This is always my favorite time of the year! It’s a chance to be cliché and use words like “reflect” and “looking back” and then pair them with equally cliché words like “future” and “resolutions”. I truly love it, and this year I love it even more because ya’ll, 2018 has been incredible, and something tells me 2019 is going to be even better! Here was my year:
January: I celebrated my 36th birthday with the most incredible family a girl could ask for! My brothers came into town, along with my mom, and we had a great dinner followed by an impromptu surprise party, hosted by my Littles! It was the perfect start to a new year!
February: We spent a lot of time with our cousins, complete with a fun day at Sky Zone! I was reminded just how incredibly precious family time is. I treated myself to a lot of out-of-season tulips and other flowers…because…February!
March: We did an early Easter (again, with cousins) since the kiddos would spend Easter Sunday with their dad. It was my first Easter without the kids home, and though it was a giant bummer, I survived and they had a good time in MN!
The cousin and I spent the final day of March seeing a show downtown Chicago, celebrating Megan’s birthday! We had a great dinner, and an amazing time with my brothers!
April: I went on a first date that would forever change my life! I wrote about it here. Ryan and I hung out one Saturday afternoon, and have been inseparable since. There was never a question of “is this something?” because we knew instantly, day one, that this was different. And it certainly has been!
May: I went on a quick cousin vacay to Florida with Megan, where I found my first whole sand dollar! We relaxed pool side, beach side, and inside. Without. Kids. It was incredible!!! We drank wine, we played cards, and channeled our best Bette Midler/Barbara Hershey possible. I say we nailed it!
Later in the month we celebrated Lilly’s 12th birthday! The girl continues to amaze me! Twelve has been so good to us all!
June: The kids had their last day of 4th and 6th grade, and instantly were off to Minnesota for a week with Dad. Ryan and I traveled the opposite direction, and off to our first vacation away together! We rented a cute cabin, on a private lake with perfect views!!! It was absolutely wonderful! We hiked, made great food (okay, HE made great food, I just ate it!), and drank copious amounts of wine and negroni. We played board games, read together, and listened to the same playlist of music on repeat (no wifi!). He fished while I talked (haha!), we explored the private little lake together, and avoided as many bugs as we possibly could in the woods in June!
The kids and I also went to Florida for a week with our cousins! It’s always so great to get time away with them!
July: We celebrated the 4th in Monticello with the Middleton fam! The kids loved the fireworks show, and the sleepy ride back to the house after the show! Sleeping on a boat was a first for them! SO fun!
Shortly after, Anderson headed off to Camp Lakewood for a week of learning and growing closer to God. He made awesome memories with his friends, and I am so super thankful he is able to go every year. Lilly snuck away for a couple overnights with her cousin Grace, in Michigan (notice a cousin theme?!)!
The following week, Lilly spend her week at church camp…Camp Adventure! Anderson and I had some awesome alone time, and he even got a night away with his Wabash cousins!
As the last of July approached, the kiddos left once again for a summer visit to MN, while Ryan and I spent a night in Chicago! We lunched with my brothers, then we went downtown to do an architectural boat tour, followed by an awesome dinner at a super cool gastropub.
August: One of my favorite summer memories was a morning in Monticello. Ryan and I woke up fairly early to take his boat out on the calm, gorgeous lake. After traveling some distance, we decided to just turn the boat off and enjoy each other’s company. Literally the most romantic morning E-VER…until we were ready to head back. Ryan joked what a bummer it’d be if the boat didn’t start….and it didn’t! After HOURS later, we were “rescued” by his amazing Uncle Mike, and did the tow of shame back to the house! Seriously, the best part was how calm he was throughout the entire thing- he felt awful but it seriously become one of my favorite summer memories!!
Later that month, Ryan and I took Lilly and her best friend to The Clyde to see Jonny Lang. The girls were awesome, and it was so fun to share this concert with them both!
September: Ryan and I snuck away for a quick weekend in Florida to spend time with his brother and sis-in-law. It was awesome to be able to spend the time with them. Really really awesome!
We also checked off a bucket list item later in the month…An Anderson East concert!!!!! This time we took Ryan’s sis and her best friend! It was so much fun, and I was a LEGIT fan girl that night!! So awesome!
Crazy enough, just a week later we went to ANOTHER concert, this time in Indy. MAROON 5!! Concert-goers we are not, BUT this year we did it up!!!
At the end of September, Ryan and I took a trip to Santa Fe. You can read about that here. We made incredible memories together! SO thankful!
October: MY BROTHER GOT MARRIED!! It was the most BEAUTIFUL weekend EVER!! There are no words to express how incredibly happy I am for my brother!!!!!
I also met the final Middleton sibling while we were in Chicago, and his precious son Adam!! SO awesome!!!
November: We got a turtle! Oy. After two years of begging, I finally budged and got Anderson a pet turtle. Welcome to the fam, Kirby!
December: ANOTHER wedding….Ryan’s youngest brother, Jace married the most adorable girl, Lily! The wedding was BEYOND gorgeous, and we are SO excited for their future together!!
We did Christmas together, and with each other’s family. We got a TON of family time in this month, and I am SUPER SUPER thankful!!! It’s been an incredible month!
As I sit here on the last evening of the year, I am SO very happy. My heart is full, my family is beyond blessed, and I am SO incredibly excited for what’s to come next year!!!