Top 12 of 2012

We are hours away from 2013 and, as I was thinking about the past year…well, it was probably the best year of my life thus far. I’m going to post, therefore, my top 12 memories of 2012.  These are not in order of importance or how much they meant to me…it’s more a timeline of my year.

12) On January 1, 2012, I was dating a French man.  I joyfully brought in the New Year’s in France then journeyed up to London that night. To have been in Europe both for New Year’s and my birthday (today!) was a thrilling occasion.  I also got to ride in the Chunnel, crossing a very old goal off my bucket-list.

11) I did spend a lot of incredible moments with my family this year.   We saw the Lion King on stage, sampled restaurants, went apple picking, etc.  But one of the funnest memories was heading down to Orlando over Spring Break.  I stayed with my friend, Jennifer, while my mom, my dad, and my sister stayed at a resort near Disney World.  I met up with them a few days and we explored Harry Potter World together, toasting with Butterbeer.  My sister, Jennifer, and I also rode Spiderman like 30 times in a row, by-passing lines by hopping in the single rider’s lane.  It was a glorious night!

10) Also in the spring, my co-worker turned friend, Heather, and I ran the Color-Me-Rad 5k in VA Beach. It was easily the best 5k ever created.  While down there, I got to spend time talking to Heather (really, our first time hanging out).  I also got to meet up with my high-school friend, Rachel, and meet her boyfriend, Drew.

9) In early May, Colin–my youngest brother–graduated from VCU with a masters and a bachelors, so the family went down to Richmond to celebrate.  Meghan and I filled out an amazing tribute book in Colin’s program and we ate at the really interesting meat-on-a-stick place whose name completely eludes me.  Hmmm.

8) I had one of the greatest summers of my adult life this year, traveling up to Connecticut to volunteer with inner-city families at Trinita.   I met some amazing individuals and, I will admit, cried like a baby when I had to leave.  I am definitely going back this year and, perhaps, bringing a sibling along.

7)  In August, I returned to school.  This year, the transition back was so smooth…because I was teaching the same students as last year!  I also have the same team to work with!  Consistency makes life easy for both me and the children.

6) In August and September, it was also time to celebrate the fact…that I am really old.  I didn’t attend my regular high school reunion; I was busy helping Rachel stuff wedding invitations.  Yep!  Her boyfriend was now her fiance!  In early September, I did attend my 10-year Governor’s School reunion though.  This was a 3-day event, orchestrated by a very talented classmate.  Due to everyone I know having bridal or baby showers, I couldn’t make it to all 3 days, but I did attend a very nice dinner at a downtown restaurant and a cookout the next day at a nearby park.  The cookout was also a time to see old classmates’ parents and children for the first time in years….or the first time ever.

5) In October, I flew out to California to see Andrew.  One day, not needed at his house, we journeyed down to Mexico.  It was his first time despite living so close his entire life.  We ate at a Tijuana restaurant, saw a lovely church that was being renovated, took pictures and videos, and one of us even was bitten by a dog.  (I won’t say names, but it wasn’t me).  The trip ended with us standing in line for over an hour to get back into the USA.  What an awesomely, incredibly-stupid day trip.

4) My co-worker turned friend, Karen, also went on some great trips with me this year.  We went scrapbooking up in Sugarcreek, Ohio, toured Skyline Drive, visited random counties for sweet apple cider and honey, and spent a glorious day in Williamsburg, buying candles, eating at the Cheese Shop, spending too much money at the bookstore, and seeing my old alma mater.

3) The highlight of October was definitely being a part of Rachel and Drew’s wedding.  What a whirlwind year for the two of them!  The wedding was lovely and, afterwards, we journeyed to a gorgeous clubhouse on a lake for the reception.  Wedding festivities ensued.  And, as I couldn’t make it to Alex’s wedding in California over the summer, I got my wedding fix for a while.  The best part, though, was obviously seeing how happy Rachel was.

2) Also in autumn, my roommate and I were eating at my favorite restaurant, Kappa Gardens Sushi Bistro, and they completely named a sushi roll after me.  I was tickled, especially when Jong Sung, the chef, gave me a picture of it and hung it on the wall as a menu option.  Fantastic.  Deliciously, deliriously fantastic.

1)  Although, I didn’t see my college friends this year as much as I would have liked, we did have a chance to get together over the summer at Maria and Yianni’s house by the beach.  We spent time at the beach, played board games (I really know nothing about movies) and fell asleep ridiculously early (proving how old we are).  In November, however, Maria and Yianni had a son.  While I have yet to see him, he has the cutest pictures ever.  And I really, really cannot wait to meet this little guy.

Ahh, 2012.  You rocked.  2013, let’s see what you can do!