Sunday, January 11, 2015

Our 2014

Looking back on 2014, I'm so grateful to have a new year to start fresh! 2014 was the busiest and craziest year we've had together so far. We had many ups and downs, and I know it's cheesy, but I'm glad I had Taylor by my side cause it was nice to go through this year with him by my side and not alone! It was a good year, but I'm looking forward to having a new year with new experiences.

This year had a lot of faith-buidling experiences. There were so many unknowns and so many times that I was scared or nervous because we didn't know what was to come, where we'd be going, what we'd be doing, where I'd be get the point. I'd love to say I'm one of those people who loves change and moving and meeting new people, but as outgoing as I may seem,  I'm a homebody. And I like that! But this year had no room for being just a homebody.

So here's a recap of our year, mostly for me and my memory, but also for any of my fellow blog-stalkers who just want something to read or skim over :)

January-- I finished my time working at the MTC because it was only a student job and I had just graduated (yay!) from BYU! I was on the job hunt for any job I could get because we'd be moving just 6 months later so I needed something to hold us over until then while Taylor was in school and working part time. I ended up finding a job working full time as customer service for doTERRA International and would start training in February.

During this month, Taylor finally got all of his optometry school applications in. And the waiting game began. 

February-- I started training for my new job while Taylor was gone each weekend for interviews for optometry school. We were excited, though a little overwhelmed, that he ended up being invited to interview at all of the schools that he applied to (5 schools). This was great, but we had to pay for all of his flights, hotels, rental cars, taxis, etc. which got really expensive really fast. We ended up deciding to have him interview at just 3 schools: Southern College of Optometry (Memphis, TN), University of Houston College of Optometry (TX), and Pacific University (Forest Grove, OR). We ended up cutting out and turning down Southern California College of Optometry (Anaheim, CA) and Ohio State after a lot of praying and careful consideration. 

During this time, Taylor had applied for a scholarship from the Navy which would pay for all of his schooling and give us a monthly stipend to live off of, and in return we'd give them 4 years of Taylor serving as an optometrist in the Navy after he graduated. This seemed perfect for us and they were very interested in him as an applicant as he had very high scores from the OAT apparently especially compared to many other applicants. Because of some purely bad timing with the application as well as some last minute changes made by the Navy with this scholarship, we found out this scholarship was no longer an option for us. I'll be honest, I was really upset with the way things turned out with this for many reasons. However, we realized that Heavenly Father must have just had a different plan for us. So we started looking into student loans. We were so grateful that this was a first for us as we were very fortunate to get through our undergrads without any student loans. So this was another 'first' (a very scary 'first') for us this year. 

Amidst all this craziness, we celebrated our 3rd Valentine's day being together, even if it was just me picking Taylor up from the airport at 9:30 PM after his interview at Houston. He was sweet and sent me an Edible Arrangement while I was at work, and he ended up being accepted within the hour of his interview, so the day was actually a pretty good one! We also celebrated Taylor's 25th birthday this month! 

March--We finally heard back from Pacific University. Taylor had officially been accepted to all three schools he interviewed at. The decision of where to go was easy but hard. Taylor and I both felt good and at peace about Houston, but we didn't know why as we had kind of thought we'd end up in Oregon since that was originally Taylor's first pick. This month we put in our deposit for Houston and turned down the other schools. 

April--Taylor and I both walked at graduation. He walked with my college, and we were so happy to each have family fly in just to come celebrate with us! 

May--Taylor had one more pre-req for optometry school so he was still in school and working at the MTC, and I continued working at doTERRA. 

June--Taylor finally finished school for real. Tay's mom and sister and her family came to visit us from Hawaii for about a week, which was so fun! 

July--Taylor officially finished working at the MTC after 2 years. We celebrated the 4th of July with some of my mom's family and the Nielsen's at our annual 4th of July BBQ and "water-fight" (I played it safe with the kiddos in the kid pool). We also went to the Stadium of Fire that night, which was Taylor's first Stadium of Fire. He joked that it was awkward cause his ex-girlfriend (Carrie Underwood) was there performing. We went on our annual trip to California for the Galan Family Reunion with my mom's family. We went to Disneyland for the first time together, Taylor threw me a little party with my close friends to celebrate my 23rd birthday! On my actual birthday, I slept in, caught up on my shows while Taylor had a dentist appointment (had to get in our last minute appointments in Utah!), then we started the day with some Waffle Love! Taylor took me shopping for a bit and we had a nice day together. 

I finished working at doTERRA the weekend before we moved and we quickly (really quickly) packed up our first little apartment we lived in together. We had so much help from our friends and family and people in our ward. We were so grateful! It all happened so fast I didn't really have time to be too sad about leaving, which was good I suppose. We said our goodbyes and we were off.

August--We got to our new place in Houston on August 1. We had tons of strangers (at the time) from our new ward come to help us move in, and we were so incredibly grateful. That month We spent a few weeks exploring around Houston but mostly just getting settled and enjoying the last little while we had before Taylor started school. Then Taylor started school and I continued the job hunt.

September--I started working as a nanny for a family I met through a girl in our ward who used to nanny for them. It's been crazy since I went from "having" no kids to 4, but it's been so fun!

October--We dressed up as Mickey and Minnie Mouse for Halloween! We had a few different fun parties and events that month. It was such a fun month before finals for Taylor!

November--We visited San Antonio for Thanksgiving and spent the holiday with Nicole's in-laws and Nicole and her family. It was a nice break from school and work for us.

December--Taylor was a trooper as he finished up finals and we got ready to go to Hawaii for Christmas!

If you made it this far, you are a true blog stalker follower! Just kidding. But really, that was a lot. But that's probably how "yalls" (I have completely learned and now appreciate the use of this southern term for group possession but my inner grammar-nerd won't let me use it [disclaimer--don't go through all my posts and find my errors, because I know there are plenty] year was.

I did myself a favor and blogged about last year's goals which helped me a) remember them b) keep myself accountable. I will be posting about how those went (because we all know they didn't all happen), and I'll also be posting this year's! Again, mostly for my sake and history, but also for those who are interested or who need ideas!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year's celebration! Here's to 2015!

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