginning to end. It's full of heartfelt songs about love. It makes me happy every time I listen to it.

This was easy.
Dam to Dam.
I ran it with my favorite people.
And I set a PR - 20K 1:56:07

So there you have it- my 'Bests' of 2011.
I'm looking forward to another year filled with great memories!!

What were your 'bests' of 2011?