Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Recap of 2014 and Goals for 2015

This blogpost is somewhat overdue since most people usually share their previous year and/or New Year’s resolutions in the beginning of January and not in the end of January. While I have been loving pregnancy, it has taken a toll on not only my body but my mind and that being said I’ve been having a hard time writing a decent set of sentences. Anyway… last year was a challenging but good year for both Michael and I; and I know this year will without a doubt have its own joys, challenges and adjustments.

Here’s a little recap from last year:

-We moved from New Jersey to Western Pennsylvania in early March which was a huge adjustment for me. The first couple of months were especially challenging due to the fact that I was so far from my family and church. I really missed seeing familiar faces and places; my homesickness was painful and hard to shake off. My in-laws really helped by making me feel comfortable and loved in their home, and for encouraging me through this difficult time; which I’m so grateful for.

-My car Lady Azul stopped working and I became accustomed to driving Michael’s Subaru Forester Jorge. I don't know where these Spanish names came from but they stuck for good.

-Zoe the Frenchie became a part of our lives in March and now she’s officially the queen of our house! Since I haven’t been working outside of the home she’s been such a joy in my life and of course a pain in my rear but I wouldn't change her spunky and stubborn bulldog personality for the world. She’s family!

-After a long and stressful house hunting experience, Michael and I bought our first home in May! House hunting was a challenge but after investing time into looking for homes we were able to pinpoint what we truly wanted in a home. After a couple of letdowns we found what we were looking for and our offer was accepted! We moved in the first weekend of June and have been slowly growing into our two-story house just north of Pittsburgh. It’s been really fun actually!

-We joined a C.S.A, (Community Shared/Supported/Sourced Agriculture) with a local organic farm in Butler that started in spring and ended in late autumn. Subscribing to a C.S.A. not only helped us eat more seasonally but it was a wonderful opportunity to support a local business and familiarize us to vegetables we’ve never used before such as garlic scapes and kohlrabi. Each Thursday was exciting because we would receive a new bag of produce and we’re looking forward to start again this upcoming spring!

-We began attending Harvest Bible Chapel in Wexford and soon became involved with serving and going to small group regularly. HBC has been a huge blessing for both of us and we’re so happy to be a part of it.

-I got to make and consume a lot of homemade dairy-free ice cream all summer long! My favorite flavors were roasted strawberry and mint chocolate chip. Just take a look at that melting shot above. Mmm!

-One day in July, I wasn't feeling myself while I was exercising and began to feel cramps in my pelvis. Because I make an effort to always listen to my body, I decided to take a pregnancy test at the end of the week. The test responded with two faint lines and not being too certain I decided to wait it out because my period wasn't due for another week. I told Michael and he was leaning more towards me being pregnant than not, but I was still in denial. I took more tests periodically and they were all positive. I still wasn't 100% convinced until I missed my period! Both of our initial shock has been replaced with overwhelming joy and excitement. I learned from this experience that just because a pregnancy isn't planned doesn't make it any short of a blessing or a miracle for that matter!

-I became a Titi to the sweetest and most adorable little boy ever! My sister gave birth to her son DJ on August 11th. I am not over exaggerating when I say that I love that little monkey with a great portion of my heart! It amazes me how much love people can have for each other and I can't even imagine how much love I'll have for Lydia when she's here. (I already love her!) Sometimes it makes me sad that Aria and I live such a great distance and that Lydia won't be able to see DJ as often as we'd both like. But we will work it out!

-Michael and I celebrated our first year of marriage! On our anniversary we went on a cruise to the Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Marteens. It was relaxing and fun people watching experience. The highlight of the trip was the hidden self-serve frozen yogurt station by the pool!

-We hosted our first Thanksgiving in our new home! It was a lot of work but thankfully my parents stayed the week, and were able to help us prepare for the holiday and everything came out delicious too. : )

-Michael resurrected my car after nine long months of trial and error. I reunited with Lady Azul just in time for Christmas!

-Speaking of Christmas, 2014 was the first year I broke traditions by spending the holidays in Western Pennsylvania with Michael’s side of the family. Next year we plan on going to Jersey and hope to take turns each year.

Now that we’re in the thick of January here are some goals I’m hoping to fulfill this year:

-Read, study and learn more; whether it’s biblical studying, novel reading or even short stories, I hope this year I’ll fill my head with knowledge, wisdom and information that is most important to me. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in my phone and neglect my brain from getting the nourishment and fulfillment it desires!

-Photograph and share successful recipes that I've been developing on the blog; such as cookies, pierogis, soups and even Puerto Rican inspired dishes. Last year I truly fell short of this goal but I really, really want to make an effort in documenting recipes and capturing them through my camera rather than my cellphone.  I know the more recipes I share; the more inspired I’ll be to write more!

-Go on more small but lovely adventures with Michael before Lydia is born. I know her arrival will be anything but the end of the world, but at the same time she will require much if not all of our attention in the early stages and I want to use these next couple of months to spend lots of quality time with him. I mean he is my favorite person after all… I think going on day trips, finishing up some house project, going to the gym and indulging in cuddling would do just the trick!

-Make an effort to be a friend. I believe myself to be a nice person and all but I've been so reserved for so long that I haven’t allowed myself to make any friends. I know this is something that not only affects me but also affects Michael. He wants me be able to hang out with other women and to freely share passions, interests and ideas with. As much as I love being alone, I still crave long lasting friendships. Don’t we all though? As an introvert this is my goal EVERY year. But I hope that this year will be different for me, and that I can be more outgoing and willing to be a friend to others.

-I mentioned my cellphone in 1 & 2. I hope to pick up my phone less and I know this is one of those things that are easier said than done. It’ll actually require self-discipline! I think that naturally Lydia will help me reach less for my phone but I definitely want to make it a priority so that I can keep her and Michael as my main focuses.

-Write more on this blog. Write more on this blog. I’ll type it again, write more on this blog! I need to seriously make a schedule for myself to follow because whatever I’m doing now isn't working. My current content is totally inconsistent and not getting me very far at all.  I hope and pray that by setting a blogging schedule that I will fulfill my blogging goals and potentially establish more viewers that aren't just my parents and husband!

Currently these are all I can muster at the moment but I’m sure more goals will come to mind as this year progresses. In the meantime I won’t be placing too much on my plate since I’ll be a mom in two months! My goal right now is to enjoy life, continue carrying a healthy baby and accepting whatever challenges that will come after our Lydia is born. I’m confident that this year won’t be easy but all my trust will be placed in God. He will equip the both of us with love, patience and everything else new parents so desperately need. I’m not worried just excited and anticipating this next journey in our lives!

xo, Jessica

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