Ahh, well here we are, the first day of a new year. It's always a little exciting to start off fresh, to get a new start. To make the next 365 days count. To have no regrets and to live each day completely and fully.
As I think back to 2008 and all that went on in my little world, I smile and I also frown. But it's this thing called life, and it will always have its ups and downs. Some of the things that changed me and that come to mind when recapping this year include...
My 31st b-day: We were motorin' at the karaoke joint where you get your own private room. Ended up going there another time last year, and if the girls have any say in it, it won't be the last...
Sometime around March, I decided that my dream of owning a pug were to finally become a reality and I started to look much harder for the puppy I needed to own. After making a visit to the breeder's house, we fell in love with our little Bijou. The first few months were a little tough, but we've since gotten over the hump and now have our wonderful little baby Bijou to enjoy and love. It's hard to believe she will be a year old later in January '09 and I can't wait to see what she does next to crack me up!
April in Vegas for Whitey's b-day: It was my first overnight trip with the ladies in who knows how long. Despite getting food poisoning late Saturday night, I still had a blast, and learned that I can play a pretty mean game of Texas Hold 'Em Bonus Poker. It was quite the memorable trip and one I hope to take again in the years to come. Vegas is what you make of it, and we made it a blast!
May-Mary's wedding: This was my baby sister's big day and it was amazing to say the least. Everything, from the ceremony, to riding in the limo with the wedding party, to the crazy reception where the whole family managed to bond and catch a mean buzz, made for a very memorable night. We are so blessed to have such a close knit family and for all that we are blessed with.
And soon after the wedding, was PARIS! My second big trip that year, was Paris, France. It was a long time coming, but we finally went to Europe. This was probably my highlight of the year, and it was so incredibly special to me and Matt as well. We did everything on our own terms and even got to sneak in a Radiohead concert that week as well!! Part of me knows it won't be my last trip to this amazing city. Just from that moment we walked out of the train and onto the cobblestone street to our apartment, I knew that we were somewhere special. It was like falling into another era, a different world, something completely opposite the bustling city of Chicago. I can't wait to explore more of Europe!
July brought the festive 4th of July, more BBQs and lots of sun!!
August was Lollapalooza-a highlight for me-something to look forward to every year, and a hop, skip and a jump from our place! Ok, well, maybe a train ride away, but still!
A few other great highlights that month included the birth of our friend Brandi's baby, and another wedding, this time in Kansas City!! Our friends Tim and Blaise got married here and we had a blast. It was so much fun being part of their special day.
September brought some of the downs to this month, due to Grandma falling more and more ill each day. I will never forget the last moment I saw her and kissed her goodbye. I left that room with a huge amount of guilt and anger at myself, for being so consumed in my world that I forgot to make more time for others. I loved her very much, and only wish I would have spent more time telling her that and being with her, vs. not being with her. Rest in peace, Grandma. That same day we lost her, I also lost my job. I had taken a different route, career-wise, and ventured into the world of advertising. This company was my life for the past 4 years, so it was hard to be let go, but with every ending comes a new beginning, and while the next month would be very difficult for me, I had to keep my head up and know that there had to be something better along the way.
In November, we made CHANGE happen and elected Barack Obama as our new president. This was extremely important to me, and an election I couldn't help but watch closely. America voted for change, and the rest of the world took notice. I hope that the next 4 years bring the goodness we need to the U.S, and we get out of this war, and more economic stimulation to the country.
With no time wasted on my little mini-vacation from work, I sent out tons of resumes and met with plenty of recruiters. Finally, something came along that had promise and potential. I have been at this new job for about 60 days now, and things are going great. It is not the full-time with benefits job I had hoped for, but in this economy, it was a great offer to accept and had the potential to turn into something longer term. For the meantime, it is enough for me, and I am happy. I have had quite enough unemployment in my lifetime, thankyouverymuch.
The holidays this year went very quickly, as they always do. We had a great holiday party and I finally learned how to make pierogis. Christmas Eve was a good time to be with family and Christmas in Kokomo was wonderful as well. I also learned that I kind of love Guitar Hero and need to play that again like, soon!
New Years Eve we had Rob and Sarah and Tim and Blaise over and we ate, drank and danced some Charlie Brown dances ;) then went to the Justice NYE show at the Congress. It was a blast. And now, I am tired and I have plenty to be thankful for. I am ending 2008 knowing that I can't change what's past, but I CAN change what happens in the future. I am hopeful that a few good things will happen in 2009 and that we can only look forward and never look back....