I can remember it like it was yesterday: A little more than a year ago, I found myself in a very difficult
1. My mom returning from an African mission
My mom is a registered nurse practitioner specializing in Ob/Gyn. For the last 2 months of 2016 and most of January of 2017, she went to Tanzania to perform midwife mission work. While her experience was deeply rewarding, her presence was sorely missed back home, especially during the holidays. When she made it back to the states late in January, I couldn't have been happier.
2. Visiting Panama City Beach
Even though I live close to the water, I live for a tropical getaway. No two beaches are alike, and Panama City Beach did not disappoint with their white sands and amazingly blue ocean as far as the eye can see. This destination easily possessed a Caribbean-like quality that only enhanced its charm. I definitely plan on going back.
3. Cruise to Mexico
4. The time my words manifested into something wonderful
Going back to the time when I said 'In six months, I won't be in this position,' I now realize how powerful the words that we speak over ourselves are. Upon my return from my cruise, I received some awesome news. I wasn't sure of how everything was going to work, but I knew that my quality of life would dramatically improve. Going forward, I am consistently working on conquering my fears while remembering to always stand up for what is right.
5. Hurricane Harvey slammed into South Texas
Residents of Rockport, Port Aransas, Corpus Christi Texas and surrounding areas braced themselves in August when Hurricane Harvey barreled its way through the coastline of South Texas. While Corpus Christi wasn't badly affected by the storm, structures in Rockport and Port Aransas Texas were obliterated by Harvey. I was blessed that I was able to evacuate and that our property sustained minimal damage. For all the communities that are slowly rebuilding, humanity can be found in the way that people have used their resources to help one another. #TexasStrong
6. The time bae took the most epic beach pic
When I captioned this pic 'Forever Mood' on my Instagram, I wasn't playing! In my mind, this is what an endless Summer vacation looks like: plenty of sunshine, sparkling water and my favorite pair of shades. Bonus points if you're wearing your favorite Ashley Graham swimsuit.
7. The Las Vegas Massacre
When I traveled to Las Vegas on the morning of October 1, 2017, I had no idea that I'd be witnessing
some of the fallout from the largest massacre in modern American history. What was meant to be a celebration of independence, strength and happiness quickly turned into enigmatic real-life nightmare. As much as I enjoyed myself in Vegas, I've found this shocking tragedy impossible to forget. I feel for the families of those who lost their lives, and of how the victims deserved so much better.
8. Seeing Janet Jackson in concert
9. It snowed for the first time in 13 years
Living in a tropical climate, snowfall almost never happens. The last time before 2017 was in 2004
to be exact, and that was the first time that I had seen snow in my entire life. While I realize that heavy snow can be problematic and often dangerous, there's just something about freshly fallen snow that is magical; especially in an environment where it's unexpected.
10. Spending Christmas at my mom's house
Our family is a tightly knit one, so when the holidays roll around, spending then together as a family
is very important to us. My mom's absence last year made it clear that we prefer to have her around during the holidays. We had beautiful decorations, wonderful gifts and delicious food, but the best part of this holiday season was enjoying one another's company. This Christmas has allowed me to really appreciate my loved ones, and to avoid taking anything for granted.
2017 wasn't without its challenges, but overall, 2017 was very good to me. As I step into 2018, I look forward to more love, light, goal-slaying and happiness. Here's to 2018! I'm ready.
Stay Beautifully Encouraged & Empowered ❤