The Shaul Family
The best thing about 2018: We celebrated one year of marriage (getting close to two, now!) and bought a house that we LOVE!
- We bought our first house! After losing out on a few houses, we finally found the perfect house for us — and it was ours the day it came on the market! We closed on our first house in early June and moved in mere minutes later. We absolutely love, love, love our house and everything about it: the layout, the tall ceilings and huge windows, the open kitchen, room to host 16+ people for a dinner party, a separate office for my work, a guest bedroom, a garage, a laundry room, so much outdoor space and a beautiful porch and deck, and living right on a lake! We feel so, so fortunate to own this house and to get to live here, and we couldn’t love it more. It’s been so much to transform it into our home, and it’s felt like home since the day we moved in. We’ve hosted countless friends and family already (a serious dream of mine!), and we are so thankful for the memories already created and the people who have filled our home!
- I’m coming up on my fifth year of Stephanie Shaul Events (five year anniversary in January!), which is still a little surreal for me! 2018 was a really amazing year overall for my work, and I feel incredibly fortunate that this once-dream of mine has really blossomed and supported me/us for so long now. I adore the couples and families that I’ve gotten to work with, and I also really value the flexibility that owning my own business has given me.
- Rob turned 30 and simultaneously switched careers! It was an exciting couple months for him… as we were buying our house, he realized just how much he loved the entire process. Shortly thereafter, Rob began taking the real estate course after work two nights a week, passed both of his licensing exams on the first try (he’s amazing!), put in his two weeks notice at his former job, and dove fully into his new career as a real estate broker!! He’s had several open houses and a few showings already, loves his new firm, and is so excited for what’s in store for his new work. (Let me know if you are local and need a real estate broker!)
- Lots of family time throughout the year! We don’t have any family living here in Raleigh, so we are very intentional about traveling to visit our family. We celebrated my sister’s Masters graduation from NYU in New York City this Spring, had a huge family reunion with my mom’s side of the family at a state park, spent lots of time in Ohio visiting Rob’s parents, our nephew and niece, and lots of my extended family, went to our beloved Ocean Isle Beach for a family beach trip with my family, remembered the lives of Rob’s grandparents in Buffalo and got to go to a Bills football game, and several more memorable and fun trips! We’re already planning where we’d like to go in 2019…!
- Despite many amazing memories this year, there were a fair share of challenges and harder moments. My amazing grandpa passed away this summer after a quick but very hard battle with stage 4 cancer. I thankfully was able to visit him in Ohio before he passed away, and it was an immense blessing to visit with him (and my grandma!) for several days. I cherish and treasure those precious final moments together. We were able to celebrate and remember his remarkable life together as a family — Grandpa was a truly incredible man of God, the best grandpa/friend, a loving husband to my grandma for 60+ years, and so much more. He is surely missed, especially this holiday season!
- Rob and I celebrated our first anniversary with a long weekend on the coast of beautiful Beaufort, North Carolina! We walked on the beach (the off season is amazing!), chased after wild horses on a remote coastal island, ate lots of seafood, reminisced on our first year of marriage, walked all over the beautiful little town, and enjoyed a sunny weekend away together.
- We love our church, Vintage! We’ve been members for almost two years now, serve together on the welcome/greeting and communion team, and are leaders in our weekly community group. We have loved the friendships formed in our community group and sharing life with these friends, and we’re so grateful for our church home. I regularly volunteer at Raleigh Rescue Mission and the Children’s Development Center there, where I play, read, run around, and get to love on the preschoolers there. I have loved my time with these sweet kiddos — it makes my day with how excited they get when I arrive on Tuesday mornings!
2018 Travel Highlights:
Asheville, NC, Beaufort, NC, Charlotte x3, Wilmington + Oak Island + Ocean Isle Beach x3, New York City, Ohio (Columbus + Dayton, mostly) x5, Charlottesville x2, State College, PA, Buffalo, Blowing Rock, NC
- Trips taken: 23
- Books read (by me): 45
- Blog posts written: 41
- Fantasy football leagues: 6 (1 for me, 5 for Rob)
- Guests we’ve hosted overnight in our house: 14
- Dinner parties and/or game nights hosted: 34
- Weddings planned: 10
Favorite first year of marriage memories:
the adventure of buying our first home together, day trips to the beach and to the mountains, cooking dinners together, visiting wineries and being wine club members at our favorite winery, hosting friends for game nights, lots of long conversations and laughter on the couch, double dates, serving together at church, testing new cocktail recipes, Sundays spent watching football, enjoying Shaul family Christmas traditions, and celebrating our second married Christmas!
Thank you for your support, friends! Wishing you and yours a love-filled year!