Today I turn 28.
Since today is my birthday, for this blog post I thought I would reflect on 5 things I learned this past year, my 5 favorite memories from being 27 and the top 5 items on my bucket list for the year ahead.
Top 5 things I learned
#1 – You’re Stronger Than You Think
This year Justin and I moved from Virginia (where we had lived for the past 5 years) to Pittsburgh, PA. Growing up I never really envisioned living outside of the state of North Carolina. Justin got an amazing job opportunity this year though so we decided to make the move. Since we were relocating for his job we were fortunate enough to have a company come and help us move. However we were going from a two bedroom townhouse to a one bedroom apartment. After we got his start date it was all hands on deck as we spent days going thru our possessions figuring out what we wanted to keep, donate, or trash. We did want to overpack and not be able to fit everything in our apartment once we arrived. Since we were moving to PA and most of our family lives in NC we took a few weeks before the move and spent time with our family and then we drove from VA to PA. When we got to PA we checked into our hotel, which we were going to be staying in for 60 days till our apartment was ready. Living in a hotel for 60 days really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. However I thought moving into our apartment would be easy and it wasn’t. The movers got the truck unloaded easily but our apartment was so small and the boxes and our stuff were everywhere, we basically couldn’t move without running into boxes. It was a few days of constant unpacking, little sleep, multiple trips to Ikea to get bookcases, etc so we would have extra storage and multiple loads of laundry. Since everything had been in storage for we wanted to wash all of our clothes before we wore them. Being so far away from our family, Justin and I really learned that we could lean on each other for support when we needed it and we would make it through a tough situation together. Learning that got us through those few days of constant unpacking and exhaustion. Getting through the move and those few days surrounding it made me also realize that I was a lot stronger than I realized.
#2 – Good health is not something we should take for granted
This past year one of my dearest friends found out she had a brain tumor. The diagnosis was extremely unexpected and terrifying. It was a reminder that good health is not something we should take for granted and that life really is short so you should live it to the fullest. Luckily my friend is doing much better now after surgery and Chemotherapy. Her faith is so strong, and her dedication to improving her health this past year was amazing. I think her faith and dedication to getting healthy really helped her get through this huge diagnosis and I really admire that about her.
#3 – “And when I wake up you are still with me” Psalm 139: 17-18
This year has been the biggest in terms of change for me and it has also been one of the toughest I have faced without my Mother. She passed away from ovarian cancer about a year and a half ago and although I don’t talk much about it this year with all the change that has happened there is so much I have wanted to tell her. For instance, I know if she were here she would have found all the grammatical errors I have on my website and been the first one to tell me, or the first one to like the post when I announced that I had officially launched my business on Facebook. But this verse really calms me because even though she isn’t physically still here I know part of her will always be with me.
#4 – Starting a business takes guts
I now have more appreciation for anyone who has started their own business. I have learned that you have to be fearless, patient, persistent and have faith in yourself. As a business owner you also face a fear of rejection and failure but you have to be confident enough to know that if you work hard and are passionate about your business then you will succeed.
#5 – “Never quit your day dream”
Photo by Amanda Castle Photography
Top 5 favorite memories
# – 1 We got to see several of our friends get married this year
This was really fun for me because I just love weddings so much. Most of the weddings Justin and I went this past year were not in VA which meant that we got also to travel. We got to go to the mountains of NC to see Tara and Andrew get married, then Charleston, SC to see Nicole and Harley get married (I was super excited about location because I had never been to Charleston), then we got to go back to NC to see Alyssa and James get married in Raleigh, and lastly, we did get to see one marriage in VA, Kristin and Daniel’s.
# – 2 Our family trip to Asheville to celebrate my Dad’s retirement
My Dad retired this year so my brother Patrick, my husband Justin and I rented a big house up in the mountains of NC and spent a week visiting Asheville and spending time at The Biltmore House. We got to see the house all decorated for Christmas and had some fun surprises for my dad along the way, one of which included having all of his family show up for the second half of the trip. Most of them live in Kannapolis, NC so we don’t get to see them very often so it was great to spend several days with them. We made a lot of great memories and I can’t wait till when we get to do it again.
#3 – Launching my business
Wow what a crazy thing for me to say that I actually accomplished. I am proud to call myself an entrepreneur and business owner. To see more about my journey please read my blog post: Journey from Designer to Entrepreneur.
#4 – Moving from VA to PA
We are excited to be in a new city and explore all that Pittsburgh as to offer. Also, I explained some more about our move in the first paragraph because it also taught me something this year about myself and our marriage.
#5 – Going full time with my business
Shortly after we moved from VA to PA I took a big leap of faith and made the decision to explore my business full time. I was burning the “candle at both ends” (a funny pun because I love candles, haha) trying to work my full time job which required me to work 50 hours a week and then try to spend all my time on the weekends and evenings working on my business. I learned a lot from my previous full time job and I definitely think it gave me some added business knowledge but it became clear that it was time for me to pursue other opportunities. I feel so fortunate now that I get to wake up and every day and excitingly work on building a business that I am passionate about.
Photo by Rustic Rooster Photography
27 was a pretty big year for me so I don’t know how 28 is going to top it but I am excited to see. Here are a few of the things I hope to accomplish/do in my 28th year.
Top 5 items on my bucket list
#1 – Buy a house
#2 – Spend the holidays with family
#3 – Adopt a pet
#4 – Learn to cook more dishes
#5 – Go to Harry Potter World