So without further ado, here's Jacob and Kristen's Year In Review:
After officially starting our relationship January 1st, Jacob and I spent the month figuring out more about each other. I don't think I've laughed that hard about random stuff in a long time. Grad school started for me in January as well. This month was full of "new chapters" in my life. My first serious relationship and grad school. Here's our first picture together the night we became official:
Also that month, we took our first "vacation" together for the weekend. Jacob ran the Houston marathon and I sang at a police officer benefit in downtown. That was the first time Jacob heard me sing and he said he was "hooked". :)
Ahhh the month of love. Jacob planned a romantic dinner for Valentines day. He also wrote me a beautiful poem and had it printed and framed. I didn't let him in on it at the time and I'm still not sure he knows now, but I cried the first time I read it. I can't remember exactly the first time I realized that I loved him, but I'm pretty sure it was then. After our dinner at Romeo's on Valentines day, Jacob took me ice skating! For those of you who know me really well, you know that I broke my tail bone last summer working at Day Camp. Probably not the smartest idea to go ice skating with a semi healed butt, however, I was up to the challenge. Jacob used to play hockey so he's a natural on the ice. I, on the other hand, could barely stand up. I resorted to hanging on for dear life to him. I think he thought I was better at skating than I really was so he let me go and then next thing I knew I was looking up at the ceiling of the rink....and my butt hurt.
Also this month, I got to officially see Jacob run the Austin half marathon! (I couldn't see the Houston in January because I was sound checking at the venue I was singing at.) He ran the Austin half the day after Valentines day and made me so proud! I never realized how hard it would be to find someone in a crowd...but it was.
Happy birthday to me!! For my birthday, Jacob bought us some pretty awesome sweet tickets to the Austin Rodeo to see my favorite country group, Eli Young Band. To help get in the true rodeo mood and fit in better with the crowd, Jacob also bought me my first pair of real cowboy boots! Yeehaw!! I love those boots.
March also brought our first extensive time apart. I went to visit family in Louisiana for Spring Break and Jacob stayed in Austin. It was rough---but it also made me realize that I really wanted to be with him for the long haul.
April showers brought in the season of weddings. My friend Lindsey got married in the middle of the month and thus kicked off our summer of weddings. I think we ended up going to a total of 6 by the end of June. Maybe that's when we caught wedding fever. Lindsey's wedding was also the first time that some of my most valued friends got the chance to meet Jacob. All approved and gave me the go ahead to continue my relationship with him. Everyone loved him....including me.
Weddings weddings weddings. Sheesh. Seems like everyone we knew was getting married. May also brought to a close my first semester of grad school. Jacob was a great support to me during my first semester. I remember a certain phone call one night where he said that he wanted me, above all, to succeed. He also said that if my success was going to be inhibited by him, he would step back and wait for me. How can you not love that!??!?!?! I would have taken him up on that offer had he lived in Waco, but seeing that he lived in Austin and we only saw each other on the weekends, I had plenty of time during the week to focus on school and plenty of time on the weekends to be with him.
The weddings continued. My childhood friend Ashleigh got married this month! We first met in gym class in 6th grade and were inseparable from that point on. This was also the month that Jacob got me tickets to see Rascal Flatts in Dallas! He knows my love for that group and got awesome tickets really close to the stage! Summer session of grad school started this month too.....and so did the most stressful month of my life. This was the month that I made my decision to work with the adult population and leave kids to someone else. I couldn't mentally handle everything that got thrown at me. I also learned this month that I stink at dealing with stress. Jacob learned that about me too....
Happy 4th of July!! I spent the holiday weekend in Austin with Jacob and we watched the downtown fireworks from the parking lot of a mall that overlooks the downtown Austin skyline. July also brought to close the end of the hardest summer session of grad school clinic wise and brought me into the hardest summer session I had ever encountered academic wise. Who would have ever thought that a neurological based class would be as difficult as it was. I survived and lived to tell about it. :) This month I also got to meet my friend Ashley's new little baby, Ruth! Lauri and I traveled down to Houston to visit Ashley and her husband Jessie and their beautiful new little baby! Ruth was such a trooper to go shopping with us girls that weekend. This was also the weekend Jacob got a "break" from me for the weekend. Lucky him. :)
August is when I started my last semester of graduate school. I was so relieved to have made it this far in grad school. The light was at the end of the tunnel!! This month was also the month that all the weddings drew to a close. Looking back, August wasn't really all that eventful for Jacob and I....hence to absence of a picture taken during that month. :)
September proved to be a traveling month for us. First we went to Longview to spend a long weekend with Jacob's parents, his brother, sister-in-law, nephews, and younger brother. Our weekend in the country included doing things like sleeping in late, eating like royalty, and shooting guns. We also traveled to my parent's house to meet my cousin Lauren's new little baby boy, Parker.
Hallelujah we made it to Chicago!!! I had been looking forward to this vacation ever since it was planned early in the year. Jacob and I left late on a Thursday night and had all day Friday, Saturday, and part of the day on Sunday to just relax and be tourists. Some highlights from the trip included: deep dish pizza, the Shedd Aquarium, the BEAN!, and the public transportation system. Sunday morning, Jacob ran the Chicago Marathon and finished like a champ. I thought finding him at the Austin half was difficult....multiply that time about a billion. The distinctive feature that made him easy to spot were his awesome Texas flag running shorts I got him for his birthday. Jacob also celebrated his 25th birthday this month! Welcome to your mid-20's babe!
This month Jacob and I went to Longview for Thanksgiving and spent some sweet time with this family. It was my first major holiday away from my family but I felt just like one of their family the entire weekend! Jacob and his brother had the bright idea of building their own Aggie bonfire in their parent's backyard. At first I thought this was a dumb idea...just build a fire in the fireplace. But in the end, it was pretty stinkin cool. I stand corrected Aggies. Your bonfire is pretty awesome....even in miniature form in someone's backyard. This month was also the month that I got to be the recipient of my very own Comps Lunch. Being in grad school we have to take a test to graduate. The Thursday before the big test, the younger girls give the older girls (me and my 6 other classmates) a big lunch as a way of wishing us good luck on our test. It must have worked because we all passed the test the next morning! That next weekend we all traveled down to Austin to take the state Praxis exam. You talk about a stressful, big deal- this was. But, I passed that one too!! Apparently I know some stuff!
I love December!!! Now I love it even more!! This is the month that Jacob and I took the next step and got engaged! I can't tell you how much I'm in love with him. I can't picture my life- past, present, and future- without him! He truly is one of my biggest blessings!! December 4th will forever be my favorite day- not only because that's the day we got engaged, but because that will be the day that we get married this year. I'm pretty stoked- if you didn't already know. :)
....if you made it to the end of this- maaaad props to you. :)