As I’m writing this I’m making my second batch of (oh so addictive) Chex Mix this holiday season. We are spending the last day of the year at home as a family, nothing big planned here with having a toddler and all. We went to the gym this morning so I am ending my 2018 Year Review on a positive fitness note.
In 2016 I revived my Year in Review post, a fun recap of my blogging adventures and personal endeavors during the year. I’m pleased to be writing another for 2018, although in general it was a strange year for me. I struggled on a personal level with feelings of overwhelm, “not being able to do it all” and let my health slide.
2018 Year Review
More About My Year
The loss of our daughter’s second nap toward the end of 2017 proved traumatizing (haha) and left me with “less time” in 2018. I almost gave up on my garden but did enjoy some lovely fresh cut flowers. I came to terms with my health, joined a gym again and am slowly making progress.
I’m also learning to enjoy meal planning and cooking from scratch again. Instead of viewing it as a time suck I am viewing it as an investment in my health (and that of my family). Lastly, I had what I can only describe as a “near death experience” at the very end of the year, (I am OK!).
This was my 8th year blogging. I published 30 blog posts in 2018. This was a small number compared to in years past. My goal was to publish once a week and many of my posts were updates to older blog posts. SEO has been a huge focus for me now have an “old website Google likes.”
I fell a bit shy of my goal when I encountered blogger burnout around May. This led me to not blog for three months. I maintained an active presence on Pinterest and upped my Instagram game slightly – trying out Instagram Stories. Financially, income from my blog was higher in 2018 than ever before and I also broke a personal record for page views!
2018 Year Review
At the beginning of the year I wrote about doing a little health reset. Unfortunately it was short-lived but I am back on track now. I went to my first social media influencer event in ages, a fitness extravaganza downtown at GrooveRyde. I also decided to begin immunotherapy (allergy shots) to treat chronic long-term allergies.
A friend mentioned using a paper journal/planner around the same time and it got me thinking about how I used to use a paper planner. With the feelings of overwhelm that were already brewing personally, I decided to ditch my Google Calendar and move back to paper. I used a Day Designer Flagship Daily Planner and loved it. I’m using the same planner for 2019.
The husband wrote a guest post about working out using supersets. I tried my first Orange Theory Fitness class and wrote a post about it. I partnered with a local thrift shop to write about one of my long-lost passions – thrift shopping. And I wrote a post about 20 ways to stop spending money. February also marked the month we started potty training our daughter which was a huge event for our household!
2018 Year Review
In March I didn’t write as much on my blog. I updated a post about dry brushing techniques (which I need to do again!). I also went to my first planner meet up (a hangout for people who use paper planners) and had a really nice time. I also put into action a meal planner at home and began trying to meal plan and cook more.
That sponsored thrift shop post and some conversations with a friend led to me to start a side project selling used clothing. I hope to write more about how you can buy clothing at deep discount and/or sell clothing for cash on the Poshmark mobile app. Sign up for Poshmark and enter the code HFHAMMERS to receive $5 toward your first purchase. I also wrote a post about why I enjoy running races in smaller towns.
This month was the start of my blogging burnout. Personally I enjoyed Mother’s Day, my birthday, the unofficial start of summer, beach time, gardening and a massage. May is always my favorite month. I also painted our bedroom and enjoyed my first Nitro Cold Brew at Starbucks. I also ran the May in Bay 5K in Bay Village, Ohio. This was my only road race in 2018.
2018 Year Review
Self-care continued in June with a weekend with college friends in Marblehead, Ohio. I spent a lot of time with my daughter at various playgrounds around town. Work-wise I took on a new client who kept me very busy. And on the home front we had a new front sidewalk put in.
In July we spent time at the pool and our daughter took outdoor swim lessons. We took our first trip to Brew Nuts for donuts and beer (must go back!). We visited the Memphis Kiddie Park in Cleveland, Ohio, saw fireworks for the Fourth of July. I also had an allergic reaction to the grass that night (see January and allergy shots).
At the very end of the month, fed up with working out and seeing few results and I joined the gym again. I had cancelled my gym membership in 2016. It took me two years to realize that while I was working out five days a week I was making little progress. I decided to add weight lifting back to my routine and focus on nutrition. I re-read Body-for-Life to jumpstart this journey.
As in years past, August is a fun time as my work typically slows and I spend more time with friends and family. I went to Sandusky, Ohio and enjoyed Cedar Point Beach. I also visited family in Toledo, Ohio and took our daughter on her first boat ride, swimming in a pond and enjoyed a campfire. At home we finished installing a shed in our backyard. We moved our daughter to a toddler bed (another huge life event!).
2018 Year Review
By this time in my 2018 Year Review, it was back to work and I was feeling overwhelmed again despite being a few weeks into a new workout routine and using my day planner. Something had to give. I decided to step away from a networking group I had been a part of for four years and focus on a few passion projects – including this blog.
At the same time I attended my first blog conference, Bloggy Conference in Sandusky, Ohio. I had an amazing time, enjoyed R&R and met new bloggers. We went apple picking as a family and came home with two bushels this year and I republished my post about how apple picking can save you money.
This month marked our daughter’s third birthday. I was busy with work and had several past clients come back to me in 2018 with new projects. My attempts at meal planning and cooking more meals from scratch continued with making bone broth and by also recapping the memory of an odd baking experience on my blog. Personally I continued to try to make time for myself and enjoyed going to the movies for the first time since I was pregnant!
In November Lulu celebrated her 8th birthday by chewing up our living room rug (true!!). Her belated birthday present was a new rug in December. I republished my guide on pros and cons of adopting a dog in hopes that readers would adopt instead of shop.
I also published a post about affordable healthy foods that should be on everyone’s grocery list. I purchased a sponsored posts online course intended to teach me how to master securing sponsored posts for my blog. I also published a tutorial on how to make an easy, all natural makeup remover.
Nearly a full year into my immunotherapy treatment, at the very end of November I experienced my first ambulance ride and emergency room hospital visit as a the result of side effects from allergy shots. I am OK and have moved on physically from what happened but am still emotionally processing it. I would like to blog about my experience in the future.
After that health situation, December hit and we moved into enjoying the holiday season. I published my distance runner gift guide to help holiday shoppers. We spent our first Christmas Day at home as a family of three. In terms of personal care I finally got a new pair of glasses (only five years in the making) and I splurged on standing desk for my office!
2018 Year Review
That’s my 2018 Year Review. It was a year of progress and self-growth on some levels and also a year of strange events. We enjoyed intentional time as a family and as a couple more than in years past. I also learned to embrace down time just a little bit more and to let go of a few items on my to do list. While I look forward to what 2019 may bring, I also remind myself to count my blessings each day and not wish away today or 2018. Happy New Year!