Reflections on 2018

2018 was a big year for us — it was filled with a lot of good things along with a few challenges.

We lived, we loved, we celebrated, and we grew. I read a lot of books, set and accomplished a lot of goals, made new friends, and went on dates with Andy.

The best part of 2018 was finding out we are pregnant with our son, who is due to arrive any day now!

IMG_9341.jpg

One of the hardest things about this past year is that Andy’s dad passed away the day after Christmas after a rapid decline in health over the course of the past few weeks due to heart failure. This is still very fresh news to us as we grieve the loss of a great man in our family.

This was the year that I turned 30, which I welcomed with open arms in anticipation of a new decade ahead of me. I had some amazing job opportunities such as designing + illustrating for Caribou Coffee, Ulta Beauty, PaperSource, and Target. We bought our first home and started preparing a nursery as we get ready to welcome our little son into the world.

As I look forward to 2019, there’s a whole host of goals I’d love to accomplish, but what keeps weighing on my mind is this feeling of the need to slow down. There were many days in 2018 that left me feeling frazzled, burnt out, and just exhausted (okay, most of that exhaustion was probably pregnancy-related but work with me here). I’ve been doing some prep work before the new year rolls around to really evaluate what worked for me and what didn’t work for me in 2018. There are some dreams that have been on my heart for many years now and I’d love to do some exploration to see how I can kickstart some of these once we settle into a routine with our little guy and once he gets a little older. I know these newborn days are so precious so I really want to be intentional about soaking them up and spending time just cuddling our little boy even if other things have to slide because of it.

Changing from a strict INTJ to an ENTP over the past few years helped me fuel some of these changes — a lot of the “striving” is gone and I find myself letting go more than I used to. Some areas of my life still have my death grip on them, but it’s a work in progress. ;) One thing that becoming an extrovert really taught me is that we really need people in our lives and I’m so thankful for the friends and family that I have around me — for both the good and the bad days.

IMG_1047.jpg

One thing that I’ve been learning this past year is that sometimes our expectations of people can never be fulfilled — even when we really want them to. There was an incident this summer that has left a lasting impression on me and really taught me a lot. We had just found out the gender of our baby and so I stopped to pick up cupcakes for Andy and I since we decided not to do a gender-reveal party. There was a middle-aged woman at the cash register and she asked if I was celebrating something since I had two cupcakes covered in sprinkles in my hands, to which I told her we just found out we were having a baby boy. She was instantly filled with such enthusiasm and joy for us — exclaiming how exciting this news is and how she was so happy for us. She even told me to bring our little boy into the store once he was born so that she could meet him. I thanked her, grabbed my bag, and as soon as I got into my vehicle I burst into tears.

Here was this random stranger who was SO happy and SO excited for us — the reason why this was so hard was because she was genuinely more excited than some of the people that we had told about our news of having a baby and finding out that he is a boy. It was in this situation that I realized that not everyone will cheer for you and that is okay — we can’t control the way others act. What is most important is finding your tribe that is willing to walk alongside you and do life with you — celebrating the good times and overcoming the hard times.

Another thing that has really been on my heart is opening up and practicing vulnerability here on my blog which can be kind of scary. There have been a few posts that I’ve published over the last few months and then taken down a few hours later because I was feeling unsure about how others would perceive them — would they be able to handle my honesty and vulnerability? Most importantly, was I okay with being this vulnerable? Sure, I love sharing a good J.Crew sale and a fun weekend recap here on the blog, but what really brings people together is opening up and sharing. I hope to do this more in 2019 not just to free myself, but also to inspire others who might be going through similar situations.

For those that read my blog, thank you for your support whether you’ve been following me since my early days or even if today is your first day stopping by. I hope that you will continue to be encouraged, inspired, and entertained by the content that I plan to publish in this coming year.

I’ll be ringing in the new year with sparkling white grape juice (#39weekspregnant) and am looking forward to all that 2019 brings!

What are your NYE plans?
Do you have any special traditions this time of year?