Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013.

Two thousand and thirteen.

A year of change.

A year of new experiences.

And, quite possibly, the biggest year of my life so far.

I think that when I'm older and look back on my life, 2013 will be a year that stands out. It will be a year that won't be quickly forgotten.

Sometimes I find that as you grow older, the years start to blur together. Questions like "What year did we take that trip?" and "What year did that happen?" aren't uncommon. But then there are the years that you center things upon, and 2013 will be one of those years for me.

So like I've done for the past three years (2010, 2011, and 2012), on this last day of 2013 I'm doing a little recap of some of the best things that happened this year.

I made a super short video of pictures from this year that I thought you might want to see!
video

In 2013......

I had my last Father/Daughter Dance.

I made homemade French macarons, something I've always wanted to do.

I decided officially where I would be attending college.

I ate Rita's several times!

I celebrated Easter with my family.

I started an awesome new job in the Registrar's Office on campus.

I went to my Senior prom!

I celebrated my 18th birthday.

I took my last AP test ever. Wahooo!

I designed, baked, and decorated a 3-tiered wedding cake all by myself. That was one of the prouder moments of 2013 my life.

I spent the last day of high school on the roof :)

I spent a lot of time being sad about my high school graduation.

I graduated high school.


I took a senior trip with my friend Danielle to Savannah and Tybee Island (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), where we ate some of the best ice cream....

....met Paula Deen.....

....and enjoyed Paula's Southern buffet!

I celebrated my graduation with a party in June (Part 1, Part 2).

I vacationed in the Dominican Republic (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)!




I got to see the Jonas Brothers in concert one last time.

I spent a lot of time downtown.

I said goodbye {temporarily!} to friends leaving for college.

I made princess cake pops along with so many others!

My family went to Steak & Shake at 2 AM for shakes - ha!

I officially started college at the University of Cincinnati.

I joined Kappa Delta sorority.

I got to enjoy Moerlein's blueberry cobbler several times throughout the year!

I met the Pioneer Woman for a second time.

I enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family.

I baked Minnie Mouse cake pops for my goddaughter's second birthday!

I gave part of a presentation on our SWOT semester-long project and then celebrated finishing it with a trip to the Cheesecake Factory with some friends!

I made about a bazillion Christmas cake pops. And I loved every minute of it.

I celebrated the birth of Christ with my family for what was an awesome Christmas (Part 1, Part 2).



Some other things that happened in 2013.....

I read 18 books.

I wrote 170 blog posts.

I flew on an airplane twice (both in the month of June!).

I traveled out of the country.

I sold approximately 275 cake pops.

But most importantly, I grew in my faith, spent a lot of time with my family, and made a lot of new friends!

..............................

At the beginning of this year I made predictions as to what I thought this year would hold. It's funny to look back on them now. I didn't know that I would go to Savannah on a Senior trip or vacation in the Dominican Republic. I didn't know that I would get a job working on campus. I didn't know that I would be accepted into KBS or that I would join a sorority.

Going into this year I was scared. I was afraid because so many things were unknown. I was afraid to leave high school behind and start college.

I think back to my life 365 days ago. So much has changed but so much has stayed the same too.

2013 was a crazy whirlwind of a year, but I am so incredibly thankful for it. I did things this year that I never thought I would. I stepped out of my comfort zone at times, and I survived.

2013 was one of the most emotional, difficult, and stressful years of my life, and yet looking back, I can't help but only see the good.

It was also one of the best years of my life. In fact, arguably, the BEST.

And now, 365 days later, the year that I dreaded, the year that I feared, is also the year that I am sad to see go.

I hope you all have a great New Years Eve ringing in the new year with people you love.

"That's what New Years is all about, getting another chance. A chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more, and to stop worrying about what if, and start embracing what will be. So when that ball drops at midnight, and it will drop, let's remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other, and not just tonight, but all year long."

Now I'm just so excited about 2014 and everything it has to offer, but more on that tomorrow......

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Post-Christmas Fun

Usually the days after Christmas bring the post-Christmas blues. We're facing January and February, the coldest months of the year with few things to look forward to.

But not this year! I've been having fun these last few days, and I even have a super exciting trip to look forward to in January.

The day after Christmas my family went to the zoo for the Festival of Lights. We usually like to go before Christmas but just didn't have the time to squeeze it in this year.





On Friday my family headed up to Columbus for the day to do some shopping at Easton. I actually didn't do any shopping (I don't know whether to be sad or proud of that fact - ha!), but I did eat a lot of sweets.

How cute are these little truffles?!


Jeni's ice cream is SO good - Brown Butter Almond Brittle + The Milkiest Chocolate in the World is my favorite.

I always get a Rich Mint brownie from Sugardaddy's to take home too :)

Saturday was complete perfection. First off, I slept 12 hours. If that isn't a good kick-start to your day, I don't know what is.

Then I spent the afternoon watching The Lucky One, which I had bought really cheap on Black Friday but hadn't had a chance to watch yet.

I went to dinner with some old high school friends. So fun!

I also stopped by Target afterwards for a Starbucks, where I picked up the movie New Years Eve and went home and watched that. Such a perfect lazy day.

Today was another semi-lazy day. I was actually happy to wake up to a rainy day. Ever since I got my Hunters (aka my best purchase ever!), I've looked forward to rain. I also got a new rain jacket for Christmas too, so rainy days are my favorite now!

I hope you are enjoying these last few days of 2013. They're going by fast!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Day 2013

I enjoyed yet another fabulous Christmas Day with my family.

I got up around 9:30 (a huge difference from the Christmas where I woke my parents up at 5:30....), and then we opened our gifts.



I was impressed with my mom's wrapping this year!

Even Coco got some presents!

Opening presents on Christmas morning always makes me so thankful for all of the blessings in my life.

After all the presents had been opened, we had our egg and sausage casserole for breakfast. Delicious! Then it was time to get ready for the rest of the day's festivities.

We spent the afternoon at my grandma's celebrating Christmas with my dad's side of the family.



My mom got my cousin's boyfriend this year for the gift exchange and one of the things he asked for were goldfish, so that's what she got him. It was one of the highlights of the afternoon - seeing a mid-20 year old getting super excited about a few fish. Ha!


It isn't Christmas until a Nerf gun war breaks out.....



Don't Break the Ice was another part of the gift my mom gave along with the goldfish :)

I'm just so thankful for a wonderful Christmas season spent with so many people I love.