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  • Writer's pictureAmanda MacGregor

Our Year In Review: Reflections of 2022 and Strives for 2023

Updated: Mar 30

Our Year In Review: Reflections of 2022 and Strives for 2023 - Amanda MacGregor - Joseph Centineo - Food allergy blog

I don't want to fluff something just because it is getting posted on the internet for anyone to read. I hold a promise to keep this page as raw and true to our life as I possibly can. So here it is...


To be frank, 2022 was a difficult year, and 2023 isn't starting too great either.


As I look back, I cherish all the happier moments we got to have and enjoy last year, but so much of my memory is surrounded by the emotional and draining year we experienced. Our limits were tested, and, while we try to come out of the other side stronger (and more tired) than ever, I also think we will come out with a new perspective.


A perspective to focus more on us, to do the things we love more often, be surrounded by those we love as much as we can, and to stop giving our energy to those who don't truly appreciate it.


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As I reflect, I realize how much of myself I wasn't last year (and how much of last year I spent crying). I didn't cook or bake as much as I would have liked; I barely did any of my hobbies like painting, writing, or reading; how I completely lost focus on my personal goals and wants. Joe also has his list too, but both our lists combined, result in our mutual feelings of it being a hard year, and we know we aren't alone.


As we look back and review 2022, the good and the bad, we hope you take from our journey your own 2022 reflections and join us in making 2023 our year!



Our 2022 Year In Review


January kicked off with a beautiful snowfall. Besides snow being my favorite kind of weather (yeah, sorry summer summer-loving folks, but I am a winter gal), I was very happy for this snowy day because, in my heart, I knew it would be the last one Nala would experience.



As detailed in our 2021 Year In Review, we got the privilege of caring for two of my family's rescue cats again, Nala and Smokey. The happiness of having them back home with me quickly turned to worry when I realized something was off about Nala. After a trip to the animal hospital, we learned Nala developed diabetes. Then 8 months later, I realized yet again something else was wrong. After another visit to the animal hospital, we learned Nala was experiencing liver and gallbladder issues.


We spent December 2021, caring endlessly for our fur patient. It was a month full of love and cuddles, as well as worry and lots of tears. I was heartbroken my baby girl was going through this. We ensured she stayed as comfortable as possible and did our best to treat her case.


Memories with Nala - Our 2022 Year In Review - Amanda MacGregor and Joseph Centineo - Food Allergy Blog

To say I relate to a cat is probably a weird statement to make, but I do. Nala and I had a lot in common. Outside of loving naps, we are both moody creatures, cherish our alone time, enjoy a light breezy day but also love snowy blizzards, and are our happiest with our chosen humans.


We had a connection, not many cat parents get with their feline babies. Nala had a strong presence when I think back to my 20s. She was by my side during my college years of late-night homework and naps between classes. She hung out with me when I decided I'd rather stay home on a Friday and Saturday night, watching me paint, bake, or watch TV (but never shall I read - Nala hated when her humans would try and read). She was there to meet Joe, accept Joe, experience the many milestones I had with Joe, and later move in with us.


Memories with Nala and Smokey - cat rescues - Our 2022 Year In Review - Amanda MacGregor and Joseph Centineo - Food Allergy Blog

Which is why the snow was such an earthy blessing to get. We watched as she perked up with the first snowfall of the year and excitedly watched out the window. We hadn't seen her that energetic in weeks and it brought us joy (and me some more tears).



The next couple of weeks after that day were hard, but I spent almost every waking moment with her. We would lay in bed for hours, just watching TV together, while she cuddled nearby and purred while I petted her.


With heavy hearts and eyes full of even more tears, we said goodbye to our beautiful fur baby on Monday, February 21st, 2022. She gave us 12 strong years, full of happy memories we will cherish with us forever. 💔



Losing her tore me apart. It's almost a year later, and I still haven't fully recovered. At that moment though, I didn't want to do anything. Finding the motivation to get through the day was hard, but luckily, being my sister's maid of honor gave me the push I needed to move forward.


I dove into organizing and planning her bachelorette getaway and, two months later, I finally left my house to gather with this group of amazing women all fully determined and ready to celebrate Ash!


Our Year In Review: Reflections of 2022 and Strives for 2023 - Amanda MacGregor - Joseph Centineo - Food allergy blog

While planning the perfect weekend for everyone, I also had my food allergies to plan for. Since we were staying in an Airbnb, I knew I was pretty set with any meals we had there. Before the getaway, I made cashew cream cheese to pair with The Greater Knead bagels I was bringing and made homemade chicken nuggets. For any places we were going out to eat at, I communicated with them ahead of time to ensure they could accommodate me or if I could bring my food.



Between being down about Nala's passing and my anxiety with food, I was grateful both places we went to were super helpful. It was also nice to be surrounded by such supportive women. It was one of the few times I didn't feel uncomfortable eating out with a larger group. Most importantly, my sister enjoyed everything and that was all that counted.


Our Year In Review: Reflections of 2022 and Strives for 2023 - Amanda MacGregor - Joseph Centineo - Food allergy blog

I was starting to feel more like myself after that weekend. I was ready to jump into projects, particularly house projects. We ended up revamping our home office and redoing our master bathroom (more on that soon 😉).


Before we knew it, our parade of wedding dates approached and the parties we were planning were ready to be hosted.


Our Year In Review: Reflections of 2022 and Strives for 2023 - Amanda MacGregor - Joseph Centineo - Food allergy blog

I threw Joe a Wheel of Fortune birthday in July, hosted our first-ever Friendsgiving dinner in September, held a Hocus Pocus viewing for the new movie in October, and hosted our 4th Thanksgiving dinner gathering in November.



Our Year In Review: Reflections of 2022 and Strives for 2023 - Amanda MacGregor - Joseph Centineo - Food allergy blog

Just as we were getting excited for Christmas, Joe and I ended up catching COVID. We believe it was the first time we ever had it, and it took a toll on us. We were so fatigued and nauseous. Joe had a fever, and I lost my sense of smell and food tasted so weird to the point I didn't want to eat. It was rough.


We ended the year pretty much horizontal on the couch, aimlessly binge-watching TV, mentally and physically exhausted from the year we just had (and probably mostly exhausted from being sick). As we lay held up on the couch, Joe and I set goals and boundaries for ourselves, together and as individuals, to help pave 2023 to be a much more positive and mentally healthy year for the both of us.


Granted, the universe had other ideas in store for us, ones I plan to share at a later date, as I am still processing and feel this blog post is already pretty long enough without diving into a new subject. 😆 Regardless of the current obstacles we are working through, we still vow to move forward with our new perspective and our 2023 goals.


We might not be exactly where we wanted to be in that plan we constructed while sick on the couch (hello, February! Didn't expect to see you so soon), but we still plan to make this our year!


Stay tuned for more to come!


Hugs & Cookies

Amanda

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