2011: A year of growth!

Last year at this time, Kyle and I were loading up a POD. We were embarking on our move to the Chicagoland area. After coming up here for Thanksgiving 2010, we made the decision to move here. I turned in my notice at work on December 10, 2010, telling them that the 29th would be my last day. We spent all day the 30th and 31st packing. At midnight on New Year's Eve, we were still loading the POD. We finally got to sleep around 2:00 a.m. on January 1, 2011.

After very little rest, we gathered up the last of our things, put the animals in the car, and set out for Chicagoland. We left Little Rock at around 9:00 a.m. I updated my Facebook status to read:

Leaving Little Rock after 13 years, I'll miss it's people most. Thanks for allowing me to always look back on great times!

I remember driving through North Little Rock wiping tears from my eyes. I was so excited for the new adventure; however, I was so sad to be saying goodbye to Little Rock.

We stopped in Searcy, Arkansas and had breakfast with my Mom. We also stopped in Lincoln, Illinois to get the keys to Kyle's Mom's apartment.  Her place is where we would staying until we got settled. His Mom and Grandma had made us dinner. It was so good; however, we were so exhausted that we just wanted to go bed. So, after quick family greetings, we hit the road for the final three hours.

As we entered Cook County it started snowing. I updated Facebook to read:

It's snowing! What a wonderful way for Chicago to greet me!

We got to the apartment at 11:59 p.m. We had spent our entire first day of 2011 either packing, sleeping, eating, or driving. We were so exhausted.

When we awoke on January 2, 2011, I updated Facebook again. It read:

Woke up a Chicagoan. Thanks for all the well wishes yesterday on my posts. The drive was long, but could not have been smoother. We got to bed around 2ish this morning. Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday. We plan on having a lazy Sunday.  Love you all. :)

We did have a lazy Sunday. However, that Monday, we hit the streets. Kyle got a job rather quickly; however, it took me 6 weeks to find a job. Because of the time between jobs, we spent the first 4 months of 2011 catching up on bills.

It was not until May 6, 2012, that we got our own place. I updated Facebook again:

Yay! We have the official keys and we are now official residents with our own place.

Kyle's Mom will never know how much we appreciate her letting us stay with her for so long. It took much longer to get settled in than we thought it would. However, as we close out the year, it was all worth it.

To celebrate our first year, I found this Q&A over at Ups And Downs Of A Yoga Mom. I decided to use it to kick off my review of 2011.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? Moved to Chicagoland.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I did. My New Year's Resolution was to try it up here for 6 months. I have been here a year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? I do not know.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Not this year fortunately.

5. What places did you visit? So many, but they were all in or around Cook County, Illinois.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? A year without moving.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? February 1st. It was my first blizzard ever. I loved it. Kyle and I played in the snow for days!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting back on my feet after starting the year with nothing. We almost lost all of our stuff because we could not pay POD the final payment. My mother rescued it for us, and then hand delivered it months later. At certain points of the first few months of this year, I thought we would literally lose everything we owned except the stuff that fit in the car when we moved here.

9. What was your biggest failure? It took us from January 1st to May 6th to get an apartment. We lived out of a suitcase for almost six months. Also, not having our own place put a burden the intimate part of our relationship. At certain points, I was convinced that Kyle would stay here, and I was going to be back in Arkansas.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Besides the sniffles, no.

11. What was the best thing you bought? My domain www.arkielad.com. :) It gave me the courage to start writing again.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? The women at the Mount Prospect Public Library. While Kyle was working and I was not, I spent his entire work shifts hanging out at the library. The women there helped me so much. They even helped me redo my resume. If he had to go to work before or after the Library opened, I would hang out at Subway on Northwest Highway in Mount Prospect until they opened or he got off work.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I had gone into a business to see if they were hiring. The guy told me no. I asked him if he knew of anyone that was, and he replied to me, "Why would I, I have a job." I was shocked and appalled.

14. Where did most of your money go? Getting our apartment and getting caught up on bills. Of course, in the interest of fairness, we also did a lot of fun stuff with our money.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Getting our own apartment, Chicago Pride Parade, and Medieval Times.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011? Marry You by Glee.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier.

b) thinner or fatter? Much fatter. I am doing something about that soon!

c) richer or poorer? Richer because we both have jobs.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish I had focused more on getting out of our situation at the beginning of the year. I spent so much time just thinking about going back home. I think if we had focused more on getting back on our feet, we could have done it faster.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? I guess worrying about the above.  :) Also, I wish I had focused more on eating healthier. I have packed on several pounds. The food up here is fabulous.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2011? Christmas Eve was spent at the apartment with our neighbor Jen. Christmas Day was spent in Lincoln, Illinois with Kyle's family. It was my best Christmas ever.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011? Yes, with the Chicago area.

22. What was your favorite TV program? Once Upon A Time.

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2011? We went to T.G.I.Fridays. My first time ever there. We also spent the evening watching fireworks at Arlington Park Race Track.

24. What was the best book you read? I have spent so much time reading the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and the Daily Herald, that I have not read any books this year.

25. What did you want and get? An apartment.

26. What did you want and not get? A house.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? Winnie the Pooh.

28. Did you make some new friends this year? Tons of them. My co-workers are awesome. My neighbor is awesome. Plus, we have met some fabulous guys and gals. Everyone involved in my daily life today was someone we met this year.

29.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Unlimited income.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? 5 outfits for 5 months.

31. What kept you sane? My partner.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I have the total hots for Jason Knowles of ABC 7 Chicago.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? Gay marriage.

34. Who did you miss? My Little Rock friends.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. Life is what you make of it. When the first of this year was not going as planned, we could have given in. However, we kept going, and eventually got to a happy place. Also, Kyle and I went through a lot together this year. So, even though sometimes we may argue or something, I think our love is really strong. Either that or we are both just way to stubborn.


Leave a comment
  • Wow! What a year you had. I'm so happy you took a leap and moved to Chicago and fell in love.

    Thank you for linking up, I'm glad I had the opportunity to learn more about you. Here is to 2012!

  • In reply to Yoga Mom:

    Thank you so much! :) Glad to link up.

  • You've had an amazing year full of ups and downs. I'm so glad for you that you were able to fight your way through the tough times and come out the other side in a much better place. I wish you both all the joy and happiness that 2012 could possibly bring!

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