Like most of the world, I've been spending some time looking back on the past year and enjoying where 2011 has gotten me. 2011 was a year I will never forget. Some very memorable things happened to me in 2011, getting hitched would probably be one of them. 2011 was not always easy. I didn't have any majorly huge issues that were way trying to overcome, but 2011 did have its share of challenges. They were just the right kinds of challenges. They were the kinds of challenges that taught me who I am as a person and pushed me toward who I needed to be. And I'm so very grateful for that.
If I labeled the year of 2011, it would definitely be a year of growth and understanding. I've grown up so much. I have learned about myself and about others around me. I have learned how to be a little less selfish and care more about those that matter most. I have learned more about my Heavenly Father. I have learned how to trust and to be patient. And I have learned that all things work out as long as you try hard and stay happy. So thanks 2011 for allowing me to grow up and learn more about myself than I ever knew possible. Thanks for showing me what love looks like and feels like and acts like. Just thanks.
Here is a little recap of my year, starting with . . .
I learned how to snowboard, went on my first snowshoeing adventure, celebrated a year of dating Brian, went to some Aggie basketball games, got hair extensions, and became an official member of Utah State's A-Team (we do new student orientation, give people tours, call people, answer questions, that sort of stuff).
I went to a Jazz game, won a free stay at Anniversary Inn that never expired (I've since used it), and really celebrated Valentines Day for the first time with someone I love.
I went on my first ever cruise during the course of spring break with a group of some awesome people, I explored the shops and beaches of Cabo San Lucas, I ziplined through the jungles of Puerta Vallarta, I experienced being hypnotized, and I got a beautiful diamond ring put on my finger and my best friend asked me to be his wife while we were standing on Lovers' Beach. Oh, and I had a basically secret engagement for about a week since I couldn't communicate with anyone while in Mexico.
Brian and I found an apartment, I started planning my wedding with the help of my mom, it rained a lot, I chopped my hair off again, Brian turned 23 and we partied all day, I made him a guitar-shaped cake, and I went to Baby Animal Days and was the happiest girl in the world!
I finished my second year of school, it kept on raining a lot, I moved home for the summer, I found the perfect white dress of beads and lace, Brian and I threw a Cinco de Mayo party, I did some hiking, shot some guns, Brian and I had our engagement pictures taken, and I went to Idaho High School State Track in Boise with my family.
Brian left to study abroad in South America for a month and I tried to keep myself busy by wedding planning, working two jobs, running a lot with my mom and our other running buddies, volunteering at a youth track and field clinic, blogging, and having sleepovers and campfires with family and friends. My family also brought a new puppy home after we lost our dear dog, Rex and we thought our now lonely dog, Ringo needed a friend.
Brian returned home, but only for a little bit. He spent the month of July traveling on business trips so we only saw each other on weekends. In the meantime, I ran some 5ks, went boating, swimming, and our family friend, Fayisa, came from Ethiopia to stay with us for a few days. We took him to his first rodeo. I then went to the rodeo again the next night with Brian and some friends. Can't get enough of that rodeo. The month was also spent going to several wedding showers put on by some lovely people. Oh, and Brian and I squeezed in getting our black tie pictures taken. It was a busy month.
It was a special month and we started it off right by getting married. My friend, Rachel, flew in from Florida for the wedding and I had such a blast spending a few days with her. Our wedding day was a delight in every way imaginable. On top of going through the temple for my first time and getting married, I also took part with some other awesome ladies in a relay race starting in Logan, UT and ending in Jackson Hole, WY. It was probably the hardest thing I've ever done in a physical sense. Brian and I also took our honeymoon to Glacier National Park, and started school again at USU.
Brian and I found a picture of ourselves in the Utah State University visitor's guide magazine, Brian officially took over the Allstate office and his name went on the door and we celebrated with sparklers at midnight, we went to all kinds of USU football games, and I went to a Taylor Swift concert with my mom and sisters.
We made an addition to our family after bringing home our little black kitty, Luna. We also spent the whole month celebrating fall time and Halloween by watching scary movies, going on haunted river walks and corn mazes, and painting pumpkins. Brian and I also decided to bag the Howl this year and we hosted our very own Halloween party. I also went to general conference for my church for the first time ever with Brian's mom. I usually just watch it on television or listen on the radio.
It seems like I spent the majority of the month doing schoolwork. We did find some time to be with family and friends though.
The month was spent getting in the holiday spirit. Lots of goodies were made, songs were sang, we attended plenty of parties, and we even hosted a Christmas party of our own. We decorated our little apartment for Christmas and it was pretty cozy and nice. We spent the holidays near family and friends and then for my twenty-first birthday we took off on a plane and spent three days in Vegas. We rang in the new year with my family where we played cards, celebrated my birthday some more, and blasted off fireworks.
2011, you were pretty grand. 2012. . .I dare you to top it.