Why does Buzzfeed keep saying that 2018 was such a terrible year? Also, why am I still reading Buzzfeed? Either way, I think 2018 was a pretty good year! Let’s take a look back at the great things that 2018 brought my way.
In February, I traveled to Orlando to complete my second 10K and RunDisney race at Walt Disney World. While I was there for my race, Kristen and I completed the #4Parks1Day challenge and had the best time! I rode a lot of new rides, we had insanely amazing character interactions (including stalking Max Goof for an hour), and I ended up in a wheelchair at the end of the night. Kristen was also a super good sport and woke up way too early on a Saturday morning to come and cheer for me as I (walked) participated in my race. During my visit, I also spent an afternoon at the beach with my sister-in-law, her baby bump (my now niece/Goddaughter), and my grandparents. My February trips to Orlando are always a highlight of my year!
Bucket List Item: Check!
Y’all. I saw the Foo Fighters in concert and it was incredible. They have been one of my favorite bands for close to 15 years now and it was such a major life moment to see them in person. Dave Grohl did not disappoint. It also helps that the day after the concert we completed another bucket list item…
We bought a HOUSE!
Jimmy and I bought a house at the end of April! We were thankful to find a wonderful real estate agent, find the perfect house during the first day of our search, and had a painless under contract and closing process. Yes, seeing all that money you saved immediately leave your bank account is tough, but so worth it! After almost 9 months, I’m still obsessed with my house and am so incredibly blessed to own this place.
Major Life Moments for My People
In April, we welcomed a new nephew, Baker, to our family. Jimmy and I are sad that we still haven’t been able to meet Baker, but you better believe he will be spoiled rotten once Aunt Alana gets her hands on him. May was a super busy month for my people! My mom and I traveled to Richmond, VA for the first time and got to see my friend, Carolyn, get married. A week after Richmond, Jimmy and I hopped on a plane to Georgia to see my brother, Preston, graduate from high school. A few days after that, we flew to Orlando to meet our newest niece and Goddaughter, Harper. Flash forward to December where we had another graduate in the family – my sister-in-law, Amanda! That girl has worked her ass off to finish school and become a teacher and I cannot begin to describe how proud I am of her!
Visits, Visits, and More Visits
2018 was definitely the year of visits to the Lone Star State. In April, my grandmother and aunt were able to come visit us for a weekend. They were the first people to be able to see our new house, even though we hadn’t officially moved in yet, and we all got to experience the underwhelming-ness of The Alamo during their visit. Seriously y’all, the grocery store is bigger than this place. In June, Preston hopped on his first plane and came to visit us for a long weekend! He definitely turned into a Texan while he was here, saying that his favorite things about his visit were Buc-ee’s, Whataburger, and steak. Delaney came to visit in July and she brought me an ENTIRE PUBLIX CAKE! My love language is Publix cake and Delaney definitely delivered. It was extremely refreshing to have her visit because we had an equal amount of “let’s do fun stuff” and “let’s sit on the couch, watch cooking shows, and talk”. Delaney is an incredible friend and I’m already counting down the days until I get to see her again. My mom made two visits this year, one in August and one in December. She brought my step dad along with her in December to celebrate an early Christmas. My sister-in-law and her family came to visit for the Labor Day weekend and we celebrated Jimmy’s birthday and our nephew, Peyton’s, birthday. (Side note: I’m going to need all the children in my family to stop growing up – be kids forever!) Our last visitor came at Thanksgiving when Jimmy’s mom came to enjoy the break with us. It was great getting to spend a majority of the year in Austin and have a lot of our people come to visit us. I might have even left a person or two out (I’m sorry!). I could definitely get used to celebrating the holidays in my new house.
Disneyland! …wait, didn’t you already talk about Disney?
Come on, people! There’s Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and there’s Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Since visiting Disneyland in November 2017, I have become OBSESSED and it is now my number one favorite theme park! In August, Kristen and I decided to embark on our third Disney adventure together of the year and head to southern California for her first trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. It definitely didn’t disappoint! We laughed a lot, I fell even more in love with Space Mountain and Disneyland corn dogs, and we made some really great memories. Of course, the second we got home we had already begun planning our next trip.
I really didn’t know what to call the section where I tell you that I got a new job, but here it is – I started a new job this year! In August, I transitioned into a new position and have become a lot healthier and happier mentally. I was very fortunate to find a job immediately when I moved to Austin, but it had definitely run its course and was not the right fit for me any more. I am very proud of myself that I finished a major project, which was a huge success, before I left that job. I have now found a job where I am being paid fairly, being treated fairly, and I’m not consumed by anxiety every moment of the day.
The Life of Alana
I started my blog this year! While The Life of Alana isn’t exactly where I want it to be just yet, I am proud of myself for taking a leap and starting this chapter of my life. I do want to say a BIG thank you to Jimmy for being my biggest supporter, to my mentor, Blair, for letting me be a part of her mentorship program and teaching me so much about the blogging world, and to all my friends and family who were my first followers and forever encouragers. I’m excited about the plans I have for 2019 and I hope everyone else is excited too!
See Buzzfeed, 2018 was pretty freaking spectacular! Yes, there were some rough times in 2018, but after writing out a good list of wonderful things that happened, it make those few rough times feel like nothing. So, take your negativity somewhere else.
As for 2019, that’s for a separate blog post. But I can give you a hint as to something I’m really looking forward to in 2019. It involves a big bucket list item and the NHL’s best, mosts perfect hockey team.
Happy New Year, everyone!