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A Look Back On 2017

A Look Back On 2017

A Look Back On 2017

We’re on the tail end of 2017. I wanted to combine two posts into one because I wanted to reflect back on my list I made last January called 17 Things I’m Excited For In 2017. It was a list of things I wanted to try to accomplish, rather than calling them New Year’s Resolutions.

I also found this fun reflection list to look back on what I accomplished in 2017, besides staying up late and eating too many chips and dip. So that’s a bit further down in this post. And if you decide to do either of these lists yourselves, leave me the link to your post in the comments so I can go check them out!

How well did I accomplish my 17 things?

1. Hiking 3 new state parks as a family

OK, I was semi-successful with this because we actually went to two parks, and only one of them was a new one. But hey, we hiked with a toddler, so that has to count for something.

2. Actually using my Instant Pot

Success, you guys! I love this thing. Rice always turns out perfect, and we made three soups in it: Baked potato, french onion and a chicken lentil. We’ve also done potatoes, and my pulled chicken recipe.

3. My freelance writing course

Done! Though it took me forever and a day to actually complete it, I’m glad I did. Chaunie Brusie is amazing and a successful freelancer. I learned so much from her over the past year. I also am almost done completing another by Abbi Perets which has been amazing as well.

4. Once a month date nights with my husband

Almost made it. We missed a few months, which is really disappointing because that time alone with Chris one on one is just so precious. Next year we’re going to do better about hitting them every month.

5. Rekindling old friendships

Hmmm… I think I can do better with this one. Yes. I can do way better.

6. Having more bonfires

Epic fail. We never had one.

7. Celebrating 9 years of marriage

We did! And it was wonderful. It was also our first overnight away from the baby and we definitely need to do that more.

8. Making a play area for Olivia downstairs

Yep! It turned out to be a great decision because we can hang out down there and watch TV while she plays and we can keep an eye on her.

9. Decluttering the house

I got rid of a ton of stuff this summer and I plan on doing monthly purges. I got rid of bags and bags of stuff and I don’t miss it. Granted, it just seems like I bring in more stuff for Olivia, but hey, it’s kind of a nice balance, right?

10. Celebrating five years of blogging

Yep! Well, I guess not celebrating per se, because I didn’t realize April came and went and that was my month of year five. I really should have been blogging about my anniversary every year like so many others do. Maybe for year six then?

11. Fixing up this new space to satisfy my OCD

Fail. Fail fail fail. It still sucks. All my old posts are still annoying me. I don’t know how people migrate from Blogger to WordPress and have such pretty blogs right away. I have yet to ask some blogging Facebook groups how they do this, because my formatting on all posts before this year is awful and it’s painstaking going through post by post, having to re-import and resize photos and try to fix the formatting on the text. Maybe I’m just a moron and there’s something I’m not getting. That being said, as a whole, I’ve been making updates here and there with my tabs and information pages and that’s been going well! It’s getting there!

12. Keeping myself more organized

I’d like to say I accomplished this. I bought a Passion Planner at the beginning of this year and loved it. I have an Erin Condren one that I got for $30 total, including shipping for 2018 and it’s an 18 month one, so I’m already using it. Next year, I may go ahead and try out a bullet journal, because Pinterest is filled with ideas and I’ve been pinning like crazy. I actually made a bullet journal to complement my planner, so I’m kind of using both right now.

13. Working with companies and building up my brand

I worked with a few at the beginning of the year and they all were really fun experiences. I was able to score some free stuff like nursing bras from Bravado, including an amazing sleep bra, and Family Eats cookbook. I worked with some amazing small businesses for my 10-day giveaway in January and got to interview a director at American Greetings. I haven’t gone out seeking brands to work with because I wanted to put the focus toward freelancing, but I’ve enjoyed working with the brands who reached out to me.

14. Summer swimming lessons with Olivia

We did, in fact, do swim lessons, but it wasn’t as good of an experience as the prior year. I wasn’t crazy about the instructor this time, and I don’t think we learned much more. I probably won’t do the same one again.

15. Baking more bread

Fail. I don’t know why either because it’s not like it’s that difficult and I really really love homemade bread.

16. Replenishing our canned goods

I’m disappointed with how our tomato plants did this year. We had run out completely of canned tomatoes, salsa and marinara. Normally we have an overabundance. Thanks to my sister-in-law who let us have free rein of her garden at the end of the season, we were able to get about 30 pints of salsa and a few quarts of tomatoes. Otherwise, our pickling cucumbers didn’t disappoint (and we got some from my SIL as well) and we have a ton of pickles. Way more than we’ll ever use. We also canned some zucchini relish and froze a bunch of diced zucchini for soups and stews.

17. How Chris and I will grow as parents

Whew. Parenting is hard, y’all. I’ve learned I’m not that patient. And that Chris is way more patient with her. But I suppose he isn’t with her all day. I do love being with her at home, but we also stay really busy. A stagnant toddler is a psycho toddler. We need a lot of activities.


2017 Year in Review

What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

I attended my first bloggers conference! I also took two freelance writing courses.

Did you keep your resolutions and will you make more for this year?

See my 17 Things above. I will definitely be making resolutions again!

Did anyone close to you give birth?

One of my close friends, Kristin, had her second baby. Her first was born after IVF, and this new sweet baby came au natural (no fertility treatments needed!)

Another infertility sister, Lauren, had her baby in October after years of heartbreak and loss.

Did anyone close to you die?

Not me personally, but I’ve had some friends have heartbreaking miscarriages and a friend who lost her father recently before Christmas. There was also a woman in a Facebook infertility group who lost her little baby and husband a few months ago, and it’s haunted me since. 2017 has been a year of loss for so many.

What countries did you visit?

No countries visited. I’m poor.

What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

I would like to have this website up to my standards. I wanted to have it fixed by the end of 2017, but I need to be better at making the time to do it and fix it. I also want to double my freelance income.

What dates will be etched upon your memory, and why?

There are some good dates and bad. At the end of February Olivia had a terrible GI bug. Not only was it the sickest she’d ever been, but it’s what started my anxiety spiraling out of control.

Our trip to the North Shore at the end of Sept/beginning of October was definitely memorable. We took Olivia hiking in her hiking backpack and she loved it.

The Las Vegas shootings Oct 1 was horrifying to wake up to.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting this website up and running. Getting approved to write for Health.com, and slowly starting to overcome my anxiety over Olivia getting sick.

What was your biggest failure?

This is a tough one. I think I had a lot of little fails, but it’s hard to come up with what was the biggest. I would have to say not creating a budget and sticking to it.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

I really hate even writing about this out of fear of jinxing. Last winter sucked with sicknesses, but so far this year I’ve been relatively healthy save for a long lingering cold/cough. Chris had his yearly cough that makes him sleep for about a month on the couch. Olivia… of course, had several stomach viruses this year (6 of them) and the usual colds and coughs.

What was the best thing you bought?

Oh my, this is hard. My desk for my office, my bullet journal and supplies, and the carpet remnant for my office would probably be the top three.

Where did most of your money go?

To the baby. As always. And probably food.

What did you get really excited about?

Bullet Journaling. Doing my freelance coaching call with a successful writer who motivated me to go after some lofty goals in 2018. Olivia starting to talk. Our trip to the North Shore in September.

What songs will always remind you of 2017?

The Frozen soundtrack. Olivia was obsessed with it, and always wanted to listen to it in the car. It was something that always stopped her screeches, which was a win for all of us.

Compared to this time last year are you:

Happier or Sadder? Thinner or Fatter? Richer or Poorer?

Definitely happier, but fatter and poorer.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I would have been better at taking charge of my physical health and got to the gym more rather than using the gym’s childcare to work at the computer in the lobby. I also wish I would have taken Olivia swimming more.

What do you wish you’d done less of? 

Worrying. Obsessing.

How did you spend Christmas?

Well, I have a whole post in the works on that!

What was your favorite TV program?

This Is Us. The Will and Grace revival. Pretty Little Liars. Stranger Things 2.

What were your favorite films of the year?

We saw Star Wars. And… we don’t get out much. I’m sure we saw a few of the good ones once they came out on video.

What’s one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If Olivia didn’t get all those GI viruses. And I hate to admit it, but if I would have lost some weight.

What kept you sane?

Joining the gym. Especially with the free 2 hours of childcare I could have daily. And starting therapy.

Tell us valuable lessons you learned in 2017:

That therapy can be so beneficial. Also, that it’s OK to put myself first sometimes.

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Jen
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Congratulations on all your successes! And some of your so called fails sound like excellent re-prioritisation decisions to me : ) Looking forward to reading all about how 2018 works out for you and your family.

Amber
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I love this post. You and a few other blogger friends are inspiring me to make my own list of goals for 2018. It’s February, but it’s not too late, right? We’ll see if I actually get to it. Also, there’s facebook groups just for blogging????? I’d love to make some changes to my blog, but I am way too computer illiterate to do it. I’d simply be happy with just figuring out how to change the name of my blog, and still have readers be able to find me.