Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Year in Review

Last year this was back by popular demand, so this year I just went ahead and started working on it in the car on our drive home from Pittsburgh. I'll post soon a little bit about our holiday travels (so fun! so exhausting! so glad to be home!) but for now, here's the NYE reflection on all the things of 2018...

1. What did you do in 2018 that you'd never done before?
* went to Disney World in Florida
* met a Supreme Court Justice
* saw Hamilton 

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Flashback to my Goals for 2018:
- Meal Plan
- Meal Prep
- regular yoga + exercise
- more fun stuff with friends
- more fun stuff with family

We did pretty well with meal planning, although we definitely fell off of it toward the end of the year. It's something I'll try to continue in 2019 for sure. David did the heavy lifting on meal prep, but we definitely appreciated the weeks that there was a casserole or chili in the freezer. I did a pretty good job with yoga, keeping to it almost daily except when I was sick (I love Yoga with Adriene, and I'd often follow her monthly calendar, making adjustments if I needed a shorter routine due to a time crunch in the mornings). As far as "fun stuff" goes... I think that was too vague. Yes, we had fun. I do think we could have been more intentional about seeing friends, and we definitely concentrate our fun stuff during the summer, which makes me think about spreading it out a little more and making the school year more fun instead of a daily grind.

I will definitely be making resolutions for 2019. I love a fresh start and setting new goals. I'm still working on them, so I'll probably post about those later. I know I want to write more, read more, and play more. We're also going to do some serious budget tracking and saving, which sounds much less fun.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My sister-in-law JoAnna had my nephew, Kelvin, otherwise known as Baby Bucky. My friend Nora had her baby Lena and my friend Natalie had her baby Bash.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Stayed in the U.S., visited West Virginia, Indiana, California, Florida, and Pennsylvania

6. What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
A coffee table in my front room, a puppy that doesn’t eat all the things,

7. What events from 2018 will remained etched upon your memory?
Bucky’s birthday, Zuzu’s first day of first grade, meeting Sonja Sotomayor, and Brave Magic weekend 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finished my memoir, wrote a novel

9. What was your biggest failure?
Stalled out on publication efforts, impatient with my kids, letting clean laundry sit in baskets for days

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Illness at beginning of year—bronchitis led to coughing so hard I strained a rib. My husband thought I was “overreacting” even though my pain tolerance is actually pretty freaking high so I’m still mad about the fact that I drove myself to urgent care where I got a chest x-ray, a steroid shot, and antibiotics. Fortunately, that was my only illness except for a cold during finals week.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Brave Magic weekend, Disney trip, this acupressure pad, and a new couch (David says the air fryer)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Women running for political office and Zuzu’s first grade teacher

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The President of the United States (same as last year!)

14. Where did most of your money go?
If you know, please tell me! (#budgetgoals2019)

15. What did you get really excited about?
Brave Magic, novel writing, memoir, Disney

16. What song will always remind you of 2018?
Soundtrack to The Greatest Showman

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? happier
- thinner or fatter?  fatter
- richer or poorer?  cash poorer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Time with friends

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Reading the news

20. How did you spend Christmas?
break started with a trip to Disney World in Florida, then we returned home to St. Louis for Christmas Eve and Christmas day with my parents, then drove to Pittsburgh to spend time with my brother, his wife, and kids

21. Did you fall in love in 2018?
with my nephew and (most of the time) with Clementine the naughty puppy

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Father Brown (I need soothing television so it’s like the only thing I’ve watched this year)

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No one specific!

24. What was the best book you read?
Another year of reading so many good ones...  I set a goal of reading 52 books this year but ended up reading 64. I do count books that I re-read, though. My top six in no particular order:
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
I’ll Think It You Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld (I became a huge fan of Sittenfeld this year)
When They Call You A Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Educated by Tara Westover
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan

25. What was your favorite musical discovery?
I'll count the one I made tonight--watching the Taylor Swift concert on Netflix with my kids. The girls were mesmerized and inspired for their own karaoke. So fun!

26. What did you want and get?
a new couch (this is what I wanted and didn't get in 2017!)

27. What did you want and not get?
a new coffee table (if you give a mouse a cookie...)

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Black Panther and A Star Is Born

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 38. We were in Indiana with my dad’s side of the family. No complaints!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Getting on top of organizing and printing photos and photo books beyond Chatbooks (or maybe just settling for the fact that Chatbooks will be the only printed record of Zuzu's and Coco's childhoods?)

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
Casual, comfortable, with some effort to look polished for work days

32. What kept you sane?
Smart, capable, funny female friends, my mom, and my awesome life partner of a husband

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Michelle Obama

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The children separated from their parents at the border. I look at my own kids and I still can't even wrap my mind around that trauma.

35. Who did you miss?

36. Who was the best new person you met?
We Stories community members

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.
Plan for surprises.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
from "Slow Down" by Nichole Nordeman - I went to see Jen Hatmaker speak with my friend Michelle and I wasn't familiar with Nichole Nordeman before that evening. She has a lovely voice, and this song about her daughter had me getting teary-eyed. 

Here’s to you 
You were pink or blue 
And everything I wanted 
Here’s to you 
Never sleeping through 
From midnight till the morning 
Had to crawl before you walked 
Before you ran 
Before I knew it 
You were trying to free your fingers from my hand 
'Cause you could do it on your own now Somehow
Slow down 
Won’t you stay here a minute more 
I know you want to walk through the door 
But it’s all too fast 
Let’s make it last a little while 
I pointed to the sky and now you wanna fly 
I am your biggest fan 
I hope you know I am 
But do you think you can somehow 
Slow down


  1. Happy 2019! Here's to a year of fun surprises. I still can't wait to hear all about your Disney trip and everything else. <3

  2. I also saw Jen Hatmaker and Nichole Nordeman this year and that song absolutely destroyed me. Not, a little teary eyed, but full on, nose-running, open crying. And that does NOT happen to me. 6th grade has hit me HARD. I loved your list!

  3. I'm so glad you posted this! I love your blog, and your year in review format is my very favorite.

  4. Thank you for keeping the year in review going! I always enjoy reading it.

    I hope the girls enjoyed Disney! Can’t wait to hear about it, and your holiday season.