Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Dear Internet,

Happy new year! I am pleased to report that my New Year's Eve was a lovely, low-key night spent with family, and that my New Year's Day was spent watching Fringe (my favourite TV show, in case you were unaware). Today I'd like to take a look back at some of my highlights from 2012 and look forward to what I hope 2013 has in store.

My Top Moments of 2012

1. Vacation in Antigua with My Family

For a week in February, the entire clan escaped the bitter cold of Canada and soaked up some rays in beautiful Antigua to celebrate my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. It was the first time in a couple years that everyone was able to get together, and we all had a great time (minus a couple incidents with Long Island Iced Teas and bumpy boat rides). Here are some of my favourite pictures from the trip.
The view from our room My sister relaxing on the beach
My mom and sister at the open bar My brothers and me by the pool
My uncle rocking a flower My brothers' sandcastle tree

2. Cooking and Baking

I got a lot more into cooking and baking delicious things this year. Here are some pictures of the menu! Some pictures are currently trapped on my phone (don't want to use data while I'm roaming), so some things  are missing.
Biscuits Courtney's birthday cake
Dad's birthday cake Cookie cake with cream cheese frosting
White chocolate fudge squares Chocolate mousse
Banana muffins with cream cheese frosting Maple pecan squares
Chicken noodle soup

3. Teaching My First Lesson

January through April of 2012 found me working at a school for the first time ever. Near the end of January, I had the opportunity to teach my first lesson to an actual high school class. If I recall correctly, it was trigonometry applications in a grade 11 university math class. Was this the first in a long, long line of lessons to come throughout my life? Only time will tell!

4. Surprising My Dad on His Birthday

In September, my dad turned 50. My mom decided that, since it's a big milestone, we should all be there to celebrate it, so she flew my sister, my brother, and I from Canada as a surprise for him. He was definitely surprised - although it was hard to tell at the time!

5. Weight Loss

I tend to find this one difficult to talk about, but it was a major part of the latter half of 2012 for me, so I'll discuss it briefly (no pictures, though!). Between May and November, I lost a total of 25 pounds. I was not overweight to begin with...but I saw my habits taking me in a direction I didn't like, so I did something about it. I went to the gym almost every day and counted calories, and now I feel better and more comfortable with myself.

My Hopes for 2013

I haven't organized a particular list of goals or resolutions, but there are a few things I want to accomplish this year.

1. Continue Improving My Health and Body

I am really pleased with the weight loss progress I made in 2012. In 2013, I want to continue this progress a little bit. I don't have much more weight I want to lose - in fact, I really just want to lose what I gained over the holidays. After a couple more pounds, I want to focus on gaining muscle instead of losing fat. My goal is geared towards "fit and strong and healthy" as opposed to just "thin and skinny." One of the first things I have to do this year is to take this and translate it into a better-defined goal (i.e. a quantifiable one).

2. Finish Teacher's College

If you've read any of my other posts in recent months, you know how much I am looking forward to being done with this. Assuming all goes well and I don't do anything stupid, I will be done at the end of April.

3. Improve My French Skills

This term, I started taking French courses again. I used to take French in high school, and was pretty good at it by the time I came to university. I took a French course in my first term, but once my major courses started to take over my schedule, French took a back seat. In fact, until this fall, I hadn't taken a French course in 3 years. I was quite rusty, and still am, but I hope to take a couple more courses and get into the swing of it again. I'd love to someday be fluent - not just because French is a pretty language, but it also opens a lot of doors for teaching in Ontario.

Those are the major things I can think of off the top of my head. 2012 was a great year. A little bit challenging at times, sure, but nothing can be really rewarding if there is no challenge. I hope that 2013 will be at least as amazing as 2012!