The Decade in Review

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Only one day left of the 2000s! That is weird to say, because it will still be the 2000s after tomorrow technically. But only one day left of the non-2000-teens/ies…I don’t know how else to say it.


I have to say I rather enjoyed this decade. This is one of those decades that will probably always be a pretty big one in my life, because I was a wee little 7th grader when it started, and now I am an old married fart. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am going to attempt to give a review of each year. Some years I guess were probably not as memorable as other years. But here goes:

2000
It’s been 10 years since Y2K! We didn’t do anything crazy to ring in 2000, but we waited to see if the power would go out or anything. It didn’t. I was 12, and my sister had just turned 4. I did our hair in curly pigtails with curly ribbons hanging out of them, put glittery eye goo on our eyes, and made a shirt that said “2000.” I don’t think I have those pictures scanned into the computer yet. If you want an idea of me circa 7th grade though, here you go:
AmandaTigger.jpg picture by Mananda05

And this is what my bedroom looked like:
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So yeah, not much has changed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I also started 8th grade at Sumner in the fall of 2000. I’d say the first few months were mostly pretty unremarkable, except that I made friends with a group of girls in gym class, and we formed a group called Booty Lovers United (BLU). I still talk to some of them, Christa included, as I was never quite able to shake her from me. Christa and Jamie were my bestest of friends, and we had some good times together, many of them in public places in our pajamas.

2001
This was the end of 8th grade/beginning of 9th grade. On one specific day in the spring, I met Beth and Eddie, who turned out to be two pretty important players in my life. We met at the Overland Park Arboretum on a field trip. Christa, Beth and I played the fiance game, AKA ask-every-guy-you-see-to-marry-you-and-whoever-has-the-most-guys-say-yes-wins. Beth and I both ended up “engaged” to Eddie that day. Ironically, Christa was the one he liked at the time. He shared his Sun Chips with her.

This is perhaps the first known picture of Eddie and me together in 8th grade:
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We are in Ms. Hamil’s art room. Christa, Jamie and Beth were also in this class. What a good class.

I spent the summer being over Eddie (and literally LOLed and said, “THAT’S never happening again,” when Christa and I were going over the list of boys we liked in 8th grade and I got to his name), but within a couple of days back at school, after he transferred into my art class, I was infatuated again. That’s how I spent most of 9th grade.

I went to homecoming with Jason from my bowling team as friends. I was probably not a very good date though, because I feel like it was pretty obvious that I wanted to be with Eddie. We danced to “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” Magical, haha.

In late October, my family randomly decided to move to Idaho. I had four days to pack my stuff and say goodbye to everybody. I cried a lot. My Christa, Jamie, Paul and Eddie stayed after school to hang out with me on what was supposed to be my last day, and they made me happy after a very sad day. Eddie hid under the ramp outside so the soccer team wouldn’t see him, because he had to skip his game to stay.
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Photography by Paul. Those balloons, by the way, stayed inflated FOREVER. Not forever-ever, but for several months. One of them was still inflated and still floating almost a year later.

That night, Christa and I stayed the night at Jamie’s. The next day, my mom called and said she was coming to pick me up early, because we were going house hunting in Ottawa instead, about an hour or so away. Christa went with us. We did a lot of house hunting over the course of the week, but by the next week, they decided we were not moving. I looked like an idiot going back to school, but I am pretty certain it was better than any alternative.

By Halloween, the world was right again, and I met Eddie at a dance at the Argentine Community Center. I credit this night as “the night.” None of my friends could go, but I did not let this onto my mom, because I didn’t think she’d let me go just to meet a boy there. It was our first time alone together. We kept checking our watches for the time at first, and it was extremely awkward. Then we ditched the dance altogether, and we sat outside on the swings in the dark and talked and talked and talked. We went for a walk around the block, sat in the gazebo at the park, and talked some more. Then we sat inside the tube slide together, and we would have had our first kiss, except I got totally nervous when he was so close and looking me in the eyes, and I spazzed out and ruined the moment.

And on December 17th, with some pressure from outside sources (Juan and Tanyia), he asked me out on the stairs as we were leaving 3rd hour. I was giddy all day long. I’m still a giddy little girl when I think about it.

2002
I have less to say about 2002, or at least I guess there were fewer milestones. I was pretty Eddie-consumed, as was the case pretty much all through high school. We were in 9th/10th grade this year. We did have our first kiss (finally) in Mr. Mobley’s room behind a drawing board he put up to shield us from Juan and Christa.

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This is us in Mr. Mobley’s room. We fought every day about who got to sit where I was sitting. That’s actually what we were doing when he leaned in and kissed me for the first time.

I think this is the year I became friends with Aimee and Abby too, though we became a lot closer a little later. I assumed Aimee was probably a bitch, because she was tall and blonde and hot and all, and I was completely right. Just kidding. She turned out to be among the nicest people in the world. I say this without having met most of the world, but she is definitely one of the nicest people in my life. Abby and I made a form over the summer between 9th and 10th grade that was an application to be our friend, and we handed it out the first day of 10th grade. Nobody returned it. Whatever.

Oh yeah, and Eddie went to Mexico over the summer, while I worked at my first official job – Studio 150. Basically, I made $7 an hour to paint outside in a tent for 20 hours a week all summer. It was amazing, and I still talk to a few people I met there. I also learned that I would not make a very good artist though, because I was unable to part with my own work.

When Eddie came back from Mexico, we had the infamous “You never called me” fiasco, which means he never called me to say he came back, and I looked like a dumbass at school when he showed up and I had no idea if he was even in the country. It took a long time to get through that, so the beginning of 10th grade was a weird time.

We were back to normal pretty much by homecoming though. This is our first official homecoming together:
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Almost forgot to mention – this is out of order, but we had some pretty kickass slumber parties around this time, as you can see here:
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2003
2003 was a pretty badass year, because I turned 16 in April. My first car (not including the Beetle my uncle bought me when I was 14 that I only got to drive once) was James Bonda the Honda, a blue 1987 Prelude. The driver’s side was completely covered in rust, but the passenger side was pretty nice, that is, until I got to experience a hit-and-run 3 weeks after getting my license. Eddie and I went on our first “real date” since one of us finally had a car. We went to Applebee’s and to the movies, and on my way home after dropping him off, a big van swiped the nice side of my car. My uncle replaced it with a red door.

I had the most ridiculous car at school, but a car was a car, especially when it was free. I wish I had a picture of it! Someone tried to steal it once, but I am pretty sure it died in the middle of their attempt and they gave up, because one day it was just in the middle of our parking lot outside our house in neutral I believe with the seat pushed back and the windows down. It looked like they tried to steal the radio too, which actually was pretty nice, but they failed at that too. Worst thieves ever.

James Bonda the Honda was replaced by Corbin the Corolla, after James Bonda finally died for good and my uncle traded him to his friend for a stereo. Corbin had some very specific quirks, i.e., every time I stopped, I had to turn off my air and put the car in neutral, otherwise he would die. But I got around. Beth’s car was Jean-Claude Grand Am, Christa drove Harrison Ford, the Tempo, and Aimee had Chandler the Cavalier. We were cool. Joann had a nameless car, and driving with her one night was one of the scariest moments of my life! If you ever read this, Joann, you know it’s true.

Beth, Christa and I worked doing concessions at Community America Ballpark for the T-Bones. I was a hot dog vendor. I loved it. Eddie was in Mexico for the summer again. (He did call when he got back this time.) It was still one of the best summers of my life thus far.
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That’s me with my bag of hot dogs. I later replaced the glasses with a hot dog hat that some season ticket holders bought for me while they were on vacation in Branson. No shame! I still talk to Gary, one of my other season ticket holders, and I visit with a few others too when I go to games.

One perk of working the ball games – the promotions guys gave us lots of coupons for free burritos at Chipotle. Yes, that summer, we discovered Chipotle. Our lives were never the same.

Beth and I decided we wanted to become well-rounded over the summer. We didn’t really achieve that, but we did take a painting class together.

Another Homecoming came and went:
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That fall we T-Boners (haha) worked at the Arrowhead Club for Levy Restaurants (the same place that did the concessions for the T-Bones). I hated that job at the time, but ooh, how I loved the food. I had the best chili and orange chicken of my life there (on separate occasions). I would later have jobs that were way worse than this too.

Perhaps the most important thing to come of this was my newly found love for the Chiefs. I never had any interest in them or in football until week 5 of that season. Dante hall was beasting it out with his kick returns every game, and we were 4-0 going into the Broncos game that week. We’d never been 5-0 before, and it looked like we weren’t going to be this year either. Then in the 4th quarter, the kick goes to Dante Hall, and he runs a little, but oh no! There’s a Bronco there! He ended up running backwards all the way to the 1-yard line, then bolting across the field into the endzone. I watched it on a tiny screen from inside the club (so close, but so far away…), and it was the beginning and defining moment of my Chiefs-loving days. We did win, by the way, and we went 9-0 before losing to the Bengals. And losing in the first round of the playoffs. Well, at least we made the playoffs back then….

2004
In 2004 we worked for the T-Bones again, and I also picked up a job at Wendy’s, while Christa and Beth worked at Sonic. The summer between junior and senior year, I woke up before 8 every morning and drove to Eddie’s house. We watched Regis and Kelly every morning at 9, and usually something on MTV after that. At some point in the day I’d usually have to leave to go work at one of my jobs.

Oh yeah, and we started our SENIOR YEAR! It was a big deal.

Eddie also got a couple of jobs and a car that year. His dad gave him his ’98 Nissan Sentra. I was driving a ’94 Cavalier named Chad. I do have a picture of Chad:
Chad.jpg picture by Mananda05

Eddie and bickered a lot that year. I was always mad for a reason (I felt so at least), but I was also pretty dramatic about every little thing that happened. So there were very good times, and also some very bad times. Homecoming fit into both of those categories.
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It started out fine, but I threw a shoe at him by the end of the night. I don’t even remember why. And of course, within 20 minutes or so, we were ok again. We originally planned to go to Gojo’s to eat, but by the end of the night I was craving chicken nuggets and chicken strips, so we went to Wendy’s and McDonald’s, as I liked Wendy’s nuggets better and McDonald’s strips better.

2005
2005 was the year that my friends and I had been waiting for since middle school when we’d roam the hallways screaming “’05!” Senior year went by super fast. We all turned 18 (well, some of us did in 2004, but they’re not the ones writing this blog, so 2005 is the year I’m going to focus on for that). I missed a lot of stuff or was late to it on account of my super-important job at Wendy’s. It pretty much consumed my life. I did have a nice 18th birthday though. Eddie and I had a picnic in the park, and he bought me one of my favorite cakes, pastel de tres leches. My grandma made me one of my other favorite cakes, carrot cake with the pineapple in the frosting. They were both delicious. And I think I bought a lottery ticket or a scratch off ticket. I didn’t win.

We went to prom, but I hated my hair. I loved the dress, but it was not so flattering in pictures as it turns out, and the shoes were ridiculous shoes that tied all the way up my leg, but strings kept falling down.
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This is my favorite picture of us from prom.

We graduated, of course. I graduated Summa Cum Laude, because I’m awesome.
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And after graduating, Mr. Hassig took a group of about 30 students to France/Monaco/Italy. Most of my close gal pals went.
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This is us on the balcony of our hotel in Le Grazie. We got into some trouble there on account of some Italian boys who followed us back the hotel and stood outside our window screaming, but it was fun. We got in more trouble in Florence, which resulted in Ashley being locked into Mr. Hassig’s room. That actually ended up being fun for us too though, because we sat outside the door and slid magnetic poetry to each other under the door and gave her Coke with a straw to sip it through the vent on the door.

Eddie and I moved to Lawrence for school at KU together that May. Our first day there all we could take was the bed, a tv, and some small stuff, but we were so excited to be out on our own we insisted on staying there. We sat on a blanket on the ground watching tv in the living room. It was pretty exciting. He proposed to me in September, and we embarked on what became one of the longest engagements ever. Hey, it happens when you’re barely legal and broke.

Christa also went to KU and was pretty much my only friend in Lawrence besides Eddie. Beth stayed in Kansas City to go to UMKC. Abby went to Kirksville for Truman. Aimee went to Washburn in Topeka. Kristen went all the way to Flagstaff, Arizona for NAU. I’m pretty sure I was mildly depressed most of my freshman year. I transferred to Wendy’s in Lawrence, and I hated it there. I didn’t like KU. I didn’t like my major (elementary education). I didn’t like Lawrence. I was just all around down in the dumps for the most part, not to say I never had any fun, but I wasn’t the happiest person overall.

2006
This is probably the year I know/care the least about. I am not a fan of most even-numbered years anyway, save for 2008, because 8 is my favorite number, and 2010, because I’m just all-around optimistic about it.

Christa worked with me at Wendy’s for a short period of time, and that made it more tolerable. The girls and I found time a few times that year (and every year) to get together and wreak some havoc. I believe this was the year we took Superman for a walk to the park at 2 in the morning.
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Oh! It’s also the year I got Heidi. I got to bring her home on Valentine’s Day.
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What a sweetie! She was sick when I brought her home. Little did I know she’d be one crazy pup once she was feeling better! She did some pretty good damage to our first apartment. Chewed a giant hole in the carpet. I’m glad that was just a phase.

With Eddie’s consent, I also put in my two-weeks notice at Wendy’s in November. I had a job at Bath and Body Works by my last day there. It wasn’t the most profitable job, as I spent more than I made up until my very last week there, but I’m still well-stocked on lotion. Eddie brought home the bacon while working nights at the Journal World, and man, did we have a ridiculous sleeping schedule. Like, worse than now. He usually worked until 7 in the morning, and I usually had nothing else to do but to wait up for him. We’d go to bed at 10 or 11 in the morning and wake up at 5 or 6 in the evening.

2007
The problem with 2006 and 2007 is that they are basically interchangeable in my mind. It’s hard for me to place what happened when. I do remember a few things though:

It became very apparent that I needed a job where I actually got hours and couldn’t shop all day, so I started at the insurance agency in March. I loved it to start out with. I made more money than I’d ever made before, and I actually had nights and weekends off, and I didn’t stink.

In May, Aimee, Christa and I flew to Arizona to see Kristen. The four of us drove to California and spent a couple of nights in Hollywood, a day in Laguna Beach, and we also went to Disneyland another day. By the end of that day we could barely walk. We also spent time in Flagstaff at her apartment and in Phoenix at her sister’s house. We went to the Grand Canyon, which was way more impressive than I ever imagined. And we bought penny bracelets.
Trip184.jpg picture by Mananda05

Eddie and I moved into a new apartment across town in June. We’re still here in the same complex, and I love it here.

I met Jen at work, and she got married in December. That night Eddie and I decided we would finally go for it and start to actually plan our wedding.

2008
We started 2008 with a party at our apartment. Kristen was in town, which was great. The most memorable moments were Mark finding a sandwich outside, and everyone being AMAZED when I hooked my camera up to the tv without them realizing it and they saw themselves on tv. And Superman made an appearance, of course.
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I turned 21 this year and had a grand ol’ time at the Sandbar.
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A few days later, with the help of Mario’s miracle shot, my Jayhawks won the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, and we celebrated with tens of thousands of our closest friends.
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It was absolutely insane. Easily one of the best nights ever. All I want in life is a repeat.

Beth, Mark, Eddie and I went to Vegas over the summer. We missed our connecting flight in Phoenix and got stuck there for a night, but once we made it to Vegas, I looooved it. We stayed at the Tropicana, which was the best spot we could get for the money. Best moments: being Ross and Rachel, seeing Wayne Brady’s show (absolutely hilarious), and Eddie doing hammertime.
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The other big event of the year: the wedding. I hated planning it. I wanted to elope in Vegas, but the idea didn’t go over well with my mom. I had a blast at our wedding though. I’d do it all over again (if somebody else planned it…and paid for it).
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We ended up losing track of time and staying through the whole reception and then some. It was great having almost all of our friends and family in the same room. We stayed at the Chateau Avalon that night. Loved that too, and we decided we’d try to spend a night there for every following anniversary, provided we’re in town.

Eddie also reconnected with Juan, who moved back to Kansas, and along with Juan came a whole slew of new friends.

Eddie was out of work for about 5 months, but finally found a job at the Kmart Distribution Center in November. So we spent a good chunk of the year completely broke and in debt. We decided that in 2009 we’d change that.

2009
Another party at our place to ring in 2009. Another success.
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Oh, and Mikki’s beer from last year was still in our fridge. We decided it would be a New Year’s tradition every year to mark the year on the beer.

We went to work paying off credit cards like crazy, starting in January. Knocked ’em out one at a time until all we had left were our Nebraska Furniture Mart cards, which we opted to continue making payments on since we have a year+ left of no interest.

That was a huge change compared to the year before, and a huge load off our shoulders.

What else?

I got accepted into the School of Journalism at KU. I’ll have my degree in Strategic Communications a year from now. I’m sooo much happier at school now that I’ve found something I enjoy. Have I mentioned I love Lawrence now too? I’m hoping this will be the place we settle down, but we’ll see where the jobs are.

Well, I won’t delve too far into 2009 since most of the big stuff is actually in this blog already, but I took that full-time promotion at the insurance agency, only to leave in September. Couldn’t have done that if we were still in debt. I’ve got my new job now, and I’m a thousand times happier, which is remarkable, because in every aspect of my life besides my job, I was already very happy before.

And of course we got Koopa in July this year. He’s a little turd.
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Actually, he’s a pretty big turd now.
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Yeah, I spent some time on Picnik when we were snowed in on Christmas.

I think 2009 was one of best years of my life. It’s a little early to say that (hopefully!), but I really had a great year. Our group of friends has grown over the years, and while I didn’t get to see all of them as much as I’d like, I did get a very healthy dose of friends time this year. We’ve got old friends, new friends, and friends we lost touch with but reconnected with, and I am very glad to have them all.
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2010
I am excited for 2010. I’m even kind of excited for classes to start already. (I’m sure I will sing a very different tune in about a month.) Something about knowing it’s my last year pumps me up though. And I’m hoping to get an internship over the summer, since I will actually have time, one of the perks to not working 8 to 5 (or 8 to 6:30 as was the case last summer) all summer long anymore. I’m just very ready for whatever the year’s gonna throw at me.

We are having a party once again tomorrow to celebrate. Some of the usuals will be missing, but we’ll have some newbies too, and Mikki’s beer will still be here.
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