Happy New Year! Or rather, Happy New Years’ Eve. It’s rather warm and rainy today, so we’re postponing our annual bonfire till the cool and clear weekend. But that’s fine: it gives us a chance to put away the last of the Christmas decorations. Goodbye, dear old Christmas tree…I’ll miss you the most.
But before I say goodbye to 2018, it’s time for my annual “Year in Review!” I did this every year on my old blog (you can find previous ones at The Formidable Courage Archive), so it’s quite exciting to reach this milestone on Trekking Thru Hobbit Holes!
What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
Attended four weeks of cake decorating classes with my sister Anna (which meant driving into town every week, a Big Deal for me), and subsequently participated in a cake auction. Walked up and down Mount Currahee, a total of six miles, in the footsteps of my “Band of Brothers” heroes. Watched the original Jurassic Park movies for the first time. Did a little night-fishing at my aunt and uncle’s lake house and even baited my own hooks with live shrimp (!!!). Attended a World War II re-enactment and bought my first piece of antique military clothing. Was a Maid of Honor for the first time. Started following the Trim Healthy Mama diet this summer (and lost several pounds as a result!).
Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and do you have any for next year?
YES and YES! 2017’s resolutions were, and I quote: “Whip up an edited second draft of my sci-fi novel Lionhearted, send it to my beta readers, and move towards publishing. Also: exercise in preparation for my mom’s birthday trip to Mount Currahee.” I accomplished all of these things and more: I whipped up both a second AND a third draft of Lionhearted!
My 2018 resolutions include pursuing publication of Lionhearted, writing a new novel, staying consistent with my healthy eating and exercise regimen, and working my way through a growing list of books that’ll edify me intellectually, spiritually, and creatively (C.S. Lewis, G.K Chesterton, and Gene Stratton Porter figure prominently on this list).
Did anyone close to you get married?
Emily and her fiancé Forrest were married in October. I finally got another brother, haha!
Did anyone close to you give birth or get pregnant?
Emily’s new sister-in-law had a baby in June, AND THEN Emily and Forrest announced on Christmas Eve that they are expecting! I’ll be an aunt in 2019, y’all!
Did anyone close to you die?
One of our dearest elderly friends, Miss Katie, died in January. I keep her funeral program in my Bible so the photograph of her beautiful, smiling face can inspire and encourage me every morning.
We vacationed in Georgia and South Carolina this May.
What was the best month?
Honestly, December has been lovely. I’ve enjoyed a rich, thoughtful Advent season and a keener understanding of the true meaning of Christmas, while my worn-out, broken-down Muse received a badly-needed reprieve from writing (it’s feeling much better now).
What date(s) from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
October 20, obviously–my sister’s wedding day. Also May 21, which is first and foremost my mom’s birthday, but also the day we hiked up Mount Currahee!
Did you suffer illness or injury?
Whose behavior merited celebration?
My dad: he’s really stepped out of his comfort zone in certain areas this year and it’s been very exciting!
Whose behavior made you appalled and/or depressed?
(*poker face*) (*actually no, I can’t make a poker face to save my life, so let’s just go with a withering glare*)
Where did most of your money go?
New clothes, a few more FunkoPOPs, this blog’s WordPress subscription, and Christmas presents.
Who or what did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Royal Wedding–and now a new Royal Baby, coming soon in 2019! (*blows a kiss to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle*) Also my new writing desk, Lionhearted‘s progress, and my first Doctor Who fanfiction, which started out as a short story and ended up being a 76,000-word novel (because apparently I have to be Extra™ about everything).
What song(s) will always remind you of 2018?
“One Foot” by Walk the Moon, “The Shepherd’s Boy” from the Doctor Who Series 9 Soundtrack, Celtic Woman’s rendition of Adele’s “Water Under the Bridge,” and “Dear Me” by Nichole Nordeman (possibly the most relatable song I’ve ever heard).
What was an unexpected surprise?
My writing desk! Really didn’t think I’d be able to claim it until I had a home of my own–but it’s been such a blessing.
fall in love develop any new & amusing affections for certain fictional males in 2018?
I never saw it coming, but yes. There’s just something so compelling about the Twelfth Doctor’s character arc: he changes and softens from someone who, admittedly, I didn’t like very much at first, into one of the bravest, kindest, most self-sacrificial characters I’ve ever loved. Matt Smith will always be “my first Doctor,” but Peter Capaldi is MY Doctor.
What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?
I didn’t go to any concerts this year–unless, of course, you count my One-Woman Performances with the car as my venue.
What were your favorite TV programs?
Doctor Who, obviously (although not the new series–haven’t been impressed with what I’ve seen and read–sorry). I’ve kept up with my other favorites, though, like Victoria and Call the Midwife and The Crown. I also had fun rewatching Foyle’s War with my mom. We enjoy swooning over Michael Kitchen together.
What were your favorite films?
The Greatest Showman (technically came out last year, but we watched it half a million times in 2018), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and Christopher Robin.
What were the best books you read?
Middlemarch by George Elliot, Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith, and The Real James Herriot by Jim Wight.
What was your greatest musical discovery?
Celtic Woman’s latest albums have really impressed me. I much prefer the new voices over the old ones, as well as the much more traditional Celtic music.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 26 and…I forget what I did? I do remember that my sister Katie made me a cookie cake, though.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
Heavily influenced by the combined brilliance of Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter, Claire Foy’s Elizabeth II, Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald, and Ann Hathaway’s Jules from The Intern.
What political issue stirred or exhausted you the most?
I am beyond being stirred about politics. I just sip my tea and placidly watch everyone else destroy each other.
What valuable life lesson did you learn in 2018?
I think I’ve become more confident in my singleness this year. 2016 was the year my whole outlook on the subject went up in flames and 2017 was the year of major (and very painful) surrender, but 2018 has been marked by far more contentment, excitement, and gratitude for where I am. I still have rough days, but I’m learning how to direct those gloomier thoughts into more hopeful and grateful channels.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
You wonder why, you wonder when
You wonder how now and then
How you became who you’ve become
You are here and yet you dream of being there
Of being where you think the good life has begun
Every darkened hallway
Every fallen dream
Every battle lost and
Every shadow in between
Will bring you to your knees and
Closer to the reason
And there’s no making cases
For getting out or trading places
And there’s no turning back
No you are here…
And every sign of love
Every seed that’s growing
Every sweet surrender
To that silent knowing
Will bring you to your knees and
Closer to the reason…
–The Wailin’ Jennys, “You Are Here”