I posted on my Instagram on New Year’s Eve that the theme of 2018 for me was on-the-go. I am often on the go in my everyday life, with the feeling that I always need to be doing something, not just sitting around (one of the reasons I started this blog), but in addition to my day-to-day activity, there was a lot of travel packed in to 2018 as well. Some of the trips were expected and planned far in advance, some were more spontaneous or unexpected. Looking back on the year, the trips and travel are what I remember most about the year, though there were also some fun times in between them.
When I was transferring birthdays from our 2018 calendar to the new 2019 calendar that lives on the fridge, I was amazed by all of the things that happened in 2018 that I had totally forgotten about. It was a good reminder that life is made up of a lot of little moments, and both the big and little moments are worth celebrating. So, here goes, 2018 in a nutshell.
We kicked off the new year over the ocean and arrived in Paris on January 1st. We made some of our favorite memories of the year on this amazing trip abroad, including meandering through Le Marais, hearing the bells of Notre Dame chime as we ran along the Seine at dawn, seeing the amazing art in the Louvre and Musee L’Orangerie, conversing with the market cheesemonger entirely in French, and eating all of the croissants.
When we returned from Paris, I hit the ground running with a new interim position within my office, quickly followed by a MLK weekend trip to Savannah, Georgia with all of the girls in Will’s family. A few days after I got home, we had our second snow of the year (the first came while we were in Paris), with almost a foot of white powder on the ground!
February brought a winter wedding and a chance to see college friends along with some free sidewalk flowers from a kind person on Valentine’s Day. February posts were more sporadic as work got very hectic and my marathon training peaked.
Speaking of, at the beginning of March I ran my first full marathon in Washington, D.C.! I was nervous and it was hard, but it is an accomplishment I am extremely proud of. I didn’t post about it beforehand, mostly because I didn’t want to fail with everyone watching, but I did do a post on marathon training and tips for setting big goals (like running a marathon) afterward.
April brought lots of flowers, an awards ceremony at work after a very busy season, our first home-grown lemon, and weather warm enough to finish our back patio fence!
In May, both of my siblings graduated from college and we celebrated with a quickly planned long-weekend trip to Napa Valley with my family. We had good college friends visit us over Memorial Day Weekend and spent a day exploring each city in the Triangle with them, which made for one of the most fun weekends of our year. I also unveiled my new blog design in May!
Continuing with the travel, I set off in early June for a weekend trip to Denver with some of my college roommates. While we spent time exploring the city, our favorite part was the day we drove out to Red Rocks, Golden, and Boulder. We tried ice cream that was so good, I tried to recreate a no-churn version when I got home. June also marked peony season, our fourth anniversary, which we celebrated with a fresh crab dinner at home, and friends’ weddings! All the while, Will worked on his masters thesis, which made the month feel a lot more like the beginning of medical school than I expected.
July was busy, busy, busy. We made time for a coffee date while Will was working on research projects, celebrated 4th of July with family in Georgia, apparently I wore a lot of stripes and was photo happy about it (I won’t deny that I love a good stripe, and what better time than 4th of July), we ate out on the (finished) back patio as much as possible, I made one of your favorite cakes, and at the very end of the month, we had one of our favorite weekends of the summer visiting Will’s sister, Anna, in Chicago where she was interning for the summer. One of my more unexpected but incredible memories of the season was volunteering to help with the Cultivate What Matters photoshoot. It was so exciting to see the behind-the-scenes work that went into each photo, and it is still pretty amazing to see the photos taken at the shoot show up in my Instagram feed and all over their website. The ladies behind this brand are hard-working and genuine, and after experiencing that through social media, it was even better to see it in person. Can you spot me in this photo? ;)
August brought the start of another year of medical school for Will (and an official masters degree!), a fun Saturday exploring downtown Raleigh with my family, and the end of summer for our small college town. Will and his classmates submitted their residency applications in mid-September and we all celebrated as we waited for Hurricane Florence to come. My sister found out that she was moving to Dallas so my mom, sister and I planned a quick weekend girls trip to Richmond, Virginia and I took a day off of work to have a “siblings day” with Lane and Carter in downtown Raleigh.
October was road-trip heavy. We started with a car ride to Birmingham, Alabama for a family wedding on Will’s side. It was a quick trip, driving the 9-hours down on Friday and back on Sunday. The next weekend I spent a girls weekend in the mountains with two childhood friends. The third week of October I was on the road again with only a van-load of stuff and Lane, as we set out for her new home in Dallas. We drove down in two days, and with the help of IKEA, we got her moved in and mostly situated in another day or two.
I noticed the leaves changing as I got back, which was right about the time that Will started his residency interviews. With all of his traveling, November was a whirlwind for both of us. We voted early, then he was off traveling almost every other weekday in November, with a short break for Thanksgiving in Georgia. I made one of your favorite (and my favorite) recipes of the year – eggnog cinnamon rolls, wrapped up a few things at work, then it was onto December!
The first week of December 2018 is one I will remember for a long time. It started out with a bang with our annual family gingerbread contest, followed by Hamilton! The next day, Will and I left for our road trip up the east coast, stopping throughout the week for 3 of his interviews. On our way up, we took a detour to avoid some rush-hour traffic on I-95, and were greeted with the most beautiful and quaint Connecticut seaside sunset, complete with oyster shells underfoot, shaker shingle houses behind us, and sailboats resting in the mirror-smooth water.
We stayed with my cousin and his wife outside of Boston and explored Providence, Rhode Island, before heading back down the coast for a day in NYC (for me), another stop in DC to stay with friends, and made it back just in time for a snow storm that left us with at least a foot of snow. The snow days were the perfect excuse to soak up the Christmas tree lights and get some present shopping and wrapping done from the couch before a busy holiday season with family and friends. I exchanged the gift of time together at a coffee shop date with my siblings instead of material gifts.
We rung in the New Year with a day-trip to visit family friends, followed by a local party with college friends. What a year 2018 was. I have a feeling 2019 will be very different, as Will graduates from medical school and we enter a new phase of life in residency, but let’s hope it holds the same happiness and memories.