Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking back at 2011 ... Part II

 Where did we leave off?  Oh, right ... July.

July started with the continuation of Summerfest.  The Brice girls and I took in our share of live music, including REO Speedwagon, Styx, Better Than Ezra, Third Eye Blind, Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys, Fitz and the Tantrums and Maroon 5. So awesome.  I continued the music indulgence with a little Matt Nathanson, $nack$ (an awesome Des Moines-based band), Ingram Hill (FINALLY! After four years of waiting to see them!) and Cowboy Mouth.  I also turned 31 in this month.

Adam Levine and Maroon 5 got the month started right.
In August, I hit the road again.  Or rather the air.  I traveled to sunny California to see my beloved Rangers and a new ballpark.  I also got to (finally) meet Lacy after about seven years of online friendship.  It was every bit as awesome as it sounds.  We went to an Express/River Cats (AAA) game on Friday night and two Rangers/As games on Saturday and Sunday.  We saw three wins.  Clearly, we are good luck.  Before Sunday's game, I got a baseball from Rangers' pitching coach, Mike Maddux.  Totally made my trip.  As did Lacy, who was a fantastic hostess. I can't wait to hang out with her more in 2012 (more on that tomorrow). After all that fabulousness, the month ended on a bit of a sad note.  My best friend's father passed away after a few weeks in the hospital and another week in hospice.  Even though we could all see the end coming, it didn't make it any easier.  My heart goes out to Jamie, and, at the same time, I admire her strength. Rest in peace, Walter, you are missed.

Lacy and me cheering on our boys at Coliseum in Oakland.
 In September, I remained on the go.  I traveled to Ames a few times to watch my second sports love -- the Iowa State Cyclones. I was in the stadium for the thrilling triple overtime win over in-state rivals, Iowa.  Unbelievable.   I also got two more helpings of Tim Stop music that weekend, which made for three on the year.  Not nearly enough, but I'll have to deal with it, I guess.  Later in the month, I traveled to Las Vegas for a bachelorette weekend with another bestie, Bruna.  I landed just as my Rangers won their second straight American League West title and was in Vegas for less than 48 hours.  In that time, I did minimal gambling, saw a Chippendales show (and liked it more than I thought I would), rode the rollercoaster at NY NY and ate delcious food at every turn.  Oh, and I also got to spend lots of quality time with Bruna and her love, Shay.

Me and Alicia after the big Cyclone win over the Hawkeyes.

Hot ladies ready for a night out in Vegas.
 In October, my travels continued.  But they were all road trips.  Lots of them.  Mostly to Ames for football and Des Moines for my second 5K of the month.  That's right.   I ran two 5Ks this month.  I was so proud of myself.  And also regretful that I didn't do any more races in 2011.  That'll change in the coming year.  Also, I was pretty busy watching baseball this month (as I had been since April) as my Rangers made their way through the playoffs, advancing to the World Series for the second consecutive year.  And, for the second consecutive year, they lost and broke my baseball heart.  They were in it longer this year than they were in 2010, but still fell short.  And I'm still not ready to talk about Game 6. I suspect I never will be.

In November, I barely had time to breathe.  I spent a week in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore for the wedding of Shay and Bruna.  In addition to the main event, I got to spend a whole day with a college friend, Ellen, and a few days with my other bestie, Nikki.  I was honored to be a part of the wedding party (as Bruna's maid of honor), and I won't soon forget that week's events.  One week after the wedding, I hosted Ernie Halter in a special living room performance.  I had seven guests for the private event, and I think they all enjoyed it.  I know I did.  Oh, and I also wrote a 50,000-word novel (or at least start of one) during this month.  I haven't written much since then, but I plan to continue it.
Just married!

In December, I stayed home a little more -- much to the relief of my furry children and my bank account.

All in all, 2011 was a great year.  Recounting it for this blog has made me realize just how fantastic it was.  And if I ever complain about my life being boring, please point me to these two posts.  My life is FAR from boring.

Finally, it's time to name the winner of my Christmas Eve Giveaway, which is a copy of the first book I wrote as well as a $10 gift card to a book retailer of the winner's choice.  I asked readers to tell me what they're most looking forward to in 2012.  I then used a random number generator to select the winner, and that person is Angela!!

Congrats!!  E-mail me or message me on facebook so we can get your prize to you.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about my hopes and plans for 2012.

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