I was just reading through my 2014 Year in Review and laughing at my concluding thoughts on what 2015 would bring. Boy oh boy I was so incredibly wrong! Like in your face wrong.
“As for 2015, it will be the year of the wedding and the year of focusing on our life in China. It will also be the year of making new travel plans… I’m already thinking South Island of New Zealand, Ocktoberfest in Germany, and maybe a honeymoon in Norway. We shall see!”
Now let’s break this down and see what actually happened in 2015 (Hint: it was none of the above besides a wedding).
After celebrating New Years back in St. Pete Beach, we flew to Hawaii for a week with Peter’s dad and stepmom. Despite the relaxing way to start the year, things were about to start ramping up! After a week of snorkeling, sun bathing and whale watching in Maui, it was right back to hardcore wedding planning and events in Florida. But first, Peter and I flew to Shanghai for a whirlwind 2 weeks apartment hunting for our new home in the city.
Finally on February 7th, we successfully moved out of our old apartment in Jiuting to a smaller but better located apartment in Changning, moving our meager possessions in the middle of a frigid Shanghai winter. I was happy to be in a better location but still saddened by the fact that we would be in China for at least two more years. I flew back to Florida for my amazing Bachelorette Party in Key West (#1D2KeyWest) during Valentine’s Day weekend. Then Peter flew back to Florida and our family and friends threw us a lovely Couple’s Shower. Peter flew back to China to work while I planned to stay in Florida until the wedding. Sadly our family friend passed away on the 28th and we were all in mourning.
On the 6th, I had my first wedding dress fitting which turned into a bloody fiasco when I got a spontaneous nosebleed all over my white dress. HORRIFIC. Thankfully they got the stains out and I learned that I need to EAT while under stress. Who knew? This month my mother’s friends threw me two beautiful Wedding Showers and I felt so loved and grateful. Also, my dad and I oversaw yet another successful charity golf tournament, raising thousands of dollars for local charities. The only downside of the entire month was when my heart was broken by Zayn leaving One Direction in the middle of their Asian tour. ZAYN NO WHY. I may or may not have had a few glasses of wine in which to drown my tears.
At the beginning of the month Peter and I took a last minute trip to Memphis, Tennessee, aka our new home! Yup, in the span of a few months Peter had a job interview and secured our ticket out of China and back to the United States, just in time for our wedding! The timing was impeccable! On April 18th, we were married at St. Mary’s and the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, surrounded by 200 of our closest friends and family in the most special and joyful celebration. It was probably one of the best days of my life and I could literally not stop smiling the entire weekend. I was lucky enough to marry my soul-mate in our favorite place in the world, our hometown. (I am going to start crying. Need to recap the wedding soon or you all will probably riot). After the wedding we had the nicest honeymoon over in St. Pete Beach before driving to Memphis for our big move.
We were just in time for the Beale Street Musical Festival before flying back to Florida where I celebrated my sister’s graduation and Peter took a trip to Denver. Back in Memphis we celebrated my 27th birthday and the epic Memphis BBQ Fest while Peter started his new job and I started house hunting in the middle of watching the hockey playoffs in our apartment with the crappy AC.
This month Memphis was HOT HOT HOT and I threw myself into guitar lessons at the School of Rock and dozens of doctor’s appointments and physical therapy session to figure out my chronic back pain (it still sucks). I joined the Junior League and the Racquet Club and we finally found our perfect home!
By the 4th of July we had moved into our new home which was sadly furnished with only one couch and one bed. It was bare but it was OURS. July proved to be the best month of the year when we booked our tickets to Minneapolis for my wedding present… front row catwalk seats at the One Direction Concert!!!! Guys, I died, it was literally the best day of my life after our wedding day. The concert was amazing and all the boys saw me and my signs and loved interacting with Peter!!! They are such amazing performers and I have almost 40 videos from the night. It was a hot and long day but I did not care because my favorite band was directly in front of me singing the songs I love so much. I will never get over this…. EVER. Despite all the drama this band cultivates for PR, they mean so much to me and to so many people.
This month I started choir rehearsals and Peter and I took a quick weekend trip to New Orleans for a friend’s birthday. It was a hot and boozy weekend and everybody (and I mean everybody) wore a red dress while frolicking around steamy Bourbon Street. It was a fun but exhausting weekend.
I might have gone a bit mad and booked a 24 hour trip to Philadelphia to see One Direction AGAIN. I met my friend S for the first time and we drank and danced the night away. Our seats sucked but it was a totally different and fun experience. Just a few days later I flew out to Ireland to meet my family for a 2 week trip!! I love Ireland with all my heart and was ecstatic to return to this incredible country. It proved to be a good trip because I received two inquiries for job interviews while I was away! Back in Memphis my mom and G came to visit and help furnish my house and I had my first chorale concert, Broadway and BBQ. Performing is the best!
On October 5th I started my new job! I’m brand manager for a real estate firm and absolutely LOVE it. That same day I started band rehearsals for the band I joined through School of Rock. We are BAR and we do mostly rock and roll and are total badasses! In the middle of the month, Peter took a guys trip to Hawaii while I worked and volunteered through the Junior League. For Halloween we did a Haunted Trail out at Shelby Farms with D+L and hung out with our band friends M+J.
In November, I tried and failed to start a female a cappella group and went to my first Memphis football game downtown with our best friends D+L. On the 13th, Peter’s dad visited us in Memphis and we went to the Pyramid Bass Pro shop which was actually amazing! Definitely worth a visit. The same day One Direction’s new album Made in the AM dropped and it was a glorious day. Later that month I saw Pippin the Musical and celebrated Peter’s 28th birthday at home with some Guardians of the Galaxy. My sister came to Memphis before my parents and mother-in-law arrived to celebrate Thanksgiving in Memphis. It was a great and relaxing holiday despite ordering a frozen, not cooked, turkey that we had to eat later that night!!
December was busy with work including countless holiday parties and events, my Christmas Choral concert on the 7th, and other events. Oh and WE GOT A DOG!! His name is Smokey, he is a 10-month old boxer/pit bull mix and we brought him home on December 13th. He is the smartest and sweetest puppy and is proving to be quite a handful but so far we are enjoying the new addition to our lives :). We left Smokey with a close friend who is a pet sitter and headed back to Florida for Christmas.
It had been 8 months since my last visit, the longest I have ever in my entire life been away from St. Petersburg. IN MY LIFE. And that my friends is how I know I am finally growing up. We have a new home here in Memphis and I could not be more proud of the life we have created for ourselves. I am proud of who I am and what I do and I want to keep contributing to the world.
So here’s to you 2015, a year of tremendous change and settling down. A year of putting down roots and of finally feeling at home like never before. My goals for 2016 include working on my music, growing in my new job, and taking the time to travel more with Peter. We may not live in China anymore but we still deserve to experience the world fully and completely. I love my husband, I love my new home, I love my life and I am excited to see what will unfold in 2016.