A year has gone by. When I first began trying to think of what I had done this past year, it paled in comparison to 2008 - moving to Tallahassee, getting engaged, buying a house, graduating with my master's degree, getting a job, and getting married. But the more I thought about it and looked over my writings and photographs, I realized that this was a year of growth instead of simply change.
Oh, January. We had just gotten married a couple of months before and been through the whirlwhind of splitting holidays between our families. I think I may have spent much of this month in a stupor. I did try to wake up enough to snap this photo of the cats being sweet to one another for a change.
Once we got our pictures back after our wedding, I started working feverishly on a photo album we could gift as a gift to our families. I ended up only finishing Rob's mother's in time to give it to her for Christmas - this one pictured below is the copy I made for my parents. Blurb.com is awesome and I highly recommend them for your book-making needs.
I met Orlando Magic player Dwight Howard at a work event. Normally I don't ask celebrities for a photo, especially not when working, but I knew my dad was going to geek out big time over this. And I was right. Whenever anyone visits him, he points out this picture that I gave him. Thank you, Dwight, for taking this picture with me - you made my dad a very happy person.
Our dating anniversary is February 12th, which Rob says I am not allowed to celebrate now that we are married. Conveniently, Valentine's Day is only two days later, so I will settle for just pretending we celebrate both together. He sent me flowers this year.
The note reads, "I love you so much. Having you in my life makes me truly happy."
Later in the month we went to the AMC Best Picture Showcase for the 2009 Oscar Nominees. Rob and I had one of our first few dates at the very first AMC Best Picture Showcase in 2009. It's an exhausting day of movie after movie, but we've been every year because we enjoy it so much. I wonder if they will do it again this year now that there are 10 nominees. I can't imagine how it will work, but I am hopeful.
Our friends Gibby and Damian joined us for part of the marathon. People tend to drop in and out - 12+ hours at a movie theater can be a little too taxing.
Rob trying to punch my camera? Give it daps? Show off his wedding ring? I'm going to go with the punch, seeing as it drives him up a wall when I take pictures of him.
Spent a day in Safety Harbor with Rob's family.
For more than a decade, I had I been coping with chronic earaches and sore throats. No one ever had an answer, and the earache pain especially could be incapacitating at times. An ENT recommended I undergo a couple of days of allergy testing. Yeah, I'm allergic to a lot of stuff. I ended up not going for the allergy shots they recommended because I would have to go to their office every week to have them administered and the cost was overwhelming. Plus, I had another plan up my sleeve that I hoped would be more effective than shots, which you'll see a bit more about down in May's slot.
We watched a shuttle launch from our backyard.
Major work project finally came to a conclusion - building a playground in one day. It was an exhilarating day.
Finally got a picture with the Mayor.
Continued taking photos as a (smaller than I would like) part of my job.
When we moved into our house, Rob tasked me with decorating it. It was a slow process for the typical reasons such time, money, and energy, but also a lack of inspiration. The front area of our house was the first to come together, and this is our freshly cleaned and tidied dining room, sitting room, and foyer just before a party we hosted.
More decorating. The cost of home decor annoys me. The cost of a lot of things annoys me. So I went the DIY route for a large painting to place over our couch in the living room.
The party was a game night party - myself and a couple of other friends try to take turns hosting.
Spent a day at Disney's Hollywood Studios. I love Disney and I wish we spent more time there.
Spent a day in Safety Harbor celebrating Easter with Rob's family.
Rob joined me at a free art workshop sponsored through my work. We opted to do the pottery instead of the photography walk.
We spent a day at Epcot to enjoy their Annual Flower and Garden Festival.
My point-and-shoot Canon broke - I pulled it out of my pocket to find the lens was permanently stuck halfway open and it would only take blurry pictures such as the one below. I sent it off to Canon and they quickly sent it back to me, good as new. Thank you Canon!
Remember those earaches I mentioned and how I decided not to go the allergy shot route, despite my numerous allergies? Instead I decided to go the surgery route. Out, out tonsils! It was a long, painful recovery, and unlike many other people, my second week was actually worse than the first. I lived on buttery, mushy noodles that would slide down my throat so I could avoid chewing and swallowing. And the earache during my recovery was worse than any other I had had. But after the recovery? I've only had two earaches since then. Two. I used to be in pain two weeks out of the month, easily. Best surgery ever.
My mom's cat Charlie went through a really bad health scare the week after my tonsillectomy. Charlie, we are very glad we still have you with us, and we are sorry you had to go through so much pain while the vets did their best to figure it out. Charlie on (one of) the rides home from the vet.
My friend Katie, her husband Mike, and their baby Addy were in town. We haven't seen them since their wedding, so this was a long overdue visit. It was Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios, so this is Addy meeting her first Jedi Mickey as Katie smiles in the background.
My birthday month! Rob got me my very first DSLR, my Nikon D40. It was the most basic DSLR on the market - I think we were both unsure how much I would use it and how much I would be willing to lug it around, so that was one of the reasons we went low-end. Plus, money. As it turns out, I take it with me everywhere. I love it. As you can see in this photo below, I hadn't quite figured out white balance yet (the reason why the photo is a warm yellowish tint). I've learned a lot with my D40 over the past several months.
Friends joined us at Kobe steakhouse to celebrate my birthday. Thank you guys!
My sister-in-law moved herself and my niece and nephew to my parents' for the summer while my brother stayed in Texas to work and oversee the house as they tried to sell it. Rob and I took the kids to Magic Kingdom. Disney!!!
Ugh, teacups. I suffer from motion sickness, but this was one of the few rides that both of the kids were excited to go on. Rob maintained eye contact with me to keep me from getting too sick. It was surprisingly effective, and surprisingly hot. Thanks, Rob.
Friends who work in a downtown highrise helped me get in to take photos of Lake Eola. I was still painfully new to my D40 - if I had this shoot to do over again... C'est la vie.
Took my first, and so far only, photography class.
Traveled to Tallahassee to visit my friend Kelly and celebrate her graduation with double graduate degrees. Congratulations, Kelly.
Katie and her family were in Orlando again, so we were able to hang out. And I got to have my picture taken with the adorable Addy.
I'm a native Floridian but had never gone to Kennedy Space Center to see a shuttle launch. I finally made it happen, with excellent timing seeing as there are only a few more launches left.
Oh. Oh. This was a good month. This was the month of our honeymoon. I would love to time travel back to this and experience it all over again. Since that's not possible, I will settle for photos. See more pictures here.
And then we came to a house that our friends had "decorated." I think the streamers and post-its is the more mature version of TPing.
This was a particularly memorable month too. We celebrated our first month wedding anniversary at the Gaylord Palms.
As a very special, lucky, unplanned (for which we will be forever grateful, thank you Mike S.!) part of our wedding anniversary celebration, we went to Disney's Yacht & Beach Club and got to ride on Breathless II, a replica of a 1920's Crisscraft speed boat.
I traveled to Clearwater for my friend Mara's bridal shower and bachelorette party. I was snapping away when the groom showed up and I was able to capture this perfect moment of him peeping in on the proceedings.
Halloween! My brother Michael sold the house and his family officially moved here, so we were able to go with them to take my niece and nephew trick or treating.
My friend Mara whose bridal shower I attended the month before? I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. Beautiful wedding, and one of the coolest venues I have ever been to.
We went to Festival of the Masters with some friends - here they are, focusing on a drawing class. I've attended every Festival of the Masters since 2004. I miss the days when Stephen Reis and Trevor Carlton did their life performance painting.
My first non-work photography gig - the wedding of my friend Kelly's mother. It was a very last minute proposition, and I was ecstatic to be able to do this.
My computer inconveniently died just before Thanksgiving. Rob had been plotting to buy me a Macbook Pro for Christmas, so my desktop's untimely demise sped things up a bit. It's my second Mac, but since I've only ever done my photo editing on a PC, it's still feeling like quite a switch.
I met up with my friends Gibby and Allison - Allison just had her first baby a few months ago, Ben pictured here with Gibby. So. Cute. I think Gibby agrees.
Rob and I got dolled up to his work's end of the year party.
We celebrated my dad's 74th birthday.
I took one of my favorite photos ever at a friend's 30th birthday party.
Christmas day! We made a point of starting the day with my family since its been ages since we had a Christmas with little kids around.
Then we traveled to Safety Harbor to celebrate a second Christmas with Rob's family.
So that's the wrap-up of my year, with loads of pictures to boot. I'm looking forward to 2010 and hoping it's the best one yet.
Happy New Year to you all.