Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 in Review

Here are the highlights of what happened in my world in 2015...

We rang in the new year with my favorite Dutchman, Bart, and his lady, Nancy, who happens to be one of my closest friends. I was fortunate to spend time with them through Christmas, New Year’s, and even celebrate her birthday - then they left us to return to the Netherlands in early January.

Aren't we lovely? We're European.

It's 2015, betches!

In February, I visited San Diego! Our first stop was to the San Diego Zoo – you could take three or four days to go through everything they have to offer, but we made the most of the one day we were able to go. My favorite had to be this very busy meerkat.

We were welcomed by a rainbow outside of our room
the first morning we woke up in San Diego

I spent my days walking around and exploring, eating, napping, sneaking into the Hotel del Coronado, running on the beach and into the freezing ocean after too much champagne, shopping, and working through some internal struggles I had been carrying around with me. It was a meaningful trip, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I felt rejuvenated when I returned to Dallas.
With my boss, David, and co-worker/beautiful friend, Melissa
at Marine Room (in La Jolla) on our last night in California

Throughout the spring, I experimented with the meal delivery service Hello Fresh. It was quite convenient to have everything I needed to cook meals during the week, delivered right to our door. Working full time and going to school leaves my culinary creativity depleted, and Hello Fresh got me excited about cooking again. It also helped me branch out and prepare dishes that I had never tried before, and nearly all of them turned out great!
I swear I chose the wrong career - you're salivating right now, don't lie 

In June, our favorite American Swede paid us a visit. Stefan stayed with us for only a few days, but we (and our livers) certainly made the most of it. We saw Jurassic World, enjoyed a day poolside, cooked, and even celebrated Stefan’s and other friends’ birthdays while he was in town.
 He wears picnic table cloth for short pants, but I love him anyway

Soon after Stefan departed Dallas, the Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same sex marriage were unconstitutional. My husband and I went with friends to celebrate at a pride rally in Dallas’ “Gayborhood,” and on such a hot Texas summer day we were surprised when a thunderstorm and cold front blew in. We were soaked and chilled, but we were able to appreciate the humor in the weather’s timing.
Dripping with pride on an historic day 

In August I had the honor of joining two friends in marriage – Daniel and I work together, and his husband, Frank, recently moved here from Venezuela. I was quite proud to be able to legally marry them in our home state, and I have been enjoying getting to know Frank even better.
 Frank, Me, and Daniel on August 29th at Lakeside Park in Dallas

My cousin, Will, from Denver, visited us with his lovely wife, Lauren, over Labor Day Weekend. It was a brief trip, but we packed in as much insanity as we were able in two days’ time. My brother hosted a family lunch at his home, and then we cousins all went out as a group that evening. The next morning, we treated Will and Lauren to a real-deal Texas Sunday Brunch at Bread Winners because we wanted to do it right. Perhaps next time I will introduce them to the spectacle that is Blue Mesa Brunch. Anyhow, after that we spent the afternoon lounging at The Grapevine, and then concluded their trip with a big Tex-Mex family dinner because Texas. I hope Kit and I are able to plan a visit out to Denver in 2016!
 The Amorella Gang in Bishop Arts

Later in September, my brother asked if I would watch my niece and nephew while he and my sister-in-law went out of town to celebrate their anniversary. I have never watched two children overnight before, so I was naturally apprehensive – but it worked out just fine. They had all arms and legs still intact when I had completed my shift. While there, we ordered pizza, we stayed up too late playing video games, and in the morning we went to play at Getzendaner Park in Waxahachie, which is the park my brother and I used to play at when we were children.
Niece Lainey (18 months) and Nephew Zander (4 1/2)
at Getzendaner Park in Waxahachie

In October I had the pleasure of seeing the American Dutchgirl a second time in the same year, except this time she came with a Dutch baby in the oven. I was able to take part in Nancy’s lovely baby shower, and I even got to marvel at her belly – which noticeably grew during the month she was with us in Dallas. It is upsetting to think that I won’t see her or meet Baby Fisser until he is nearly a year old, but I am already counting down the days until next Christmas.
Kristin, Nancy, and Me at Dry Bar before the Baby Shower
All I wanted was big Texas hair and to look like a First Lady

Thanksgiving was different this year. It is my favorite holiday, and I have hosted it in my home for the past four years. We typically have a full house of around 20 folks – people all up in my kitchen, and children running around and acting insane. I love it! This year, my brother and his wife had to work, and Kit’s brother and his wife went out of town to be with her family, so it was only us and our parents. And it was nice. I had developed a cold earlier that week and ran a fever on and off throughout the day, but aside from that, having so few guests meant dinner prep and cleanup took significantly less time. And I was able to rest and watch the Cowboys lose with everyone else.
I am certain he is saying something inappropriate 

The first week of December, I completed my second installment of the #100HappyDays challenge, wherein I posted one photo each day for 100 consecutive days, and it had to be something that brought me a moment of happiness. The first time I began the challenge was January 2013, so I documented happy moments through my spring semester of school.

This time I began the challenge at the start of September and documented my fall semester of school. While it was familiar and went similarly to the first time, I enjoyed documenting a different time of year. During those 100 days, I married a beautiful couple, I had visits from family and friends from out of state (and the country!), I hosted a baby shower for one of my favorite friends and learned other dear friends of ours are now expecting! I enjoyed my favorite season, autumn, being ushered in, and turning back into summer, and then returning again. I celebrated triumphs at work, I conquered a couple of difficult courses at school – and as if this weren’t all enough – I witnessed the miraculous return of Blue Bell ice cream in stores.

I am up for doing the challenge a third time, perhaps 2017?, and I believe I would begin at the end of my spring term to document summer break. It should be easy to find 100 days of happiness when there’s no school!
These are some of the people and things that make me
a happy girl each day 

Speaking of school, I survived another year, which included even more Statistics, and I finished Financial Accounting as #1 in my class! I am leaning towards a dual major in Management and Marketing, so I have begun to see a slight shift in my course selections. I am currently on winter break, and in the spring I will tackle Managerial Accounting, Retail and Service Marketing, and Management Process Theory. I have no idea what the hell Management Process Theory even is, but I am sure I will be able to tell you all about it in a few short months.

We have made our way through Christmas, and now we will
coast on into the beginning of a new year. Bring on 2016!

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