I’m not the first person to say 2016 has been crazy and with 4 days left I’m sure I won’t be the last. Through all the ups and downs I managed to maintain my health (and sanity) all while knocking a few goals off the list. Here’s a rundown of the highs and lows:
Z and I officially moved in with my parents. We made the difficult choice to say goodbye to our rescue (#kanerthedog). I started a new job contracting in Chicago. Z started a job closer to where we wanted to live. We set a goal to be in (or seriously looking for) our house by March 2017.
We got serious about our budget and earning towards our goals. The 50-60 hour work weeks started. It was hard to stay connected when we were working almost opposite schedules but we did our best. Date nights turned into books and Netflix on the couch.
We celebrated Z’s 26ths birthday. The long hours continued but the longer days made it more tolerable. I started running and doing yoga again to minimize the stress of commuting. Z and I made sure to spend some quality time with our old friends.
The crazy hours continued but we started to learn how to balance them. I started walking dogs at a local humane society and searching out full-time jobs with less of a commute.
My favorite older cousin got married! Unfortunately, no good pictures survived the fun but it was a wonderful celebration. Z and I started hiking more. We got lost more than once but we always managed to make it back out (I think there’s a metaphor in there somewhere). Work was still crazy but we were starting to see the progress towards our end goal.
My bestie was in town and we caught up over drinks one night and a graveyard walk the next (a long tradition from our high school days). She filled us in on newly married life and I promised to make it out to Buffalo again sometime in 2017.
My cousins and I finally made it downtown for a beach day. Chipotle and selfies ensued. I accepted a job at a dream school for the upcoming year and started treating adult patients in their homes. Z and I kept up our crazy work schedules but made time for more hiking too.
I made the last payment on my Master’s degree and officially became debt free! I started at my new school and quickly learned that my new therapy team was incredible. The long hours continued but Z and I made the most of the remaining summer nights with picnics and walks at the local riverwalk.
The work continued as we shifted our focus to our downpayment. I started my 3 month run of 4 jobs (School SLP, clinic SLP, home health SLP, and ACT tutor). I drank a lot of coffee. Z and I did a charity 5k with the rest of the speech therapy team at my school.
We welcomed my cousin’s baby to the family and cheered the cubs on their World Series run. Z and I continued our annual pumpkin carving contest with each other and planned a day trip for November.
Z and I celebrated my 27th birthday with a day date down at Starved Rock. We caught one of the last warm weekends of the fall and were able to enjoy the leaves and a fantastic gluten free dinner. We also continued our Thanksgiving tradition of running the local Bonfield Express 5k with the addition of my cousin and her new husband.
We wrapped up the year with our usual holiday traditions. Z and I filled our advent calendar with bottles of wine, Christmas movies, and our annual cookie decorating. We spent Christmas eve with his family and Christmas day with mine. We even managed our first Christmas morning (ever) together this year. The usual family craziness abounded including a few Christmas colds, but, at the end of it all, there isn’t anyone else I’d want by my side.
This was definitely a year of transition for Z and I but we made it through stronger and more committed to our goals than ever before. We’re incredibly thankful for all the blessings in our lives and all the support that made our incredible progress possible. Here’s to another year of firsts in 2017!