I designed the "card" above. It's sort of my new favorite thing to do on Picasa. It's complicated, and I feel like I am tricking the system for what it is meant to do. I would rather have Photoshop - all it's cool features...sigh. So how do I want to do this "Christmas card"? A run down of the year's events? Ok.
The year started in Ohio, as I have been lucky enough to do every year since I moved to Utah. Since I had been out of work since November, this trip was a Christmas miracle and was completely due to a generous gift given to me by my awesome roommates - who bought my plane ticket home. I was living at the Omni with Ashley, Becca and Kira. We were partying it up, doing one-song dance parties in the parking garage. I was serving as the FHE Mom and having a blast with my family. This was also the beginning of my last full-time semester at BYU.
I became an aunt! Kelsie was born at the beginning of the month. I was sad that I couldn't be there, and felt completely left out of the loop because I could never get a hold of anyone, and when I did get on the phone with someone, Amy was so RUDE to be in the background yelling and stuff. Guess she was in pain or something. I really wish I had been there, still.
When I finally got my grubby hands on some pictures, I could tell that she would be pretty much the cutest little girl in all the world. I think I am a prophetess. All the pictures I have received thus far have proven me correct.
I don't remember March. We celebrated Becca's birthday by taking a party bus to Wendover, Nevada. Colin and I were still FHE parents. I was still in school, although, wrapping up the semester. I really did like all of my classes - they were interesting and fun and I had great professors.
I finished the semester amongst moving (typical) and organizing a ward video for the Stake FHE Oscar Night. Becca and I moved into a house by Seven Peaks with Roberta (Becca's Mom) and we fell into the lap of luxury, basically. More room - storage, a pantry, different rooms to put things! Stairs and a garage. I dropped off my car to be repaired - transmission leak - before I went home and met Kelsie for the first time. Amy held off the baby's blessing so that I could be there, and it was a very nice treat. I had found the ticket for so cheap that I used some of my loan money to pay for it. I'm still glad I did it, even if I have started paying back student loans this month.
May was a super busy month! I went to California one week to attend Kira and Reuben's wedding reception. I drove down with Levi and Colin and Aubrey met up with us. It was seriously a blast. Then the next weekend, I took off to New Mexico with the FTC and we spent Memorial Day weekend in Santa Fe. I was lucky that I didn't have to worry about getting off of work, and I was only taking one geography class because I decided to drop my stats class and sign up through independent study. I'm still sticking by my decision to do that...even if I could have been done about 700x by now. But that's mostly because I'm ridiculously stubborn. Becca and I established a party house by throwing a successful Cinco de Mayo party.
June - July
Becca and I memorialized Michael Jackson by throwing a Michael Jackson party at our house. We also celebrated our one-year anniversary in Bear Lake. I can't keep everything straight, so sometime during these two months, my mom, Amy and Kelsie came out to visit and go to the Bollschweiler family reunion in Moab, Utah. I haven't been to Moab, and it was really cool to walk around instead of drive through. I was still in school and had to balance my time between the two. It was nice to have my mom around. We went up to Idaho to visit my uncle and his family. I contracted the piggy flu and was down for a day or so, and tried hard not to kiss the baby. It was impossible.
August Back to Ohio for the Armstrong family reunion. And that was the most exciting thing I did. It was so fun to be home with the family. I was very blessed to have my ticket paid for by my uncle, and then he allowed me to work for him for a week in order to pay him back. I was starting to freak out about money, so I was really looking for new jobs, toying with the idea of moving back to Ohio and not doing stats like I was supposed to be doing. I enjoyed a lot of laying out in the sun and reading. It was fabulous, really.
Stats is still not done. And since I didn't have a job, I took off to Idaho planning to stay a week. A few days in, I got a phone call from KMA, wondering if I were available for a second interview. So I headed on back. It was the smartest choice that I made, since I got the job. I also finished one of my tests for stats and did terrible. I started toying with the idea of going to Korea to teach English. I even got my passport! But when it came down to it, I had to have stats done...and well, you read the first sentence.
October is a busy month. I had to completely replace my brake system in my car. I officially started my job working at Kevin Madson & Associates as the office manager. I can't tell you how much of a blessing it was to finally have a job again. Plus, it's pretty much the best job I've ever had. I work with all guys - that are hilarious. Kevin has the biggest heart and is the best boss (not neurotic at all). It was hard getting back into the swing of having a full-time job. I maintained the sleeping schedule I've had for about six months (you know: wake up at 11am, do whatever, take a nap outside, go to lunch with the FTC, play and party, read, and then go to bed at 2 or 3 or 4am. Repeat). Having a job sitting at a desk is exhausting! But, if you do it well, you will get a raise within fourteen days - which I did. The best part of October is Halloween; and Becca and I made sure we did this with a bang. We threw an awesome party at our house, complete with formal invitations, test tube and dry ice drinks, a DJ and awesome decorations. The guys dressed up which was way sweet. I hit up a party at the Omni ward. And then Becca and I went to Salt Lake for another party.
MY BIRTHDAY MONTH! I made sure to celebrate all month long. Not really, but I did celebrate for a good two weeks. See previous post. We had an awesome sleepover when New Moon was released and that was a lot of fun. I went to Southern California for Thanksgiving. Work is still going really good.
I can't believe December is here already. And I can't believe that for the fifth year in a row, when I've thought that there was no way I was going to make it home (though I am always determined to go anyway) a miracle - in the form of relatives, roommates or this year, my boss - I am able to go. I've been trying to work out my finances so I could justify a plane ticket and when I looked I found cheap tickets, but hadn't talked to my boss about getting time off, and then the prices rise and I thought that there was going to be no way. But my boss called me into his office and handed me a check. "It's not much," he says, "It might be able to buy you a dinner for you and your boyfriend." But when I opened it, it was much more than that. It was enough to pay for an expensive ticket... which I didn't have to do, because the prices had dropped again. So not only did I get money that I wasn't expecting, I also got a great deal on my flight. Anyone who does not believe in Christmas miracles and answers to prayers are just not opening their eyes.
So that's the year. I can't believe 2009 is over! It seems absolutely crazy that I'm 24. And I know, I'm not graduated or married or working some high-paying job or even doing an internship in my major. But, I'm happy. I have great friends. My relationship with my family is good. And the Lord continues to bless my life, even if I am a complete screw up. This next year will be full of new things: I'll probably get my stats done which means graduation, hopefully I will leave the country and USE my passport, I'm definitely moving within the next month... and who knows what else!
Merry Christmas. I hope that your year has brought you as many ups and downs as mine (hopefully more ups than downs) and you've been able to learn and live and grow.