If there’s one thing that I feel like I always must do no matter what the circumstances; it is an end of the year blog.  2018 has brought me much happiness and at times sadness and pain, but all in all I can’t complain about that blessings that have been bestowed upon me.  I’ve never been the “new year, new me” kind of girl and if you know me sometimes I just set my mind to something and then eventually it gets done.  I quit biting my nails that way one random day and the same thing with quitting drinking pop.  

2018 started challenging me right off the bat because at the end of 2017 it was determined that I was going to have to get a steroid shot in my back to help with the sciatic pain that wasn’t going away from October’s injury and the physical therapy.  That was originally scheduled for January until a huge snowstorm hit and the hospital decided to shut down outpatient services on the day I was scheduled to have my shot.  Which brought me a few more weeks of physical therapy and then on Valentine’s Day I received my shot.  I remember it like yesterday because I was afraid that I was going to lose feeling in my legs.  You know all that hype that they tell you that could happen if something goes wrong…my mind always thinks about weird things like that.  My pulse in the procedure room, however, was a whopping 48.  They asked me if I did a lot of cardio exercise or if I were a runner because that is typical.  This made me feel better about everything that was going on.  

In February, James turned 33 and we celebrated by visiting Punsxy the night before Groundhog’s Day which was pretty cool actually.  The winter can be such a “blah” time of year but we sure know how to make it more bearable.  When it was -2 degrees we went out to the Quehanna wild area and explored around as well.  I am not a winter fan, but I do love nature.  

In April we took a trip out to Chicago to see my brother and sis in law and Logan so they could meet James finally and it was a great trip.  James got to see the city for the first time and we had a good visit.  Family means a lot to both of us so it is always time well spent.  

In May, I turned 28.  It still seems crazy to me that I am 4 years removed from graduate school and 10 years removed from high school!  I still feel like I should be running around those Curwensville halls but instead I’m telling kids to walk instead of run at Juniata Elementary.  Haha.  In May I also did my second half marathon which was in Pittsburgh.  Not only was I expecting to not be able to do this because of injury, but I was not looking forward to possibly injuring myself again.  However, it turned out just fine and I’m signed up for Pittsburgh in May 2019 again!

The summer is always a blur to me but I did go on family vacation with the Tarbay’s which was fun.  The beach is my absolute favorite place to be and soaking up the sun is exactly what I needed.  I am always down for a beach trip.  This summer I also worked three or so days a week for the Agency on Aging.  I LOVED it.  I went to visit people in their homes and did assessments.  The joys of spending time with the older generation when you are used to the very young generation was a welcome change for the summer.  I enjoyed all of the people that I met and those I got to help as well.  I am definitely planning on returning the summer of 2019 as well.  Summer was also full of auctions, travels to see my mom, go to Pittsburgh, etc. 

August I went back to school/work for my fifth year which is totally crazy to me.  It seems like there can be no possible way that it can be my fifth year.  I’ll take it though.  I love my job and the craziness that comes with it (for the most part lol).  

In September, James and I celebrated one official year of dating and we took a trip to Niagara Falls in Canada to celebrate.  It was a great weekend and James got to experience Ellicottville, NY as well.  My life has been changed so much more for the better in knowing him.  Even though sometimes it can be scary worrying about what may come or may be when it comes to his health; we treat everyday like a new day and we love even harder because of it.  My thoughts about CF and ways to give back led me to come up with Pouches of Positivity which is care packages for CF patients staying in the hospital in Pittsburgh.  I’m sure if you have read my correspondence at all, you have seen something about it.  It has turned into a great way to give back and I can’t wait to see what 2019 holds for it (and hopefully getting 501c.3 status!).  

October was the month everything was changing and lots of good things happened.  James asked me to marry him on the 11th, my dad’s birthday, and it was great having most of our families present for the occasion.  He was so thoughtful in the proposal and the ring as well and we are excited to start wedding planning this upcoming year for a date we haven’t picked yet (but will get to).  A week after the proposal we signed the closing papers on our house!  We have moved in slowly and it has been great to make a home.  There’s still so many things that we want to do, but it so nice having someone that has the same vision as you.  All of my life I have wanted something like this.  I wasn’t willing to settle for just someone to spend time with.  They say you will know when you find “the one” and I think I have found that for sure for me.  James has done great things for me.  

November and December even though they haven’t been too long ago have been busy months with holidays, visiting family, seeing friends, etc.  I love the holidays for seeing people you haven’t seen in a long time and just getting into the spirit.  There was a time when my parents first divorced where the holidays felt empty, but that has been replaced with a better version of family Christmas and getting to see everyone even if it isn’t on the same day or in the same place.  I have been welcomed into James’ family as well and have gotten a set of grandparents that I never had growing up as they all passed before I was born.  

As for 2019…I look forward to a lot.  I look forward to growing in my training in the fire company for better being able to serve others.  I look forward to photographing families, kids, weddings, etc.  I look forward to my nephew turning 2.  I look forward to continuing to build our home and planning a wedding.  I look forward to James turning 34.  I look forward to all the adventures we are going to have.  I look forward to spending time with family.  I look forward to kicking the half marathon’s butt.  I look forward to other races and other challenges.  I look forward to watching Pouches of Positivity grow.  I look forward to it all.  

Happy 2019.  May it be blessed, happy, and healthy.