Happy New Year, kids! Are we done saying that yet? I usually stop around January 10. Ha! My New Year started out with the arrival of Christian and so, I’m finally getting the chance to reflect on 2019 until now.
Last year was really good, but hard.
We kicked off the year with Caliana turning 1 and getting really serious about looking for a new house. Now that we were a family of 4, we wanted more space and had outgrown our lovely first home. While we originally planned on Renovating, we came to terms that the return on it wouldn’t be worth it in the long run for us. So the house hunt began!
In hindsight, things happened rather quickly. We put the earnest money on our new build home at the top of March which also when we broke ground. The house was going to be ready at the end of August so we had about 6 months to get our first home together and sold.
In April, we found out I was pregnant with our third child. We were so very excited and couldn’t wait to meet baby #3 (who was born New Year’s Day!). I was also so thankful that we made the decision to move because 3 kids in our little first home would’ve been a lot.
This was probably one the first years in my life where I had so much going on both personally and professionally. My career as a blogger and influencer was having a highlight year with incredible campaigns and opportunities. It was also the first year I truly felt in control and confident as a business owner. I was aware of all the moving parts in my business, not just some of them. I knew exactly how much money was going in and out, what efforts were worthwhile and how to lead a team that performed at a high level.
With that being said, doing that while pregnant with two kids under the age of 5 really challenged me. But I think it forced me to become better at time management and meal planning and prioritizing time for Hubs and the girls. I didn’t always get it right, but it was good for me to find my rhythm in the midst of all the moving parts.
I honestly don’t know how I would’ve done it without Hubs.
In May, I turned 35. I’m really pleased with the woman I’m becoming because I put a valiant effort to live the life I want daily. Not just professionally but also personally. Achieving the balance I have now means everything to me. So grateful and excited to grow and become better.
The summer hit and I was officially in my second trimester. I traveled to Philly to judge the Miss Liberia USA pageant – 2019 marked my 10th year since winning in 2009. I also traveled to Charlotte where I was the keynote speaker at the Ignite Your Influence conference.
During a busy July, we purged the house and got it ready to sell. With the expectation of closing at the end of August, we had to get the house on the market soon and make sure it sold so we weren’t paying two mortgages.
We staged and put the house on the market at the end of July and received offers the first day we started showing it. We only kept in on the market for 5 days and went with our first offer. It was a cash offer (!!!) but we had to move out the first weekend of August.
Because our new home wasn’t ready yet, my in-laws were so gracious to let us stay with them. And of course, while we were supposed to close August 28, there was a hold up because of paperwork on my behalf. I learned very quickly how vital it is you have to have all your tax return papers in order especially as an entrepreneur. Between a temporary address change and waiting for the IRS to send proof I was up to date on taxes (I realized I didn’t file in 2016 and had to expedite that process in 48 hours) closing on our new home was pushed back by 5 weeks.
We still had a wonderful September. Hubs and I celebrated 10 years of marriage and Maizah turned 5 with a fun Disney Princess party. We also blew off some steam with an impromptu day trip to Tybee Island. Sometimes the beach is what you need.
Although it was later than expected, we closed on the house the first Monday in October. We were all so happy! My in laws are absolute blessings for letting us stay with them and they made our stay as stress free as possible. It was nice to finally be in our own space.
I also got to surprise Hubs in October with a day trip to NYC to see Tank and the Bangas at the Apollo. It was one of our last one on one moments before we became parents of 3.
Because I reached my third trimester in October, we decided to stay home for Thanksgiving. Chris’ parents hosted and we got to get all the kids together (10 total!) for a really great turkey day.
November was all about getting the house together. Unpacking and getting miscellaneous projects complete was my focus. I wanted to get as much done as possible before Christmas. We turned the sitting room in the master bedroom as the upstairs loft and had the breakfast area, kitchen and dining room lights installed.
While I wanted the custom trim work for the dining room and living room built ins done before Christmas, scheduling conflicts prevented it from happening until this month.
However, we hosted Christmas with my family here at the new house and had an amazing time. I love Christmas and all the details and hoopla that comes with it but I was so pregnant that I could only do so much. And I was ok with that in the end.
My parents left December 28 and while we were expecting Christian on January 17, I went into labor on Dec 31 and he was born on New Year’s Day like his grandfather (my father in law!).
It was the perfect start to 2020. 2019 was a lot but I learned so much and became so much closer with my family. Really looking forward to what this year is going to bring.
While 2019 was my most profitable year yet as a full time influencer, I really was all over the place mentally. Between us moving into a new house and giving birth to Christian, I wasn’t as focused as I’ve been in the past. This year, I would really like to pivot and make some business ideas come to life and challenge myself to accomplish things I’ve been afraid to purse in the past.
I understand that will take a discipline and focus I’ve never had before while adjusting to the new addition and changes to our family. I have a habit of starting things, but I’m focused on completing things this year. My word of 2020 is COMPLETE. Starting things feels good, while completing things requires following through in discomfort. Like finishing a race. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and completing the task at hand.
I’m up for the challenge.
Here’s to an awesome, uncomfortable and complete 2020. Cheers!