Saturday, January 01, 2011

Farewell 2010

Since 2010 came to a close yesterday, I want to take a look back on what this year and I have done together.  It's been an exciting year, a growing year, a changing year.  No doubt a year with many ups and downs.  But the important thing is, 2010, we made it!  And now I'm cashing you in for an upgrade.

In January, I welcomed 2010 in the middle of Avatar.  The most obnoxious movie of the year!  (And that can go for both 2009 and 2010.)  Sure it was a decent film, sure it was IMAX 3-D, and sure it was free, but talk about overrated.  All I can say, is thank you James Cameron for giving me the best first date ever!  And there's the silver lining.  As the month progressed, I started working at the call center in the Office of Admissions, kept my job at Borders, and jetted off across the country by myself.  (For the first time.)  Hello New York City!  My trip to New York to visit my then-boyfriend, Richard, was an exciting one.  I saw my favorite city for the second time and West Point for the first.  I met many fantastic new people--that I still talk to today, 12 months later--and made unforgettable memories.

February came before I knew it.  Just seven days in, the New Orleans Saints won Superbowl XLIV against the Colts.  YAY!  That was a fun night with my family, for sure.  On Valentine's Day, I celebrated my last day at Borders and went down to just one job--after having four overlapping jobs since October 2009.  I also took a trip down Memory Lane and literally took a trip to the mountains!  I went up to Buena Vista for Snowbound 2010, a Christian retreat for middle schoolers.  I had been on it in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, so it was a lot of fun to go back post-high school as part of the work crew.  My friend Julie and I drove up and spent the weekend serving meals to hundreds of rowdy and hungry tweens.  Once again, we met so many incredible people that I still talk to today and made so many new memories!  The next weekend we had a reunion in Fort Collins where we had a scavenger hunt all throughout downtown.  It was so much fun!

March was so-so.  But then again, who ever remembers much from March?  Many of my friends took turns coming home for spring break, so it was great seeing a number of them again.  And my high school's basketball team made it to the Final Four in the state play-offs.  They played (and lost) their final game at Coors Event Center at CU, so I got to walk down the street after work and catch the game with my family.  I certainly learned to appreciate family time this spring!  On March 9th, I started Tales From a Time Out!  I'm impressed that I've stuck with it for so long and looking to make it a full year in just a few short months.

With April, came another trip.  I flew down to Florida to visit my friend Kristen--who I met in New York.  It was amazing to get another vacation and it was my very own spring break!  We went to the beach, we went to Universal's Islands of Adventure, we relaxed.  It was a week to remember.  Right after I returned from Florida, I drove to Durango with my mom.  She was on a work trip and I visited my good friend from high school--Roni.  I had been out there in the fall, and it was nice to be back.  Especially because we stayed in such a cool little bed and breakfast.  Upon my return, I fostered four more kittens from the humane society--Galena, Garrett, Gena, and George.  They were the sweetest babies and I still miss them to this day!  Also in April, I applied for the Disney College Program, something that would later have a greater impact on my year--and my life--that I could even imagine.

May.  May 1st brought the most incredible news I've ever received in my life.  I checked my email that morning and found out I had been hired as a life guard on the Disney College Program.  I could work at the Walt Disney World Resort for five months!  Within two weeks, I had proudly accepted and started making plans for the coming months.  May also brought the end of the school year--for everyone else.  The office celebrated in BBQ-fashion.  And most of my friends started returning home for the summer.  I continued going to work 9-5 Monday through Friday, or something like that, and came home every day to my six black kitties.  It was a good start to summer.

Half-way through the year was June.  But you already knew that.  The month of June brought my greatest challenge of the year.  I had to pass my swim test in order to be a life guard and I had to start from somewhere.  Julie and I went to the Rec Center many times a week just to get me used to swimming 200 yards, which for regular swimmers, doesn't sound too difficult.  But I didn't conquer my Everest in June.  With nearly everyone home in June and school being out for the summer, it was sure to be an exciting month.  Too bad work and sleep took up most of my free time.  On Father's Day, I went to a Rockies game with my family--the only baseball game I was able to see all season.  And at the end of the month, I said goodbye to my dear friend Liz as she was the first to journey back across the country to school.

The start of July brought some sad memories.  On July 3rd, I finally had to say goodbye to my four kittens after having them for months.  I went back to the Humane Society multiple times a week to check on those babies before the last one was finally adopted.  I still wonder where they are now and I still miss snuggling with them watching TV.  In July, I also learned how to play Lego Harry Potter, which has become my favorite video game ever.  I reached my swimming goal and passed my pre-test over a two day span, but the worrying didn't stop there.  I kept swimming and training for the test I had to take once I got to Disney.  Also, Julie and I made--and finalized--plans to travel across the country to Florida in the most unorthodox route possible.  And at the end of the month, I said goodbye to the job I had for six months in the Office of Admissions, with the plans to return at the beginning of 2011.  On the last day of the month at 6:00AM, Julie and I set off across the country to begin the greatest road trip I've ever been on, reaching our first destination--Des Moines, Iowa--that night.

August may have been the most eventful of the months.  Julie and I welcomed August 1st in Iowa and continued across the country on our road trip, stopping in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; and finally Orlando, Florida.  Along the way we saw many new places, met many incredible people, and even saw Liz from home.  It was one of the greatest 10 days of my life and without a doubt the highlight of my 2010.  I also celebrated two decades of life in August while Julie and I were in Charleston.  It didn't feel too different from 19, but I never thought I would be traveling the country sans parents and in a completely new place on my 20th birthday.  On August 9th, I checked into my internship with Disney and the rest was history!  Well, not quite, after weeks of all kinds of training, I was finally on my own with life guarding on August 23rd.  I had already met so many incredible people and made loads of new friends.

In September I was just starting to get into the swing of things and find a routine.  Winter hours at work had already gone into effect and I was now working four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days.  This was certainly a first for me and absolutely a time for growth.  However, mid-way through September I was deployed to Disney's All-Star resorts for two weeks and once again had the opportunity to expand my social circle!  Although I was a little reluctant at first, I enjoyed be able to see a new area and work at a different resort with new leadership and new peers.  It had only been a month since I had arrived in Florida, but it was starting to feel like home and I was starting to question when I wanted to go back to Colorado.  For the first time in my life, I had summer weather when it should have been turning into fall.  It took a little getting used to, but since it was cooling down just a little bit, it made working outside ten hours a day a little more tolerable.  And of course I can't forget Anberlin's new CD coming out.  It was amazing.  I love years when they release a new album.

Fall was finally officially upon us, but it still wasn't feeling like it.  The temperatures were cooling down and it was only at the end of the month that I would start wearing a light jacket at night time.  I started my Disney class--Exploring Marketing.  Since I was having an extreme craving for college football, Jenna, Dexter, and I took a roadtrip north to Gainseville for the Florida-LSU game.  It was a lot of fun to see a game in a different stadium than I'm used to, not to mention the SEC atmosphere.  Of course it was an incredible game to see too!  In the middle of the month, my little sister and her best friend came to visit me and Disney World for the first time.  They were my first visitors and it was a lot of fun to play tour guide and stay at one of the Disney resorts.  The day Sam and Ellie left, I got a call from a friend asking if I wanted to head to Jacksonville for Monday Night Football.  I didn't even hesitate to say yes!  That was another fun football-filled night.  And the next day I drove back to Jacksonville to see my old friend Andy from home.  It was so great to see another familiar face, especially one that I hadn't seen it months!  By the end of the month, my older sister Rachel had arrived for a long visit.  Once again, it was so nice to see another friendly face from Colorado.  The last Thursday of the month, I finally celebrated Halloween for the first time since 7th grade.  I went out downtown dressed as a Rockstar!  On Halloween, I traveled to Typoon Lagoon to watch the annual life guard competition before heading over to Pop Century to participate in the Halloween children's activities.  It's a high honor being chosen for that, especially on the College Program!

November started off with a bang.  Quite literally.  At the beginning of the month, we had our departmental dodgeball tournament.  My team didn't do so hot. Rachel was still around the area, so the first weekend of the month we went the highly anticipated Anberlin concert at Downtown Disney.  That weekend I showed her around all four parks, which was a lot of fun.  She hadn't been to Disney World since we were younger and barely went to the parks the second time we were in the area.  I worked a few more shifts at All-Star in November (also October), so it was nice to mix things up a bit.  On the 17th, Brett and I decided to make our relationship official, which was very exciting for the both of us.  It didn't take long for news to travel around the World, and most people said they saw that one coming.  The holiday decorations were starting to go up around the parks, so I went to see the Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  The next weekend I saw the Fantasmic show also at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  After months of riding the same rides, seeing the same things at the parks, it was really neat to have some new park experiences.  (Also earlier that month, Brett and I rode Toy Story Mania at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Once again, it was my first time.)  On the very last day of the month, Brett and I went to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.  It was such a fun night to see the Magic Kingdom decorated specifically for the party with all their special entertainment and characters.  The parade was...magical, for lack of a better word.

And finally, December!  It should have been my last full month working for Disney on the College Program, but I decided to extend until May 13.  Although I found out the wonderful news in November, I didn't accept until December.  Just two Wednesdays into the month, I completed my marketing course with much more knowledge both about Disney and marketing.  It wasn't a tough decision to take another one during my extension.  On the 6th, all of the College Program participants were invited to Disney's Coronado Springs for the winter formal.  It was a lot of fun to see some people one last time and see some key Disney characters dressed to the nines.  I journeyed around property to see the Christmas decorations at the various resorts.  It wasn't feeling very much like Christmas without snow on the ground, but Disney's extravagant decor helped make up for it.  I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Brett and his family.  It was a pretty good Christmas being the first one away from my home and my family.  I worked regular hours during the week between Christmas and New Years.  I also got to go to my first-ever NBA basketball game--Brett's Christmas present from me.  The Orlando Magic vs. the New York Knicks.  The next night, the whole world welcomed the New Year.

I hope everyone had a great 2010!  Can't wait for what's in store in 2011.  (That's gonna take a while to get used to.)

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