This is my official “top nine.” The one the app pulls up for you and says, “Here! This was your year!” And these were my most liked posts on mrsjamieshugart from 2018.
While I actually think this Top 9 did a pretty dang good job, I still stare at it and think, “How on earth can my 2018 ever fit into nine little photographs?”
According to this photo, 2018 was our Golden Retriever Blue (who is quite important, don’t get me wrong), our new furniture, our NEW HOUSE (first time home buyers—holla!), us, and adventures. Not a bad representation, but probably not exactly what I would choose.
2018 in a nutshell:
- Will and I spent the first three months apart. We took our engagement photos and then he was whisked away.
- Just as soon as he got back, we got married, honeymooned in Maine, lived a few more weeks in North Carolina, and then packed all of our possessions into a storage unit for safe keeping.
- We drove over two thousand miles away to Arizona to spend four months with each other, with work, and with the desert.
- I launched my blog, we road tripped to Utah, explored several national parks (including the Grand Canyon), spent a weekend in San Diego, and ate all of the tacos we could stand.
- After four months of desert living, we began our trek back to North Carolina and I got rear ended on the first day of our drive. My trusty little car was a total loss.
- Just a few days later we arrived in North Carolina and closed on our house.
- The next day we emptied our storage unit (that had flooded in our absence) and discovered that basically all of our furniture was toast.
- Within 5 days, we bought a house, lost all of our furniture, picked out our puppy, and bought a new (to us) Toyota.
- Just two weeks later we brought our Golden girl Blue home. The first month was extremely overwhelming and all of the emotions of the car accident and storage flood caught up with us during our lack of sleep during puppy and potty training.
- Will started his new job with a much busier schedule that will demand a lot from us in 2019.
- I started working almost full time as a photographer, being self employed and working a lot from home.
WHAT. A. CRAZY. YEAR. WE. HAD. If I could choose my own top nine for this crazy year, these photos would be it.
My baby nephew was born and adopted in February. This is what I had to say at the time:
For this child I have prayed.
Little baby Harkni, how we have prayed. And we know now, why it all happened the way it did. Because you were absolutely always His plan, and without the years of waiting and praying and sadness, we wouldn’t get to love you the way we get to love you. We wouldn’t have YOU, and what a beautiful and miraculous thing that there is now this precious new person in the world. And that precious new person is ours to love.
We are so blessed. We are so happy. We are so in love. Our family is growing this year, and 2018 is The Best Year Ever.
With all of our hearts, baby Harkni.
My bridal shower!
This was a crazy season for me. I was stressed beyond measure (planning is NOT my thing) with the wedding, Will was far far away from me, and I was working all hours of the night and day with my full time job, photography on the side, and worship team shenanigans. My amazing work family threw me a surprise bridal shower that was extremely generous and made me feel so loved. My bridesmaid/bestie and her mama also threw me this shower on the day I got my hair done for the wedding (conveniently) at this adorable and delicious restaurant downtown with some of my very favorite ladies.
May you all feel loved the way I was blessed to feel so loved.
In April, we got married in my parents’ backyard under sunny blue skies. I wore lace and tule and we didn’t have a first look. I watched all the guests arrive through a slit in the blinds of my parents’ master bedroom and ogled my fiancé in his tux from afar. Will cried when he saw me and we said sweet simple vows. We snapped a couple pictures and then spent the reception with our loved ones before we jumped in a very decorated car that told passersby to honk, JUST MARRIED! and drove to Raleigh to stay the night in a fancy hotel before setting off the next morning for our honeymoon.
On our honeymoon, we went to the beach, but in coats. We didn’t get tan, or drink cocktails, or go snorkeling. We flew to Maine—my dream vacation—and stayed in a little cottage outside Bar Harbor on an island called Mount Desert. We drank wine and ate blueberry preserves. Our first little breakfast, I got crepes with Maine blueberries and we drank our way through the island’s coffee supply that week. We wore activewear and fleece and hiked up mountains to see the views. We looked off into the distance of the Atlantic on a very clear day and had lobster multiple times at fancy restaurants on the bay. Will tried a glass of twenty dollar scotch and we did a Marvel marathon to prepare for the release of Infinity War.
We even went to see a lighthouse that I had been ogling pictures of for years. I had saved a photo of the very lighthouse to my phone exactly two years prior. To the day.
Our Arizona adventures!
After packing up and moving, discovering hotel and desert life, and launching our blog, we began to realize our dream of visiting as many National Parks as possible, beginning with the Coronado National Memorial. We love hiking, camping, and exploring. We were stoked when we found out that Coronado has a cave that you can explore without a guide! We hiked the half mile trail up the mountainside and then spent a long time exploring the depths of the cave with one headlamp and one sort of okay flashlight.
We then drove up a windy, dirt road to a view point. If you turn around, you can see well into Mexico. It was beautiful and green because of monsoon season, and we were so blessed to experience it.
The Grand Canyon
Another dream of mine! And a culmination of all of my goals and aspirations in Arizona. I did a work out program called 80 Day Obsession specifically to be able to keep up with my super fit husband on all of our adventuring in the desert. At the Grand Canyon, we got up around 3am to make it to the rim in time to watch the sun rise. We then hiked the rim trail for over twelve miles and spent over 13 hours in the presence of the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.
A Cacti Goodbye to Arizona
This photo is a great representation of our Arizona adventure. On our last weekend, we drove up to Saguaro National Park to catch the sunset among some of the biggest cacti I have ever laid eyes on. We had a mini photo shoot with my camera on a tripod and the remote in my hand. It gave us a moment to slow down and cherish every adventure we had been on, the four months we had gone through just the two of us, and this incredible way to start our marriage. It was a bitter sweet last adventure in the desert, but it was probably one of the best ideas we have had to date.
All of our last two months of 2018 wrapped into one photo, with our new house and our new furniture and our new pup. What a whirlwind the last 70 days of 2018 were! I’ll be honest, I hope we don’t go through any more of those, but WHEN we do I will be grateful to do it with Will by my side.
Last year was a blast! (Most of it!) I was a little sad to see it go, to be honest. 2018 was very very good for my soul. For our marriage. For our future as the Shugarts. We are so blessed to have had 2018.
Now here we head into the unknown of a new year. Our bags are unpacked. We are setting down roots. We have plans and adventures and explorations to do. The world is a big place, so let’s hop to it, shall we?
Until next time,