Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2014 and hello 2015!

The New Year always brings with it an opportunity for reflection as well as a time to look ahead towards the future.

While 2014 did have some lower points, such as my husband being away from home for over 1/3 of the year due to TYD's and his current deployment, overall it has been a pretty good year.
  • Early in the year, I said goodbye to my twenties as I turned 30 years old less than two weeks into 2014.  And it didn't bother me one bit!
  • Our daughter quickly mastered crawling and moved on to cruising, took her first solo steps at 9 months old before she began full-blown walking on her own at 10 months old, and turned one year old this summer.  She is now running all over the place and climbing onto everything.  She is also learning new words day after day and trying to her best to begin speaking in sentences.
  • My husband and I hit new milestones in our relationship and saw our 3rd wedding anniversary in April, celebrated 7 years as a couple in October, and most notably passed the 10 year mark of when we first met and became friends in August.
  • I received a promotion at my job in July (my second there in less than two years) and finally feel like I'm beginning to forge an actual career for myself.
  • My husband and I became more involved in our church and began volunteering, putting some of our talents to use to assist the church.  We started to develop relationships with many of the people on staff there and feel more at home.

For 2015, I definitely have some goals set, not only for myself but for my family as well.
  • When my husband returns home, I would like for the two of us to spend more time together and work on bettering our relationship.  I do not believe our relationship is bad by any means, but we have definitely shifted the focus from the two of us and moved our priorities to our daughter and our careers.  We do plan to take a vacation together, just the two of us, in order to have some alone adult time and get that honeymoon we never took.  But more than that, we need to actually schedule date nights at least once a month, bringing in a babysitter for our daughter in order to have that time together.  Since Abby was born summer 2013, my husband and I have only been out on about 4 dates without her.
  • I would like to lose the final 10 pounds of baby weight I have been hanging onto for the last year and a half.  I have managed to knock off about 4 of those pounds in the last month or so after some dietary adjustments.  While I would certainly like to lose closer to 20 pounds in total, just getting back down to my pre-baby weight would be wonderful!  Before getting pregnant, I was beginning to feel a lot more comfortable with my body thanks to the 5 workouts a week I was putting in while my husband was deployed in 2012.  The biggest thing for me is getting back into a consistent workout routine, which is hard to do when (temporarily) solo parenting a toddler and working a job that typically requires 45-50 hours a week.  As I found the last time I was working out consistently, as long as I keep at it, the pounds will come off slowly & steadily, which is the best way to maintain the loss.
  • Work on becoming more focused on the task at hand in an effort to not become quite so overwhelmed with everything on my to-do list, especially when it comes to work and my ever increasing list of responsibilities as I grow in my position.
  • Apply to graduate school in order to begin working on getting an MBA.

While I'm not fond of the fact that one of the items on my list for the year includes losing weight (so stereotypical of New Year's resolutions), it really is part of a total picture to become a healthier and happier version of myself.  I spend so much time focused on others that I forget about myself until I hit a breaking point.  That needs to change.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

The day after Christmas is as good of a day as any to pick this blog back up, right?  While I did have a pretty good Christmas Day, it certainly wasn't the happiest of days.  Remember that post I shared about six months ago mentioning a possibility of my husband deploying?  He wasn't selected for that mission (which is good, as the hypothetical four-month time frame which was being tossed around turned into one year).  But he was picked up for another one which saw him leave ahead of the holidays for six months.

My daughter and I spent Thanksgiving Day home alone with our pups.  I prepared a scaled-down version of Thanksgiving dinner, complete with usual dishes such as stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, and Abby's great grandmother's sweet potato casserole.

Before we found out about the possibility of my husband deploying, we had planned on traveling to see family for Christmas ahead of the holiday, returning on Christmas Eve in order to have Christmas morning in our own home, so that Abby could see what Santa brought her under her own tree after waking up from her own bed.  While I know she's still too young to remember it at 18-months old, I really wanted to begin our own Christmas traditions as a family.

Once the deployment orders were handed down, I immediately thought about just staying home for Christmas, but my husband insisted that I still follow through with the plans we had laid out to visit with his family in Georgia and Tennessee.

While traveling solo with a toddler was no easy feat, I'm very glad that I stuck to our original plans and made the trip to spend time with my in-laws.  She got to see her great grandparents, great aunts, one set of grandparents, and two of her aunts.

This wasn't my daughter's first time traveling on an airplane, however I was much more nervous about this trip than I was her first.  First off, I was traveling alone, unlike last year when my husband was with me to assist.  Secondly, Abby's first time flying was last Christmas when she was 6-months old, so I was able to count on her passing out shortly after receiving a bottle on take-off.  This time around, she's much more active and strong-willed.  I wasn't sure that I'd be able to contain her in my lap, let alone get her to be calm and quiet for the duration of the flights from Texas and back home.  Thankfully, she slept for half of the flight out of town (and was reasonably well-behaved and quiet for the second half), and she slept like a rock for the entire flight back home.

Christmas morning proved to be very exciting, with the slew of presents Abby received from Santa and all of her grandparents, aunts and uncles.  She is one very loved little girl.  I just hope she doesn't get used to getting so many presents each year!

The only presents under (or around) that tree that weren't for Abby were just a few gift card envelopes.

She had such a fun time opening her presents that she wore herself out pretty quickly, and I actually had to coax her to open her final few gifts, as she just wanted to curl up on the floor and rest.

It really was an enjoyable Christmas.  And thankfully my husband was able to call a couple times during the day, so I got to hear his wonderful voice.  I just wish he could have been home to share the day with us.

I hope everyone else is having a great holiday season and has a terrific New Year!