If I had to sum up 2014 in one word, it would be “change.” It’s been a big year, and so much has happened:
(Outfit details here)
I moved to a new city. Good heavens. Thank you for continuing to read this little blog throughout that. Thanks for your encouragement, kindness and understanding, and for reminding me that adventures are fun and that they foster growth. Leaving New York was probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do, but I’m so thankful that I somehow gathered the courage to actually do it. While I’ll always miss the Big Apple (and hope that someday, I’ll return), Chicago is really starting to feel like home. I love our neighborhood and how beautiful and clean the city is. I love that everything is more affordable, and that Mitch and I can do more because of that. Most of all, though, I love how friendly and genuine Chicagoans are. I have girlfriends. And they’re the best! I’m so thankful for their friendships, and for welcoming me with open arms. I’m very, very lucky.
I left my teaching position in the Bronx. It was a tough decision to make, and I grappled with feelings of guilt over it for a long time. But it seems that it was the right decision. While I deeply miss my students, I’m finally happy again. That cloud of gloom has retreated, the stress has dissipated, and I no longer live in fear. Perhaps one day I’ll return to the education field in some way, but for now, it’s just nice to have myself back. :) Who knew life could be so lovely?
I started working from home. HUGE change. I went from having 34 unruly teenagers in my classroom, only being able to use the bathroom once every four hours, and commuting up to three hours to working in a cute little home office and local coffee shops. Working from home can be challenging–I’m still getting a routine down, and I feel badly when I don’t have super productive days–but I LOVE IT, haha. Like, it’s the best thing ever. I can go to the bathroom whenever I want! No one curses me out! I have free time at night! I’m my own boss! Sigh. :) So for now, I’m going to continue doing it. But we’ll see what 2015 brings.
My family expanded. Last spring, my brother proposed to his adorable girlfriend, Kim… and they’re getting married this coming June! I’m beyond excited. Kim is beautiful, kind and funny, and I kind of can’t believe we’re “getting” her, hehe. On the Larkin front, my brother- and sister-in-law brought a new baby girl, Carson Carolyn, into the family about a month ago! She’s perfect. Carson joins her sister, Parker (6), and brother, Cameron (almost 4). So exciting!
I got a dog. Noodle has brought so much love and happiness into our lives that it’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t have her. I’ll admit that her early puppy days were a struggle. There were sleepless nights, training woes, and a couple of medical problems that wore on us. But we love her so much. (Is it possible to love a dog too much?!) Noodle is spunky, hilarious and lovable, and I love that there are three of us now. Because of Noods, weekends are more fun, we meet tons of people, we get out more, and we do different things. In New York, we definitely couldn’t have handled the responsibility that comes along with having a dog. But here, it works. And huzzah for that! Because holy cuteness, Noodle. We adore you!
I turned 30. Sure, it was an off-putting milestone, and I was sad (and a bit scared) to wave goodbye to such a wonderful decade. At the same time, though, I’m really excited about this new life phase I just entered… because I entered it with my best friend. My 20s were awesome, but something tells me that my 30s are going to be even better. :) I’m looking forward to buying a home, starting a family (oh my goodness!), and building a new career, and I’m ridiculously happy that I get to do all of this with Mitch. Never in a million years did I think I’d end up with someone I love so completely. As mushy as this sounds, he’s everything. So grateful!
…This would probably be the perfect time to get to those pesky resolutions. But I’m still working on those. So I’ll check back in later. :)
Happy 2015, guys!