Our 2018 In Review

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The good, the bad, and the surprising.  Life and blogging 2018 in review.

2018 was a full year, wasn’t it?  I mean, quite possibly our busiest ever.  We’ve made a lot of great memories this year, but we’ve also had our share of bumps in the road.

I don’t know about you, but our family has done a lot in 2018 and we’re looking forward to even more in 2019.  Though, simultaneously, I’m looking forward to less.

2018 year in review - a personal view of 2018 and what I'm hoping for 2019 | sahmplus.com

2018 In Review

2018 In Review: Personal

Over the summer, my father took the kids and I on a trip to Discovery Cove and Sea World in Orlando.

Young children at Discovery Cove watching people in lazy river | sahmplus.com

Our family had a wonderful vacation this year.  We spent the first half of the week playing in Tampa.  Then, we  headed into Orlando to finish our trip at Disney.

Learning electricity at Glazer Children's Museum Tampa | sahmplus.com

We stayed in some wonderful places, including the Animal Kingdom Lodge, which was a fantastic experience.

In August, I took some time away from the kids to spend some time with my husband at a race event, called Grid Life.  Though it’s been a goal of mine to get out on a race track with other cars, I simply tagged along to be a spectator and rode along with my husband.

I’d been increasingly finding myself disinterested in Autocross this year, and Grid Life sort of solidified my desire to be out on a track.  So, in early December, hubby took me to Sebring International Raceway for my first HPDE (High Performance Driving Event).  Here, I started in HPDE 1, for beginners and I instantly felt at home!

I’ve been ruined for our Autocross events forever!

Shortly afterward, our family joined the YMCA so that I could get back into Yoga and give my son more social experiences while he was in child care.  And then I got hooked on lifting weights and became obsessed with building muscles!  That’s been a strange, but awesome experience.

Then, hubby and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary!  We sent the kids to spend time with their Papa and we had a low-key (but beautiful) anniversary weekend.  And we began to come up with our ideas for a big 10 year anniversary celebration. Turns out, we’re thinking REALLY big by spending a week (or more) in Europe next year!

Chocolate cake with words Happy Anniversary | sahmplus.com

Toward the end of December, our family spent another couple days in Orlando to use the last two days of our 4-day passes.  We also decided this was the perfect way to celebrate our son’s 3rd birthday, so we purchased tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas.  It was our first ever experience with the Christmas party, and aside from a few incidents with inconsiderate people, was actually a pretty cool event.

Cinderella Castle and Magic Kingdom lit for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas

While we had some pretty great experiences, I lost my grandfather unexpectedly a few months ago, shortly after returning from our Grid Life trip.  We had just gone to visit my grandparents and we were all talking about cars (and talking my grandfather into trying to use Uber to get around more often).  We also talked about some of his hobbies and took both grandparents out to lunch at one of our favorite pizza places.

The suddenness of his passing resulted in a short run with depression and began to have an impact on how I was living.  I felt as though I’d been giving people an inadequate amount of my personal attention, and began to pull away from things that didn’t matter and try to focus more on things that did.

2018 In Review On The Blog

How about a top 10 list?  Well, it’s been an interesting year on the blog as I learned more about Pinterest and analyzing data to see what you guys are reading.  As I began preparing for this 2018 in Review post, I was surprised to find some of my newer posts seem to have caught your attention more than I thought.  This was huge for me because I began writing more marriage content as I tried to dive deeper in this blog to be more rounded.

Without further ado, the top 10 posts in 2018 for SAHM, plus…

1.  Should You Get The Epidural During Labor?

2.  Dispelling Baby Myths For First Time Moms

3.  More Than 30 Freezer Meals To Make While Pregnant, Before Baby Arrives

4.  Get Baby To Sleep (Through The Night)

5.  Keep Marriage Exciting (Even After Kids)

6.  Keurig Alternatives

7.  14 Ways To Show Your Husband You Love Him

8.  Chicken And Yellow Rice Dinner Recipe

9.  Tips For a Happy Marriage As Parents

10. How to Cope With The Disappointment When Baby Is Late

This year, I really poured myself into my blog.  I tried to make it more of a business and spent countless hours upgrading, spending money, and a bit of making money.  I dove into it.  My goal was to earn enough that I wouldn’t have to join the workforce when my son started Preschool in a few years.

I had decent traffic coming to read, I was earning a relatively decent income, and I was learning more about blogging than I’d ever known in previous years.  I even started a Facebook group for moms who were looking to ditch the guilt associated with taking time away from their kids to focus on themselves and their marriages.

Honestly, I was rocking it.

With my Grandfather’s unexpected passing, however, my focus became less blog oriented and more family oriented.  All this pouring myself into my blog and social media was taking me away from being fully present with my family.

I began to recognize that I was preaching all this “balance” but I wasn’t practicing it.

As my thought process shifted, I no longer cared about my blog becoming a business.  I wasn’t sure how much I has been missing with my son and daughter as I tried to build this empire.  My nights were spent next to my husband on the couch with my nose buried in my computer.

I no longer wanted my focus to be there because I was wasting so many opportunities to spend quality time with my family.  And I knew it was time I’d never be able to get back.

As I head into 2019, my focus continues to be on my family.  I’ll still be here, but I’m no longer trying to build a blogging empire.  If it happens, that’s great, but I’m not forcing it.  Instead, I want to be more present with my family.

I intend to continue to visit the gym to give my kids more social time (on the weekends for my daughter).

I’m also going to give yet another round of home preschool a try with my son.  This time, though, I’m using a subscription box service called The Preschool Box, to deliver preschool activities to work on throughout the month.

Finally, I’m going to work on getting better about taking pictures of hubby and I on our trips (or date nights) together.  This will be especially important when we take off on the European trip we’re planning for our 10 year anniversary!!!

So, while I’m looking forward to more in 2019, I’m also looking forward to less.  Less sadness and less time focusing on things that take up my time while missing out on important parts of our lives.

I have loved reviewing 2018 with you and look forward to sharing 2019.

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