2019 was a busy but exciting year. It was the year that I really took control of my mental and physical health. It was the year that I traveled outside of North America for the first time. I continued at my current job, where I’ve now been for almost a year and a half, and have continued a freelance art writing gig that I’ve been doing since 2015. Last year I also tried many different kinds of teas and experimented more with cooking. I went for lots of walks and got healthier. I read a decent amount of books. Even though we are a couple weeks into the new year, I wanted to reflect on the year that just recently passed and talk about what I’m looking forward to in the new one that just started.
Last September, I visited Europe for the first time with my husband! It was an amazing trip that you probably already read about in my last blog post that was from a few months ago. I can’t really pick a favorite moment because we saw so much, ate so many good foods and of course, had lots of tea! It was one of my all-time favorite trips.
Also last year, we went to Holland, Mich., to enjoy a beach sunset. I hadn’t been there since I was a kid, but always feel at home in my home state visiting a Lake Michigan beach. On the same trip, we camped for a night and visited Torch lake right before a vicious storm hit.
I was also lucky to visit my friend Shannon in Grand Rapids, Mich., one more time last spring before she relocated across the country to Rhode Island, where I’m hoping to visit her sometime in the near future. We went to some awesome restaurants and a coffee shop where I had a good hibiscus herbal tea.
I go to downtown Chicago 5 days a week for work but it was fun exploring more with my best lady friends back in May for a fun girls weekend of food, an art museum visit and live music.
The last few months of the year were both exciting and somewhat difficult, because I am expecting! If you follow me on Instagram you already know this, but this is my official sharing of the news here. My husband, our pets and I are very excited and I am trying my best not to be overwhelmed and to just enjoy the journey toward meeting our little one. I had planned to start blogging more after returning from our Ireland and U.K. trip, but the first trimester proved a struggle of fatigue and constant nausea while working full-time, so that’s part of why this post is late, too.
Since I’m in this new stage in my life, I am (temporarily) cutting back on stronger caffeinated teas and have been sticking more to green teas (especially hojicha), rooibos and honeybush. I will update with new, prenatal-safe blends I find along the way.
Another highlight of last year was marking a year of marriage to my best friend. The wedding feels like just yesterday and I love all of our adventures.
Also, a few months ago I returned to therapy to deal with mental health issues and work through some stuff I’ve been needing to. It’s not always easy to work through difficult stuff, but I really believe it is worthwhile. I’ve also focused on eating healthier (not dieting, just having more of a balance) and exercising more regularly, though now I am mostly just walking and doing some light yoga. I’ve been dabbling with watercolors and trying to catch up on my reading. These are things (in addition to doing more blog posts) that I’m hoping to continue into this new year, as much as possible, at least until baby’s arrival which will be a whole new adventure that I am also excited for. 🙂
How have you been relaxing and what are you looking forward to this year? And if you have any prenatal tea recommendations, let me know in the comments!