Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in review

2011 was a really fun year! 2012 is going to be even better! Here are some highlights of my year. Truthfully I had far more epicness than I can fit into a post that won’t put us both to sleep. Still, I think this will cover some fun stuff.

January was the start of the New Year. In my office we were missing some of the students who graduated and left. As a collective group we drew collages for them. Someone drew a rendition of the person and then we all put expressions, and other art that reminded us of the person.  

February reminded me that nerds like me are everywhere. I found graffiti in the women’s bathroom at a restaurant. It reads: Make Love Not Horcruxes and has the Deathly Hallows symbol. It made me happy.

Also, that month I got a little joke played that just shows how fun and awesome my daughter is. I had neglected my breakfast grits for a meeting. When I came back there was a sad face in them – compliments of Lana.

March brought us Megacon. Conventions are the only time of year I can wear THIS hair. I love this hair!

April was the family vacation. We all piled onto the Disney Dream and had an amazing cruise. It was the best ship I have ever ever been on.

The ship was so fancy that it had mirrors in the bathroom stalls!

In May Jimmy Wong (youtube sensation) spent some time tweeting to all of the members of the office! We all fangirled (and Barry fanboyed) about spending about an hour conversing with him online. So we sent him a group photo.

In June I took the kids to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. You know what that means – Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

July was Leaky Con! This traveling Harry Potter convention was in Orlando this year. I got to see my fav Wizard Wrock (Draco and the Malfoys) band play! I also got to see other awesome Wrock bands play too. I met Kristina Horner! Brian Malfoy! Hank Green! Jason Munday! Alex Carpenter! Danced 10 feet away from where Evanna Lynch was dancing! Oh, and Luke Conard offered to take his shirt off for me. I only said no because I needed another favor from him. XP But in general, just so many awesome things!!!!!  Bumped into old friends like Moody (aka Andrew) and made new friends like Lucius (aka Perseus).

Scar photobombed this intimate moment with me and Luke.

But the super awesome part was that I got to experience all of this with my bestie! Scar (Scarlett – aka Louanne) and her hubby Marcos were there too! I stayed in their hotel which was super duper cool. I hung with them the whole time I was there. I LOVE these people.

(note: I cannot find my pics but a summer highlight was seeing old friends from highschool! Hanging with Lora and Sarah was just like old times!)

In August my daughter turned 21. I asked her where she wanted to go celebrate. She chose Disney World. So we went! We had a lot of fun at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. It was just so much fun. And we stayed in the Pirate rooms on Disney property. It was just freakin awesome.

THEN we got another highlight! Finally after all these years I got to meet Miri (aka Ruzena)!!   She brought her new hubby and Jeremy and I bonded over Final Fantasy. It was a fun dinner with them.

Dragoncon is always in September. Labor Day weekend is one of my fav weekends of the year because of that. This year we brought the kids! They costumed as Brock, Ash, and Misty.

Myself, Kris, Lana, and Anna all picked someone from Final Fantasy. I said in 97 I wanted to dress like Aeris someday – and I finally did!

And let’s not forget I got to meet the legendary Wil Wheaton!

In October the Anime Club hosted the Fall Game Night along with the Library staff (who are always supportive and awesome in this twice a year event). We decorated for Halloween and even had a costume contest. Such fun. It was like a mini-convention!

November showed me some real camaraderie. One of my Anime kids was in a wreck on campus. As each of the Anime Club members drove by they stopped to wait with her until the whole scene was cleared up. Since we were all starving by then we headed to Cazbors for food. It was freezing that night. We all brought out extra hoodies for those friends who had none. In the end we not only supported Sparks, we supported each other. I. Love. These. Kids.
Johnny is missing because he was taking the photo.

Also in November we started working on the annual college Christmas Float.

December we got to show the float off! We were pretty proud of it. We had more prop trouble than I could explain, but in the end it all came together and it was really pretty. Also, the parade was fun as always.

Christmas! ‘Nuff said.  

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas gifts, and a few deep(ish) thoughts..

It’s that time of year when Christmas reminds me how very blessed I am in my life. I have had Christmases so poor I couldn’t afford Christmas Cards, and Christmases so indulgent I bought way more than I should admit. But more than any of the material things, the one thing that has stayed consistent is my friends and family. I have never found myself alone on Christmas. Now I don’t mean physically alone, sometimes I have had to work and not been able to have family festivities, but I knew my family and friends loved me even if I wasn’t there/there. And truly, above all else, that’s a miracle. Sometimes I am not so loveable. They  love me anyway.  And for that I am grateful.

On the fun side of the holiday.. I have to tell you, I got some really cool stuff this year! I have grown more and more fond of the giving part of Christmas. As a child it was about whatever I got – as I get older I am more and more excited about what I give. I love seeing people like what I got them! I like to think I am a pretty good gift giver. But this post is to show you what cool people I have in my life. So let’s talk gifts! I couldn’t possibly cover them all, but I want to share a few amazing things. I loved every single gift I got, please don’t get me wrong – but some were just really like..whoa.

My mom got me a mirror armoire for my jewelry. We had no full length mirrors in the house, so now we do! Also, I have so much jewelry (I am a fan of $10 big bold jewelry) and no place to put it all. So now I have one central location. It’s just beautiful! Also, a reality check – where did all that butt come from?!

My daughter got me a Daichi Miura CD. Might sound boring, it’s just a CD. Except it’s not! This is my Japanese singing obsession. If any star can turn me away from Keanu, it’s this guy (or Ming Na!). I love the way Daichi sings and I love the way he dances. His heart goes into his music. He can dance like no other. And his little boy smile that shows his heart of pure gold is just .. there are no words for him. I love him in all ways a fan can love a singer. However… he is NOT available in America. I have searched high and low. Nothing. But my daughter ordered this CD from across the ocean. It’s real. And it is amazing.

My sister got me a framed piece of art. The artwork combines 2 of my favorite things. It is Star Wars meets Where The Wild Things Are. Luke starts as Max, various SW creatures play the Wild Things. It is just..awesome. Star Wars, as you all know, is my obsession. Where The Wild Things Are is another favorite of my life. I grew up reading it. I just felt like I knew what it was like to be Max. I understood him. I got it. When I felt like nobody else in the world could understand me, I would think about Max. I knew Max got me like I got him. Not to mention the entire world Max played in with the Wild Things. What an amazing place! So now I have SW and WTWTA all in one.

Another of my top 5 amazing gifts was given to me by the lovely Joy. Warner Brothers released a limited edition Harry Potter Deathly Hallows watch. There were less than a thousand made. She made sure I got one. As a lover of watches and a Harry Potter lover, this is just awesome. Also, I love being able to say it’s limited edition. Now I have other limited edition watches and I normally do not wear them. I keep them on display. But I have recently got to thinking: who sees them? On display in my bedroom, who sees them? Nobody. On my wrist who sees it? Everyone! So I am wearing this gorgeous Deathly Hallows watch.

I feel a little weird listing some of my favs. I really did like everything I got. Tons of socks (YES!), nail polish, Queen Amidala shirt, Star Wars earrings, a messenger bag, butterfly mirror, peacock necklace, limited edition lipglosses, the coolest stapler in the world.. OH let me tell you about that.

It’s called a Stampler. My son got it for me. When I staple papers there is also a stamp around it. The staple becomes the smile of a smiley face and it reads “Have a nice day.” I thought that was so cool!! Can’t wait to staple things and send them around the campus.

I am really fortunate to be surrounded by good gift givers. Not really the amount they spend, but what it is. I really would prefer a $5 gift of something I truly love than a $50 gift of something that will sit on my shelf forgotten.

Thanks for letting me gush over these awesome gifts. Feel free to tell me about you favs. I have already been getting Tweets and Facebook messages about peoples favs. You can tell me here too! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Martian Death Flu, North Carolina, Free stuff, and Reading!

The Martian Death Flu has had me at its mercy for five solidly intense days. It feels like three weeks. I believe I am starting to recover and I hope I am correct. Christmas is SO SOON! I would hate to be ill during the festivities. Lots of OJ, Vitamin C pills, more Thera-flu than I can recall, and tons of rest have been my friends. Also, I have a loving relationship with a box of Puffs Plus with Lotion now.

Unfortunately I was sick during FINALS WEEK! I did get my results back on my Statistics and Research final and I got an 81. Not what I wished for but so much better than it could have been. I felt like death warmed over the night I took it. I’ll not complain about the B. I am still waiting on the results of my other final, and a term paper. At this point I’ll be happy with passing grades instead of my usual stressing about OMG MUST MAKE BEST GRADES EVER!

I had to cancel my trip to North Carolina because I was just too sick to drive. Also, who wants to purposefully pass the Martian Death Flu to other people? Not me. So I have to go at another time. I will though. Nothing will stop me indefinitely.

In other non sicky news, I got chosen to sample some products and review them for this company. Then a few days later I got another offer from a different company to do the same. I feel really excited about that. My beauty blogging is paying off already! I need to do more vlogs also. I’ll review stuff in vlog format in addition to blogging. I don’t have an awesome camera though. I have horrible lighting too. Horrible. I’ll work on it though. Nobody starts at the top, right?

In other other non sicky news I met my Goodreads challenge for 2011!! I am super happy about that. Granted it wasn’t a dramatically difficult challenge, but considering I work full time and go to school full time and am a single parent, I think a book a month is a reasonable challenge. I am setting myself up for 13 books next year since I have to take one semester off due to financial aid thingees. Should I go for 14?!?! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas, NaNo, beauty blogging, and Joy.

Christmas is coming! I have done so much shopping but still have some to do. I just love this time of year. As a kid it was all the presents I get - but as I get older it truly is about the ones I give! Seeing other people get excited over something I have done really makes me happy. It's like a high I can get from nothing else. YAY presents!.. or as my dear bestie Scar says.. Prezzies!

IN addition to this, NaNoWriMo is over. I hit 19,222 words this year. My personal goal was 20K. I knew that with taking a 15 credit semester, work, Trey's science fair project, Mom unable to drive (I am infact the only driver in the house), trips to Grandma's, etc etc etc, I would never hit 50K. I didn't set myself up for failure - I gave myself a new goal. And I was THIS close to making it. I'll count it as a victory for myself.

Also, incase you didn't know, I started a beauty blog a while ago. My rate of views on the blog is growing every day. I focus on lipstuff ("I love my lipstick!" as my boss likes to say my catchphrase is.)  but I dabble in other beauty things too. Note: beauty is more than your face, it's in your soul and I blog about that too.

I'm taking a trip to the Carolina's soon. There is a breath of fresh air waiting for me.