Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 7 of 2011

I thought, what better way to spend the last day of 2011 than to reflect on some of the incredible things that happened this year?

So now...

In somewhat of a particular order, here are the Top 7 things of 2011:

7. 100th episode of Sundae Sunday:

YouTube is something that's opened a lot of doors for me over the years, and while I've made and posted videos online since high school, setting up the series Sundae Sunday in 2009 gave me a way to share things from my life on a weekly basis with a broader audience. The 100th episode really was an exciting milestone for me, and I'm grateful for all the friends and family who participate in and watch my videos and also for all the cool people I've met because of YouTube through the years. Here's to 100 more!

6. Ran my first 5K

At the encouragement of my friend Danielle, I decided to take up the hobby of running. This was my first ever race, and it was great prep for what's to come. Now, a few more 5Ks (and several pairs of running shoes) later, I'm getting ready to run my first Half-Marathon at Walt Disney World on January 7, 2012.

If anything bad happens, it's Danielle's fault.

5. I fed a dolphin

The one and only time prior to this that I'd been to Sea World was when I was a tiny tiny child. We sat in the splash zone, and I got wet. Let's just say I was NOT happy with Shamu... This trip was a lot more enjoyable. We fed dolphins! And we got to see how incredibly beautiful and amazing (and talented!) all these sea creatures can be.
(Thanks Alex for providing us with this awesome experience!)  

4. I was in the Big Brother audience

OK, sure, Big Brother isn't the most... classy of all reality shows, but this season me and my friends Franze and Whitney were ALL ABOUT Big Brother. So naturally, Franze and I signed up to get tickets to a live taping! Months passed and we never heard anything until one Friday afternoon we got an e-mail saying that we were invited to be a part of the studio audience. While I'll admit I was a little skeptical going into it, we grabbed Whitney and made our way out to LA to give it a shot.

And sure enough, there we were right behind Julie "the Chenbot" Chen on an eviction episode of one of our favorite shows. #prettycool

3. Travel
I've always enjoyed traveling, but this year was a banner year for me. Thanks to various circumstances, I've enjoyed the privilege of flying to many cities around the country and doing fun things like several of the things listed above as well as attending a St. Louis Cardinals game during Opening Weekend (Go Rangers!), visiting friends in Austin, and going to the Disney Parks more times than should be allowed.

2. Paris
Oh, Paris, what can I say? You know, sometimes life just hands you things. It says, "Would you like to go to Paris for the trip of a lifetime?" and all you have to do is say yes. That's what happened this year. During a casual conversation with my friend Franze about sometime, someday (far into the future) wanting to visit Disneyland Paris, our friend Theresa offered us a condo located 5 minutes from Disneyland Paris that we could use for a week. WHAT??!??!? It also just so happened that my friend Caitlin is currently studying in Paris and would not only be able to go to Disneyland with us, but she'd also be able to tour us around Paris for three days. WHAT???!?!!

So all Franze and I had to do was get ourselves to Paris and then onto the correct train to our hotel. While the train part proved a little difficult (the language barrier is truly intimidating. Luckily, our destination was "Disneyland," and everyone understands that no matter what language), we made it and had the time of our lives.
The sites were incredible: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Notre Dame... everywhere you look a historical icon. And oh, the crepes...

We even got to see my friends the Collinses who were also in Paris at the same time! Go figure.

A trip of a lifetime that would not have been possible without Theresa and Caitlin. Thanks again!

So it's true: sometimes life gives you lemons, but it also sometimes gives you Paris.

1. Charlie Rucker was born!
I'm sure it comes as no surprise to those that know me that this was the most exciting event of my year. Sure, it meant that I had to pass down the reigns as "Baby of the Family," but it was definitely worth it. Charlie came a few weeks earlier than anticipated, so his January 2 birth was both a joyful and surprising occasion. Crazy that it's nearly been an entire year, but we've loved getting to see him grow up both physically and mentally during this time. And though he isn't speaking in full sentences just yet, I'm pretty sure he's been trying to say, "Uncle Adam is my favorite," for quite some time.

So there you have it! The Top 7 Things... Sure, there were plenty of not-so-awesome happenings in 2011 too, but, as Hannah Montana says, "Life's what you make it," so I like to highlight the awesome and let the not-so-awesome things fade into the past.

I chronicled these things and more in my Thanksgiving 2011 video you can see here:

Thanks for watching, reading, and being a part of this great year!


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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Disneyland Christmas 2011

The Holidays is one of my favorite times to visit the Disney Parks. This December I was lucky enough to go to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California and visit both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, and I'm taking you along with me!

Enjoy the Disneyland Christmas Fantasy Parade, The Magic, The Memories, and You projection show, it's a small world, and World of Color as they feature special holiday themes. You also get to see Santa and his reindeer!

We also go on classics like Space Mountain, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, the Teacups, Dumbo, and Mickey's Fun Wheel!


Comment Question: What's your favorite Disneyland moment (from this video or from your own trips!)?