This year has been a mixed bag. Every year is, really. There's good, there's bad, some years swing better and some are just awful. This year has truly been both. I have whiplash from high highs and low lows. I survived the death of one of my best friends and her baby. I managed to make it through the whole year without watching The Greatest Showman. I continued my high level of coffee intake with zero regrets. I had multiple awkward run-ins with people from high school. I ran into Mike Wolfe from American Pickers in 106 degree heat with hair that had just experienced a long outdoor boat ride. We were sick A LOT. I had no idea how much we were sick until I looked back through old posts while writing this.

January: I remember exactly one specific thing about this month, and it is a day that will live in infamy. It was the day it was 5 degrees outside and I discovered a hose hooked up to an outdoor faucet covered in ice and on the verge of bursting. I had to Facetime my dad and hook my blowdryer up to an extension cord and ask the neighbors to borrow a wrench so I could unscrew the frozen hose. I almost sold the house and moved into an apartment just so I never had to deal with that again, because plumbing is my WORST NIGHTMARE. It was a cold month. I remember two weeks of the temp never getting above zero. Our drafty house was frigid, and I walked around in sweaters and a furry robe. It snowed a lot. I spent every day unpacking and hanging curtains and trying to make sense of the post-move chaos. Oh! It's also the month I chopped 7 inches off my hair and had my hair stylist friend dye it purple, magenta, and turquoise. I miss my Lisa Frank hair. Someday I will do it again!

February: I wrote Olympic Valentines. Were the Olympics on this month? I think so. For some reason, the winter months are always a blur to me. I remember intensely watching ice skating and curling. I also made some TV Valentines. The Popcast aired my funny college dating story which gave me a thrill. We went out for Mexican on Valentine's Day. I saw Colleen for the last time in my living room. She and her husband babysat Gracie so James and I could see a movie. I gave her a huge hug by the front door. I'm glad my last memory of her is a sweet one.

March: This month was the worst ever. THE WORST. I lost one of my best friends and her baby. I got sick. I reunited with some old friends at her funeral that I've continued to stay in touch with, and I know that would make Colleen happy. I decided to spend my birthday with my parents in Iowa for a much needed change of scenery. I dyed my hair purple again and loved it. My mom and I discovered the best cafe and secondhand bookstore--it was one of my favorite days of the whole year. I turned 29, and while it wasn't a bad birthday, I was still in the fog of grief, plus I had a cold and an infection in my foot so bad I couldn't walk. I discovered Michael Scott and I share the same birthday, which is the gift that keeps on giving. When we got home, Gracie got the stomach bug from hell and was nearly hospitalized on her 3rd birthday. Truly a month I'd just like to forget.

April: It snowed a lot. We celebrated Easter with some friends. Spring finally hit toward the end of the month, and I very slowly started to feel like myself again. My mom came for a week, and we had the best time hitting up yarn shops. Gracie had her first ice cream cone. I started my long walks and discovered sheep down the street. James and I had an early anniversary date while my mom was in town. I dyed my hair teal. It was a much better month.

May: I believe in trying to find the good in bad days or months or years, but I don't think ANYTHING good happened in May. I still get cold sweats just thinking about it. I got pulled over after taking Gracie to the doctor. James had 4 back to back work trips. I caught some insane virus that turned into a terrible case of bronchitis. Gracie had croup and a high fever for days while I was sick and James was gone. I was bedridden on both Mother's Day and our Anniversary. My in-laws came to visit and chaos ensued. Ok, one good thing happened--James surprised me with a spa day for Mother's Day, before the worst of the sickness hit. It was delightful.

June: My favorite month of the year. It was just wonderful. So many playdates and fun times at the splash pad. Strawberry picking. All of my flowers died, which still confuses me because that's never happened to me before. I dyed my hair purple again. We went to Iowa and toured a dairy and went to a food truck festival. My family from Nevada visited for a week and we had the best time. Lots of late nights playing Dutch Blitz. I ran into Mike Wolfe and made a fool of myself. I found out I'm related to Dwight Schrute. We bought a new fridge, which I am still deeply in love with. On the flip side, I had my first foray with poison control when Gracie downed a bottle of vitamins, and we found dried blood under our kitchen carpet.

July: We watched the fireworks from our driveway. We had a weekend getaway in a cabin and fished and kayaked. We had another bad bout of sickness. It was apparently not a good year for our health. I went on a lot of long, evening walks and read a lot of books. The usual.

August: I have really no memory of August? From what I can gather...lots of walks. Lots of working in the yard. Lots of playdates. Lots of Gracie playing in her inflatable pool. Lots of me probably hiding in the AC. We spent a day at the zoo with friends. The horses across the street were sold and I still want to cry about it. The usual summer stuff.

September: I finally hung a bunch of stuff up in our house and decorated for fall. It felt so much more like home. The first six months in our house were rough for me. For a heap of reasons, I had a hard adjustment. This is when I finally started feeling at home and comfortable here. I chopped my hair up to my chin. We went back to Iowa. My mom and I went to a Maddie Poppe concert, we took Gracie apple picking and I made friends with a horse. I wrote one of my favorite posts of the year.  I squeezed in as many walks as I could before the weather turned. Long walks were the staple of my summer.

October: I visited the World's Largest Truckstop. Don't even bother to tell me about your vacations--clearly I win this round. I fell and destroyed my knee which still has not fully healed. It was our first October in our house and it was GLORIOUS. The trees were insane. I spent half the month standing in my kitchen, staring out the window. We went pumpkin picking. It was freezing outside and I was bursting with fall spirit. We went bowling for James' birthday. We all got sick again.

November: I decorated for Christmas super early. We splurged on a white Christmas tree, and I love it so much. I want it up all year. We rearranged half the house. My parents came for Thanksgiving, and that was really fun. It snowed a lot. The Dr. Death podcast ruled my life. I spent many evenings watching Christmas movies and doing a puzzle.

December: I had high hopes for December, but much of it followed in the vein of March and May. Some really sad things happened. We were sick for weeks straight. We didn't wear matching Christmas pajamas, but we did have matching sinus infections. I think the final tally came to RSV, two terrible upper respiratory viruses, two sinus infections, one gallbladder attack, croup, and bronchitis. All before Christmas. We saw the Christmas lights at the zoo, which I've been so excited to take Gracie to. We had a week long Christmas vacation in Iowa. It was so nice. We did our traditional Christmas Eve lights viewing on the river, James and I managed to squeeze in a date night in downtown Davenport. Mom and I went to see Mary Poppins---I loved it so much I almost cried. We watched a lot of Christmas movies and ate a lot of cookies. I woke up every morning and read by the Christmas tree. We spent NYE with friends. It was a sad month, but it ended well.

Other things to note:
-I read 68 books.
- Gracie potty trained herself. SHE DID IT HERSELF.
- My favorite books of the year are as follows (in no particular order):
    - Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
    - Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce
    - Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
    - Girl, Wash Your Face (ZING! Just kidding!!!!!!)
    - 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
    - Educated by Tara Westover
    - Endurance by Scott Kelly
    - As You Wish by Cary Elwes
- I discovered a lot of good current music this year, but my heart was with anything that came from the 1970s. I listened to 70s music all year. I don't know why, but it just did me right. Hall & Oates got the most plays for sure.
- I wore a lot of lipstick and didn't feel weird about it. This sounds silly but is actually a big deal for me. Purple hair gave me a lot of confidence.
- I started Bible Study Fellowship which was super nerve-wracking for me, but it has been wonderful.
- I published 78 blog posts. The number is going down every year.
- I spent time with a surprising amount of farm animals.

I don't have any big plans for 2019. I have no idea what's going to happen, which is both unnerving and exciting. All we have planned are two vacations and an appointment with a plumber. Anything could happen! Hoping for less plumbing drama (not looking good yet), less sickness, more books, and more time with friends and family.


  1. I loved reading about your year! But man, I’m sorry it was such a rough one. Praying 2019 is a wonderful year for you! (Also, currently powering my way through Becoming Mrs Lewis on audio, but I don’t like it! I’m shocked! I feel like we are usually similar on bookish opinions, haha! 🤷🏻‍♀️)

  2. I love looking back on a year... & I know yours has been so full of so many ups & down... so hard to loose a friend. I know you still feel the loss.
    & man, you all did go through the sickies this year, didnt you? Let's just say it has built up your immune systems for a great 2019!!! :)
    Hope you have a great New Year friend!!!

  3. Please know that I honest-to-goodness guffawed at "I spent time with a surprising amount of farm animals". I was not expecting that, it caught me off guard, and now has become the best part of my week.

    I feel like last winter was another lifetime ago. As I started reading your post I honestly thought to myself... the Olympics were just this past winter? For whatever reason, it feels like a lifetime ago, and not just shy of a year. Time can be so weird.

    Fingers crossed for significantly less illness and the same if not more farm animals for the Bellamy crew in 2019!!! Lots of love to you guys! xoxo

  4. Looking back on a year always makes me go "Ohhhhhh… so THAT'S why I'm so tired all the time!" Your year was no exception. Happy 2019!

  5. That's so frustrating about all the sickness in your family this year! Let's hope that it all built up your immune systems and antibodies and the like so that 2019 will be the year of powerful resistance to germs!!!!

  6. Isn't it amazing to see how much God packs in a year? I love how looking over the entire year, you can see the wonderful moments and gifts from God that can come to help comfort one's heart in the times of sorrow and hardship. I'm glad that even though you faced Colleen's death and lots of sickness, there were good moments, too. Also, you saw the new Mary Poppins?!?!?!?! I was completely oblivious to that movie until I saw the trailer the other day and the youtube video of "22 musicals in 12 minutes" with James Corden (so delightful) and now I know I NEED to see it.

  7. I published even fewer blog posts in 2018 than you did! The number has drastically decreased over the past few years. I always thought I would be so sad when that happened, but I'm really not. I just keep choosing something else over blogging lately, but I do still love it and have been missing it! Hope your 2019 is off to a healthier start. That picture of G in the snow in that last collage is super cute, and I hope you have that printed and displayed somewhere in your house :)


Talk to me! If your email is linked to your account, I'll respond to you via email. If not, I'll respond to you right here.