January: 1 year ago we rang in the New Year in Breckenridge, CO, I made President's Club at my company for the previous year, and the ball started rolling for the rest of the action-packed year when I found out my boyfriend received and accepted his job offer in Dublin.
February: We decided to move and get married before our larger ceremony this summer, and I experienced sporadic panic attacks while holding in my giant secret until I finally put in my 1 month notice at work.
March: This was arguably THE biggest month of my life to date, including a much needed girls trip to Scottsdale before the insanity to follow... engagement, marriage, resignation from work, goodbyes to friends and family, and a move to Dublin, Ireland! This was a month that will be hard, likely impossible, to top!
April: After arriving in Dublin and briefly acquainting ourselves with the city, we took a mini honeymoon around Ireland, spent Easter in Barcelona, I started looking for a job, and we found and moved into our Dublin apartment.
|Aran Islands - Ireland|
May: As we started adjusting to life in Dublin and meeting new people, we took a lovely weekend trip to Paris, and I went through the interview circuit, culminating in my acceptance of a great job offer.
June: After accepting the job offer, I began my now infamous work permit process, blissfully naive and unaware of what I was in for at the time. We also traveled to Italy twice, taking back-to-back weekend trips to Venice and Rome!
July: We traveled to Amsterdam, went home to the U.S. to be in a good friend's wedding, started planning our 2013 wedding, and I received the unfortunate news that my first work permit application had been denied.
|Fellow Bridesmaid and Maid of Honor in our upcoming wedding!|
August: We took a memorable road trip through Belgium (link to Part 1, more to come!), my previously anticipated employer reapplied for my second permit, and I decided to take advantage of my involuntary sabbatical and ventured out on my first solo trip to the gorgeous beach towns of San Sebastian, Spain and Biarritz, France.
September: September was the month of visitors! Friends came for the American Invasion, otherwise known as the Notre Dame vs. Navy game in Dublin, and my parents came to visit for about 2 weeks. B and I traveled with them to Northern Ireland, and I took a trip with them back to the southwest of Ireland. At the same time, another Chicago friend visited. The month ended with my 2nd permit denial and my starting back at square one after 6 months here.
|Malinhead - Northern most point in Ireland|
October: After some soul-searching, I started my job search all over again, then achieved a personal milestone when I started this blog. My In-Laws came to visit us in Ireland, and the 4 of us traveled to Munich for Oktoberfest and Madrid in back-to-back weekends. AND... more Chicago friends came in to complete another month of visitors!
November: The month started off well, as I accepted a new job and turned in my third permit application, hoping that the third time was the charm! We traveled to London for a weekend, and met friends in Lisbon for Thanksgiving.
December: We traveled to London again to see friends, took a short weekend trip to Belfast, and went home to the States (Chicago, Cleveland, and Cincinnati in 1 week!) for Christmas. We returned back just in time to spend our first New Year's in Ireland....
|NYE 2012 - Dublin|
Now, that may or may not sound like a lot, but it is the abridged version to me. I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions and experiences over the past year, so it feels like much longer than a year (or maybe a dog year!). In retrospect, I'd probably choose to delete the recurring theme of work permit trials & tribulations, but this seemingly never-ending saga has made me a much stronger person. I'm of course hoping that 2013 will bring a less bumpy road, but I'm grateful for what I have here and now and, whatever comes next, I'm ready for one unforgettable ride!