Thursday, December 29, 2011

a year in review

So 2011 is finally coming to a close. What a year! Back in 2010, I would never have thought I would be where I am today. I guess that’s a funny thing about life, you never know where you may end up. As much as you try to plan things out (which I try to do!), things have a funny way of changing. In 2010 I was finishing school and moving to Saskatoon to begin a new life. I thought I would still be there (as I planned to live there for at least a couple of years) working for the Saskatoon Health Region, but the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 brought a lot of changes to that plan – changes that I wouldn’t change for the world :-)

This year I decided to move back to Calgary. Last Christmas Nick got a new position with Calgary EMS and I accompanied him to a special orientation. It was after then, that we made the decision that we had to work things out and make compromises so we could be together.

I was able to get a job with Alberta Health Services in January, and since then, I have already got a promotion. I already know that next year I will try and gain a different position with the new Calgary Hospital opening up.

When I moved back to Calgary at the beginning of March, I moved back in with Bianca at the condo. I love that condo still. It’s a cute little place in one of the best locations in Calgary. It’s just 2 blocks east of Chinook Mall, and smack in the middle of Deerfoot, McLeod, Glenmore and Crowchild. It was so easy to get anywhere in the city. But in April, Bianca made a decision that she wanted a bigger place so she could entertain people. That’s one of her talents – being an amazing host! Plus I think she has an addiction to furniture buying! Good thing her sister sells furniture! So Bianca bought a beautiful house in Auburn Bay and it’s really close to her sister Crystal who lives in Copperfield. In May we both moved in, and I love it. Tons (and I mean tons!) of room for the both of us and more, plus garage parking! Since living there we’ve had tons of get-togethers such as board games nights, dinners and girl’s nights (can’t wait for the new season of the Bachelor!).

In June Bianca, Crystal, Andrew, Jordo, Sean, Nick and I went to Vegas and stayed at the Treasure Island hotel. It was great to go on a vacation – as it has been awhile since I have gone on a true vacation. The last one was back in February 2009 when Bianca and I went to Jamaica. Some highlights from that trip was the Medieval Dinner, shopping, Jet Nightclub, Champagne Brunches, and of course getting engaged!

This brings me to my next topic. The huge event that happened this year was deciding to get engaged and marry Nick. We have always wanted to get married, but had a few road blocks. Well we got over those blocks and Nick proposed officially in Vegas. It wasn’t a huge surprise, because we talked about getting married, but Nick proposing with the ring he designed down in Vegas was a surprise.

During July Nick bought a house (well – building one). It’s a townhouse in McKenzie Towne which is beside Copperfield and Auburn Bay. Nick and I love the Southeast corner of Calgary, as it is still close to Okotoks where both of our families live, and we love Calgary and it’s by all of our friends. The house has 2 master bedrooms (that means I have 2 walk in closets and 2 bathrooms– I’m a lucky girl!) on the top level, an open living room/kitchen concept on the main level and a 2 car garage and mini basement makes up the bottom level. It’s suppose to be done in April, but more towards the end, which will make April an interesting month as we are also getting married, going on a honeymoon, and Nick will hopefully be writing his entrance exam for school.

The summer brought some family trials, but they turned out for the best. My sister and mom are now co-owners of their salon Eko Styles and my dad got a new job.

I read some great books this year such as the Hunger Games and True Blood. I’m currently reading the Eragon series as the last one just came out for Christmas and I also want to read these books that Bianca showed me called A Game of Thrones. I’m really looking forward to the Hunger Games movie coming out next March which I’m sure will turn into a girl’s night.

Crystal opened her own store in October called House of Décor in Calgary. It’s a really nice store full of furniture and tons of home décor. I am so proud of her, and she has been working so hard making sure it will be a success. Check it out if you haven’t and if you love decorative pillows – you’ll love her store. She has shelves just full of pillows!

November brought birthdays - my last one as a single girl and friendships were tested. In the end I think my relationships with my friends are now stronger, so I guess I am glad it happened though it was not easy.

In December the girls and I went to the Paul Brandt concert as our Christmas gift to each other. The concert was amazing as we had 2nd row seats, the opening band was cute plus awesome and Paul Brandt was just so personal as well as great.

The Wakeford sisters had their 5th Annual Christmas Party, and this year was a big one. They use to be just small get-togethers with their friends at one of their houses. Last year it was at Crystal’s new house and I couldn’t attend because I was in Saskatoon. The year before that was at Bianca’s condo. This year the girl’s decided to change things up and make it bigger. They held it at Crystal’s new store as it’s a cool place to have a party as well as incorporate both their staff with their friends and families. So they had staff from Bianca’s store, Crystal’s staff as well as all of our friends and some family. I invited my mom, dad, Danika and her husband Chad as well as Nick’s family which included his mom, his brother Kris, his sister Megan and her boyfriend Joey. It was a busy night I think for all 3 of us. The girls were running around entertaining both their staff and friends, and I was entertaining my family, Nick’s family and friends too! Overall it turned out to be quite a success!

Finally Christmas came around. My Christmas was longer than the normal 3 days; I had a whole week of Christmas due to now having 2 families and Nick’s work schedule. Christmas started for me on December 17, when I was invited to Nick’s extended family Christmas dinner. Nick was working that night, so I went by my self – which is something I am going to have to get use to due to Nick’s job. It was great, I got to see Nick’s Aunt’s and Uncle’s and his mom and siblings. I stayed a lot later then I thought I would too. On December 18, my parent’s ward had a Christmas Fireside and Nick’s mom even came with me. We just sang Christmas songs, and Sandy said she really liked it. On December 22 Nick was back in Calgary, so we got to have Christmas with Nick’s close family and Nick there this time. We exchanged gifts, and I had Nick’s brother Kris’s name. I got him a big tool organizer because he has a lot of tools; it’s one of those big red cabinets that go in the garage. Nick’s mom Sandy had my name, so she got me a Matt & Nat wallet, a really nice white housecoat (I have wanted just a nice plain white housecoat for awhile now) and a cute apron that I pointed out to her from Crystal’s store. Later that night, Nick and I exchanged our personal gifts. I got him a Darth Vader Lamp/Alarm Clock, a book called Hell’s Angels, a Pac Man day timer for school, 2 sweaters, a pair of black pants so he can now wear his jean jacket that I won’t let him wear (because he wants to pair it with jeans – I refuse to let him be decked out in a Jean Suit). I also got him a Star Wars Advent Calendar earlier this month – and I count it has part of his Christmas gift because it was like $50! Nick got me some bath bombs (which are still in my car because they smell so good and make my car smell really good too), flower tea – its flower balls that when you pour hot water on them they bloom into big flowers. He also got me a picture frame and engraved Together Forever on it. He got it for me to take to work because I have now have my own desk and I have yet to put “Nic Naks” on it. He also got me a book that I pointed out that I would like to read. I now have a small stack of books that I need to get through. His main gift to me though is tickets to see the Beauty & the Beast Broadway show on December 30. So we’re going to go for a nice dinner and go see the show. It was a complete surprise and I can’t wait to go.

I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas with my family and Nick had to work. Bianca also spent part of Christmas with me because her sister Crystal was in Vancouver with her boyfriend’s family and her mom lives in the Philippians and her dad was in Thailand. Danika and I got matching Grandma Pajamas this year, which was kind of fun and my parents got a lot of my gifts from our Gift Registry. I had Chad’s name (Danika’s husband) and he loves fishing, so I got him a really nice tackle box. For the family (mostly it’s for my mom) I pre-paid for a photography session to do next summer. Boxing Day was kind of chill day. I didn’t plan on going to the mall, but I ended up going with Bianca and Carus because Bianca wanted to go shopping that day for a snowboard. I only bought 1 shirt and I also picked up my dress from BCBG that I bought for my bridal shower (I’ll also be wearing it to Beauty & the Beast). Nick got home on December 27th, so we had one more Christmas dinner with my family so Nick could be there. So really my Christmas was 10 days long!

Yup – this has been an amazing year for me. So many great things happened and I am so hopeful that next year will be an even better year! I can guarantee it!

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