Hi, friends! It’s my birthday, yay (the big 3-6, folks)! And today, I’m feeling reflective, so I wanted to look back at this last year to go over some of the significant changes, happenings, highlights and learnings. Also, as always, thank you for being here and following my journey over the years.
I’m doing a giveaway at the end of this post to show my appreciation for you, so don’t miss it. By the way, this post will cover mostly the personal side, but I’m going to do a follow-up post on the business side next week.
Highlights from life in 2019
2019 was a pretty good year for me, with quite a few rough patches (because a year can be good overall, in spite of some turbulence). And a LOT of things changed this year for me.
For instance: At the very beginning of 2019, I had a 15-month-old son who couldn’t quite walk and was still nursing a couple times a day. Yup. How crazy is that? And now, I have a running/jumping/laughing/talking 2-year-old toddler who goes to preschool and brings his little chair up to the counter so he can stand on it and grab everything in sight, while speaking in full sentences.
In some ways, I feel like 2019 marked a year where I started to feel more like myself again. I had several years of questioning everything when I was struggling with my hormones and trying to get pregnant and pull back from fitness. Then in early 2017, I got pregnant and spent that year growing a baby and returning to working for myself after a brief stint back in the corporate world. Then in 2018, we bought a house and were getting settled, as I tried to manage being a mom to a non-sleeping baby without the help of family nearby and a husband who was gone a lot for work — like a lot a lot. But 2019 has worked out nicely in many ways (more on that below), and most of that is because of how much I love my little family …
I definitely enjoy motherhood with a toddler more so than with a newborn, but the realities of doing such without local family is still pretty hard. In fact, there were three separate occasions this year when I was really, really sick, and I had to take care of Brady on those days, without any assistance. Dave wasn’t able to miss work events, and well, neither of my two babysitters were available. This may be a side track from the topic of the post, but those moments were low points for sure, in addition to missing my momma, because we didn’t see each other but one time this year — yuck. These “lows” are important to mention, because nothing is perfect, and I like to always bring this up, just in case you currently find yourself in a valley, rather than a peak. We all have them.
But I wanted to break the year down with bigger highlights in my personal and family life. So here are a few things that stand out from this year …
Reflections on a few big happenings from 2019
Free time: I love and need my independence. It was awesome to get a little bit of it when Brady attended summer camp and started preschool a few mornings a week.
This was huge. For the first 20 months of Brady’s life, I took care of him 24/7, and he was only ever watched by someone else if I got a babysitter for an event (that happened like three times total), if Dave and I went to out to dinner, or he was at the gym daycare and I was in the same building working out (after he was 6-months-old, of course). Wow! Honestly, Brady is a huge gift, and I love him more than anything, but I’m an independent busy-body of a person, and it was a challenge for me to be in baby-caring-mom-mode ALL the time every single day, outside of naps and nights.
I never found a suitable day-time childcare option for Brady regularly during his first 20 months, even though I could have used the extra work time for myself and for my sanity. And looking back now, I think it was fine that I did it this way. I don’t regret any of the time that I spent with him at all. But I also know that the six hours I now get most weeks while he is at preschool are so beneficial for us both.
Brady’s school year ends in May, and I’ll be sure to sign him up for a couple of summer camps again until we go back to school after Labor Day. He loves being around other kids, learning and playing with new toys too. And I love to see him grow, get his independence, learn rules from other adults and give me a chance to work on me and my stuff too. If there was ever a win-win for everyone involved, it would be this. (For Dave too, because I’m a much nicer person when I’ve had a little “me” time each week.) Not to mention, this extra time has been great for my business, but I’ll cover that more in a separate post next week.
Finding my mom groove: Getting a good handle on managing my little tot of a sidekick.
You know what else is big? I feel like I’ve got a handle on all things motherhood and parenting right now. The first year, I was unsure about everything. But now, I just feel like I know what I’m doing. I’m sure things will change. And I’m no parenting pro, but we have a good groove. I LOVE hanging out with Brady right now in this adorable squishy toddler-man-hood-stage. He’s so lovable, and all I do is laugh and giggle at his cuteness (in between stopping him from hurting himself with kitchen tools and telling him no every 2 to 3 minutes).
I don’t think I did a bad job when Brady was a tiny baby, because I did the very best I could, but I just feel more comfortable right now. Some people love tiny babies, and yes, they are cute, but I like tiny toddlers. I like being his mom, and I feel like we’re doing really well together right now in our roles. (Fun fact: After writing this post, Brady threw a fork at my head that left a mark and just a few hours later, hit me in the eye with a toy golf club that left an even bigger mark. So even though we have our groove, we are still very much in terrible toddler mode at times, and sometimes I want to run away eheheh — just kidding — he’s my guy.)
My return to teaching BODYATTACK after 2.5 years off: It’s so good to be back to teaching it. And it’s okay to go through a rebuilding process, as humbling as it may be.
I’ve got to be honest, when I stopped teaching BODYATTACK 2.5 years ago, I was pretty certain I wouldn’t return. It’s too hard to get back into “BODYATTACK teaching shape” and it took me too long to get into it, also I gave up my classes in the best time-slots, and I knew that my body needed a break from so much high-intensity work. Then, after I got pregnant, had Brady and was getting my strength back postpartum, I still was almost positive that being a BODYATTACK instructor again was not in the cards for me. It seemed like too much. The choreography, the intensity, the class times, etc..
Well, I’m happy to say that things fell into place. And it happened before I was ready. I only had two weeks notice to prepare to return to teaching BODYATTACK, and boy — it was a whirlwind (even though I had been taking the class maybe every other week or so, but was nowhere ready to teach it). I struggled HARD during the first couple months of being back to teaching. And I continue to work at being as fit as I can to teach the class and model great technique. I’m not a natural athlete, so I have to work for my performance — it’s not just something I was gifted with. But it’s SO worthy of the work. I’m LOVING being back to BODYATTACK, even if it’s only for one 45-minute class a week. I do the whole workout with the class, while talking, so it’s no joke.
Also, one of my personal goals for 2019 was to get more regular classes on the schedule this year after starting out with only one, and I’m happy to say that I’m at four regular classes a week now, with one BODYATTACK, one BODYPUMP and two Bootybarres. It’s a good mix and just the right amount. And there’s a chance I may mix up that class line-up if I end up moving forward with POP Pilates too. (Point of clarification, the one BODYPUMP I have a week now is only a temporary thing for a few months, which just started, but I’ll take it!)
Rituals and routine …
Adding a new habit with meditation: Beginning a daily meditation practice during the last 9 months of this year has been great for me in many ways.
I wrote a whole post about “What I learned during the first 90 days of starting a meditation practice,” but one of the big things I learned is that I CAN make changes. I’m routine-oriented and quite set in my ways, so I had always told myself I didn’t have time for new things. But I do! I love my morning meditations, even if some days my mind wanders and wanders. I like that it’s only 10 minutes, I get inspired, I reflect, I recharge, and I get grounded too. I plan to keep this up for as long as I can, and maybe increase the length of the meditation one day. We shall see.
Other big highlights from 2019
TRAVEL: We loved our trip to Vancouver and Whistler, marking Brady’s first time out of the country (and my first time in Canada), and the first time we took a family vacation for pleasure just because, and not for a family or work event. It was only seven days, but there were a lot of great memories made. Brady still mentions going on the “gondola with Daddy.” I was there too, but for some reason he remembers being on it with Dave only. He still asks to see some of the videos from that trip.
VISITS FROM FRIENDS: I want to go back and redo the visit from our besties Grant and Bre, in which we had the most fun ever, laughed until it hurt and did everything the Bay Area has to offer in just four days at the end of the the summer. It was THAT good. We also had a great time with our dear friends from Orlando, Jess and Amanda, when they visited us in the summer as well. They are the best! I’m SO incredibly happy we have good friends who make the trip across the country to visit us after all these years. It means a lot! Here’s our best boy band cover shot with Grant and Bre …
LEARNING AND WORKING OUT: I look forward to this every year! I took my fourth annual trip to the IDEA World Fitness Convention to hang with my blogging/fitness besties, learn a lot and immerse myself in the amazing world of being a coach. I get excited about this trip every single year and am going again in 2020, of course. It was the longest I had ever been away from Brady, but I was so busy, the days flew by. He was totally fine too, because Dave handled everything with the help of some babysitters, and they had a great time together.
CRAZY GIRL TIME: This was short, but awesome! I went on a 28-hour adventure to Las Vegas with my crazy momma friends to celebrate a birthday and get wild as only moms with a night away can. Sequins dresses, a glam squad, an adult show and all. No shame. We did it up. We’re talking about doing something similar next year, and I’m all for it.
REGULAR SELF-CARE: Okay, maybe this is self-care, or maybe it’s not. But I found a really good nail salon and hair salon this year, after several years of trying to find places I loved here in the East Bay. I get my nails done about once a month and my hair done every three months or so, and I am happy to have great places for them both. This stands out to me, so I wanted to mention it, silly or not. And yes, I almost always get the same bright red on my nails …
ALL THE LITTLE THINGS: Although the rest of these were the bigger highlights, I think it’s important to note that a lot of the great moments from 2019 were the small ones. Quiet nights at home hanging with my boys and snuggling with Rudy. Weekend lunch outings with Dave and Brady at our favorite eatery. And even watching my brother, sister-in-law and parents play with Brady over Thanksgiving on the East Coast. Life is made up of these smaller things, and I have learned to appreciate them more and more the older I get.
That should do it for now!
A big birthday “thank you” for reading the blog giveaway!
You guys mean so much to me, so I wanted to do a giveaway to show you my appreciation. One lucky winner will get a care package with a book, some Beautycounter products, collagen powder and a few of my other favorite healthy products.
All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment on this post. Any comment will do. And extra entries will be awarded if you leave a comment on my latest Instagram post too. I’ll choose a winner later this week and send off the care package next week. Thank YOU for being a part of the blog! Have a wonderful day and holiday, until we meet back here again. 🙂 xoxo
P.S. Here’s last year’s A Lady Goes West year in review for 2018, if you want to look back.
Questions of the day
When’s your birthday?
How was your weekend?
What’s one big thing or change that happened in your life this past year?
What’s been the highlight of 2019 for you?