Now that 2019 has drawn to a close and 2020 is in its baby stages, I wanted to do a little reminiscing followed by looking toward the future. There has been a lot that has happened this past year, some of which was very unexpected. It very well may be the year that has brought the most changes but an overall great year. 2018 was very rough for me so 2019 was a much needed breath of fresh air. So let's look back at 2019.
2018 was a really rough year for us, alot of which had to do with having two miscarriages back to back. One of which happened around the holidays in 2018. We knew we wanted to grow our family but this was a big letdown. We didn't expect one miscarriage let alone two. We were able to get pregnant so easily but just were not able to stay pregnant. This caused alot of emotional struggles including alot of anxiety. Around April 2019 we found out we were pregnant. We made it to our 8 week doctor appointment with a health looking fetus. Something we were not able to do the previous two pregnancies. We made it to the 12 week mark and continued to stay pregnant. Here we are today and in November of this year we met our little Claire. She has been such a blessing to our family and is loved by us all. Even her big sister is infatuated with her. Aubrey says Claire is HER baby and SHE loves Claire the most! It is so sweet. This has been an amazing and most perfect way to end our year. This alone is enough for us to make 2019 the best but there was more great things that occurred.
My husband and I have talked for a while about moving out of state. If you are new to my blog and Social Media (Welcome!!) we are from Chicago and had a home in the suburbs. We were really needing a change. We were sick of the dreadful, dreary, arctic winters. We were sick of the high cost of living, the traffic, and just the everyday stress we were experiencing. We were ready to start life somewhere else and give our children something better and different. We talked about Dallas alot. We went there once for a possible job but it didn't work out then. We loved it when we visited and thought about me trying to find the job this time . I always wanted to live close to the water and have more of a beach life. I have always been infatuated with the south and the culture and charm that comes with it. I talked about Florida but my husband was not quite sold. I ended up finding a job in Beaufort, SC area. We knew nothing about it but knew of Hilton Head Island as a tourist area. We came down in April for the job interview and fell in love.
If you aren't knew then you know we actually live in Savannah. The whole moving thing happened very quickly and had very little time to find a house to rent in our budget. We were working on selling our home at the same time, we have dogs and a toddler. The best place to find housing was in Savannah as there is much more available and a bigger area. I was not quite happy at first. I didn't want to live in Savannah. I wanted to be in South Carolina and close to my job. I thought South Carolina was prettier. I will admit the drive to and from work has been alot with time and mileage, however we LOVE it here in Savannah. I rave about it all the time that we may make Savannah our permanent home. We haven't ruled out Bluffton or Hilton Head as options but our life and time in Savannah so far has been amazing and am so glad we moved. We are happy we chose it here over Dallas. Yes, there are times I think about Dallas but I do like not living in a big city. There is traffic at times out here but not like what is experienced in a large city. It gets hot here but it does in Dallas as well and the difference is that we have been able to enjoy all that comes with living on the coast: the water and the beaches. Aubrey has become a total beach bum and we love having the beach as a reprieve from the heat. There is a much more laid back vibe, friendly culture, charm and beauty. I love the old, historic charm and love the food (but I do miss some great Chicago pizza). This has been a major and unexpected change for us. It happened so quickly but overall it was a great change and am looking forward to spending the future here. So far the move has been worth it for the mild winter alone. I am not missing the face hurting wind chills or blizzard like conditions. No thank you.
I won't say that my new job is perfect. I actually miss my old job alot as there were some great perks at the company I was at. I lost alot of perks, however the office is smaller with less patients (I am a hospice social worker in case you were also not aware) so the stress of being overbusy is not there. There are stresses in other ways which I care to not discuss but meeting new people, being able to join a new team can be a challenge but so far has been rewarding. I love most of the people I work with.
My husband also got a new job. He did have a work from home position which is something he will miss. His new job he actually likes better. He likes the people he works with. He likes the responsibilities better. He is much happier. So for him this is a better option as well.
Overall our life in Savannah has been copacetic. This year has had some major changes and has brought a great and beautiful life. I am excited to see what the future will hold. So with that I get into my goals for 2020.
Lose weight and get healthy
Yes I know this is so basic. I'm sure 75% of the people making resolutions have this as their top resolution. I will start out by saying this is not a resolution. I actually started my fitness journey prior to the new year. Let me preface this a bit...
I gave birth to my first child, Aubrey, back in 2016. I gained alot of weight during that pregnancy and it stayed on after birth. In 2017 right after Easter I put my goal of weight loss into action. I started working out at home and drank 2 protein shakes a day. The weight came off and by that summer I lost alot of weight and looked and felt very healthy. The problem was that I got bored with the shakes and started bringing food back into my diet. I kept the weight off but started gaining when I got pregnant with my miscarriages. My anxiety took hold and although I was working out I lost my diet and put on some weight. Here we are in April 2018 and I am pregnant with Claire. I did not want to gain the same weight like I did when I was pregnant with Aubrey so I worked out my pregnancy at OrangeTheory Fitness. It helped keep my weight gain smaller (I primarily gained the weight just in the belly rather than everywhere like I did with Aubrey). I stayed healthier although my diet was not so great. Here we are today in December of 2019 and I got the all clear from my doctor that I can resume my normal lifestyle. I am not yet back at OrangeTheory only because I am on maternity leave that is unpaid and waiting to get my regular paycheck when I go back to work. In the meantime I am going to Planet Fitness and utilizing the workouts from the Sweat app. Even though the protein shakes will be a quick weight loss, I don't want to get bored. I don't like the idea of dieting because they aren't sustainable and I do not believe they are always the best option. I instead chose to go clean eating.
What is clean? It is a philosophy of eating where you are eating whole foods and cutting out the processed and refined carbs and sugars. Think brown rice instead of white rice and whole wheat flour instead of white flour. I eat 3 meals and 2 snacks in between. The point of this post is not to convince you to go clean but I chose it because even though it is labelled a diet, I don't feel it is a diet. It is the way we are SUPPOSED to be eating. I'm not cutting out carbs or milk or cheese. I am eating better quality and sustainable options. Since being on this diet I feel fuller for longer, less bloated, less sick, much less heartburn and just feel overall better. Yes I have started losing weight. Yes i want to lose the weight I put on during and before my pregnancy but I don't just want to drop pounds just to drop pounds. I want health and vitality. I want to feel better rather than blah and not wanting to move. So this year for 2020 I want to be healthy, thinner, and strong.
Get my blog more focused and grow
I feel like my blog has slipped a bit recently. I blame it on the move and being pregnant. I didn't always feel like focusing on fashion when I wasn't comfortable showing how my body looked. Most of the weight was in my belly but my belly was huge. Being pregnant may be beautiful and some women just look beautiful being pregnant. I did not feel beautiful so I lost the fashion focus. I was tired and lazy and did not feel like focusing time on writing. My goal is to get to over 10k mark especially so I can get the swipe up feature in my stories. I want to bring more traffic to my website and get a newsletter started. I don't want to get into the number specifics but I have an idea of how much growth I would ideally want. I plan on spending more time, not get sloppy, plan more, focus more, and stay consistent.
Get more financially sound
Moving out here to Savannah had some struggles. We had some debts to pay off. My husband had to make less for a while in the job transition and had a couple weeks with no pay in between jobs. I am on leave from work and got paid something for disability but there was a wait on getting it approved plus I still have a couple weeks being out unpaid. We have a goal to but a house out here but need to focus on saving money and paying down unnecessary debt. Once I am back to work and my husband has a greater income than his previous job so this year should be a better year financially. Plus I will have more money to be able to invest into my blog and growing my brand.
Of course there are many other things I could try to work on but in order to make this next year be successful I need to focus. If I try to engage in too much then I am setting myself up for failure. These short term goals will help me reach my long term goals.