2022: A Year in Review

To quote the beloved and dearly missed Queen Elizabeth II, “What a life one leads!” 2022 has probably been my biggest year yet…so join me as I embark on my annual Year-in-Review post!

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

What did you do in 2022 that you’d never done before?

I mean…I GOT MARRIED, so that’s a big one right there 🤣 I also started my own virtual assistant business, which has flourished more than I could’ve ever expected. I submitted Operation Lionhearted for consideration in the 2022 Realm Awards (and ended up as a finalist in two categories!).

Did you keep your New Year’s goals, and do you have any for next year?

My New Year’s goals for 2022 were as follows:

I’d like to continue gardening, keep up with my healthy living, and get a home-based business up and running.

Done, done, and done! I spent a lot of time in my parents’ garden during the spring and summer, and Casey and I got some bulbs and a satsuma tree for Christmas. My diet has changed some since I got married, but it’s still pretty healthy and wholesome. And as I mentioned earlier, my business is going quite well so far!

My goals for 2023 are fairly simple. I want to:

  • Organize our filing cabinet and our “catch-all” room (an extra bedroom currently housing a few unpacked moving boxes and unopened wedding gifts)
  • Fight inflation with a savvy budget and resourceful grocery plan
  • Plant a vegetable garden
  • Read more books (as you’ll see later, my reading habits fell by the wayside in 2022)
  • Write more stories (I didn’t write any fiction in 2022, so I really want to remedy that in 2023)

Did anyone close to you get married?

One of my longtime friends, Katie of the Foto Sisters, got married the day after Casey and I got engaged. That’s actually why we delayed our announcement on Facebook and Instagram for a couple of days: since we have so many mutual friends, we didn’t want to steal her thunder 😂

Did anyone close to you give birth or get pregnant?

My sister Emily gave birth to her second daughter in April, Casey’s sister Abigail gave birth to her second daughter in November, and my sister-in-law Jenni gave birth to her son just a few days after Abigail.

Not a single baby chose to turn her face to the camera 😂

Did anyone close to you die?

Nope. (Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t count, though I did grieve over her passing.)

Travel?

I went to Colorado Springs in June and FINALLY met my dear friend Lancia Smith IN PERSON!! Casey and I also spent our honeymoon in beautiful Natchez, Mississippi, and recently spent a week at Jackson’s Reformed Theological Seminary (Casey’s alma mater) so he could do some intense studying in their huge library.

What was the best month/season? 

Definitely the past three months 😉

What date(s) from 2022 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 13, the day Casey asked me to marry him, and October 8, our wedding day!

Did you suffer illness or injury?

My family and I all got dah Rona, AKA The Great Unpleasantness, AKA The Virus That Shall Not Be Named, in July. I was quite ill, but I’m happy to report that my sense of taste and smell are finally back.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

My friends Caroline Williams and Lancia Smith, whose courage and faithfulness amid many fiery trials call to mind Lancia’s favorite Scripture passage.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;
    to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
    the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

Isaiah 61:1-3 (emphasis mine)

Whose behavior made you appalled and/or depressed?

I’ve been rather horrified lately by something I’ve known for a while, but which came to light several times in 2022: I can be too nice and accommodating, and as a result I’m often bullied and guilt-tripped by people who take advantage of my good manners, knowing I’m the sort of person who hardly ever pushes back.

A new season of life, however, gives me a chance to grow a sterner backbone, make my own rules alongside my husband, and set some firm boundaries. And it feels really good.

Where did most of your money go?

Wedding stuff! (But also, if ever you need an affordable wedding gown, I highly recommend JJ’s House.)

Who or what did you get really, really, really excited about?

Besides getting married…

What song(s) will always remind you of 2022?

  • “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift (because of course!)
  • “Hold My Hand” by Lady Gaga (Top Gun: Maverick was amazing and so is this song)
  • “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Postmodern Jukebox (Casey introduced me to these guys)
  • “Wild Mountain Thyme” by Celtic Woman (I walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of this one)

What was an unexpected surprise?

Honestly? The fact that Casey and I got married this year was a total surprise. When we first started talking seriously about where our relationship would likely lead, we thought we might be engaged by Christmas 2022. But then he got this call in rural Mississippi–a call that included a manse/parsonage–and all the pieces fell into place very quickly. (We were also very much in love and ready to get married by the time he popped the question 😉)

Did you develop any new & amusing affections for certain fictional heroes in 2021 fall in love?

For the first time since I started doing this annual end-of-the-year tag, I’m not shunting this question off towards a fictional hero! Yes, I fell in love, and in the words of Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Bennet, I am incandescently happy.

What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?

I didn’t go to any concerts in 2022.

What were your favorite TV programs?

My family went through Blue Bloods earlier this year and I caught all but the last couple of seasons before I moved out. Excellent show.

Believe it or not, I’m actually watching Outlander right now. I’m exercising an abunnnnnnndance of caution, but my sister’s already seen it all and is carefully guiding me around the skippy-skip-skip parts. It really is my kinda thing, though: history + time travel + fantasy = Maribeth’s dream story. And Claire and Jamie are an A+ power couple.

Also I’m a bit in love with her kitchen (Source) 😍

What were your favorite films?

Top Gun: Maverick was truly excellent. It’ll probably never win an Oscar (yes, I’m that cynical about Hollywood), but who needs an Oscar anyway?

What were the best books you read?

I’m embarrassed to admit that I only read half a dozen books this year–but my favorite ones were The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason and The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Gregoire. Both are incredible and I highly highly HIGHLY recommend them to engaged or married readers!!! Like, seriously. They are must-reads.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

When Casey and I first started dating, we sent each other emails almost every day with lists of songs we loved and wanted to share. You can find many of these songs in my “Kindred Spirits” playlist! But I’d have to say that my greatest musical discovery, thanks to Casey, has been Postmodern Jukebox. They do retro covers of pop songs like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Style,” “Happier,” “Royals,” etc.

The funniest one has got to be “My Heart Will Go On,” though. Absolutely hilarious!

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 30, aaaaaaaand…I don’t remember what I did on the exact date? But I do know that my mom colored my hair for the first time a couple of days later as part of my birthday gift!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2022?

I’d describe it as “tricky.” I lost a lot of weight over the summer–weight which I am happily gaining back, I might add. I tried skinny and it ain’t fun. After all, I’ve got a bunch of screws in my elbow that started poking out and becoming major bumping hazards…but I also spent a lot of time altering clothes and buying new ones, which led to me working through some major “modesty” hang-ups.

(Hint: something is wrong and you’ve absorbed some very unhealthy teaching on modesty if you have a panic attack over a form-flattering dress that everyone–your mom and fiancé included–think is beautiful on you.)

I think I’ll be far more comfortable in my own skin and wardrobe in 2023!

What political issue stirred or exhausted you the most?

Politics always exhausts me and I’m happily out-of-the-loop at the moment, haha.

What valuable life lesson did you learn in 2022?

God is faithful and He will provide!

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

I’ve been spending the last eight months

Thinking all love ever does is

break and burn and end

But on a Wednesday, in a café

I watched it begin again

Taylor Swift, “Begin Again”

Substitute “eight months” for “six years” and “Wednesday” for Friday, and you’ve got yourself my own love story.

Photo by Moritz Knöringer on Unsplash

Goodbye, 2022…HELLO, 2023! And a very happy New Year to all of you, dear readers!

3 thoughts on “2022: A Year in Review

  1. Enjoyed reading your latest post! My New Year’s wish for you and Casey is that 2023 will be a wonderful year full of blessings and happiness!

    Like

  2. Reading this made me smile—what a beautiful year! I’ve been honored to watch you live so gracefully and wisely in all your roles and chapters this year. You’re such a blessing and I’ve learned a lot from you! Here’s to 2023! ❤️

    Like

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