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Another year has come and gone and it's hard to believe. With today being the last day of 2012, I'm going to journey back to the first day and see what this year has had in store for my life.
For my first New Years being at least 21, I was pretty lame and went to bed before midnight and simply woke up to the New Year the next morning. That day, I went to a local bar to watch the Denver Broncos lose against the Kansas City Chiefs, but win a play off spot. January 2012 wasn't the most exciting month in my life. I spent a lot of time babysitting kids from the day care center I worked at and started testing the waters at bars in a nearby college town. Some big things that happened in January included my cousin and his girlfriend deciding to adopt Leif and Twig, the two kittens that we had been fostering since August. I also put in my notice at the day care center when my dad offered me a job at his law office. I decided not to quit completely and to stay on as a sub, because I was sad to be leaving the children completely. I set new goals for the year--borrowing a few from the previous year--and the Academy Award nominees were announced! One of my favorite things in January was a game night with some of my cousins. It was so much fun to eat homemade pizza and spend time with my siblings and cousins without all the adults, something that never happens!
I had a big month in February. At the beginning of the month, I said goodbye to a full time position at the day care center. It was hard leaving the kids and my coworkers, but I knew it was time to move on. I started at my dad's office working just a few hours a day while I trained. I also went on a family vacation on a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. That was definitely a new and interesting experience. Although I slept the best I ever had on the boat, it was a weird feeling. And going to Mexico was fun, but it was only for a few hours. When we got off the boat, we were in New Orleans the day before Mardi Gras. That was awesome to walk around and see the culture in the Big Easy. It took a while for the feeling of being on a boat wore off, but the food made the cruise worth it. I went cross-country skiing for the first time in years, which was a fun experience! And of course I continued to babysit steadily, one of my favorite things to do.
March brought on some interesting challenges. The first weekend of the month, my beloved car died. For good! So I had to spring into a car hunt to find a new one. Eventually, I settled on a 2002 Honda Accord, a five year upgrade from my 1997 Honda Accord. On the 9th, my little blog here turned two years old! That's hard to believe. We also had some exciting news here in Buff Nation when CU made it to the Big Dance for the first time in 9 years. They upset UNLV in their first game and moved onto the third round to face off with a former conference rival, Baylor, but ended up losing. For St. Patrick's Day, my sisters and I made car bomb cupcakes again, and they were a big hit as usual! I liked them a lot better this time around. By the end of the month, I was almost two months into my new job at my dad's law office and really enjoying it! I also went to the Denver Zoo for the first time in almost four years. And on the last day of the month, I got my dress for Rachel's wedding in the mail!
For some reason, April is striking me as a pretty boring month. I unfortunately didn't finish any books in April, despite a stellar month in March. I only saw three new movies in the theater, and I only did so-so at the rest of my goals for the year. My babysitting side-job took a bit of a dip and I even had to say goodbye to one of the kids as he and his family moved across the country. CU had their spring game and the fans got a first look at the possible new quarterbacks for the 2012 season. By the end of the month, it was less than 30 days until Rachel and Travis's wedding, which was so exciting! I just enjoyed having down time--and time to myself--most weekends, which I didn't get much of during the first three months of the year. I also had to say goodbye to one of my favorite TV shows forever--One Tree Hill. It was an emotional time in my life.
May hit the ground running. The first Sunday of the month, we celebrated Rachel at her bridal shower, which was a blast and definitely a success. I enjoyed getting to know some of the important women in her life a little better. I spent the majority of that weekend baking for three seperate events, and although it was exhausting, it was defintely rewarding. Trivia also came back for a four-week trial run, which was the best news ever! And eventually, babysitting started to pick up again. I really cherish that time since I don't get to see the kids from the day care center every day anymore. I went to my little sister Sam's choir concert and discovered she's the only one in the family who can actually sing. She was absolutely amazing in her solo in "Seasons of Love". It finally started to feel like summer right when things began to pick up for Rachel's wedding. The end of the month absolutely flew by with all of the wedding festivities and the other million things I was busy with.
When I first think of June, I realize it was the month that I became obsessed with Instagram and the combination of spinach and mushrooms--in omelets, quesadillas, etc. Weird, right? I started fostering kittens again in June, with Raleigh, Reggie, Remy, Rosie, and Rufus coming home with me on June 5th. They made numbers 24 through 28 for our foster roster (ha!) and were the first white kittens we ever had in our home. I also started writing a lot more, as I said I would each month. In addition to journaling and doing free writing in a notebook, I wrote a 3000-word short story using the opening line "It was 8:57 and the cookies were in the oven." My friend Matt wrote a story of the same length with the same line. It was fun! I went on my first hike of the year (with Matt) in Boulder. And I got really into playing Risk with my new brother-in-law. We went 1-1 for the month. I suppose most importantly, I took my babysitting to the next level when I traveled with a family for the first time. I went to Vegas Wednesday through Saturday with a newer (at the time) family and had a blast. It was my first time to Vegas and to Nevada (getting me one step closer to my goal of 10 new states) and I really enjoyed it. It wasn't so bad knowing that it was just as hot in Colorado. Another fun summer thing were food trucks! Every Monday during the summer, there is a gathering of food trucks not terribly far from my house. They have live music and a lot of great choices. It was fun. And, I should note that the temperatures towards the end of the month stayed around 100-105, not even dropping below 90 until the sun went down at 10:00!
TFATO started to take a new direction in August 2012. I started posting more about my own personal style and happenings in my own personal life. I kicked off the month celebrating my 22nd birthday in quite a low key fashion. I'm just not big on birthdays. However, my dad's side of the family had a celebration for my late grandmother's birthday, which would have been the day before mine. That was a lot of fun! I really got into the Olympics this year and I already can't wait for 2012 in Rio. It was really tough for me to watch the closing ceremonies; I didn't want it to be over. I celebrated summer by attending a four square party thrown by my older sister and her new husband, going out to brunch at my favorite brunch place with some old friends, winning back-to-back weeks at trivia, wearing a lot more gold jewelry, and starting a countdown until fall--and college football season. Most importantly, I started a small bakery from my very own kitchen. I had two orders in August and was starting to feel like a real pro! Oh! And my car got its very first flat tire.
September, of course, started out with the disappointed CU-CSU game. That basically set the tone for the rest of the season and we finished the month 1-4 with a surprising road win against Washington State. I got to travel (mostly to Denver or Boulder) a little more for work. A new spinning studio opened up nearby and I started getting my ass-kicked by spinning once a week again. (It hadn't been since January or February.) And I even hung out with some old college friends. I started my first-ever 30 for 30 outfit challenge on September 2nd and it carried me through the rest of month. It was a lot of fun documenting my outfits for my blog and getting creative with how I paired or styled certain pieces. I also met John Elway!
I continued my 30 for 30 challenge through October, finishing mid-October. My little sister turned 15 at the beginning of the month, so I tried my hand at an ombre white cake for her birthday. It turned out well, but it also turned out very tall! I also participated in Ten on Ten for the first time in October since I started doing it in July of 2010. At the end of the month, most of my family reunited in Portland, Oregon for a weekend in the northwest. It's been a long time since I've been up to Oregon, so it was great to be back and to hang out with my extended family for a longer amount of time than usual. We did some sight seeing and we also went to the ever-disappointing CU game in Eugene against the Ducks, who were (and are) one of the best teams in the country. We had a blast despite our embarrassing performance. It snowed in Colorado right before we left on the trip, but when we got back on the 28th, it was back in the 70's an we enjoyed a very warm Halloween for the first time in as long as I can remember. (We used to have to trick-or-treat in snow jackets when I was growing up.)
On November 1st, I kicked off my second 30 for 30. I was determined to finish within the month, and I got pretty close. It was more difficult the second time around, but I blame it on the colder weather. November was pretty finicky though. Right before Thanksgiving, it was warmer than usual and then suddenly cars were covered in frost every morning. I went to an apple orchard, but was too late in the season for apple picking. I voted in my second election. I made pumpkin pie twice for family Thanksgivings--an early one with my dad's side and one on the big day with my mom's side. I didn't give up on CU, but I skipped out on the last two home games of the season (following along on game cast on ESPN) after they got shut out by Stanford at home. The day after the last game of the season, CU's head coach got fired, opening up the door for new opportunities, hopefully going in an upward direction. I went to a great play with my mom and sisters called Dixie's Tupperware Party that I highly recommend to every woman I know. And to top off the month, I got my very first smartphone--a Samsung Galaxy S III.
In a blink, December was gone. I was determined to do a lot of holiday things this year, so I started off the month with an 1880's Christmas experience in Denver, followed by the Parade of Lights. I finished my second 30 for 30, much to my relief. I found it was much more difficult the second time around, which I blame mostly on the weather. I went to the Christmas program at the day care center I worked at last year, I went to The Nutty Nutcracker, as performed by one of the girls I babysit, I saw Plaid Tidings with my mom at a dinner theater, and I went to a paint your own pottery place with some ladies for a wonderful afternoon of snacking, white elephanting, and crafting. A huge mile stone in December was the final day of my 101 Goals that I set just after creating TFATO in 2010. I completed 64 of them and am still working on them today. Christmastime with my family was, of course, wonderful. I'm so blessed to be able to spend time with loved ones around the holidays. We went cross country skiing as the year drew to a close and I saw a record low three movies in the theater.