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Reflecting on 2019

Here we are again. I feel kind of egotistical writing about my life, but it also feels good to write. It makes you realize how much you’ve done, when you sometimes feel like you haven’t done much throughout the year. It’s been a year since I’ve posted, but it seemed fitting to at least do a year in review. It’s been a whirlwind of a year. Work keeps me drained and on empty, but I still have a lot to be grateful for and we’ve had a lot of great times this year.

The year really started off with a bang. We boarded a plane to Virginia Beach, Virginia to attend my brother in law’s wedding. Both families know how to…throw a wedding.

Mike and I got back into the swing of work, and Alana and Mikey got back into the swing of daycare and school. Fast forward to Spring Break. Mike and I took the kids on a road trip to explore a new city. We ventured down about 8 hours to New Orleans, Louisiana. We arrived during a foggy dusk, which made the city seem eerie, fitting NOLA’s stereotype. We did a swamp tour, which was our favorite part. We rode the boat with Cajun Encounters. The guide was sarcastic and hilarious, which made the trip that much better. We were feet away from gators, snakes, wild boar, and more as we floated through Honey Island Swamp. Hands down, best part of the trip! We explored the city, ate some gumbo and other Cajun food, listened to the jazz, saw the St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square, saw the above ground cemeteries, and went on a drive to view some of the plantations.

We decided to make the hour drive over to Gulfport, Mississippi. The kids played on the beach for a bit before we headed back to our hotel. We headed back home and got back to our work and school routine.

In May, I made a trip to Kansas City to support my best friend. It was a sad trip, but was needed. Friendship is precious.

I finished my first year of teaching, and Alana finished first grade. It was one of my toughest years, but we did it! Over the summer, we went on a road trip to see some new sights, and to visit friends and family. We drove from Texas, through Arkansas, to Tennessee, where we got to see some treasured military friends. We drove from there through Kentucky to Ohio, where we spent time with my family.

We drove down to Virginia to visit Mike’s family. We drove through the beautiful mountains of West Virginia.

We visited Washington D.C., saw the monuments, and visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. My best friend brought her girls up to visit. It was awesome seeing all of the kids play together again. We visited Washington D.C. again and Arlington National Cemetery.

All of us girls went and walked around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to explore history.

We also made a trip to Shenandoah National Park. There are no words to describe how it feels being in the mountains and nature.

My best friend headed back home to North Carolina. My husband and I packed up the kids and drove up to see one of his friends in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His friend gave us a walking tour of the city. We got to see some sights, such as Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell. and eat a Philly Cheesesteak, of course. We are grateful his friend and his family guided us.

We next headed up to New Jersey to see another friend. From there, we were less than an hour away from New York City. I told my husband there is no way we can be that close, and at least not drive by. We compromised. We drove to the outside of the city, got some great views and pictures, and saw the Statue of Liberty pretty close by. We drove through Staten Island. We headed back to his mom’s house in Virginia, hitting Delaware and Maryland.

When we said our goodbyes, we started our two day trip back home to Texas. We stopped at Fort Bragg and Fayetteville, North Carolina for a few hours. We saw my best friend again. We ate at Joe’s Crab Shack, which brings back from memories from when Mike and I used to go there ten years ago when we were stationed there. We drove the post and saw our old barracks, well, where they used to be. They were torn down. Those barracks are where my husband and I met for the first time and where we made many memories. We drove past the tiny chapel where we got married in December of 2010. It was condemned due to asbestos. No surprise there! It’s crazy how much things can change in ten years, yet ten years flew in the blink of an eye.

We left to head back towards Texas. We drove right South of the Border, which also brings back some memories from the old days. We drove by Fort Jackson, South Carolina as well, which is where I did basic training in 2008. We stopped for the night right outside of Fort Gordon, Georgia. We finished up our trip the next day. We drove through Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana as well. It was a wonderful trip full of great memories for us and our kids.

When we got back, Mike got back into the routine of work again. I prepared to get ready to begin my second year of teaching first grade. It’s been a tough year again, but I definitely learned enough the first year to help me get through the second year a little easier. Alana started second grade, and Mikey started preschool. They both love school. Alana has been busy with piano, and she also started Girl Scouts, where she has stayed busy and made lots of girlfriends.

We decided to stay home and relax for Thanksgiving break. It was much needed, but truth be told, if I had someone to travel with, I would have been on some kind of adventure. The R&R was good for us though. We made it to Christmas break, where we started our next trip. We hopped on a plane again, to go to the place where we started the year, Virginia Beach. We flew into Washington D.C. and stayed at Mike’s mom’s house for the night, before driving up to Virginia Beach. My MIL bought a condo two blocks from the beach. The kids loved being able to walk a quick walk to play in the sand and to play on the playground. It was too cold to swim, but they had fun regardless. We had a great time with the family. My husband is a triplet, and all of the boys were together for Christmas. What a gift for their mom! We had a great Christmas together, crushing each other in UNO and Christmas Trivia games. What kind of ocean trip is it without whale watching? I didn’t even know there were whales at Virginia Beach. We took a boat tour on the Atlantic Explorer with the Virginia Beach Aquarium and Marine Center. We saw some whales, nothing in comparison to what we saw in Hawaii, but it was still cool….literally, it was cold. No, but really, it was a good time. We drove to Fredericksburg to spend some time with more family.

We are now home in Texas, after a very bumpy flight home. We’ve been running errands and getting things done, while trying to get back into a routine.

Amongst all of that, we have also explored Texas a little more. We’ve done many things, such as visit Sea World-San Antonio, the Alamo and the Riverwalk. My best friend visited me in Texas and we did a small coastal trip where we visited San Antonio again, then headed down to Padre National Seashore, Port Aransas, and drove the coast all the way to Galveston. We stayed in Houston for the night and visited the NASA Space Center. Pretty cool! Some other things we did were Inks Lake State Park, Chalk Ridge Falls, Colorado Bend State park, Krause Springs, Enchanted Rock and Graffiti Park. We’ve visited the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Fredericksburg, and Austin, where we’ve seen awesome sights and have eaten some good BBQ. We’ve experienced a Texas Rodeo. We stayed in Dallas for a weekend with friends where we took the kids to explore LEGOLAND and sea life park for Alana’s birthday. We’ve had many visitors this year. My sister and mom were down to visit. My father and step mom in law are currently living the RV life and are in Fredericksburg for a few months. I’m sure I am missing many details from the year, as I’m writing this quickly and sporadically, but it’s been a busy one, that is for sure! There’s been a lot of grief and heartache and a lot of hard times at work, but sometimes we have to our best to go on regardless. We put our home in Missouri up for sale this fall. It is still on the market and we are hoping to get rid of it soon.

I am really grateful for many things this year – travels, friendships, family, and so much more. The kids are doing great, our dog Sparty is doing great. He is really a great fit for our family. Mike is doing great at work. He is still working digital forensics. He got promoted to Sergeant First Class, or E-7, this summer. He also just reenlisted indefinitely, which means he promised the army he will stay in until he hits 20 years, which is 2027. That is a big commitment, but I couldn’t be more proud of him.

In other big news, we got orders to …… GERMANY. The Galbraith family will be uprooting and moving to Kaiserslautern, Germany this summer. We are so excited. We have so much to do to get ready and a lot of researching to do. We are already making travel plans. More to come in the future.

We are looking forward to 2020. There is a lot to look forward to. Besides the move, I will be finishing my second year of teaching. I will be starting my 30’s in a few months. Mike and I will hit TEN YEARS of marriage in 2020.

I hope you all have a wonderful 2020, full of wonderful adventures and memories. I'm closing out the year on the couch with my husband, kids, and dog. It doesn't get much better than that. Hug your families tight and enjoy the last moments of 2019. <3


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