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I would say that 2015 was a really great year. It was unlike any year I’ve ever experienced, but aren’t they all? Luckily I am someone who is very comfortable with the idea of change because our lives were completely transformed this year in several ways! Overall, I think 2015 was a year of building very solid foundations, personal growth, learning, and preparation for bigger things to come. So what may appear on the outside as a very low key year was anything but that. On the inside it was nonstop planning, working, gathering pieces and fitting them together. You will see some of the fruits of these labors throughout 2016 and I’m so excited to share them with you!
The biggest change of the entire year was certainly our big cross-country move. After living in Florida for 8 years (and Drew his entire life!), we jumped at an opportunity to move to Provo, Utah and start a new life with our little family. It was all planned out and executed in about 2 weeks, which is certainly not for the faint of heart, and a road trip we’ll never forget with 2 small children and 3 cats. I love that our family has already had so many adventures while the boys are still so young. I hope they grow up with the same entrepreneurial spirit Drew and I have and pursue their dreams in the same way!
As my family and friends know, we have a lot going on all the time. It’s sometimes easy to get overwhelmed. This is our first year all by ourselves away from all family and we have so many future ideas that we haven’t even begun to work on yet! Our life together has always been an adventure and I expect that to never change. Instead of thinking about all of the things on my to-do list, I’m going to change my perspective and look at this life through the most positive lens: We have A LOT going for us! We have two amazing little boys who are healthy, happy, and filled with energy. We have two businesses and a working opportunity with someone we hope to learn a lot from. We have many great ideas waiting to be brought to life. We live in a beautiful place surrounded by great people we hope to build lifelong friendships with. We have great family members who we look forward to visiting.
2015 was certainly a year to remember and I am so looking forward to what 2016 has to offer!
What I Loved About 2015:
January was a super busy month for us. Both Drew and I worked full-time on ChairWear Fashion and accomplished quite a bit. Lots of energy drinks were consumed! No, I was not sponsored by Neuro but I should have been! I was a guest on the My Cool Inventions Radio show again and enjoyed working with John and Akos on some business opportunities they brought our way. We worked with a YouTuber I liked who featured us in one of her videos! The Chirt was featured on Hallmark’s Home & Family show. Andrew woke me up one morning by singing, “Rock-A-Bye Bunny” and totally took me by surprise. We actually got this on video a few days later and it’s the cutest thing ever!
Aidan celebrated his FIRST birthday! Drew and I took a trip to New York City to meet with Daymond John for a private business consult (we hired him). We had quite an adventure Uber-ing around the city in search of an office chair and then carting it around the city in the snow! While we were there, we ate at one of our favorite places that had closed their Florida location, called Sinigual, a delicious contemporary Mexican restaurant. It was wonderful! We explored Times Square a bit and enjoyed dinner with an amazing view at the iconic Olive Garden. While we were in New York City, Drew’s parents watched the boys and we came home to Aidan FINALLY sleeping in his crib AND sleeping through the night- two miracles after a year of no sleeping! Drew and I enjoyed a romantic Valentine’s Day evening at Epcot (Disney World) which was so much fun! Aidan said his very first word (other than mama) which was…. BANANA!
We took the boys to Disney and had so much fun! While at the Fantasmic! show, with around 6,500+ people, both of the boys participated in their first “wave” with the crowd and they absolutely LOVED it! We had a fun Easter photo shoot with one of our favorite photographers, Kamila, which included some live bunnies and chicks and adorable photos! My best friend announced that she was pregnant and expecting TWINS! We got a new client for our marketing company, that “belt guy” from Shark Tank (season 4, episode 22), Nate Holzapfel, co-founder of Mission Belt, who we said we would love to work with when his episode aired originally.
We took the boys to the Flower & Garden Fesival at Disney World and Gramps came with us. We had so much fun at two parks all day. We got to see the original Cinderella’s carriage (from the movie). My childhood best friend’s little sister (who was basically like my adoptive sister also) came to Florida and we met up with her at Disney World. It was the first time she got to meet the boys! Drew and I traveled to Utah and spent a week and a half with Nate and Irene. While in Utah, we met Ellie & Jared, who were even cuter in person than in their YouTube videos! I got to check out the Mission Belt office, which was cool for me since I love entrepreneur stories and offices. Drew and I hit maximum beast mode potential and built 36 websites in one month. We definitely didn’t sleep much and we definitely felt that the following month, we also had a LOT of help with the boys, but it was an impressive achievement for our duo team.
Marcus Lemonis, one of my most highly-respected business superstars that I admire, started following me back on Twitter and made my night. (I’m hoping to finally meet him in 2016!). Drew and I decided to make a change in our life and announced to our family and friends that we’d be moving to Utah! We spent Mother’s Day with the boys and Drew’s parents at Coquina Beach (near Sarasota). It was Aidan’s first time at the beach ever and Andrew and I shared some very special moments splashing in the waves! I turned 30, which was quite a big milestone birthday for me and caused me to evaluate all of my goals and dream even bigger! We visited my sister-in-law, Erika, at her house on her birthday and enjoyed some yummy Publix deli chicken (that Aidan went absolutely crazy with, throwing friend chicken all over the place. It was such a funny memory that I just love to remember! We also brought her a cake, at Andrew’s request-that he had to pick out himself. Such a sweetheart!)… It was really a nice time before we moved. We celebrated my birthday (and the last chance to use our annual passes) at Disney World and stayed at one of the resorts, enjoying two very long, very fun days at the park as a family. It was Aidan’s first time ever in a hotel and Andrew’s first time in a hotel since he was 4 months old. We called it a “trial run” for the upcoming epic family road trip. We had Aidan’s baby dedication at Relevant Church, which was really special since Andrew was also dedicated there with Pastor Paul and our church family (who we REALLY miss!!). We began our Epic Family Road Trip with two little ones (ages 1 and 2 at the time) and three cats and by the 31st of May, we had traveled through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri.
Our Epic Family Road trip continued into Kansas, Colorado, and Utah (arriving on the 2nd!). We discovered some cool places to eat, Waffle Love and Mountain West Burrito, in Provo with Gramps who arrived at the same time we did and spend a couple days here before continuing on his cross-country trip to Oregon, which was really special and great for the boys! We celebrated Father’s Day with some yummy ice cream and a fun afternoon at the park enjoying beautiful scenery and perfect weather.
Andrew turned THREE years old! We had a fun 4th of July barbecue with Nate and Irene and their family and enjoyed lots and lots of fireworks that evening. Next to probably only Disney, Utah knows how to do fireworks! Aidan experienced his very first time swimming (was not a fan). We found a great house and moved into our new home…and got Google Fiber Internet which is crazy fast! We took an impromptu trip to California to see Nana, my parents, and my sister. Nana got to meet Aidan for the first time which was really, really special! We enjoyed a short visit with everyone and the boys had lots of fun, too. While we were in California, my best friend had her TWINS (at 31 weeks gestation- two little miracles)! I was featured in a Today article.
Believe it or not, I visited Krispy Kreme for the first time and experienced the wonder of what Hot and Fresh donuts are. Naturally Andrew and Aidan were equally excited! We spent a LOT of time at the park with the boys playing, running in the grass, climbing the hills, climbing up slides, swinging, playing in the sandbox, and all kinds of fun. Drew and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary! We met our awesome next-door neighbors and their adorable twins (who share Aidan’s birthday!).
I flew back to Florida to (finally) get the house packed up. I made some progress, but we owe it all to our amazing family back there who did most of the hard work. I enjoyed a quick visit with everyone but spent most of the time packing and packing and packing. I worked a promo event after a 2 year hiatus, for Assist Marketing at BYU which was lots of fun! Our wonderful Florida family packed up our huge moving truck for us and Drew’s parents drove it out to Utah. (Yes, we are VERY lucky to have such wonderful parents!) They arrived towards the end of the month and it was so wonderful to see them here in Utah and finally have furniture in our new home (especially getting our bed back). The boys were soooo happy to see them again! We met some more of our neighbors while unloading the moving truck and were so blessed with so many wonderful people here in Utah who helped us out so much. My mom & sister arrived at the same time for a visit from California. It was so much fun to have a house filled with family after being out here on our own away from everyone. Drew’s mom spent a lot of time sewing Chirts and everyone spent quality time with the boys playing outside and inside and going on wagon rides.
We visited the pumpkin patch….a lot, multiple times throughout the month. The boys had so much fun! I learned that I was a top 10 finalist for a nationwide business competition for one of my favorite national print magazines, which was super awesome considering how many thousands of people applied! We found a manufacturer here in Utah to help us take our ChairWear Fashion business to the next level. I set up the boys new playroom with their favorite toys from Florida, which I was so looking forward to! The boys dressed up for Halloween and I took them trick-or-treating for the first time (for all of us, well, me since about age 11) around our neighborhood while Drew hung out here and passed out candy. We used Facebook video chat to make sure he got to come with us 🙂
I attended the third annual Pinners conference in Salt Lake City. It was SO MUCH FUN! I met so many awesome people from bloggers to creative entrepreneurs including Teresa Collins and Becky Higgins (from Project Life)! I took about 20 classes and enjoyed networking and visiting all of the booths. On Saturday, Drew brought the boys up to hang out with me and we tested out our matching family outfits for our holiday pictures and got lots of compliments. Andrew had a successful surgery to repair the cyst on his eye and his doctor came to pray with us before the operation which was really neat and comforting! We visited a new church here in Utah that the boys really enjoyed. My brother-in-law was in Salt Lake City for business so we met up with him for dinner. We took the boys to a fun local event, the Lighting of the Shops at Riverwoods and enjoyed great live musical performances, watched ice sculptures being made, and experienced super freezing temperatures that definitely made us realize it was Christmas time! We cooked a delicious Thanksgiving dinner at home and had a special, quiet night with the boys. We had our first Snow Day and the boys loved it! Drew turned 32 and Nate and Irene took us to a nice celebratory lunch at a cool local Brazilian restaurant.
We had a family night a local ice skating rink at the community center and the boys had so much fun watching everyone. We got to take pictures in the Google Fiber snow globe! I built my very first gingerbread house (yes at age 30!) with Andrew, Aidan, and Drew. Jingle, our Elf on the Shelf, came back and brought lots of smiles and laughs to our home. We had a fun, quick family photo shoot with our next-door neighbor who also happens to be a photographer (Go LIKE her Faecbook page). We took the boys to see Santa and, of course, they both loved him! (So far we’re on a 4 year streak of happy Santa experiences!) We celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with lots of presents and Skype sessions with family in Florida, California, and Oregon. It was also our FIRST WHITE Christmas! I saw REAL, shaped snowflakes for the first time….one of the most magical things I’ve ever seen…which was crazy since I’ve lived in places with lots of snow before. We closed the year out with our boys and realized everything we have to be thankful for from 2015.
Whew! Are you still there?
2015 was a great year!
I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings.
Happy New Year!
Note: The topic of my post is inspired by Day 1 of the #ListersGottaList challenge with The Reset Girl. If you’re into planning, list making, and creative challenges, check out this website for the complete printable monthly kit.
Owner and operator of Paperclips & Pacis, a lmotherhood lifestyle blog sharing all the best of #momlife. Wife to Drew, Mommy to Andrew (age 6), Aidan (age 5), and Avalynn (age 2). Lover of Disney World, office supplies, and social media. Instagram: @paperclipsandpacis