Blog, New Years, Series

A Year in Review | New Years 2018

No matter where it takes me, even if it breaks me, I’m unapologetically all in.

Like many people, I’m not good at New Year’s resolutions. I make them and abandon them a couple weeks later. That’s why going into 2018, I made goals instead rather than trying to change a bunch of things about myself and looking back at them I didn’t meet most of them. Because that’s okay. I met the important ones like aiming for and achieving straight As in college this year or taking care of myself better.

Something that I noticed was that people were using a word to outline their focus for the new year. I didn’t notice my word was “unapologetically” until about halfway through the year. It came from Kelsea Ballerini’s album that is the most meaningful and influential album in my life. I wrote more about that here so I won’t go into a lot of detail about it again. That’s how I tried to live my 2018 and let me tell you this year went quickly but also felt like there were 3 years in one. A lot happened. A lot of good. Some bad. Challenges, changes, and growth happened.

In comparison, 2018 was far better than 2017 ever was and I’m so grateful for that. I wanted to do another year in review that I did last year because it was fun to see everything I did within a year. This year was filled with a year of firsts, the unexpected, falling in love, anxiety, so many concerts, challenges – some I’m glad happened and some I wish hadn’t happened – but all in all more highs than lows this year. I could cry thinking about how much better this year was as compared to last even despite the low lows of this year.

And so another trip around the sun as almost finished and here are some of the things I did during that time:

J A N U A R Y:

The year started off just as normal as it had been before and continued that way throughout the whole month until the end of the month when I meet my boyfriend (not pictured).

The one where I get Andi Dorman’s book and it becomes one of my favorites.
The one where I’m trying desperately to grow out my bangs. They were a bad idea looking back.
The one where I find the cutest Bachelor-themed candle at Bath & Body Works but didn’t buy it because I didn’t like the smell.

F E B R U A R Y:

The one where Max and I have only seen each other in person for the fourth time and we’re already looking at each other like this. I’m sorry we’re gross and adorable.

The one where Max and I went on our fifth date to see Kelsea Ballerini and Walker Hayes in Milwaukee, WI.

M A R C H:

The one where I got my first blog collaboration with JORD Watches. It was my only one of the year but I’m still really proud of it.
The one where my Instagram reaches 1k followers!

The one where it’s St. Patrick’s Day and Max tells me he loves me. Now we have two reasons to celebrate the holiday!

The one where Max takes me to my first hockey game.

A P R I L:

The one where it’s Easter and our first holiday together. We met each other’s extended family, too!

The one where Max takes me to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago for the first time for me.

The one where it’s Max’s 21st birthday and I go to my first Chicago Cubs game. Sorry, dad – I come from a White Sox family.

The one where Max takes me to Navy Pier for the first time for me and we go to The Lonely Biscuits’ Concert in Chicago.

The one where I take Max on a picnic and he helps me take blog pictures. It was quite chilly out, but we pressed on for the sake pictures of course.
The one where Max and I take blog pictures…again. But this time for my Bachelor recaps.
The one where we take more blog pictures. He did this because I was frustrated with the way other pictures turned out – he’s the best.

M A Y:

The one where my cousin makes her first communion and I cry because she’s getting so big.

The one where Max plays guitar in public and I’m so proud of him. So we celebrate with the tastiest donut ice cream sandwiches.
The one where it’s Mother’s Day.

The one where there’s a lot of love. And flower fountains!
The one where it’s Memorial Day.

J U N E:


The one where Max takes me to see Taylor Swift for the first time ever! You can read about here.
The one where I have a dance recital.

The one where we all have too much fun at a family birthday party. 2 of my favorite people: my younger cousin and Maxwell.

The one where I take Max to Prairie Fest in my hometown for his first time.

The one where we have delicious cookie ice cream sandwiches. We made getting new ice cream from different and cool places an accidental thing during the summer and I’m not mad about it.

The one where Max and I go to the Taste of Joliet and see Chris Lane, Chase Rice, and Brothers Osborne.

The one where we try rolled ice cream and go to an arcade. I can still taste the bananas on that ice cream because they were that tasty. And we also got to watch them make the rolled ice cream which was really cool!

J U L Y:

The month of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The one where Max and I go to Summerfest to see Foster the People in Milwaukee, WI.


The one where I go to Nashville, TN with my parents. You can read about that here.
The one where I see Max after not seeing him for over a week. I missed his cute face.

The one where we go to Olive Garden and on a cute walk. How can I not be in love with a plate of pasta in front of my across from such a beautiful boy and breadsticks off to the side!?

A U G U S T:

The one where Max sends me roses.
The one where we take more Bachelor recap photos. What you don’t see is my terrified of falling into the pond for these photos.
The one where I start my junior year of college. One year until I graduate!

S E P T E M B E R:

The month where nothing really happens except I age a year.

The one where it’s my 21st birthday! We spent the afternoon at a pumpkin farm and eating onion rings – which that was also a first for me.

O C T O B E R:

The one where we carve pumpkins.

The one where we go to a really cute pumpkin farm. You can read about that day here.

The one where we go to the Lincoln Park Zoo again to see the Fall lights. This was honestly a disappointment light wise because they really didn’t have much up and the Christmas display is so much better.

The one where we celebrate all the family birthdays that happen in the Fall. Which is a lot.
The one where the trees on my campus look their prettiest. It makes being on campus a little more bearable.
The one where it’s our first Halloween. We went as Ross & Rachel.

N O V E M B E R:

The one where it snows for the first time of the season.

The one where we go into the city to see the Lights Festival on the Magnificent Mile. Which you can read about here.

The one where it’s our first Thanksgiving together. And my cousin proves that she can pick me up.
The one where I cut my hair.

D E C E M B E R:

The one where we have another city adventure and we see The Lonely Biscuits again for the second time this year. And I go to a bar for the first time.
The one where I see It’s a Wonderful Life for the first time with Max and his family.
The one where I take Max on a tour of my campus and work. I willingly went back to school the day after I finished my Fall semester.

The one where Max takes me ice skating for my first time ever. We also go to a country music-themed bar.

The one where it’s our first Christmas Eve together.

The one where it’s our first Christmas together. A good day and a hard day all combined into one that is now one of my favorites that I will hold close to my heart.

And this is our first New Year’s Eve together which involves lots of snacks, couch sitting, and watching Taylor Swift’s reputation Tour documentary on Netflix.

Above all, this year only reinforced what last year taught me: that I am strong and weak and that it is possible to be both – and that’s not always a bad thing. It was a year filled with love I never thought I would find and anxiety I never thought I would experience. I’m so grateful for this year and everyone that helped make it what it was. You can’t have an entire year with all good and no bad – it’s not realistic. With all the good that happened this year, I will accept the bad that happened. I’m so excited about what 2019 will bring me and I have a good feeling about it.

So, I will continue into the new year with a word to outline the next 12 months and coincidentally stick with the theme of having the word revolve around songs. 2018 was unapologetically. 2019 is life changes.

You wake up, ain’t nothing the same and life changes. You can’t stop it, just hop on the train and you never know what’s gonna happen, you make your plans and you hear God laughing

Finally, here’s to 2018 – I’m sad it’s leaving because it was one of my best and most memorable years even with all the hardships it brought me because the good by far outweighs the low lows. And here’s to 2019 – it has quite the year to compete with but I’m hopeful for its outcomes.

What was your favorite part about 2018?

I hope you all have a safe and happy new year!

2017’s A Year in Review

You may also like...


  1. Girl it made me soo so happy looking through your entire year, and remembering reading those blog posts during the year when you first posted them!! Hahha! And your smiles are so beautiful and genuine and warm and you could just tell those happy moments shining through! My fav part in the end is: ” I am strong and weak and that it is possible to be both”. Wow that’s crazy deep. This year I learned the exact same. TBH I can’t wait for a new fresh start, because as many good parts as 2018 had, it was really draining on me. Can’t wait for a new year to start over. I know most things don’t change, but it’s still nice to be hopeful 🙂 So happy you found love, you seem the happiest when you’re with your boo, and it’s adorable and inspiring! Wishing you all the happiness in the world next year! <3

    1. Kellie Marie says:

      Oh my gosh, I freaking love you so much! I appreciate all your sweet and encouraging comments throughout the year and I can’t wait to cheer you on some more in the New Year! I’m excited about a fresh start, too! You’re so right that it is nice to be hopeful with a symbolic start to a year. Ugh I just love you so dang much and I wish you all the love and happiness and good things in the New Year🤗💕💕

  2. Denise H says:

    This post was a joy to read, it was really nice to get an insight into your year and I am so glad you had more highs the lows, you radiate happiness in many of these pics! Happy New Year, I hope it’s everything you want it to be and more. Xx

    1. Kellie Marie says:

      Aw, thank you so much!! You’re the sweetest and I hope you have a happy New Year filled with happiness and good health💕

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.