On New Year’s Eve last year, I️ truly had no idea what I️ was in for in 2019. I️ did know that we were expecting our third baby in late summer, so I️ was cautiously optimistic about the new year. What I️ didn’t know last New Year’s Eve was that 2019 was going to be a year of pure survival and of rebuilding. And of course, a sweet reward after all that craziness that began on August 1, 2019 when our third baby girl was born. Without further ado, here is my 2019 year in review!
Our Year in Review
We kicked off 2019 with a trip I️ was reluctant to take – to Dallas. Not only was I️ feeling my worst with awful all-day nausea, but the company my husband worked for was trying to have us relocate to Dallas, where the company’s HQ recently moved. TBH, I️ wanted nothing to do with Dallas…but I️ went. I️’ll be honest, visiting Dallas made me even more certain I️ didn’t want to live there. I️ am an East Coast girl at heart and couldn’t get over the lack of trees and desert-like, completely flat neighborhoods. I️ made the best of the trip, since we took the girls, and we got to see some pretty neat things while we were there despite how awful I️ was feeling!
When we got back home, I️ flat out said I️ was not going to move to Dallas. A little backstory, we had been talking about moving back closer to home, preferably to North Carolina, for about a year at this point. When his company was trying to get us to move to Dallas and we knew it wasn’t going to work for us, my husband started casually job hunting in North Carolina, because we didn’t think he’d realistically be able to continue to work from the Memphis office when most of his corporate team had moved to Dallas. The caveat was, I️ wanted to move and get settled at least 2 months before Brynn’s due date because we’d obviously have to switch insurance if he changed jobs and there’s usually a 30-day waiting period and no one wants to be uninsured when they’re about to have a baby! A few interviews here and there, but nothing promising, and then April 11th happened. My husband texted me and said he had a meeting with HR. We both knew this was probably not good, especially since his boss (the one who hired him) abruptly left the company two weeks prior and the company had been consistently laying people off. As expected, he called and said they laid off his entire team along with many other departments (the company has since filed for bankruptcy and shut down Memphis operations so it was a blessing in disguise).
As nervous and terrified as I️ was, I️ knew deep down this happened for the right reasons and we would be okay. Okay, maybe I️ didn’t feel like that every day…trust me, I️ had so many breakdowns over this…but I️ knew it gave us the opportunity to start fresh and finally work toward moving closer to home.
The real estate market was incredibly hot at this time, so within several days, we met with our Realtor and listed our house. I️ wanted to be ready to pack up and move when a job opportunity in NC came around the corner. We got an offer too good to refuse the first day our house was on the market, so we accepted. For the next 3 weeks, we negotiated repairs and packed and planned to go live with my parents temporarily while my husband interviewed for the right job in Charlotte or Raleigh. The day before our closing, our Realtor called and said the deal fell through. We were in Lowe’s buying extra moving supplies when he called. I️ don’t think I️’ve felt that level of devastation, well, ever. I️ was 6 months pregnant and if you thought pregnancy hormones make you crazy, imagine how crazy you’d feel if you’re pregnant and have an unemployed husband and the buyers of your house just walked away.
After relisting and waiting an agonizing few weeks for an acceptable offer, we finally got “the one” and crossed our fingers it would all go smoothly. While we waited for closing, my husband was offered a job at his old company (the one we originally moved to Memphis for) and since it was the best opportunity at the time, he jumped on it.
So, we had to find an apartment in Memphis since we obviously had to move out of our house! We knew this was temporary, but since I️ was less than 2 months from my due date, I️ didn’t want to move out of Memphis before then, even if he did get a job offer in NC. We moved into our apartment and thus began a very weird, out-of-body experience for me. I️ was a month from my due date, living in an apartment with no nursery and no idea what was going to happen in the next several months. I️ knew I️ didn’t want to still be living in an apartment when Christmas came, but it would depend entirely on when he got a job in NC, since we definitely were not going to buy another house in Memphis.
Exactly two weeks into his job back at his old company, he got a job offer from a great company that met all of his requirements, based in Charlotte. It was the job he’d been really hoping he’d get out of all he’d interviewed for, so we were thrilled! The catch – his first day was August 12th, and my induction was scheduled for August 1st – so he’d have to commute back and forth for at least a month after I️ had Brynn. We knew this was just a speedbump on the road to better things, and ultimately, it was exactly what we wanted, so we sucked it up and did all the things – started the home search, had a baby, packed our apartment, bought a house, scheduled movers, traveled back and forth to Charlotte way too many times and finally on September 7th, we left Memphis for the last time ever.
On a purely surface level, I️ have been thrilled with our new house – it meets all of the requirements we had for our next home and I️ feel grateful that we were able to find a place that is perfect for our family! On a deeper level, finally living in this house in Charlotte is such a sweet reward after the challenges we went through earlier in the year. It’s also much more convenient to family and the Charlotte area is much more our “speed” – so it’s been a good move for us.
And let’s not forget, we’ve now made it almost 5 months with our newest baby girl and I️ can’t imagine our life without her! I️ was so so so sick my entire pregnancy and some days, I️ just wanted to rush through it – but now that she’s here, it seems like it really DID fly by. Despite the hard days, which I️’m pretty sure comes with the territory of having three kids(!), I️ love seeing how my girls interact with one another and how much they love our newest addition.
And finally, on a professional note, 2019 was very good to me! With all of the challenges and setbacks and not feeling well basically 2/3 of the year, I️ somehow had my best year yet professionally. Not only have I️ continued to grow my freelance writing business, but blogging really took off for me in 2019 and it challenged me in the best of ways to grow creatively and teach myself new tricks, from photography to Lightroom to WordPress tools and more. I️ had a lot of really neat opportunities to partner with brands and other bloggers, and I️’m so looking forward to continuing to grow my blog in the new year! I️ thought I️’d share a little peek at my top posts of 2019 just for fun 🙂
Top Blog Posts of 2019
- Faster Way to Fat Loss Meal Ideas (by a landslide!) – I️ dabbled in the FWTFL program early on in my pregnancy to help me continue to eat healthy despite how bad I️ felt and fell in love with it! I️ have turned it into a lifestyle and loosely follow the guidelines in my day-to-day diet.
- How I️ Survived Going Dairy-Free – Another super popular post of mine and one that I️ loved writing! I️ cut dairy way back when I️ was nursing Blakely, and here I️ am 3 years later, still dairy-free and feeling pretty well educated on living a life without dairy.
- How to Build a DIY Patio for Under $120 – We didn’t tackle too many projects in our last house once we decided we were going to move back to the East Coast, but this was an inexpensive one that made a huge impact.
- Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars – This is one of our favorite holiday treats that I️ personally think taste better than the Starbucks version. Don’t feel like you have to limit these to Christmas – they’re good all-year-round!
- Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges – With 3 babies, I️’ve definitely encountered my share of breastfeeding challenges – and interestingly, it was so different with each of my three girls!
- Preparing for the Back to School Season – Am I️ the only one who actually loves the time of year when the kids go back to school? I️ miss them when they’re not at home, but I️ also love getting back into a rhythm and routine for our family!
- Favorite Healthy Costco Purchases – This is an oldie but goodie! Costco is great for finding Whole30 and other healthy food finds.
- Pinkalicious Birthday Party Inspiration – We did a Pinkalicious party for my daughter’s 4th birthday and I️ had so much trouble finding ideas, so I️ decided to pull together posts showing how I️ pulled off this fun theme!
- Fall Getaway to the Great Smoky Mountains – This was a getaway we took last fall and surprisingly, had a hard time finding info about when I️ was planning our trip.
- How to Organize Toys Inexpensively – This topic was part of the Clear the Clutter Challenge I️ co-hosted last year and was a hit – probably because us mamas are always looking for ways to keep the toys from taking over the house!
Most Popular Finds
- Zella Live-In Leggings
- Salford Kitchen Table
- PinkBlush Striped Dress
- Christmas Jammies
- X-Back Dining Chairs
- PinkBlush Maternity Maxi Dress
- Old Navy Maternity Rockstar Jeans
- Old Navy Maternity Flutter-Sleeve Top
- Ektorp Sectional
- Preserved Boxwood Wreath