Posts Tagged ‘dreams’

Happy New Year!

Wait, what?

I can’t believe we’re in 2016 already!

2015 just started, didn’t it?

I can’t believe how quickly 2015 has come and gone, and I can’t believe what an AMAZING year it has been!!!

It really is true how life can change in the blink of an eye.

Here are just a few of the highlights from this unforgettable year:

Caribbean Cruise!
If you’ve read my blog, you know I LOVE travel, and part of my travel bucket list was to do a Caribbean Cruise with my husband.

Well, at the beginning of 2015, our travel dreams came true!


We boarded the Carnival Valor and took to the seas to soak in all of the wonder and breathtaking beauty of the Caribbean!
It ranks right up there as one of my favorite trips!

Check out our adventures here!

Taking the Leap into Wedding Anniversary #5!
My husband and I celebrated our 5th Wedding Anniversary in August.

Ever since we were married in 2010, we talked about doing something fun for our 5th, and we threw around some ideas…you know…like a romantic road trip, or wine tasting…or exiting an airplane and freefalling 13,000 feet above the earth!!!

As our 5th anniversary approached, hubby brought up the idea of skydiving again.

Even though I skydived over 10 years ago in New Zealand, I wasn’t sure if I was daring enough to do it again. I mean, I was younger, single, and taking an “adventure” tour of the island with likeminded people. I went to New Zealand seeking out the thrill of life.

10 years later, I’m still adventurous, but in a different way.  Falling out of an airplane wasn’t really something I needed to do again..but hubby hadn’t experienced the thrill I always raved about.

Well, as the date approached, I decided that life was too short, and this opportunity may not come around again, so after 5 years of wedded bliss, we decided to take the next big step!

Stay tuned for an in-depth review of our thrilling anniversary!


Home Sweet Home!

At the beginning of summer, my husband and I decided that it was time to start looking for a house. We lived in our 1 bedroom 1 bathroom cozy condo for over 5 years, and it was time to find something a little bigger because we knew that eventually, our adoption dreams would come true, and we would need an extra bedroom.

What an adventure in home buying it was! Who knew it could be so difficult! It seemed like we weren’t the only ones in search of a new home, and these buyers meant business!

Our first offer was on this beautiful home in a perfect neighborhood…it was a dream house!  We made an offer at asking price confident that we would be homeowners soon!

To our dismay, there were several other offers made that were way above the asking price. The owners countered our offer and requested $20,000 MORE than what we offered!


Talk about rude awakening! Unfortunately, we couldn’t meet their offer, so with a bitter taste in our mouth, we continued looking.

What we soon realized was that if the house was a family trust, then they don’t really care who you are…they just want the biggest and best offer, and that’s that!  Even our “About Us” letters that we sent to the families did nothing in swaying their decision. Every family trust offer we made was outbid by other buyers, and we lost out on all of them. Very disheartening.

The months dragged on, and every weekend was spent with our patient realtor searching for homes – everything from houses in almost perfect condition to houses that were still stuck in the 60’s!

After walking away from a house we made an offer on only to discover the myriad of problems, we came across 2 houses that we knew we couldn’t pass up.

House #1 was in a nice neighborhood across the street from a quaint school and walking distance to a mall. It wasn’t move-in ready and needed lots of work, but we could see ourselves there. And it wasn’t a family trust – bonus!!!

House #2 was a beautiful ranch style home in a quiet neighborhood. It wasn’t located near too many stores, but it was almost ideal in every way. The only thing I didn’t like was that the back fence backed up into an apartment complex.

After waiting anxiously for an answer, our offer on house #1 was accepted, and we happily made the decision that yes, that was our home!

We decided not to wait on an answer for house #2, and in mid November, we officially made this cute house our home!

home sweet home!


Boy Oh Boy!

Five days after getting our house and 2 days before Thanksgiving, we got a phone call that we’ve been waiting for for over 4 years…and it changed our lives overnight!

And I mean overnight!!!

Our adoption lawyer informed us that there was a newly born baby boy in the hospital who needed a home…by the next day!

Usually adoptive parents meet with the birth parents a few months before the birth, but in our case, little Samuel had already arrived!

So with much excitement, we met with our lawyer and the birth parents that night, and after a positive, yet emotional evening, the birth parents chose us to be Samuel’s parents!

Early next morning, my mother and I raided Target and filled our carts with everything Samuel needed!

What a thrilling morning it was!

At noon, my husband and I arrived at the hospital, and by 3:00pm, we were holding our new son in our arms!

Talk about a Thanksgiving to remember!!!


Since November, it has been a nonstop roller coaster of new house renovations, packing and moving into the house, adjusting to instant parenthood, rearranging our lives and finding balance between it all!

Now that everything is falling into place and we’ve adjusted into our new normal, it’s nice to sit down, take a few minutes and just marvel at what an amazing and blessed year it has been!

I look forward to writing about the new adventures ahead: Adventures in parenthood, home ownership, owning my own business, balancing life, and yes, traveling with our bundle of joy!

I hope you join me for this exciting ride into 2016 and beyond!

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So on July 11th, I turned 39, & it wasn’t as painful as I anticipated!  As a matter of fact, it was quite liberating to leave 38 in a cloud of smoke way behind me.  38 was my time to make some big changes in my life, but alas…it wasn’t meant to be.  I could either beat myself up over it or start anew, and so I’ve decided to start fresh during the last year of my 30’s.

Don’t get me wrong, some good things did happen while I was 38:

  • I enjoyed a wonderful second year of marriage with my hubby.
  • My best friend got married…and recently had a baby!
  • I started this blog.
  • My hubby and I had a great trip to New York, Washington D.C. and Virginia
  • We repainted the bathroom and added some great accent pieces…looks 100% better!
  • My husband’s two cousins had a baby each.
  • The Olympics!  How amazing was that?
  • I volunteered at a soup kitchen…very rewarding experience.

Since 39 is my age to accomplish things that I’ve put on the back burner, I’ve decided to make a list of 39 goals I want to achieve before turning the big “4-0.”

So here it is…my list in no chronological order:

  1. Get 10 photos or vector art accepted in per month.  It’s harder than it sounds.  Shutterstock only takes the cream of the crop, and although it can be frustrating to be rejected, it’s just further motivation for me to do my best and provide my best work.  I started contributing to Shutterstock about 6 years ago, and not only is it fun, but it provides a little side income which helps in my goal of telecommuting.
  2. Work in the travel industry.  Working in an industry that I love would be a dream come true!
  3. Learn how to be fit while having an injured knee.  I used to love going to the gym until I started having pain in my knees.  I’ve learned that pushing myself to the max is not always a good idea.   So now I’m trying to figure out what exercises I can do to strengthen my knee and maintain what’s left of my figure.  It’s very frustrating, but I plan on finding a way to still be active.
  4. Start a family.  God willing!
  5. Have a travel article published.  I’ve only been saying this for the past 8 years.  I think it’s time!
  6. Declutter & simplify.  Gosh I look around my place, & there are so many things that I just don’t use, but I’m sure there are people out there who could find value in it.  So Goodwill, here I come!
  7. Walk a 5K.  Luckily my bum knee hasn’t totally put me out of commission.  Thank goodness I can still walk!  Although I’d love to run a 5K, I will just walk my heart out instead!
  8. Learn a new vegan recipe every month.  For inspiration and ideas, I will consult my favorite website,
  9. Get over my fear of cooking meat.  My fear is that I don’t cook the meat thoroughly enough and then either I or someone else will get violent food poisoning.  Maybe that’s why the vegan lifestyle interests me!  I have cooked meat before, but it’s usually charred, black & extra crispy!  lol!  And so that’s why #10 is so important…
  10. Take a cooking class.  I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile now.  It’ll be fun to learn techniques and get over some fears I have about cooking meat.  Maybe I’ll even be able to wow the hubby in the kitchen!
  11. Work through body image issues.  They’ve only gotten worse since my knee injury.  I need to be more understanding and realize that I’m not in my 20’s anymore, and that my body doesn’t respond as kindly as it once did to the exercises I enjoyed in my early years.
  12. Volunteer more.  I always say this, and my heart is in the right place, but I need to put my words into practice.
  13. Redo our balcony.  We’ve talking about this for the past 1.5 years.  The goal is to put up some kind of wood canopy and decorate it with beautiful plants.  Right now there are 4 chairs, 1 small table, 1 bbq, 1 dying tomato plant & 1 small grape vine.  It needs help…badly!
  14. Clean out computer.  I need to organize photos, files & folders and delete old emails.
  15. Go to dentist.  My teeth need some love!
  16. Count my blessings.  Even though 38 wasn’t the best of ages, I have many things to be thankful for, and I need to stop and remember all of those reasons.
  17. Grow out my hair.  It’s getting there, but when I turn 40, I want long, luxurious hair…like in those shampoo commercials!  Then I’ll probably get frustrated when I try to style it & want to go back to my bob!
  18. Take more time to pray.  Sometimes my life goes a million miles a minute that I forget to pray.  That needs to change.
  19. Look forward to 40!  And why not?  I get another year to enjoy this world.  40 is the new 30, after all.
  20. Go to Hawaii.  Yes, it’s a goal!  I’ve been there once, but it’s time to go again.  Give me that island fever!
  21. Don’t stress over not having a clean house all the time.  I would love to have one of those model homes where nothing is out of place…but how realistic is that?  After getting married, it seemed like there was twice as much stuff to put away or clean, and when I come home from work, the last thing I want to do is clean!  When I have the energy or time, yes, I will tidy up, but I need to stop stressing about every little thing that’s out of place…or I will go crazy!
  22. Write more in my blog.  I love to write, but sometimes I just don’t have the time or I’m lacking inspiration…or maybe I’m just cleaning the house!  haha  🙂   (see #21)
  23. Finally start my Italy travel scrapbook.  I’ve got the photos and all the cute scrapbook materials…so why haven’t I started my scrapbook that I intended on doing almost 5 years ago?  No clue!! But now is the time!
  24. Finish a website I started 1.5 years ago.  What is it with me and procrastination?  If there was a set due date, you better believe it would be done early!  NO excuse though…I need to finish it!
  25. Continue to update my Graphic  Design skills.  Technology is always changing, and luckily that’s something I keep on top of.
  26. Try hot yoga.  I’m a little nervous because of the intense heat, but someone mentioned that it could help my sore joints…so hot yoga here I come!
  27. Have more dinner parties.  We usually go to other relative’s houses for family gatherings since our place is so small…but small can be kinda cozy.  So next dinner party – Mom’s birthday in October!
  28. Take more photos!  I love photography, but lately I haven’t really indulged my camera like I used to.  Even if it’s a drive to downtown, there’s always something to be photographed!
  29. Prepare lunches the night before.  I love to hit snooze every morning, and so I’m always in a rush to get my lunches made so I can run out the door.  It would be nice to enjoy some relaxing time before work and not feel so stressed.  With my lunches already made, I can do just that!
  30. Reach out to my friends more.  With everyone’s lives going in their own direction, sometimes we lose touch with each other, so it’ll be nice to catch up with my friends.
  31. Sell stuff on ebay or amazon.  In addition to donating to Goodwill, I also want to sell some products online to make some extra cash for a rainy day.
  32. Know that things happen for a reason.  Even if I don’t understand why!
  33. Go to Croatia!  Ok, I DOUBT that’s going to happen, but Croatia fascinates me, and it’ll always be on my to-do list until the day I actually go!
  34. Visit my sister!  Yep – happening in 2 weeks…and I can’t wait!
  35. Take my daily vitamin…daily.  Even when I press snooze too many times…I can always grab my vitamin & take it at work if I need to.  Diligence is key!
  36. Laugh more.  I used to laugh all the time, but this past year my laughs have dried up.  I can’t let negative people take my joy away from me…so I’m not going to let them anymore.  Just because they’re bitter doesn’t mean they’re allowed to drag others down with them.
  37. Forgive.  Ugh…that’s a tough one…especially for people that do wrong to others, but having that burden of anger on my shoulders isn’t worth it either.  So I will try to rise above it and forgive.
  38. Dance!  Even if my knee bothers me, I can still move other parts!  And I used to love dancing, zumba…anything with motion.  Heck, I used to dance in my car all the time!  Bring on more dancing!
  39. Live life vibrantly!  Life, I discovered, is way too short to not live it to the fullest.  39 may be the end of a decade, but I can’t wait to see what lies ahead, and I plan to live life vibrantly from here on out!!

Will I make a list at 40?  I sure hope so!  Maybe my goal will be to run a 5K next time!  We’ll just see how many of these goals I can cross off by July 11th.

Until then, here’s to all of you accomplishing your dreams and goals!

Speaking of which, what are some of your goals for this year?  (Which is quickly coming to a close!)

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