The Last Ten

From college graduation to married in Seattle. There were some hits and some misses, but overall the last decade taught me who I was as an adult.

In the last ten years, I’ve lived in five different cities, adopted four shelter animals, took some amazing trips around North America, Europe and New Zealand, loved and lost some great people, made life-long friends, met the love of my life and got married, moved across the country on a leap of faith, tested my endurance, my body, and my will, learned so much from others and a lot about myself. It hasn’t all been perfect but I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities the last ten years have given me, for my family, and my smart, kind friends, the people who helped guide and shape me and stepped in as family during those times when I was a long way from my own, the adventures, the miles on the road, the good food and drinks, and even the downturn moments where I had to learn the hard way how to pick myself back up. Looking back it truly feels like one magical ten year ride and I can’t believe it’s mine. And because I love a good nostalgic look back, I wanted to recap (most of, because I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things) the big highlights. So here are they are, the greatest hits of my last decade are:  

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I began the 2010s rounding out my extra half lap of undergrad, including a study abroad summer. Changing my major late from Animal Science to Creative Writing didn’t exactly result in an equal transferring of credits, but it all worked out.

I got to study abroad at the University of Manchester UK. I saw a lot of castles, read a lot of English literature, hiked the Moors, went to Liverpool, bummed around London anytime I was able, went to a music festival with Loreley and Emily, got rained on a lot and drank a lot of cider. 

Went to Paris for the first time with my good friends Katie and Morgan.  

Went to Scotland too, only I slept through 75% of the trip being too hungover from Paris (sorry, Katie).

Mom met me in London and we went to see Stonehenge and the English countryside. This was one of the most magical trips ever.

Moved back to CoMO and into Dr. Katie M’s condo, who I met on Craigslist, while she was doing rotations with my crazy cat Olive.

Graduated undergrad one semester late and started grad school at Mizzou January 2011. 

Katie moved back into her condo and we became besties.  I spent a glorious semester having mostly night classes so I spent my days lounging on her patio reading, cooking, crashing med school parties, taking classes with her at our new gym. It. Was. A. Blast.

Spent a few weeks in Miami on a research project living in South Beach. Got to experience Ultra.

Won my first choice grad school internship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and moved to Memphis for 2011 summer.

Lived it up with friends all over Memphis on those hot Mississippi delta nights.

Went to Sanibel Island on a random summer trip with mom and my brother.  

Wrapped up an unreal summer working at St. Jude and moved back to Columbia for one more school year. 

Celebrated 100 years of Mizzou Homecoming. 

Graduated grad school one semester early in May 2012. 

Went on a Europe trip with my sissies across Germany, Prague and England that ended with Emily and Darren getting married outside of London.  

Moved to Memphis to work at Literacy MidSouth and lived by myself on the river, falling completely in love with the river, the city of Memphis, its people and energy. 

Adopted two fat alien boy cats, Fred and George from the Memphis Humane Society.

Ran my first St. Jude race – marathon relay. 

Left Literacy Mid-South earlier than I expected to take a new role in patient and family events and hospital volunteer coordination back at St. Jude. 

Moved into an old downtown Memphis highrise with Maggie (as West Coaster’s now, we miss the rent and square footage – we didn’t know how good we had it).

Fostered an old souled black lab, Duke the dog, and then Maggie adopted him making us foster failures 🙂 

Became a Grizzlies NBA season tix holder and went to so many games to watch the dream team of TA, ZBo, Gasol, Mike Conley and more tear it up. Officially adopted the #GritandGrind mindset from there on out. 

Mom and I saw Sir Paul McCartney in concert in Memphis. 

Married off some best friends to some awesome guys along the way.

Went to a lot of Memphis In Mays, BBQ Fests, Crawfish Fests and any other fests we could. 

A baby Mizzou TriDelt became my intern for a summer and we had so much fun. 

Met Kathryn when she moved to Memphis Summer 2013.

Road tripped to Mississippi too many times: Biloxi for the beach and Oxford for the tailgates.

Rang in some New Years in #10 Main Street, Memphis.

Took some awesome holiday card photos of our animals. 

Went on a Colorado girls trip around Boulder, Ft. Collins and Denver. 

Went skiing solo for the first time. 

Ordered too many pizzas.

Celebrated some great birthdays.  

Met our best friend Ryan Hart and turned his apartment into a club. 

Got to sit courtside for a few Grizz games and drank a Big Ass beer on national TV, much to my mom’s horror. 

Got to witness in real time the rebirth of Memphis as it turned its blighted areas into neighborhoods full of art once again and go to so many cool events, concerts and fundraisers. 

Completed the Nashville Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon. 

Friends started having magical little babes. 

Roshani and I graduated from New Memphis Leadership Institute. 

Started Watch Us Roam as a journaling outlet for vignettes of my life. 

We honored those who left us too soon.

Ate so much good southern food

Went to DC for the first time. 

My parents began to move out of Kirksville with my dad taking on a new job south of St. Louis. 

Got a puppy! Paisley Mae Mae called out to my mom from the Kirksville animal shelter classifieds so she drove up as they were closing and offered them $20. She became my permanent sassy sidekick the next day and my life was never the same. 

Completed the St. Jude marathon – my first full

Learned how to make donuts in the back of a real doughnut shop for Kathryn’s birthday. 

Received my certificate to officially be a certified hospital manager of volunteers. 

Helped coordinate Roshani and Rob’s weddingon the river in Memphis.  

Decided to make a big, big career decision and move to KC, leaving nonprofit life to explore marketing and business. 

Had a wonderful sendoff from St. Jude and Memphis

Met some awesome new friends and coworkers in KC.

Moved into my own place on the KC Plaza.  

Learned a lot at my new advertising/animal pharma job. 

Got to go on someawesome work trips and eat at some insane restaurants. 

Got to live in the same city as so many of my good college girlfriends again. 

Got into yoga. 

The KC Royals won the World Series.

Spent some wonderful last holiday seasons in our old KV family home. 

Went to my first Chiefs game. 

Met my husband on a fateful February 13th night in a KC 39th Street Mexican bar and he instantly became my favorite human.  

Went on a lot of fun dates. 

Jake’s parents sold their home, bought a huge motorhome and became permanent nomads. 

Said goodbye to some very well loved pets

Welcomed Jojo the doodle into the fam. 

Took an epic road trip around Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho with Jake. 

Bought a new Jeep together. 

I secretly bought a vintage wedding dress on a crazy solo shopping whim in my favorite place, the KC West Bottoms, and hid it in the back of my closet 🙂 

Gave Jake’s house a makeover. 

Jake got an Amazon call and started flying to Seattle to interview. 

We made the decision to move to Seattle together. 

Threw Jake a going away party. 

Got rid of a lot of furniture. 

A chimney fell on my car while I was inside the vet’s office with two cats and a dog. 

Lived it up at some Missouri wineries with my parents. 

Moved to Seattle! 

Sold Jake’s house. 

I became a hiker/camper. 

Jake turned 30 and we went to Leavenworth Oktoberfest. 

We camped in Joshua Tree. 

We hosted our first holidays in Seattle. 

We had family and friends from all over come visit. 

We explored the PNW and hiked and camped. 

We made good friends in Seattle. 

We spent our first Seattle New Years at the base of Mt. Rainier in an old rail car hotel. 

I started working at a tech start-up.

We got engaged

Jake ran the Big Sur marathon. 

We had an insanely fun engagement party in Kirksville where I wore the vintage wedding dress 🙂 

We drove over the mountains and got Porter the puppy! (Thank you Adams County Pet Rescue!)

We ran the Tunnel Vision marathon together. 

I had so much fun at my bachelorette party in Las Vegas. 

We spent our first Christmas together with just us in Seattle. 

We got married and spent a magical week in Hawaii. 

We went on an epic honeymoonliving out of a van traveling around New Zealand. 

My parents sold our family home. 

My parents bought a new fixer upper outside of St. Louis. 

I took an online cohort course with Anastasia Allison. 

We moved out of our Ballard apartment and into a home in Sunset HIll. 

A bunch of our KC friends moved to Seattle. 

We went back to Hawaii. 

I went to London for work. Mom tagged along and we went to see the Cliffs of Dover and Paris together. 

Katie Myers and I road tripped the Oregon Coast. 

I produced three conferences for work and won two awards. 

Explored NYC for the first time. 

I helped form a bookclub. 

Kathryn and I drove cross country to move her here. 

I started a new job back in nonprofit development at the Rivkin Center. 

Decided it was worth it to keep up this roaming journal, even if it’s just for us 🙂

Spent a great Christmas in Las Vegas. 

I submitted all of my requirements to complete a Holistic Nutritionist Certificate in December 30th, 2019.

And then we rang in the New Year from our couch because we got the flu, BUT that just means we are very well rested to kick off 2020. We have a lot of fun trips planned this spring and I’m so excited for what’s to come and where we’ll roam.

Of course this isn’t everything, but it’s a good list that I’m proud of. So thankful to have so many good memories and experiences to begin a new decade and year with. Here’s to even more love and joy in the next ten! Happy roaming into the new year!  ~ Amanda 

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