December 31, 2018

Top 18 of 2018

Top 18 of 2018

When I started this blog, I wrote the "Top 11 of 2011". I had been planning to write a Top 10 list, but since it was 2011, I figured one more wouldn't be hard. Each year, I add one more item, and each year, I think it's going to be impossible to come up with that many things.

I wish that my weight didn't affect how good or bad my experiences were--but because I'm always self-conscious of it, I can't help but categorize my experiences by how I felt about my body. (This is definitely something I'd love to change for 2019. Let the number on the scale simply be a number on the scale that doesn't haunt me!)

Anyway, this is going to be a very long post, if I'm going to fit in 18 of my favorite moments of 2018. So, here goes (in no particular order)...

1. I made a list of 40 goals to achieve by the time I'm 40 years old. 

Several of them are goals that I will continuously work on over the next three years, and some of them can be done in a day. It's been fun to focus on goals that don't have anything to do with weight!

Bullet journal goals

2. Jerry and I went on a super fun date night.

We spent an evening in Detroit to see Bill Burr's stand-up comedy at the Fox Theatre. We stopped in a nice little bar for drinks before we went to the show, and had great conversation. Then we walked to the Fox and we both agreed that Bill Burr was hilarious. We don't do things like that often, and it was super fun.

Fox Theatre Detroit

3. I shared a Vermonster with the family!

When the kids were younger, we used to watch random shows on the Food Network, and when we learned about this giant ice cream sundae that is served at Ben & Jerry's in Vermont, well, we decided that one day we would go there and get one. Last Christmas, we surprised the kids with our vacation plans. We were all super excited for this Vermonster!


4. I visited Portland, Maine.

When we left Ben & Jerry's, we drove to Portland, Maine. Portland was AMAZING and definitely on my list of favorite places I've visited. We went on a mailboat tour of the islands, and the scenery was so pretty! Especially when it started snowing very lightly.

Mail boat in Portland, ME

5. I showed the family my favorite things to do in Boston.

The first stop on our trip was actually in Boston. I planned for this trip for so long, and I was excited to finally get to take the kids to a relatively busy city. They loved walking the Freedom Trail, and I loved getting to spend time with the family, uninterrupted.

Freedom Trail in Boston

6. I took Eli to get his ears pierced.

Eli wanted to get his ears pierced, and I didn't want him to get it done at the mall. He needed the full piercing/tattoo shop experience! Haha. So, we made a mother-son date of it, and he got his ear lobes pierced while I got the tragus on my ear pierced.

My favorite part about this whole thing was that Eli is totally his own person. He knew that he'd get teased at school for the earrings, just like he was teased when he dyed his hair blue; but he knew what he wanted, and he did it anyway. I wish that I had been that brave when I was his age!

Ear piercings

7. I did an escape room challenge.

Doing my first escape room challenge! This was on a girls' trip to Kansas City to visit my friend Andrea. Caitlin came in from Boston, and Bonnie from Virginia, and we stayed at Andreas for a long weekend. We had so much fun, especially doing the escape room. We had 60 minutes to complete it, and we managed to get out in 59:59! It was a huge adrenaline rush.

Escape Room Kansas City

8. I learned lots of new skills while making over our house.

One of my favorite parts of 2018 was working on our house and giving it a really dramatic makeover. We aren't totally done, but it won't be too much longer. I can't wait to post all of the before and after photos! I feel so proud when I see how much better everything looks. And I did it myself!

Making my own countertops

9. I took Jerry on a surprise date.

In April, I took Jerry on a surprise date. He had NO CLUE where we were going, or even that we were going overnight. I gave him clues along the way, and when we got to the border to Canada, I didn't want to spoil the surprise--so I handed the border patrol guard this note to answer the questions they always ask (where you're going, why, for how long). We went to see Kevin Hart and we stayed overnight. Again, another super fun date! (And yes, we later went to see Kevin Hart again... a double date with friends)


10. I saw Noah go to his first homecoming dance. 

He's growing up so fast! He looked amazing in his suit (and he actually let me pick it out). He met up with his friends (including his girlfriend) where they took some group photos and then went out to dinner. Jerry and I drove him and his girlfriend to the dance and dropped them off. Noah was very nervous, especially about wearing the Converse that I pushed him into, but he had so much fun!

Suit with purple Converse

11. We paid off all of our credit debt!

This was SUPER exciting. We'd had credit card debt for as long as I can remember. Once I started taking medication for bipolar, my mood stabilized enough for me to stop being so impulsive. I made a budget plan and we stuck to it. We paid off $14,500 in 14 months, and it felt SO freeing! We have continued with our budget so that we can pay for our home makeover as we go, instead of charging it all and paying it off later.

Debt free!

12. Cashing in several years' worth of change.

Jerry, the kids, and I saved up all of our (by "our" I mean 95% mine) change in the piggy bank and finally cashed it in. I told the kids about a year ago that if they put all of their change in it, they would get to split it all with us when we cashed it in. We finally filled the entire bank (it weighed about 40 pounds!) and then cashed it in. We had $490 in change!

Piggy Bank full of change

13. I played in the snow with the family.

Sadly, I hadn't done this in years (I hate snow!) but I put on some snow pants and boots, and played like a child. We made snow angels, had a snowball fight, pulled each other around in a sled, and chased Joey. Some Hallmark commercial worthy family stuff. (Or the "after" part of an antidepressant commercial, hahaha!)

Snow fight

14. The kids and I rode our bikes to Subway. 

This may not sound like a big deal, but it was about 11 miles round trip, and included some busy roads. I was scared to death letting the kids ride on those roads, but they were very proud that they rode so far (and thrilled to eat Subway for dinner).

Riding bikes

15. I became an aunt again!

Miss Riley Jo was born in August, and just like that, I had a niece :) She has the biggest, most contagious smile I've ever seen on a baby. I've LOVED being an aunt to Luke, and now it's going to be super fun to do girl things with a niece!

My new niece!

16. I trained for a half-marathon with Jerry.

While we didn't end up running the race, we did train all the way up through an 11 mile long run. I'm not sure why I enjoyed it so much, but we had a great time on our long runs. We ran nice and slow, not caring at all about our pace, and chatted the whole time. Training with a partner made the time go by faster, and it felt less like work and more like enjoyment.

Slow runners

17. I went strawberry picking with Emily.

Then we made strawberry jam and strawberry margaritas afterward! Emily is a blog-reader-turned-dear-friend. I had never gone berry picking before (maybe I did when I was a kid, but I don't remember) and it was a goal on my 40 Goals by 40 Years Old list. Picking the berries was relaxing in a way--we just talked and made our way down the row, staining our fingers and taste-testing a few berries. I definitely want to do it again next year!

Strawberry picking

18. Jerry and I took the kids to a Tigers game in May. 

It was MISERABLY hot (over 90 degrees and so humid), which is always the case when I go to Tigers games. I have no idea why it always happens that way. Regardless, we had fun--and we even randomly bumped into my brother (Nathan) while we were there!

Detroit Tigers game

And there it is! My favorite moments of 2018. I feel like 2018 was a year of accomplishments--mainly paying off our credit debt and making over our house. I worked SO hard on both of those things, and I'm very proud of the outcome.

I have some ideas for 2019, which I'll probably write about tomorrow. But I definitely want to keep it simple; I'd like to pick 2-3 goals to focus on instead of a whole bunch of things at one time.

I like to do the same "fun facts" every year on this post, so here goes:

I ran 279.16 miles this year. Almost as low as last year, if not for the half-marathon training. In September of 2013, I actually ran 205 miles in a MONTH. I don't know if I'll ever get my running mojo back, but I'd like to keep trying. I felt really good when I was running regularly. Now, it's so hard to get back in that habit!

The food I consumed the most of this year was definitely crushed ice from Sonic (technically not really food, but I eat it like it is). I've always been an ice chewer (yes, it's a bad habit, and no, it's not due to anemia or anything like that). My friend Sarah told me that you can buy bags of ice from Sonic (they have the best ice!) and once I learned that, I always have it with me.

My most memorable meal was OBVIOUSLY the Vermonster at Ben & Jerry's ;)  Other than that, though, I would say it was probably having Kansas City BBQ when I went on my girls' trip.

My current favorite breakfast is sourdough toast with coconut oil.
My current favorite TV Show is "The Good Doctor"
My current favorite evening treat is potato chips (cheddar sour cream Ruffles)

What I am most looking forward to in 2018? Finishing our home makeover!


  1. "The after for an antidepressant commercial" - tears of laughter! This is a great idea, can't wait to do it myself!

  2. What a fun recap! Here's to 2019! I'm so impressed with you paying off that debt!

  3. a great year! Thanks for writing this.

  4. I can't believe you were in London for Kevin Hart. I've been following you for years. Next time you come this way, if you need a place to stay, hit me up. I even have Halloween sized mini Coffee Crisps in my pantry :)


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