2017: A Year In Review

With the new year fast approaching, we’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on what 2017 meant to us. This year has been nothing short of amazing, but it certainly brought some challenges for our family. At the end of last year, we had just gotten engaged and we had NO IDEA where to begin with all of the things we wanted to accomplish. So first, let’s recap those goals!

  • Plan our wedding
  • Define a clear path for Kyle’s military career
  • Make a plan for our professional careers
  • Begin pursuing homeownership
  • Get our health/workout routine in check
  • Make realistic financial goals
  • Work on our relationship – communication

It was a short list, but they all weighed pretty heavily for us. The most daunting thing at the time was planning our wedding. It was a constant mixture of excitement and stress, but as you know by now, we did it! We got married in October on a beautiful, warm day. It was everything we wanted, despite the many obstacles we faced getting there.

In terms of Kyle’s military career, his reenlistment will be due in April of 2019. So we have over a year to truly decide on that, and it’s not a decision we can make this early. Kyle will be leaving in the Spring for an extended amount of time, and depending what happens, this will be what influences that decision.

In terms of our professional career paths, we had some huge accomplishments this year. Kyle changed his civilian job to join a different company, and it was one of the best things he could have done. We’re both so much happier, and everything worked out really well. And at the same time, I made a huge accomplishment (about a month ago) with my first promotion at my current job! I’ve been there about 18 months and I worked so hard to be recognized for my work. Apparently, someone was paying attention!

While planning our wedding and balancing our careers, we were also striving towards home ownership. It took about 6 months to find the one, but we did end up in our cute little cape-style home. We’ve been here about a month and we’ve learned a ton about being home owners. Just a fair warning for those who are pursuing home buying: it’s NOT for the faint of heart. It’s exciting but it’s also extremely scary. Between bills and not having a landlord to run to, we’ve definitely lived by the “buckle up, buttercup” moto.

In terms of getting our health in check, this is a goal every year. Leading a healthy lifestyle is extremely important to both of us. We’ve always been avid gym-goers, but this year i decided to kick it up a notch with a personal trainer and fitness classes at a private gym. I was tired of making excuses and feeling sorry for myself after I broke my foot, so I got my ass kicked weekly by a trainer in preparation for the wedding. It honestly changed how I work out completely, so I’d say this was a big win.

Our financial goals went hand-in-hand with owning a home, because we had to be extremely careful with our finances. We had to save up enough for certain deposits, inspections, etc. while still paying our normal bills and rent. But we did it! We saved all of our monetary wedding gifts as a buffer, and we made it work.

Throughout all of this, our relationship was challenged many times. But in the end, we found ourselves closer because of the struggle. We learned to be a team in ways we weren’t familiar with, and we learned the revel in the magic of everything we were being blessed with. I know that 2018 will bring new challenges, as a new year always does. But I know we will continue to grow, even through this upcoming separation. We will spend the majority of 2018 apart, but it’ll give us the opportunity to work on some of our biggest faults and weaknesses.

2018 Goals

  • Decide on how to remodel our home
  • Finish each guest room/decor
  • Continue training our new puppy and get aggression training started
  • Learn to connect through this deployment
  • Save for our end of deployment trip/real honeymoon!
  • Start running again
  • Apply for new positions at current job
  • Continue to grow my independence

So there it is! Can’t believe we’re already here.. what are your goals? Are you making some big personal goals, or goals for your whole family?

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Our Wedding Weekend: Part 2

I woke up early, and the house was already busy with people running around. We headed out to our hair appointment at 8am, and met the rest of the girls at the salon. My mom got done first, and then ran off to the house to monitor the progress. The rest of us got back at about 12, and I started feeling pretty jittery. I gave my MOH and Bridesmaids their gift bags, and I had gotten them all pearl earrings to wear. I opened the gift Kyle had given me, and it was a beautiful necklace with an emerald stone that had belonged to my grandmother. I ugly cried, hard. Since some of the crying was over with, we started on makeup. It felt like time just flew by, and before we knew it, it was 1:30. That’s when things started getting real, and I was pretty emotional.

My mom helped me get into my dress, while all of my bridesmaids waited outside the door. The photographer came in and we rushed through some pictures before we had to go upstairs and line up inside the tent. When I got inside the tent, I could see the outline of people who were already seated, and I could see the minister standing beneath our arbor. And then I could see Kyle, lined up with all of his guys, with his brother beside him. My heart was racing.

Every guest in attendance knows me well, and I know them of course. And I’ve probably walked towards Kyle thousands of times in our lives. His friends are mine, and mine are his. But when that music changed, and it was my turn to walk, I felt the world was moving under my feet. If you asked my parents to describe those next few moments, they would say I “ran” down the aisle. But to me, everything was in slow motion. I didn’t even glance at people as I walked past them. All I could see was that man at the end of the aisle. A man I had waited so long for. He is and will always be the puzzle piece that completed everything.

We had written our own vows, so after our introductions and readings, we got to say them to each other for the first time. This was the part I had been most nervous about, but we both did really well, despite the tears. Then we got to exchange our rings, and we were officially announced as Mr & Mrs! We all went back down the aisle, and regrouped to say hello to all of our guests. Pictures took quite a while, but the hors d’oeuvres and drinks were already being passed around, so the time flew by for everyone else.

Our coordinator had everyone move inside to find their seats, and we lined up for introductions. The bridesmaids and groomsman went first as couples, then the MOH and Best Man, and then Kyle and I. It was one of my favorite moments, as we looked around the room and saw all the people who were there to celebrate us. We had our first dance to I Need You by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, followed by my dance with my dad, and Kyle’s dance with his mom.

The rest of the night was filled with dancing and laughing. When things finally winded down, we headed off to an inn a few towns over to have our “minimoon”. We went all out with champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, flowers everywhere, and breakfast in bed the next morning. Honestly, it was magical and I can’t wait to go back for our anniversaries.

k

Over the next few days, we finally had time to open our cards and some of our gifts. I wish I could say that things slowed down after our minimoon, but we’ve been pretty busy since then. More on that later! What have you all been up to? Share your wedding story/advice for us newlyweds in the comments. Happy Monday!