Rewind: 2017.

1.11.2018
1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

Before 2017, I'd never owned a house, flown in a helicopter, or spent Christmas at home (with a real Christmas tree!).


Other firsts: ziplining in the rainforest, eating raw oysters, crashing a bachelor party (my bro's), hiking a legit mountain, and touring the Grand Canyon.


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My main resolution for this past year was to figure out what was truly important to me and focus on that. I think I succeeded in a lot of ways, especially as it pertains to my career/life calling (more on this later). Last year's resolutions also included practicing my kitchen skills and and reigniting my passion for photography. Neither lasted long, to be honest.

In 2018, I'd like to work on my relationships—both with God and my loved ones. I'd like to spend longer time in prayer, call family regularly, initiate more coffee dates with friends, and plan several weekend trips home this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope! Maybe that will change in 2018...

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My cousin Rick passed away in February from complications with Cystic Fibrosis. He was the comedian of the family, and an absolute warrior. Most days, I still can't believe he's gone. But as much as I miss his unwavering spirit and obnoxious jokes, I know Amanda's probably having the time of her life with her big brother up in Heaven. Life down here, however, will never be the same without those two.

5. What countries did you visit?

Costa Rica! And I'd go back in a heartbeat.


6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

How about a puppy? Now that we've settled into our home in Frisco, Scott and I would like to start growing our family, and I can't think of a better way to do that than by adopting a fur-baby in 2018. Fingers crossed!

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory?

February 18, the day we moved into our first house. February 21, the day I found out about Rick's passing. February 25, the day my best friend/business partner tied the knot to her (sort of) high school sweetheart.


June 17-24, the week our families spent together in Costa Rica. November 14, the day my sister-in-law got engaged to the love of her life. December 16, the day I gained a new sister.


8. What was your biggest achievement?

I have several small accomplishments worth noting that hopefully add up to one big achievement: Contributing to Windrose Magazine, taking up Barre3, reading 18 books (more than one book per month—I'm getting faster!), generating my first bit of income from HSG, volunteering for my church on a regular basis, and finally deciding to pursue a career as a holistic health coach. All good things!


9. What was your biggest failure?

Ugh, probably abandoning Her Story Goes as much as I have in the past few months. Since starting a full-time job in November, it's been a sad little space with zero new content. There were quite a few posts from 2017 that I'm still proud of, though, including:

+ Love Is a Battlefield: Part III, and III
Why I Cancelled My Subscription to Kayla Itsines' Fitness App
Feminism Isn't a Dirty Word—But You Could've Fooled Me
The City that Changed My Relationship
When Silence Isn't An Option

It's a work in progress, y'all.


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had to have a gum graft surgery done in September, which left me sippin' on nothing but smoothies and soups for two weeks. Other than that, and some annoyingly hard-to-heal hormonal imbalances, I've been very fortunate in the health department. (Knock on wood!)

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Tuition for my enrollment in the NTA. Come next November, I will be a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Huzzah!

And plane tickets. (Duh.)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My husband, for always being ridiculously supportive of me and my goals—even when my goals are ridiculous.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The Harvey Weinsteins of the world. Get it together, guys.

14. Where did most of your money go?

The house. And food, of course. (We eat A LOT of food.)


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Seeing my Oxford besties for the first time in YEARS. These faces though:


16. Did you make any new friendships?

Shout out to Megan Weaver for being the best boss friend I've ever had! I also grew so much closer to Scott's family during our first year in DFW, which was a huge blessing.


17. Did you go on vacation?

Yes! Scott and I went on a lot of little and big trips this year, starting with a wine weekend in Fredericksburg with the soul siblings.


June was the month of Costa Rica (our biggest vacation of the year), and July found me roaming NYC with the You've Got Mail fan club.


October kicked off a ripple of fun getaway adventures to Salem, MA for Halloween, the Outer Banks for a family wedding, Zion National Park for Scott's 30th birthday, and Vegas for Thanksgiving. Whew, we've been busy!


18. What do you wish you had done more or less of?

I wish I had seen more shows. One of my favorite evenings was getting all dolled up for a fancy dinner and burlesque show at Houston's Prohibition Supperclub for Kristen's bachelorette party. So much fun!


On the other hand, I wish I had consumed less coffee. (Yeah, that's a lie. Coffee is life.)


19. How did you spend the holidays?

We spent Thanksgiving in Vegas with my family, Christmas in Plano with Scott's family, and New Year's Eve at home with just the two of us! Lots of food, movies, and relaxing.


20.  What new food did you discover?

Two thousand seventeen was the year of the avocado toast. (I'm addicted.) And Hurts Donuts! (Good, but it ain't Gourdough's good.)


21. What was your favorite TV program?

Big Little Lies. Give me Season 2 already!

22.  What was one of your favorite experiences of the year?

Costa Rica has to take the cake. I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have not one, but TWO incredible families that love to party together. I mean, we put on a TALENT SHOW, for God's sake.


23. What was the best book you read?

It's a tie between The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

24. What song will always bring you back to 2017?

Justin Bieber's "Despacito." And now it's stuck in my head.

25. What did you want and get?

A new, super comfy couch for our living room. It's so fluffy!

26. What did you want and not get?

A tattoo. (Maybe one day.)

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

Wonder Woman.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 26 in October while in Salem, MA (also known as the home of the Salem Witch Trials and more importantly, the filming site of Hocus Pocus) with my husband, brother, and his boyfran. We dressed up in our Halloween best, scoped out Max Dennison's house, and ate our weight in seafood. Best birthday ever? I'd say so.


29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

You know, I really can't think of anything off the top of my head. A good sign, I suppose!

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

Classic. All about those pearls and polka dots.


31. What kept you sane?

Neighborhood walks with my better half, my nightly chocolate-and-tea ritual, and Yoga with Adriene.


32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Gal Gadot. She's a freaking goddess.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Probably gun control (or lack thereof). I don't think I can take one more mass shooting, honestly. The whole alt-right Charlottesburg rally thing was heartbreaking, too. And don't even get me started on the sexual assault/harassment scandals. It was kind of a depressing year, politically. YOU'RE BETTER THAN THAT, HUMANITY.

34. Who did you miss?

My writing partners, Kristen and Elise. Even the cutest coffee shops are lonely without you ladies.


35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

The only thing that matters in life is the people you spend it with. So cherish the heck out of them.


Cheers to 2018!

Read my recap of 2016 here.

A Vegas Thanksgiving.

12.24.2017

My first impression of Vegas included:

+ three luxurious nights in the MGM Grand Skylofts (courtesy of WME)
+ a full view of the city from the High Roller
+ Thanksgiving dinner at the Stratosphere
+ front row seats to "O" by Cirque du Soleil
+ dirty martinis and a three-course meal at Mr. Chow
+ a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon 

But despite all of this, nothing could beat the company. Every day is a party with these people.

(A shout out to my big brother for making this trip possible! We had a blast, and couldn't be more grateful for the weekend of a lifetime.)

A letter to my 30-year-old husband.

12.10.2017

Dear Husband,

You were 25-years-young when I fell in love with you. Barely a man, and yet the hunkiest of men I'd ever met. In case you were wondering, it was love at first sight for this girl.

Now you're thirty and hunkier than ever. (You know what they say about fine wines...? Yeah, dat's you.) After five years spent by your side, I still continue to fall deeper in love with you every day—and while I'm very much enjoying this lovely little honeymoon phase of life we're currently in, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited to see who you become at age 35, 40, and 45. Hopefully by then, you'll have added "father" to your resumé, because imagining you as a dad makes my heart turn to mush. You'd sure make an amazing dad.

But for now, I'm damn lucky to have the hubby/best friend/travel companion of my dreams. Adventuring with you never gets old, and neither do the ordinary everyday things that mostly make up our marriage. In fact, it's the simple moments at home that I like best. But whether we're admiring the view from the top of Angel's Landing or watching House of Cards from our couch, you're the reason my life is so sweet.

Here's to reaching yet another milestone together.

Love,
Your Wife