A look back at 2016

2016 was the WORST year… I heard it over and over. With the loss of some music greats, to some tragic events where people attacked freedoms they didn’t agree with or accept. From the U.S. to Paris. Zika Virus and its tragic effects…

That’s not what this blog is about, this blog today is like a diary entry to remember all the good that spiraled out of 2016 for me personally. To start was the Cubs winning a world  series. Growing up in Georgia, I should have been a Braves fan. My mother believed in allowing me to have a choice in everything, including baseball. I chose the Cubs. In my mind they were teddy bears playing baseball. It wasn’t until I was older that I understood the “curse” or how that would impact the team I chose. This year they won the World Series making me extremely happy!

On a personal level, I edited a few new youtube videos before leaving Macy’s. We joined Leu Gardens and went to visit Bok Tower Gardens. So for someone who loves the outdoors but has a small yard, it is a lovely way to enjoy being outside on a sunny day.

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We enjoyed an Alumni event watching the Magic vs Hawks game.

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I spent Valentine’s Day with my love walking Little Big Econ State Forest & then dinner and an airboat ride at The Black Hammock.

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Runaway Country Music Fest With amazing friends and great music for three days.

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I went to Mexico on a cruise, with Matt and my family. I love getting to see Matt’s reaction to the wide open sea. We also got to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience as we went cave diving. Honestly I have never seen something like it. I feel it was a great blessing to experience it.

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I got a dream job (part-time) working at Sephora and began training as a skin care specialist.

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I was able to attend the Invictus Games at the ESPN Wide world of sports on Disney’s property.

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An awful tragedy struck and 49 lives were lost too young. It rocked our community and our nation to the core. After the shock wore off and  we dusted off  the rubble, our community came together through resilience and strength and most of all LOVE. A nation poured in support. #OrlandoStrong

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Matt and I went to visit Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. I love checking off unexplored places from my Florida “to visit” list.

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We camped at Tomoka State Park.

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We spent a week with Matt’ parents. A week on the lake in Georgia, a place where we don’t have to fear gators. A week on the water wether it be on a boat or tubing behind it. Getting to eat delicious food. Visiting family in Woodstock and Winder. Tubing down the Chattahoochee River in Helen on another beautiful August afternoon.

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I had the pleasure of being challenged on my makeup artistry skills. In case you are wondering, I am surrounded by some of the most beautiful people inside and out, and extrodanarly talented artists that I am so thankful I get to learn from.

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Then I decided to change full-time jobs, deciding to leave Disney. Now I am happily working at an environmental engineering firm. Funny enough, on the same day I received my offer Matt received one as well to leave the Orlando Sentinel and move to a digital marketing firm. So we now get to carpool and spend a few extra hours together during the work week.

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My Birthday surprise was a day spent relaxing and swimming with Dolphins.

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Then the following weekend one of my best friends flew in from California and spent a few days at Disney with me.

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I was able to see the legendary Garth Brooks preform at the Amway Center.

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I had the pleasure of getting to go on a mini road trip to Mississippi for a football game. While we didn’t win we had a ton of friends and spouses get together and catch up. But on our road trip we stopped in Biloxi and Fort Walton beach to add two more fun places to my list of where I have been.

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I decided to invest in myself and my dream. I invested in Peak Design for a sturdy backpack and a Nikon DSLR for me to begin practicing  photography.

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We fostered a dog, Tank. While we only had him a short time he taught us so much about dog ownership.

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Then I was blessed with the opportunity to take vacation time during Christmas from my new job and spent a week with my family and Matt. We went everywhere, checking off some Central Florida must-see or must-experience items. We went to Legoland, rode the Orlando Eye, visited Madame Tussauds, went to Sea World  and had a chance to relax in our house and appreciate the work we have done over the last year and half of ownership.

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So when I look back at 2016 I want to respect the loss and suffering, but remember all the great experiences I was blessed with and be thankful for the opportunities I got to spend with friends and loved ones. I want to be reminded of all the positive memories.

If you have made it this far THANK YOU! Also, what are some of your favorite memories from 2016? What are some things you think would be a positive experience?

 

 

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