About 1 year ago, as I was writing the 2011 year end post, I referenced it as being the craziest year of our lives. My expectation was that things would settle down, would become more “routine”, and we would look back on 2011 and think “how did we do that….” Now that 2012 has ended, I can confirm with absolute certainty (and note, this is very very rare) – that I was wrong.
If 2011 was busy, 2012 was officially a “whirlwind”. Lets look at some highlights from the year (yes, these are in order)….
- 100th blog post: I don’t know how common this is, but it seems pretty cool to me. I’ve seen firsthand the commitment this takes, and it’s not easy. Especially when you think about all the tv she could have been watching aimlessly instead :)
- Viva las VISA: After literally months of research, applications, and positive thinking (ahem..) – Amber emerged a legal ex-pat living and working in London.
- First ever “Blankation”: Yes, I’m admitting this publicly. We both still have our childhood blankets and sleep with them. We decided we needed a relaxing weekend away -without plans, itineraries, or a commitment to anything but rest. We drank blankaccino’s, ate blanketizers, sipped on sauvignon blanket, and had an amazing time just getting away and relaxing (with our blankets). Oh, this was in Mallorca, Spain (we’re very spoiled).
- Pippa: Our pride and joy, Pippa – celebrated her 1st birthday! Yes Dad, I know she’s just a dog… and I realize this is borderline psychotic… BUT we arranged a birthday brunch for the little princess, and I’m fairly certain that more people were in attendance than we had for our birthdays this year (including Amber’s mom who made it all the way from Seattle).
- Ring: Right around this time, I made an appointment “just to talk” with a family friend who works at a jewelry store in London. I looked at numerous styles, and ultimately settled on one. The tricky part was, the diamond was in Seattle. Multiple emails with Amber’s grandma (“grammie”) later… the diamond was on its way Fedex to London, and thankfully, arrived just as it was meant to. A few weeks after that, I was in possession of an engagement ring. Gulp..
- Black Butte: After a quick weekend in Montana attending a family wedding (wedding number 3 of the year I believe), the Mickelson, Buchanan, and Hill families headed to Black Butte Ranch in Oregon – for a weeklong family trip. Little did everyone know, that on the Thursday morning hike to the top of Black Butte – I would propose to Amber while sitting on a secluded log, looking out at 7 different mountains. It was breath-taking, and something we’ll remember forever. She said yes.
- Surprise trip: Since we first “met” (or emailed), Amber talked about how she would love to surprise me with a trip somewhere. So I was told to pack a bag, and that we would be going somewhere – and not to ask questions. I obeyed, and was thrilled to find out on the way to the airport that we were going to COPENHAGEN. We had always wanted to go there, and it was every bit as charming as expected.
- To Paris with Love: Less than 1 week after ANOTHER MOVE (now in Notting Hill, and absolutely love it).. we made one of our four 2012 trips to Paris, to see our friends Seth and Kate. It turned out to be a very important trip, because we got to be there just days after they too were engaged. What is happening to us all….
- Visitors: Since 2012 was pretty boring thus far, we decided to host guests for 8 out of the final 9 weeks of the year! This included hosting our 2nd London Christmas, and Grammie joined in the fun. Once again we had a beyond dead Christmas tree, went to Westminster Abbey on Christmas eve, and did our Christmas Day Hyde Park walk with Pippa. From there we headed to Edinburgh with our friends Adam and Maggie for a quick weekend, and rang in the new year…. at home. Accompanied by you tube and enough wine to kill a bear – we dance partied into the night – and spent new years day eating, laying, watching, and recovering from the madness.
While this all seems like a lot, these were just some highlights. Some further specifics below:
- Concerts: Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Joshua Radin, Bon Iver, Coldplay (I swear I’m still a man. Promise. I think).
- West End shows: Wicked, Mama Mia, Phantom of the Opera, Rock of Ages, Priscella Queen of the Desert (No seriously, I’m still a man. I swear).
- TV shows we crushed: How I met your mother, Modern Family, Good Wife, Revenge, The Bachelor(ette) (Ok maybe I’m not a man), HOMELAND, and of course Dateline/48 hours.
- Places visited (that I remember): NYC (2), Mt. Snow, Mallorca, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Playa del Carmen, Santa Monica, Seattle, Prague, Stockholm, Paris (4), Missoula, Portland, Black Butte, Atlantic City, Copenhagen, Dublin, Key West, Edinburgh.
So 2012 is over, and as you might expect – we’re pretty exhausted. But we’re also very lucky to have the opportunity to experience everything we’ve done – and don’t look to be slowing anytime soon. We hope 2012 was a great one for everyone else out there, and look forward to seeing what the new year will bring.
Now, it’s time to go, cause my mom is visiting…… Then we leave for Venice on Friday…. Then Charleston the following Wednesday…. Then a birthday weekend in the Cotswolds…… Then…
2013… giddy up!