Updated: Jan 8, 2020
2019 has been an interesting year. I don't really know how else to describe it. Check out this post for more of my thoughts on the year. Some days I think about how great it was and other days I can only think about the bad days. Truthfully, I don't think I will ever have a reflection where I look back and think the whole year was phenomenal, and it seems like that's what I am waiting for. But, I know that's just not the way life goes.
2019 was a year of growth and personal development. You don't have to know me long to know that January is probably my least favorite month. It's strange because I love beginnings and the excitement of something new. Monday is my favorite day of the week, after all! It sounds negative, but I don't like New Years, I don't like my birthday, I find January very depressing and cold, nothing is going on and nobody wants to do anything because of the holidays that just passed. So for any of you that this resonates with, I'm thinking of you right now!
A few things I learned in 2019:
1. You have to look out for yourself. Be good to others, but look out for yourself always.
2. Set random, lofty goals for yourself. And then, see them through!
3. I owned the fact that I am a planner. I love looking forward to events and I know that I need to have something on my calendar each month for my sanity.
4. Mental health is the most important health you have.
5. It gets better. Nothing lasts forever.
6. The company name on your resume isn't as big of a deal as you're making it.
7. What you see staring back in the mirror is nothing like what other people see.
8. I've gotten very good at wedding-ing. Yes, I turned that into a verb.
9. The things you don't want to do are likely the exact things you'll be thankful you did.
10. I LOVE a good sauna session.
11. Austin is not as bad as I thought it was.
12. When it comes to others: practicing patience, giving (seemingly undeserved) grace, praying, and giving people time will likely result in your desired outcome.
13. Our bodies really do talk to us.
14. I did have a dream job after all!
15. Life is not as bad as your darkest days.
Now, let's take a look at how this year shaped up. Starting with January. I began 2019 by continuing the training for my half marathon.
I turned 25 and celebrated by booking a last minute (day before) trip to New York City so I could wake up at 4am to get on the Today Show. Being on the Today Show as an invited guest is on my bucket list. I also really wanted to meet Hoda. It was such a great trip!
I taught my first yoga class ever! I was so scared but guess what? Everyone survived and my students loved the class.
I took a part-time job as an online health and fitness coach for Noom.
And at the end of the month, I took a trip to Houston to visit my aunt and her great granddaughter.
I flew to Oklahoma City to Bachelorette Party celebrating my old roomie getting married. And I got to see my brother, also known as Uber, for the weekend.
My mom came to Austin so we could hear Ina Garten speak as a belated Christmas present. We're big food network fans over here!
I went back home to celebrate Emily getting married. I adore this picture of us.
Then, my dad came back with me because I was supposed to run the Austin Half Marathon, but I got hurt the week before. That was a whole ordeal and very defeating; feel free to read the blog I wrote for more.
I also did a juice cleanse in February.
And the end of the month hit me hard with the loneliness that was living alone in Austin. I did a lot of yoga in my apartment practicing the mind-body connection...
...while I continued to teach as well.
I came home in March for some bloodwork, Valley's birthday party, Paige's couples' shower, and was able to work-from-home and drink a lot of matcha lattes. I may need to deem 2019 as 'the year of the matcha latte'. The luxury of work-from-home policies is something I don't take for granted. I've had it both ways and am so grateful.
I FINALLY met a group of friends to spend my time with in Austin, to include country dancing. This is a HUGE answered prayer for me. Not the country dancing part. ;)
I went down to Houston again for a conference, to visit my aunt, and to see my sister play soccer one last time in her spring game.
My work life has always been in business, therefore I tend to break up the years in terms of quarters; that's what comes naturally to me now. The first quarter of the year is notoriously my least favorite. This particular year was rough, but it seems as the year went on, it got better. I truly feel I grew a lot this year and it all began with Q2. Let's look.
The first weekend of April found me back home for my friend Chelsea's wedding with a new haircut.
I found a particular love of hosting.
We celebrated my friend Kate's birthday by going to the F R I E N D S parody and dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. First time for both and I'd go again!
My friend Paige brought her bachelorette party to Austin and we celebrated our girl BIG.
I went to Hillsong's concert by myself and had the best time. I was actually supposed to teach them yoga prior to the concert, but it turns out they didn't have time. I am so bummed about this!
I said GOODBYE TO GOOGLE! And took my new job (which, spoiler alert: is the best thing that happened to me in 2019!).
My cousin got married in Omaha towards the beginning of the month, so this whole side of my family got together for a mini-missing-some-people reunion to hang out and celebrate!
I began settling into my new job, which includes cake for breakfast, apparently. And now a commute. Gosh, I've got to say it again. I am so appreciative of a flexible remote working environment for the days I wake up and don't feel like battling the commute.
My sister came to Austin and we spent Memorial Day weekend together, doing all of the things! We went kayaking down Lady Bird Lake, boating on Memorial Day, hiking through Barton Creek Greenbelt, ate lots of good food and drank lots of good drink. We had a blast!
And at the end of the month, my littlest brother graduated from high school! From left to right, my high school graduation picture, my sister's, my oldest younger brother, and the youngest brother's. I love my siblings.
In June we celebrated my uncles' birthday while they were still in town from my brother's graduation.
I found quite a bit of time to experiment and spend some time in the kitchen.
I came back in mid-June for my friend Paige's wedding.
And the following weekend flew out to Vegas for a work conference and solo trip. This weekend is also when I began getting super sick physically (which I am still trying to figure out the cause of).
Q2 began looking up despite the sickness.
I celebrated the 4th in Austin with my group of friends. We had a cookout for the 4th and basically lived at our friend's house the entire weekend, who introduced us to hotpot, boba, and homemade pho. I call this my Austin Initiation weekend.
My aunt came to celebrate her birthday. I took her to The Oasis, where we had some of the best parmesan truffle fries. We also went to the Domain to people watch while eating some good Mexican food, and we partook in a few other events in the city.
Mid-July we celebrated my friend Charity's birthday,
and then I drove back to Dallas the next morning for my friend Amanda's baby shower.
At the end of July, my dad came to Austin again and I took him out to Fredericksburg. We ate. And ate and ate. This particular weekend marked one official year in Austin for me. That post likely has a lot of the same pictures (as all of the ones pictured above).
August was a tough month for me. It was the longest month of 2019, having 5 weekends, to which I didn't make any plans prior. What I learned from this, though, is how important traveling is to me and for my health. The month is also when I told myself that I would never let another month go by without having some events on the calendar.
I taught a lot of yoga, picked back up my scrapbooking hobby, helped my sister move back to college for grad school, and spent lots of time alone.
Labor Day weekend I came home and did a whole bunch of nothing. That's really hard for me to do, but very fitting for the given holiday. I drank a lot of coffee, watched plenty of football, took my dad to a spin class with me, spent lots of time with grandpa, and also realllllly learned about my dairy allergy. This particular weekend I got sick again.
My pops, sister, and I flew to Boston for a long weekend. I got to see the Red Sox play, hug my grandparents' metaphorically, and eat my weight in lobster rolls. What a weekend.
Mid September, I took my sister to Nashville for her birthday and we had a BLAST. This recap is coming, so stay tuned.
End of September found me at my first college football game of the season- Iowa State at Baylor! In 2019, I made it to 3 college football games and felt like I was back in those younger years.
October I flew to Omaha again at the beginning of October to see my family. I got to meet my cousin's baby, Octavian, watch Reese coach football, and just enjoy life. I sent this picture of me drinking coffee by my lonesome to my other cousin. The last time I was in Omaha in May, my oldest cousin and I walked to the Starbucks, so it just wasn't the same without her this time.
Mid-October I came home to watch my friends, Trent and Valley, find out the gender of their baby. And it also turned into a surprise twin reveal for the rest of us! She's now going to have FOUR BOYS, God bless her. :)
The following weekend I went to Norman to see my brothers. We went to the Oklahoma football game that weekend for Homecoming! My dad has his masters from OU, I went there, and now my brothers are both there. We Middletons love our OU! Left to right, Fall 2012 when I was a freshman, Fall 2013 when I was a sophomore, and Fall 2019 when Rick is a sophomore and Ryan is a freshman. So fun!
I got super sick and ended up in the urgent care because of all that has been going on previously. Again, more to come on this, but it's a reminder for me of how much I have been through with my health this year.
I celebrated my friend Mengjia's birthday with her. I've also been to this sushi restaurant about a billion times since this day. I. AM. HOOKED.
I went Halloween partying as Mrs. Incredible...
...which was an ode to my prior personality, Edna Mode from Halloween 2013.
On actual Halloween, you'd find me at Baylor watching another game with my friend Kelly!
The first weekend I was in Austin watching the Chainsmokers and it was a freaking blast! The Chainsmokers, Khalid, and Kane Brown are probably my top 3 favorite artists right now. I got to see 2 of the 3 in concert this year and it was incredible.
I went back to the midwest to be in my cousin's wedding the following weekend. I really think one of these days I'm going to do a midwest travel post, because I swear I am there multiple times every year! I ended up staying an extra day and woke up to SNOW. Look, this Texas girl is not familiar with this snow stuff...how do I handle myself?!
In November, I also went to my fair share of Friendsgivings. This is special to me and I'd recommend reading the post about it here.
Also, in November I attended my first Yelp Elite Event. In case you didn't know, I am classified as Yelp Elite. Basically your nomination goes up to the board and they approve your account. It's been such a blast. I actually didn't use yelp until, like, this year. In July, I told my friends that my bucket list goal for the year was to become Yelp Elite and sure enough, I hit my goal!
December started off with my mom and sister coming to Austin for my mom's birthday. We did this last year and decided to do so again this year. We went to Waco to see Magnolia, we took her to a cooking class, and we did a paint your pet event at a spa in Austin. With a lot of good meals to boot, we had a fun girls' weekend!
Mid-December, I met up with the group of ladies that I did my yoga teacher training with. I hadn't seen them in a year and we'd been trying to get together for several months and couldn't find 5 schedules to align. We laughed hard and enjoyed seeing one another. The left is a few weeks ago and the right is last year around the same time!
My company's holiday party was the following weekend and let me just tell you...it was a night for the books.
And then I came home for the holiday week, which leads us to now. I've spent lots of time with family, cuddling with Mitzi, and seeing old friends.
That's all for 2019, folks. Can't wait to see you around here in 2020!