Where do I begin?
The cliched phrases all ring true: it flew by, it had its ups and downs, I can't believe it's over.
But all in all, I have to conclude that it was a pretty great twelve months. I am a demanding, curious, high maintenance, effervescent go-getter. I crave energy and bustle most of the time, and get bored fairly easily. I can't sit still too long... and this past year provided me with an ideal amount of everything: adventure, entertainment, newness, boyfriend time, friend time, alone time. I think (hope) this is what comes with getting a little older, being more sure of who I am--prioritizing those things that are most important, really delving into what makes me, me.
I started 2012 in my cozy little house back home--just me and my sweet puppies, living our day-to-day. A few months later, and after a few trips to Nashville (and Sean to Waco), I was applying for a couple of jobs and--within a matter of 3 weeks--heard the fabulous news that I was wanted at Vanderbilt. I tearfully, but excitedly bid adieu to my family and friends, and amazing job in Texas, and began preparations for the move. On May 29th, hours before I was due to leave, my heart was shattered when my sweet Milo was hit by a car--and yet, I was grateful I could bury his tiny body on my parents' land, alongside other family pets. I miss him everyday.
I made it to Nashville and immersed myself in Music City. I immediately fell head over heels for the town, my job, every little thing. I was giddy to be spending my every day with Sean, and while losing Milo seriously slowed me down, my proverbial batteries were recharged, slowly and meticulously building my new day-to-day. I made some fast friends (looking at you, CF, CS and CB!) whom I feel I've known forever--all recent Nashville transplants like me. ST and I could finally relish in our routine... date nights, gym trips, weekday lunches, weekend brunches and church--seemingly menial and small events that we'd never been able to indulge in before, living long-distance. I quickly balanced between my new social life and work... we saw the Lumineers, Joshua Radin and Jason Mraz (three of my absolute favorites), ran a few 5Ks alongside each other, explored new restaurants, enjoyed "couples friends" nights, and just overall really dove into a new stage of being together. It's definitely had its growing pains (ahem, take two overwhelmingly extroverted, dominant personalities and make them jive overnight, I dare you), but it's been unbelievable. I am so, so happy, and feel so fortunate to be here in Nashville with this man. God's timing truly trumps any other... it's been unreal.
Here's a little recap of the big and small, via Instagram (and not necessarily in chronological order, as the months progress)...
January ::: The pups and I drove back home from our Christmas and New Year's in Nashville... I soaked up a gorgeous Texas sunset on my drive home from work... I stocked up on girl scout cookies, courtesy of my dealer (my Pops)... I indulged in my favorite chicken noodle soup a few times... I logged lots of sweet hours playing with my fuzzy pups... I dedicated much time to Baylor Basketball alongside my BFF CP... we bumped into none other than RG3 in our office... I snapped a rainy night shot on campus after a late night at work.
February ::: We got an overwhelming amount of winter rain in Tejas... I shared a fantastic Valentine's weekend with ST... Me and the girls indulged in Strawberry Fest on campus... I discovered another fantastic dinner recipe... ST surprised me with the most thoughtful Valentine's goodies... I trekked back to Nashville for a weekend and we went to a few of my favorite, favorite places for dinner... I discovered some gorgeous irises in my front flowerbeds one more... and ST and I spent a glorious (chilly!) afternoon strolling down Broadway here in Nashville.
March ::: I met up with one of the sweetest girls I've ever known when she came to stay with me for a weekend (love you, KP!)... I was amazed at the glorious blanket of bluebonnets near my parents' house... I joyously used my new Kitchenaid mixer to whip up some banana chocolate peanut butter cup muffins... I started a routine of walking the pups when I got home from work... I goofily got my "sportscaster" on when we were working an event at the Ferrell Center... I oversaw (ha) some maintenance work on my car, alongside my boyfriend and my Pops... I (we) ran my (our) first 5K (Bearathon!) side-by-side on a gorgeous Saturday morning... KP and I met up with another sweet friend, Julie, in Austin for a fabulous lunch and lots and lots of shopping.
April ::: We witnessed the Lady Bears dominate Notre Dame for the national championship... I skipped on over to Nashville for my last trip-before-I-moved (and final job interview)... I snatched up my first snowcone of the season... I got to share in the joy of one of my little brothers marrying his best friend... I had the opportunity to watch the Bears dominate the Aggies for the last baseball conference series ever, alongside two dear friends... I invested in my first pair of Toms!... I enjoyed my last Dia with the girls... I watched Milo destroy a brand new squeaky toy in less than 10 minutes.
May ::: I threw a baby shower for my best friend in the whole world... I noshed on Shorty's with the girls for one of the last times (le sad)... I finished packing up my casa, with Milo's help, natch... I spent a lot of time at my parents' house (with the pups navigating, of course)... I spent the weekend in Houston with my best friend before her little man made his debut... I had a fabulous going away party with my best friends in Waco... I crossed the Tennessee state line as a new resident... I spoiled my precious pups with ice cream after a successful vet visit.
June ::: Maiz got her hair did... I discovered the best summer beer known to man... I celebrated CB's 27th birthday with the girls and boys... I created a Las Paletas habit that is unquenchable... ST and I caught a Sounds game, complete with funnel cake and booze... we ventured to the Nashville Flea Market and I found some amazing trinkets... Kara, CB and I saw Kristen Chenoweth perform--which was amazing, she's adorable... I got rear-ended on my way to work (tears and sorrow for Alessandra)... Maizers got a brand new collar (shout out to etsy! best place for pet duds, trust).
July ::: ST and I developed a love for the food trucks here in Nashville... we met up with CS and her Mr. for a date night out at Cabana and Patterson House... Maizie and I watched Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps get their olympian on... I really started getting the hang of my new job... ST and I ventured downtown to watch the fabulous fireworks... my work girls and I started out a random Thursday, surveying linens for events (have I mentioned that I freaking love my job?!)... ST and I found another fabulous dinner locale... I commiserated with everyone else in the country over the ridiculous heat... and uhhhh... just noticed that pic is a duplicate. Sorry. Go Sounds!
August ::: ST and Maiz perfected their cuddle time... I fell in love with Jeni's (salted caramel will change your life)... the boys and I spent an exciting night at the Williamson County Fair (and yes, I successfully got the normally-timid-and-skeptical Little Man to quash his fears to ride the ferris wheel between ST and me, the Tilt-a-Whirl, etc., etc...), ST found yet another delicious dinner destination--and I discovered lobster and crab ravioli that is divine... we celebrated the fabulousness that is Brier & Moss with CB and co. over in Germantown... we saw Jason Mraz at Bridgestone--just one night after we saw the Lumineers at Mercy Lounge (best show ever)... we amped up our gym time... and I tearfully remembered my sweet boy on what should have been his first birthday.
September ::: We went down to Birmingham to barbecue with our dear friends for Labor Day... I skipped out on my white chocolate mocha for the first pumpkin spice of the season... I went home for a long weekend for the first time since I moved... where I may or may not have eaten Whataburger twice in 24 hours... I surprised my BFF Amy at her surprise birthday party... I served Maiz her puppy latte on our weekend drive through Starbucks... we all went to see the Wallflowers downtown at Live on the Green... I ate my body weight in the last watermelon of the season... we began decorating for the best season of the year.
October ::: The fruits of our labor peaked in Reunion Weekend (I seriously love my coworkers so much, and my boyfriend got to work with me--can't get over my fantastic job.)... we excitedly drove Maiz to the doggie bakery to celebrate her fifth birthday... even though I'd already been spoiling her with freshly baked treats from the Provence bakery... Maizie Boo got a new sweater for election night... I finally refinished an end table I bought in Waco before I moved... ST and I ran the much-anticipated Color Run... I honed my top knot skills... the boys and I had a pumpkin carving night... and I finally subscribed to Birchbox.
November ::: ST and I saw Joshua Radin on a random Friday night at Marathon Motor Works... I created an adorable burlap wreath for our front porch... I welcomed my 27th year with a smile, and ST surprised me with my favorite champs and red velvet... I brunched with the girls for the millionth time... I snapped a gorgeous shot of our maple tree before all the fiery leaves left us for the season... I celebrated my birthday with my dear friends and boyfriend at Silo... I went home to Texas for thanksgiving, where ST surprised me with a gorgeous arrangement for my birthday... I spent a day scouting out event space with my office girls... I finally splurged on the beautiful Frye boots I've wanted for a couple years.
December ::: We spent the morning after my birthday dinner, brunching with our favorith Kentucky fans over the basketball game (Bears won!)... I went home to Texas to kiss my mom for the last time, and thank Jesus that she peacefully passed away and is forever free from her lifelong pain... true to form, I spent way too much on airport treats to get me back to Nashville (juicy pear jelly bellys are interwoven in my love language somewhere, I'm certain)... we danced the night away at my sweet friend Heidi's wedding (and I daresay we looked pretty good doing it!)... I spent lots of time with my baby nephews when I was home in Texas... Maizie was captivated by the impromptu weekend snow we had during the last weekend of the year... and ST and I shared a loving, fabulously warm Christmas together (complete with my first big Christmas dinner!).
And there you have it. My year in a nutshell... can't wait to live through 2013 and what lay ahead, truly. I am eager and excited to embrace my friends and family, and even more self discovery in this town that I love, surrounded by some of the most genuine, endearing souls I've known--and skip on back to Texas here and there too, of course.
What was the best part of your year??