The year 2011 has come to a close and 2012 is already taking flight. What a year 2011 was! Full of moments, both good and bad, that have continued to shape me into the woman I am at the start of January 2012 and the woman I will be years from now. After an engagement shoot this morning, full of warm fuzzies, I was reflecting on what the past year has held for me. I have decided on eleven moments of 2011 to share with you that gave me warm fuzzies about my own life…
1. Seeing Hogwarts
For my twenty third birthday my parents bought me a ticket to go experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. To say I was excited would be an understatement. I was gitty for days leading up to the hour that I would walk through the gates that held Hogwarts and all its magic. The hour came. I walked through the gates, saw what was before me, and wept in my sheer awe of the magic that was before me. Everything was as it should be. I spent an entire day traveling to each building, testing the Butter Beer, and soaking up what has only been in my books since I was in the sixth grade.
2. Graduating with my MBA
I AM OFFICIALLY DONE WITH SCHOOL! After graduating with my undergraduate degree in May 2010, I went right into graduate school hoping that completing an MBA in such an intense program would be like ripping a bandaid off, quick and to the point. I did it! I survived! While there were moments that I felt like I had no life outside of school, homework, and working at the Indianapolis Zoo, I made it and couldn’t be happier with this accomplishment. To be 23 and have my MBA, I am pleased.
3. Prague, Budapest, & Vienna
I had the privilege to travel overseas again. This time the destination was not one, but THREE different countries. Traveling is something I am passionate about and brings such excitement to my soul. I am like a child at a candy store when I simply walk through the doors of the airport. The time spent in each country was unique to itself. Of course, beer was drunk in Prague, markets were roamed in Budapest, and castle grounds were explored in Vienna. I previously wrote a short blog post on my experience earlier in the year. Click here to check out a more complete look at that two week journey.
4. Elephant Ride
After graduating from Anderson University with my MBA I continued to work at the Indianapolis Zoo in the Marketing department. While my experience there was wonderful, one thing stick out among the rest. I got to ride an elephant! Elephants are my favorite animal and one afternoon following an event I had planned for elephant awareness week, the elephant trainers asked me if I would like to hop on Kubwa’s back and go for a ride back to the barn. I was floored! Actually, for several minutes I thought they were teasing me. But soon enough I climbed upon her back and went for a stroll…
June & July 2011
This summer is full of weddings and the same with be true for next summer. I was able to be a part of two of my very best friends big day and what an honor it was to stand with them in front of all of their friends and family to state their vows to each other and to God.
6. Harry Potter
July held a final moment for me and some of my high school friends. In July, the final Harry Potter film went onto the big screen. Growing up in high school spending one night a year at a midnight preview of the movies we grew to love only through the writings of J.K. Rowling, was a memorable time. This year we had the privilege to watch the final movie together like ‘old times.’
7. New Car
I am going to preface this with, ‘I have terrible luck with cars.’ This summer was full of crazy weather. One of those crazy moments was hail. After the chaos stopped, my poor SUV had several thousands of dollars worth of damage to its once sleek white exterior. Oh no, this was not the first time she had this type of damage, but this was the last straw. Instead of fixing it right away, I took a gander around several used car lots to see what else was out there. I was driving a lot, so something with better gas milage would be nice and that is what I found. I officially bought my first car! I traded my injured SUV in to receive this beauty and wrote a check for the small difference to upgrade my drive. I am now the proud owner of a 2008 Saturn Astra. It was only made for a year and have yet to see the same car driving down the road. I am a happy girl!
8. Wedding Photographer
I am a professional now! I have shot my first wedding as a photographer and feel like I can officially call myself a photographer. It is no longer a hobby, but I am a professional. I was the photographer this last September for the Stang wedding in Norwalk, Ohio. It was a blessing and a wonderful experience and have gotten such amazing feedback from the family and other viewers. This was the accomplishment of all accomplishments for me as a professional. I could not be more pleased with the results for this ‘first’ for me. Click here to get a little preview of the day and all of its beauty.
9. Baby Ella
I am an aunt! Well kind of… One of my dearest friends had baby Ella in October and I am now ‘Aunt Kortni.’ I got to visit when she was just 10 days old and spend some time with the newest and cutest baby and her wonderful mama. Jess has been such a blessing in my life and to be able to be a part of her life during these exciting times in her life is both exciting for me as well as a blessing.
10. Move to Florida
At the start of November, I made the seventeen hour trek to Tampa, Florida. I guess you could say I unofficially moved there. I am looking for a job and living with family. I have had a wonderful transition. Getting plugged into a great church and into a great group of people has been such a blessing. I owe a great thanks to Adam & Abby for helping me step by step. While it all has been terrifying, moving 1,000 miles away from my home and comfort zone, it has been something so needed in my life. I am excited to see what is ahead for me in this stage.
11. Family 5K
I came home to Indianapolis for Christmas and started my stay off right. My entire family, yes all 5 of us, ran the Santa Hustle downtown Indianapolis at the White River State Park. We were each given a long sleeve shirt, santa beard, and santa hat to complete our look. It was a fun and active time for all of us and ended the race laughing at all of the Santas around and at the cookies that were found at the pit stops around the running course. I recommend this to any others interested for the 2012 run!
That completes my 11 moments of 2011. I must say, I do have even higher expectations for 2012 and am excited to see what journey’s lie ahead. I am blessed to have the family and friendships I have in my life. I hope that I never take for granted the wonderful life I have been blessed with and continue to glorify God in my daily life.
I hope you had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and brought in 2012 in proper fashion. I know I did! Remember to be thankful. Remember to say I love you. And above all, remember to honor God.