Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018: A Year in Review

We started out 2018 with a white New Year's in David's home town in the Alps.

The biggest event in January was David FINALLY getting his visa/green card approved. He gave his notice at work with a big smile on his face, and we started making plans to leave Cannes at the end of the month.

To pass the time before our big move to the U.S., we went on a last-minute weekend trip to Krakow, Poland. I loved the beautiful architecture, snow, and history.

January was also my last chance to say goodbye to my favorite French Riviera cities. I made sure to stop by Nice, Grasse, Mandelieu, and Antibes one last time. One Saturday, we checked off the last item on my Cannes bucket list by taking a boat ride to the Iles de Lérins.

We moved out of our apartment on the first of the month and settled in at David's parent's house for our last few weeks in Europe.

But we couldn't leave the continent without saying goodbye to the Sicilian side of the family! Mid-month, we embarked on a 2-day road trip to Brontë, Sicily (Antonino's hometown). For 2 weeks, we saw incredible Roman ruins, beautiful cities, admired the volcano Mt. Etna, drove on "roads" no car should ever drive on, communicated through hand gestures and baby Italian, and were basically force-fed copious amounts of pasta by David's aunts. It was an amazing and memorable trip!

The first week of March was our last in Europe after 1.5 years of living in France. It was a tough week of saying goodbye to David's family and fitting our lives into suitcases. Not to mention me tearing my meniscus again. Yay.

After the hard times, we were both very happy to get off the plane at O'Hare and start our new lives in America. We settled into my parent's house and enjoyed reuniting with the family, friends, and puppies that we had missed.

This month was all about the job search for David. Looking for a job was his full-time job. He fine-tuned his resume and started applying, networking, and interviewing.

My excitement in April was going on a quick weekend trip to New York City with my mom and sister. We got to see Anastasia on Broadway, eat a lot of good food, and enjoy shopping and sightseeing together.

The good news in May was that David landed a great job! After 2 months of looking, he ended up with 3 offers the same week. 

The bad news in May was that I turned 29. #old

On David's 26th birthday, we flew to MAUI for a family trip. I don't even know what adjectives to use to describe Hawaii. I will try my best by calling it relaxing and insanely beautiful. It was one of those trips where before the end of the first day, you know you want to go back someday.

After the high of Hawaii, June was by far the worst month of the year. I had not 1, but 2 awful knee surgeries when the doctor messed up the first one. I stayed in bed, inside, and on crutches for the rest of this month and the next.

I also got to experience 2 firsts in my life: staying overnight in the hospital, and going to the ER. Staying in the hospital was actually pretty nice because I liked the concept of people bringing me things at the press of a button. I had to go to the ER to check for blood clots since morphine wasn't taking the edge off the pain in my calf. Thankfully, I didn't have blood clots. My leg just hurt because the doctor messed up the surgery and my leg was crooked. Nbd.

Still gotta point that toe.
By mid-July I could crutch from room to room in my house and shower without things were looking up lol. 

The big excitement in July was that WE PUT AN OFFER ON A HOUSE. And it was accepted! The bright side of my knee saga was that I didn't get too bored being cooped up because I had so much to do during the house buying process.

We own this :)

In August, David got to live his dream and I got to live my nightmare. That's right, we went to Branson, Missouri.

The best way I can describe Branson is "the opposite of Paris." That explains our different attitudes toward it haha. Alas, my dad's family had a reunion there. I love my family, so there I went. 

After the reunion, we both got to check off a new state when David and I stopped in Bentonville, Arkansas. We visited David's friend Kurtis (one of the first missionaries to teach him) and his family.

I started my job soon after we got back from our trip as an assistant teacher in a private Jewish school. I enjoyed dusting off my Hebrew and confusing several people that a random (crippled) Christian knew so much about Israel.

There were so many big events this month! We celebrated 2 years of marriage. I finally got off crutches.

I made the difficult decision to throw another job into the mix. I was offered a part-time  French teaching job at a 5th and 6th grade middle school. I now teach every other day there and do an after-school program from 3:30-6:00 at the Jewish school. 

It has been quite stressful because it was last minute and I didn't have the chance to lesson plan over the summer. I've also never taught kids this young.

And if that wasn't enough... we closed on our house!!!!! It almost fell through at the last minute (literally the day before our scheduled closing). It still feels surreal that we are homeowners.

October was all about working on the house. We owned exactly 0 pieces of furniture the day we closed. My dad helped us paint several rooms and we worked on finding furniture and other things we needed. It took a long time because we were both so busy with work.

On one weekend we paused working on the house to experience Wisconsin's pretty fall at Holy Hill and a pumpkin patch. Oh yeah, and I tried out having red hair for the first time this month.

Moving day was in November! It feels so good to be settled here but I'm still a bit homesick for my parent's dog Buttercup. Good thing they live 8 minutes away.

I don't have any pictures of the event, but David was thrilled to celebrate his first Thanksgiving in America. 

After spending the last two Christmases in France, I was thrilled to be home for the holidays. 

It has been a year full of changes and adulting. We're looking forward to enjoying 2019 in our new house and seeing what this year brings. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Rubinos! Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!

Previous Years in Review below- I love looking back on these.