Bye 2017, Hey 2018!

2017 was bomb! It was my first full year living in Italy and so much happened!

At the end of February, I found my job and started teaching English again! (And erhmm re-learning English grammar myself). I have the best colleagues and have learned so much about living in Italy from them as fellow expats. Also a shout-out to the Brits who put up with my endless baseball related idioms and my Midwestern short “A”! I am forever grateful for the laughs and support.

With every up, there are inevitably some downs and this year wasn’t any different.

Around the time I got hired, my Dad’s cancer screenings came back positive again. To say it was tough to be overseas during that period would be a huge understatement. I cried on the phone and cried into Ivan’s arms. My Mom was so strong in supporting my Dad and he was such a champ. They continue to be my inspirations in life. The radiation treatments were effective and he is thankfully in the clear again. A huge reminder that life is short and we don’t know how much time we have.

Ivan and I trained for and ran our first half marathon together in April! He probably could have finished way faster than me, but he ran with me the entire way and we crossed the finish line hand in hand. The emotion in that moment of accomplishing that together is a feeling I will never forget.

So many beloved friends visited Italy this year (Alyssa, Sophia, Yulia, Amina, Caitlin) and made time to see me in Firenze! Thank you all for reminding me of Florence’s glory and to continue to be curious about the city where I live. Let’s never stop exploring!

Speaking of, I visited my family in the US and got some much-needed hugs from family, friends, and dogs. Julie and JT who drove to see me in North Carolina- you two are gems on this earth and our collective love of good food, breakfast, and pools is the best!

Ivan and I took a huge trip to Singapore and Indonesia: Bali and Lombok. So many amazing juices and memories. Travelling with your husband tells you what’s what. Let’s just say that sleep-wandering through the Doha airport during a 9-hour overnight layover didn’t bring out the best in any of us. I’m sure the less Italian of us in the world manage to fight less, but we bickered a lot and I nearly cried over a coconut. We’re not perfect, but we love each other anyway. We’ve learned a lot in the last year about how respecting each other’s bedtimes and snack times is important for sanity. It’s like we’re toddlers or something. But we made it to our first anniversary being married and we love each other more now than ever before so – success.

I also got to take an amazing trip with one of my best friends in the world to Paris where we basically ate cheese and croissants till we couldn’t anymore. Riding the Velib bikes through the streets on the museum- bender of a lifetime is an experience that could never be duplicated! SO MUCH ART.

Those are definitely this year’s major highs and lows. What a great year!

For 2018, I’m not making any long-term resolutions and instead am opting to set intentions month by month. More to follow.

What I do have planned so far:

RUNNING: 1. Firenze Urban Trail Run (March 3) 2. Firenze Half Marathon (April 15)* 3. EcoMarathon Bagno a Ripoli (April 22)

I want to run my second half marathon in under 2 hours. I’ll update my pace goal later on in training!

TRAVEL: My parents are coming to visit in March and I’m planning out our trip and mini-trip to Rome. August holiday TBD

LANGUAGE: I want to take the C1 CILS exam December 6 of 2018 to have the satisfaction of something concrete to prove my Italian fluency! And I want to push myself to expand my vocabulary and comprehension.

Cheers guys

Christine

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