This has quickly become one of my favorite annual posts! Read on for the highlights (and challenges!) of the past year. I did change one superlative this year: “Scariest Moment” got swapped out for “Warmest Fuzziest Moment.” Because we could all use a little less scary and a little more warm and fuzzy in our lives! But mainly because I always have a hard time coming up with something truly “scary” to write about for Scariest Moment.
Without further ado, here are my 2019 year-end superlatives!
1. Biggest Milestone
Being a bridesmaid and maid of honor for the first time! I was so excited for my sister and my best friend and so honored to stand by their sides on their big days. I’ve known both of these ladies their whole lives, and it is so special to continue to witness all of their biggest joys after all these years!
2. Hardest Challenge
Blogging every week. I adore this blog, but y’all, it isn’t easy to post every week! Blogging is far more time consuming than the average person realizes. Adding my weekly blog post to a full time job and full life schedule of socializing, exercising, meal planning, and ALL THE THINGS is super hard! But, I didn’t miss a single week, and I’m proud of that. And I’m proud of this blog. Every time I hit “publish” on a post, all the hours and stress feel well worth it!
3. Most Memorable Trip
Belize! Me and Wes, my mom and dad, and my sister and her husband spent 10 days in Belize celebrating a big birthday for my mom! Belize wasn’t really on my radar or on my list of places to travel. But I absolutely loved it! The natural beauty, relaxed atmosphere, great food, and absolutely delightful people made for a great overall experience. It’s a place I would absolutely recommend! And of course, getting to celebrate that major milestone birthday with my mom was really special.
4. Best Bite
My first slice of gluten free key lime pie! I snagged several slices while visiting Key West this past summer. I love key lime pie but hadn’t had any in years since developing a severe gluten intolerance. My favorite slice of gluten free pie was from Kermit’s.
5. Favorite Photo
This photo of me in Belize. I wrote on Instagram a little bit about why I love it so much:
I LOVE this photo because it reminds me of how truly happy I was in this moment…which is honestly such a rarity in today’s world! So many Instagram and blog photos showcase staged or exaggerated happiness. Sometimes it’s a necessary evil in order to convey the messages we are called to share. I can’t tell you how many times I have posted a smiling photo that was taken right after my hubby and I snapped at each other for half an hour, frustrated by not being able to get the right shot of my ethically made outfit. I may have had a smile on my face as I modeled that outfit, but inside I was fuming! That was not the case with this photo. This was taken right after I woke up on my last morning in Belize during a recent vacation. I wanted to walk out on the beach and enjoy the warm sun before getting on a plane to head back home. My soul was full of joy. When I look at my body, face, and hair in this photo, there are parts that I think look amazing and parts that perhaps don’t look their best. But overwhelmingly, all I feel is the joy that I felt in that moment, just as I was, bed head and all. Here’s to more non-fabricated joyful moments just like this!
6. Inspiring Read
It’s always so hard for me to pick just one! Probably Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington. While I 100% still struggle with things like stress, time famine, etc., this book was incredibly helpful in shifting my mindset on some of these issues and resulted in some practical changes in my every day life. For example, this book finally gave me the kick in the pants I needed to start taking care of my body better physically, and now I am regularly attending yoga classes and loving it!
My annual book recap post will be up on the blog in two weeks…be sure to check back in to read about all of the great books I read this year!
7. Most Valuable Lesson
This one is still a major work in progress, but as mentioned above re: inspiring book, I’m learning how to not live my life constantly stressed out. Just this week I have been insanely stressed with all the holiday craziness, so I’m definitely not pretending to have this figured out. But, I’m aware of the issue and learning more. I’m trying to shift my mindset about never having enough time (ultimately I have just enough time for the things that are the most important) and generally just be a little more content and calm, despite having quite a busy life schedule. I’ve made progress!
8. Favorite Gift Received
Santa came early for Christmas this year, and I’ve already received my Christmas gift: an iPhone 11 Pro! I feel a little materialistic raving about it so much, but I’m so pumped about this upgrade considering it’s something I use literally every day. The cameras are amazing!
And I got a new Pela case to go with it! I love these cases because they’re compostable, and Pela donates a portion of their profits to ocean clean-up! Sustainable, earth-friendly, and super cute I might add! (Use this link for $10 off your own Pela case….or a pair of their sunglasses or other accessories!)
9. Favorite Raleigh Spot
Colors of Yoga! I started going in February and am so, so thankful to have found such an amazing yoga studio! Colors of Yoga is Black-owned and female-owned (and this is probably a whole other blog post, but I think it’s SO important to support minority-owned businesses) and focuses a lot on building community and promoting inclusivity within the yoga community. I love all of these things, and I love yoga! This has been such a positive place in my life and is most definitely my favorite spot in Raleigh.
10. Warmest Fuzziest Moment
Releasing Tilapia the turtle back into the wild! In the fall of 2018, Wes and I found a turtle that had been hit by a car near our house. We rushed her to nearby NC State’s vet school, where she made a miraculous recovery! In the spring of 2019, they contacted us and told us that she was ready to be released back into the wild. They asked us if we wanted to be the ones to do it, and it was an easy yes!
I barely recognized her as the same turtle. When we found her on the road, she was groaning and clearly in pain. She wouldn’t come out of her shell. When we picked her up to release her, she was active and squirmy, full of life! She couldn’t stop looking at the world around her. It was a beautiful, full-circle moment. We hope she is thriving at this peaceful and picturesque pond!
11. Things I’m Most Looking Forward to in 2020
Wes and I are hoping to take a big trip together! We have gone on weekend getaways together and have gone on longer trips with groups of people, but we’ve never done a big trip just the two of us. Excited to make that happen this year!
Also….I’m turning 30 in 2020! I think I’m excited?
And of course, I’m excited to bring y’all more great content here on Fairly Southern! I’ve got some fun ideas. Get excited for a special giveaway in February!
That’s a wrap! I am grateful for another year of life. Here’s to an absolutely fantastic new decade beginning in 2020! (And if you’re curious to read my superlative posts from previous years, check them out here.)
P.S. – I’d love to hear about your highs/lows of 2019 in the comments!
P.P.S. – This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase a product using a link from this post. Read more here about my disclaimers/disclosures.