aunt, camino de santiago, chocolate lab, family, gratitude, love


If you have an Instagram account, you’ve probably seen the top 9 posts recently. You can enter your handle and you’ll get a photo of the top 9 liked posts from the past year. When I checked out mine a week ago, I wasn’t surprised by what I saw. I think these 9 photos sum up 2018 pretty well for me.

The first half of 2018 was preparation for traveling to Spain and walking part of the Camino de Santiago. This involved lots of hikes at Fort Ben with my backpack and Denali. This also involved many trips to REI to find just the right shoes and other equipment I needed. Although I was gone for close to three weeks, the time went by quickly. In those days away I spent time with my mom and met some wonderful people who made great traveling companions. I’d love to travel like that again someday… walking through a country provides a very different travel experience and one I thoroughly enjoyed! That pilgrimage still impacts me today, and I hope, will continue to impact me for years to come.

I also ran in several races in 2018. Half marathon 13, 14 and 15. I also achieved a pretty substantial PR, which was unexpected and amazing.

2018 brought a new member to the Brock household. We thought we were getting one puppy, but we ended up with another and he’s the one we were meant to have! Although Denali isn’t always thrilled to have a puppy around, he does keep her more active, which was the point. Steve is goofy, cuddly and just what we needed. He’s also so darn cute that my heart hurts sometimes just looking at him!

I didn’t quilt as much this year, but even on a slow year I still sold 11 quilts, made 1 for a co-worker, made 1 for myself and 1 for a family Christmas gift! I also made my first jelly roll rug, which was clearly a hit on Instagram!

In addition to the rug, that post highlighted another major event in 2018 — installing a new floor! This project took forever, but we are so glad to have it done! The new floor led to new doors, new trim and a new toilet. It wasn’t easy and we wanted to quit, but we stuck with it and love the final results!

Not pictured in this top 9 also includes:

  • Time with family both in Indiana and Tennessee
  • Work trips to Dallas and Houston
  • Vacation to Michigan
  • Successful work events
  • Lots of books read and TV shows watched
  • Leading a women’s retreat
  • Nanny’s passing
  • Birthdays
  • Wonderings and dreamings of what may be next
  • Writing and reflecting and candle lighting
  • Meals, walks, laughs, hard work, naps and conversations with my husband
  • Star and moon gazing
  • Cleaning up poop in the yard, lol
  • Lots and lots of walks with the pups

I’m almost ready to start thinking about 2019 and what it will bring. But, not quite yet… I’m so grateful for 2018. It wasn’t perfect. There were some really hard moments. I cried a lot. And, I laughed and celebrated and explored. I saw the clouds from 2016 begin to part… I don’t know if I’ll ever have clear skies, but as long as I can feel the sun’s warmth on my skin and see the moon and stars on a partly cloudy night, I’ll be okay. 2018 offered me so many gifts that I’ll carry for the rest of my life. On New Years Eve, I’ll end the year with a grateful heart.


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