As a new year begins, I figured it would be appropriate to write a "year in review" post. A lot has happened, so here are some highlights in bulleted-form, organized by month (just the way I like it).
-January: I resigned from my position at Olivet Nazarene University, packed all of my earthly possessions, and moved to Jeffersonville, Indiana to be with the Man as he completed police academy. I could probably end the list here, as this was the be-all, end-all of my year. So it seemed.
-February: I spent my days in sweats watching Lonesome Dove while attempting to organize our impossibly small apartment. I gained 10lbs and cried on a daily basis. The highlight was my mom's first trip down here since I moved in, and we spent the whole weekend attached at the hip. I cried when she left. And gained another pound.
-March: My sweatpants went into early retirement as I was hired as a part-time Team Sports associate at the local Dick's Sporting Goods. I also learned how to bake a loaf of bread from scratch. Oh and we went to the Arnold Fitness Expo in Columbus, OH. Exciting, eh?
-April: Mom & Dad came down for Family Day at the Man's police academy. The Man made cheesecakes and I got tased.
-May: We survived our first Kentucky Derby. The Man decided we needed a dog; enter Dakota. I had several nervous breakdowns. Dakota stayed. I was promoted to the full-time Sales Leader at Dick's Sporting Goods.
-June: The Man graduated valedictorian from police academy! He also won the IronMan Fitness award, because he's a stud. My entire family came down & most stayed with us in our tiny 2-bedroom place. It was a blast.
-July: My little, annoying, punk-brother tied the knot to sweet, caring, adorable Jessica. I spent 4+ hours on the dance floor in celebration. So happy for them.
-August: My entire extended family took a week-long trip to Gatlinburg, TN. 15 people in 1 cabin for 8 days. Enough said.
-September: I'm sure something really important and exciting happened in September, but I can't remember at the moment. Probably that Dakota learned how to roll over. Oh, Mom came down to visit again and we ate our way across Louisville.
-October: I turned 27. Bah-humbug.
-November: My parents came down for a whirlwind Thanksgiving consisting of dinner at Cracker Barrel and seeing the Muppets movie. I survived my first Black Friday working retail. Ridiculous.
-December: The Man & I competed in our first power lifting meet in Chicago. We decided to move to a bigger apartment across town. I was promoted to Sales Manager at Dick's Sporting Goods. The Man turned 26. I spent 36 hours in Chicago to celebrate Christmas while the Man worked. Dakota continued to chase her tail.
WHEW! What a year, indeed. It has been, without a doubt, one of the most challenging years of my life. It hasn't been easy; packing up and moving 275+ miles away from everyone and everything I've ever known. There were nights when I would simply cry because my heart ached for familiarity. But then there are times when the Man and I are sitting together on the couch, watching endless Friends reruns with our snarky dog at our feet, and my soul is at peace. This is our home -- and I am infinitely blessed.
Happy new year!