Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

In my fourth and final post of 2012, I shall do my annual Year in Review.

2011 Year in Review
2010 Year in Review

This is what has been going down this year:

The MBA Project

In 2012 I joined the pilot of USD's new Leadership Fellows program, a program in which second year MBA students facilitate conversations with (mostly) first year students to assess their team dynamics, individual behavior, and leadership role(s).  It's been a pretty enriching experience for me and we are receiving positive feedback from the other students that they are getting something out of it as well.  I've been glad to be a part of the shaping of USD's MBA program and will continue to participate as a Fellow next year.  Over the past year, I've steadily raised my GPA and found more of a focus for my future career plans, and perhaps most importantly, I've made lots of new friends, which is easier to do when you start to take classes with more folks outside of your cohort.

As of now, I am 2/3rds of the way finished with my degree, approved for graduation in August 2013, and a mere 4 days away from flying to Shanghai, China to work on a student consulting project for a fashion accessory company.  To say that I am excited about all of this is an understatement.  USD only does one big commencement ceremony in the spring semester, so I'm going to go ahead and walk in May and finish my last 5 credits in July & August.

Fun and Fitness

Well, even though I have been spending a lot less time on the pavement or in the gym since I started school, I am glad to report that I have still done a bit here and there.

Iron Girl 5k in November 2012 (a smidge better time than my 2011 time, too!)

Awesome 80s Run in October 2012

The Hot Chocolate 5k in March 2012

The Mermaid Run in February 2012

I can think of at least 3 or 4 more races that I need to sign up for in 2013.  I was on a Ragnar team with my company (click here to learn more), but I've given up my place on the team because I was offered a spot in the inaugural Kappa Kappa Gamma Leadership Academy 2.0 that same weekend!

As for the dancing, Desert Silk officially disbanded early in the year.  It takes a lot to run and support a dance troupe.  Between the six of us, we were dealing with school (me and my MBA, another gal and her PhD dissertation), family illnesses, jobs, and just the day to day.  I made peace with my decision not to dance again until I finish grad school.  In the meantime, we're all still friends who get together socially and for the occasional 5k race which is the #1 most important thing anyway. :)

Friends and Family

I wrote earlier this year about how we lost our Cousin PJ in February.  It's still bewildering.  The family is still healing.

I turned 30 in September, and my Auntie Carmen hosted an 80s Themed Birthday Party for me at her home up in LA, at which many family members and my friend Beth were in attendance!

Totally awesome cake courtesy of Ana and Ben, whom I commissioned for the task.

I was really glad to see so many get 80s crazy and dress up with me

Later that month, I finally, FINALLY reunited with my 2705 girls.  For those of you who don't know, in 2002 I participated in a Disney College Program internship in Orlando, FL.  I met many incredible people that I still keep in touch with to this day, but four of them are particularly special to me, because we managed to live in an apartment for 5 months and still come out the other side of it as friends. Haha.  I've seen Tina and Alyse several times over the past decade (!), but I haven't seen Michelle since 2006.  Well, Michelle got married in her home state of New York and I flew out a few days early to have adventures in upstate NY and Vermont.  And, as if that excitement wasn't enough, Alyse will get married next June.  Two reunions in as many years?  I can hardly believe it!

Now and Then: September 2012 vs December 2002.  Looking good, ladies!

In November, I kinda sorta surprised my BFF for her baby shower.  I say kinda sorta because she's just too damn smart for her own good and pretty much figured it out by the time I flew out there. ;-)  It was a real toss-up as to whether or not I could make a short trip to Pittsburgh work with my crazy schedule, but in the end I did it.  It was an insane three day whirlwind that included an all-day stay in that cursed Newark Airport, but it was soooo worth it!  It's not every day that your best friend has her first baby, let alone boy and girl twins.  They arrived just over a week ago in time for their first Christmas, and I can't wait to meet them the next time I go home!

Auntie Ria can't wait to meet the twins!

Speaking of new babies, my brother and his wife announced that Baby Taylor #3 is coming in April 2013.  Whose got two thumbs and is super stoked?  Tia Maria, right here.
You guys ready to share those with baby brother or sister next year?

The Wanderlust

I suppose that since I already devoted an entire post to Eurotrip 2012, I don't need to re-cap that again.  Suffice it to say, it was one of the brightest spots in my year and, as always, I am raring to go back, especially to the UK.

Eleanor Rigby and me in Liverpool, May 2012
Meanwhile, I did some traveling Stateside to new territory.

Over Labor Day Weekend I saw the Bay Area for the first time when I spent a few nights with my Kappa sister Cat and her fiancé (now husband) in Burlingame.

Cat was gracious enough to play host and tour guide for the weekend.

The Golden Gate bridge was hiding from us when we got to the lookout point.  Jerk.
It was a great trip that I would definitely make again.  In fact, I wouldn't rule it out of the short list of cities that I would leave SD for.

As I mentioned earlier, I visited upstate New York and Vermont for Michelle's wedding.  I've done NY, but Vermont was new to me and I. loved. it.  Absolutely gorgeous state and extremely friendly people.

"Ehmagerd, Vermernt!"
Happy Holidays

This Christmas, Dad and Pam finally returned to California for a visit.  I say finally because the last time they were here was in 2007!  They'll be in town through a few days after New Year's and I've been having a ball showing them around the city, eating at both great local restaurants and here at Chez Amelia, and we even made a trip to Disneyland for Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas from the Browns!

Their grandkitty is getting spoiled by all the attention she's received this week!
In 2013...

I look forward to my first trip to Asia at the end of the week and hope that I'll be able to squeeze in some more international travel again by the end of the year.

My eyes are on the prize with my second and final spring semester about to start in a little less than a month.  It'll be another crazy 4 months crammed full of coursework, but I remain optimistic that I'll continue to learn and enjoy time with my classmates.  After that, I am still very much interested in pursuing work abroad, and I will be particularly interested to see how I hold up doing an intensive consulting project in Shanghai.  How well I do there should be very telling of how well I would be able to cope with a management consulting position in a foreign country.

Other than that, I aim as always to be healthy and happy in the New Year.  Wishing the same to you and yours! Cheers!