2018: A year in review

31 December 2018

I read through last year’s review post as I prepared to write this one, and I was wowed again at the amount of life that has happened, and the amount of change we’ve seen, in the last two years of our family. That’s one reason I love these opportunities to stop and reflect — life is constantly calling us to move fast-fast-fast, but the rhythms of seasons and calendars give us an opportunity to pause and count the fruit.

So here we go – some of our favorite moments of 2018, in our lives and on the blog.

Life on the blog sprinted out of the gate in January with the first four posts in the How We Do It series: Time, Finances, Homes, and Personal Lives! I also shared my Life List Book (and have since had occasion to add several items to its pages). John and I celebrated our 13th dativersary (a tip here) and June’s second birthday (sans party this year!).

A highlight of February was sharing three more How We Do It posts: Work, Relationships, and Spiritual Lives (the last one, Kiddos, posted in March). We announced some VERY happy news and John and I took an early babymoon to Anna Maria Island, one of our most laidback vacations ever (and our first multi-day trip without June!). I also shared my refined vision for our home, which I’m happy to say is slooooowly coming to fruition – more updates to come in the new year! Our church home also broke ground on a new building!

We spent time outside in the beautiful North Carolina spring weather in March. We got and shared the news that we were adding a BOY to our family (and I shared so many thoughts!). I delivered a manifesto on the purpose of EFM and wrote one of the most popular posts of the year: our favorite board games! (Loved your comments!)

We celebrated the resurrection of our Savior at Duke Chapel and celebrated spring by picking strawberries approximately twice a week. We traveled to Georgia for a dear friend’s wedding and learned an important lesson about vacations. On the blog, I shared tips for managing money together (complete with controversial article) and organizing your own childhood memorabilia.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I mused on a variety of kiddo topics: a revelation about parenting, the cost of our first year with a baby, and our you-do-you clothing solution. (We also made a flower craft!) My skincare routine was a fun post to write.

We logged our sixth-annual camping trip with the Rays, spent lots of time outside scootering, welcomed visitors, and celebrated John passing his Certified Financial Planner exam!!

With baby boy’s arrival approaching I think I was on a kiddo kick, because I shared three more kiddo-centric posts in June: what June eats, the plans for Shep’s nursery (reveal coming soon!) and my favorite parenting books. We filmed June in June Volume 3 (they keep getting cuter!!) and I loved sharing this post about my parents – one of my favorites from the year.

And oh yes – we spent two weeks in Connecticut and Maine!! Around those two big trips we tucked in tons of little adventures closer to home, savoring our final days as a family of three.

The highlight of our month (year!) came on the last day of July: John Shepherd Thomas made his arrival! He has delighted us from the start with his sweet sideways smiles — we couldn’t love him more! At least for now, all my hesitations about having a son have been put to rest :)

In less exciting news, I also FINALLY shared a look at our backyard renovation – only took me a year! :)

Shep took it easy on us in his first month, and life with a two-year-old AND a new baby meant things didn’t slow down as much as they did last time! We headed out frequently for picnics, splash pad trips, the zoo, birthday parties, and visits to the Museum of Life & Science. I was so happy to share the meaning of Shepherd’s name!

We celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary with dinner at The Durham in September, as well as ten years of Em for Marvelous! We marked the beginning of fall with apple cider scones and weathered Hurricane Florence with my parents.

October saw us in Asheville with my sister, trick-or-treating all around our neighborhood, and flying to New Hampshire for a dear friend’s wedding (our first flight as a family of four!). Shep and I had lots of solo adventures in my last month of maternity leave, two friends and I hosted a pumpkin painting fundraiser for Florence victims, we hosted our annual pumpkins and soup party, and June moved to her big girl bed! I shared the tax benefits of an HSA, my favorite jeans, and everything we read in Articles Club this year.

Things slowed down in November around EFM as I went back to work and our parents traded shifts watching Shep. We celebrated three Thanksgivings – an early one in Virginia with the Thomases, on Thanksgiving Day with the Terhunes, and the weekend after with the Ayers – and marveled at the fact that we now have family living in North Carolina.

We closed out the year with an early-season snow day, a visit to the Nutcracker (and many subsequent living room performances), and a big trip home for Christmas (complete with stays at both grandparents’, a horse ride at my family’s farm, bowling, and a trip on the Polar Express!). Our Christmas tree was naked until mid-December, we never did get our outside lights up, some Christmas cards were mailed on December 23rd, and posts were sparse on EFM, but there were sweet, slow moments even on the busiest days.

I am grateful for a fresh start tomorrow. I know there’s nothing magical about January 1st, but marking time is important, and a whole new year ready to be etched with memories and milestones gives me a bubbly feeling inside :) I’m about to wrap up my PowerSheets and am excited to share my 2019 goals with you soon. They’re different — more concrete — than in recent years, and I’m excited to dig in to them little by little over the next many months.

I know I’ve said it before, but I am SO excited for what we’ll discuss here in 2019. Thank you for being here, and for sharing so generously with me! It’s one of the delights of my life. Wishing you a healthy, happy, and abundant new year. I’ll see you soon! :)

2017 year in review
2016 year in review
2015 year in review
2014 year in review
2013 year in review
2012 year in review

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December 31, 2018 1:40 pm

Yay year-in-review! What a lovely year you’ve had. Thanks for the summary – especially that pic of June on the scooter. She’s adorable!

December 31, 2018 1:54 pm

Aww, such a sweet year! So many smiling little faces. Happy New Year to you and your family!

January 1, 2019 12:30 pm

Such a great look back!

January 2, 2019 5:21 am

What a wonderful year my friend! Cheers to 2019 and hugging you in person again soon :)

January 7, 2019 7:46 am

What a great year you have all had-I’ve enjoyed following along.
I had to do a double take of you all in front of that Christmas tree and fireplace. Is that during your trip home? That fireplace is pretty much identical to the one in my house in CT growing up and the Christmas tree there completes the same set up that we had! It brings back many memories:-) (Funny enough-my parents have also recently moved to North Carolina)