a review of 2018

By | Atlanta, Heart to Heart, Nursing, Uncategorized, Wedding

2018 was a whirlwind of a year. This past year was definitely full of higher highs and lower lows that I had imagined! I wanted to write a little recap of the year to look back on the amazing experiences I had, and the struggles that I had, to see how far I’ve come. I like the idea of doing this also to get a bigger picture of things that I want to do more of this year and things that I want to let go of from last year.

Major highlights of 2018:

  • studied for & passed the NCLEX and added RN to my name in January
  • started my career as a nurse in February, and made it through my first 10 months of nursing
  • moved into our amazing loft in July
  • got engaged to the love of my life in September!!! this takes the cake for the highest high 🙂

Outdoor adventure highlights:

  • backpacked/camped at cloudland canyon state park
  • car camped at deep hole camping ground
  • hiked to hike inn & backpacked to the AT approach trail
  • kayaked the hooch for our anniversary in June
  • shot the hooch in September for Labor Day (the day we got engaged!)

Travel highlights of 2018:

  • Traverse City, Michigan in January for Blake’s brother’s wedding
  • Baltimore, Maryland in February to see one of my best friends Kat
  • Miramar Beach, Florida in April for a weekend getaway
  • Lake Lanier, Georgia in June for our anniversary
  • Charleston, South Carolina in July as a belated real anniversary trip
  • Danville, California in July to see my family
  • Houston, Texas in October to see Blake’s family
  • Berkeley, California in November for our close friends’ wedding
  • Chateau Elan, Georgia in November as a 24th birthday surprise from Blake
  • Bend & Sunriver, Oregon for a family vacation in December over New Year’s

Other awesome experiences of 2018:

went to a few Braves games

met one of my now bridesmaids who was my preceptor at work!

did the Moon Ride in Atlanta for the first time

went to Shaky Knees music festival

joined a new gym

showed some of my closest friends my favorite parts of Atlanta

saw Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour with my mom

had an engagement party in Houston with Blake’s family

toured wedding venues in California with Blake & my mom

got engagement photos taken in wine country

took pictures of my brother’s proposal in Oregon (congrats you two!!!)

Writing this out has me really appreciating how much good there was in this past year, despite it feeling like one of my hardest years yet. In the effort of keeping it real, though, there were some pretty low lows as well:

  • I navigated what my relationship with exercise looks like as a full time working adult and cried more than a few times about the whole process. It felt like I lost part of myself as I was no longer able to crush it in the gym all the time and felt “out of shape”
  • I learned a lot about the not-so-wonderful parts of myself through my relationships… and learned how much work I have to do in being kinder to others, having more patience, being slow to anger, and being less defensive.
  • I struggled to keep work/life separate and found myself very challenged to regulate my emotions logically after long exhausting days at work where all my patience had evaporated
  • I dealt with real world nursing and fought a lot through the journey of it. Everyone tells you your first year is hard… but nothing could have prepared me for the days where I felt like I couldn’t do anything right. The days where my patients drove me up a wall or were incredibly rude to me or got upset with me for things that weren’t in my control. The days that you realize that nothing is really fair and that the 4:1 patient:nurse ratio is not always a reality, and you feel completely and utterly overwhelmed.
  • I struggled with feeling like there has to be something more to what I’m doing on my days off and feeling lazy/ unproductive with the increased free time that I have. (still struggling with this one!)
  • I spent my first holiday season away from family due to work. We spent Thanksgiving in Atlanta making beef bourginoun and I worked Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Being away from family especially on Christmas was really emotionally challenging.

I’m so thankful for the past year and how much I grew throughout it. It taught me that the highest of highs can coexist with the lows and I learned so much about myself along the way. I’m looking forward to all the growth that is to come in 2019 and all of the exciting things on the horizon! 2019 is the year that we get married, the year that I go on my first international trip as an adult (hello, Iceland), and so much more!

Stay tuned for my next post with a few habits I want to change and goals I want to accomplish in the new year! <3

I want to hear what your favorite parts of 2018 are! What are you looking forward to in the new year?

the biggest adventure of my life… (we’re engaged!)

By | Atlanta, Wedding

Last weekend was the BEST weekend of my life, y’all! Blake and I got ENGAGED! I get to marry this man!!! We had a whirlwind of a weekend backpacking and floating the river last weekend and at the end of it, Blake proposed and I had no idea it was going to happen.

I wanted to share a little bit of the story here for my own sake so that I have it all written out somewhere, and I wanted to bring you guys into the biggest adventure of life that I get to go on with my forever teammate!

So, without further ado!

Labor Day was the day after we had gotten back from backpacking and we were planning on floating the river that afternoon with some friends. Blake had told me in the morning that he wanted to take me on a date that night since I was working the next 3 days and then he was out of town for over a week. He made dinner reservations which is not unusual because we like to go on date nights about once a week usually! I didn’t think twice about it and we headed out for a day of shooting the hooch (for those of you aren’t in the area… we floated the Chattahoochee River and everyone just calls it shooting the hooch!). We had the best day getting sunburned & spending time with friends on the water, but our bus ride back to our cars was a little later than we’d expected. It was about 6:45 by the time that we got home, and we were supposed to go to dinner at 7- but Blake had told me he pushed the reservation back a little and I was hurrying to get ready. I didn’t know where we were going to dinner and then Blake told me he wanted to go take a picture at this surprise spot before dinner since we didn’t have any pictures with us together dressed up lately.

(our last pre-engagement picture together on the river!)

I was rushing to get ready and almost didn’t even do my makeup, but decided to at the last minute… except I didn’t even think about touching my hair. I’m not a hair & nails kinda gal and we have been on plenty of dates where my hair is wet and drying on the way over and through dinner. So I came out of the bathroom ready to go and Blake looked at me and said “what, do I need to buy you a blowdryer?!” and I was so MAD, yall! We are sassy and make fun of each other all the time but here I was all dressed up and here he was talking about my hair (which I never do). So I stubbornly marched back into the bathroom shouting about how long it takes to do my hair, haha. Little did I know that he was going to propose, that he needed to buy a little more time for our friends to get there and set up, and that he wanted my hair to look good for pictures cause he knew I’d be mad about it later.

I finished doing my hair and kept joking about how mad I was at Blake the whole car ride over. And also asked who was going to take our picture at this place which he just nonchalantly blew off and said that he would get some good pictures. When we got there, I wasn’t suspecting anything because Jackson Street Bridge has a pretty view of the Atlanta skyline and lots of people take pictures there.

We got to the middle of the bridge and I turned to Blake and asked who was going to take our picture and then he started telling me that one day that he was in LA the previous weekend that he had flown up to SF to see my family…. and ask them their permission to marry me! By this point I was freaking out and making all sorts of noises and thought I was going to start bawling. I honestly can’t remember much of what he said after that because then he was down on one knee asking me to marry him and it was like the whole world just slowed down in that moment. I was SO surprised!! And said YES! He turned me around and showed me two of our friends who were across the bridge the whole time getting pictures which was so sweet of them.

And then we got to all head to a brewery together to celebrate with a few friends that he had gotten together which was the best and I’m so glad that he planned that. The whole drive over to the brewery I kept asking him to repeat the story about how he asked my family because that meant so much to me that he flew there to spend time with them and get their blessing.

It was the biggest & best surprise of my life, and I am so excited to marry my best friend & favorite human. We are going to build an amazing life together and I can’t wait for the adventure to continue. (Also have to throw this in there that he absolutely nailed the ring! It’s the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen).

So, that’s the story! I’m getting MARRIED! Thank you to everyone for loving on us this past week- it has been overwhelming in the best kind of way.

Cheers to forever!