Hello Everyone! Tomorrow is my birthday and I plan on celebrating by going to the DMV, woohoo! But in all seriousness I am excited about the birthday
not the DMV though.
24 was a big year for me, so I thought I would share a few things I’ve learned with you all.
- It’s okay to reboot, you’re still young. This year I quit my job and became a stay-at-home mom until my daughter finished nursing. Now that she’s finished, I’ve decided to go back to school and get my Masters in teaching. My husband and I prayed about it and decided it was the right thing fir us to do.
- Take care of yourself. I want to be able to run around and play in the front yard with my daughter when she’s a bit older, and to do that, I need to get into shape. I’ve already lost the baby weight, which wasn’t much since I was so sick, and now I’m working on that extra bit that was already there. I’m also taking care of myself mentally reading more and separating myself from negativity. (The way I’ve done that is outlined here in my new morning routine.)
- Nursing is hard, but totally worth it. I nursed Elizabeth until the end of her 11th month. It was an amazing experience that definitely led to a deep bond between us. I’m not going to lie, it was challenging, some days it even sucked. But once we got into a groove, it was an incredible experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
- Healthy food can be yummy. I’ve been trying to eat healthier since deciding to take better care of myself. One day, after I made a Turkey, spinach, Sweet Potato Skillet, my husband turned to me and said something along the lines of, “you don’t have to sacrifice taste for health.” Granted, the only reason he said this was because he doesn’t like spinach… or sweet potato… or ground turkey. Since then my healthy recipes have been tastier. I think his favorite so far is my Ranch Burgers, or maybe the Stuffed Pepper Casserole, both of which are super yummy and under 400 calories a serving.
- Loose-leaf tea is soooo good. If you’re into tea, you should totally try out loose-leaf tea. I originally picked some up two years ago from Teavana when we went to Little Rock on a family trip, but my zeal for it didn’t last long. I’ve recently picked it back up when I found some yummy loose leaf at my local Kroger. I drink more tea than coffee now.
- Self help / advice books are not for me. I’ve tried two different books like these this year, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and This is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick. These were both good books with good points that I was very interested in, but I just couldn’t push myself to finish them.
- Trying new food is fun! Cody and I tried Indian food for the first time when we were in Dallas in April. SO. GOOD. Chicken Tikki Masala with naan is one of our favorite things to eat now. We haven’t tried any local Indian places yet, but it’s on our list of date night meals.
- Live theatre is something everyone should try. Eh, let me rephrase. Good theatre is something everyone should try. My sister goes to an artsy school, and I went to their production of Once Upon a Mattress with my mom. It was really good. The next time my husband and I take a trip, we’re going to try to see something together.
- Audiobooks are the bomb. My husband and I started using Amazon’s Audible this year for audiobooks (not sponsored). He listens to them as he works, and I listen while walking the neighborhood or driving someplace. This year we listened to, the last four Harry Potter books, Girl on the Train, and the two books in the King Killer Chronicles. I thought it would be difficult to follow along with something that I hadn’t read before, but it wasn’t. A word of caution: the narrator must be easy to listen to or you will not enjoy it.
- Relationships take work. Ding, ding, ding! This is an obvious one, I know, but it’s something that I’ve dealt with this year. One thing that I pride myself on is our communication, but this year, with his new work schedule and the demands of the new baby, we’ve been a little out of sync. So we started a new routine that has really helped us connect on days that we’re in a funk. Each night we take turns telling each other one (different) thing we love about each other, then our favorite part of the day.
- It is important to have one nice outfit that fits properly. By nice, I mean nice nice. This is the time that most of your friends will be getting married or celebrating big accomplishments that will require a nice outfit. Something classy. If you don’t know where to look, try here. I’ve have a few dresses from here, and they are super classy and excellent quality.
- True, die-hard friends are hard to come by; once you find one, don’t let them go. When you are no longer forced to interact with the same people every day, like in school, you have to work harder to keep friendships alive. Like I said, relationships take work. When you do find “your person,” put the work in. You need someone you can go to and spend time with. Even if you don’t physically see each other every day, don’t let the life get in the way of your friendship.
- FOR THE LOVE OF ALL… RSVP!! You’re an adult now, so be responsible. If someone invites you to something and asks for an RSVP, do it. Food prep, room, seating, it’s important to know how many people are going to be there. Don’t be the guy who shows up unexpected, and don’t be the guy that the host is waiting on because you didn’t let them know you weren’t coming. Also, RVSP at least two weeks before the actual event. I threw a party this year that half of the guest list did not let me know that they were not coming. I had cake and goodies left over for days.
- Don’t compare yourself to other around you. We’re young, and most people in we crew are young too. Don’t compare yourself to someone who you think has it all together because looks can be deceiving. Everyone takes their own path to success and sometimes your select the scenic route that takes an extra twenty minutes.
- Start thinking quality over quantity. This can apply to all aspects of your life, but here I’m talking about clothes again. I love cheap Rue 21 clothes as much as the next girl, but you get what you pay for. Wash it three times, and it disintegrates. I’ve had to throw out so much this year because the quality just wasn’t there. Invest in something that will hold up and makes you look like a million bucks (but it doesn’t have to cost quite that much).
- Being awesome is a choice. Being “awesome,” confident, or even social is a decision. Force positivity, tell yourself that you are great and you’ll eventually believe it. Personal pep talks can be a life line when you’re exhausted and elbow deep in a poopy diaper, believe me.
- If you are unhappy or dislike something, change it now. You’re an adult, but you’re still young. If your unsatisfied with something, your body, your job, your relationships, now is the time to change it. This has basically been my mantra this year. I’ve switched careers and am working out more.
- There is no age limit for YA fiction. I love young adult fiction. They say that it’s for ages 16 to 25, but I don’t care. I love YA fiction and probably always will, so I’m going to keep reading it.
- Adult coloring books are the bomb. I recently bought myself a coloring book. I’ve wanted to try it for a while but kept putting them down because I thought I didn’t have the time, or I wasn’t even sure if I liked to color. Turns out I love it, and it’s pretty easy to find some time to squeeze it in my day.
- Buying baby clothes is addictive. Seriously. I think my new favorite store is Carters. Everything is so cute and miniature! I absolutely love it! The dresses, shoes, headbands, all of it. Even the little onesies. Love it.
- You don’t have too many books, you have too few bookshelves. Enough said.
- You can live with less. Except books obviously. Most people, myself included, have too much stuff. Useless stuff that we can’t even remember why we bought it. I ave thrown out or given away so much stuff this year! It wasn’t “junk” it was useful stuff that I just didn’t need
or have the room for.
- Helping people is so good for you. Giving gifts, time, whatever you can to those in need it is an amazing feeling. People aren’t kidding when they say it’s better to give than to receive. The feeling that you get from watching someone get something they truly want or need, it’s amazing. We’ve went out of our way a few times this year to help others, and it was so fulfilling.
- It’s good to know how to make at least one impressive meal. Everyone likes to impress people, that’s a given. One of the most satisfying ways to impress someone is by cooking an amazing meal. Then you’ll be known as that girl/boy who can cook that amazing ______. Any time there is a pot luck, everyone is super excited to see what I’ve brought because I’ve mastered a few things. The older you get, the more likely it is you’re going to have to bring some food to something, so nail whatever that something is.
Goodbye 24, hello 25. I’m excited to see what you have in store for me!
Thank you for reading my longest post so far. Did you learn anything this year? Share it in the comments below, and Merry Christmas!