My 2018 Year In Review + What's Ahead

 

Hello 2019! A new Momma Society, a look back and the exciting things to come!

It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. I think the same thing every year as the calendar switches over on December 31st. 365 days—some so long I wondered how I would get through them, yet some so short I laid my head down wishing they would never end. Those darn paradoxes of motherhood!

This year was challenging for me, but it was filled with so many great memories. 2018 brought big changes for our family. Great ones. Ones that left us filled with excitement. Ones that took getting used to. Ones that didn’t pan out exactly like we were imagining.

With 2018, clarity came. The newborn fog lifted. Adventures abounded. I connected with wonderful new people. There were lots of cheerful hellos and an equal amount of teary good-byes.

January

2018 Year In Review | January | Momma Society

January arrived and we rang in the New Year at 9:00pm. Although I had conquered naptime with 2 kids, we were in the midst of what would be 9 more months of sleepless nights.   Mid-January, JD, Isla and I packed our suitcase for a weekend trip to visit my dad in Greenville. We were immediately wooed by the charm of the city. We headed home to ponder if this was the big adventure we were waiting for. Could we make a cross-country move?

2018 Year In Review | January | Momma Society

February

2018 Year In Review | February | Momma Society

Before we knew it, February was here.  Things were starting to fall into place for us to make the move to Greenville. We were crazy excited and nervous all at once. I reflected on life as a preschool mom. We updated our living room in anticipation of our house going on the market. Valentine’s day rolled around and JD and I celebrated 12 incredible years together with a hot balloon ride over Phoenix. It was pure magic. I rounded up Disney outfits in preparation for an exciting trip ahead. And then we shared the big news with the world—we were officially moving to Greenville come Summer.

2018 Year In Review | February | Momma Society

March

2018 Year In Review | March | Momma Society

 Spring was on the horizon and my sweet Brody turned 3! We celebrated with a bash at the Phoenix Zoo. I spent a Saturday morning with my friend Dana taking milk bath nursing photos with Isla. Pictures I will forever treasure. We frantically worked on getting our house cleaned and packed up and ready to go on the market. On March 14th, we packed up our suitcases and headed to California to start our big adventure to Tokyo. That very same day, we put our house up for sale. We walked miles and miles each day through Tokyo. Taking in the neon lights, the scents, the culture. We ate our way through the city—fluffy omelets, massive oysters at the fish market, the cotton candy, the ramen, and the sushi, oh the sushi! We ventured to Disney Sea—it was freezing and claustrophobic, but Brody was on cloud 9. We said good-bye to the amazing country and arrived home to a “SALE PENDING” sign in our driveway. Shit got real.

2018 Year In Review | March | Momma Society

April

2018 Year In Review | April | Momma Society

April was a blur. We packed and purged and spent hours every day stalking Zillow until we found a home in Greenville. We squeezed in as much time as we physically could with friends and family. We had our first ER visit after Isla choked on an Easter sticker---she laid an egg a few days later :) We headed back out to Greenville—this time with both kiddos in tow---to check out the house we had put an offer on in person. We were starting to get so excited.

2018 Year In Review | April | Momma Society

May

2018 Year In Review | May | Momma Society

May came and the temperatures quickly began to heat up. I continued to struggle with a baby who did not like to sleep as I shared 6 sleep mistakes I had made. Sleep deprivation seemed to be a theme through a lot of the year. We ate our heart out at the Peach Festival at Schnepf Farms. We headed to Flagstaff to watch my brother and SIL walk across the stage at graduation. And we had the most perfect night under olive trees eating pizza and drinking sangria as we said farewell to so many wonderful friends + family.

2018 Year In Review | May | Momma Society

June

2018 Year In Review | June | Momma Society

June 3rd we boarded a one-way flight to Greenville. We stepped off of the plane to a burst of humidity. I remember standing at the rental car counter as we all poured sweat. Greenville in the Summer was already proving to be hotter than Arizona.

We drove up to our new home. The excitement, the thrill of walking through the doors for the first time, checking out every cabinet and closet and room. The side of the house was covered in blue hydrangea bushes. I was in awe. We spent the next couple of weeks unpacking and getting acquainted. Isla’s nursery was the first room completed. We started meeting the neighbors. We went strawberry picking. We strolled through the Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning eating a loaf of bread from the Swamp Rabbit Café. Afternoons were spent running through the sprinkler in the yard. Greenville was everything we had imagined and more.

2018 Year In Review | June | Momma Society

At the end of June, I headed to Nashville for a weekend with Julie Solomon and a few other bloggers/creatives. It was so empowering. I left with clarity on what I needed and wanted to be doing—serving new moms + mommas-to-be. June was so very good to us.

July

2018 Year In Review | July | Momma Society

Sweet, sweet summertime. We started meeting new friends. I couldn’t get over how kind and welcoming people in the South were. We loaded up our car for the fourth of July and drove to our favorite place—The Outer Banks. I shared my favorite beach gear. We laid on the beach for an entire week.  It was bliss. We came home and planted an herb garden---I was hopeful the climate of South Carolina would solve my black thumb. That did not happen. I hired 3 incredible moms/women to help with some of the day-to-day tasks of Momma Society. I am so grateful for them. My nursing relationship was beginning to near an end so I rounded up my favorite nursing and postpartum dresses.

2018 Year In Review | July | Momma Society

August

2018 Year In Review | August | Momma Society

We blinked and it was August. Isla turned 1 and JD turned 30! We threw a peach-themed bash in honor of our new Southern Belle. The sweetest new friends came over to celebrate with us. We welcomed our first visitors to Greenville and had so much fun showing them around our new hometown. Brody started Preschool and we watched his confidence blossom—it was heartwarming. Isla started walking and I rounded up my favorite shoes for first time walkers.

2018 Year In Review | August | Momma Society

September

2018 Year In Review | September | Momma Society

Labor day arrived and so did my baby of 2018—the launch of Birth Prep! A labor of love, indeed! My heart was so full holding the hands of mommas-to-be as they prepped for motherhood. I turned 30! Fall was in the air—our first true Fall. We watched each day as more and more leaves on our trees started to turn the most beautiful shades of red and yellow and orange.

2018 Year In Review | September | Momma Society

October

2018 Year In Review | October | Momma Society

The calendar rolled over to October and we delved in the glory of Fall. Apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Sunflower fields and jumping in piles of leaves. I started seeking out contributors for Momma Society for 2019. I rounded up my favorite kid’s clothing pieces from Amazon Fashion (hello prime shipping). We headed to Atlanta for a weekend and visited the pumpkin patches, sunflower fields and apple orchard. All things Fall. My brother got married and we all danced the night away under twinkling lights in Nashville. I officially weaned Isla—she had a crazy growth spurt, I had some equally crazy hormones. I tested almost a dozen different diaper rash creams and shared the lowdown on my favorites. I hosted another Momma Society book exchange. And we dressed up in my favorite Halloween costume to date as we pulled Brody and Isla around our new neighborhood in our “ice cream truck”.

201 8 Year In Review | October | Momma Society

November

2018 Year In Review | November | Momma Society

The holiday season began. From best holiday pajamas to gift guides for every age group, it was a busy month. We battled through colds and I shared my recipe for elderberry syrup. We got rear-ended and a mountain of chiro visits, insurance calls and rental cars followed. We celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary with a weekend escape to Charleston—just JD and I. It was glorious. The days became shorter, darkness starting creeping up by 5pm and the dreary wintery days became tough on me emotionally.  For the first time since our move, I felt homesick—for that Arizona sunshine that I had taken for granted for so long.

2018 Year In Review | November | Momma Society

December

2018 Year In Review | December | Momma Society

Before I knew it, it was December. We had fun checking out the new Chuck E Cheese in Greenville. We were still dealing with chiro appointments 3 times a week, rental cars, and insurance claims. Terrible headaches had me in bed for 3 days straight. I found myself sitting in a doctor’s office for almost an hour as anxiety, stress, and depression bubbled to the surface. I returned home with clarity I needed to get back to taking care of myself.

My grandma went to hospice and passed away shortly after. We headed to Florida to celebrate her life. I soaked in the Florida sunshine for 2 days and it felt so good. My other grandma had a stroke.

I took some time off and we headed to the one place that has always soothed my soul—the beach. We celebrated Christmas week in a beach house in Nags Head. Brody’s reaction Christmas morning opening the powerwheels toy he had spent months asking Santa for was one I will never forget. Oh the joy of childhood! We visited the chapel we were married in and the house we celebrated our wedding week in. The happiest of memories flooded my mind. Christmas week was refreshing.

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So what’s ahead for 2019?

You may have noticed Momma Society got a major makeover! I spent much of the year working on the long-term plans for Momma Society.  It became clear a site refresh would be key as Momma Society transitions from a blog to a website dedicated to supporting modern moms and moms-to-be.

I hope you will love it as much as I do. Our old content has been better organized for you to find. We’ve added tons of FREE resources (even a massive FREE 13-page postpartum planner on the homepage!). I added a favorites section where I sourced nearly everything in our home for you so it’s easier to find the products I use and love. And a shop page where you can easily find Birth Prep + some other exciting things to come.

I hope you will have fun poking around on the new site, sharing it with your friends and discovering helpful content.

Let’s talk about the Momma Society Agenda for 2019

  • Contributors! We have added 6 incredible contributors to Momma Society for 2019. We spent a few weeks sorting through dozens of applications to pick moms with diverse stories, careers and talents to bring you a fresh spin on motherhood and pregnancy. You can take a peek at these awesome women on our contributor’s page.

  • Monthly Online Birth Prep Classes! We’re moving from quarterly Birth Prep classes to MONTHLY!! I am so excited about this. We will be changing the format to be more personalized and interactive. In order to do this, I’ll have to keep the monthly class sizes super small, so I’ll be mentoring the first 8 moms who sign up each month. January’s class opens for enrollment on Tuesday. This is the stuff that fills my heart.

  • More video content on Instagram stories, IGTV and maybe even YouTube…expect to see more helpful video content coming your way!

  • Stepping away from the podcast. This has been a tough decision that has weighed on my heart for the past month. I loved co-hosting the I Like Your Mom Bun podcast with my dear friend, Nicole. We created 20 incredible episodes encouraging and supporting moms in their struggles with finding mom friends. It helped me immensely as I adjusted to a new life in Greenville. But after my doctor’s appointment in December, I realized I was spreading myself too thin. It breaks my heart a little, but deep down I am reminded of Lara Casey’s analogy that sometimes you must prune to grow.

Thank-YOU for all of the support and love over the past 4 years! It’s surreal to think that I am starting my 5th year working on Momma Society. I’m forever grateful for your support by visiting the site, sharing posts from Momma Society with your friends, and sharing your experiences over on our FB and IG. I continue to learn so much from you.

Cheers to a blissful 2019!

xo Mandy

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