Year in Review | Best of 2018


Well, 2018 is closing out and I honestly can’t believe it. We’re inching closer to the end of the decade and it feels like yesterday we were at the beginning of the decade. And as per usual it is time to start reflecting on the previous year and thinking about the next.

First, I think I should review my word for the year, which was apparently strong and of course I forgot about until I went to look it up. I think I tried to be strong in some ways. I’ve been fairly consistent with workouts despite not losing weight (lots of thoughts on that for another time) and have definitely put on muscle since I began focusing on lifting weights again. I feel strong in that aspect. In other areas I still need to work on those.

As for a word for 2019, I don’t think I’m going to do one this year. I have a lot of specific goals I want to achieve and maybe that will be in a separate post. I also like the idea of putting together a list of 39 things I want to do this year (since I’ll be turning 39 in July!) as I did when I was 28. Oh boy, looking back at that list made me realize how ambitious I was but also how much free time I had!

Anyway, to review this year:

Best Camping Trip
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Hands down our West Texas camping trip! I’m finally processing photos from the trip so expect more posts about that in the coming weeks!

Best in the Garden
Honestly, the garden wasn’t my favorite this year. There were good parts—let’s go find a few:

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Red admiral caterpillars, finally!

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A fairly decent onion harvest in the spring.

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A strong spring monarch season!

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From this vantage point the edible garden looked really nice in August!

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Massive okra!!

I feel like we’ll get our groove back for 2019 in the garden!

Best Book(s): My reading fell of precipitously the last quarter of the year. I’ve not been in the mood and I think having to read some of the NetGalley books put a damper in my mood. I sort of felt like I should finish them even if I’m not loving them so I may be pulling back on NetGalley and not being as heavy in the requests for previews next year.

I’d say my favorite books this year have been:
+North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail by Scott Jurek
+Cathedral of the Wild: An African Journey Home by Boyd Varty
+The Romanov Empress by CW Gortner.
I’m also not quite finished with Walking with Spring by Earl Shaffer but it is on my list, too.

Best Podcast(s)
I subscribe to a ton of podcasts but I don’t necessarily listen to each and every episode of all of them, though some I do. I’m also one who doesn’t follow all of the famous podcasts that are produced by public radio or major podcast networks—yes I listen to some of them from time to time but I much prefer an indie podcast setup.

A few favorites are:
+Friendlier: two friends sit down and chat on a certain theme every other week as well as a few other items such as books and life lately. It’s just a cozy listen and makes you feel like you are friends with them!
+Nova Scotia Kitchens: Sherrie goes to the kitchens of friends and acquaintances in her home province of Nova Scotia and records episodes of them cooking a favorite recipe. I love it because it feels like you are there in the kitchen with them, having a drink and making up something good to eat. Sherrie was on my podcast earlier this year.
+The 2180: A podcast of 70 stories from the Appalachian Trail to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Earl Shaffer’s walk on the AT.
+Girls Gone WOD: This is a Crossfit adjacent podcast that I really started listening to more this year. I’ve been enjoying the host only shows as well as their guests which range from Crossfit atheletes to other people in the fitness and wellness industry. You don’t have to do Crossfit to find value in the show.
+Pod Save America: I tuned into this quite frequently this year to get some details into the weekly political issues.

Best Music:
I have not listened to a lot of new music this year, though a few things stand out.

I have really been enjoying the soundtrack to the movie Dumplin’. It’s all Dolly and I’m here for it!

Always a Florence + The Machine fan, I love the new album, too.

Best Movies & TV:
I haven’t kept tabs on the movies I’ve watched but maybe I can dredge up a few.

Mostly recently I watched Dumplin’ on Netflix and I really loved it. I highly recommend it! Ok, so I can dredge up one and that’s recent! I guess I’m not watching a ton of movies at the moment. TV, well, that’s my typical shows I watch seasonally. I think Better Call Saul was probably the best show I’ve watched this year but I’ve always been enjoying The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina which is a reboot/revamp of Sabrina the Teenage Witch sans cheesy 90s comedy. Decidedly darker and I’ve been loving it.

Best Trips:
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+High Island Birding and Marc and Eliana Visit: Miss those two so much! Not enough time to spend with them on their brief visit through the region.
+Paddling Juniper Run when we were in Florida. So glad we got to do that again and take Forest, even if he slept half the trip!

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In retrospect, Disney was fun as well but in the moment it was quite chaotic and hard. I’ve never published a write-up because it was exhausting and I had to wrap my mind around everything. If we were ever to do it again I’d slot in rides for early in the day and later in the evening, after dinner, and spend more downtime at the hotel and pools in the Disney complex. Being at a park the entire day without a break was the hardest, I think, and thankfully there were only a couple of days where this was the case but those were some hard, hard days. As we were with extended family we had to go with the flow of everyone else, too, though we did do our own thing at times as well. I definitely did not understand how many families I saw with 2-3 kids, all under 5-6 years old—how and why were they doing that?? With the amount of standing in line you had to do unless you had a Fastpass, it didn’t seem worth it for all of the kid meltdowns. But, I know there are Disney addicts out there so, to each their own! A few months after Disney, Forest saw a commercial on tv for Universal Studios and proclaimed he really wanted to go there! Yeah, maybe when you are 10, kid!

Well, that’s a wrap for my year in review! I think I’ll work on 2019 goals and soon I’ll be sharing posts from west Texas which I’m really excited to share!

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2 thoughts on “Year in Review | Best of 2018

  1. Sarah Kopper says:

    I love reading these wrap-up lists from real people. Thanks for including Friendlier; we have best the best listeners. 🙂

    I’m also very curious about NetGalley and how the number of hits compares to misses in terms of quality. I’m not sure I need to add more to my TBR stack, but I have heard a lot about it and would love to know more about your experience.

    Here’s to 2019!

  2. I love this post!!! I think I’m going to steal it …

    Also, I love the idea of making a list of 39 things you want to do this year. That’s hard!! Hoping you share …

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