I know come December, I always say the previous 12-month period was the! best! ever! but it’s absolutely and unquestionably true each and every year. And 2012 definitely has taken the cake, despite many challenges thrown our way.
On the personal front…
After a cross-country move and four months sailing around the globe, SVV and I moved back to my roots and permanently(!) chose a locale in Middle Tennessee. I absolutely love it here and have completely fallen in love with the South all over again. And I love the fact that so many people have wanted to come see Nashville and its surrounds—including two of my besties Lemon and Katy, my West Coast bud Stef, my new pal Erin, and my study abroad companion Evan.
I saw a whole lot of concerts, from Bonnaroo and Music Fest to two tapings of CMT Crossroads to Aerosmith to multiple shows at the Grand Ole Opry. (And I already bought tickets to two different shows of Taylor Swift’s RED tour next fall!)
We bought a house. We have spent months renovating said house, and I promise to blog about the updates as soon as we actually complete a room.
On the career front…
I graduated from an entrepreneur incubator program, which also resulted in me starting my own business: Odinn Media (website coming soon). I also started a production company with a dear friend, the details of which I still can’t share until our operating partner signs their t’s and dots the i’s. Soon I hope…
I continued to freelance and have added a handful of new magazine and interactive clients. I also conquered my fear of public speaking by giving a presentation at a major blogging conference, speaking at multiple Rotary chapters, giving talks to a couple university classes and being in front of a group all summer long for pitch sessions with our accelerator program. I also gave my blog a major makeover, continued to work with advertisers and companies who have the same ethics as I do, and began to form partnerships for the long term (such as one with a huge tech company that I’ll unveil next month).
I watched several friends get married, hosted more than a couple engagement parties and was excited when six(!) very close friends all got engaged this year (meaning 2013 is going to be wedding filled, even more so than usual).
On the family front…
My sister moved to Charlotte. I have confidence we will coax her back to Nashville sooner rather than later. We spent a lot of time with my three cousins and their spouses and children—the Memphis delegation came to see us four times, while I made the trip out to see them twice—and also started a #cousinsweekend tradition down in Florida. We have plans for #cousinsweekend2013 to be even more bourbon- and neon-filled.
All three of these baby cousins of mine—or my faux nieces and nephew as I call them—are just absolute joys. And fittingly, two of them were born within weeks of us all losing a grandparent; it was as if God were replacing loved ones in our lives with new ones. And I’ll get another niece in April when SVV’s sister has her first child, and my dad at age 61 will get his first great-great niece/nephew(!) as my cousin Tracy’s daughters on the other side of the family is also pregnant.
On the travel front…
In March, I went to Savannah for work where I participated in the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts and took way too many photos of Spanish moss.
I also took a quick weekend jaunt to NYC to see my former city and its people.
While back on Semester at Sea’s MV Explorer for my first Enrichment Voyage in May, my childhood friend Samantha accompanied me through nearly all of Central America and down to South America, beginning in San Diego.
We stopped in Guatemala, where we hired a driver to take us to Antigua for the day.
We fell in love with Leon in Nicaragua.
The next month, it was back to Florida with all my family and our friends Tom and Ginny and their daughter Mallory and her son Gabe. My granddad and all the cousins and aunt and uncle joined us for part of it.
After we got back from our European follies in October, the whole family managed to squeeze in a weekend in Knoxville for a UT game.
In November, SVV and I headed on board the Star Clipper and saw a whole lot of new Caribbean islands: St. Maarten, Nevis, Dominica, Iles des Saintes, Guadelupe, Antigua and St. Barths. And then we chilled out in Anguilla for a couple days.
After heading to Memphis for Christmas, we now are ending the year in Florida with my childhood friend Andrea.
2013 will see me hiking the highest mountain in Africa, continuing my exploration of the Great American South and then spending two months aboard the ship I love so much over in my favorite continent, Europe. But other than that, anything is fair game. I just hope it involves a lot of new adventures with this guy.
My goals for 2013? Well, those are yet to be determined officially, but I do know this: I want to get back into my peak of physical fitness (circa 2008). Shed some pounds while doing it. Get back into juicing for breakfast and lunch. Be prepared to tackle this mountain (both literally and metaphorically) on my 30th birthday. Continue to make progress on and renovate our house. Read more books than I did in 2012. Run a few half marathons and maybe even another full. Start swimming again on the regular. Buy a bike and get into cycling for both a hobby and for cross-training. Watch all 22 of the James Bond movies in chronological order. Oh, and as always, meet Taylor Swift. (What can I say? I have weird needs and desires.)