Friday, December 28, 2018

2018 Year in Review

As the final days of 2018 wind down, I thought I'd take a few minutes to catch my breath and to look back at this year.  It's another year that I haven't posted.  This year I only tallied up 18 posts, and 12 of those were calendars.  In fact, the only reason I even have time to write this is because Eliot's and my flights to Denver, Colorado had to be postponed a day due to the weather here in Maine.  Otherwise, I would have been writing my 2018 recap in 2019.

I described 2017 as a rollercoaster and 2018 was much of the same.  However, there is a stillness and calm that is slowly seeping into our lives.  Happily Ever Hatter has continued to keep us incredibly busy, but now that I've left my job and I'm home full time, we're hoping that things will fall into place.  We're still trying to find a balance, but I'm looking forward to the clean slate that we'll have in a few days.  It's still been overwhelming, but at the same time very humbling.  We are truly blessed.

Since I haven't been able to post, I thought I'd get on here to do a quick recap of our 2018.  It's been another busy year, but it's also been one of our best so far!

2018 Year In Review:

January- In January, we settled back in after a crazy end to 2017.  Eliot and I caught up on the last of our outstanding mouse ear orders, then we re-opened our shop on the 15th.  Both of our football teams made it deep into the playoffs to we spent a lot of time relaxing and watching football and hockey before things really got busy.

February- My New England Patriots went back to the Super Bowl!  Unfortunately, they lost to Eliot's Philadelphia Eagles.  (I haven't heard the end of that.  At least, we beat the Eagles the first time they made it to the Super Bowl... I'll always have that!)  Later in the month, we spent a lot of time cheering the USA on in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

March- I spent a good portion of March in bed with a migraine.  My health wasn't great and I was incredibly stressed out.  Things were really starting to pile up at work and I was feeling a lot of pressure between that and our business.  Thankfully, we took a full week off from work towards the end of the month and I got time to relax and put things into perspective.  It was a much needed break!  (Sadly, that feeling it didn't last long...)

April- April brought our trip to Walt Disney World to see the Flower and Garden Festival.  (I didn't even post much on here about it.  At that point, I was so in need of another break that I just left it be.)  Eliot missed the first few days of the trip, but I stuck with our original plan and spent four of the most incredible days at Walt Disney World by myself.  I was thrilled to have him join me for the last half of the trip and we had so much fun and got to relax.  But those four days by myself were exactly what I needed to have a few tough conversations with myself and to finally listen to my heart.

May- May was a total blur.  Spring finally arrived.  Flowers and birds returned.  We found out that we had some cardinals living nearby and they've visited us over the past 6 months.  Work and our business were keeping me incredibly busy.  I was coming to the conclusion that something had to give.

June- In June, I reached my breaking point.  I knew what the answer was and it was a time for rebirth and renewal.  After much contemplation, I had officially made the difficult decision to leave my job to run Happily Ever Hatter full time.  I've always wanted to run my own business, but I also loved my job and our patients.  But it was time, and I think I'd known that for awhile.  On June 9th, Eliot and I celebrated his birthday (and us finally reaching my newfound decision) on Old Orchard Beach.  On June 13th, I told work that I would be leaving.  At the end of the month, we went to Disneyland for a few days of much needed magic and to see Pixar Fest!

July- We spent the first few days of July at Disneyland.  Then, we flew back to Maine and I went home to visit my family for July 4th in Bar Harbor.  (Both Eliot and my brother Jeremy had to work.)  The rest of the month passed in a blur as both work and our business kept me busy, but I knew that things would be settling down soon.  We took the last week of the month off from work and I started to daydream about what working at home full time might look like.  The last weekend of the month, Eliot and I took a quick trip down to Six Flags New England to take some time off together.  By the end of the month, we'd hired my replacement at work and she was being trained.  

August- Unfortunately, both of Eliot's grandparents had passed away (in June and July) within two and a half weeks of each other over the summer.  Their double funeral was in Pennsylvania at the beginning of August.  While it was a sad occasion, we enjoyed spending a few days with Eliot's family.  We went to Cedar Point in Ohio and Eliot and his sisters enjoyed the rollercoasters.  I spend the afternoon in the water park by myself and joined them later in the day.  We returned home to a ton of mouse ears that we were behind in, but we slowly worked out way through it.  By the end of the month, my replacement was ready to go and I worked my last day at my job.

September- I started my first month of self-employment!  It was always my dream to work of myself, and I was finally living it!  Eliot and I started the month visiting my family over Labor Day weekend.  Hockey started back mid-month with pre-season games.  We were excited to finally see our San Jose Sharks playing again!  We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary on the 20th.  My friend Stacy got married to Rob on the 22nd and we spent the weekend in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

October- On the 3rd, hockey season had officially started!!!  (And we've watched pretty much every single game Sharks since then.)  I've totally caught the fever and I spent way more money than I should have on Disney San Jose Sharks clothing.  In fact, I begged my parents to get Eliot and I tickets to the Sharks game in New Jersey since I didn't want to wait so long into the season to see them in person.  October 12th-14th, Eliot and I spent the weekend in New York City.  We went to Times Square, the Disney Store, to see Aladdin on Broadway, and to see the Sharks play the New Jersey Devils.  We didn't win, but I did get to see my favorite player get his 700th NHL point, and really that's all I wanted.  It was the perfect early birthday weekend!

November- Not gonna lie... I spent a lot of November watching Hallmark Christmas movies while working on mouse ears.  We made ourselves take breaks to watch hockey, football and go to our new IHOP for their pumpkin cinnamon pancakes.  My friend Nicole got married to Derek on the 11th so we went back down to Rhode Island to celebrate with them.  After that, Eliot was away for about a week for a work trip to Pennsylvania so I spent the week playing with the 3D printer.  We celebrated Mickey's (and Minnie's) 90th Birthday on the 18th, and then celebrated my 34th birthday on the 20th.  We enjoyed Thanksgiving with my Mom's side of the family and all of us "kids" and the actual kids went to see Wreck It Ralph 2 afterwards.

December- This past month has been a total blur.  We celebrated Hanukkah at the beginning of the month.  We watched more Hallmark Christmas movies.  We went with Elissa to see White Christmas in theaters before she left to go home to California for winter break.  Eliot and I made a ton of mouse ears.  We mailed out 32 packages the week before Christmas.  We went to my parents' house for Christmas.  And now, we're home getting ready to leave to spend the last few days of 2018 in Colorado with Eliot's family.  We'll be spending New Year's Eve at a rodeo and then we'll start 2019 off with another San Jose Sharks game in Denver before returning home!

Which brings us to 2019... 

So, what's next?  We've got a lot of new designs planned for 
Happily Ever Hatter.  That will still continue to be our main focus, but we're also hoping to launch two more small businesses early next year.  We weren't able to get them off the ground this year, but now that I'm home full-time, these will be the next priorities.  

Much like last year, Eliot and I are going into the new year hoping to have more personal time for ourselves.  I continue to feel guilty taking breaks, but I'm also getting accustomed to working well into the night, so we need to find a happy medium.

Which brings me to what I'm most excited for: Balance.  Balancing work and personal life is something that we've really struggled with the past two years.  This next year, I'm really hoping to find that happy medium.  It's probably my biggest goal of 2019.

Of course, I'd also like to be able to blog more.  I sat down earlier today to prep my first 2019 calendar post and I felt the familiar pang of how much I missed it.  (I haven't written a post since September.)  I'm really hoping to be able to start my re-brand and re-naming process.  I've got so many things I'd love to do on here.  Hopefully, 2019 will be the turning point to get me back on track with blogging!

Eliot and I would like to get our house settled!  We're still painting and arranging furniture.  But I see the vision.  Hopefully we'll see that vision realized in 2019!

Finally, we've got a lot of goals for 2019.  Obviously, we're hoping to get back to Walt Disney World, Disneyland and on a Disney Cruise!  (So far, it looks like we'll get to do all three of those next year!)  I've also got a list of Disney goals and personal goals that I'm hoping to accomplish.  I didn't post any 2018 goals here.  Let's face it- my 2017 goals didn't even get touched and my 2018 goals were pretty much the same.  (They also haven't gotten touched.)  I've added a few more goals for 2019, so I'll probably post my Disney goals sometime early next month once we're home in Maine.

I'm very hopeful for all the possibilities of 2019.  I'm sure it'll be adventure!

ChEARS to another wonderful year.  Goodbye 2018!  Hello 2019!!!  °o°

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