As I prepared to write this post about the past year, I went back and read my blog entry about 2010. All I can say is WOW, 2010 was full of so many major life changes! While 2011 certainly saw some ups and downs, I can fortunately say that it was a more consistant year! I feel like I spent 2011 growing more comfortably into the roles that I took on by the end of 2010-- working girl, long-distance girlfriend, and TCU alum, just to name the big ones.
I rang in 2011 at the Stones' home (Doug Stone was Alex's college roommate, and Alex and I have been blessed through his friendship and his wonderful family and girlfriend), and then kicked off the year with TCU's Rose Bowl win on New Year's Day--a good start to 2011 indeed! After watching my team fight its way from a "nobody" school to being one of the top teams in the nation, that was such a sweet victory.
After spending the holidays together, Alex went back to Los Angeles and I went back to work. Throughout 2011, I started to take on some new responsibilities at work, such as supervising our interns, which I love, doing some writing, and even taking on more social media. I even got a raise, for which I am very thankful! I continue to love what I am doing, which is more than many people can say!
February brought the "Snowpacolypse" to Dallas, meaning I had an unexpected four days off of work! I was able to spend the weekend before Valentine's Day in LA with Alex. He was an excellent tour guide and took me to one of my now-favorite places...Angel's Knoll, where scenes from the movie (500) Days of Summer were filmed. I visited my good friend, Morgan, in Houston and welcomed a new great-grandlittle, Meridith, into my Tau Beta Sigma family from college.
Alex came home for spring break, which was lovely, and then I stayed very busy until May getting ready for the first-ever Kentucky Derby party for the young professionals group I coordinate, as well as making a scrapbook for my Little, Ashley. Ash loved her scrapbook, and the party was a major success. That was my first huge event to help plan and execute, so it was really exciting to watch my hard work come to fruition and know that I am in the career path that's right for me.
This summer was filled with fun-- Alex was home for all of it, and we slowly crossed items off of our Bucket List. We didn't finish them all, but we have added some items and decided to call it our "Life Bucket List." I visited Ashley in Kansas, went to three weddings and hung out with many wonderful friends, and enjoyed having my little sister home from college.
You may remember that in a post earlier in 2011, I realized that I had become a bit complacent with my faith and wanted to focus more on it and stir up my heart. Well, I did just that, and in ways I didn't even dream of at the time...that just shows that God was at work without me knowing it! In addition to attending weekly services at Alex's church, where everyone has been so welcoming, and attending a Sunday evening Bible study with some people from the church, I also started a women's group/Bible study with some of my girl friends and even their friends. I had felt that there was something missing in my life, and so the idea of starting a group of young women to do Bible study, hang out, and just support each other in general was born. We are all around the same age and facing similar challenges in life, and we spent this semester discussing "No Other Gods," which discusses all the idols we have in our lives. It was eye-opening and so rewarding to hang out with these girls every week...I feel like I now see my friends more than ever, and I have made new friends, too! We are going to continue the group in 2012 and I feel blessed to have these ladies.
This fall was spent working, attending both Bible studies, relaxing with my parents, cheering on my Frogs, enjoying nights out in Dallas and new dining experiences with Marissa, and having fun with friends whenever possible. One of my good friends moved to Thailand in September, and I miss her and love reading about her adventures via her blog. My former roomie, Caroline, moved out to LA in October and is thriving. It is crazy how we are all growing up and pursuing our dreams, wherever they take us!My Little, Ashley, came in town for Homecoming, and I realized I am finally feeling like an alum and enjoying the time I get to spend at TCU and with the friends I made there. I also took an entire week off work for the first time and visited Alex in California. We had an incredible week together and I was able to attend a childhood friend's wedding, which was so special.
Before I knew it, the holidays arrived. We spent Thanksgiving at home and had my extended family over, and then went to my aunt's house in Dallas for Christmas. I had my second annual tacky Christmas sweater party with my friends, and have loved being reunited with so many great people while everyone is in town for the holidays.
I am continually reminded that God is good, all the time. The year may have seen a few challenges and times where I felt discouraged, but it was filled with wonderful memories and so many great people. I am thankful for each and every one of you and wish you good health and happiness in 2012!
And, just as I posted last year, here is a picture from each month in 2011:
JANUARY- TCU wins the Rose Bowl!
FEBRUARY-Angel's Knoll for Valentine's Weekend in Los Angeles
MARCH- St. Patrick's Day party with my half-Irish man
APRIL- My friend Allison turns 21!
MAY- Okay, I cheated. Two photos for this month-- first ever Derby Dallas party and Mica's wedding...the first for our pledge class!
JUNE-Dinner with some of my faves!
JULY- Okay, two for this month again! July was a big month and I had a hard enough time narrowing it down to two! Concert at the Glass Cactus with Maris and Bree, and my high school friend Liz gets married!
AUGUST- I'm not in this one, but this was a renion dinner with good friends from high school. I love getting together with these people when we are all home.
SEPTEMBER- Dodgers game during my week visit to LA!
OCTOBER- TCU Homecoming and roomie time before Care moved to LA.
NOVEMBER- Thanksgiving with my sister
DECEMBER- Part of my women's group celebrating Christmas together