A lot went down at the end of last year, and I ended up not writing a 2016 in Review. We had a messed up presidential election, we lost George Michael, and Bowie still hadn't returned as I had hoped. I was in a bad place.
Thankfully, I was able to ring in the new year with two of my favorite people. It was a welcome distraction and helped take some of the sting out of what we were going through, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't jealous when they went back home - to Europe.
Friendly Alliteration: Stef the Swede and Netherlands Nancy
A few weeks into 2017, Kit's car got totaled by some kid with no insurance. Thankfully, Kit was fine after a couple of days - but we couldn't say the same about his sweet, sweet 2003 Ford Escort:
Looking on the bright side, we upgraded to an SUV:
In February, Kit's collaboration with Al Jaffee (!!!) was published in MAD, so we were finally able to show off the original art I surprised Kit with for Christmas:
By far, the most expensive Christmas gift I have ever purchased,
but totally worth it because duh
Six Pack is Complete
Just before Valentine's Day, my second niece arrived - making me an auntie for the sixth (and final?) time.
Clockwise from the top: Me with Megan, Dylan, Lainey, Zander, Ian, and Grant
100 Happy Days, Round 3
I knew the spring semester would be my biggest challenge yet - I thought it would be a good idea to attempt four courses at once. To help me maintain a positive focus while I was knee-deep in a semester-long research project, I decided to go through the #100HappyDays Challenge for a third time (you know, because I needed one more thing to be responsible for each day), from mid-January through mid-April:
It looks like I had some good times during that period;
TBH, Spring 2017 was mostly a blur
I survived the spring semester, and during my three week break before the summer semester, I got to experience Portland for the first time! I immediately fell in complete love with this city, and I could see myself living there someday.
We attended the National Cartoonist Society's Reuben Weekend while there, and we got all fancy-style, as you do for the Reubens:
Movie Villains "Silver Fox and The Red Assassin"
Um, don't let me forget to mention that we got to interact with Matt Fucking Groening while we were there!
Really, if I ever complain about any aspect of my life again,
just slap me in the face and show me these photos
In June, I got a second visit in the same year from my favorite Dutch Baby!
Seriously, though, look at that face
I also got to spend more time with his mom:
The week they returned home, I continued on to take two summer courses because I apparently don't learn anything from past experiences. While exhausting, it went surprisingly smooth, especially considering I completed my Marketing Capstone in only five weeks.
Upon finishing the summer semester, I had one whole week to recover before diving into the fall semester. To make the most of it, I opted to have a Senior Portrait session while recreating several poses from high school:
Mid-August. In Texas. Outdoors. This is all sweat. ALL sweat.
The Final Countdown
I had reason to believe my final semester would drag on forever, but I was completely wrong. This was perhaps the quickest semester I have ever experienced, despite having to complete my Management Capstone!
Late October, I took a brief break ahead of the final push, and I ventured to Denver to visit family and meet my newest cousin, Calvin.
Trust me, this kid is adorable; he looks like
a miniature version of my cousin, Will
The highlight of my trip was preparing a meal for my aunts, uncles, and cousins - I made my Nana's sauce (an Amorella tradition when we reassemble), and I surprised them with Texas-shaped pasta, which they all appreciated:
Just kidding; I caught shit for this pasta the entire evening,
but it was worth it because they all had Texas inside of them
Three quick weeks after returning from Denver, it was time for Thanksgiving! And would you believe it, I had the good fortune of seeing Nancy a THIRD time in 2017! I need her to know that my expectations have readjusted, and I now demand at least three visits each year.
My Happy Place - these faces assembled around this table
Following Thanksgiving, it was a whirlwind through the rest of the semester - on Tuesday, December 12th, I completed my last final exam for this dual-major degree.
After taking 87 hours covering 29 courses spanning 12 semesters...
I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!
My graduation ceremony was Saturday, December 16th. Here are a couple photos of me looking like a nice lady:
This bitch nearly lost her mind over the past four years, but I will tell you:
SHE GRADUATED SUMMA CUM LAUDE
I haven't had longer than a four-week break from school in the past two and a half years, so suddenly having all of this time on my hands will be an adjustment. But don't worry - I am up for the challenge. For now, I plan to relax for the remainder of the year (the whole week of it that remains), and I am already plotting out 2018.
One More Thing
My boss bought lunch for the office earlier this week, and when I opened my fortune cookie...
I look forward to seeing what THIS is about!