Add Another Candle

I am now 27-years-old. Another candle is being added to my cake and I could not be happier. So many people dread the aging process and are “forever 29,” but I relish what each new year brings to my life. Every year I am taking another step in the direction God is leading me to go.

It has become a tradition with my blog to post on my birthday about my life and what has changed over the course of one year. I began this tradition in 2014 when I turned 23 in “The Life of a Twenty-Something” and talked about myself growing up. Then in 2015 I discussed finding my faith again in “The Year I Grew Up” and how life had changed so drastically in one year. Then in 2016 I wrote letters to my younger selves giving advice on how I would do things differently. This year, however, I want to focus on my future…

As a 26-year-old, life was rapid. On my birthday last year I was newly engaged, already stressing about wedding preparation, and focusing on bettering myself to become a good wife. Since last October, I have not only gotten married to my best friend, but also completely switched career paths from the active event industry to the routine and stable nonprofit world. And if those two transitions weren’t big enough, G and I also bought our first house. So, yeah, this past year has consisted of a lot of up-current swimming.

It is no longer a surprise when transitions occur. Life changes, and I am quickly adaptable. However, with another year drawing me closer to the big 3-0, I want to set some goals for myself to continue striving forward. Sooner or later my life is going to be consumed with motherhood (God willing) and my goals are going to take the back seat. Before life becomes even more hectic, there are a few things I would like to achieve though:

Begin my own business
This is something I have been wanting to do for awhile now. I won’t go into details – yet – but I would like to open and run my own creative business in the near future. Not only for an additional income, which is always welcomed, but also to give me a goal-oriented hobby that comes with accountability. I have my base-work figured out, so we will see how things unfold over the coming months.

Strengthen my physical self
Working out and weight lifting have been a part of my life for several years, but the habits fell to the wayside over the past year. The lack of activity is becoming more and more clear as I suffer body aches and lowered self esteem nowadays. It is my goal to begin incorporating yoga, weight lifting, and HIIT back into my life on a regular weekly basis. With life finally slowing down now that we are moved into the new house and my daily schedule is becoming more routine, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Go minimalist
I have been slowly edging towards a minimal closet since my Spring 2018 cleaning spree. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of clothing I either have seldom worn or are no longer in-line with my styling. I would like to slim my closet down to 50 pieces only. That means only 50 articles of clothing including shirts, pants, layers, and dresses. I continue to get rid of specific items as I peruse through my closet, but with only 50 items to choose from in the future I imagine life will become that much easier because the greatest amount of my time each morning is spent trying on different outfits just to choose the same ones I wear every week.

Explore two new places
G and I have plans to explore the Northeast Coast for our 1-year anniversary, but I would also like to schedule a mini-vacation to one additional location sometime within the next year. Perhaps Brown County or Wisconsin Dells. Somewhere not requiring more than a weekend, but also somewhere I have never been before.

Nourish my mind
I once would have labeled myself as a bookworm, but it has been some time since I’ve actively read book after book for the simple pleasure of doing so. I recently began a book club with some girlfriends which has encouraged me to read at least one book a month, but I would like to push myself harder. My SMART goal for nourishing my mind is to focus on reading 20 pages every day. Be that 10 pages in the morning and 10 at night, or 20 altogether, twenty is not a huge number and should have me flipping through covers like a pro in no time.

Life is hectic, and it seems to be gathering steam as each day passes. So I am setting these five goals for my future with the hopes to achieve at least one before next October 13th. When I look back over my 26th year, I am aware of how quickly things can change. I learn this more and more each year. And I know one year is a short amount of time to cross each of these goals off my list. As I transition into being 27 I know I might not accomplish all these goals over the course of the next year, but I do want to at least begin taking the steps forward in setting the foundations for each goal.

Now I need to get ready for a fun and entertaining day with my husband to celebrate me. I have never been one to make a big deal about my birthday, but I am thankful to have a man who treasures me enough to cause a fuss over the ordeal. Not only are we traveling to my favorite restaurant this evening (sushi, get in my tummy…), but we are also spending some quality time doing “Autumn activities” like visiting a cider mill, picking some apples, and getting spooked at a haunted house. He definitely knows the way to my heart!

Thank you to all my friends and family members who have wished me a HBD so far, and to everyone who will throughout the day. It is a wonderful thing to be loved.

To another year, friends,

And I Thought Life Would Slow Down…

Somehow I thought Life would slow down once the wedding was over. What a naive little bride-to-be I was!

Hello, friends, and let me apologize for my absence this month so far. I know, I know, I promised many upcoming posts on the adventures of being a newlywed and delicious recipes and fun DIY home decorating ideas and, and, and…

I’m sorry.

This is my first post in August. I’m sorry. Life has been so hectic for G and me over the past month, and I am finally catching a little bit of breath tonight to at least sit down and let you all know why I have been MIA.

First off, G and I are in the process of buying a house! YES! I realize my only post of House Hunting was in mid-July, but this process has been ridiculously fast-moving. I’ll be back-dating a post or two to talk about a few other houses we viewed, but I also plan to discuss the whole home-buying process and the do’s and don’t’s associated with becoming first time home buyers. Trust me, we are learning a lot as we go through this purchase!

We were supposed to close this Friday, but some things fell through on the seller’s end and now we are in limbo. Waiting for a closing date is a lot like waiting for a roller coaster to get over the first hill — we’ve been left suspended in mid-air, filled with excitement, but fearful of what may be waiting around the turn. Please keep us in your thoughts as we continue to wait for the next step in becoming home buyers.

To make home buying even more chaotic, G is beginning a new job next week. I could not be prouder of him, but WOW! Could this blessing not have waited at least one more month for closing to be over? Talk about stress! But seriously, my husband is one of the most hardworking people I know, and I am so impressed at his resolve to leave a job he loves to pursue something that will be better for our family in the long run. Not only is he receiving a pay increase, but his new job is sending him to school (beginning in September already!), offering him full benefits, and promises to train him into a managerial role within five years. Knowing the person he is, I wasn’t surprised he chose this option as he is always talking about creating the best foundation for our family. But, again, I could not be a prouder wife.

On top of buying a house and beginning a new job, G is also in the final legs to receive his license. This past Friday we went car shopping and found the perfect work truck for him to call his own. Our quaint home is now filled with a very proud wife and a very happy husband. Life is good.

I also took a more prominent role in the planning committee for Pink Tie Ball this year by being nominated and accepting the role of Secretary and Marketing Manager for the committee. This means a bit more responsibility on my plate during week nights, but since G will be working longer hours now, I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead of me. Planning has already begun for this February 2019 event, and my committee members and I are excitedly rushing to get all our ducks in a row for the best event yet. Stay tuned for more on this event as preparation takes place.

With the closing called off this Friday and all items set for G’s new job and license renewal, we would have loved to have a free weekend to simply lounge around. Timing is everything though, and this weekend is the wedding of one of my best friends. As a bridesmaid, that means G and I will be traveling a bit for the rehearsal, ceremony, and reception, but at least we’ll be having fun to help dissolve the stress of this past week!

Aside from the craziness of our own lives, our brother and sister-in-law welcomed the family’s first grandbaby into our lives on July 28th. Our beautiful nephew, Zion, is happy and healthy, and is giving G and I an excuse to leave town for a few days to visit come September. We could not be more thrilled (to both meet Zion and to have a mini vacation!)

All in all, August has been a ride of emotions. Thankfully though, once this weekend is over there are no imminent plans. I’ll have my evenings mostly free since all housing items are completed on our end, and I anticipate getting back to regularly blogging with you, friends, very soon.

Thank you for not abandoning me,