This year has moved at lightning speed (to say the least). It has been the most jam-packed, thrilling, crazy, challenging, and accomplished year of my life thus far. Like everyone else in the world, I’m heading into 2013 with no choice and barely any time to squeeze in much more. I thought I’d diarize what happened this year, if not for entertainment value, for my memory. Here are my highlights:
Ho Ho Ho!
- December 2011: I was “Mrs. Claus” for the first time (meaning the night before and morning of Christmas was with my step-daughter). It brought me back to my childhood and made me truly get into the spirit. I saw the astonishment in her bright, blue eyes, and although being Mrs. Santa was a huge lie, the magic that was in the room that morning made my heart spill over with love and appreciation for my little family. And it made me miss my Mom, Dad, and sister too! When did I grow up?
- January 2012: Getting engaged. I had a surprise birthday trip planned by my boyfriend to go away somewhere for the weekend; I knew that we were going snowboarding (as the boards were hard to hide in the car), but I did not know where. As soon as we got to the tunnel that I recognized, I knew we were heading to Sun Peaks! We arrived in the evening, and had an awesome hotel right at the bottom of the hill where we could see people coming down the mountain outside our window. This “surprise” was amazing, but the best was yet to come. The next day we got ready for our day on the slopes. We went to the top of the lift, and started to make our way down the mountain. When we were about halfway, Jordan was ahead of me and waved for me to follow him. He went up a snow bank and plopped himself down where I sat down beside him. He started chit-chatting and I just thought we were taking a break. Then he flipped over to face me, and kneeling on his knees with snowboard all strapped on, he took out a black box from his jacket, opened it, and asked if I would marry him. I don’t even remember what I said, but he had to remind me, “So… is that a yes?” And I realized that I hadn’t answered him! The rest of the day was amazing, and we got back to our room with chilled champagne waiting for us. It was a wonderful trip, and it was official; I was getting married…
Home sweet home
- March 2012: Moving. We decided to sell my townhouse that we lived in for FAR too long with the extra push from my Dad (details are unnecessary, and I’ll leave it at that). We definitely wanted to live in a house that we could call our own and do whatever we pleased with. We wanted a yard for Carlin to rip around in and Jordan to put his handy-man skills to use, plus… no strata and no other people in the building. With some drama in the house-hunting after placing an offer on one place that we learned had an attic with extreme mold and water damage from the roof leak, we found our special place. It was the sweetest home: cozy, cute, huge yard and deck, and peace & quiet. We made an offer, and it was ours!
- Another March 2012: I became an Auntie!! My brother and sister-in-law had a gorgeous little girl named Autumn. She was so tiny and sweet; I couldn’t wait to share my life with her.
- April 2012: Carlin’s 5th Birthday — my first house-gathering for Carlin’s big day. This was a big deal, as I never thought I’d be domesticated. It was a success.
- July 2012: My best friend’s wedding!! My childhood friend since I was 6 got married and I was so lucky to be beside her that day as one of her bridesmaids. Leading up to the wedding, we had amazing times together planning for her big day. Getting to know her cousins better was a gift I received from the wedding. The fabulous shower was perfect for our sweet Chelsea, and her unbelievable stagette in Whistler with about 30 women goes down in history!! What a stunning bride she was, and handsome groom she had. I was so fortunate to read a poem that we grew up reading with each other at the ceremony; and at the reception I got to say my speech to her and her husband about my cherished feelings for both of them.
- Another July 2012: SKYDIVING. A friend of mine from work told me she was going skydiving, and I thought there was no better time to do it than a month before my wedding: “Taking the plunge before the plunge” was my motto (cheesy, yes). I wanted to go for years (ever since I bungy jumped 3 times and it did nothing for me the last time). The only way I could explain the feeling of falling/somersaulting out of that plane was “living.” There was absolutely no fear, and you felt completely in-control. The adrenaline quite possibly had a lot to do with it, but it made me feel exhilarated, and I can see why those guys/gals do it 20 or more times a day for a living; seriously.
- August 2012: Tying the knot. First of all, my family made our day incredible. The amount of work and time my sister (maid-of-honor) put into making me feel special at the shower and the stagette, and my parents for opening their house to the ceremony and making it literally “perfect,” was dreamlike. My friends were outstanding (my bridesmaid was even my professional photographer), and I felt on top of the universe. My entire life, I never really knew if I’d get married; I didn’t know I wanted to for sure, and I didn’t know if I even believed in it. It is a big commitment, and something that is very serious and often falls apart. On my wedding day, there was no hesitation. Any worry or stress had nothing to do with getting “cold feet” or whatever that means. I can honestly say that my wedding day was about my future husband, me, and his precious daughter. Sure there were little “Tia favorites and quirks” here and there (antique books, poems, red and white flowers, lace, red stars, crystal sun catchers my mother-in-law made that hung from the trees, etc.), but I liked to think of our day as simple, happy, angelic, and peaceful — and it was. I can say that without a doubt, this was the best day of my life.
Every person I saw around me I loved with all of my heart. And saying our vows to one another was the most intensely true moment in the best way I can possible describe. Like the first day I met Jordan, his eyes were the windows to his soul that were also a reflection of mine; we became one, yet we always have been. I danced the night away with my best friends by my side that will always be by my side, and my wonderful family that loves me just as I am. Lastly, with the O’Grady family opening their open arms to me and accepting me and all of my colours. I’ll always look back at this day and feel warmth; it was a heavenly, heavenly day.
Handsome (just before food poisoning)
- November 2012: Sayulita. So the “7-day” honey moon in Riviera Nayarit unfortunately wasn’t the best vacation because Jordan got 2 days of deadly food poisoning. We did enjoy ourselves, but we had so many trips planned and unfortunately the week was not long enough minus the 2 days.
I managed to get two 1 hour massages for about $15 USD each right on the beach — they were the best massages I seriously have ever had (anyone that knows me, knows that I KNOW massages). On our last day we visited the village of Sayulita, and it was UNREAL. Everything about that place was bliss; the waves, the people, the food (oh my, the FOOOOOD was incredible!), and the vibe. I recommend going to this place to absolutely anyone, and renting a house there would be the perfect vacation — next time.
- December 2012: Moving on up. After three years at my company, my title changed again and I am moving forward with my career. Not much more to say than that, but feeling appreciated, empowered, confident, and proud.
Well, there’s my recap. All in all, it has been a good year with some ups, and some downs. And what I can truly take away from this year is that if I am patient and stay optimistic and trust that “everything is going to be okay,” it will. Just remember, when it seems bad, it can always be worse. So cheers to 2013, best to you and your loved ones, and I look forward to reflecting on it a year from now.
– Tia D. O’Grady