Friday, December 31, 2021

2021 for Juliana Grace!

 What a year it has been. I truly can't even put into words what this year has meant. There has been some sadness, disappointments, and grief.. but there has also been a lot of growth, accomplishment, and joy. I love looking back at what the last year has brought and I can't wait for what 2022 will hold!

Let's get into this.

Favorite Memories:

I started my year in my last semester as a student teacher. I truly loved the students from my internship and was heartbroken to leave. However, I knew God had every one of my steps planned and knew where teaching would take me this year. 

My family went to the zoo at the beginning of this year and had a blast. I love family days!

I got to work with my genius sister to design a collection for Coras Den, my favorite shop to get fun earrings. I loved this collection and how it embodied my blog and social media: Faith, Food, Fashion, & Fun. (My collection is no longer available but you can use my code JGRACE10 for 10% off Coras Den). 

In the spring of 2021, I checked several things off my bucket list before graduating college. I got to zipline over alligators and crocodiles at Gatorland. My mom and sis were on the ground cheering us on as my dad and I had SO MUCH FUN. This was such a thrill and I would 100% do it again.

I also got to swim with sharks at Discovery Cove.. my absolute favorite place in the world. My parents gifted me a day at this heaven on earth as a graduation gift and it was as blissful as you would imagine. I swam with dolphins again and snorkeled until my heart was content. The highlight though was getting to finally swim with sharks. I felt really safe and really enjoyed seeing these majestic creatures up close. Such a cool experience!

My dad and I went on a daddy-daughter date to NASA and I loved every minute. I had been on a space kick and loved learning allll about the history and future of space travel.

One of my favorite memories of 2021 was graduating college!! UCF had a Grad Walk where you got to go in to the arena with just a few guests as you walked across the stage. I loved the intimate ceremony and time with family. I felt SO accomplished for getting my bachelors degree and the day went by in such a blissful blur.

My sister and I enjoyed the summer and the last few weeks of our Aquatica annual pass. We could seriously do water parks every day!! We always had a blast here and I am really itching to go back.

My dad, sister, and I all went to Longboat Key for a few days this summer and had a great time. My sister even bought her first Lilly!! My mom unfortunately couldn't come and we missed her terribly.

This Fall was one of immense growth and trust in God as he guided me through so many transitions. The first being moving out!! I didn't move far from my family but moving into an apartment all on my own was nerve wracking and exciting all the same. I am still surprised sometimes that I trusted myself to keep myself alive. This has been a HUGE learning curve for me. Paying bills, setting up a retirement fund, fixing my washing machine, and learning how to cook has all been stressful and exciting. I have loved decorating my space and making it feel like my perfect little home.

I am officially a Special Education teacher y'all. I am again shocked that I am somehow responsible for keeping kids alive and educated but here we are, ha. In all honesty, my first year teaching has been a whirlwind of emotions. On the one hand, I am surprised at how naturally this job has come to me. I feel like I am doing exactly what God wants me to be doing and for that I am so thankful. On the other hand, teaching at a Title 1 school with so many challenging behaviors has been a learning curve. Learning how to love students in difficult situations has left me crying some nights and overwhelmed with gratitude on others. It has been a LOT but overall, I am really thankful for how this year has gone so far. 

At the end of September, my sweet Papaw was finally cured from cancer and taken home to be with Jesus. I have experienced death before but never quite this close to home. I am so grateful for the years I had with my grandpa while simultaneously being so mad I didn't get more. I want him at my wedding one day. I want him to hold my babies one day. I selfishly want so much more time, but am thankful that he is no longer in pain. He is with our almighty God in perfect health and that gives me so much peace. 

Through this tragic loss I have also seen the immense strength of my sweet grandmother. She is the strongest woman I know and I love her so much!

This Christmas was... different. I have had a sinus infection all of December and my sister got sick shortly before Christmas as well. We were short a very important person and his absence was felt. Overall though, I am blessed to end this year with family and my health (kind of.. haha). 

Favorite Outfits:

Lilly Pulitzer will always be a staple and I couldn't get enough of the bright prints... especially during the sweltering summer months.

I think my headband problem has gotten out of control this year y'all. I really need to stop.. but I just can't!!

When a dress is just so good you need it in both colors. This gingham tie strap maxi dress is my dream dress. I wore these a ton this spring and summer.

This purse that I begged my mom for for months, and finally got on my birthday is still my favorite thing ever!! It is everything I ever wanted in a purse.

This Lilly Pulitzer cardigan gives me Elle Woods vibes and I am obsessed!

Favorite Movies:

This really wasn't the year for the movie theater sadly... I really miss going to the movies! Hopefully there will be more movie going in 2022!

Cruella was AMAZING!! The acting, styling, and setting was all fantastic.

King Richard, the movie about Venus and Serena Williams father and their upbringing, was phenomenal. I always enjoy learning about peoples lives. 

American Underdog is a new movie in theaters right now about the true story of Super bowl MVP Kurt Warner. I loved this story!

Favorite TV Shows:

Selling Sunset

I am embarrassed to be so obsessed with this trashy show HAHA. If you know me from church.. let's pretend you didn't read this part, lol! If you love drama ridden reality TV and extravagant real estate properties, you may love this one too. 

Selling Tampa

I really like this one too that is newer to Netflix. This one focuses a little less on the petty drama and more on the real estate and real life topics which I liked. Fingers crossed for a Season 2.

Emily in Paris

This show is so unrealistic and dramatic but I love anything Paris and ADORE the fashion and outfits in this show. 

Friends Reunion

This was a MAJOR highlight of my 2021. Friends is my all time FAVORITE show and seeing the cast reunite and reminisce had me in the FEELS. 

Favorite Books:

You can read my blog post all about my top five books of 2021 here.

I would also like to add that some of my favorite moments and memories from this year revolve around this devotional book:

My mom, sister, and I have been working through this book daily and meeting once a week to discuss our thoughts together. I really cant emphasize enough how amazing this book was and how much we enjoyed it. We all agreed too that we learned a TON. It is amazing to learn and read the bible with a more detailed focus on the women. LOVED IT!

Well there you have my 2021 recap friends. I am so thankful for each of you and hope you all have a wonderful New Year. HAPPY 2022!!!

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