I noticed, as I was preparing this year's slideshow, that my life has become busier. I'm doing more, seeing more, traveling more, enjoying more. I adopted the mantra, "Live out loud" a few years ago and ever since then I've been doing just that. I grab life by the horns and I tackle it head-on. This year was no different. Though it would be virtually impossible to list every highlight from 2011, I did come up with some of my favorite memories and listed them here.
- "Oh my God! YOU. TWO. DID. NOT!"
- A moment amidst the chaos
- Thanks-forbeingmyfriend-giving with Tara and Ann Marie
- Green beans that tasted like nail polish remover
- Welcoming Weston James to the world
- "You got any o' that Franzia wine?"
- Trying elk meat for the first time.
- Floating around the Caribbean with my Alphas #ItsaTSQthing
- Riding the Tilt-a-Whirl four times in a row with my bestie
- Meeting Adam Bouska
- Welcoming Lacey to our family
- Big Man getting his permit and realizing how far that little "runt" has come since he first started out in this world
- Baking cinnamon rolls for the guys and their band, only to have Brian Littrell accuse me of making him a FatStreet Boy
- Having two of my photos featured on display at the Iowa State Fair
- Sharing Sherri & Sal's special day with them
- Driving a golf cart for the first time (and NOT wrecking it)
- Getting the opportunity to meet Maisy & Loki (Oh, and that Lancaster chick)
- Being reassured I wouldn't run into the people who were Occupying Wall Street (and running into them anyway)
- Helping warm-up the audience at the View in Tom's absence
- Going for a carriage ride in Central Park
- Making Santa laugh and wiggle like a bowl full of jelly
In 2011, I learned to breathe. And trust. And forgive. And stand strong. I loved and I lost. I finally comprehended what it means to show tough love. I rebuilt and knocked down walls. I made friends and lost some. Above all, I lived. I lived out loud.
And I will continue to do so.