I am impatient; I worry about the future every day. These traits of mine don't always allow me to live in the moment, or appreciate the accomplishments of a passing year. I am always looking forward to the next venture, the next day, and the next fete. When I get impatient with myself, my sister tends to remind me how big of a year 2015 has been, so I thought I would take the time to document and reflect on it, as the new year is approaching.
2015 has been a whirlwind of great things. From November of 2014-November 2015, my boyfriend became my fiancé, my best friend became my husband, we moved from San Jose CA to Mesa AZ, I quit smoking after almost 20 years, we went on a honeymoon, we both started new jobs, we bought a house, we hosted Thanksgiving down in AZ for our families, and we are now pregnant with our first child together.
I have been with my company for almost 7 years now, and am now working as a National Dealer Group Digital Solutions Manager. I have now been with this position for a year, and have traveled to many parts of the country for this job. It's exhausting, and sometimes frustrating, but I have worked my way into a position that allows me to work from home, move wherever I want, and travel from there. This flexibility is something I have worked hard for, and continue to grind every day. The travel is starting to wear on me as I've now passed the 23rd week in my pregnancy, but I will try to keep up until I can't fit in my seat or down the plane aisle anymore ;)
My husband took some time off Active Rain to help w a friends new venture, but eventually went back to reign as king of the company he helped build many years ago. He shines in this role and everyone he comes across is so thankful and appreciative of his help, support and guidance. It's been fulfilling for him to help real estate agents with their business, and he is meant to be in that vertical. I am so proud of him for all of his accomplishments, and hope he knows how special he is to me and the rest of the Active Rain community he has stewarded all these years.
We lived in San Jose CA for two years, enjoying the perfect weather, traveling all around California together, going to Santa Cruz quite often, and heading up to San Fran for a nice weekend away when we needed it. We loved CA, but our bank accounts didn't. It's so incredibly expensive to live in that state, so we made a quick decision to move somewhere more affordable...somewhere we could buy a house and use as a vacation home down the road when we retire. We started looking at homes in AZ, and a few short weeks later, we were on a plane to see about 15 houses in a few short days. We were committed to putting an offer on a place while we were there, so the pressure was on. Luckily, there was no shortage of inventory, and a beautiful home came on the market on our first day of searching. We went to check it out on the second day, and it was perfect. We loved the house, the updates that were made, the oranges in the back yard, and the space it lent. We put an offer in that evening and was mutually accepted while we were at the airport heading home the next day. We got on our flight, with butterflies in our tummy and some disbelief this had all just happened...
Thirty days later, we were loading up a uHaul to drive to our new home in 'sunnier' AZ. It took us 2 days; Bob drove the UHaul and I drove the car, following him every inch of the way. We had movers on the other end to help us get everything into the house, and by Monday morning, we were back to work as if we had just had a normal weekend pass us by.
It was now April and time to really start getting all the plans for the wedding put together and finalized for the big day in June. My mom was my lifesaver in this regard, because living away from Seattle while trying to plan a wedding there, seemed almost impossible without her. Bob and I were about to plan a pretty important party for all our friends and family and I wanted it to be perfect....
My mom took care of the flowers and the caterer/venue/decorations, and my job was to take care of the smaller details like music, photography, designing my dress, day-of-wedding-planner duties and timeline, bridesmaids and their gifts, hotel arrangements, and a minute by minute timeline for the day. My husband worked on things like organizing his groomsmen and their tuxes, writing his vows and writing the very important script for our officiant (his cousin Amy married us). We had 6 groomsmen and bridesmaids with us that day, and the most beautiful flower girl you could ever imagine, named Lola.
We flew up to Seattle to work for the week, but also indulge in some wedding festivities. My sister, along with my mother and friends, threw me a gorgeous shower at Black Bottle in bell town. It was just my style: Nothing corny, just the best of friends, great food and drinks, and conversation with friends I rarely get to see these days. My best friend flew in from Florida, and it was so nice to see her over that week.
Bob and I had decided to get a VRBO so we could stay sane and also have some time to ourselves to just enjoy the week, the day, the moments and each other.
Our rehearsal dinner was two days before the wedding, at my dads house. It was a gorgeous day, and we had it catered by Marination which is a popular place/food truck in Seattle. Bobs mom had planned the food, dessert, drinks and decorations. It was a beautiful party and all our friends got along so well. We were two incredibly happy soon-to-be-newlyweds.
The 'big' day started and ended at the Alexis Hotel in downtown Seattle, and the room was amazing. Bob and I had previously toured the suites they had, and we would have been happy with any one of them. Our room was about 1000 sq feet with two separated areas for the women and men to get ready. The day was amazing. I had put together a very particular shot list for our photographer so she started early and got almost every shot listed. Needless to say, I think we captured some exquisite moments neither of us will forget.
I remember after the wedding, my husband and I went back to the hotel, changed in sweats and walked down to get a street dog (one of my favorite things to eat). We both told each other how perfect the day truly was, and discussed our favorite moments. I don't usually think anything is perfect, but June 27, 2015 was, and I couldn't have imagined it any better.
Our wedding was on a Saturday, and we were back to work Monday, as usual. I surprised Bob with a honeymoon in August, so we had a few months to keep working and look forward to a much needed break at the end of Summer. We stayed at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach, which is my favorite place in Cabo. We had endured a horrific hurricane the last time we were there (September 2014) but figured lightning doesn't strike twice (right?). We had a wonderful time, and the sun didn't disappoint.
A few days before we left on our trip, I was supposed to get my period. Bob had planned a 'swim with the sharks' excursion, that I wasn't super excited about. So, I was actually happy to know my period was on its way! I had him cancel the excursion because let's face it...sharks like blood and I'm not stupid. Our trip rolls around and no period yet...although I feel like any moment it's coming. A week now goes by and still nothing. Bob claims he knew right away, while I was in denial literally thinking 'any minute now!' for a week and a half. We got home on a Friday, and I took a pregnancy test on Sunday. From that moment on, I will never forget what two pink lines mean on a pregnancy test.
A few short days after we found out we were pregnant, we both quit smoking. I had been a smoker since the age of 14, and always enjoyed it. It was part of who I was. There were so many memories and great conversations that started in the smokers courtyard of high school, college, work buildings, outside of bars, and any other social atmosphere. But it was time to put that part of me in the past, and look to the future. The funny thing is that I haven't craved a cigarette since I quit. I blame it on the atrocious first trimester/living hell that kept my cravings in check, and I couldn't imagine a better reason or justification to stop smoking than giving life to our son, Chase Gary Stewart.
Bobby and I were never the type of couple to plan when, how or where we would get pregnant. We also thought it would take a lot longer than it did. We figured if it happened in 6 months, great; if not, we will be just as happy with the two of us. We pulled the goalie in May, and were pregnant by August. I had joked to my mom and sister earlier that year that I would be a waddling pregnant woman by the time everyone came down for turkey day. I may not have been waddling but I was 18 weeks pregnant by that time, so close enough. Ok, maybe I was waddling a little bit...
Bobby's mom and stepdad drove down for thanksgiving, and my parents came down as well. We had a full house w Bobby's parents and Kelan, and we enjoyed every minute of it. We don't get company often, so we are always thankful when we do! It was such a great thanksgiving full of great recipes, laughter, family and memories. A perfect end to a fabulous year that almost passed us by without proper remembrance.
I have a feeling next year will be just as memorable, with a new baby on the way. I can promise we will be busy, but I will make a concerted effort to stop every once in a while and soak it all in. I'll even strong arm my husband to do the same ;)