Good Bye & Good Riddance 2012

So here we are on New Years Eve 2012.  Generally on New Years Eve, I try to do a post that sums up my past year [2008, 2009, 2010, 2011].  For the last several weeks, I have been struggling with what I was going to say or do in that post commemorating the end of 2012.  At one point, I wasn’t even though to do my traditional wrap-up/look ahead post.  2012 has been a very trying year.  There was good (graduating from Meredith’s paralegal program, going to Disney World, landing a really great new job) and there was a lot of bad (cancer, deaths, a break-up).  The bad was so emotionally taxing that it often over powers everything else.  When I think about this past year, all I can think about was that it was just a difficult year filled with loss, challenges, and change.  Honestly, I was over 2012 by October and eager for it to end already.  I know that one day makes no difference, but I’ll exhale once the clock strikes midnight because the change of the calendar year will be the catalyst for a better outlook.

Here’s a brief wrap-up of 2012:

January – We rang in 2012 with some of Jay’s Apple coworkers, then headed to New York to see my family for a week.  We had a great trip to NY.  In mid-January, John & I announced that we would be doing a reunion show if enough money was raised towards it for Jay & Jack’s Annual Podcast for Autism Speaks.  On January 18, half the Internet held a blackout against SOPA.  I also began the Photo-a-Day project in January.

February – February 1 was awesome. And by awesome, I mean, “the day MacBook’s hard drive crashed and I lost a ton of pictures and whatnot.”  I turned 28 with little fanfare on February 8, though I did go to dinner with Jay that night and out to grab some drinks with my classmates the night after.  My blog was hit with malware towards the end of February, which SUCKED because it lasted through May.  My parents came to visit us towards the end of February, which was great, and I finished February’s Photo-a-Day Challenge.

March – The malware issue continued in March, this time redirecting people to Emma Watson porn when they tried click onto this blog.  Jay and I took a trip to NYC, where we met up with Clif who was there for other reasons, and celebrated Katelyn, Jeremiah #2, (and Clif”s) birthdays on the Upper East Side of NYC.  The following day (March 11), we celebrated my grandpa’s 81st birthday.  March 11 is also the day that Jen Ozawa announced she had breast cancer.  I remember feeling so sick over it for her, as I saw someone Tweet it while we were leaving the restaurant from having lunch.  I don’t know why I’m mentioning this because it didn’t happen to me, but I was so worried for her for most of this year, so in that way, it was a big part of my year.  Then, on March 17, at around 10:30pm, we got a phone call that set the tone for the rest of 2012.   My grandpa, who was scheduled to have a small growth removed at the end of March, was taken to the Emergency Room.  That was one of the longest nights of my life.  Myentire family was rushing to the ER to be with him and I was stuck here in Raleigh, only relying on text messages and phone calls.  They were there until 3:30am and I was up at home, crying my eyes, scared out of my mind, and Googling his symptoms out the entire time.  The following day, Jay & I went for a walk and I found two 4-leaf clovers while Jay found a 3rd one.  I thought for sure that was a sign that the worst was over, but I was wrong.  The growth was removed on Jay’s birthday (March 27) and found to be cancerous.  I had a huge test on March 29, though, and my mom didn’t tell me until after it was over.  I distinctly remember where I was driving when she told me and I wasn’t nearly as surprised as the rest of my family was.  They were all shocked, but I had spent that St. Patty’s day night with the Internet and the symptoms had matched.  I was just sad that this was the one time someone assumed the worst from too much WebMD and it was right.  Even with this news, I had a spectacular time at the 5th Annual Podcast for Autism Speaks that weekend of March 30-April 1.  Also at the end of March, we recorded the very last episodes of Media Junkyard (recorded March 26 & airing on Kolkie’s birthday, March 30).  I completed the March Photo-a-Day Challenge.

April – April was my final big month for school.  It was filled with lots of homework.  I attempted to make a negative into a positive in April and announced/began working on my “Forward Motion” project (my book about social media changing people’s lives in ways that it never would have in the past).  I took my last final on April 26, woo-hoo.  We celebrated our 1st anniversary on April 29.  I finished the April Photo-a-Day Challenge successfully.

May – In May, I graduated from the paralegal program at Meredith College, then we went to Disney World! [Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Disney, Downtime/Downtown, Epcot, Animal/Magic Kingdom.]   Those were two really big positives.  I took a quick trip home to NY the first weekend in May to be with my family.  Seeing my grandpa is so much pain was beyond horrendous & I’ll never forget it.  I wish that my family could have been at my graduation, but they were waiting on the surgery date for my grandpa’s cancer to be removed.  It was a beyond stressful couple of weeks and I took my last test on April 26 with my cell phone on my desk, trying to concentrate on the test while waiting for results of a biopsy and scan to determine whether or not the cancer was too close to the lymph nodes to operate.  It was a really stressful time.  I’m so thankful to Jay’s parents and sisters for coming to watch me graduate.  It meant a lot.  I was fortunate enough to watch my sister graduate on Mother’s Day because it was streaming live from the St. John’s University website.  John and I recorded our MetroBuzz Reunion show on May 12.  On May 22, my grandpa had the surgery to remove his cancer.  I went back to New York to be with him and the rest of the family over Memorial Day Weekend.  That was really difficult.  I completed the May Photo-a-Day Challenge.

June –  June was a mixed month; Grandpa had to go back to the hospital for an infection while Jay, Jack, Cyndi, & I went to NYC for Blog World because Jay & Jack were on a panel there.  That was a really fun day.  I discovered lululemon and had some fun weekends with Jay’s family.  I also accepted a new job at the Wake County/Tenth Judicial District Bar and gave my two (well, 3) weeks notice at my old job.  Oh and I broke another iPhone at the very end of June and finished the June Photo-a-Day Challenge.

July – I had my last day at my old job on July 6.  I love my new job, but miss my old co-workers.  My cousin & his wife came to visit on July 9 and we set sail for San Diego Comic Con 2012 from July 10-15. [Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.]  I took a red eye flight back on Raleigh the night of July 15 after spending a fun day with Jay’s California family and began my new job on July 16.  My new job was one of the very best things to happen to me all year.  I love it.  Tragedy struck on July 20.  First, we had the disgustingly awful news of the shootings in Colorado at the Dark Knight Rises screening, then that evening I got a phone call that my grandma’s brother (who introduced my grandparents), who was also fighting cancer & had had surgery at the same hospital at my grandpa just two days after him, was not expected to make it through the night.  He died 3 hours after she called me.  Zoe decided to get a UTI two days later, just as Jay was leaving for Austin, Texas for 3 weeks and I was leaving for the wake/funeral.  Thank God Clif was there to take Zoe to the vet and board her overnight because I was losing my mind that day I left for Long Island.  The end of July really sucked and that’s why I ended up having my one blog post a day goal for August, to try to get out of my funk.  I finished the July Photo-a-Day Challenge.

August – Jay finally got back at the beginning of August, which was nice.  Zoe was declared UTI free.  I discovered Viggle in late July/early August.  Jay and I tried in vain to go to the beach like 3 times in August, but it rained each time.  I did a one-year perspective post on August 15 and then learned how to add a “subscribe” button to my blog.  On August 22, we got the news that Grandpa was not cancer free after all and further tests needed to be done to confirm this.  That was devastating.  Just when he was starting to whistle when he thought no one was around again, we were thrown for another loop.  Jay went to Virginia for more Apple training for another week in August.  I finished the August Photo-a-Day Challenge.

September – September also started out sad.  We got the word that it was indeed cancer on September 7 and on September 9, my grandpa’s sister passed away in her sleep.  I decided to do a one month unlimited goal for Pure Barre to get in shape for my friends’ upcoming visits and discovered wheatgrass.  September may have started out sad, but it ended really well: My parents came to visit, I saw Fiona Apple when my old college roommates came to visit, and I completed the September Photo-a-Day Challenge.  Well, it almost ended really well.  On the day my friends left, my grandpa went back into the hospital for a week.  That sucked.

October – Jay & I headed up to New York the first weekend in October to visit my family and were fortunate enough to be there when my grandpa was released from the hospital.  We had a nice big Italian dinner.  My other college friends, the Divas, came to visit us in Raleigh the following weekend.  We had a quiet last weekend in October as everyone up in the Northeast got pounded by Superstorm Sandy.  Finally, we carved our pumpkin with Zoe.  I finished the October Photo-a-Day Challenge.

November – November was quiet.  I went home for Thanksgiving and began to feel the emotional effects of 2012 and really begin to just wish it would end already.  I did have a really nice Thanksgiving with my family though.  We cut down our own Christmas tree for my parents’ house.  I also discovered the wonders of Pinterest & made my own laundry detergent.  I finished the November Photo-a-Day Challenge.

December – December has been insane.  I made some quinoa (and some more quinoa).  I cut my hair.  I made my Twitter Secret Santa gift for Kolkie.  I went home for Christmas and saw Les Miserables.  Jay came to NY for Christmas Day.  I discovered how cool it is to have Internet on a long plane ride.  I watched one of my best friends from high school, Ian, get married in Minnesota.  Oh and did I mention that I had about 900 Christmas parties?!  We also got news that my grandpa is going to have to continue to fight against cancer in 2013.  And we will all help him fight.

So that’s been my 2012.  Sorry if it wasn’t as happy as my posts about 2010 & 2011 were.  I guess this was just a more nitty gritty year.  I hope everyone has a safe, fun end to 2012 and wish you all a spectacular 2013.  BIG special thanks to my wonderful husband Jay for always being patient with me, even when I don’t merit it in the slightest.  I love you and can’t wait to stick out 2013 with you, Smoopsys.

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