At the end of 2016, I did a post with 11 superlatives for the year. This year, I’m making it an annual tradition! As we approach 2018, it’s been fun to look back on 2017 and reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here we go!
1. Biggest Milestone: Launching this blog! The new name and layout felt like coming home…like this was always where my blog was supposed to be. And since the launch, I’ve been better about posting more regularly, which has been an exciting achievement!
2. Hardest Challenge: My family lost a sweet pup this year, and we have had several other losses and trials within our wider family circle that perhaps haven’t had an enormous direct impact on me personally, but that I have certainly felt and grieved over. I also struggled with some anger and anxiety from a political perspective earlier in the year. I honestly had to disengage myself somewhat from politics and the news in order to cope. I’m not super happy about this, as I think it’s important to be informed and involved, but my mental health just couldn’t take it anymore. All in all, I hesitate to truly label any of these things as “challenges” because they certainly don’t compare to finding out that, say, you yourself have cancer, but they were the tough parts of life that we struggled with this year.
3. Most Memorable Trip: Italy!! It was hubby’s first time outside the country, which was pretty exciting. We went with a large group of family and had a truly unforgettable trip. The best food, sights, and people!
4. Best Bite: This cup of cookie dough and ice cream from DŌ in NYC. Heaven!! I’ve been a cookie dough lover my whole life, and I honestly feel like I should have been the one to invent this whole business concept. DŌ had multiple gluten-free options, which was amazing!
5. Favorite Photo: This photo of my family! We gifted my mom a family photo session this year for her birthday, and she chose to have them done up in the Blue Ridge mountains in the fall. Every single picture from that day is stunning, but especially this one!
6. Inspiring Read: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. The racial tensions in this book were incredibly timely to read about. The ending was a little cheesy, but all in all, it was a well done novel!
7. Most Valuable Lesson: I’ve been realizing more and more lately that I need to work on being a better listener. Less talk about myself and focusing on my own needs, more focusing on others. I have a lot of thoughts swirling in my head about this that are still taking shape. I plan to continue to think about this in the upcoming year!
8. Favorite Gift Received: Y’all, I received a lot of really thoughtful and fun gifts this year! One of my favorites was a Christmas gift from hubby. My sister studied abroad in Spain right before Wes and I got married and gifted us Spanish tiles that spelled out our married last name. They are absolutely stunning. Of course, 9 months after our wedding, I decided I was keeping my maiden name after all. This year, hubby got me similar Italian tiles that spell out the Italian translation of my last name. Now we have coordinating tile sets for both of our family names! I adore both of them–they are some of my most treasured decor pieces!
9. Scariest Moment: When I was reading In a Dark, Dark Wood late at night and got so petrified that I couldn’t even muster up the courage to get out of bed to close and lock my bedroom door! Honestly, this book isn’t even that scary. I just have a low threshold, especially when it’s dark!
10. Favorite Raleigh Spot: Well, I’m still loving The Flourish Market, which was one of my top spots from last year as well (use this link for 15% off your first online purchase). A new favorite spot this year is La Santa, a modern Mexican restaurant in Glenwood South. The food is on point!
11. Things I’m Most Looking Forward to in 2018: Channeling my inner kid and heading down to Disney and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in February, getting a new tattoo, having a mother/daughter weekend with my mom and sister in May, taking a family vacation in June, and finding more ways to give back to my community this year!
That’s a wrap! What a great year. I’d love to hear about some of your 2017 superlatives in the comments!
P.S. – I was not compensated for this post in any way. All opinions are my own! This post does contain referral links, which means that if you click on a link and purchase a product, I may receive compensation.