My Facebook Year in Review has officially chosen the most liked pictures and created a little video for me to reflect on 2018 so guess what else that means? It is the time for my own reflections as well! The fifty degree weather, lack of snow, and limited holiday decor at our home are leaving me a bit on the Grinch-side. However, I am looking forward to 2019 and feel so incredibly blessed to have had all the experiences of 2018.
In tradition of the past few years, 2018 is being hailed as the newest Worst Year of All Worst Years. I didn’t get the message though. 2018 was by far my best year yet. 2019 has a lot to live up to when I look back at this past year, but I am so excited for what the future has in store.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Before welcoming the New Year, I want to take a second and be grateful for all this year has given to me.
January: I knew coming into 2018 my life would be different by the time the ball dropped at its end. In January I was busily planning G’s and my wedding and prepping to become a wife. I had no idea what all was in store, so I took the year one day at a time. I was able to be a part of coordinating one of my best friend’s weddings after the new year celebrations, as well as a few holiday parties at the Winery. Then at the end of January I made a life-changing decision. I left my career path in the wine and event industry to join the finance department of a nonprofit. The transition was huge, and it ultimately placed me back on track of what my degree is focused. I miss the wine industry but am content with this decision — it feels good to know my job helps to make a difference in my community.
February & March: Luckily I am fortunate to continue event planning through my volunteer work. For the fourth year, I was on the Pink Tie Ball Committee. This year’s gala raised over $24,000 in funds used for research and awareness of breast cancer. Plus, one of my goals for 2018 was to strengthen my friendships and grow my Tribes. I am blessed to have grown even closer to this group of Pink Ladies and know I have an army of support behind me moving into 2019.
I also was invited to assist in planning my church’s first IF:Gathering event. This women’s retreat took place in March and allowed me to meet more women in my church and grow those relations as well. In addition to my volunteer work, I continued to play in the YMCA volleyball league and tried out a few different types of yoga classes. As Spring rolled in, I was staying active in the community, my relationships, and wedding planning.
April: Every month seemed to gain more momentum as we neared our wedding date. April brought a slew of bridal showers and traveling to visit family members, scheduling vendors, and purchasing wedding items. G and I had to block off weekends simply to keep our sanity. We attended House’s annual Spring Retreat with twenty of our friends over a long weekend. Then the last weekend of the month, the Pink Ladies and I held a slumber party in remembrance of our dear friend Denise. 2018 marked two years since her passing, and the anniversary of April 19th remains painful. Spending time with one another always helps us, so we took a break from our hectic schedules in order to be together.
May: By the time I flipped to May on the calendar, most of the wedding plans had been secured. Perhaps we had a project here or there, but overall G and I took the month of May to complete our marriage counseling, move him into my apartment, and enjoy the remainder of our engagement. Over Memorial Day weekend, we went camping for a joint bachelor/bachelorette weekend. G and the guys did some “manly stuff” while my girls and I jumped into a limo for a wine tasting tour. It was the perfect way to wrap-up our wedding preparation with our closest friends.
June: June was an overall unremarkable month. 😉
June was the month I stumbled to an altar in front of my loved ones and locked down the best man in the world. The accumulation of the entire first half of 2018 came to a peak on June 16, 2018 when I married G. Our wedding remains the pinnacle of this year.
Following the wedding, we escaped to Tennessee for our honeymoon and then returned home to begin our married lives together.
July: As G and I started our journey as newlyweds, I shifted the focus of Uncorking Peonies from a wedblog to a Lifestyle blog. We began house hunting and welcomed our first nephew into the family. Life was perfect our first month as husband and wife.
August: I witnessed one of my best friends marry the love of her life on August 18, 2018. I will never forget watching the beautiful bride glow with happiness throughout the entire day.
G left his job in August after being sought by another company. He has been enjoying his new position since the change, and is also being sent to school to receive his Journeyman in machining. Though this switch threw a wrench into our schedules, we have become accustomed to his late workdays and take advantage of any time we have together. I am excited to see where he goes from here and find myself in awe of the man I married every single day — he is the most hardworking and dedicated partner.
September & October: After a few months of horrific house hunting adventures, G and I became homeowners in September! I said goodbye to city-living and my cute little apartment, packing up my bags to move to our fixer-upper. Since September we have redone the electric throughout the house, demolished a wall, replaced all our external doors, repainted and refloored the first level, and finished quite a few do-it-yourself projects. We are currently in the midst of gutting and remodeling our one and only bathroom this week as well. (Wish us luck! Eek…)
Besides all our house renovations, G and I also ventured over to Iowa to meet our handsome nephew for the first time. It was a fun weekend spent loving on little Z, exploring the area, and laughing with family. When we returned, I learned my work had nominated me to be a student in a leadership institute instructed by our State’s Community Action foundation. This was a pleasant surprise as the institute takes only 30 students a year across the state. I have had two classes thus far, and will graduate with a leadership certification in July 2019.
November & December: All in all, the last couple of months have been relatively quiet for me. This is a welcome relief from the beginning of 2018 though. I find myself with a lot of free time in the evenings. During that free time, I am busily planning Pink Tie Ball 2019, crafting, writing consistently on Uncorking Peonies, playing YMCA volleyball, and hanging out with my husband, family, and friends. I love not having every second of my day scheduled anymore. I love being able to do more of what I have passions to do. And I love the Life I’ll be rolling into 2019.
Life has never been better.