Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 | in review

We just finished packing up all of our Christmas goodies and decor, and it feels so good to have our apartment looking semi-sleek and clean again. I remember hearing that Christmas is like an old friend coming to visit - you count down the minutes until her arrival, make plans, try and soak up every waking moment of warm and fuzzy goodness, wish that your time together will never end. Then suddenly, she's been there the entire month and you're itching to get back to your real life where you don't throwback brie and crackers every night like a multivitamin.

We kept our Christmas small this year in anticipation of 2019 being a big year for us financially (having a wedding, going on a honeymoon, buying a house, OH MY!), but we got to spend time with both of our families. Like I said in my last post, there are certainly pros and cons to working in a school, but having two weeks off during the holidays has been the absolute best.

I haven't set my goals or intentions for the year, or selected a word, or whatever it is the kids are doing these days (LOL ok that's the only old-person joke coming from a young-person you'll hear out of me in this post...maybe). I'm working on delving into what it is I want from 2019, aside from the big stuff like getting married.

I'd like to keep blogging, and maybe do it a little more consistently than I did in 2018. You know, turn in back into a creative outlet. Maybe I'll figure out how to use Lightroom presets from a mobile app so I can have a consistent Instagram feed (wow! talk about *~gOaLs~*). Maybe, after five years of blogging, I'll finally create an editorial calendar and plan out posts in advance.

Maybe maybe maybe. See? Nothing set just yet, but that's the framework, at least for this little corner of the internet. And if you're still around, lemme just tell you - THANK YOU.

Until I figure those out for certain, I'll give a little mini version of "2018 in review," the kind you won't see on my Instagram. The good and the bad.

  • We traveled to North Carolina and Washington D.C.
  • I finished my master's program with a 3.8 GPA (my new year's resolution from last year!) after 3.5 years of post-bacc and graduate school.
  • I started my first job as a speech-language pathologist in a public school setting. I'm not sure it's where I want to be forever, but it's where I am for now, and I'm learning so much every day.

  • After battling cancer on and off for years, my grandad passed away in August. We miss him all the time, but I'm so thankful that my mom and I got to go up to St. Augustine for a few weekends this year to spend time with him earlier this year. 
  • I went to more blogging and community events than I ever have in the past, got closer with local Tampa Bay blogger Kahla (heyyyy girl!), and met one of my favorite blogger friends in real life, Chelsea!
  • Looked for a wedding dress alongside the leading ladies in my life, and said yes to the dress a week later.
  • Read 19 books! Short of my goal of 25, but it took me forever to finish The Nightingale (so good, though), and I spent too much time trying to get into books that just didn't snag my interest (like Beartown...). Keep an eye out for a major book review in January!
  • While we were house sitting for my parents during their trip to Europe, my dad sliced off a good chunk of the tip of his left index finger and they had to come home early (the day before they were supposed to visit Greece for the first time). Talk about YIKES.
  • Saw some of my favorite artists in concert - Lorde, Justin Timberlake, Andrew MacMahon, and my queen, Taylor Swift.
  • Quit my serving job at Ciccio's after 3.5 years.

Like most years, 2018 was another year of growth. In some ways, it was the most exciting year of my life. In others, it was gut-wrenching. In any event, tomorrow begins a clean slate, and I'm looking forward to making memories in 2019. I hope you have a kick-ass start to the new year!

What kind of year was 2018 for you? Any new years resolutions?


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

adjusting to this new life.

I've been pretty quiet around here, but not because I'm "done" with blogging, or because I don't know what to write about. I actually really miss blogging, and I miss the community that comes along with it. Lately, I've only been active on Instagram which gets a We all know how Instagram gets. I actually have a pretty lengthy post drafted regarding actual blogs vs. Instagram blogs, but it's not "there" just yet. Ya know?

Moving right along.

Saying I've been busy doesn't really feel accurate. I mean, it's the truth. But aren't we all busy? Nothing to write home about (or on the blog about, clearly). Given this time of year, we're lucky if we're productive at all, between the parties and shopping and attempting to be mentally present throughout the festivities.

So yes, I have been busy. But in reality, I've been readjusting to the working world; a working world that I wasn't even familiar with while I was working in the life of luxury and flexibility that is an outside sales position. Long gone are my days of hour lunches and a mid-morning Starbucks break to power through the day.

Now, I wake up at 5:35 a.m. every morning (unless I'm really on the edge and hit snooze until 5:45) and I function on one cup of coffee. I drive 30-40 minutes to work in the morning with a 45 minute commute back home. While I have to be on campus (I work at a school) from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., I almost never leave at 3. I come home, take out the dogs, go to the gym, make dinner, do laundry, hang out with Ryan. Most nights, the clock catches me off guard.

"It's only 8:30," Ryan tells me.

But in a perfect world, I'd be winding down and getting ready for bed at 9 p.m., with a strict 9:45 p.m. bedtime for eight hours of delicious snoozing. In a perfect world. 

On the surface, if you painted this post as a picture, you might reach for dark hues and stroke with a heavy hand, weighted by a litany of woes. That, however, is 100% not my intention. Because while I'm adjusting, I am also growing to love this job.

Even though I'd love to sleep in longer, I don't mind sipping my hot coffee in a cute travel mug while listening to 90's pop or high school punk on my half hour commute.
I live for the days when my 5th grade language students tell me they're excited to learn more about prefixes because they think it will really help them succeed in the classroom.
It warms my heart every time one of my students calls out my name in the middle of a hallway, or runs up to hug me when I pick them up for speech.
I love making sure my kids know that it's a big, exciting, giant, humungo deal when they reach their goals, because I'm figuring out that a lot of these kids don't have that support system at home.

So, you know, things are going pretty well around here. In the new year, I'd like to refocus and start redirecting my energy back into hobbies, such as writing this blog. At the very least, I'd like to figure out its purpose. If you've stuck around during these quiet months, I want to say thank you, and I hope you'll continue to do so.

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