Every time around Thanksgiving I put it on my list: order holiday cards. A family tradition, updating family and close friends the updates and adventures from the past year. This year I even went so far as to design one on tinyprints.com. Then the deadlines of school and work clouded my time and here we are, nearly new years.
Did you send out a card or letter this year or are you in Camp Ahlquist, still wishing you could had?
But wait…thanks to tools of technology, I can still virtually send out my holiday card even before the clock strikes twelve! So, on behalf of this writer, our new puppy Parker, queen bee cat Izzy and an EpicLLOYD of a husband, I give you our Top 10 of 2013.
#10 Josie Went Full-Time! After 6.5 years at Loyola Marymount University, Josie stepped away from her job to become a full-time student in her doctoral program at California Lutheran University. She has quickly filled this time, receiving a research grant, graduate assistantship, speaking engagements and publication opportunities. It was a little scary to take the leap of faith, but all is falling into place so far!
#9 Lloyd Went GOLD! Lloyd’s YouTube project Epic Rap Battles of History received a gold record designation for Obama Vs. Romney. This video, now viewed almost 80 Million times features the candidates right before the election in 2012. Since this summer, they have also hit this distinction with two other songs.
#8 An Engagement in Paris. For New Years, Josie and Lloyd traveled with close friends, Aaron and Jill to Paris. Not only was it a trip of a lifetime, but their friends were engaged on the river next to the Eiffel Tower. Lloyd held Josie back until she was cleared for paparazzi madness, taking pics like the one below. Lloyd will stand as Aaron’s best man this weekend, as he was also our best man for our wedding.
#7 Blogging Bravely. In February, Josie took on a challenge to not only begin a new blog, but to write a post everyday for 50 days. As a result is what you see today, now turning this blog (www.josieahlquist.com) into a source of sharing content creation from her doctoral program, researching social media in higher education. She blogs weekly, including an interview series of strong women leaders called “The Doers” and other posts about ‘epic’ living such as this one.
#6 Focus on the Family. Lloyd and Josie were able to spend time with family near and far. June we traveled to Colorado, heading up into the Rockies for a fly fishing trip, equipped with cabin living and even horseback riding. Weddings took us to New York twice, as cousins on Lloyd’s side tied the knot in both July and October.
#5 Change of Scenery. We moved! Cramped living finally got to stretch its legs, as we rented out our condo to move into a larger apartment. Lloyd has a man cave, Josie has her library and extra-large closet(s). We have even gotten to host family and friends from out-of-town comfortably, include just this past week for Christmas! I think this makes us real adults….or something.
#4 Skrillex is a Hugger. In the spring of 2013 Epic Rap Battles released a battled called, Skrillex vs. Motzart. Shortly after, YouTube hosted an event called YouTube Comedy Week and not only had Lloyd and Pete perform, but a special appearance from Sonny, known to many as Skrillex. Josie got to meet him after they were in costume before the show. Sonny scooper her up for a hug, then posed for a photo with Lloyd who was dressed to match.
#3 Taking home a Streamy. In February, Rap Battles was chosen for a several awards from The Streamys including: Best Original Song, Best Music Series and Best Use of Fashion & Design. Since then, the series has been nominated for a number of other awards for the 2014 awards season including from the Producers Guild and International Academy of Web Television.
#2 Key & Peele. Known for their series on Comedy Central, Key and Peele have also appeared in two rap battles. It was no surprise that soon Lloyd would find himself on their show, seen below as the ref during a funny fight scene.
#1 Growing Our Family. If you follow Josie or Lloyd through social media, you may have noticed that most of their updates include one new special guy. A rescue puppy named Parker, whom when adopted became very sick. Such a handful and a surprising expense, but a joy to the Ahlquist home. Izzy is still making up her mind about him.
2013 was filled with countless other great highlights, filled with memories and surrounded by amazing people. Thank you to our families and our family of close friends to whom are the #1 highlight of every year. Happy Holidays from Lloyd, Josie, Izzy & Parker!!