2012: The Highlights
As the year comes to an end, I'm taking a moment to reflect on the years that's gone by. 2012 has been a beautiful one.
Does anyone else think that New Year's Resolutions are a little pointless? They're always the usual ones which involve losing weight, spending less money and making time for the people that you love. And it's amazing when people do achieve their goals but I think that forcing yourself into it in January adds a little too much pressure. Set a goal. Make a plan. Don't berate yourself if things don't turn out quite the way you expected. But don't wait until next January to try again.
To save myself the guilt of failing at my New Year's Resolutions (which I usually do), I set myself challenges. This year, it was to do more baking. Total number of cakes baked in 2012: zero. Ouch.
Finally. My 21st birthday. My amazing best friend Bek organised a lovely meal with my gorgeous friends. The venue was a total surprise. But I wouldn't have cared where I ended up - being with people that I love was the most important thing to me.
I was wearing a beautiful dress, made and designed by Bek and to be honest, I felt like a million dollars. It always feels special to know that people have made an effort for you. I had a lovely book of messages too, which brought a little tear to my eye. My birthday showed the selflessness of my best friend because that same week, she lost her grandad. They were very close and she clearly adored him. It would have been easy for her to forget all about making my week special and locking herself away to grieve. But she didn't do that. She went out of her way to make sure that my 21st was unforgettable. Bek, you rock.
And the weekend of my birthday, I celebrated with my amazing family. The weather was appalling but 20 of them still made it. I feel so blessed to know that I'm loved and cherished.
Oh and did I mention the Tiffany necklace?
|My momma is gorgeous|
Yeah, I know I missed March out but I genuinely can't think of anything significant that happened. April on the other hand was a great month. Two of the people that I love and cherish got engaged. And guess who is maid-of-honour? Me, of course. I may literally explode from the excitement. We've been talking about our weddings since we were like 12, so for it to actually be happening is incredible. I feel like a grown up. Scary. Well done Tim, for putting a ring on it.
When I started my degree in 2009, the end seemed like a million miles away. In May, I handed all of my final assignments in. What an amazing moment. The feeling of finality didn't provide me with much relief but knowing that the stress was over was amazing. Handing in my dissertation felt like my entire degree had been leading up to that moment. In a way, it had. Hopefully, it will one day be published as my first novel. Until then, I'm still ecstatic with the first class mark that it achieved.
Artwork by Rebekah Millward and Chrissy Ralphs
In June, I got my first 'real' job. To walk into a job one month after finishing Uni is a huge blessing and something that I know is quite rare. I enjoy being a Marketing Copywriter because of the balance within the role. Ultra professional and creative. I've learnt so much since starting and the desire to know more is never going to go away.
June also brought my Grad Ball with it, which I mentioned in my Letter to My Fresher Self.
I'm sure he'll love me for this but in 2012, my (not actually-little-at-all) little brother turned 16, left school, went to prom and passed his exams (distinction in Music, anyone?). Wowzer.
So, it only seems right to get a couple of crafty pictures in. I'm not ashamed to say, I'm a proud big sister. Not bad considering I didn't even want a little brother.
Ridiculously soppy and not ashamed
I had a fabulous August. We took a group of our young people away to a fab conference called Rocknations. Watching people realise their potential and know that they can make a difference in this world will never ever get old. All things are possible with God and there are a lot of bright futures ahead.
August is also the month that I fell in love. No, it's not a man. It was Paris that stole my heart. It's a city that I have wanted to visit for such a long time. So, we decided to head off for my friend Lisa's birthday. Paris is too gorgeous to only have a paragraph, so I've written a separate post. Paris, I'm not over you and probably never will be.
Paris, I love you
This is a minor one but it made my day, when it happened. Grazia magazine do a hashtag called #ManicureMonday. One day, I decided to tweet them a pic of my nails. I wasn't really expecting much of it but thought it'd be cool to use the hashtag. Anyway, check this out.
So, I haven't technically been featured in a magazine yet. However, it was nice to be acknowledged - especially when my nails are my own. Absolutely love that mint green shade. It's MUA nail polish shade 5, in case you're wondering.
October was also a very special anniversary. In October 2002, I walked into the church that I now call home for the very first time. I'd always believed in God, as I'm sure quite a few people do but didn't have a home church at the time. Well, that day, everything changed. After my first time there, I didn't want to leave. And I never have. Champions Church is somewhere I can unashamedly say I'm proud to be a part of. Week in week out, the teams and leaders (made up of volunteers) work tirelessly to reach out to those in need and show everyone (especially in our town Netherton, Dudley) how amazing our God is.
With that celebration also came the 10 year anniversary of my friendship with best friend and bride-to-be Bek. She was the first friend I made at church and although there have been ups and downs, our friendship has stood the test of time.
So to celebrate, we headed to TGI Fridays for food and a good old-fashioned dose of fun and laughter. One whole decade. Amazing. Whatever it is that you can find to celebrate, do it. It will make your world a little bit brighter and remind you of how far you've come.
I know that skipping straight to December sounds like nothing happened for the rest of the year but this is after all only the highlights.
A gorgeous ladies night to celebrate the precious women in our church
December is such a treat for an old romantic like me. The magic of Christmas is overwhelming. Amongst the hustle and bustle of the season, it's important to take a moment and appreciate where you're at. Christmas truly is all about others. It's about giving. And I'm so proud to be a part of a church that dedicates the entire Christmas programme to reaching others - the lost, the lonely, the hungry. I still blows my mind that people work on Christmas day too. So, this is really a little 'thank you' to those who go the extra mile.
I won't write about my Christmas here. I think that needs a separate post entirely. But it was fab.
And now I have the task of thinking forward to the New Year. I'm excited about what is in store. 2012, it's been a pleasure. Thank you for the memories.
Favourite moments of 2012?