times long past

Auld Lang Syne = Times Long Past. I just googled that. Hence the blog title.
Oh 2012.
I'll really miss you.

This was easily the biggest and best year of my existence.

But before I start gloating about what a great year it's been let me start off with what I'm most ashamed of. Because that's the least important and easy to get out of the way.
  • This year Andy and I watched every episode of How I Met Your Mother, a lot of Family Guy, most of Law & Order SVU, Dr. Who, and New Girl, not to mention the hours and hours I spent watching Honey Boo-boo, Baby Story and every other show on TLC. Let's just say the TV is hardly OFF at our place.
  • I have almost 4,700 pins on pinterest...... Ahem. Some from last year. Most from this one. Let me just put a bag over my head in shame. How many hours....
  • I too easily jumped onto the instagram bandwagon and my photography has morphed into the vintage filter crap stuff you see everywhere. Gosh dang it. 
  • I downloaded Sims 3 and enjoyed every second I spent playing it.
  • I guilted Andy into buying me a new computer AND an iPhone. Don't get me wrong, I love them both. But I'm ashamed of my greedy needs. 
  • I didn't read A SINGLE BOOK. Not one. Compare that to high school where I read at least 2 a month. The thought is so embarrassing that I'm determined to read at least 10 in 2013. Ugh, I'm disgusting.
THERE. Done with those nasty confessions. Now we can enjoy what I'm proud of:

I spent an entire year in the BYU Illustration program. I took a total of 9 art classes in 2012 and I have SO much more confidence, especially in my figure drawing, photography, and painting skills. My career goals drastically changed. Rather than being a concept artist I see myself having an at-home studio. I've never been more excited. One of these days I'll photograph some of my stuff and post them on this bloggy. 

My family moved to Virginia this year and left us to be on our own, finally. I did not spend endless hours on the couch whining and crying that they deserted me. I did not become a flaky puddle of tears for an entire month..... Good riddance.... I secretly hope they move back. But in their absence, I've found a new family among Andy's siblings. They are, in fact, the only people I'd dare play Dirty Minds with. That makes them invaluable.

A year ago I smooched some hunk-of-a-man at midnight, not knowing that within a month I'd say yes and promise to smooch him every day for the rest of eternity.  I friggin got myself MARRIED to him this year. And not just that. These past 8 months have almost been a small slice of heaven-pie. It's been so fantastic and I never expected this. Not in a billion years. 

My grades plummeted to an unholy level while I was dating Andy last year. A serious embarrassment to many, I'm sure. I blame him. But this past semester I had a record high GPA of 3.56 which is not a small feat for me. Whatever. I'm okay with being worst student ever.

My friends were huge influences on me this year. Roommate talks, random lunch-dates, weekend movie nights--they all meant so much to me. Katie, Joelle, Becca, Estée, Jenna, Muzna, Lexi... you guys are the greatest. Now that I'm going to be 4 hours away from you all, I'm seriously going to be feeling your absence.

Because I was so horrible at documenting my life events in 2011, I decided last year to take on the 365 project and take a picture every day. I posted these pictures on facebook and somehow I got a huge following. If I didn't post a picture for a couple of days I would get texts and messages asking me if I'd died and if I would please resume my posting as my pictures were a large source of entertainment and people enjoyed living vicariously through them. I've been incredibly flattered.  My total amount of posted pictures was 352/366. That still equals 96% and I'm absolutely content with that. And although this project was muy bueno and lots of fun, I'm so relieved that it's over and I don't have the responsibility hanging over me every damn day.

all from my 366 project

And that's that.

Next time I'll be posting my resolutions. Hopefully I'll have some by then. Hopefully I can keep them up and not forget about them by February.
And hopefully I continue getting better at this life thing.

Until then,


simply having a wonderful christmastime

We are on the EAST COAST for the holidays this year-- as far east as you can get without hitting Europe or drowning in the Atlantic Ocean. That's right. The Allen's 2012 holiday season is on the beach. After having so many Christmases in Provo, a warmish beach in December is quite a transition. Warmish being about 50 degrees. But heck, this beach house we rented was a steal since it's the off season. And there was no way my parent's new housing situation would fit all 10 of us.

For the past week me and Andy have been exploring DC. My siblings were all still in school and we had an entire week to kill before their Christmas break. We've jumped from museum after museum. Saw Kermit at the Smithsonian. Studied up on evolution at the Natural History Museum. Spent hours and hours at the Air & Space Museum (Andy wants to be an astronaut. He was in heaven. It was all just a bunch of shiny planes to me, but ya know, still cool). Sprinted through Roy Lichtenstein's exhibit at the National Gallery (It was about to close. I was SO EXCITED. Missing that has been my biggest regret of this trip so far). My mom found us this sweet set-up with a lady in her ward who had a spare bedroom with a surprisingly comfortable air mattress. But we've hardly been there, what with all the time we're spending in the city.

Seeing my family for the first time in 5 months was so great. They've literally been right around the corner ever since I "left" for college. Now that they're gone I've realized how much I completely took advantage of their closeness. It's so fun to be right in the middle of them again.

In the car after getting picked up at the airport in Baltimore. They had a huge plate of brownies- hence Josh's beautiful brown teeth. 10 points if you can find Andy.

 For the past 2 days we've been kicking it back at this beach house. I've never been to Virginia Beach before and I about cried on the drive down to Sandbridge.


And not the way you'd expect. These beautiful beautiful colonial houses decorated in their Christmas lights surrounded by these huge yards and freakishly large trees. One after another after another. A Trader Joe's AND a Whole Foods right around the corner. So many ma & pa seafood diners. And a Super Target right next to a Wendy's that just about saved my life (long story). Long windy roads. Fields of farms and horses. And the beach. ALL RIGHT HERE. I'm already doing research on houses here. This is my destiny.

1// a present sent from my 6 year old cousin Lizzie 2// christmas eve classy dinner
3// matching brojamas, stewie style 4//we may not have a tree, but we gosh darn got some presents
5// talking to Sister Becca on the speaker phone

How about some Christmas day highlights?
  • Andy and I both bought things to put in each other's stocking. His Rockstar and giant bag of jalepeño cheetos are long gone. I am totes excited to watch my new Princess Bride movie. We got to stay up and fill them up after everyone else had gone to bed. 
  • Last night, all of the boys, including my dad, ripped off their shirts and dove into the ocean in their underwear. Gangham style was danced in the shallow end. Oh how I wish my camera wasn't dead at that moment. Oh did I mention? I forgot my battery charger so my nice Canon camera is dead to me until we get to Rexburg. Great timing, right? MISERY! 
  • Most of the gifts we got this year were events that the whole family could participate in. We're all going to go see Les Mis tomorrow, Ripley's Believe it or Not on another day, and finish up at a huge meal at Texas Roadhouse. They even gave me and Andy a gift card for our own date night. Such a great idea to give experiences as gifts. 
  • Liza took over Becca's usual role and made the video. She's complied all of the pictures, videos and favorite songs from this year and combined it all into a video that we watch on Christmas day. It's so awesome to go back and see how much we've changed in a year. We've been doing these videos since like 2006. 
  • My parents had my Grandparents in Provo mail over the Christmas stockings that were in storage with the rest of my parent's Christmas decorations without telling most of the kids. They weren't expecting them at all. In fact they even pulled out a couple of their own socks and laid them across the table. They were so surprised to see them sitting there this morning, chock full of goodies. Brina's face was hilarious. 
  • Watching Liza and Brina try to figure out how to play a game on the new Kinect. So awkward. What a weird gaming system. 
  • PHONE CALL WITH BECCA! I wasn't expecting that phone call to be as hard as it was. We all got a designated amount of minutes with her and I could hardly speak. She's only been gone for 5 months, but I feel like it's been absolutely forever. We are so close. I'm so lucky to have a sister like her. 
Okay well, I've taken 2 naps already today and haven't even bothered to layer on  deodorant  I think I'll go back to the kitchen for another plate of bacon and perhaps a glass of eggnog. 


We Went to a Wedding

And here be the proof:

After celebrating so SO much beforehand it was so great to finally get to see them become man and wife. Their families were amazingly welcoming and we felt perfectly involved in everything going on. Thanks for inviting us and we're so glad we could make it to your beautiful wedding!

On a side note- me and Andy finally made it to VIRGINIA after so many days of waiting and traveling! We are here, we are here and we are ready for some Christmas. And most especially some of our traditional russian tea cake making.


The Katie Parade

So my lover roommate ex-roommate Katherine Dianne is getting hitched to her Adam man in a mere 11 days. 

Being her most prized friend, it was partly my job to make sure she had a stellar bachelorette party and bridal shower. 

Her bachelorette party was to consist of dinner and dancing. Our plan was to go to Hooters for the dinner. The one Hooters in all of Utah is located in Sandy, so all of us jumped into my car dressed in our short skirts and high heels ready for some grub. But as we made our way to Hooters, we started thinking about the likelihood that this particular Hooters would be some kind of skummy smelly version of Wingers with waitresses that were slutty maybe 15 years ago. Ew. Not bachelorette party worthy. 
So we continued down the street to the one and only Cheesecake Factory.

Mmm much better. 

We spent a good amount of time there, chatting about married life, chatting about unmarried life, making our waiter extremely uncomfortable when he happened across us comparing boob sizes (yes that really happened). 
Then it was off to Area 51 for some extreme booty shaking. 
Andy still doesn't believe me when I say I discovered my inner sexy. 
There really is nothing sexy about how awkward I am and he sure does like to laugh at that. 
Then again, his only dance move is to flap like a chicken, so...

moi, joelly, katie, and jen
We were narrowly able to escape from the flock of men who lusted after our obvious Mormon hotness (I mean come on, we were all basically in cap sleeves and leggings. We didn't fool a soul.) Really, we just ended up dancing in our own circle and no one bothered us. Except for this one gentleman who still didn't feel like leaving even after we informed him that we were all married. "So am I" was his response. Such classy people up there in the hood of Salt Lake City. 
So that was our night. Clubbin' and chewin. So fun!

The next afternoon was Katie's bridal shower. A few weeks ago I designed her invites, which were super cute looking btw, and we sent them out to a pretty hefty amount of people. Joelle and I made food and planned for way too many. Our bad. But that just meant that me and Andy were sent home with enough soup for 3 days.

Joelle came up with this really fantastic *mash* like game. We got a ton of magazines, mostly from those free stands all around BYU, and there were a couple categories like house, pets, cars, jobs, and you cut out pictures of the magazine and paste them in the sections.

It was supposed to be us creating Katie's future and it was hilarious. In mine, Katie's future car was a hot-air-balloon-toaster hybrid and Adam's job was a bull-rider. Yeahyuh.

Anyway, both parties were a blast and I'm super happy for my Katie! After finals, we're driving down to AZ to see them get married and you can be hecka sure that I'll have a million pictures.