The Best of 2018
Any time one year ends and another begins, I can’t help but reflect on the events that took place over the last 365 days and about what I hope to accomplish in the new year. According to my last year’s recap, 2017 was a “whirlwind”. I got married and found out I was pregnant just one month later. But this year, I became a mom, bought my first home, and launched The Everymom – all in a 3 month window.
Before I talk about the best of 2018, here’s a reminder that in 2011, I was dating verbally abusive sociopath, working for myself as a blog designer , and living at my mom’s house. I left LA for Chicago less than two months before my 28th birthday and that is when it all began for me. Back then, I thought I had to be married by 30 but I can tell you I was so wrong. I got married at 35 and had Margot a few months before turning 36. I didn’t know anyone in Chicago when I first moved here and didn’t have the kind of relationship with my family that had me traveling home for the holidays, so there were some lonely moments. Looking back, I am so, so glad I had that time to be on my own, to grow both personally and professionally, and to have hope for the future. I felt such a drive to figure things out for myself and pushed so hard in a way I may not have been able to had I met someone or started a family.
Now that I’m here (you know, 36) with my own little family, a growing company, and a home of my own, I can truly appreciate all of it. That’s not to say if it came easier that I wouldn’t be grateful, because of course I would be. It’s just that it took a while to get here, and my story is hopefully a reminder that things can get so much better. That isn’t always easy to see when you’re feeling stuck.
I don’t want to support the narrative that you need a partner or a child to be happy and I never want anyone to think any of this came “easily” because that’s not the case at all. I was happy before I got married and became a mom, but yes, my husband and daughter have brought immeasurable joy to my life. They gave me a family. No one has a perfect life, and just sharing the good can make it look like everything’s “perfect” when it’s not. In 2017, I got married in Paris which sounds like a dream on paper, but I was a mess the months leading up to the wedding because things fell apart with my family. I tried so hard to fix it but kept getting hurt over and over. It was horrible. My therapist helped me get through it, but a time that was supposed to be magical and happy very sadly wasn’t. Our wedding weekend was one of the best weekends of my life, but the months leading up to it were awful. It’s so important to remember that in spite of how good things might seem, we’re all going through our shit, and the last thing I’d ever want to do is make someone else feel like they aren’t enough, because nothing could be further from the truth.
That was all a little longer than I planned, but it had to be said.
If you look at my top photos in instagram, 2018 was the year of Margot and my house. And Margot in my house. But there was so much more, or at least a bit more to 2018. The Everygirl Media Group had an amazing year. We doubled the size of our team, outgrew our office, and launched a second website. I am so excited for what’s in store for our company in 2019! We have a launch happening soon, some big ideas in the works, and we’re looking for a much bigger office.
It feels like I finally got back into a somewhat of a blogging groove, although I’m trying to find a new normal now that on top of my full-time job, I also have a baby. There isn’t too much time left over for blogging and as much as I love it, family and my job will always always come first. I feel so lucky that I’ve gotten to partner with the brands that I have, and the best part, hands-down, is knowing how my words have impacted some of you. I just received a note from someone who felt less alone this holiday season because of something I shared. I’m doing what I wish someone had done for me in my 20s when I felt lost and alone, and it’s made everything feel like it’s finally coming full-circle. So when I share my life now, and the good things that are happening, it’s so important for me and for you that you know 1. that it’s not perfect and 2. that there was a road to get here.
Here are some of my favorite moments and memories from 2018.
We found out we were expecting less than a month after our wedding (early November) and announced in January. I took a pregnancy test fully expecting it to be negative, but wanted to know it was negative before heading to the office so I could stop thinking about it. I called Conor into our room and showed him the test in complete disbelief. We were both in shock and laughed a lot. I FaceTimed Alaina (excitedly) freaking out and let her know I’d be a little late that morning. I vividly remember shooting this photo with Buddy. He happily followed me around, laid on the blanket when I asked him to, and just stared at me while I snapped away.
Our wedding was featured on Martha Stewart Weddings.
We celebrated our baby girl.
We launched The Everymom in April.
Conor and I bought our first home in the suburbs, just 20-25 minutes from downtown Chicago. It felt like a huge change at the time, but I’ve loved having a house, and we have a great little community out here. It’s been fun and also a little stressful making this house feel like home, mostly given the lack of time and energy I’ve had since moving in. We’re going to be renovating our 2.5 baths and are working on our bedroom, sunroom, and basement, so I’ll have some house updates headed your way soon.
Margot joined our little family in July, just 3 months after I launched a second website and 2 months after I moved into my first house. I have always wanted to be a mom but probably longed for it more in my 20s, when I was struggling in an unhappy relationship and my career felt up in the air. I thought having a baby would make me happy and it did, but I had to find happiness and figure myself out before I could be a mom. in 2015, I met Conor, and right after we got married (like on our honeymoon) we decided we’d give it a go, knowing that at 35, it would probably take a while. Never in a million years did I expect it to happen immediately. I know how lucky I am that it happened so easily for us, and I couldn’t feel happier or luckier to have a sweet, healthy, baby girl. She has brought joy and love to my life that I didn’t know existed, and I am so excited to watch her grow. My sweet Margot Rose.
My favorite memory from the hospital happened once we got to our room and had our first moment alone with Margot. Conor climbed into bed with us and we just stared at her. In that moment, it hit me, and tears started streaming down my face. She was our little girl and I was her mom. I couldn’t believe how much I loved this little person.
Margot Rose met her namesake, my great aunt and her great great aunt Rose, just 2 months after her 100th birthday. It was one of the best moments of my life, and I never want to forget Rose looking at me and saying “I’m so happy to see you” – something she hasn’t said in years. Her dementia has been pretty bad, but it felt like we had her back for that moment.
For the first time in my adult life, I spent the holidays with my own little family – a dream come true. But if I’m being really honest, as wonderful as it was, there was a lot of stress around getting Margot everywhere, and she was up crying every hour Christmas Day (all. night. long.) because she was overtired. That was rough, but it was so, so sweet celebrating with her.
And this last note one is for those of you with difficult family dynamics or the ones who are single and haven’t met the right person yet. After dating some real idiots and a few nice guys who just weren’t right for me, I met my husband on Tinder when I was 33, and got married and had a baby at 35. If you find yourself waiting or struggling right now, it’s so important to remember that there isn’t a timeline, and focusing on where you think you should be won’t get you anywhere. I get that it’s hard. I do. But I also loved living alone. There were times I didn’t want to date anyone because it was easier to focus on myself, my career, and my friends.
Wherever your are in your journey, I hope you’re able to find those little silver linings because I promise you, they’re there. I am so grateful for each and every one of you who visits this little blog of mine, and I wish you all the very best in 2018. If there’s something you’re struggling with and you need some advice or if there’s content you think that might help you, please leave a comment here, email me, or message me on instagram. I’d love to do whatever I can to help.
What was the most exciting thing that happened to you in 2018? What’s something you’re looking forward to in the new year?
Previous end-of-year recaps