I can't believe another Christmas has come and gone! It's a crazy thought knowing this year is coming to it's end. I really am amazed at how fast the months of 2018 went. And I'm having a hard time even wrapping my head around the fact that the holiday is over and our mind's are all starting to direct to the new year.
2018 has been quite literally an amazing year. We purchased and moved in to our first house together, we had many visits with family and friends, added a new addition to our family, traveled to new states AND countries, and have both taken huge steps in the right direction for our careers. And to say the least, I'm so grateful. For all of our priceless memories, countless adventures, and exciting accomplishments.
January will mark 1 year in our new home and it's been exciting and stressful all at the same time! I never really realized how much time (and money) was involved in owning a house. Whether I was jumping out of bed and rushing outside in my pj's because I forget to put the trash can's outside the night before or spending countless hours going back and forth in my head about what new light fixtures or home decor to buy, it's all been a fun and well...new process. We've accomplished quite a bit with our home as far as projects/decorating has gone, although we still have such a long way to go! and c'mon, does it even ever end?
But we have plenty of "house goals" we plan on completing within the new year and are excited for more improvements in making our house more and more of a "home." It constantly changes with each month that passes, and we hope our friends and family will continue to visit to watch it's process.
Speaking of, I'm so thankful for the many visits we've had with family this year! We were able to host both family and friends here from California and Utah and it was a blast showing them our new home as well as the city we love. I'm hoping the new year will bring plenty more visits.
If you don't know already, we added a new addition to our family, officially making us a family of "4." And if you don't know about Louie, he is an adorable rescue toy poodle we adopted and brought into our home with open arms. I'm not sure if a lot of people know the full story about Louie, but I figured I could clear that up here. We most definitely were not planning on getting another dog this year..if at all for a long time. We have always been super content with having Baylee, (our beagle mix that I have owned since I was 18.) My sister Malory got engaged (and married) this year and since I dabble here and there into photography, she had asked me to fly to California to take her engagements photos back in July. Erik, her fiance (now husband) had a family dog that he had rescued from the streets of St. Louis about 5 years ago and due to unfortunate circumstances, he nor Malory felt like they could take very good care of him. That dog is Louie. Louie is a very old pup (no one know's quite his age) but it was apparent to me that his time might be limited. Me, being surround by this dog for the few short days while in California, felt in my heart that Johnny and I should be the ones to take him in and give him a new home. Luckily, Johnny was fully on board and supported my decision. A sweet dog that deserved a good rest of his life. No matter how long that meant. In a few short days, we had come up with a plan to fly him home with me to Austin. Of course, I wasn't expecting for us to get quite as attached to him as we are now, but he sure does know how to steal your heart and pull on those heartstrings. He has such a big, quirky personality for such a little dog and we have loved every second of having him. Although a lot of people don't know this much of the story..but shortly after getting him settled and comfortable in Texas, we found out that he has an enlarged heart. This means that he could go into congestive heart failure at any point in time. Although his condition is not preventable nor reversible, we have had him on daily heart medication for almost as long as we've had him, which is meant to slow down the process/give him more time with us. We love him soooo much and soak up our time with him every day. Although it's been hard on my heart and sometimes causes stress and anxiety, it's put time into perspective and he's added so much joy into our lives and has made 2018 so much more memorable. He loves rubs (especially on his butt or head), will follow you around WHEREVER you go, has awful breath, and is so spunky and loves cuddles. We're so glad he came into our lives.
Our little guy has sometimes made it difficult and challenging to travel out of town, but I'm so grateful for the trips we were able to take in 2018. Traveling is such an important part of our marriage. Our live's are much more fulfilled when we experience new places hand in hand together. We were able to visit family in California, take quick weekend trips to different cities like Tulsa, OK and Portland, ME and even made it to Costa Rica where we spent 4 days at an all inclusive resort relaxing under the sun. More trips are in store for 2019, as a goal of ours is to always at least visit one new place we haven't been. Johnny travels frequently for work still, so luckily, we still receive and relish in those travel benefits and don't plan on taking that for granted.
As for Johnny and I and our current jobs, this year has been challenging and rewarding all at the same time. We have maintained patient and stayed the course that has lead us to where we are today. Johnny struggled in the beginning with his job at Hossley, working long hours behind a desk, face deep in a computer designing the lighting controls that would go in commercial buildings. His goal with this job was to eventually get back in the field doing the programming rather than the designing aspect. After much patient and anticipation he was finally transitioned to programming in late August and is more happy with what he's doing than he's ever been. His job is sometimes very travel demanding which means he could be off to Dallas, it's surrounding areas, or even Arizona in the blink of an eye, but the reward of having other flexibility to be home more and doing something he loves is well worth the sometimes unexpected days of travel throughout the week.. And to make light of the subject, it also allows US to travel. It can sometimes be ridiculously hard living so far away from both of our families and I can't say how much it helps us financially to have those travel perks that allows us to take the trips we long for throughout the year. I'm so thankful for the struggles and hardships we've dealt with this year that have paid off and gotten Johnny where he deserves to be.
2018 has been a big year for my hair career. I am knee deep in to the wedding industry and have met and worked with countless vendors this year that I'm so grateful for. Connections are so huge in this industry and I really feel like I've got my foot in the door. I had the opportunity to primarily work alongside a well known hair artist here for most of the year. Currently now, I am a freelancing hairstylist working with a few bridal companies and doing what I love to do! I am working on building a business for myself in the industry and I'm so excited for all that 2019 will have in store. I also currently work part time at a blow dry salon in downtown Austin that keeps me busy a few days out of the week. That has been a very recent change, as I am still getting used to working behind a chair. Luckily I was able to find a great company that allows me to be flexible, continue to work weddings and do what I'm passionate about. And it has allowed me to continue to practice my craft in hair and continue to learn and grow from styling which has gone hand in hand with working weddings. So it really has been such a blessing to say the least and I'm so happy with how things are going!
This letter turned out to be a little longer than I had hoped for but if you made it this far, thanks for reading along! Also, this is my second year of having my website live and I'm thankful for all the people that have supported it and followed along in our journey and life updates. We have plenty more to look forward to in the New Year and although I'm feeling sad this year went my sooo fast, I'm so hopeful that 2019 will bring us just as many adventures!
We had a wonderful Christmas spent here in Austin where we literally spent all day in our pjs surrounded by our dogs. Although we couldn't be with our other immediate families, it was a magical day, non-the-less. There really is no place like home for the holidays. We hope your holiday was filled with joy and love and continue to wish that for you with the coming year.
Johnny & Melissa