Hey there 2019, you arrived quickly!
2018 was truly a whirlwind of so much good mixed in with a little bad; I mean that’s just the way of life though. I keep finding myself saying that the older I get the more I learn and realize just how much I do not know. My hope is that every day and year of my life I keep striving for righteousness, compassion, grace/mercy, and joy.
What a year of change, growth, self-reflection, excitement, and sorrow. I look back on this year and see SO MANY things that happened that It’s amazing it was all encapsulated in one year. Do you ever have a year like that? Where you feel like you have no idea how it all happened?
// I moved across the country!!! It was an insane trip but such an amazing life experience. I almost said once in a life time experience but I did it twice last year (2018) and will be making the drive again, hopefully this year (2019!)
// Charleston had a snow day! Yes this is definitely a mile stone because it’s something that happens once every 20 years or so.
// I rebranded this space from Taking Steps Home to A Loved Life. It was a long thought out decision but here we are almost a year in and I absolutely love the name and new direction!
// I met some AMAZING women who became some of my closest friends while living in San Diego. I learned how important having those intentional military spouse relationships is because they get what I’m going through.
// I shared some words from the heart about God’s faithfulness through my singleness. This was such a cathartic post to write and I still find myself seeing more and more ways that God used that season to prepare me for what I’m walking through today.
// I took one of my blog re-focus statements seriously and share more and more posts on random thoughts/feelings/life happenings. This one was about comparison and I still battle with it & this one is about walking through a desert season.
// I turned 30 and shared my annual birthday advice; it’s one of my favorite posts to write.
// I let go of my blue hair. I was needing to go back to a more natural color for my brothers wedding in the fall and I decided to give my hair a break from the blue for a while, I mean I had had it off and on for at least 3 years. Maybe I’ll go back to it this year, maybe I won’t, but dang if I don’t love having blue hair! (I do not love the maintenance it takes though, and all the bleaching of the bathroom, aka why I’m not jumping on the train so quickly again).
// I found myself walking through a lot of emotions in regards to marriage and I cracked my soul open and wrote the post “When You Don’t Know What To Say“. Far too often this blog/social media world is full of perfect thought posts and not enough vulnerable/honesty/this is where I’m at moments and I wanted to change that.
// Speaking of marriage, I started an “Ask Amy” series and was asked “What is it like to be a military wife?” oophf. This post was an interesting one to write. I was also asked the question “When Will You Have Children” and this is something I REALLY felt compelled to address as I’m asked all the dang time.
// I finally shared that Eddie and I bought a house in 2017, The Homestead, and the dreams I have in store for it. SO MANY more posts to come about this place now that I’m back in Charleston.
// My brother got married to an amazing woman! <3 We had so much fun celebrating their union!
// We had to say goodbye to our cat Tobi. He was my best friend for 13 1/2 years and to say I loved him dearly would be an understatement. I still miss him every. single. day. and I still struggle with the guilty feeling of putting him down even though we knew it was the right decision. We don’t have any children and for the longest time Tobi has been like a child to me. He walked through so much of life with me. I still haven’t updated my blog photos because I love seeing his sweet face in the images.
// I got my second tattoo! It’s the word “Steadfast” on the outside of my right forearm. Steadfast: Firmly fixed in place. Immovable. Not subject to change. Unwavering. To endure patiently.
A steadfast person is one who is reliable, faithful, and true to the end. Paul said Jesus was a person of steadfastness (Romans 15:3-4). James said that trials that test our faith produces steadfastness (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
Travel has just become part of my life for the last 2 years with all the chaotic moving. Each place I’ve been I do my best to just seek out some fun sights and go into it with an open mind! Now that I’m back in my home town I want to go about it with the same fresh eyes and try new things!
// A day at Magnolia. Seeing the place where the Fixer Upper magic happens in real life was so much fun!
// The Grand Canyon was magical. I’ve always wondered what it truly looked like in person and how I would feel staring over the ledge. Y’all, I felt s.m.a.l.l. and it was incredible.
// One of my first stops in San Diego was Torrey Pines! Maria & I took a hike and sat on the beach and we were both floored by how pretty it was. I mean, I didn’t grow up where there were cliffs on the beach!
// Balboa Park was one of the top things people said I needed to experience when I moved to San Diego. It actually became one of my “I need to get outside” places and I really enjoyed all the museums.
// We were able to cross off another National park off our bucket list with our visit to Sequoia National Park (part 2!) and we stayed at this sweet Airbnb Cottage and I was smitten.
// La Jolla Cove, San Diego. GO THERE. Seriously, it’s said to be one of the most beautiful coastal towns in the USA (I mean I’m a little bias and love the east coast a little more hah).
// I hit another National Park with Beth when she came to visit. Joshua Tree was so much fun to drive around.
// Cabrillo Tide Pools, San Diego. These are connected to the Cabrillo National Monument and are a sweet little walk around the tide pools and cliffs and a great place to just sit and watch the ocean.
// San Diego Botanical Gardens was such a beautiful place to walk around and get lost for a few hours. Seeing all the different types of plants was a wonderful experience.
This was an incredibly rough year for my physically. I think I gained about 15-20 lbs give or take and it rocked my world. Even with being way more active than I had been in years with hard hikes and daily long walks it just wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough because I have a bad relationship with food. It used to be toxic and really dysfunctional and while I still do NOT make good decisions I have a better understanding of what works for me vs what does not. I’ve got to really step up and make these changes in order to have the healthiest life that will not limit me now or in the future.
// I made a post about keeping it real and doing better, but I didn’t stick with it.
// Homemade Granola was actually one of my favorite things and I made it more than once.
// I was invited to attend BlogFest which was a part of Idea World – aka one of the largest fitness conferences in the USA. It was an eye-opening experience full of knowledge. I would love to attend again but we will have to see if I can swing the travel!
// For my 30th Birthday Eddie and I went for a great hike, it was wonderful!
My hope for this year is to face it head on and with joy in my heart. I KNOW that this will be a tough year, but with that knowledge means I have time to really focus on the good that can come through the challenge. I’ve set my word for the year (working on that post now) and have found myself relaxing that being a little self-focused (in the good way) is something I haven’t done in a long time and it’s time.
// Practice Healthy Living. MORE than just food & exercise but a healthy attitude, spirit, mouth, and relationships.
// Read 40 books.
// Be intentional in my relationships.
// Grow my photography and blog business.