Matamoros, Mexico: Washington, D.C.:

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A Look Back

Well, it's December 31st, 2010. To be sure, it's been quite the year for me. I realize that you probably don't care too much about the details of my life, but I thought it would be fun to recap 2010 in a blog post that I can look back on in a few years. So, here we go.

Last year on New Year's Eve 2009, I was standing below St. Stephen's tower in London, England to ring in the new year. I watched with amazement as the massive fireworks display went off and Big Ben itself quite literally rang in  2010.

January 2010: I spent the month in London with my university. While across the pond, I visited Northern Ireland with a friend of mine for a weekend. We rented a car and drove the Causeway Coastal Route, saw Giant's Causeway, and did some couchsurfing with some super gracious Northern Irish guys.

February 2010: The highlight of this month was heading down for my second Mardis Gras in New Orleans, LA. My brother was working on his master's degree at the time (he just graduated, by the way), and we had a great time out on the streets watching all of the great Krewes do their Mardi Gras thing. My favorite continues to be the Krewe D'Etat.

March 2010: I went to South Korea for a ten day cultural experience through the Korea Foundation and CIEE. What could be better than an all-expense paid trip to Seoul, the DMZ, and some other areas in northern South Korea? P.S. - CIEE is doing the trip again. Interested? Check it out here. Applications are now being accepted!

April 2010: On April 2nd, I took the Foreign Service Oral Assessment. I was slightly nervous that day, but I truly never expected to actually pass on my first attempt! I was floored when they called me into that room at the end of the day and told me that I had actually made it!

May 2010: I graduated from Samford University on May 15th. What a great day. College went by so fast, and there are certainly things I wish I had done during those unique four years. I'm glad to be in this new stage of life, but I definitely do miss my friends from school, too.

June 2010: I went to three different weddings in three weeks of some of my very good friends. (ok, one of them was the last Sunday in May, but they were on three consecutive weeks!) I also went on a really fun three-week journey across the U.S. to Texas, Colorado, California and Tennessee to visit some friends of mine.

July 2010: I flew up to Maryland to visit my brother at the camp where he was working. I spent four days there and had a really great time watching my bro do what he does best. Earlier this same month, I had some really memorable lunches with good friends of mine in the Birmingham area.

August 2010: A week-long family vacation to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons National Parks was how this month began. My love for U.S. national parks was rekindled, and there is some serious beauty out there. Plus, there's no cell phone reception in the park, so it made for a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the real world. I also had my wisdom teeth taken out, which went surprisingly well.

September 2010: This was a big month for me. I packed up my stuff, said goodbye to my friends, and moved to Washington, DC. Two days later, I started working for the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer. Wow! I am so humbled and excited to have this job, and I still love it!

October 2010: I was assigned to Mexico, and I finished A-100 Orientation halfway through the month. The next week I had a two day seminar in which I learned about nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and how they might show up during my career as an FSO. Yikes. I also began learning how to be a Consular Officer.

November 2010: Thanksgiving away from family, but it was spent with friends here in DC. I got coffee with the Executive Secretary of the State Department and learned a lot from him. I also took the Protocol and Etiquette class from the Foreign Service Institute and learned that there are far too many variations of forks in the world.

December 2010: And here we are, full circle. Visits from friends highlighted the month, along with a great Christmas spent with family (probably the last one for a while.) I bought and decorated my first Christmas tree that was entirely my own, too.

Well, that about wraps things up for this year. I'll catch you in 2011, and stay tuned... I've got some big news to share next week!

Until next time... peace... and Happy New Year!

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