With it being the last day of the year, I’ve decided to take a look back at all the wonderful memories of this decade. I truly would have never guessed in 2010 that this is where I’d be in 2020. It makes me really excited to see what this next decade has in store – what twists, turns and surprises are to come! But I also don’t know how this decade can be topped!
2010 was very exciting. First, we kicked off the year with our first trip to Vegas with a couple of our best friends. We went for a whole week and quickly learned never to do that again! Then that summer I graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Recreation Management and Entrepreneurship. I already had a degree in Apparel Merchandising from Kirkwood Community College, but being able to call Iowa my Alma mater was very exciting. While I haven’t done anything with my degree and I’m still paying off student loans, it was something I wanted to accomplish. One of my best friends also graduated from the dental hygienist program at Iowa so we celebrated our graduations together!
Also in 2010, my (now) husband and I went to a “white trash” Christmas party thrown by one of his best friends. We all went out to a bar to sing karaoke after the party. My husband used to love singing karaoke and had his normal go-to songs. This time he started singing “My Girl” by The Temptations. I turned to the girl next to me and said “I’ve never heard him sing this one before!” All of the sudden I turned around and there was a white box with a ring in it floating in front of me! He asked me to marry him! I had a fake pregnant belly (balloon up my dress) and tried to hug him and had to pull the balloon out. And that’s the story of how we got engaged!
2011 was more low key. I kicked off the year with my second trip to Hawaii with my (then) soon-to-be in-laws. Lots of my friends got married. There was just a lot to be grateful for and celebrate in 2011! I also took all of 2011 to plan for our upcoming wedding!
2012 was another exciting one. Between wedding planning, bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, it was a very fun year. Right before our wedding my husband and I took our first trip to Disney World together, and a couple weeks before we got married I went to Vegas with some of my best girlfriends for my (second) bachelorette party and they surprised me with one of the best trips of my life!
Then June 2nd, 2012 was the big day! After our ceremony we celebrated our reception at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City with another epic party surrounded by friends and family. It was everything I wanted it to be and more!
About a month after getting married we celebrated my husband’s big 3-0 with some of our best friends and family at a Cubs game in Chicago! It was a blast!
2013 was my turn to enter my 30s. But first we had to celebrate our honeymoon! We went to Maui a year after getting married and spent a week at the most beautiful resort in the most beautiful room and had the best time. After a week there we hopped over to The Big Island and spent a few days with my in-laws and celebrated our one year anniversary at one of our favorite Hawaiian restaurants and the most stunning views.
In October 2013 my twin sister and I celebrated turning 30 with a lot of parties. We went to Vegas again and celebrated with our other bestie, Lindsay, who turned 30 in August, and then had another party back home. I used to love having huge celebrations before my girls hijacked my birthday month! Now it’s all about them, and I don’t mind!
2014 we kicked off the year with a trip to Tampa for the Outback Bowl to cheer on Iowa. It was such a fun trip! My husband and I took our first trip out of the country to Mexico. And my girlfriends and I rented a mini van and drove to Nashville for an epic girls trip!
But it was the end of 2014 that our lives really changed. Brian got the promotion to Store Director for Hy-Vee that he’d been working so hard towards, and had to move to a very, very small town called Albany in Missouri. It was very exciting but also very scary to pick up and move away from all of friends and family! He lived in a tiny motel from November of 2014 until we bought a house in February of 2015.
We sold our house in North Liberty, I quit my job, and officially moved to Missouri in 2015. Living in Missouri was an experience for sure. It was not the lifestyle I was used to. Looking back I wouldn’t say I hated it, but it was not easy while I was there. But we have some great memories and had some good times and met some very nice people. We spent almost 2 years in Missouri, put a lot of miles on our cars driving to Kansas City for weekend getaways, and learned a lot about each other in the process. We ended 2015 watching the Hawks in the Big 10 Championship in Indianapolis.
In 2016 we kicked off the year with a whirlwind trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. That was an amazing experience! Even if Iowa didn’t win, it was awesome to be a part of something so historic!
We went to Hawaii again at the beginning of 2016. It was just Brian and I and his parents. We visited Oahu and The Big Island. We didn’t know it’d be our last trip with his dad. It was a great trip and a great memory. We went zip lining, tried spam and malasadas, went on a helicopter, visited Pearl Harbor and so much more. We are so glad we went and never doubt how fortunate we are.
At the end of 2016, Brian accepted the position of Store Director in Moline, IL. I was so excited to be back closer to friends and family! We quickly packed up our stuff and headed to make the Quad Cities our new home.
2017 was another life changing year. Truly, 2017 was probably the craziest year of my life. In February of 2017 I found out I was pregnant with our first baby, which was super exciting. Shortly thereafter, Brian decided he was not happy in his current job and wanted to step down. He was working 80 hours a week and was guilted if he took time off. His dad’s health was also declining, and with a baby on the way, he wanted to be able to spend more time with family. So he decided to step down from the job he’d worked so hard for. It was a very hard, but necessary decision to make. We had rented a house, and our lease wasn’t up until November which was right after our baby was due. So Brian spent his weeks living and working in Cedar Rapids while I stayed in the Quad Cities and finished up working before the baby came. In June we found out we were having a baby girl. Three days later my father-in-law passed away. We are so happy he was able to find out we were having a girl, but absolutely heart broken that he’d never get to meet her.
In September of 2017 we moved back to North Liberty, and 3 weeks later on October 13th we had our baby girl, Elle! And just like that, life would never be the same!
2018 was a blur. We were trying to figure out life with a child, my husband started his new career, and I was trying to navigate this new life as a mom. We started the year off celebrating the wedding of my cousin in San Diego, took Elle to Disney Land, then set off on Elle’s first trip to Hawaii. We also celebrated Elle’s first birthday!
Here we are to 2019. Two years almost to the day after finding out we were pregnant with Elle, we found out we were pregnant again. Another baby girl joined us on October 27th, two weeks after Elle’s second birthday!
There were so many more great memories not mentioned here. A trip to North Carolina to see my best friend Alison get married. Madison for Iowa games, Milwaukee to celebrate our anniversary. Several fun trips to Chicago. My best friend Lindsay moved to Dallas and got married there. We traveled to Dominican Republic with some friends. We had so many adventures! And so many friends and family had babies!
What a crazy, exciting, sometimes heartbreaking, life-changing decade it has been, right up until the very end. There’s no doubt that this new decade will be focused on family. Now I’m trying to figure out life with two little girls. And I accept every challenging day, because I could not be happier to be their mama. If you asked me in 2010 I probably would have said I’m never having kids. But here I am, loving and living for every single moment that they laugh, play, smile, and surprise me every day. We are so looking forward to 2020 and what this new decade will bring! Thanks for reading! XO – S