Monday, December 31, 2012

Final Post of 2012

It's hard to believe that today is New Year's Eve. This is crazy to me, but I can't say that I'm too sad.  2012 was full of new adventures, and it was a good year, but I am excited to see what life has in store in 2013!

Dan and I spent a lot of time together and some time apart during 2012 as well (when he was overseas twice). I made this collage out of 16 photos that show exactly what 2012 was to us!


In 2012:
January: returned to work from an amazing winter vacation to the Bahamas, attended Dan's Flying Team Wings Ceremony (where he received his call sign), and set some goals for the year

February: celebrated three wonderful years with Dan, realized how unhappy I was at my job, saw Cirque du Soleil, and watched an ice skating championship

March: family visited for spring break, went to a teacher job fair, started applying for new teaching positions, and began coaching middle school track

April: had a wonderful track season, ran a 5K on Easter Day, interviewed for the job of my dreams, and accepted the job of my dreams

May: finished the school-year in Pueblo, saw President Obama speak at the Air Force Academy graduation, and saw Dan off to Beijing, China for a month

June: visited my family and friends in Kansas City, Missouri, missed Dan something fierce, got my first (and hopefully only) kidney stone, and welcomed Dan back to the States

July: celebrated a year of engagement with Dan, moved from an apartment into a house, turned 25, hosted my family at my new house, and sent Dan off to England for nearly a month

August: welcomed Dan back to the States, watched the Olympics (go Team USA gymnastics!), ran the Color Run, prepared for the beginning of the school-year, and welcomed my new kiddos

September: ran the Dirty Dash, attended the 4th of 5 Parents' Weekends at the Air Force Academy, spent a day hiking, and relaxed in Cripple Creek

October: had parent/teacher conferences at work, sent Dan off to Flying Team Regionals in Utah, saw The Giver in Denver, and had my mom out to stay for a long weekend

November: found a location for our wedding reception, celebrated Thanksgiving in Colorado Springs with Dan and my brother, Derek, took my first skiing lessons (and enjoyed them!), and tried many new recipes

December: finished the semester with my kiddos, moved buildings for school (just location, nothing else), traveled home to Missouri for Christmas, found my wedding dress, and attended a military ball 

Stay tuned to find out the address to my new blog! I will share it in a simple post tomorrow, and hopefully everyone will find it and follow me on there! This was a fun project (writing for 366 days), but I am so ready to move on to a better, updated blog. 

Back in Colorado

Yesterday, Dan and I left Kansas City to head back to Colorado Springs. We made it around 7:30pm last night, and we've been unpacking ever since. Blah. That is the most boring part of vacations for sure!

We still are unsure of our plans tonight, but we have a long to-do list to tackle today. Wish us luck!

I will update one last time to make my total post count for the year of 2012 366 (because of leap year!)... so be on the look-out for that later today! :)


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book Review: Prized (Birthmarked #2)

Earlier this year, I reviewed a book called Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien. (You can read that review by clicking here). O'Brien's series turned out to be tough to put down, and I finished both of the other books in the trilogy as well. The second in the series is called Prized, and it was just as entertaining as the first.


THE REST OF THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM THE FIRST BOOK, BIRTHMARKED.

When Gaia escapes from the Enclave without Leon, she doesn't know what to do. She has her baby sister, Maya, with her, and together they make it most of the way through the Wasteland. One day, when they probably wouldn't have made it much farther on their own, a man on a horse helps them reach their unknown destination, a place he calls home. That home is known as Sylum, and the rules are strict. Gaia must submit to the authorities, which she finds difficult. There is no hugging/kissing because it is a crime unless you are married to that person. 

Gaia finds the entire place to be a struggle, and then she finds out that Leon has made the trek as well. What does Gaia need to do in order to make things go her way? It turns out that everyone else recognizes her as a strong leader, and they want her to be the Matriarch of the society. Does Gaia want it, though? What happens when she is forced into something she doesn't know if she is ready for? Are her feelings for Leon strong enough, or will she waver and fall for someone else? Find out in this HIGHLY recommended book! Prized is hard to put down, just like Birthmarked was. 

Enjoy! 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Book Review: My Teenage Dream Ended

Okay, so I'm one of those 20-somethings who has a slight obsession with MTV's shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. Maybe they make me feel better. Maybe they're just highly entertaining. But either way, I watch them. Guilty as charged. So naturally, when I found out Farrah Abraham was writing a book, I was ecstatic! Finally, viewers get a glimpse inside her head instead of just what happens on TV! Her book is titled My Teenage Dream Ended, and it was fun to read but also a mess.


When I say this book is a mess, I'm referring to the spelling and grammatical errors that were present throughout the entire thing. She had an editor, so I'm not sure why so much slipped through, but those errors certainly made reading a bit challenging at times. 

The content of the book, however, was very fun to read. This is not a tough red, by any means. Readers are able to get a glimpse into Farrah's relationship with her daughter's father, who passed away while she was pregnant. We are also able to see more how Farrah interacts with Sophia on a daily basis and what fueled Farrah's dramatic relationship with her mother. I read this book just before the final season of Teen Mom aired (nicely done, MTV), and it was really neat getting the background information and then watching. The book made me feel for Farrah; she's not just a crazy lady after all. 

I would recommend this book if you like the shows on MTV or if you're just curious. Otherwise, this probably isn't the best choice for you. It sure did help with varying the types of books I read this year, though! 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Wedding Dress

I FOUND MY WEDDING DRESS!!!

It has been an extremely long search, but I found one online about a month ago that I've been checking out daily. I finally tried it on in a store, and OH MY GOSH! I love it! I am getting it!

I can't imagine wearing anything else on my special day!

So excited! AAAHHHHH! :)


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blast From the Past: Winter in Colorado 2011

In 2011, Dan and I went on a cruise to the Bahamas. Afterward, his mom flew out to Colorado to spend Christmas with us. It snowed a bit, and we were able to drive around and see the beautiful landscape. We also spent New Year's Eve in Denver and watched the Chiefs beat the Broncos on New Year's Day -- what a way to ring in 2012!













Overall, it was a  great holiday season! I did not enjoy being hassled so much at Mile High Stadium, but at the end of the game when the Chiefs won, no one said a word to me. ;) 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Blast From the Past: Bahamas Cruise in 2011

While Dan and I were on our epic road trip in the summer of 2011 (when we got engaged), we decided it would be a blast to go on a cruise together and booked it from the spotty wi-fi at the Grand Canyon. We chose a Carnival cruise, and we left right when we finished work/school for the semester. We flew to Florida, spent the night in Orlando eating out and having fun, and then we boarded the Carnival Sensation the following morning! The ship was beautiful, and it was so cool seeing everything decorated for Christmas! 

We spent three nights and four days on the ship, and we alos got to go to Freeport, Bahamas and Nassau, Bahamas! We had so much fun together seeing new things, and it was great getting a tan in December! ;) 

Our view from lunch before we boarded the ship!


First evening on the ship :)











Wedding date in the sand! :) 

































Overall, the trip was a blast! The only unenjoyable part was the turbulence on the way back to Colorado, but I made it out alive, so it's all good. :) I would give anything to be on another tropical vacation with my handsome fiancĂ© sometime soon!