Social Icons

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Memories

2012 in review.

Keeping it classy with the Andre bubbly on NYE last year. 

Puddin' enjoying a gorgeous sunny January day on the balcony.

In February, my master's degree arrived!  Knowledge, experience, blah blah blah...the paper matters.  :)

Headed to New Orleans for Spring Break with Thomas.  Spent our time in the Garden District instead of the Quarter, for the most part.

In April, we visited San Antonio for the Texas Council for Family Relations conference.  Two of my classmates were visiting the Alamo for the first time.

Puddin' still agrees that sunny porch days are the best.

My favorite thing about this year was that my parents got to retire.  My dad was a Dallas police officer for 41 years.  Very grateful for all his hard work and ecstatic that he got to retire.

My other memory of May is the same as it's been since 2008...finals week.  Here, Puddin' helps me with a final paper.

In June, I attended the Head Start National Research conference in Washington DC.  It was one of the best conferences I have ever been to.  My sister tagged along, and we did as much sight seeing as possible.

July brought with it the Mega Road Trip of 2012.  My boyfriend's brother was getting married near Toronto, so we made the best of the trip.  We visited several of Thomas' friends along the way, and spent a couple days in Chicago for July 4th.  Here we are the The Bean.  On the 4th, we were supposed to go on a party cruise to see the fireworks from Navy Pier.  Thomas was pretty excited about finding and booking it.  It was a special treat, and a bit of a splurge.  When we arrived to Navy Pier, we couldn't find the boat, but we did find another couple in the same boat (ha, by NOT being in a boat at all).  The fireworks started, and we still had no idea where our boat was, long after the posted departure time.  No biggie for us, but the other couple (especially the guy) was PISSED.  We soon realized why.  After the fireworks started, we heard him say, "Well, I was supposed to do this on the boat, but this will have to do!"  He got on one knee and proposed.  :-)  She said yes.

We later found out the cruise company changed the departure time, and we never got word!  They didn't call or email!  It took Thomas 4 months to get a refund.  Anyway, this story was only worth telling because of the fun proposal.

Thomas' next older brother, Eli, married Tasj, in Bowmanville, ON.  I really enjoyed meeting their fun family.  I'm not sure I can do them justice.  They made me feel so welcome, even as the illegitimate mate of the groom's brother.  I will remember them as a warm, welcoming family, and I'm happy for Thomas' brother to marry into them.

The day of the wedding was fraught with potential disaster, however.  The bride's family received a call in the middle of the night.  The reception restaurant had burned down, including the wedding cake.  It stormed all morning, a bad sign for an outdoor wedding.  But all ended well.  Another restaurant was able to tackle the reception, and the sky cleared in time for a beautiful ceremony.  The place setting name cards, recovered from the original restaurant, DID smell slightly flambeed, though.

On our way out of Canada, of COURSE we hit Niagara Falls for an hour.

On our way to NYC.  Here I am in Central Park.  It was my 2nd trip to NYC, and my first to Central Park.  I'm proud to say I got to be there for Thomas' first trip to NYC.  He had also never been to New Orleans before we met.  Jazz musician who's never been to New Orleans or NYC? Seriously.

But the trip, the cash, and the time off work couldn't last forever.  After two glorious weeks on the road, we returned home to Texas.

Where my mom retired in August from her post as a city secretary.  Like my dad, I'm so grateful to her for all the hard work she put in making an amazing life for my two sisters and myself.

And since she's glaringly absent from the pic above, I'll remember in this post my sister, Brandi.  She died in a car accident January 3rd, 1998.  She was 18, and I was 13.  It wasn't easy for any of us, but I know it was and is especially debilitating for my parents.  It's a terrible tragedy.  Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm doing her short life justice with the way I'm living, but I'm still trying.

Because, the thing to remember about Brandi isn't that she died young.  It's that, while she lived, she was beautiful, kind, loving, dramatic, funny, hard working, and always acted proud of me.  I know she must have been annoyed by me like crazy, her nerdy little sister, but I also remember her bragging about me to her friends and boyfriends.  Can you believe she was always trying to lighten her hair?  I think her natural color was gorgeous.  And no one could rock a pair of Rocky Mountain jeans better.  :)

This ended up being a good segue to Colorado in September.  Our last family vacation before she died was in Colorado, and my parents still visit annually.  This year, as leisurely retired folk, they spent a whole month there.  I flew in for a long weekend and enjoyed the company and scenery.

Also in September, I attended my first Cowboys game, where my boyfriend's band played the post-game show.

And in October, we had our one year dating anniversary.  He knocked my socks off with surprise after surprise, culminating in a pair of diamond earrings.  WOW.

In November, a long awaited girls' night happened!  It wasn't the event itself that was special (although it WAS good nerdy fun, a Star Trek themed USO fundraiser), but the point is that my sister and her best friend, and myself and my best friend, were all able to get on the same page and have a fun night out together.  

In December, I dogsat for my sister's sweet 2.2 lb pup named Sophie, who got sick while I was there.  She was having seizures, among other horrific illnesses, and this freakin' dog totally stole my heart.  I loved the heck out of her.  She seems to be doing better lately.  The vet gave her valium after not much else would help with her seizures.  My sister has named me godmother.  I guess that's better than dognapper, but I'm still not ruling out dognapping as a possibility.  Who could resist???

But, I can't bring a dog around to disturb the quirky peace I have finally managed with my old crotchety cat, Puddin', here tentatively enjoying some Christmas tissue paper.  Took 5 years after I adopted her before she would let me pet her, and now, she can't get enough.  Except that she is still mean to everyone else.  Who knows what her 6-7 years were like before me, but tonight, she has rested peacefully with me by the fire to welcome 2013.  :)

This is the BEST OF 2012.  The worst is that I have been incredibly burned out and lacking direction and motivation in school (which, as a doc student, means my career).  I have some ideas for getting back on track in 2013, so I'm not going to dwell on the failures of 2012 unless I start falling into the same patterns this year.  :)  

Happy new year!!!

1 comment: