blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: 2018 Reflections

December 30, 2018

2018 Reflections

How crazy is it that we have only 2 days left of 2018! I feel like I say this every year, but this year really has flown by. Of course while in the thick of it, each day feels long and the load too heavy, but the fruits of our labor are sweet and the memories sweeter. In retrospect it all goes by too fast. As the saying goes, the days are long but the years are short.

I love looking back on the year and reflecting on the challenges, lessons, and achievements. In my mind it helps solidify and reinforce what we've built this year, allowing us to continue building more for the year to come.

This year was the year of defining our family of 5 and exploring together. It started with small confidence building trips - taking all 3 kids out to a restaurant and then to the movies (Black Panther was our favorite), and then to bigger trips - our first family RV trip and camping, our first trip to Disney (and then we went back 2 more times we loved it so much), and finally our biggest trip - our Thanksgiving trip to New Orleans. These trips seeing the world together really planted the seed for more travel in our family and confidence to do so (and so many of you messaged me feeling empowered as well - it's silly to wait until the kids are older to do things, or to use the excuse that they won't remember any of it - we travel and do things together for our own memories too)!

I was also able to coordinate a few really meaningful surprises for the rest of my family - in March I surprised my dad (and mom) with a private yacht rental for his birthday - he did not expect it all and we all enjoyed it so much! And earlier this month our holiday visit home caught everyone by surprise! So worth it.

Also I have to randomly include that damn In My Feelings Challenge we did on the spot one evening walk home.

This year I was spoiled with chances to reunite with my best friends despite living hundreds of miles away and having hard schedules to coordinate! In January we celebrated Janice's baby shower in Boston, and in June we celebrated my 30th birthday in Boston (complete with my first helicopter ride) and reuniting with many Boston friends! In October we reunited again for what's becoming our annual Fall New England trip (always complete with pumpkin patches, apple picking, and a slumber party), and earlier this month we celebrated Kellie's baby shower in Connecticut!!! Love the girl gang we've nurtured and the baby girls we're now raising (Janice had a girl and Kellie is due with a girl in February)! Continuing to find ways to reunite is so important for all of us and I can't wait for more reasons to celebrate with my best friends in 2019.

This year started off with one of our most fun dermatology meetings - AAD San Diego! In March I attended the Skin of Color Symposium, one of my absolute favorite meetings that always leaves me feeling inspired! July marked the start of my final year of training! It's been full of lots of responsibility, but also lots of elective time to work with dermatologists outside of my program and explore potential jobs. A highlight was being invited to give the keynote lecture at the DERM conference in Connecticut. I've honed my clinical knowledge, surgical and cosmetic techniques, and patient interactions, and in 2019 I'll be accepting a position (or positions) somewhere here in Miami and start seeing patients on my own! Of course there's also the small detail of studying and passing boards - this will be a challenge in 2019 but I'm ready to take it on!

And I can't forget celebrating Nathan's big achievement this year (and why I'm looking for jobs in Miami) - hubby matched his top retina fellowship and was named chief resident for the upcoming year!

My side hustle of "social media influencer" or whatever you want to call it has also had some fun successes this year - I think the highlight for me was definitely our Parents Magazine cover (and the cover of Parents Latina)! We've landed some incredible partnerships (another highlight was filming a commercial with Disney and our Toy Story Land article) and I look forward to more fun projects to come in 2019. Any brands you want to see me work with?

This year was a year of analyzing our finances and spending habits. We finally got a financial advisor and have been taking steps to hitting the ground running come residency graduation in a few months. I've been pretty transparent that we've got hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical school loans to pay back, and paying for 3 kids in private school/daycare is no small bill!

First person. 
This is almost always where I fall short, but something I still think deserves important reflection. Taking care of me. I'm an introvert and thrive when I have dedicated time to myself each day, and that has just not been something that happened often in 2018. From getting the girls off to school each morning, then rushing to work and taking care of patients all day (and lectures at noon, so no true "lunch break" where I can unplug) and straight from clinic to rushing to pick up the girls from school and handling duties at home. Much of what I accomplish in a day is only day at the expense of sleep or other self-care. For me the trade-off usually seems worth it, since the other things I do feel like the feed my soul just as much as "me-time." But I am realizing I truly do need to prioritize that at least for a designated time each week; this is a definite goal of mine in 2019 (and should hopefully be more realistic with residency over - our rotating schedule in residency makes it really hard to set up any real routine)!

I hope you enjoyed this 2018 reflection. I'm really excited for what the future holds and finally deciding what my "big girl job" and day in the life will look like post-residency. It's been a long time coming! What were your highlights this year? What are goals you have for next year? 


  1. You and your family are so inspiring. I don't know how you seem to keep it together, but God bless you. Rest and time to reflect are so important. A few of my goals this year are to be consistent with my YouTube channel, blog and instagram, as well as to achieve at least a Blue Belt in Taekwondo this year (among a whole other list of goals, haha).

    xoxo Tia |

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