It was a fabulous year!
Ciao 2018, I look back and smile. Just when I think a year can’t get any better – BOOM! It happens again! It’s like Groundhog Day, only in the upside down world where you are repeating the same great experience over and over.
Props to Emma from Life of Emma X. I came across her end of year summary and thought, what a lovely way to wrap up 2018. You spend a moment reflecting on the good and at the same time your audience really gets to know you. Head over to her blog and check it out.
My traditional January 1st routine hasn’t failed me yet! I wake up, grab some freshly brewed coffee and reflect on the prior year. I have a special journal where I look over my annual bucket list. I check out what I accomplished and what I didn’t I carry over to the next year.
No joke, of the 10 items, I can scratch off 7! And guess what was number one on my list? And I quote: Blog, write —> it’s important work
My Poshmark online store officially kicks off. I had joined the year prior; but, spent zero time leveraging that little gold mine. And wow! Basically, an effortless way to convert stuff laying around your house into cash. I made $1603 this year!
February was indeed memorable – I was a guest speaker at a National Call Center Conference in Austin, Texas. My niche? How to connect emotionally through organic conversations. Check out my LinkedIn profile, if you want to see who “corporate Grace” is.
And I saw Lana del Rey in concert with my mini-me, Isabella. Lana’s ‘LA to the Moon‘ tour of North America did not disappoint. The highlight of the tour was the release of her latest album ‘Lust For Life‘. But my favorite album, hands down is Ultraviolence.
Yet February’s pièce de résistance was Ash Wednesday falling on Febuary 14th! So fitting that my love story would begin this day.
I would finally sit down to watch the movie, “God’s Not Dead.” This would set a series of questions in motion that would lead my daughter joining “Catholic Life Teen” and our family registering with Holy Trinity Catholic Church. This cradle Catholic was about to make her comeback!
Thursday April 5th I boarded a bus headed to a weekend Catholic retreat.
I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know that Women’s ACTS would change my life forever.
I would cry, laugh, and finally let go.
I would bond with other women and understand that I am not alone…. Neither are you.
And to seal the deal, I added a new tattoo to my small collection. I had the Ichthys fish tattoo’d as an outward and constant reminder of who I am, a child of God. The Greek “ikhthýs” was a secret symbol adopted by early persecuted Christians. The two intersecting arcs, the ends of the right side extending beyond the meeting point resemble the profile of a fish. We are fishers of men.
I would also join Holy Trinity’s Rosary Ministry and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, formed in 1903 and one of the oldest and largest organizations of Catholic women in the Americas. A wonderful organization, our moto is “Unity and Charity”.
“Under the patronage of the Blessed Mother, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas are united by their faith in Jesus Christ, in their devotion to the church and the Holy See.”Quoted text taken from, Catholic Daughters of the Americas webpage
May is my birthday month. It’s also my Mother’s and Father’s birthday month. We are a house of Tauruses… my poor Leo brother!
I completed a Tough Mudder! A military obstacle course and 5K.
For the past several years, I sign up for some annual half marathon. But, this year was to be different.
But, what made this extra special is that I shared this priceless moment with my middle son, Max!
Off to Spain, my home. Also an annual event; but, this year was to be different. Normally, I take these getaways on my own. But, this time Max and I traveled together to Barcelona. Isabella headed to Mexico.
This was his high-school graduation gift. Can I just add some shameless proud momma stuff?
Max is an exceptional son, brother and person.
He is smart, handsome and has a wonderful heart. Am so proud of the man he is becoming!
We were originally headed to Japan; but, Max decided he wanted to had back to Barcelona to celebrate his birthday and see old friends.
What a great trip this was!
And, as per usual, I got tatted AND so did he! Max got his first tattoo with his ma’! This adds a whole new layer to our bonding!
Oh what a wonderful month!! I would officially launch my blog, Prayer & Passports, The Road to Freedom (check out my story for the 411 on the girl behind the blog). And my beautiful little girl, Isabella would become my new Sister in Christ!
She attended her first Teen ACTS Retreat and would come back renewed and re-engergized!
I just can’t put into the words how this felt!
She would also head to Covecrest Camp later that month, a LifeTeen Camp in Georgia and one of the few Catholic Camps in the US.
“Reaching Teens, Restoring Parishes and Reclaiming Culture” is the motto.
And no, you don’t have to be Catholic to join in on the fun!
Warning though, your teen will come back steadfast on a Godly path.
What a fun month! I did so much research and networking. Which later I would write about in, “Blogging Secret Sauce“. I would end up writing a whole series on how to launch your blog. I had come across some really great bloggers that freely shared advice. I felt like I should “pay it forward”.
I was even nominated for my first award, “The Sunshine Blogger Award“. I couldn’t believe that after blogging for only 2 months, someone would even notice me. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy. I had Lasonia, a Lifestyle Blogger to thank for that!
And this was also Isabella’s Sweet 16th month. Where did the time go?
It seems like just yesterday she was running around pushing her favorite doll, Lola, in a baby carriage. And now, she’s all grown up.
We celebrated her birthday quietly, just as she prefers. It was to be a family week at South Padre Island, Texas. It was Max, Isabella and me… Michael was adulting (LOL working).
But, that’s how my kids roll. They love their family time!
I’d say September was low-key but that wouldn’t be entirely true. My life is an exciting hot mess! I’m an active Catholic Mom Girl-boss lifestyle blogger who travels for work every other month. Nothing low-key here.
The highlight of September was getting all three of my children to coincide for one meal. This is every mom’s dream.
Three magic words: Hillsong Worship Concert. And Ohhhh My Gosh!!! Imagine, 10,000 people singing in unison, in praise to Our Lord. It was amazing! And to quote my daughter, “look around Mom, everyone here is a Believer”.
Then there was Halloween. Never my favorite holiday; but, this year things took a dramatic turn. I work for an organization that celebrates Halloween on a whole different level. I embraced it and oh, boy did I ever! I am already stoked about Halloween 2019!
I travel for work and this was one busy month! Cali, Nevada, Florida, Virginia oh my! Las Vegas was definitely my favorite stop. ICMI Awards and seeing one of my leaders win, “ICMI Movers and Shakers” was a proud moment for us all!
Experimented with a new stylist which prompted my YouTube video, “Storytime: Hair Stylist Blocked Me“. There’s a update to that video! Last week I attempted to play hair stylist and am happy to report that thanks to the “self help tutorials” on YouTube it was a success!!
And of course there’s Thanksgiving. A time when we added a very special focus on everything that we are grateful for. And this year, I invited my ex-husband and his girlfriend and her son to our Thanksgiving dinner. It was wonderful! We co-parent successfully so why not share a meal as a new age family?!
The year ends with my favorite month! What a great God wink! I love December. And this year was no exception.
I kicked it off with a splendid work trip to Manila. If you haven’t been to the Philippines, add that to your travel bucket list! As you can see, I do travel quite a bit for work and pleasure is why there’s the whole: “Prayer and Passports: The Road to Freedom” as it references all travel both virtual/spiritual and non. I’ll be focusing on the “travel” aspect of my blog come 2019. Stay tuned!
And then Blogmas happened! 25 days of non-stop blogging. New, fresh Christmassy content uploaded every day! And I did it! Didn’t miss a day! One of my favorite posts, Blogger Spotlight introduced 8 bloggers to my blogging world. It was so great to get to know these guys and share their stories. (Catch up with my Blogmas journey here)
And just when I thought blogging couldn’t get any better! I was nominated for another blogging award, “Blogger Recognition Award, 2018“. I’m telling you, it’s all about building a community of blogger friends, your tribe. I love mine!
But the true spirit of December begins and ends with Advent, a term for coming in Latin. This is an exciting time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus Christ at Christmas. He comes to the world to die for us and our sins. I get all teary-eyed just thinking about it! I wrote a post about this, All Things Advent – check it out if you get a chance.
What’s Next for this girl?
I’m so excited to greet a new year! It’ll be all about God, family, blogging, travel and work… in that order! (Catch up with how I’m wrapping up the year here).
What was the high-point of your 2018? What’s next for you? Leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you!