It's time to say goodbye...

... to the ripe old age of 28.
Given that my 29th birthday is Sunday, I originally started off earlier this week with the intent to make a list of 30 things I want to do before age 30 (and I will probably finish this list and post it tomorrow)... but in thinking about my goals I realized that in order to better evaluate what I want to do and where I want to be in the next year... I should take a look at this past year.  

So... I spent the past day or two reflecting on the past year of my life.  What I have done, what I have seen, where I have been, who I have become.  And  so I present....

28 Things I Accomplished At Age 28
1.  Spent my last birthday as a single woman
2.  Finally found and ordered my wedding dress

3.  Planned the wedding of the year
4.  Watched and assisted in the delivery of a baby
5.  Went black Friday shopping at midnight with my BFF and BIL (best.shopping trip.ever!)
6.  Worked most of the major winter holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas) but celebrated anyway
7.  Saw 3 awesome country concerts 
(Toby Keith/Eric Church, Kenny Chesney/Zac Brown, Lady Antebellum)

 8.  Did not read a single book for fun, but read more Nursing books than I ever thought I would
9.  Bought our first house

10.  Had the best bachelorette party ever 
(wine tour on a party bus with some of the most fun, fabulous women I have ever met!)

11.  Lost my grandmother.  I miss you, Grams!

12.  Married the man of my dreams

13.  Finally got to use the phrase “my husband” and hear “my wife” (still makes me giggle) and put aside the word "fiance"... which I love.  Also put aside all of the anticipation, excitement and stress that comes with planning a wedding, a truly bittersweet sentiment
14.  Went on my dream honeymoon, 7 amazing nights in St. Lucia

15.  Bought a puppy, love my little Lucy bear

16.  Started a blog (and proceeded to spend WAY too much time on said blog)
17.  Attended my first in-home “adult” type party… I was nervous… it was a blast!  
As a matter of fact, I attended my second one about a month later
18.  Spent entirely too much time and money shopping online… and at Target, TJ Maxx, Marshalls… ok just shopping in general… and not enough time with my husband
19.  Hosted my own in-home shopping party and Knottie Get Together 
(Pure Romance… can’t wait to do it again!)

20.  Really slacked off on my Saturday morning trips to the market 
(I blame the move to Liverpool and Kevin working weekends)
21.  Really slacked off on my running 
(I have no one to blame but myself… and maybe the weather a little bit.  
One goal for next year… re-find my motivation and hit the pavement)
22.  Got pregnant and finally understood just how powerful one tiny little “+” can be and the depth of love that develops in the very instant you see that positive
23.  Experienced a miscarriage and understood grief on a whole new, deeper level… 
and more specifically disenfranchised grief… 
what a strange and sad feeling to be mourning the loss of a life that never existed in the eyes of many.  Also found the strength to share my story and give support to other women who have experienced a pregnancy loss

24.  Learned more about fertility than I ever cared to know (what BBT, CM, FWP, BD, AF, MF mean… how to chart, temp, monitor signs, predict ovulation… this could be a full time job!) 
25.  Went to the Great NY State Fair and enjoyed my annual 3 fried things 
(deep fried bacon wrapped snickers, deep fried chicken wing dip, deep fried Reeses) 
as well as a few wine slushies and the most delicious roasted ear of corn
26.  Dug up the “fugly” plants that lined the front of my house and replaced them with mums and pumpkins… found out that maybe I do have a green thumb after all.  Talked my brother and brother-in-law into digging up the equally fugly bushes in the back yard.  The big empty dirt hole is still sitting there.  I need to put my green thumb back to work and finish that job

27.  Finished nursing school
28.  For the first time, really took some time to look back on the previous year and reflect on what I have accomplished and what I have neglected… and created a list of goals for myself for the upcoming year.  I like this!

What I have learned by making this list is that 28 was one helluva year for me.  I accomplished some HUGE things… marriage, house, school.  Seriously, I must give myself a big pat on the back for those gigantic accomplishments.  However, they came at a price… it appears that, throughout the year, I sacrificed and lost sight of many of the little things that used to always be a staple in my day to day life.  I didn’t run anywhere near as much as I wanted to… actually I was not as active in general as I would like to be and this is an area that I definitely want to improve in the coming year.  Thankfully, my waistline has not suffered, nor has the scale, but I do notice a definite decline in motivation and overall energy level which I am not happy about.  Running Monica = Happy (and hyper) Monica… and I really need to get back to my happy/hyper place.  I also don’t recall having many “dates” with my now-husband.  We spent time together every chance we could, but we didn’t date… and that is another thing I really want to work on this coming year.  Lastly, I want to be a better friend and family member.  I want to send birthday cards to aunts and uncles and cousins… ON TIME.  I want to send “Thinking of you” cards to friends for no reason other than to make them smile.  I want to visit my parents in Florida and hang out with my brother wherever he may be.  Luckily, we were fortunate enough to have our friends and family come to us this year for our wedding, but I want to be the one making the effort to stay in touch and grow our relationships.

I have learned a tremendous amount about myself, who I am and who I want to be.  I have experienced some of the happiest and saddest days of my life over the past year.  I have counted my blessings and questioned my faith.  I have taken on new roles and put aside old ones.  I have made new friends and said “goodbye” to some of the people who brought unnecessary drama into my life.  I have grown in my ability to think introspectively and become an overall more caring and understanding person.  I have become a little more “me” than I was last year… and next year I will become even more of the woman I am destined to be.

See ya later, 28.  It’s been a great year, but I am ready to see what I can make out of these next 12 months.  Bring it on, 29!!