The sky put on a grand finale sunset outside my window as I started reflecting on this past year. However, it doesn't take a lot of reflection to know that 2018 will go down in history as one of my favorite years.
It's the year I became a grandmother!
Watching Little C grow month to month has been an absolute joy.
I gave birth myself in 2018, in a sense. I formed a real estate team! The Shallue Property Group. It's still in its infancy right now... just me and one other agent, Amanda, who is very sharp. Stepping out into this unknown territory was less scary knowing she would be by my side.
In 2018 I also experienced my first trip to California, met and helped many new clients, and had some great visits and memories made with friends and family. I began my "60 by 60" list and made a lot of progress on it, although I need to become really intentional to hit #60 by my 60th birthday in April.
Just more to look forward to in this new year!
Before I get too far ahead of myself, there are some sweet!s since my last post that I want to remember...
My daughter-in-law knows how to celebrate her birthday. She hosts a birthday fiesta every year...
She knows how to throw a great party, while remaining very practical about the realities of parenthood!
We celebrated Thanksgiving in Florida...
So many sweet! moments in one short week. ... Little C meeting his great-grandma Shallue for the first time ... numerous cribbage battles and games of 3-13 ... Little C 's first trip to the beach and to McGuires (where I had my first taste of shepherd's pie!) ... finding exactly what I needed while exploring junk and antique shops with my sister-in-law ... and lots of down time, just hanging out and playing with the baby.
Speaking of babies... my oldest turned 33 in December...
I was already proud of the man he has grown into, but watching him in his role as father just makes my heart soar.
(But seriously ... wasn't this just yesterday?)
Babysitting this precious baby boy is a joy I can't explain ...
We read good books and have some great conversations!
The real estate business is still hot in the Austin area and I'm grateful for all of my clients. I had several closings since my last post, including the first unit to close in the new 5th & West hi-rise complex.
Closings always land on the sweet! list...
Mozart's Christmas Light Show has become an Austin tradition and I finally experienced it. Having my son go with me made it extra sweet! (So did the coffee and the hot chocolate! It was a cold night!)
My word for 2019 is Joy, so I need to find a headband like my friend Ellie wore to this fun party...
It finally hit me that my aching back was probably related to my old, worn-out running shoes, so I treated myself to a new pair. I continue to find at least one heart rock almost every day, and I'm so pleased by how many of my friends are spotting hearts everywhere now, too, and sharing them with me ...
Little C celebrated Christmas in Colorado with his parents and his other grandmother, but we were lucky to have his sister with us. She's around 12, but thanks to special food and medicine, she is so energetic and puppy-like again. She and Belle had a great time running, hunting, and just being good country guard dogs.
Cold mornings like this one where the mist from Lake Travis pools in the hollows of the hills and the light is golden are my favorites. I was grateful she could run up the hill again so we didn't miss it.
The passing of one of my favorite high school teachers, who had become a lifelong friend, was bittersweet. I'm grateful I stopped by to visit him last April on a visit to Houston.
I couldn't go to the service, but a friend who did shared this with me. I think it's worth remembering and sharing...
Celebrating a friend's 60th birthday included a chance to catch up with these beautiful friends I've known since high school. I find it odd and wonderful that we are so close now, and seem to grow closer every year, when in high school we barely knew each other. I regret that it took us so long!
I've made a couple of quick trips to Houston in the past month to spend the night with my sister. It's been fun just watching movies and reminiscing. Her memory is so much better than mine!
Over the Christmas season I watched "Elf" three times! First while decorating my tree, then on one of the visits with my sister, and again at an Alamo Drafthouse movie party with the rest of our market center's Agent Leadership Council (my first movie party!)
My accountability group got together one Friday night with glue, scissors, poster board, a stack of magazines, and a couple of bottles of wine to create our 2019 Vision Boards. That's the way to do it! It's the first vision board I've ever completed. Have you ever created one?
I just happened to glance out the window one morning in time to spot a flock of Cedar Waxwings fly in formation into the hollow and settle in our willow trees. Belle and I ventured closer and I snapped photos with my Nikon... but alas, they are still in my camera. But it was the experience that was sweetest... stepping out of my morning routine to stand there in the quiet with Belle, admiring God's handiwork.
My hours of driving feel much more productive since I discovered Audible. I loved listening to Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, and its more modern, funny version, You Are a Badass at Making Money, by Jen Sincero.
December brought me one last reminder of my awesome Italy Trip of 2017 with dear high school friends. I'll miss it in 2019!
The sun has long set as I finish this. Fireworks boom from the hills around our house, making Belle nervous. I'm sure when Little C gets a little older, Tom will once again put on a fireworks show, but tonight we're happy to stay inside, watching television, reminiscing over the past year, and waiting for the ball to drop so we can call it a night... and a year.
I wish for all of you a blessed 2019, full of love, laughter, and joy. Happy New Year!
Lord, as the New Year dawns today,
Help me to put my faults away.
Let me be big in little things;
Grant me the joy which friendship brings;
Keep me from selfishness and spite,
Let me be wise to what is right.
A Happy New Year! grant that I
May cause no tear to any eye.
When this new year in time shall end,
Let it be said: "I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here
And made of it a happy year."
~Edgar Guest (1881–1959), "Prayer for the New Year"