Thank you, 2013

This year has been kind of crazy for me and a bit of a whirlwind. I can’t believe how quickly the last half of the year went! While I’m not too sorry to see it go, I had some really great memories this year and I’ve learned a lot. I have a lot to be proud of and also a lot to learn from.

For starters, I managed a 4.0 GPA this entire year! Grades were finalized about a week ago and I managed to earn straight A’s this semester and last semester. It wasn’t easy, especially after working 30+ hours a week this semester, but I’m really proud.

I bought a car in May. It’s a 2010 Hyundai Accent and I absolutely love it. I really needed a car to go back and forth between school and home, and also so I could get a job while I was away at school. I had been saving for a while, so I was able to put a good down payment on it, but I still had to take out a pretty big loan. Enough to make me uncomfortable with the amount of debt I am currently in when combined with my student loans. So I guess we can also say that 2013 is the year that I went massively in debt. YAY!

My best friend got her eyebrow pierced and I passed out. This is one of those memories that I file under “lesson learned” because I won’t be going with friends anymore to get piercings (not that any of them really do anyways). Nonetheless, it was extremely embarrassing and, looking back, we can all laugh about it, but it’s probably my most embarrassing moment. Especially considering I shouted out for my mom when I started to become conscious. I don’t like to let people know that though… :P

I went to Puerto Rico on a mission trip. I love to travel, so being able to spend a week there and sight see as well as love the community and build a roof for the sweetest old lady was wonderful. I made a lot of friends and I learned a lot – I also put on my first tin roof! I had the blisters to prove it, too! :)

Jon Jay from the Saint Louis Cardinals threw me and my friends a baseball at a game. It was awesome. I was so happy this summer because I was able to go to a lot of baseball games with Andrew and my friends. I love the Cardinals and when I’m in Kansas City, everyone roots for the Royals instead. The entire night me and my friends kept passing the baseball between us and giggling because we couldn’t believe it happened!

I moved into my own apartment in a different city and pay my rent and bills (with help from my parents). There were a lot of problems at first, including not having hot water for nine days and not have screens on our windows, but I’m really proud of how me and my roommate handled it. It’s not the ideal apartment, but we’re broke college students making it work. It’s lonely sometimes, but it’s ours.

I got a job at a movie theater in August and while it hasn’t been perfect, it’s been what I needed and it helps me pay the bills. I worked, as mentioned above, about 30 hours a week, sometimes more. It was really hard managing work and school and not having time for friends. Really hard.

I struggled with depression and anxiety through most of the fall semester. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy. It’s difficult for me to even go back and read the posts I made — or more accurately, the posts I never made. (I also want to thank you all for the love you gave me during that time. You guys are beautiful people.) I was so down that I couldn’t even write down my feelings. I think there was a point that Andrew may have suggested I talk to someone. I managed to get through and I’m hoping that I’m stronger because of it. I pray that when I return next semester I won’t go through it again, but I wouldn’t say it’s something so easily conquered. One day at a time.

And now, I’m finishing this year of ups and downs, memories and struggles, here at home with my family and friends. I hope you all had a good 2013, have a wonderful new year’s eve, and have an even better 2014! <3

I’ll Take that Extra Cookie

I had a wonderful Christmas this year. :)

It started out with our traditional family breakfast; I cooked the pancakes while my dad did the bacon, my mother the potatoes, and my sister the biscuits and gravy. My brothers still slept. We opened presents after cleaning up – I love being able to watch my family open what I had gotten for them. Some of my favorite gifts to them: a new pair of pajamas for my mom (who had been eyeing them at the store but didn’t want to spend money on herself) and a pillow, a Star Wars holiday sweater T-shirt (it’s all in the irony) for my eldest brother, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle mask for my (24 year old) brother (he loved it, btw), a new sweater for my dad (who never shops for himself so only gets new clothes for Christmas and his birthday), and my sister these sheets she really likes for her bed (not even honestly sure what they are called). I think my favorite though, is what I got for my best friend. I took a map and painted on it in dark blue, “Not all those who wander are lost.” We traveled to Europe a couple years ago together and both share the same love for travel. I showed her the map but I’m still waiting on the frame in the mail.

I think I outdid – and outspent – myself this year. It was a lot of fun.

I received wonderful gifts as well: The Mazerunner Trilogy from my brother, several Disney movies that were missing from my collection, a new sweater, scarves from my sister, the Legend Trilogy from my aunt, and some money from my grandpa to help pay for school.And of course various yummy candies. I also got this really cute sock monkey mug (I have a thing for sock monkeys) from my friend Jacqueline and The Princess Bride book from my friend Becky.

Ryan beat me this year – I normally wrap his present a million times so it takes half an hour to open, but I was lazy this year and didn’t do anything. Last year I had bought him a maze box that you have to solve to find what’s inside. I forgot to shake it up though, so it only took him a second to open it. :( He gave it back to me this year with a series of clues that I had to search for around the house. After about thirty seconds, I gave up and went to the garage to get a sledge hammer. One whack later and it was open. :) I will give it to him, it was all very clever. It took a while, but it was worth it for the Disney movie I found at the end.

Normally after that, we all just laze around in this sort of post-Christmas coma, but somehow Andrew convinced me a few days before to go meet his family and spend Christmas with them. So I showered and tried to look as best I could. I brought my presents over to his house and we did presents there. Since everything in our relationship for some reason is a competition (probably because we are both still 5-year-olds) he definitely won this year. He got me this beautiful jewelry set with a white sapphire heart set in sterling silver. It came with matching earrings and a necklace. :love: I haven’t taken the ring off yet! It is a bit big, so I’m going to have to take it somewhere to get it resized, and hopefully for an affordable price.

His family lives about forty-five minutes away, so we drove in his old crappy car (which I prayed the entire way wouldn’t explode). He’s selling it to his sister, but it needs a lot of work so his mom’s boyfriend, who lives down there, was going to try and work on it. His mom and sister came in his new carwhich is very nice. I giggle almost every time I get in because I feel like I have a really hot, really rich boyfriend. I love him all the same though, even if he’s not super rich and just in debt. ;)

It was just his aunt’s family there so there wasn’t a lot of new people I had to meet, thank heavens. We had dinner and afterwards played a game called “Pass the Popcorn.” It’s a movie game, where you guess what movie it is based on actors or quotes, or you guess the actor by movies. It was fun, but Andrew’s mom is a huge movie buff so she easily creamed us all. Overall, it wasn’t too awkward even though I was nervous to meet them. I’m just glad it’s over with. O.O

After driving back, Andrew came over for a little while to open the gifts my parents got him and to hang out. I stuffed my face with so many cookies, and I don’t have a single regret. It was wonderful to be with those that I love and to all celebrate the birth of Christ together. I’m just a little sad it’s all over!

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