Year End Review: 2018

Each year I write a blog post covering all of my goals for the year and then at the end of each year I go through the goals and do a recap of how I did in accomplishing the goals I had set for myself for the year! Here is my year end review of my 2018 goals:

year end review 2018

  1. Finish reading the book Boundaries and really work on improving myself and growing in this area of my life and in my relationships with others. : Oh y’all I went on a self-growth KICK in 2018. I did finish Boundaries but also continued on to read Girl, Wash Your Face and Uninvited and the combo of all three was a GAME CHANGER for me. (post to come with more details on this!)
  2. Keep being a “hardcore Babywise mom” with Spear but also have the flexibility with him that I never was able to master with previous babies. : I feel like we really found this balance with him. We go and do (Disney especially) but also were just as “hardcore” in our Babywise ways. The end result has been both an awesome sleeper as well as an easy-going, flexible child! 
  3. Get completely caught up to real time with blogging AND have all my blog books printed to be caught up to real time as well.: Y’all for the first time in literally forever I’m about to be fully caught up to real time on the blog which I’m super excited about. For a long time, I felt like it was a safety concern with staying behind real time but because I’m always behind I’m never able to blog about anything else aside from our life stuff because I’m always feeling the need to “catch up.” Once I’m truly caught up I’ll have SO much more freedom in my writing! The blog book thing didn’t happen. Ugh, the site I use is ZERO percent user-friendly. I’m caught up through 2016 and have a great coupon I need to use before March so I’m hoping to commit some time and just get it all DONE. 
  4. Be able to give Spear at least one bottle of breastmilk a day until weaned from bottles. : We achieved this goal and I’m just so beyond thankful to everyone who helped make it possible! Spear had breastmilk until after his 1st birthday and I truly believe it provided him with that extra nourishment and health benefits. 
  5. Keep our golf cart well maintained and go on regular golf cart rides to avoid more rats from invading it.: This one really had very little to do with me and I don’t think that Zach kept it up. I just hope we don’t get more rats as it cost us a pretty penny to get it fixed!
  6. Help Kye navigate this tender time of his life as a pre-teen. Find that balance with him and foster his relationship with Zach as well as help him to find his passions: This is a very sensitive season for Kye as he is transitioning from child to pre-teen. It’s been great to see his bond with Zach really strengthen this year and that he leans on Zach more and shares his heart more with him too. We are def making sure Kye knows we’re always in his corner no matter what and that we support him and encourage him in whatever he decides to pursue. He’s really loving the student government side of things at school and has signed up for basketball and is very excited about it! 
  7. Make time for myself at least once a week (Zach is so good at this and I want to make sure I’m making my ME time a top priority!): This is something I have really focused on and done pretty well with. I can tell when I miss a week of getting some “me time.” It’s important to set aside time to pour into friendships, things I enjoy just for me, and remain connected to the “Emily” side of myself. 
  8. Get in shape and stay in shape – eat healthier consistently and find that proper balance (no more emotional/boredom/because it’s free eating): This is one of those things that is always going to be a focus and a struggle and something we work on but probably never perfect and that’s okay. Progress over perfection and we’ve made a TON of progress this year. Y’all. I used to NEVER drink water. Like literally I’d have a few sips at a meal and that’s IT all day! Now I chug water all day and crave it and drink well over 70 ounces. I have really found that the whole “intermittent fasting” thing works well for me. No breakfast and then eat my lunch and dinner within a set time frame of 8 hours. I feel my best when I stick to this routine and think it’s a good fit for me. Of course, the holiday craziness got me a bit off track from my working out and eating habits but I’m not concerned with getting back into that balance. 
  9. Be understanding and supportive with Zach’s first full year in management and help him achieve those goals in any way I can: It was a BIG year for Zach with changes in his work life. He did AMAZING but did have a ton of added stress on his plate. Not to pat myself on the back or anything but I do think I did well of being supportive while not adding additional pressure or stress. I’m very proud of all he achived and we’ve been very blessed by the Lord in Zach’s business and the awesome company he represents. 
  10. Investment property goals (post to come!): first to make enough to cover property management related expenses, then make enough to cover the total cost of the home and finally earn enough to cover next year’s Disney passes: We have ZERO regrets regarding purchasing our Disney Rental Home. Going over the numbers it really did SO well for the first year of us owning it. We feel confident it’ll only go better in the future since people will repeat rent and since so many people book well in advance for a Disney trip and with our purchasing it in Jan it really is the first TRUE year in 2019 to see how it goes with the knowledge of the house and the website etc being active for a full year to allow for those advance bookings. In year one we were able to cover all the property management related expenses and almost all the mortgage payments as well. I feel like we will cover the full mortgage and hopefully, Disney passes in 2019! Plus we are excited to use it more as well for our family 🙂 
  11. Meet Britt where she needs me most – physical touch. Make a special effort to give her extra cuddles and quality time to make sure she feels loved and special. : Britt has grown SO MUCH this year. I feel like my bond with her is closer than it’s ever been and that we’ve really found our groove together. She’s still very physical touch but enjoys quality time too and words of affirmation…basically Britt is every single love language ha! I’m very proud of her and thankful for the efforts she and I both put in this year to become so close and to better understand her needs. 
  12. Go on a date night once a month with Zach.:  We had more date nights than I feel like we’ve ever had. We finally made the move to hire babysitters. It adds cost, but it also allows us to GO on dates more often because we don’t have guilt over asking family to keep the kids. Plus I think it’s a good thing for our kids to have regular sitters. I LOVED babysitting and my time with the kids I babysat for really helped me feel prepared for motherhood. I want to bless other young girls with that gift too! We are both really focused on our marriage in the coming year so I see a lot more date nights in our future. 
  13. Focus on more quality family time together like playing board games, visiting longer at dinner, family walks, little moments together that can be made special. : This was an area that I don’t feel like we did super well with this year as the first year of having a new baby is REALLY involved and together times can be very rushed. Now that we’re in the 2nd year of Spear we are already getting back into a better groove of family together time which is something we’ve all missed and have all craved as we adjusted to life as a family of six. 
  14. Blog goals for my 10th year of blogging: total revamp, new ad company, completely update all navigation tabs for better organization, focus on Pinterest for growth, create more content, earn my goal amount for at least 3 months of the year. : 2018 was a HUGE year for me with my blog. I did a total revamp but also completely switched platforms (from blogger to WordPress). I’m so thankful for the incredible community of fellow bloggers (my BFBN gals) as our group has been a GAME CHANGER for each of us in our blog growth. I never knew so much work could go into blogging and I’ve loved learning so many new things and implementing new strategies and growing in such great ways! It makes me SO excited to see what the coming year will bring. I am constantly working on my navigation tabs but do need to get them fully up to date…Pinterest has skyrocketed and I’m putting some new plans in motion that makes me confident it’ll get even bigger traffic to the blog soon. My goal amount was almost my average earnings for EVERY month this year and I made it well over my goal of just 3 months out of the year. I’m so thankful the Lord put blogging in my path 10 years ago, it’s been an incredible outlet for me and a gift in my life. 
  15. Remind my friends how much they mean to me, do FUN things together, host events at my home, encourage new members to book club and help it grow. : 2018 was the year of friendship. Friendship hurts. New friends. Old friends. EPIC trips. Crazy adventures. It was tough in some ways. But it was a BLAST overall. I do not take any of my friendships for granted. I’m beyond blessed in that department and even though the pain of letting go of some friendships can be hard, I really grew so much from that loss this year. God has always continued to put just the right people in my life at the right time.  I’ve tried to make sure my true friends know how much they mean to me and how much I love them. I’ve loved the memories made together this year and just the deeper appreciation we all have for each other. Can I also say it was dumb to make a goal to host more knowing I had a newborn? That didn’t happen much but I, again, feel confident I will get back in my hosting groove now that Spear is older. Book Club has been AMAZING. Truly. We have had so many great women join us and I’m so blessed by each of them. I love the community we are building and the bonds being formed. 
  16. Continue to learn more about oils and incorporate their use into our daily lives. : I have SO MUCH to learn here but have used oils a TON more this year and have incorporated many of them into our daily routines. 
  17. Visit Disney once a month – fully enjoy and utilize having passes! The once a month goal is def one I still have and want to fulfill. My first goal is to get myself to Disney once a month then someday I’d love for it to happen as a family too. I did visit Disney most months in 2018 but skipped a couple (I’m looking at you Jan and August). Crossing fingers I can make it happen in 2019. Def a super fun challenge!
  18. Get fully back on track financially. Write out a game plan to get savings/retirement caught up and back on track as well as plan for future expenses (home repairs, renovation plans, etc). : We adopted a baby and then bought a rental property. At the end of 2017 our finances were all over the place and I didn’t feel comfortable living in a state where our emergency fund wasn’t where it needed to be. The timing of everything just worked out so well, God provided for sure. Zach being in management meant a pay increase and some bonuses and we were able to get everything back on track and caught up with our emergency fund. We were also able to get everything caught up with our retirement and have started our home repairs that have been LONG overdue. It’s a true blessing to be able to end 2018 feeling SO much more comfortable with our financial situation to move forward. 
  19. Seek positivity in all things. Look on the bright side. Be a light. Be the example of what I desire my children to be. : This is an area in which I’ve really put in the effort and have grown a lot. Always a work in progress but writing in my journal every morning has made a HUGE impact. I write down 10 things I’m thankful for as well as a Bible verse for the day and prayers I want to specifically pray about. I can feel a difference on the days where I don’t take this time for myself and the kids can tell a difference too. They will even ask if I had my study time and that special time is something they’ve adapted into their morning routines too. It’s been a BIG thing for our whole crew! We are so blessed by God in all aspects of life, and I really want to always give Him the glory and focus on those daily blessings. 
  20. Enjoy Tess while she’s still at home with me until the fall and help her over the summer with swim. : Oh I miss my Tessie days! I’m so thankful she’s doing so well in school but I miss my baby girl home with me and am soaking up all the lunches I can before she heads off to all day school in the fall of 2019. She is a little FISH and did AMAZING with swimming over the summer, so much so that I’m going to be asking around about swim team options once she’s old enough. She LOVES swim. 
  21. Contentment. Be content in our family. Do not take it for granted, remember all the prayers and steps it took for us to be complete. Be content in that and in our home and our shared love for each other. : There is no greater feeling in my whole life than the feeling of our family being complete. I cherish this phase in our lives. I constantly look around and am just in awe that this is IT. My every dream has come true with my incredible husband and four incredible babies. So. Thankful. 
  22. Home Goals: Fire pit. Plans for new carpet, countertops and appliances. Update mulch. Paint pool decking. Revamp our bedroom. Replace coffee and end tables in living room. : So much of the house goals got crammed in here at the end and it’s a tad overwhelming haha. The purchase of the Disney House really got our butts in gear on updating our Valdosta home. The Orlando house needed a new entertainment center, so WE got a new one and took our old one down there. Same with couch. Same with appliances. Etc etc. When we built our home in 2010 we did it on a very low-basic budget. Builders grade everything. 8 years later it’s LONG overdue for updating and the Disney House needing things has really given us the push we needed to update OUR home in order to pass down our items to that home. Zach worked super hard all fall on the fire pit area and it looks AMAZING. We ordered new carpet and appliances and have plans for countertops. We also have the paint ordered for the pool decking and a year or so plan to really revamp the bedroom space. After taking a long break in working on updating our home with the adoption and rental house purchase, it’s nice to get back into that groove of making the updates we need!
  23. Reach out to new friends who I’m hoping to develop deeper bonds with. Be an includer. But also recognize relationships that take more than give and seek those that offer an equal balance and bring joy to my life. : Yes, I mentioned this a bit earlier but this was a big focus of mine this year. It’s HARD to let go of friendships that aren’t healthy. It’s painful. It’s TOUGH but it’s so important to find your people. The ones who love you and support you and lift you up and pour in just as much as they take. Balance and joy and I feel like I’m really there in this area of my life! I love my tribe and am so excited by the new people being added to it!
  24. Purge all my baby stuff and clean out attic to be able to better organize attic storage area. : Eek. It’s SO MUCH STUFF. I sold a lot in the kids sales but y’all they are just so much work for such little reward so we are planning to do a big yard sale ASAP to PURGE IT ALL. It’s a lot because it’s all the baby stuff but also all the girl stuff as Tessie grows out of it. I’m eager to clean out the attic storage area and get to work on converting it into a bedroom for Tess so we can convert her current room into a “Mom Cave” for ME!
  25. Open God’s Word more this year. Pray more often on my own. Seek God in all things. Continue to step out in faith in the areas in which I feel led.: I feel like every year when I review my goals I’m always disappointed in myself for how I did in focusing on the Lord. But this year? It feels SO good to say that YES. I did it! I have put such a larger focus on spending time in prayer. In scripture. Focusing on Him and letting Him lead and guide me. I can’t wait to see what He has in store as I continue to lean on Him in ALL things!
  26. Plan an epic surprise trip for the kids (shhhh!) and make it really special for us all! Enjoy the other trips we have planned both just Zach and I, as a family, and make an effort for trips with friends too!: 2018 was a huge year of travel. To the point that we actually made it a goal in 2019 to travel LESS. Which is CRAZY for us to say haha. 
  27. Be able to attend Zach’s appointments with him. Get in a good grove on making sure his needs are met with all aspects of his health and do things daily to make sure we’re doing our part while letting the meds do theirs! It’s tricky to be able to attend both of Zach’s infusion appointments with him, especially because he tries to schedule work around his travel to Atlanta. I really do want to be at each of his infusion appointments but I also don’t want to have unrealistic expectations about it. I think going to at least ONE of them a year is better than none. I was able to go with him in August and we made a birthday experience for him out of it and really had a great time. I think it’s very important to be part of those visits and keep up with knowledge on his health and medicine. I am proud of how well Zach has been taking care of himself and know that one of his big goals in the new year is to do even better in this area. 
  28. Do not be afraid to speak my truth and continue to be transparent and open and honest and share my heart: Well. I did create my tagline “oversharing and owning it” this year so I think I’m doing pretty well in that area ha! I’m hoping to stay caught up on our life posts in order to free myself up for more writing just from the heart as those are my favorite posts to write. Something I struggle with is actually knowing my truths. What I really want, really enjoy, really feel just for ME and not influenced by anyone else, the needs of others, or what I think they want me to think. As I grow in my personal walk I know I will become more intune with those aspects of myself and I’m excited about it! 
  29. Continue to talk to Dad and Audrey on a regular basis, aim for two visits this year to spend quality time together. : We haven’t seen my dad since August 2017. I know 100% I have done EVERYTHING I can do to make visits happen. A big way I’m trying to grow is in accepting things for as they are. I can’t force anyone to feel like spending time with my family is a priority. So I have to just take things as they come and stop always hoping for things to be different, all that hope does is lead to disappointment. I’m working on being in a place of peace about it…to continue to do my part and accept that we may not get to spend the quality time together that I’d ideally like to spend. 
  30. Get 8 hours of sleep a night (Zach too!): I literally this entire year thought my goal was SEVEN hours a night. Not EIGHT! Dangit! I balled out with seven hours pretty much every single night of the year. I made it a hardcore focus of mine and can see a HUGE shift in the productiveness of my day when I get that full seven. But now knowing I’d actually had the goal of 8 totally bums me out ha!
  31. Truly ENJOY my family. Stop always thinking about things I “need to do” and just ENJOY them. Savor Spear as my last baby and just soak up all the little moments with them every day. : I have realized I’m just awful at relaxing. I’m ALWAYS thinking about what I need to do, should do, gotta do. It’s a struggle for me to just SIT. This is an area I’ll always be a work in progress on and this year especially was a year of adjusting to life with four. It was a lot in dealing with Spear’s schedule and such and I do feel confident that 2019 will bring about more downtime together as a family where I can just ENJOY!
  32. Work on my impulse control. From not being able to resist a good deal to eating to using unkind words. Pray on it. Learn to PAUSE. : I did SO much better in my deal hunting this year. I really cut back big time on overbuying things we didn’t need. And I have plans in motion to only continue this shift in cutting back. We are doing less for Christmas and instead doing a trip which I feel really great about. Still working on getting better with the emotional eating. Real talk: this is a HUGE struggle of mine. I get upset, I eat. I get stressed, I eat. I want to do better with it but then I just end up right back at the eating junk. Even if it’s just pretzels or popcorn…it’s still unnecessary eating! Ugh. It bugs me and makes me feel awful about myself and is a huge goal for 2019. I wanna grow. I wanna put that struggle BEHIND ME. Continuing to focus on PAUSING. I did come a LONG way in my kindness with how I speak and the way I say things. I think the getting enough sleep really helped in that area. Better rested = easier to resist junk food eating AND easier to watch my tongue and tone. As I grow in my walk with the Lord I also see growth in these areas too. 
  33. Continue my trend of this year in standing up for myself and being true to Emily and to my needs and being confident in who I am and what I stand for. : Yes. I have come a LONG way over this year in this area. Recognizing relationships that aren’t healthy for me. Standing up when I feel strongly about something. Sharing my feelings. Communicating clearly. Being strong and confident in who I am, being happy with ME! 

2018 was a big year of personal growth in my life. It’s the first year in a long time that I can remember reviewing my goals and just feeling like I really crushed it in so many ways! I love where 2018 has taken me and am SO excited to see the ways in which that growth will continue and the places it’ll take me in 2019. I’m so excited to be onto a new phase of parenting (no more babies!), deepening bonds with the Lord, and continuing to enjoy my incredible friends and family! I am excited to look back someday on 2018 with a greater appreciation for the year that helped pave the way for the future version of me 🙂 

2018 was the first year we sat down as a family and also created family goals. The kids came up with goals completely on their own. I thought I’d share them here as well!

  • Spear: Be our 4th Babywise Sucess (def achieved!)
  • Zach: Build Fire Pit (Done!)
  • Britt: Try not to annoy Kye for the entire year (yeah right haha)
  • Tess: master a cartwheel (she quit gymnastics so this didn’t happen)
  • Kye; Go golfing once a month (didn’t happen, but he did golf more often!)
  • Britt: work on reading (she’s an awesome reader!)
  • Big 3: Do chores every week (they did GREAT with this!)
  • Zach: Fame (Aflac term) three quarters of the year (completed!!! whoop whoop!)
  • Big 3: Help with Spear, especially feeding him (they were all three awesome helpers)
  • Kye: Improve football skills with blocking, catching and tackling (Kye decided not to play football this year so these didn’t happen)
  • Britt: Learn to enjoy alone time (she got MUCH better with this for sure!)
  • Kye: Surpass AR Goal (done!)
  • Zach: Keep budget app up to date (nopeeeee)
  • Britt: Master a back bend kickover (done! Girl is KILLING it with gymnastics!)
  • Britt: Be brave for flu shot (Done!)

I love working on goals for myself but also as an entire family and I love this new tradition of discussing our goals together over dinner on Dec 31st. It sets us up for success in the year ahead! So thankful for all the ways God blessed our family in 2018 and am eager to see what He has in store in 2019 for us!


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