What a year this has been! It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to say goodbye to 2011. This year has been full of ups and downs, but a lot of good things have been happening lately, so I wanted to take this chance to look back on the highlights of the past year before it’s over.
It seems like only yesterday I was ringing in the new year with some of my best friends in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. It was truly the trip of a lifetime and I cannot think of a better way to begin 2011 and end my marching career in the Badger Band.
The “Back Half” of 7 before the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day
But the fun was only starting, and little did I know that a mere week after I returned home from the Rose Bowl, my life would change forever. On January 6th, Shaun and I took a trip to Cancun…and came back engaged!
At the end of January, I turned 22 and celebrated with some of my closest friends down in Madison. But I got my real birthday present in the beginning of February when Shaun and I won a free engagement shoot with photographer Cristina G. We journeyed down to Chicago on the Saturday after the biggest snowstorm of the season to get our photos taken, and the results were beautiful.
Looking back, 2011 must have been the year of trips for me, because in March I made the trek down to southern Florida with Shaun and my friends Mimi and Eli for my first spring break ever!
In mid-April, I truly closed out my career with the Badger Band at my final Spring Concert. It was a memorable show, filled with many tears by the seniors (myself included). I was lucky enough to be able to share that last concert with my family and Shaun, who were in the audience, in addition to my friends onstage with me.
At the end of May, I completed another major milestone and graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a BA in Journalism and Philosophy, and a Certificate in African Studies. Again, I was very blessed to be able to spend the day with my family and Shaun.
Then summer came, and I got to spend some time with my future family-in-law and with Shaun. We made a trip to Eau Claire to see off Shaun’s cousin Justin before he headed to Iraq for a 6 month tour, and we also spent some time up at his family’s cabin up north.
In September I opened another new chapter in my life, when I started my career as a law student at the University of Wisconsin Law School. And I attended my very first Badger football game…in the student section. It was weird. And very, very hot and humid.
Although Shaun may not be super excited about moving (yet), we’ll be calling Madison our home for at least the next 2 years while I study to become the best legal advocate I can be. After that, who knows! But the important thing is that we’ll be together. I’m lucky to have such a supportive and loving fiance.
And 2011 was also a good year for many of my friends, including Bridesmaid C and her husband who will very soon be welcoming a new bundle of joy into their lives and home! I had the honor of helping out the happy parents-to-be at their baby shower, and I can’t wait to meet their brand new baby when he/she comes into the world. It should be any day now!
So, obviously, 2011 was an action-packed year. Something tells me that 2012 is going to be just as fun and exciting, though. I can’t wait!
Did 2011 bring any exciting milestones for you and your family? If so, share in the comments!