2015 Review and 2016 View

On the eve of New Years Eve, I thought it would be nice to take a look back at the past year and share some thoughts on the upcoming year.

In 2015, I accomplished many things of which I am proud.  I started the year dancing for the Gotham City Cheerleaders, which is the unofficial dancers of the NY Giants. This is a professional dance team which I truly enjoyed being a part of.  I was able to work several events and bond with a fabulous group of ladies.

I was also able to be a part of a Bumblefoot music video directed by one of my college friends, Gabriella Loutfi.  Bumblefoot, aka Ron Thal, is an amazing guitarist who was a member of Guns n' Roses.  It was such a fun experience and Ron was amazingly kind and down to earth.  You can check out the video here:

This year I celebrated my 30th birthday in style!  On my actual birthday I enjoyed dinner and a show with my hubby and friends.  Actually, my friends were the show, they performed a Broadway review which was awesome! The night before was the album release party for the Bumblefoot music video to which I brought my friend Jess. This was a super fun chill night of rubbing elbows with the people from the production team as well as the band.

This year I also participated in 2 beauty pageants.  Both pageants centered around volunteering and commitment to the community. In my first pageant, the WAC North American Pageant, I earned second runner up and the volunteer award.  In my second pageant, I earned first runner up and received the Presidential Service award.  I also held the title of National Mrs. New York for the year which gave me the opportunity to participate in various events and parades.

National Mrs NY 2015
National Mrs NY 2015
WAC North American Pageant
WAC North American Pageant

This year I auditioned for and made a dance team and a dance company.  I am currently a member of Aries in Flight dance company and performed with them in October, whilst pregnant. For obvious reasons, I am currently on hiatus from the company, but I expect to be back performing with the company at some point in 2016.  I also became a member of the USA Cheerleaders, a team committed to supporting all member of the armed services and their families.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to participate in any events with the team, since by the time of the first event I had learned I was pregnant and was already showing. Cheer-leading uniforms are not so forgiving, especially mid-drift ones.  I do look forward to performing with them in the future.

This year I choreographed several shows for college, high school, and community theater.  I got to witness my son's onstage debut and watch him take his first dance class. I attended the weddings of some of my closest friends and shared in the joy of several friends' pregnancies.  I spent a lot of time with family which was awesome and was able to share in many celebrations with friends.

This year, I started grad school which has been an exciting challenge.  I have earned 9 credits so far and am well on my way to becoming a Math Master.  Finding the time and brainpower to study and complete homework has been challenging especially during the 1st trimester of pregnancy, however, I was able to maintain A's and B's thus far which I couldn't be happier with.

This year I also founded my own nonprofit, I Hope You Dance, Inc. This organization was created to help support young dancers who cannot afford lessons and dance attire/shoes but have a desire to dance.  It is not based on talent, but solely the desire to dance.  We are currently selling a 2016 Calendar of which 100% of the proceeds goes to support youth dance.  To find out more, you can visit our website here: www.ihopeyoudancecalendar.com.

This year, T celebrated his second birthday and learned the art of conversation.  He was introduced to the Avengers, Star Wars, and has fallen madly in love with Legos.  He is in the process of becoming potty trained and has peed the potty, but has yet to poop there. We have every confidence that this skill will be learned by his 3rd birthday.

Finally, this year we discovered that we are pregnant with baby #2!! This little girl will be the first girl in the family and we can't wait to meet her! Baby Hailey Jean will be arriving in May 2016.  We are excited to become a family of 4 and discover how that will change and enrich our family.

Now it is high time that we take a moment to look at 2016.  In the coming year, my goal is to spend more time with friends.  This year many friends were super busy planning weddings and as the only mommy of the group scheduling became difficult. (It was probably also difficult due to all the things listed above...) This year, with 2 of my friends joining the mommy ranks, I hope to have more girls nights as well as play dates with my favorite ladies.

In 2016, I hope to continue with my grad degree with equal success as the past year.  I am already registered for spring 2016 and have plans to take summer classes as well.  The last day of classes for the Spring is also my due date.  We'll see how that works out.  Both of my professors are aware of the situation and have assured me that arrangements can be made depending on if the baby comes early or later.

In 2016, we plan to take a family vacation. A real one.  One that does not revolve around a pageant or other event.  Also, one that requires plane travel.  Our last major trip was our honeymoon and we are looking forward to spending a full week out of town. We have a fully paid off timeshare which we have never used.  I think it's high time that we used it.

By the end of 2016, I hope to be back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I plan to breast feed for the first year like I did with Tyler, so I don't want to rush weight loss so much that it affects my milk supply, but definitely a flat stomach and possibly abs by the end of the year! I also plan to share my progress with all of you, so you can keep me accountable, lol.

In 2016, my goal is to make family a priority.  There is always something new to try and fun to do and this year I was able to do a lot of it.  With multiple pageants and dance teams and performance opportunities, this year was packed. Next year, however, with a new baby coming, I plan to lighten the schedule a bit. That doesn't mean I'm dropping dance or performing by any means.  I have every intention of getting back to performing with Aries in Flight and the USA Cheerleaders, but probably no pageants, music videos or other dance teams this year.  Teaching dance, a dance company, a dance team, grad school, work, a nonprofit, a new baby, family and friends should be enough to fill my plate.

What are your goals for 2016? Are you planning on an action packed year, or will you be taking a year to dial it back and relax? Let me know in the comments!!

Cheers and Happy New Year!!

Emily

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