The Year in Limbo | 2016 Recap & Reflections

Yikes you guys! I can’t believe this is the end of 2016.

It has been one hell of a year, in both good and not so great ways. #ripallthebeautifulliveslostthisyear

Looking back at the end of 2015 I was SO ready for 2016.

I had a sneaky feeling it was going to be a big year, and we didn’t even know about London yet.

And just as I predicted, 2016 did not fail to deliver.

We were barely 2 weeks into January and there was talk about London. Then before I knew it we were announcing our departure from Chicago. Then in another blink of an eye we packed our apartment, 3 cats, and said so long {farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye….} to life in Chi-town.

To be really honest, 2016 feels like a dream.

We went through the entire year in a weird, almost drug-like, transitory state.

We were constantly in limbo and if I had to give this year a theme – that’d be it.

First it was back & forth, yes then no, on whether we were going to London or not.

Then we were given the green light and moved into the next phase of our limbo year where we had to figure out how to pack up 8 years of life in Chicago. Which required so much energy, I have no idea how my parents picked up their lives every few years and movedespecially with 3 kids.

Dealing with 3 cats was headache enough, I can don’t even want to imagine dealing with actual humans that could talk back at you, throw tantrums, and just cause general chaos and mayhem {not that I ever did any of those things 😉 }.

Then when we finally got to London we entered phase 3 of our limbo year where we now had to figure out how to create a life in a new country. Which has been way more intimidating that I ever thought it would be. And this is coming from a military brat who moved around their entire childhood.

But trust me when I say – while the Brits may speak the same language {though even that I question from time to time} – it is a completely different culture from America.

It’s only been these last few months of the year where living in London hasn’t felt as intimidating. There are still moments when I still don’t understand what’s going on, but I’ve managed to find some semblance of a flow.

Which is why it’s so weird to see this year coming to a close, because to me it feels like it’s only just begun.

I’m finally starting to turn my attention to other things besides London.

I swear that’s all I talked about. All I thought about. All I ate, slept, and breathed about this year.

Which is all well and good – it was exciting and something I’m truly grateful to experience.

Buuuuuuut…I kinda started feeling like one of those new moms who won’t stop talking about their newborn or posting photos or unnecessarily bringing it up in conversations that have nothing to do with babies/parenting.

And in case you’re trying to figure it out, in this scenario I’m the new mom and London is my baby.

It’s totally understandable though, right? Because it’s something new, cute, and exciting.

But after awhile you’re kinda like – ok, we get it, it’s a baby {even if it’s super cute}. Or in my cause it’s just a city {even if it’s super cool}.

So in effort to show you guys {but really in efforts to convince myself} that there was more to my life than London this year I made a list of my top 16 moments of 2016.

And guess what? Only 6 of them are related to London.

That’s progress people.

In the spirit of the holiday, we’re going to do a countdown.

Cause it’s a new year and that’s what you do.

16. Last year in my 20’s

Getting ready to jump on that 30’s train! 3-0 here we go! {but also like #sobbing – goodbye twenties 😭 }

15. Whole30 Champion!

I completely forgot I did the Whole30 challenge earlier this year, but I totally give it credit for turning my health & fitness around for a stronger, leaner, happier me.

14. Farewell to Chicago

So many memories in this city, so many people, places, and food that I love. It was a bittersweet goodbye and it’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

13. July 4th in Germany

Our first American holiday as American expats and we were happy we could spend it with family.

12. Christmas in Germany

Out of the chaos of London during the holidays and wearing pajamas pretty much every day – a Christmas well spent.

11. 1 year wedding anniversary

DCT and I – one year down. I’m thinking we’ve got another good 6-8 before it’s time to abandon ship.

10. Celebrating the Queen’s birthday

Our first truly British experience – shout out to Your Majesty 👊

9. Designing my first {non-blog related} website

That’s right! Ya girl designed and coded an entire website for an actual client {my mom} for an actual business {the dental office she works at} and got PAID.

8. NYE in London

Ok, so technically this hasn’t happened yet, but we’re going to see Wicked, and I can’t think of a better way to ring in the new year than a great big theatrical show.

7. Visiting Paris with the fam

Ahhh Par-ee…after all these years it’s still one of my favorite cities.

6. Visiting Venice with bae

Drank so much wine that I didn’t want wine again for a week {which is like a year in my book}.

5. Officially moved into our London flat

The flat hunt was one of the most stressful things during our move, but I am so pleased with what we found. It feels more and more like home everyday – look out for a tour coming soon!

4. Volunteering for the Victoria & Albert Museum

One of the best days of my week is getting to volunteer at the V&A, so happy I landed this opportunity.

3. Visiting Africa for the first time

Marrakech was amazing, I definitely will be back and it totally whet my whistle for more African adventures.

2. Settling into London life

It’s been a process….it’s still a process…but we’re finally starting to feel at home.

And the number one moment of 2016……..

1. Moving to London

Because without moving here I wouldn’t have experienced the majority of the things above. 💕

I hope you all have an amazing weekend ringing in the new year.

Catch me on Instagram (@ashleiceetee), I may even do some Snapchat (@ashlei_snaps) over the weekend.

Wishing you peace, love, joy, and light as you head into 2017.

See ya there!