The Craziest Year of my Life

...and I can't say that I'm going to miss ya.

A year filled with so much change, both good and bad, I'm quite impressed that I still find myself standing on two feet. 

Here's the fast forwarded edition of my year:

On our plane ride home from Mexico, on NYE, Joel told me that his goal in 2012 was to find a new job.
In the middle of January, Joel received a random text message about a huge job opportunity that would take us to NYC or LA. He pursued the interview process while we kept our mouths shut around our friends and family.

Joel accepted the job offer that would move us to LA. We left on February 2nd to go look at apartments and make plans to move across the country.

On Valentine's day, I put my 2 weeks notice at my job and Joel promised me we would get a dog in LA


That night, when we left Valentine's Day dinner at Shaw's my mom called me in the cab and told me my Aunt Peggy was in the hospital in very serious condition.

As we packed, arranged movers, and said goodbye, Peggy's condition got worse. I didn't fulfill my 2 weeks at work, left on the 16th for Crystal Lake to be with my aunt and family in the hospital and never looked back.
My friends helped me pack and we shipped my car to LA, and tried to handle moving while dealing with the fact that my 48 year old aunt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 

We were able to fit in a goodbye party with our amazing Chicago friends the night before Joel left for LA on 2/28.

Since I didn't have a job, or an apartment, I stayed at my parents house for two weeks, 1 mile away from my Aunt Peg.  I was witness to too many doctors appointments, too many scary words, too many tears, and the deterioration of the healthiest woman I knew.

Amidst the dark, dark chaos, their were bright lights. So much love and support came from our community, and my close family, got closer.
I said goodbye to my Aunt Peggy on March 6th, with a hug, and the advice from her to "Go conquer California". 

My mom flew with me to get me settled in LA. 


The day my mom got back to Crystal Lake and came to see Peggy, she found her in bed, speaking incoherently. Peg has suffered a stroke that would ultimately end her life a few days later, on March 10th, 2012.


On March 11th, I flew home the next day, and began the most awful week of my life.

On March 20th, I had to go back to California. I hated leaving my grieving family, cousins, grandparents, and mostly my parents...but my mom forced me back to reality. 

I was still unemployed so I spent a lot of time looking for jobs, decorating my apartment and trying to understand the LA life. 

I met two new girls in California that ended up turning into dear, dear friends - Carly and Dawn.

On March 31st, I accepted a job offer.


Joel and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary with a weekend trip to Santa Barbara 

On April 7th, after a few days in San Diego with Joel's brother, we stopped in Long Beach and picked up my long awaited puppy Roscoe. 

We hosted an Easter brunch with everyone we knew from California. All 9 people. 

We adjusted to life as new parents and fell absolutely in love with our little nugget. 

April 16th I started my new job

 I turned 24 and Joel had a surprise dinner party for me at The Lobster in Santa Monica. 


We flew to Jupiter, Florida to watch Joel best friend Chris get married

My sisters came to visit us (and meet Roscoe) in LA  

My cousin Amanda and her boyfriend Andrew were our next set of visitors.  

I fulfilled a life long dream of seeing Mr. George Bank's house from Father of the Bride 

On June 9th, I got ENGAGED!

I was finally able to buy bridal magazines! 

I traveled to Palm Springs for my soon-to-be Sister-in-Law's bachelorette party

I flew home with Roscoe so that I could finally see my family

I asked my best friends to be my bridesmaids


I picked my wedding venue and date

Joel's brother Andrew was married in San Diego
Before Joel's parents headed back to Chicago after the wedding, they came up to LA to spend the weekend with us

 We started taking advantage of living in California with weekly hikes

My bridesmaid Sara came out to LA for a long weekend.

Joel turned 25 and we hosted a wine tasting party for him

We flew home over Labor day to see my cousin Cole get married

I found a wedding dress

We took engagement pictures

We went down to San Diego to spend time with Joel's brother and sister, and I went to my first pro football game

We did a day trip to Malibu winery

We carved pumpkins as a family
Accomplished a 6 mile run in the mountains

We registered! 

My best friend Claire came out and we explored LA and Santa Barbara

 Completed a 7.1 mile turkey trot in the mountains with my girl Shelby!

We had our first "Friends-Giving" with all the L.A. orphans and it was amazing

We decked the halls

I hosted an ornament exchange with some girls

We spent 8 glorious days on the beach in Mexico with my family

And unfortunately, on  December 29th, my 90 year old Grandpa joined his daughter Peggy in Heaven. 


Here is to 2013


  1. What a crazy year for you - so sad to hear about your Aunt... so young!! The engagement & preparations are so much fun, hope you're enjoying them all. Cheers to a beautiful 2013!!!

  2. What a great post. I am sorry about your aunt and Grandfather. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. So sorry to hear about the losses you had to bear in 2012. I am especially sad about hearing about your grandfather - mine is turning 94 in March (the very same day I will turn 30) and I am holding on to the thought that he will make it to my wedding in the summer of 2014.

    On the other hand you made great experiences in 2012 and I am wishing you all the best that 2013 will be just as amazing, if not even better.

    Love from Denmark,

  4. You definitely had an action-packed year! What a great year-end review. Cheers to a wonderful new year!

  5. What a year of highs and lows. Life is such a bitch that way, just sayin.

    Here's to 2013 being the best one yet... the year YOU get to be the bride!!

  6. You definitely had some downs, but you had plenty of highs too! :)

    Happy New Year!

  7. April 7 is my bday! Me and Roscoe share bdays..sort of :)

  8. Quite the year! Hope 2013 brings you buckets of champagne and happy memories!