My 30th Year: Life Updates

I turned 30 on June 20th, wooo!  I don't feel like I'm in a new decade, but I'm excited all the same!  30, flirty, and thriving, and all that jazz.
But I feel like I've been holding out on you, with several details of my life.  I know I've mentioned that life has been hectic, in explanation for why the posts haven't been as plentiful, but I haven't given you why.  And I wasn't quite ready to share the details yet, so the posts I wanted to write suddenly had omitted info, but it felt like a lie.  So here goes!

I've started taking the ARE's, that's Architectural Record Exam's for those of you lucky enough to not know what these are.  There are 7 tests total, and once you start testing, you have 5 years to pass all 7.  It sounds like a lot of time, but it's a lot of work studying and preparing, and a bit of a financial burden to take each one.  I've somehow passed the two that I've taken, and I'm currently taking a little time off for the summer (every weekend seems to be filled with a wedding, family reunion, or bachelorette party, and that really kills the studying time).  It is not unusual to fail a test (or two), which is why I didn't announce I was testing.  Also, don't expect to get many updates on these, but it's totally happening!  On top of finding time to train for the Bay Swim, I was finding time to study, and studying often won out instead of those long swims; another reason I felt ill-prepared for the swim.  I'd love to pass one more before the winter holidays, so I'll start back up after this busy summer.  Once I pass all 7, I'll be a registered architect, which is awesome.  It took me a few years to get the drive to start to test, and where exactly did that motivation finally come from?

Eric moved to Brooklyn!  Well, I'm not super excited about it, it means we're doing the distance thing for a bit, but hear me out.  He got an amazing job offer, and just couldn't turn it down.  And based on the other jobs he was up for, Brooklyn was a way better option for multiple reasons, especially since I have siblings in the area and am familiar with NYC.  He's loving his job and his new neighborhood, and I've loved exploring the city and new restaurants with him.  We've seen each other almost every weekend since he moved back in April, so I certainly can't complain, but we're also learning how to talk on the phone quite a bit.  Let me say that headphones and a phone in your pocket is the best invention ever- I can prepare dinner while also chatting with the boyfriend.  So how does him moving motivate me to take the AREs?  He went after his dream, so I needed to take steps towards mine.  Also, supposedly I'd have more time to study with him away, but so far it doesn't feel like that!  Free weekends are spent in NYC, or him in MD.  I'll have to figure that out for when I start testing again after all of these weddings.

Studying, and free time spent on the phone has caused this blog to suffer.  I've even joined a CSA and already have 6 weeks of dinners and recipes to share with you guys, I just can't find the time to sit down and write the posts.  With the new life schedule to figure out, I've been trying to balance the rest of it, so I'm sure I'll figure it out soon for this here blog too...  Thanks for listening you guys, you're the best!  Also, you should definitely follow me on Wine 'N Dine, an "instagram for your food, even more than instagram is" app, because now I have fun MD/DC and NYC restaurants to post! (mccindy620, in case you actually want to explore that app).

So yes, there are things going on that are preventing me from posting as often as I'd like, but I can't wait to share my CSA knowledge with you!  I've learned a lot in these few short weeks about how to prepare new veggies, as well as what actually works for "using them up".  But first, let's talk birthday tour and NYC weekends!

The week leading up to my birthday was pretty awesome too, actually.  I buckle under pressure, so I'm terrible at making birthday plans, but luckily other people step up for me!  My week started with a really tough Bay Swim, but carried over to a wonderful dinner with my parents and sister Becky at the King's Contrivance Restaurant that Wednesday.  Becky and I had never been, so my parents thought it would be a good time to go and celebrate!
I got an amazing steak, with an arancini (fried ball of risotto), parmesan-crusted tomato, and steamed spinach.  It was all delicious!

I was full, but my mom had made the delicious gluten-free chocolate pudding pie for dessert, so we obviously all made room for a slice :-)  And I opened presents, drank Cynthia wine, and my family is the best.
The next day I found out I passed my second ARE that I was 99% sure I failed.

And on Friday, my parents and I headed up to NYC- them to help out Matt with the 1st weekend of his 5 Boro Race (yep, there are two weekends this year!), and me to visit the boyfriend.  We ate a ton, saw a Broadway show (The Spoils!), and just wandered around his neighborhood to celebrate my turning 30.  It was exactly what I wanted.  And definitely check out Provini and Al Di La, if you're looking for amazing Italian food in Park Slope.
I was in NYC the following weekend to help with Matt's 5 Boro Race, but I'll save that for another post.  There are some great pictures to share!

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