Best of 2018

What a year it’s been. 2019 is finally here.

I was recently in NY for a ski trip with my family celebrating the new year festivities.

One night, we all sat together enjoying dinner, sharing laughs, stories, reminiscing on our past. I took a step back listening and observing how much we’ve all grown.

I decided to share my 5 top favorites of 2018.

1-The trip to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. It was an amazing trip. One we could not get enough of. It almost led to a move to New Zealand! JK. I mean, we did try.

But wait, here’s more!

Sorry, can’t help it!

2-The Super Bowl LII. New England Patriots vs Philadelphia Eagles = Justin vs Amanda. It was definitely a divided house. An unbelievable win. Talk about a quiet week after that. Go Eagles!

3-My first weightlifting meet. I did something that scares me. I am forever humbled.

4-Our big adventure with Texas. It was quite a rollercoaster of the unknown and I could not be more proud of my husband taking on a new opportunity. This will be extremely emotional to leave behind but exciting new adventures awaits in the new year!

5-I launched my blog with the idea to share my story and be an advocate. Not just for the deaf and hard of hearing community but to show others hearing or not, there’s potential within you all. It’s grown to lifestyle, food and adventures. I sure hope to influence and inspire many more!

There are 365 pages to fill. You are your own author of these pages. May the new year shine light, lots of love, and peace. Remember, jump in with open heart and know there are far better things ahead than you can imagine. Take last year’s losses and turn it into this year’s growth. Keep smiling like you mean it and be kind.

Make this year count.

Highlights from Dallas, Texas

There’s always a first time for everything. When I say Texas is a culture shock, that’s a first. I’m a huge traveler and have seen crazy parts of the world. This place is so different among others for many reason. It’s flat, spread out, and the vibe here is different. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are locals and even tourists who think it’s beautiful. I always say don’t judge a book by it’s cover. There are places yet uncovered and unseen. There are places that have amazing eats and sites to see! Below are some of the places we went for a quick get away.

HG Sply Co – This is a place for all you Crossfitters, Paleo eaters, health nut foodies, etc. I absolutely adored this place. Their drinks are so good. I got their “Double Under” which is beet-infused tequila drink and am itching to go back for a second drink. Many of their drinks have some sort of veggie or fruit infused. Their food menu is so healthy yet so filling. Simple and clean. They can even be prepared gluten and dairy-free.

Joe T’s – It’s basically a restaurant with no menu that fills an entire city block. Order your fajitas or enchiladas, pitcher of darn good margaritas or one with a corona bottle in it. No problemas.

Snooze Eatery – If you enjoy brunch, this place has the best, lightest, fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever had. We got their special, a Mocha pancake. Literally coffee spilled on pancake but better. They have some delicious burritos and lighter fares. There’s usually a line but put your name down, help yourself to some free coffee in their orange mug or order a Bacon and Egg drink while you wait for your table.

Even get a chance to stay at the Gaylord Texan or Omni Hotel. They both were fantastic.

I’m sure some of you are wondering why I’m writing this but I have some news for you.

 

We are moving to Texas!

 

Read it again.

This was probably one of the hardest decisions we’ve made. We looked at every option including moving closer to DC.

This wasn’t an easy 4 months. There were a lot of tears shed, indecisive decision making, even a declined offer, lots of flights to Dallas and back, not to mention a ton of sacrifices we’re making. We will be moving further from our families. But giving up our dream home was probably the hardest for me. I love my home, the huge back yard we created just for our dogs, the sweat, blood and tears that went into building this thing we thought would be our forever humble abode.

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Then I realized, life doesn’t always go as planned. It never has. I read this quote somewhere.

If we’re meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet…

This couldn’t be more true. I’ve always lived life in the craziest ways even my family thought wouldn’t be possible. That deaf girl? I went to an out of state college. I gave up my life in NJ to be with Justin in Virginia. I’m traveling the world. I’m constantly seeking greater things ahead and what life has to offer.

 

 

 

With that being said, I’m looking forward to our adventures in the big state of Texas!

 

We will miss everyone and the memories created with our friends and family. Virginia is a place I truly believe for lovers and will forever hold a place in my heart.

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First Signing Starbucks Store

Some of you may or may not have heard but Washington D.C. opened the first U.S. Sign Language Starbucks recently. Why the first in the U.S.? The first one in the world was opened in Malaysia which inspired the U.S. to open one. I have been anticipating this moment as soon as I heard about it since the end of Spring this year. First, an interactive drive-thru and now a signing store? Starbucks is known for being inclusive and welcoming for all but this is literally one of the few steps to show that if given the right tools, the deaf and hard of hearing can do anything. Still, the unemployment rate for the deaf community is too high.

This location is on 6th and H Street, Washington D.C. right near Gallaudet Univerisity.

It is amazing. To my hearing friends, please go. They have accessibility for YOU! A digital note pad for ordering and a screen that tells you your order is ready.

They have cute mugs and beautiful murals designed by a deaf artist. It’s SO COOL.

I was overwhelmed by the diversity of the store and may have cried tears of joy inside over how excited and happy to see how big of a difference this makes for the deaf and hard of hearing community. It also shows how much awareness and education the world needs to see and break the barriers of adversity in the workforce and community.

Now, to enjoy my black coffee…I know. Boring. I just love a good decent coffee. What’s your favorite Starbucks drink? Have you visited this particular location yet? If not, it’s a must to visit, order your favorite drink, take a look around yourself and soak in the delicious diversity around you.