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8 Years of The Kittchen

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Today is the 8th anniversary of The Kittchen. It’s also my birthday. Let’s take a look back at the past year.


On my birthday I like to take a look back at the previous year. This past year was filled with extreme highs and lows. It might be easy to recall that I spent 101 days traveling around the world and think that I had the best year ever, but that trip was bookended with a failed IVF cycle and a failed egg retrieval. Even though I had 3 1/2 very fun months, the rest of the year was a struggle.

But, let’s focus on the good, here is a summary of the places I went:

Harry Potter Studio Tour London 13

Last year I went to London two days after my birthday with my friend Jenn. One of the highlights of the trip was going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour since we are both big Harry Potter fans. We also explored lots of restaurants and pubs and just had some much-needed girl time.


I spent the end of November and beginning to December in Kennebunkport to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas Prelude.

Things to do in Quebec City 92

We were back in Maine for Christmas, and then Charles and I went to Quebec City with my sister Kelly and her husband for New Years.

Inn of Five Graces Santa Fe 19

January and February were filled with doctors appointments that kept me in Chicago, but in March, Charles and I went to Santa Fe. The trip was a birthday gift that kept getting pushed back as my IVF schedule changed. I loved Santa Fe, going to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum incredible, as was Meow Wolf, and I couldn’t get enough New Mexican food.

Peru 39 1

In April, I left for my trip around the world. It was what I needed after 15 months of IVF. It brought me back to life. I started in Peru and then went to New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, Italy, Tanzania, Portugal, and England. You can read a summary of the trip here.

cape Porpoise 3

Once I returned home, I went to Maine, New York City, and Winnipeg. Charles and I spent a weekend with my family in Maine, and then I stayed to spend time with Kelly, and ended up getting a ride to NYC with Kelly where I met up with Charles. The next week I was off to Winnipeg for a work trip, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much there is to do in Winnipeg.

KPT 2019 Fall

And just a two weeks ago I went back home to Maine to surprise my Mom for her birthday.

There were lots of memorable moments, but also a great deal of anxiety over IVF and the direction of my life. While my big trip took IVF off my mind, I was in the thick of it once I came home. October was a challenge. My egg retrieval failed, which was heartbreaking, frustrating, and incredibly expensive. Later in October, I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of explosions and saw a massive fire in the alley. Moments later police knocked on my door and evacuated my building, Charles was away, and it was a scary moment that probably felt more intense thanks to all the hormones I was on. October was filled with some sad and terrifying moments and I am glad to see the month come to a close.

Goose Rocks 6

I don’t want to sound like I am complaining because I know that I am so lucky in so many ways. At the same time, I want to be honest. My life isn’t perfect, and there have been times that have been very difficult. I am hopeful that this year will be a little easier.

This year, more than ever, I cannot thank you enough for reading. Being able to work for myself while going through IVF made a difficult time a bit easier.

Tanja / The red phone box trav

Saturday 16th of November 2019

happy birthday and happy 8 years of blogging!hope 2020 is a year that brings you more happiness


Monday 18th of November 2019

Thanks so much!

Erin M

Monday 4th of November 2019

Happy Birthday and Happy Blog-Aversary! I'm sending you all the good thoughts that this next year brings you all the blessings and lots of happy times.

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