My year according to Instagram

2013 was a big year for me. In 2013, I finished one more school year, putting me just a few semesters away from graduation. I concluded my professional relationship with my previous employer, started a new magazine-style blog and celebrated seven years with my high school sweetheart.

I published a lot of big articles that I’m proud of and met a lot of incredible people both through work and classes. Through a lot of personal self-evaluating, I feel like I’ve grown more this year than any year before. And I think my new sense of self-confidence and contentment is evidence of that.

This year was also my time chronicling life events with the social networking tool, Instagram. And my year looks very different through the vintage-style lenses of the phone app. Here’s some of the highlights according to my photo feed:

The official return of the Charlotte Hornets is finally announced

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Growing up in the Charlotte area in the 90s, the Charlotte Hornets played a large role in my childhood and as it turned out, this year as well.

In August of 2012, I wrote a piece for Yahoo! News on a movement to bring the purple and teal franchise back to the Queen City and then the op-ed piece (right photo) on what Hugo’s return would mean for Charlotte’s identity.

Following the creation of My Vinyl Muse, I wrote a recap of the night Michael Jordan announced the Charlotte Hornets return at Time Warner Cable and later a fun, first-person piece on how I found the first Charlotte Hornets yearbook at a thrift store in Charlotte.

As big a role the Charlotte Hornets played this year, I have a feeling it will play an even bigger role during the team’s 2014-2015 season.

Celebrating 7 years of the best years of my life, with my best friend

photo 4 (2)Over seven years ago, I finally summoned the courage to ask  the pretty girl in my band class out on a date– dinner and a scary movie.

Seven years later, dinner and a scary movie with that same girl is still my favorite thing to do.

2013 contained a lot of dinner and movie nights. One of my favorite things about Haley is that she challenges me to be a more adventurous person, even if that just means getting out of the apartment and exploring Charlotte.

This is a picture of us together on Memorial Day enjoying a boat ride on Lake Wylie.

This year we saw some of our favorite bands together, I took Haley to her first comedy show (Chris D’Elia) and I helped her settle into her new apartment. ‘Lots of awesome memories with many more to come.

My 21st birthday celebration with all of my Niner Media friends

photo 3The big two-one. Being probably the last birthday that I will actually celebrate with a party, I wanted to gather all of my friends who I was working with at the time.

That night, Scarlett prepared a gin bucket, Michelle and Baker each brought awesomely-customized cakes and I tried out some new mixed drink recipes.

Rarely do I find the chance to bring all my friends together, and it’s even rarer that very many of them are available on the same night.

Fortunately, the stars aligned for my 21st. And I was able to spend the night playing drinking games, chowing down on birthday cake and generally catching up with some of my favorite people.

Concluded my professional relationship with Niner Times

photo 1 (2)The three years I spent at my university newspaper had an undeniably major impact on my life.

I can still remember the excitement of seeing my name printed on the newspapers located all over campus. Two stories were published side by side– one on the best indie albums of the year and one on coping with being alone for the holidays.

Niner Times is where I experienced many of my best and worst college memories.

My experience  there inflamed my desire to be a writer and extinguished any ambition that I had to manage a staff of journalists.

My freshman year, I joined as a staff writer and found journalistic mentors in the publication’s A&E editor and the opinion editor. I moved up to arts and entertainment editor the following year, and finally managing editor my final year.

Began my third year working as a librarian, and commentary with Yahoo! News

photo 1 (3)At the start of my senior year, I started my third year working at the ten-story academic library on campus.

Along with my job working at various publications, my library job allowed me to practice my passion of connecting people with the information that they’re looking for.

This is a picture of me re-shelving books at the Charles C. Hight Architecture Library, where I work over the summers. Through my experience as a librarian, I have been fortunate enough to work alongside some a lot of incredible people.

In September, I wrote some commentary for Yahoo! News about some of my experience working at the library called “First Person: In College, Clashing Expectations and an Educational Paradox.”

Provided a great new home to two rescue cats, Tyler and Marla

photo 2After months of research, phone calls and emails, Haley and I adopted our first pets in early September.

We visited the adoption facility with the intentions of only adopting Tyler (the cat pictured here).

But when we were introduced to Tyler’s friend Marla, we fell in love and took both cats home.

Despite a few hiccups involving mites and intestinal worms (the rescue home we got them from kept too many cats in too confined a space), it’s been mostly smooth sailing. Both Tyler and Marla have great, playful personalities.

Haley and I had been talking about adopting cats for well over a year, but the timing/situation was never right until we found Tyler and Marla. And it’s been a real joy having them in our family.

My new Halloween traditions and the rest of October

photo 1 (4)Haley and I love Halloween.

Last year, I took Haley to Scarowinds and a handful of scary movies. And though we didn’t get around to visiting any haunted attractions this year, we made sure we partook in some Halloween festivities.

For one, we still managed to get our fix of some great scary movies on the big screen– The Conjuring, Insidious 2, The Purge and You’re Next.

But we also carved our own pumpkins. Since this was my first time carving pumpkins since I was a child, nostalgia was the theme of this Squirtle pumpkin.

Haley carved Ghostface from the Scream franchise, and I carved Ron Swanson into my second pumpkin. We both used the seeds from our pumpkins to make cinnamon-roasted pumpkin seeds!