2019: Year in Review

I wanted to start this blog post by saying “I don’t know where to begin”, but the thing is, I know exactly where to begin. Every event that took place this year, everything that happened—good and bad is still so fresh in my mind. It almost feels like 2019 was an out of body experience, in a way. I can step back and see myself going through all the life events and changes and know what I’m feeling, and what I’m thinking. This year has stuck with me and is very present in my mind and heart, and I don’t think it’ll ever go away. 

I believe every year has its highest highs and its lowest lows, whether people want to admit that or not. I know for a fact I’ve had some pretty damn good years, and in those ones the good definitely out weighed the bad. This year, it’s honestly 50/50. Now that we are hours away from a new year— a new start, a new beginning, I’d like to reflect back on 2019 and all it had to offer. I started writing a year in review blog post every year so far and for me, it’s been fun to go back and read how far I’ve come and what’s happened in my life. (You can read 2018 here.) I believe that what happens in your life plays a big part in who you are. So let’s see where 2019 brought us this year.


It started out pretty positive and also bittersweet. On NYE of 2017, my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer and on January 2nd, he went in for a brain operation to remove one of his tumors. Without a doubt, 2018 takes first place for being the worst start to the New Year, ever. When it approached again this year, my whole family and I were rejoicing that we were celebrating 2019 with my dad. Shortly after he was diagnosed, we were told he might not have much longer. As in he had months left to live. It was truly a miracle that we got one last New Year with him, and I’m forever thankful for that. We got a new memory that we’ll all hold close to our hearts, and that was attending the Rose Parade in Pasadena on January 1st. You see, we were originally supposed to go on January 1st of 2018, but God had other plans. Going to this felt like a new seed of hope, and really brought a lot of positivity into my heart. 

Tim’s nieces birthday is in January, so we celebrate that every year in the beginning along with our annual trip to Big Bear for MLK Weekend. The weekend is spent relaxing, playing games, eating good food and a whole lot of quality family time. I got really lucky in the in-law department with Tim’s family, so spending time with them is really fun for me.


After starting the new year out with hope and good memories, it quickly went south. Within the matter of 3 weeks, my dad’s health dropped suddenly…and on Super Bowl Sunday he was welcomed into the gates of heaven to be with our Lord Jesus Christ. My dad passed away with us by his side, and it was one of the most beautiful, heart shattering experiences I’ve ever had to go through. The rest of February was honestly a blur, and if I’m being real…I’ve been going through the motions ever since. But nonetheless, life goes on whether you want it too or not, and my wedding was around the corner—along with all the festivities that come with. 





Spring is one of my favorite seasons, and that’s mainly because of all the girly aspects to Spring. The warm weather, the pink colors, the pretty flowers, it practically screams my name! I was showered with love throughout the rest of the season, and it made my life so much brighter. The wedding quickly approached and I had my girls by my side for 3 bridal showers, my bachelorette weekend and of course the wedding. Even though I spent these months being really stressed out on last minute details, I wish I could relive the fun part of it. All of the fun parties and just being loved on. It really was the best!

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The high continued and we got married on June 8th in Irvine. We had our dream wedding thanks to both sets of parents, and the greatest party that ever happened. Leading up to the big day, I had heard so many comments on how the day goes by so fast, and how stressful it is. Oh, and also that you don’t eat anything. Well let me tell ya something…my wedding day was the most relaxed day I had had in AWHILE. Ask my friends, ask my Mom. Even ask Tim. This sense of relief just swept over me, and I was able to enjoy my entire day while also eating plenty. And I got to marry the love my life. Talk about the best wedding day ever.

As if two life transitions wasn’t enough, I went ahead and threw another one in there. Well, this one I couldn’t really avoid. I moved out for the first time in my life, and left the only house that I’ve ever called home. While I was very excited to get out and experience freedom and living on my own, it was also extremely hard to leave. Luckily, my family still lives there for now, so I’m able to stop by whenever I want. I’m definitely an emotion-based type person, so I just have a lot of memories and things tied to this house. After moving in the day after we got married, I was exhausted to say the least. A wedding, moving, and then back to work all in 3 days. I’m still so happy we decided to push our honeymoon back a week, and I highly recommend doing so. I was able to get settled, move, and write my thank yous. So when I came back, I didn’t feel flustered! Or so I thought.

Again, as if I didn’t already have a lot on my plate, we got a dog the day before leaving for our honeymoon. Yikes, lol! We adopted our Chip and were able to come home from our honeymoon, straight to a puppy. Might I add, a wild puppy. It may have been crazy (let’s be real it still is), but I have no regrets about getting Chip. I cried in the parking lot to Tim about how much I needed him, started a fight, and then got my way. Tim will admit it, he’s never been happier that I fought him on this and made us a get a puppy a week after being married. It’s one of the best decisions we’ve made thus far!

After our honeymoon, we were still on cloud nine. Summers have always been fun and full for us, and nothing changed this year. We celebrated both of our birthdays, spent time with Chip, lots of birthday dinners, and just more summer events. Time really does fly when you’re having fun though, and believe it or not, come August Tim and I needed to start thinking about where we were living since our lease is up in March. We were tossing the idea around of moving out of state, staying in an apartment for one more year, buying a house here, moving away but still close…the options were endless honestly. 


I would love to say that we pulled a wildcard and are doing a huge crazy move, but we aren’t. In September we purchased our first home, or should I say dirt! We’re building our first home right outside of Orange County and we couldn’t be happier. We made the decision to stay close, but still move away, and buy a house. It’s on both of our bucket lists to move out of state, but deep down in our hearts it just wasn’t the right move. We were forced to sit down and plan and talk about where the next 5 years of our lives were going, and since that includes children, we are staying close. Maybe we’ll eventually move one day, but only time will tell.

The customizing process of the house building has been a dream come true, however the building part of it, not so much. They say good things take time though, and considering I’m able to say at 22 that I’m building my first home and customizing it…I feel pretty damn lucky. So, waiting has been hard for me since I’m impatient, but it will be SO worth it in the end. During this whole house process though, we found another way to keep busy. What is that, you ask? Oh, just searching for another puppy.


The start to Fall was busy, with a total of 4 weddings to attend and 2 that we were in separately. Not to mention going to New York Fashion Week, and then Palm Desert for my mom’s 60th birthday. You’ve heard it a million times, but when we went to get Chip, we also went to get his sister too. She was taken though, so ever since we’ve been on the hunt for a buddy for our Chip. We went to the shelter where we got him multiple times, and also looked at other shelters and rescues. In October, we finally found our dream girl and on November 14th, we brought her home.


Come November we turned into a family of 4 with Nilla and we still are. No plans of any other furry friends joining the mix, but they will eventually get human siblings! Until then though, we’ve been soaking up both of our babies (who are both puppies might I add) and last month started getting prepped for the holiday season. But before that happened, I took a 5 day trip with one of my nanny families to Hawaii for our second go at vacation. I go as a second hand, and help with all 3 kiddos and the craziness. Packing, unpacking, traveling, going to the pool, beach, dinner, you name it—I’m there. It’s around the clock but you have to remember…I’m in Hawaii! Although I missed my babies and Tim, it was so much fun. I made it back just in time for Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping, and of course the month of December. 


December came and went, as it usually does. Every year I tell myself I’ll plan less and do less, but each year our schedule just gets more full. It’s hard to avoid though if I’m being honest. We have both of our families who are close by, and also a TON of friends between the both of us. Living close is a blessing, but also a little bit of a curse. I’m looking forward to next year being away from it all and (hopefully) our schedule dying down. But who knows…everyone could just follow, lol!

And now, here we are. A whole novel later. Can you believe it? All of this happened in this year alone. Do you see what I mean when I said earlier that the good and the bad is 50/50? It had the highest of highs and also the lowest of lows. I have mixed feelings about 2019, and also mixed feelings on leaving it behind. It breaks my heart that I’m “leaving” my dad in 2019. Time has passed and this was the last year that he was alive. We’re starting to move away from it, and it scares me that we are going to keep moving forward—further and further away from it. I will NEVER forget my dad, and the memories I have with him. But thinking in my head that in some point in time I’ll have had more years without him then with him, hurts. It stings. It crushes me that my kids will never know him here on earth and all the people I still have left to meet never will either. But like I said…time goes on whether you want it to or not, and life keeps moving forward whether you want i to or not. So the best I can do, and what I’m excited to do in the future, is keep his memory alive and well known. As far as the highs in 2019 go, I know that this is just the beginning. Which is crazy and also slightly makes my head spin. Tim and I have done so much in our life together so far, and to know there’s even more opportunities and life events that lie ahead…wow. Just wow.

If you made it this far, congrats! That was a long one. You’ve officially earned a badge so act as if this is me giving you one. 😉 In all honestly though friends, what a wild year its been. Whether 2019 was the best year or your life or maybe even the worst—I want you to know you aren’t alone. I’m right here with you. Everyone is, but especially today. If you think about it, millions of people are reflecting on their year today and tomorrow reliving every good and bad thing that happened to them. We’re all prepping for a new year…a fresh start. It’s the start of the unknown, new adventures, and another year full of opportunity.

I pray over each and everyone of you that 2020 holds happiness, excitement, joy & lots of love—whatever that may look like for you. I look forward to sharing another year of life with you all, and hope you stick around for what’s to come.


Danielle Alana

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