1. What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?

Before 2018, I'd never tried aerial yoga, toured the infamous Silos, or made pasta from scratch.

Other firsts: attending a Catholic ordination (congrats, Father Paul Michael!), discipling a high school teen from my church, and completing an elimination diet.

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

I wanted to prioritize my closest relationships this year, and I think I did well in that category. I spent a weekend with my best friends in January, returned to Rayne on four separate occasions (Easter, Labor Day, my birthday, and Christmas), hosted a sibling weekend in July, reunited with the Oxford crew in August, and made sure to pepper in a lot of wine/food/coffee dates with wonderful people in between. My life is much fuller when it's heavy on community.

Next year, I have one resolution: to keep a positive and grateful mind no matter what happens.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Two thousand eighteen was another baby-less year amongst my friends, but I have a little cousin coming in February!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, and I'd like to keep it that way.

5. What countries did you visit?

The Bahamas, for Scott's company conference. Most relaxing trip we've ever taken.

6. What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?

Well, we never did get that puppy I hoped for. (To be honest, I kind of go back and forth on that one.) But now that I'm working from home again and have a more flexible schedule, it might be possible! I'd also love to join some sort of small group of women here in Dallas. Anyone interested in starting a monthly book club or bible study?

7. What dates from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory?

The most memorable time of the year, for me, would have to be May 29-June 3, the week of my sister-in-law's wine country wedding. Both of our families traveled to Fredericksburg to celebrate the nuptials, and everyone partied hard to the endless soundtrack of Taylor Swift.

8. What was your biggest achievement?

Making it through the first two terms of my NTC training. Only one more term and I'm done!

I'm also proud of all of the freelance writing and editing I've taken on in the latter half of this year. My portfolio is growing, and I'm looking forward to future projects and collaborations on that front. (Need a writer's expertise? Hit me up!)

9. What was your biggest failure?

Even though I don't consider it a failure by any means, I'm sad to have officially closed the door on Her Story Goes in 2018. Kristen and I never really gave our readers any explanation as to why we stopped writing for our beloved blog, which I suppose is the real failure—but it simply came down to us each wanting to devote our time to other things. However, a lot of love and hard work went into keeping our passion project alive for 2+ years, and we owe our readers everything for giving us a reason to write for as long as we did. While I can't say I regret our decision to leave that chapter of lives behind, there are days that I miss it terribly. (Which is why I'm so happy that we opted to keep the website up, as a memento of sorts. You can still browse the site to your heart's content!)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Just a few colds, and one random trip to the ER in August for scary heart palpitations. (Don't worry, I'm fine! Just layin' low on the caffeine these days.)

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Our living room decor (rug + coffee table), making this little corner my favorite spot in the house. Thanks for the interior design advice, Mom!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My friend Elise's, for her amazing thoughtfulness, faith, and compassion even under the most trying of circumstances.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The sex abuse scandals in the Catholic church shook me to my core. Still processing that one.

14. Where did most of your money go?

A functional medicine doctor here in Frisco who's helping me with fertility issues. No regrets—she's freaking amazing.

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

Seeing these people again in August, after a whole year apart:

16. Did you make any new friendships?

Other than a handful of really cool colleagues and classmates, not really. But who needs new friendships when you already have this?

JK, I love making friends! Be my friend!

17. Did you go on vacation?

Sure did! Nassau was just what the doctor ordered after a challenging few months of studying.

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

I wish I would have read more and scrolled less.

19. How did you spend the holidays?

Scott and I rotate families every year, so this year, Thanksgiving was celebrated in Plano with Scott's family (his mom makes a mean Turkey Day spread!) and Christmas week was spent in Rayne with my family. But luckily, we were able to host a belated Christmas pasta night in Frisco for Scott's family on the 27th, which was a ton of fun. (New tradition, maybe?) For New Year's Eve (tonight), we went to Vigil Mass and out for German food afterwards. Now we're at home watching the A&M game as I type this up! We're old.

20.  What new food did you discover?

The best hot chocolate I've ever tasted by Chocolate Secrets in downtown Dallas.

And pok√© bowls—eaten on the beach!

21. What was your favorite TV program?

Suits, hands down. We watched all 8 seasons in probably a month and a half. Gabriel Macht and Sarah Rafferty are the DREAM TEAM.

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

My favorite experiences of 2018 were nothing grand—just simple yet enjoyable moments scattered throughout the year: Playing board games with family, dinner parties with friends, volunteering at Birth Choice, reminiscing with the grandparents, snuggling by the Christmas tree, cooking with Scotty. Those are the moments that stick out the most.

23. What was the best book you read?

Meg Fee's stunning memoir.

24. What song will always bring you back to 2018?

Ugh, this question is always the hardest for me. I don't listen to the radio much these days (mostly because our generation's idea of "music" sucks), but my podcast obsession continues to grow. New fave: Hidden Brain by NPR.

25. What did you want and get?

A KILLER deal on flights to Athens next spring! (Scott's Cheap Flights is where it's at, y'all.) Greece, here we come!

26. What did you want and not get?

A tattoo. (Again.)

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

It's a tie between A Quiet Place and Bird Box. 

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

I celebrated my 27th (WHOA) birthday in Rayne with my whole fam, plus Elise! It fell on the weekend before Halloween, so Scott and I dressed up as Forrest and Jenny. How cute is he?!

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

In June, Scott was singled out as a candidate for a 2-year project in Berlin with his current company. Even though it was kind of a long shot, we were both ecstatic for the potential opportunity to move overseas—until someone in Germany decided it would be better to hire locally instead. Yeah, I was crushed. Obviously, God has a better plan and all that jazz... But if I had to come up with something that might have made our year immeasurably more satisfying, a spontaneous stint in Europe would've been it.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?

Lots of dark colors, simple tees, and denim.

31. What kept you sane?


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

Kristen Bell is my spirit animal.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

I don't pretend to be well-versed in politics, but my stance on immigration was constantly being challenged this year. Truth is, I don't know what the right answer is—but I don't particularly like the idea of building a wall.

34. Who did you miss?

Amanda Claire.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.

One of the hardest things I've had to learn this year is that true love—the kind of love that wills the good of another—isn't always nice. Or pretty. Or easy. Turns out, loving someone doesn't always mean agreeing with them, or even outwardly supporting their every action. I know this sounds obvious, but as a natural-born people-pleaser with a terrible fear of offending others, I still have to remind myself of this on the daily.

Speak the truth, even when it hurts. But always do so with love.

Happy New Year, y'all!

Read my recap of 2017 here.