While I was preparing for NYE & writing posts in relation to the new year I seriously think I was doing it all on autopilot because I woke up New Year's Day and didn't understand how we got to 2015 so quickly.

Last year I uploaded this post looking back at 2013 and thought it would be good to do this again for 2014. I know I'm a bit late with my post this year but I decided to focus on enjoying time with my family while they were here. This post was in the forefront of my mind though and I have been reminiscing on the year that has passed in preparation for sharing with you.

Now's the time to grab a snack as it's a pretty long post, but if you want to get to know me a bit more this is definitely worth a read!

Straight up I'm going to say 2014 wasn't the year we thought it would be. It wasn't a great year for personal reasons. In fact it was probably the hardest year yet. Not the most positive note to start the blog post on but its true.

Last year I ended my post with 'I think 2014 is going to be a very special year for the Vanderheijdes and we are really looking forward to it' and that was definitely what we had planned but were reminded that life doesn't always follow our plan.

I am grateful that we got through 2014 and grateful that even if it wasn't as planned there were still some great moments...

We welcomed in the new year in Brisbane for the first time. Mum, Dad, Marty and I went to lovely dinner at Sake Restaurant in Brisbane City followed by watching the fireworks at Southbank. It was a lovely evening and I was so grateful to be able to bring in the new year with my favourite people!

Early January was Marty's 25th birthday and I had organised a surprise party for him. It ended up being the hottest day ever which was interesting as I had sent him to play golf while I did the party preparations even with the shocking heat it was still a wonderful celebration with family and friends.

January was a special month all around, especially January 18th. It was a day I will never forget. I had the privilege of witnessing the birth of my youngest niece, Alice. This was both an incredible and special moment for me and was an experience I am so grateful for and will never forget.

I can't completely explain the feeling it gave me. It was a time where so many emotions were running so high. I was extremely proud of my sister, passionate about taking photos of the delivery, impressed by the midwives, completely in love with the newest member of our family and also inspired to one day be able to be in that situation myself. All that along with so many other emotions all at the same time.

Within a week my sister and her family went back to NZ, where they live, and it was back to just Marty and I. As much as I love my life with Marty, it still always feels empty when my family leave.

In February Marty and I did our first photo shoot together for great friends of ours. This was really exciting. Carly and I had been planning their baby announcement photo since before they were even trying to get pregnant so it was so exciting to see it come to life. The photo is absolutely gorgeous so of course I had to share it. I had so much fun planning and styling this shoot and Marty and I loved taking photos together. We also ended up doing a maternity photo shoot for them later on in the year and these photos turned out beautiful! We definitely need to take more photos together this year. Photo shoot anyone?

From then through til April life was as normal as it could be for us at the time. Marty still didn't have a job and with the amount of time that was passing, life became a bit stressful. Managing a somewhat stressful life meant the blog got very neglected which I am sure you probably noticed.

In April, we went to New Zealand for Easter which was great. Spending time with my family is such a happy place for me and I really enjoyed being a daughter, sister and Aunty again. I know I have those titles all the time but I don't get to 'be them' often due to living overseas so I really enjoy being able to fulfil my duties. While we were there we did a day trip to Kaikoura. This is such a beautiful drive  and place to visit and we had a lovely day enjoying the scenery with family.

As soon as we got back to Australia Marty was finally offered a job! Woo hoo!! Unfortunately this was around the same time that Marty had some health issues and life got pretty difficult.

While we pushed through the struggles that life threw at us it felt like the struggles were always arising throughout the year which shines a pretty negative light on the year for us. There definitely were more positives in the year though, so let's focus on them!

In April we also got a Thermomix who we named Masie because it's masticating... yep my husband is such an engineer! Although we don't use Masie as often as we should it's been a great addition to our lifestyle and helped us introduce lots of new foods to our diet and has been especially good for gluten free goodness.

In May Marty and I celebrated a pretty special anniversary! It was our 10 years of dating anniversary! I still can't believe we had a 10 year anniversary at the age of 23. It's so special to be able to celebrate such a huge milestone together already. We went to Adelaide for the weekend as it was a friends wedding which was a wonderful little getaway!

June & July seems to be a blur for me but in July we discovered Eat Street and that definitely deserves a mention on the blog. It wasn't long before Eat Street became our favourite place to eat and we still go here all the time. If you haven't been yet, you must!!

July also bought another wedding anniversary which is always fun to celebrate. The years are coming and going so fast! 5 years this year! Woo hoo!

In August my mum came over for a week for my birthday. I took the week off work and Marty had a work trip to Melbourne which meant mum and I had the week to ourselves. It was truly a wonderful time.

It had been so long since mum and I got to spend time just the two of us and we both really enjoyed it. Of course I had to take mum to Eat Street and my bestfriend, Lili came along too! Mum and I spent the week doing what we do best; shopping, coffee & manicures!

Marty was back at the end of the week and at the same time my dad also flew in from NZ. We all went to Noosa for the weekend and had a wonderful time enjoying each other's company. What a special birthday.

I had been counting down to September for most of the year. Why? IMATS is why. My beauty bestie, Ashlee (@beautybyashlee) and I did a day trip to Sydney for IMATS.

We got up at some stupid hour to do our hair and makeup before catching the first flight to Sydney from Brisbane.  It was well worth it though. IMATS was amazing,  I seriously felt like I was in beauty heaven! So much makeup, talent & gorgeous people! We bought so much makeup and also managed to find a fashion outlet around the corner and ended up buying heaps of heavily discounted clothes. At IMATS I also got to meet two of my favourite youtubers, Karissa Pukas & Brittney Saunders, which was also amazing. All round a very amazing day!

In October I got back into juicing and decided to share my experience of a detox on the blog. I was blogging my journey everyday and all of a sudden my mind was always on blogging and I remembered how much I enjoyed it and how good doing something I loved was for the soul. So I picked up blogging regularly again with full gusto and that's where I intend to stay!

At the same time Ashlee (@beautybyashlee) encouraged me to create a new Instagram and separate my personal Instagram account from my blog one and this has proved to be a great move. Not only has it opened new doors for me but it has also motivated me so much more to do what I love.

That's why I'm blogging, cause it's what I love and it makes me happy. It's what's keeping me going.
In November my amazing husband proved he is just the best husband ever!! At the start of the week I got a text from him saying 'Date night this week?'... of course I was up for that. It had been a while since we had a date night and Marty assured me he would take care of the whole thing and did he ever!! Marty surprised me with tickets to 'The Lion King' musical at QPAC! OMG what an experience. I had tears in the very first song! This was such an incredible performance and as soon as it was finished I wanted to watch it all over again! If you can manage to get your hands on some tickets (eBay, Gumtree, begging...) you should definitely go! You won't regret it.

Somehow December rolled around and I was left wondering where the year went. The years are definitely getting quicker as I get older.
I'm sure my December was similar to a lot of yours - busy, busy, busy in preparation for Christmas. We had Christmas at our house last year so this year we didn't host which was definitely less stressful. Marty and I both worked right up until Christmas so we really enjoyed the time off between Christmas and New Year and loved spending it with our families.

Of course there were plenty of other life events here and there throughout the year but I think the above gives you a pretty good look at 2014 for us. Looking back, it was a pretty good year overall just a few hurdles to get through, some mentioned, others kept private.

Marty & I were happy to say goodbye to 2014 and we look forward 2015. I'm not going to put an expectations on this year but I am excited for what it may bring.

I'm not even going to give predictions as to what I think 2015 might bring. You'll just have to follow the blog to come along for the ride.

Wishing you all an amazing 2015!
All my love,

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