Monday, January 2, 2012

Looking Back: 2011

I wish I could sit here and say "2011, what a great year!" - but while it has been full of great adventures, new beginnings, and fun memories, 2011 also brought a lot of hard changes and unfortunate events. Between a new school, a new boyfriend & moving out onto my own, it's definitely been a year of change.

At this time last year, I was spending the first few days of the new year in Paris. While spending my new years snuggled in bed with Trevor & Buddy may not have been as spectacular of a story, I don't think I would have chosen it any other way. On this second day of January, I'm feeling thankful, blessed and ready for the start of a new year. If it's true that how you spend your first day of the year reflects on the other three-hundred and sixty-four then I'm in luck.

I thought I would take the time to talk about my whole year in review (like I did for 2010).
So here you have it, a look back at 2011:

January  was filled with coming home, plenty of snow, the arrival of puppies, the beginning of a new semester and preparation for THON 2011. I was savoring time spent with my brothers and quickly anticipating my favorite forty-six hours of the year. This January? I'm already missing both of those things.

What should have easily been my favorite month of the year, quickly turned to the worst when I got the phone call that my house was on fire. Despite the bad news, I made the most of the first few days and will always be thankful to Ryan for giving me a place to stay. From that point on, the next few weeks (that too quickly turned into months) were spent living in a hotel. Even though it was the hardest month of 2011, February was full of its own happy moments - like playing basket bingo, Valentines Day, birthday parties and of course, THON weekend.

Despite it's constantly rainy weather, March had it's brighter moments. Though we were still living as a family of five in a hotel suite, I got to enjoy visits with Kasey, my first trip to IKEA, York's own Saint Patrick's Day Parade, rebuilding after the fire, participating in For Japan with Love, and spending as much of my free time as possible with friends (and eating burritos).


April was an important month in 2011 - not only did my baby brother turn six but we were finally able to go home. I also got to spend lots of time with two of my favorite little girls with fun spring adventures in baking muffins and visits to the park. Of course, I also got to celebrate Easter with my family, and Maddie Hill's birthday, too! April also marked my first real visit to Millersville's campus, a foreshadowing for decisions to be made in the fall.

In May, I finished my final semester at Penn State York & found it harder than I thought to say goodbye. But with school out of the way, I had time for more interesting adventures like visiting Lancaster's Hands On Museum, hosting bonfires, visiting York's annual Mother's Day Street Fair, hiking through Nixon Park, eating cowtails at Perry Dell, and spending the day at Aiden's first-ever Field Day. May also marked a photography first for me - senior portraits.

With a little brother still in elementary school, the summer months have become some of my favorites because it means more time spent with Aiden. Together, we spent June at his Kindergarden Graduation, Arts Fest, and playing miniature golf. June also leaves room for getaways to places like Philadelphia and even just Lancaster to visit one of my favorite families. That month, we also celebrated Sean's graduation from High School.

July was a big month for me - perhaps big is an understatement, a huge month for me. The first week of the month was spent in Missouri for the Lake Family's first ever reunion. While there, we got to spend the fourth of July together, gather everyone for family photos, and spent time with my great grandmother. But the rest of the month was just as exciting. In July, I photographed my first couples session at Sam Lewis Park. And by the end of the month, I had moved into my own apartment.

If July was huge then perhaps August must be described as the same. The summer months are great for allowing lots of time and beautiful weather for photography sessions like these. & Perhaps that was my favorite part of the summer of 2011. But August also played witness to a trip to Pittsburgh, the first dinner get-together at my apartment, and plenty of random thoughts. That month I also began classes at a new school - a scary decision but in my opinion, one of the best I had made throughout the year.

While I will always love September, this year's September proved itself even more than usual. Though it saw few blog posts, it saw a lot of fun - like a last minute trip to the beach, a trip to the country's oldest fair, and most importantly, my twentieth birthday.

After the fabulous month that I had in September, October made its best effort. With autumn for a favorite season, I'm never disappointed when October makes its way onto the calendar. At home, I celebrated the season by visiting the Apple Harvest Festival, painting pumpkins, baking pumpkin muffins and of course watching Wellsville's Annual Halloween Parade. But perhaps the best part of October had nothing to do with falling leaves or cooler weather. My favorite trip of the year was a visit with my cousin Caitlin to see my Aunt Sarah and Uncle Rob in Scottsdale, Arizona - where we visited the Red Rocks of Sedona, shopped in Flagstaff, shot machine guns, and enjoyed the eighty degree weather.

November was one of the hardest months of my year. Somehow, I managed to develop a heart condition, forcing me to attend too many doctors appointments and causing me to withdraw from my first college class. Despite the downsides though, November still brought Thanksgiving dinner at my apartment, the first ever D.C. Dance Marathon, a visit with Mark, my first major assisting job, and a dramatic new haircut.

December, while better than November, was a bit disappointing this year. Normally December is full of holiday celebrations, my brother's birthday and perhaps a bit of snow. This year? More like too much work and Sean leaving for bootcamp, instead. Even still, we managed to maintain a few holiday traditions like breakfast with santa and Aiden's mostly-naked Christmas morning.


  1. A beautiful year. Thank you for reminding me of life's simple gifts. God bless you in the year ahead! - Aunt Cathy

    1. Thank you so much Aunt Cathy. I feel very blessed to say that it was a beautiful year, indeed!

  2. Keep on writing and sharing your beautiful life.

    1. Thank you for the reminder of just how beautiful my life is (and the inspiration to keep writing). I'm feeling very blessed after such a great year.