Cheers To A Decade: 2010s

Cheers To A Decade: 2010s

 

As the year and a decade come to an end I thought it would only be fitting to do a post reflecting on the last 10 years with gratitude, growth, and acknowledging change.
The last 10 years have opened my eyes in so many ways that I could have never fathomed. I’ve loved, I’ve lost, I’ve grown, I’ve cried, I’ve healed, and I’ve found my faith again.
Over the course of a decade I graduated from college, I moved to a new city to take a job on a whim, I lost love, I found love for myself, I found my life long love when I wasn’t even looking for him. I got engaged and like the 2 crazy kids that we were got married 2 months after our engagement. We left everything we knew and loved and moved half way across the world and I learned how to rely on my husband even when it meant swallowing my pride.

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I learned to embrace every second of life abroad from finding incredible lifelong friends, gaining international work experience, culture shock, the chance to travel to places I never dreamed of. In our first year of marriage we saw Greece, Qatar, Turkey, Italy, United Arab Emirates, France, Singapore, Maldives, and Spain and with each trip memories were formed and we still sit and reminisce about them from time to time. From hiking cliff sides, to late night shisha, to eating our weight in gelato, seeing the tallest building in the world, seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night, late night walks to hawker stalls, dipping our toes in some of the clearest water in the world, and partying in Ibiza.

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We made plans to start our own family and to our surprise we did quite quickly. Our excitement grew, but before we knew it we lost our first little one. We mourned. We depended on each other, we supported each other, we loved each other. And we decided it was time to move home.

We bought our first house together. One that we knew we would love and grow into. We lost more little ones, but we gave so much love to our niece who helped make this house more of a home. We waited and waited and continue to wait for children of our own. And in the midst of all of it, our love and support has grown beyond anything I could have asked for… and for that I will forever be grateful.

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We’ve lost grandparents and cousins and vowed to keep their legacy alive. Not a day goes by the we don’t thank them for the road that they have paved for us and the inspiration they gave us to be better people.

We saw more of the world…Canada, Thailand, Italy again, Aruba, Hawaii, and Australia. We walked across suspension bridges, bathed elephants and released lanterns in the Lantern Festival, we ate more gelato, sunbathed with flamingos, hiked to waterfalls, and took a hot air balloon ride to see the Australian country side. We experienced Kentucky Derby twice and dressed to the nines with some of our favorite people.

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We truly have made an effort to LIVE!

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I lost my faith, but in the last 2 years I can say that found it again. I found peace, patience, hope, and trust in God again and I am blessed to have been afforded such grace.

 

So as this decade comes to an end I can’t emphasize or express the gratitude I have for all of the life lessons that I have gained, for the strength I have found in my husband, my family, my friends, and God. As we prepare to enter a new year and a new decade my hope for all of us is that… we LIVE AND LOVE like never before, we FIND PEACE amongst the ups and downs of life, we FIND FAITH in which ever deity we chose to believe in, we LEARN from all that life presents to us, we FOCUS OUR ENERGY on the things and people that make us happiest, we’re KIND to those around us, we BELIEVE IN OURSELVES even when it is difficult, and we TAKE TIME to be present and enjoy all things no matter how big or small that surround us..

cheers

Goodbye to the 2010s and with open arms we welcome the 2020s! May the New Year bring you peace and prosperity! Cheers to the New Year!

Wine, Whiskey, & Washington

Wine, Whiskey, & Washington

Finding the right time to head to the Pacific Northwest can be quite difficult when you’re spoiled with sunshine and beautiful beaches in Florida. Ideally I would choose July when the weather is much warmer, the chances of sunshine much better, and I can spend time with my dad and little sister for a week. This usually includes my aunts and uncles flying out for a family gathering, taking part in Bite of Seattle where food vendors fill the lawn of the Seattle Center offering samples of their latest creations or the trendiest new delights, and an over all a good time. However, we missed that window this year and instead we got to experience Fall in the PNW.

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One Happy Island: Aruba

One Happy Island: Aruba

After over  a year of not traveling internationally, we picked up where we left off and decided to tap into a part of the world that we had never ventured to before. Living in Florida you would think that the Caribbean would have been an obvious destination for us to have already dove into. Some may know the location we chose as One Happy Island and others as Aruba. Thanks to a deal we found on Scott’s Cheap Flights, we were able to find a flight deal before taxes at about $180 a person/round trip. We had been eyeing the Caribbean for a while and weren’t sure where we wanted our first trip to be. I knew that at some point I wanted to see the ABC Islands -Aruba-Bonaire-Curacao. So when the opportunity to check one of them off the list appeared, we were all over it.

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Rays of Sunflowers

Rays of Sunflowers

I can gladly say that if you seek it, you shall find it. There are always so many things to do in and around our city. Or as my mom says “you all always find the strangest most interesting things to do.” Thanks to a friend, I recently learned about Sweetfields Farm. Sweetfields Farm is a pick and pay produce farm located out in the county,  but it has so much more than produce to offer. During the month of May,  Sweetfields Farm opens up their sunflower maze to the public as the sunflowers reach the peak of their blooming. Continue reading “Rays of Sunflowers”

Happy Hearts, Happy Elephants

Happy Hearts, Happy Elephants

There were so many things that I absolutely had to do while in Chiang Mai. One of the many was visit an elephant camp. There are several of these throughout Thailand. The elephants who are cared for on these properties are often either unwanted, abused, or abandoned. Places like the Happy Elephant Home, where we visited, are known to give various tours in which you can spend a portion or a full day with the elephants and assist in caring for them. These elephants are truly cared for a loved. Continue reading “Happy Hearts, Happy Elephants”

Bucket List Beginnings: Chiang Mai

Bucket List Beginnings: Chiang Mai

The Lantern Festival, also known as Yee Peng, has long been a Bucket List item of mine. I had been to Thailand as a child with my mother, but we had only made it to Bangkok and I didn’t have to many memories that I could recall and retell. Ryan had also been dying to see Thailand for himself which meant that a trip to Thailand was inevitable. As I scoured Pinterest to figure out the perfect time to visit Thailand, I came across several mentions of Yee Peng which is one of the biggest celebrations is held in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Luckily, we had ample time to plan and we decided that we would venture off to Thailand for Yee Peng that November (2016).

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Flashback to Childhood: Singapore

Flashback to Childhood: Singapore

Going back to Singapore and having the opportunity to show Ryan around the country that I called home for 3 years was easily my most nostalgic travel experiences yet. Growing up as a “military brat,” my dad’s career took us to Singapore from 1997-2000. Some of my greatest childhood memories and best friends came from my time in Singapore. So when we had the opportunity to take one final trip before my gig as a housewife was up, there was no second guessing that our trip would be to Singapore.

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