This year has been nothing short of life changing for me. It has truly been a year of abundant growth in every aspect of my life. In my personal life, professional and spiritual life, I couldn’t be more grateful for this extraordinary journey that has transpired right before my eyes.To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to share 29 things – some facts, some lessons I’ve learned, and some are just on my heart to share with you. So sit back, grab a coffee or a glass of wine, depending on the hour, and lets welcome in age 29 with open arms.
1 – My husband is my very best friend.
I can honestly and humbly tell you that this hasn’t always been a true statement. In our ten years together, we have gone through many seasons. 2018 was a trying year for us, in many ways. But I’m here to tell you, YOU can overcome anything. In a marriage, it is give and take. It takes patience, understanding, forgiveness and a true desire from both parties to want to change and grow. Stay strong, communicate and don’t ever stop dating your spouse.
(In Mexico this year)
2 – I like people, but I love dogs more.
Got to give this one to our sweet Kona girl. It doesn’t need much explanation. She is such a blessing to our life and I don’t know where we would be without her sweet puppy spirit, snuggles, love and energy. She turned 11 this year, and my husband and I started dating when she was 6 months old (he rescued her at 8 weeks old), and she is just the little light of our life. True story, if you don’t love dogs.. we can’t be friends. Only half kidding, haha!
3 – You truly become who you hang around.
Yeah, you were right mom and dad *insert eye roll*. This past year I have let go of some friendships I never thought I’d have to. Toxicity, judgement, competition (unless its sports related, lol), there is no room for that here. I’ve never felt more encouraged, and supported in my life as I have as of late. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and lift you up. Often times we are hard enough on ourselves, don’t let anyone break you down or make you feel less than you are.
4 – Embracing your true self is one of the greatest feelings ever.
As a recovering people pleaser – I used to limit myself in fear of what others would think. Blossoming into the best, boldest and most confident version of yourself is so incredibly gratifying.
5 – Jesus loves you.
Forever grateful for His love, and He is here for you too. Just in case you didn’t know.
6 – Thrifting is my freaking J A M.
I have always loved clothes and style. Growing up, we shopped discount, sales and thrifted out of necessity. But now it is something I love to do, and choose to do. It allows me to have a constantly evolving closet, without breaking the bank. I like trends and all, but I would so rather have something unique and true to my style, rather than the same thing as everyone else. You can find me perusing Goodwill almost every Thursday. I have a knack for searching out quality brands and pieces for both my personal closet, and my Poshmark closet.
7 – Lets talk habits.
We often find ourselves using them as excuses more than anything. But I promise you, no matter how long you have been doing somethings, habits are able to be broken and/or changed. They say it takes an average of 21 days to break a habit. I don’t know that for a fact. Personally, I believe it simply takes intention and active self control to put into action. So make a plan, and act with purpose. My whole life I have said “sorry” more out of impulse than need. It is a habit I am constantly trying to break. I still say it out of turn at times. But I find myself catching it and correcting my statement more and more.
8 – Learn to appreciate the little things.
We live in a world that is filled with sadness, grief, accidents, sickness, hardships, the list goes on and on. But there is always a bright side. The world is also filled with beauty, love, and simple pleasures. Once you learn to hold onto the little joys – it will truly alter your big picture views.
9 – Have goals in life.
Everyone should have them. Big or small, your goals matter. It can be waking up earlier everyday because that is when your most productive, it can be drinking more water each day, it can be as big as saving enough to put a down-payment on a house or car. Whatever your goals may be, write them down. It is proven that we work harder to achieve things when we put them on paper. Repeat your goals out loud – the power of manifestation is so real. Make a goal or mood board, set reminders in your phone or calendar. Whatever works for you, but hold onto your goals. Do things that work toward your main goal. Once you achieve it, set a new goal – aim higher and don’t get complacent.
10 – DRINK MORE WATER.
Just a quick PSA that literally benefits everyone.
11 – Learn the power of “NO”.
Again, I’m a recovering people pleaser, full admission. I have truly learned and accepted that saying ‘no’ from time to time, is not only okay – but its essential. Whether its mentally or physically, sometimes we all need a break. Don’t be afraid to say no, the people who genuinely respect you will understand and not pressure you to go beyond what you need.
12 – Never underestimate the power of a great outfit or a great pair of shoes.
Style is something that has always impacted my mood. True story, I have a true pep in my step and so much more confidence when I like my outfit.
13 – I love to be on my toes.
I grew up a competitive springboard diver and also did 14 years of therapeutic ballet. (I had severe scoliosis – at age 4 my mother was told it was ballet, or a back brace). This has helped me maintain flexibility as I age, along with actively doing yoga for the past 5 years. Both sports also caused me to be on my toes (literally) all the time. So I rarely have heels that cause discomfort. I also have fairly flat arches in my feet – so my feet actually tend to hurt more when I’m barefoot or wearing shoes with little arch support.
14 – My siblings (I have 3 of them) are some of my best friends and biggest supporters.
I am the second oldest child, my brother being the oldest, and I’m the oldest of 3 girls. We are obnoxious when we are all together, which is a rarity these days. But I love them so much. I’m so loving watching us all grow and become who we are meant to be.
15 – My parent’s are high school sweethearts
to this day, just a couple of giant goofballs in love. PDA was a regular thing in my house, and to this day they make me blush but also smile so big because I know how big of a blessing that is.
16 – I love iced coffee and red wine.
Aside from water, those are the two main beverages I drink. I grew up in a soda drinking household, it was literally always on hand. I lazily weened myself off of it to start, but would still have a Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke every now and then. I would always break out, and usually regret it. I finally stopped drinking it all together. Its made easier that my husband has never drank soda.
17 – My shoulder sucks, and it literally always hurts.
I rarely find relief from the pain, and I genuinely don’t remember what its like to feel true stillness. It has taught my many things in life: I can handle anything that life throws at me. God only gives us what we can handle. & What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. I will never give up on treatment, but it is an ongoing daily battle.
18 – Yoga changed my life.
When I found out my shoulder was a permanent injury, about a year after hurting it – I felt as though I had lost all control on my life. I found myself eating my emotions, drinking too much and struggling to handle the drastic effects of my injury. We lived in Southern California, and I began attending yoga on the beach. I fell often (carefully, as to not injure myself further), but I always got back up. Yoga helped me understand that there is many things in life that you cannot control. But there is so much we CAN control. Learn to let go of what you can’t, and hold on tightly to what you can.
19 – I have one tattoo
I have always wanted more, and someday I will likely add more. But the one that I do have is meaningful, and I got it just 9 months before my shoulder injury happened. It is on my foot, and is my life verse. Philippians 4:13 ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
20 – I love grocery shopping.
I know its not for everyone, God bless the modern age of grocery pick up for you babes. But I could (and do) choose to kill time at Trader Joe’s or Sprouts on the regular.
21 – I am blessed to have wonderful In-Laws.
My husband’s parents have always been so loving and accepting of me. My MIL has the biggest heart, I can count on one hand how many times I have heard her complain or speak ill of someone. My FIL does his best to be a better man everyday. He does things a bit differently and often in his own way/on his own time, but some of my husband’s best traits have come from him. I love both deeply and am so grateful for each of them.
22 – The kitchen is my happy place.
Growing up, my dad was often away on submarines. My mom is a good basic cook, we always had food on the table, with a salad or veggie for each meal *still true to this day*. But when my Dad was home from sea, I would often cook with him in the kitchen. I learned most of my flavor profiles from him, and we have extremely similar palettes, aside from his love of cheese. I love to browse cookbooks for recipe inspiration, and then adjusting them to different dietary needs. I have a good amount of old cookbooks from Dad’s mom, who sadly passed away when I was just 2 years old. She was adopted her and her file is sealed, those cookbooks are one of the few things I have from her. I cherish them greatly.
23 – I shouldn’t have dairy.
& I don’t really enjoy it anyways. We would make homemade pizza growing up, and I would often say it upset my stomach or was too cheesy. It wasn’t until I was 22 and got an allergy test done that told me I have an allergy to casein – a protein in dairy. It isn’t life threatening at all, but it causes skin reactions, and really effects my digestion and stomach. I am about 97% ish dairy free now. My stomach can handle some dairy products, but I try very hard to be conscious of what I’m eating. My one weakness: Grimaldi’s Brooklyn Bridge Pizza: not too much mozzarella, part skim ricotta, roasted red pepper, and sausage. DROOL. It is my husband and I’s go-to for date night. Oh and fun fact: we just *literally just* learned that Grimaldi’s is the most award winning pizza in the US, and is an OG NY pizza shop, opening in the early 1900’s!
24 – We love to travel.
Early in our relationship my husband and I realized that tangible gifts aren’t nearly as important to us as enjoying moments and making memories. We try to travel when we can, and as often as possible. My husband is literally the best at finding the best deals, and we try to always go somewhere new. But we have a few favorites that we would definitely visit again: Seattle, always, but I grew up there. Other notables: New York, Boston and San Fran – all amazing cities.
New York, 2017
San Francisco, 2018
25 – My husband hates social media.
But is my number one supporter. It took some time for this one to come around, but now as long as I say its an “outfit” photo, rather than asking him to be in a photo – he is all for it. Gotta get the shot!
26 – I have a chipped front tooth.
In seventh grade I was at a birthday part and slipped in a hot tub. I basically landed on my face, which left me with a chipped front tooth. I got a cap put on it and it lasted for about 15 years. I panicked when it first happened, after all I am always smiling. But now it doesn’t even phase me. Maybe I’ll get it fixed, but then again… maybe I won’t.
27 – My husband doesn’t wear a wedding ring.
3 years ago, my husband was doing a fantasy football draft with friends, and they decided to stop at LA Fitness to shoot some hoops on the way back. About 10 mins after going inside, my husband’s friend went out to the car to get something.. the passenger window had been bashed in, and all of my husband’s stuff was stolen. Laptop, Ipad, and his late grandfather’s wedding band (which he always took off to work out). It was and is an emotional topic. Insurance covered most things, and we have attempted to shop for a new ring for him often. But the loss of his Grandfather’s ring, who was an exceptional man, it still a tough loss. My husband not wearing a ring is confusing to many, but its something I truly understand. His loyalty is unwavering to those he loves. I often get asked if it makes me insecure, and I can assure you – it does not, even in the slightest.
28 – I love my houseplant homies!
For the longest time – I did NOT have a green thumb. No joke, I killed them all. But by trial and error, and a lot of research, we know have 9 varying live plant homies throughout our home, as well as a kitchen windowsill herb garden, including mint, italian parsley, rosemary, basil, oregano and thyme. I’m telling y’all – dried herbs are fine. But fresh herbs make ALL the difference.
29 – Sports are a way of life in our house.
Ending on this one feels widely appropriate, given that football season just began! SKOL! My sports teams vary a bit. I’m a Minnesota Vikings fan because of my father. I’ve always loved sports, and that is something we shared in my family. We grew up going to MLS and international soccer games, Mariners games (still loyal to my M’s to this day). Basketball is hard. I was a Supersonics fan, but given that they are no longer a team, sad day, I am more of a player fan – rather than a team. I love Kevin Durant, and cheer for his success. My husband is a Patriots, Red Sox, and Suns fan. We swear we get along so well because non of our teams are in the same division. Haha.
& We made it.
In 29 years I have experienced many beautiful moments, as well as many dark and difficult moments that have shaped me into who I am today. I am happier, stronger and more confident than I have ever been. The best is yet to come, and I choose to always look ahead – rather than to dwell on what has passed.