{2018 in Review}

I know it’s just about nearing the end of January, but since I’m still putting 2018 on my school notes, I feel this farewell and review of 2018 is still valid.

I thought nothing could beat the amount of changes 2017 brought – getting married and moving from Nashville to Utah. I was wrong. 2018 was a year of many highs and many lows, but mostly many good changes. A huge triumph was completing my @sundayglow project! To commemorate this project, I put a video together of all the sunrises of 2018:

The biggest change was going back to school. It was also a low too – quitting a full-time job and mostly living off of student loans, constantly being challenged with subjects I couldn’t grasp, loaded with an enormous amount of work…I cried at least once a week through November. And then I got up, wiped the tears, and figured it out. Because grad school has also been one of the biggest highs. It’s brought new people into my life that I couldn’t imagine not knowing, concepts and challenges that have allowed me to grow, and a better understanding of my own strengths and how to communicate them.

In addition to school, I’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot, hang out with friends, witness the marriages of many friends, and spend time with family. This year was a good one. And because I don’t generally take pictures or record the lows, I’ve compiled a summary of all the highlights below:

  • Brought in the new year in Rexburg, ID

  • Started a contract with Matt not to bring another bike in for six months and after that, only bring a bike in by selling a bike… he was pretty good about it until this last December. I think we got up to 7 or 8 bikes (one of them being mine – also, reminder, we live in a one-bedroom apartment)

  • My dad, stepmom and step-siblings visited – we had so much fun skiing/snowboaring and visiting the Midway Ice Castles

  • I went to Bridal Veil Falls with Britt and Kalai (so crazy to think little Griffey wasn’t born yet!)

  • Got a homemade crocheted blanket from Chris (my hometown neighbor)

  • Went to a YSA Devotional in the beautiful Conference Center in Salt Lake City

  • Matt and I celebrated 7 months of marriage together at Waffle Love

  • We went to Topgolf with Brendan and Sheri

  • It snowed and Provo became the most beautiful winter wonderland

  • Went night-skiing at Sundance

  • Celebrated Matt’s birthday! He became 23 years (still) young – we went out to Denny’s, I made a red velvet cake (huge accomplishment for me), and the server gave Matt a whole pint of hot chocolate

  • Matt and I briefly joined the BYU Italian choir 🇮🇹

  • Celebrated Valentine’s Day with a nice dinner and a concert from Jake Shimabukuro (you can check out this video of him playing – he’s incredible)

  • Visited Los Angeles for my brother and his fiancé Hilary’s engagement party (can’t believe they just got married on Sunday!)

  • Took a little side trip while in LA to visit San Juan Capistrano and see Steph

  • Matt’s dad/my father-in-law came out to visit and so did Matt’s brother and family – we took a trip to the Draper Loveland Living Aquarium while they were here and saw the BYU volleyball game

  • I began my application to the BYU MBA program and my friend Noelle gave me some Waffle Love before my GMAT which is probably the main reason I got a good enough score to make it into the program (pretty crazy to think I’m in the program now!)

  • Sled Rock Canyon Park

  • Ended the month with trip to Nashville for a friend’s wedding which included a side-trip to Memphis!

  • Road trip to Northern California for Alex and Marissa’s wedding (one of my suite mates from when I studied abroad in Rome) and we also got to meet up with my cousin Matthew and his boyfriend, as well as Matt’s Uncle Rich!

  • Matt got a promotion at work – he’s now the Volunteer Coordinator at the Provo Bicycle Collective 

  • The Collective also hosted an Olympics that included bike jousting, wheelie contest, tandem racing, track stand, tire patching, and huffy toss (tossing old bikes as far as you can throw them). Matt won me at jousting, but riding a children’s bike is harder than it looks.

  • Our friend put together a concert to support refugees and sang the song she wrote for us at our wedding – it was really special

  • Applied to grad school!

  • Road trip to Denver to see Matt’s favorite band “Vulfpeck” – I bought the tickets for his birthday but didn’t realize it was the same weekend as the Salt Lake Women’s Show (an event I had been working on the previous 5-6 months). I was able to take Friday off, drive to Denver, and then Matt dropped me off at the airport at 6am Saturday so that I could make it to the event and he drove back so he could come to the very end of it and pick me up. It felt like we ran a special kind of marathon. But we did it! The event was awesome too! And then we completely passed out early Saturday night.  

  • Had a camp out in our living room – the tent took up the whole living room floor but it was awesome. Matt even put on the Netflix fireplace movie and made pizza with anchovies and sardines (like we had in Italy on our honeymoon). 

  • I was officially accepted to BYU's MBA program!

  • My mom came for a weekend – we visited the house she lived in in Utah, went for a bike ride through campus with a stop at the Museum of Art and dinner at Brick Oven, had dinner Red Iguana in Salt Lake City, and visited This is the Place

  • Krystal also came to visit! We went on a little day trip to Goblin Valley and Capitol Reef Parks and explored Saratoga Hot Springs

  • Hiked to Stewart Falls

  • Traded in the Honda HR-V, the car that moved us from Tennessee to Utah, for a Nissan Altima

  • Steph came to visit and we went on a Harry Potter themed Heber train ride and to the Homestead Crater

  • We hiked from Sundance to Stewart Falls and also hiked the Y for the first time!

  • Matt rode his first century from Provo to Mona, UT and back (131 miles) before riding the Utah Ultimate Challenge the next week – a 98 mile bike ride, with just under 10,000 feet of climbing 😲

  • Had my last day of work doing graphic design and began the orientation for the MBA program

  • Went to Bear Lake a second time and visited Wyoming on our way up to visit Matt’s brother’s family in Idaho

  • Took a trip to Moab as part of orientation for the Marketing group and had a blast

  • Completed Whole30 which was especially hard with all the traveling — basically eating meat, nuts (no peanuts), fruits and veggies for 30 days. We went to Brick Oven the night before we started and ate a lot of pizza 🍕🍕🍕

  • Traveled with eight classmates in one mini-van to visit companies in Minneapolis and Wisconsin

  • Camped off of Alpine Loop and went to Cascade Springs at sunrise

  • Traveled to Philadelphia, PA with a small group of students to visit Hershey. Dream come true honestly — I did my state report in elementary school on Pennsylvania and have wanted to visit Hershey since then. From Pennsylvania I traveled to Detroit, MI for a recruiting conference 💼

  • Visited friends in Detroit including Paige who took me out to lunch, and Emily and Brett who I hadn’t seen since we left Nashville

  • For our anniversary, Matt got us tickets to see Ryan Hamilton because I love him and his Netflix show, “Happy Face” so much (I’ve watched it 9 times and counting) – we sat right in front of his mom!

  • Watched General Conference and attended Matt’s mission reunion

  • Enjoyed a “Coco” themed lunch on campus together

  • Had an impromptu and fun visit with Matt’s mom to look at houses in Utah (they officially moved here from Tennessee in November!)

  • Went to Lagoon for the first time with our friends Patty and Devon – Matt tried hard not to get too spooked by all of the scary characters walking around and avoiding most of the haunted houses 👻

  • Flew to Hawaii for my cousin, Tyler’s wedding to Caitlin

  • Dressed up as M&M’s for Halloween – went to a trunk or treat with family up in Rexburg

  • Went to the Idaho Potato Museum!

  • Accepted internship offers: I’ll be working for Johnson & Johnson this summer in Indiana and Matt will be working with Northrup Grumman in California!

  • Matt built a rocket! It was for a student launch competition out in the desert west of Utah Lake. It didn't go exactly as planned, but he hopes to take some lessons learned and make a better one in the spring 🚀

  • I had the opportunity to travel to New Jersey to learn more about J&J and took a very quick trip to New York to visit my friend Whitney

  • I was also able to visit companies in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA with about 30 other students in the MBA program

  • Matt and I spent Thanksgiving in Los Angeles – we saw lots of family and ate lots of good food. We were also able to celebrate my grandma's 88th birthday in Palm Springs 🎂

  • Finished my first semester of grad school and passed all my classes 🎉

  • Matt and I finished reading the fourth Harry Potter book together and watched the accompanying movie (our goal is to finish them all and then go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Los Angeles and Orlando)

  • Watched Matt hip-hop dance battle finals in his Urban and Street Dance Performance class

  • Celebrated my 25th birthday and spent my first Christmas away from Los Angeles – Matt and his brother Eric made me a yule log cake and they all made me feel special

  • Attended my friend Jess’ endowment at the Idaho Falls temple and stopped by the Museum of Clean on our way home

  • Took my last sunrise photo of the year on December 31st to complete my new year’s resolution 100%

What a year. And so many trips! Documenting all that is really special just to recognize all the things we’ve been able to do individually and together and all the many people’s lives we get to be part of. We’re excited and nervous for all 2019 has to bring with the learning, the summer internships and studying abroad. It will be hard and challenging at times (it already has been!), but it will be worth it.