January 1st, 2019

Year in Review: 2018

Happy new year everyone! It’s time for my annual year in review, and wow… 2018. What a year. 2018 has brought about really big changes in my life, so let’s get started on recapping!

Life in General

My life had been pretty stable with little change for many years, but 2018 was definitely different. I spent most of the year pregnant, and then in August, my daughter, Talia, was born!

It’s kind of funny because I wouldn’t describe myself as a baby person. Prior to Talia, I never really held a baby nor cared about other people’s babies that much. It’s a different story when it’s your own though. I know this will sound cliche, but she really has filled mine and my husband’s life with so much love and joy. (Though sometimes we look at her and think, “weird… we have a baby now… THAT’S WEIRD”.)

We also made the big decision of living off of one salary, which I’ll probably write about another time. My husband decided to quit his job and become a full time stay-at-home dad. I know we’ll be fine with my salary, but it’s still a huge change to suddenly cut one salary out of the picture.

As for my own work, there were big changes there too. In the beginning of the year, the engineering department restructured into smaller teams, and we all got Agile training. The team I used to manage was split into two smaller teams, both of which I still manage. I also got promoted! I’m now a Senior Engineering Manager!

Hobbies

Because of the baby, some of my hobbies had to take a back seat. I decided not to attend any Anime conventions, so I didn’t work on cosplay nor book any cosplay photoshoots. I did a lot of drawing the first half of the year, even completing Fill-a-Page February and doing an art trade, but after the baby was born, I haven’t done any.

I continued to play video games, though not as much as I would have liked. I had a brief break from blogging, but then I came back with a new domain! When it comes baking, I felt like I did more in 2018 and experimented with new recipes. I now have a few new favorites to add to my repertoire.

I did start a new hobby as well! I started up toy photography on a new account: Tiny Teabox (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook). I’ve really been enjoying it! The photos are fun to set up, I’ve had to learn new skills, and the toy community has been so nice and welcoming. I’m excited to keep going with this in the new year!

Travel

In April, we had a family trip to Hawaii – specifically Big Island and Maui – with my parents, my brother, and his wife. For my husband and I, it was our 5th time to Hawaii! (I mean, can you really get tired of such a beautiful place?) When we were planning for the trip, I already knew I was pregnant but had not announced it to family yet, so I suggested Hawaii, knowing that it’d be a nice, relaxing trip that I could handle.

After that, I decided not to take any out of town trips, so a couple close friends visited me instead on two separate weekends. One of which came to throw me a baby shower!

Other Notable Events

  • We got rid of my husband’s old car and bought a new hybrid SUV (the Kia Niro).
  • I did another art trade with Rezina!
  • I moved my sewing room and gave it another make over.

Favorite Entries

Yearly Progress

Last year, I made a list of areas that I wanted to focus on. Here’s how I did on each one.

  • Continue decluttering and simplifying my life – I made a lot more progress here! I went through several rooms of my house and picked out things we no longer needed or wanted. We donated, recycled, and threw away so many things.
  • Continue healthy habits – I did well on this, though I’ve slacked on the exercise part after Talia was born. At least I’m still eating healthy, and I’m actually several pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight already!
  • Figure out a proper balance of my hobbies – Well… I didn’t quite do this. My version of “balancing” became giving up a few and taking breaks, which isn’t really a balance.
  • Get my finances in order. – I attempted this but didn’t really succeed. I actually met with an adviser about my investments, and it turns out… I’m so clueless on what’s going on. I still have more to do here.

Looking Forward

Like before, I wouldn’t really call these resolutions, but areas in my life that I want to do more in.

  • Continue decluttering and simplifying my life – Though I’ve made a lot of progress here, I want to continue keeping this in mind. I know there’s more I can do here.
  • Get my finances in order – With a baby and only one salary, this becomes even more important. My husband and I need joint accounts, we need to start one for Talia, and I need to properly figure out my investments.
  • Sharpen my job knowledge – I love being a manager, but I feel like my technical skills start to dull because of it. I’d like to refresh my current knowledge, contribute to an Open Source project (preferably a Ruby on Rails one), and learn a new Javascript framework.

I’m wishing everyone the best for 2019! My gaming year in review will be next!

11 Responses to “Year in Review: 2018”

  • Kirsten says:

    Happy New Year! Congratulations on your little bundle of joy! She is soooo cute! I love that you say what I have been thinking/wondering about myself. As much as I want kids badly I never really feel all the comfortable holding babies and toddlers and older kids I just don’t know how to talk to them. It’s a bit different now that I have nieces and a nephew but I always wondered how I would handle my own baby. It’s nice to know that it’s different with your own. I love kids and was always scared of this. It’s great that you got so much accomplished last year! The baking photos make me wish I could bake 🙂

    • Cat says:

      Yes, I was really awkward about other people’s babies and kids too! I never knew how to interact with them. It’s weird how natural it felt the moment I had my own. I guess your maternal instinct just kicks in from there.

      Happy new year to you too!

  • Nancy says:

    Happy new year, Cat! I’m still excited for Talia’s arrival last year! I mean it’s fine to sound cliche, I am happy that she’s your little bundle of love. Congrats on becoming a senior engineering manager! Oh man, I thought I can get away from hearing agile just at work, jk jk. You’re still a rockstar with your baked goods! Can I work with you so I can freeload some treats? Haha. I love the toy photographs! It looks too real, haha. Hope 2019 will be an exciting year for you and your family. I like that you’re trying to be a technical manager. We need more of those in the world. Keep doing great, Cat.

  • Amy says:

    Happy New Year! So happy to hear you’ve had such a brilliant year. Talia is so cute and I’m so excited for you. Glad you’re enjoying motherhood!

    I wouldn’t worry about not spending much time on your hobbies. I’m sure it happens to everyone – adult life is so busy! Hope you get chance to get back into them in 2019.

    Good luck with all your goals. Finances are so confusing – I never know where I’m supposed to be saving my money or if I’m doing everything wrong. Hope you get it all sorted.

    Can’t wait to see your gaming post. Hope 2019 is a great year for you!

  • Michelle says:

    That’s amazing! I love the new domain and the changes to it ^^
    Talia is just so gorgeous and you and your husband are just proud parents indeed.

  • Pauline says:

    It’s so great to see you in the blogging sphere again Cat! I’ve enjoyed following along your updates on social media last year even though you were off the radar for a bit. I was so happy to see Talia! She is so beautiful. I bet it is still strange to know that you have a daughter haha, I can imagine myself being the same like “oh yeah, I have a x” hahaha!! I wish you all the best in your new parenting life, I know you’ll rock it 😊

    Congratulations on the promotion! That’s incredible. It can be hard to keep up with the growing technical world sometimes, I totally feel you! I know in my current role that is totally seperate to coding, I need to make more of an effort to learn new coding related things because my day role is far from it.

    Happy 2019! Excited to follow along your journey this year 😊

  • Kenny says:

    First off, congratulations on Talia! I know I’m a bit late. 😡

    I’ve been trying to work on my hobbies. I’ve made a little progress here and there but that’s my focus this year.

    And, Cat, those cakes are gorgeous. I’m hungry. :9

  • Claudine says:

    Happy New Year Cat! I love the new domain and the new look! 😉

    Talia is soooo adorable! I can relate to you about being a baby person, lol. I’m pretty awkward around other people’s kids, and I just don’t know how I should interact or play with them. I guess maternal instinct is really a thing and you just know what to do when you have your own baby!

    Your goals sound like the things I’m hoping to work on for this year! Haha I’m especially jealous about you achieving the decluttering part – I’ve already started but I just have so much stuff, it’s insane! XD

    Oh and finally, congratulations on your promotion! <3

  • Christine says:

    What an adorable little girl Talia is!! You sure know how to make a cute babe, hehe! And you’re right–once you have your own everything is so different (and awesome). I’m interested to hear more about your mama life and see more pictures of Talia, too. Overall, it sounds like you had a really exciting and reflective 2018. <3 Sending you all the love for 2019!

  • Chynna says:

    Talia is the cutest name and the cutest baby! I especially loved the Pikachu outfit you made for her. You nearly made me want to go out and procreate straight away, haha. Congratulations on your new position – happy you got promoted 🙂

    I’m also loving the goodies you baked! They look absolutely delicious – hopefully, you get to bake more this year.

    Sounds like you had a great 2018 – I hope 2019 is just as good, if not better!

  • Mija says:

    It’s so weird to have a kid right? Vera is turning 3 in May, and I still look at her and think…”Am I a parent???” I also never really like kids before I had my daughter, never wanted to hold them or really even have one until I met my husband. So strange!!!

    Your baby is so cute!!! I hope I can meet up with you guys at a con or something in the future!!!!

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