the best and worst of 2011

Although 2011 was rocky as far as our professional fields went (I can’t believe I didn’t work for a whole calendar year…), it was amazing in others.  I still can’t believe I’m married.  I have travelled far more than I thought I would at this point last year.  I’ve met tons of new people and joined a whole new family.  I went from a complete noob to the leader of the server’s best guild.  Oh yeah, and I’m married – did I mention that?

Here’s the year in review – the best and the worst – the most important things that happened each month!

  1. Got turned down for an awesome job as a collegiate yearbook adviser :(.  Was contacted by William and began to rekindle that friendship, dormant after 4 or so long years.
  2. Took the GRE and pwned the writing and the verbal (a 5 and something like a 690?).  Hung out a lot with Meemaw while Sugarbandit was in the chamber at the wound care treatment center after apparently trying to chop his toe off after New Year’s.  Bry moved out and back home to Cincinnati.  I found a very nice oak dresser on Craigslist that matched my waterbed perfectly for $75.
  3. Darren and I decided to pick out rings.  After we ordered them, we then decided that April 1st would be an excellent wedding date.  Luckily, the rings were due to come in on the last day of March.  He proposed to in Wendy’s drive thru in St. B after a long day of moving.  I moved out of the house Bry and I had shared for a year (still the best place I’ve lived to date).  My childhood room at my mom’s house lost its cheerful white clouds on bright blue walls/ceiling for a coat of darker gray, wrought iron accessories, and crimson curtains.

    I swear on his noodly appendage that I am NOT goth

  4. Got married on April Fool’s Day!  Left for Canada on the 19th; crossed the border on the 20th and officially entered my second foreign country.  Met the in-laws.  Hung out with Ara in Toronto and visited the CN Tower.  Had a cheeseburger the size of my head.  Sugarbandit got a bad case of pneumonia while I was in Canada and was hospitalized – he then had to go to rehab for almost two months :(.

    Family + friends at Judge T's Chapel of Looooove for me and Darren's wedding

  5. BIG MONTH!  Darren and I picked out an apartment in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and moved in.  I turned 28 and we celebrated by watching POTC4 and ordering a pizza from this awesome, local+organic pizzaria called Eat Local Pizza and Pastries.  We left the guild we had been in since Cataclysm dropped, The Misfit Toys, and joined Reforged for some 25m action.  I left Canada solo on the 21st and drove to Minneapolis by myself where I picked up Heather at the airport.  We then had an awesome road trip back to Clarksville, stopping over in St. Louis to hang out with Jen.

    The shore of Lake Superior

  6. I chauffered Meemaw back and forth to rehab frequently and also stayed with her quite a bit for the 3 weeks I was back in Clarksville.  For my birthday, she took all three of my cats to the vet and had them vaccinated/cleared for international travel, and bought me a collapsible crate for the back of my car.  A local community college called with an English professor job offer; I regrettably had to turn them down as we’d made the decision to move to Canada by then.  Mom and I road-tripped to Canada with my three cats (THAT was an adventure!).  We stayed overnight in Wisconsin with Alexa, Ryan, Ashley, and Phoenix.  She flew home out of the Thunder Bay airport.

    Mom at Kakabeka Falls, a short trip from our Thunder Bay apt

  7. July was a wretchedly hot month in Thunder Bay, made even worse by the fact we didn’t have air conditioning (who does up there?).  I learned the intricacies of cooking moosemeat, venison, and how to fillet then bread and panfry pickerel.  We visited his parents at their cabin and I went 4wheeling for the first time.  We grew sick of Reforged and a core group of us joined with some friends from Straw Man and formed our own badass guild Unpossible, of which I am still the leader.

    Running a guild is hard work, but I make it look good

  8. I flew BY MYSELF for the first time.  A secret trip was arranged so I could surprise Sugarbandit at his huge 80th birthday shindig!  Too bad Meemaw spilled the beans and he expected me :(.  Clarksville’s oppressive heatwave dropped by the time my plate hit the tarmac; everyone said I brought the cool Canadian air with me.  I absolutely love flying and although I was a bit nervous at first, I feel like I negotiated the airports like a champ.  Duluth > Minneapolis > Nashville; Nashville > Detroit > Duluth.

    KB, me, Meemaw, and Sheryl at Sugarbandit's 80th

  9. Darren and I flew together from Thunder Bay to Toronto for his brother’s wedding.  I met a ton more of his family.  We also got to hang out more with Ara, and we met Adam (Allough).  We actually slept on his couch one night.  Our guild went 6/7 HC Firelands, making us Server First Hordeside.  We were also Realm First Glory of the Firelands Raider, with our sweet purple birds.  We also made the big decision that we wanted to move back to TN, with an ETA of December.

    The kill that solidified our Horde First status

  10. We had some guild trouble and turnover and we stalled on progress on HC Rag.  Our upstairs eskimo neighbors had some people crash on their lawn in their motorhome and it became a chore living there.  The big tree in the front yard grew into our pipes and flooded the bathroom with shit; a lackluster response on our landlord’s end solidified our decision to leave, but sooner.  After our internet was cut off, we left Thunder Bay on Oct. 26th and came back to the US.

    Q checking the GPS somewhere in Minnesota on our way home

  11. I applied for jobs like a madwoman but thus far have only had one interview (lame).  Darren and I did some stuff around the house for Mom, like pick out and install a new kitchen light fixture and plan how to fix the bad wiring and lighting in the den (this still needs to be done).  We also installed a flat surface black cooktop.  We went to the Humane Society with Meemaw and picked out a young dog for her to be a companion to Chewy, named Cookie.

    Darren and Cookie

  12. Unpossible officially became the #1 ranked guild on our server, a Top 500 US guild, and a Top 1500 World guild.  So far we are the only guild that has killed 3/8 heroic bosses and we are confident we can push more.  We had a nice Christmas and among our favorite presents were an awesome new gaming keyboard for me and a gaming mouse for him from Ma & Da (Razer Blackwidow and Logitech G500), as well as a beautiful and comfortable red quilt from Meemaw & Sugarbandit to match our existing bed set.  At this point our funds are halfway to our goal for Darren’s immigration paperwork thanks in large part to a monetary present from his parents; my first paycheck at wherever I find work in the upcoming year should cover the rest!

    Reindeer Q still hates Bry

Looking ahead at 2012, we have a few simple goals – eat more greens + whole grains (more difficult than it sounds in the South and with my family!), get off our asses more, get back on our feet financially, and gain permanent residency for Darren / start graduate school for me.  I am also ashamed to admit that I only blogged here thirteen times – how sad is that?  I hope we come through January relatively unscathed (always my worst month of the year; I HATE January!) and that I can share more of 2012 with you all!

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