2018 – In a Nutshell

If I had to sum up my year in a phrase it would be “taking chances and learning how to find my place”.  It was a year of stepping out of my comfort zone and growing. I felt like I was pushed and pulled and all together crumpled into a ball but like all growing pains, you come out on the other end alive and all the better for it.

I like that I get to share my experiences with you. You’ll never find any glitz and glamour with me. I’ll never be the cute selfies with the perfect eyelashes, perfect poses, and let’s get real, my hair is always kind of a mess. But truth is I work hard and cry harder because I’m me. Plus, if I’m being VERY honest, who gives a shit what I look like when I’m at the mall or in my car. I don’t haha!

If you’re interested at all or just want to know what a full-time working mother of two girls in their now early 20’s, who’s been married for 24 years, and running her own side hustle (like me) learned this year in 2018, well I’ll tell you! Also make sure you have your coffee because this is our ‘over the internet girl-time’:

Your Shine Sign:

  • I learned what it was like to be a first-year small business owner since this was technically my first year being one …and in a nut shell it was like a tidal wave and I don’t even know how to swim!
  • I semi-learned the difference between “cost of goods sold” and “expenses” (free tax advice is always welcome).
  • I learned that I can’t do it all even if I tried and manual labor sucks when I’m cramming 500 small signs into one month!
  • I learned I HAVE to say NO to some things but because I didn’t this year, I now know how to plan better for “next time”.
  • I learned that public speaking isn’t a fear, it’s just a mountain and my story is worth sharing.
  • I learned that it’s ok for vendors you meet to do amazing while you’re grasping for straws. Truth of the matter is we all have the same end goal and we don’t forget our friends 😊
  • I learned that some of the biggest rewards don’t come from the payday at the end but simply smiling faces that you know you left your mark on when shouting “prove them wrong”.
  • I learned that I’m just a statistic on Instagram and it knows nothing of my worth.


  • I learned that even when we pursue our dreams, it’s easy for our kids to sit on the sidelines and cheer us on but they can’t sit there forever. Your cheer squad is important so don’t forget you need to be a cheerleader too!
  • I learned that it’s ok to not hold the “Mom” title all the time. I managed my girls for a long time now and it’s ok for them to live their own life in their own way.
  • I learned that kids no matter how old, still lead from example. Be the best you can be so they can be the best you know they are (even when they think otherwise).
  • I also learned the meaning of sticks-and-stones and remembered that words do hurt unfortunately but they don’t last and they are just words.


  • I learned that no matter how much time has passed or how much you think YOU’VE learned, it’s not always true. Ask the questions and listen to the answers and you’ll be surprised at how much you didn’t know. I didn’t realize how much I don’t listen, I apparently just love to talk!
  • I learned that I put a bar over my head that I never quite exceeded. My advice, just don’t.
  • I learned that it’s ok to plan amazing trips!! (But Hallmark movies make edits too and I’m sure they have a blooper reel!)
  • I learned that I’m the dreamer and he’s the doer.
  • I learned that I couldn’t have done this last year without Sam like AT ALL. He grounded me, kept me in check and reminded me that lots of my crazy-out-of-control-deadlines– I set for myself. He doesn’t realize this but he’s helping set the pace for 2019

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So, in a nutshell it’s been quite a fascinating year. And please let it be reflected that this list is just an iota of the things learned and experienced this year. I checked all my boxes and then some. I didn’t quite read 12 self- help books I set at the beginning of the year but I got to 8!! (woot -woot). I had ups and downs but mainly ups thank God! I was lucky enough to stand along some amazing strong women and men this year whose businesses grew through their own struggles, learning curves and in some cases catastrophes. I was lucky enough to bask along in the sunshine of some family and friends as they did amazing things this year like BUY THEIR FIRST FREAKING HOUSE!!! AMAZING!

I have plans for 2019 but as with each year it’s hard to say goodbye to the one passing for the memories made, the tears shed, the growth and the comradery. One of my biggest achievements isn’t even listed on here and it doesn’t involve Your Shine Sign nor my husband nor kids. It involves a group of boys growing into men whose lives I’m proud to have been a part of. Even if just shining a little bit of brightness into their lives on a few Wednesdays in 2018.

C.S. Lewis said it best when he said, “Don’t shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you, others can see Him.” And that’s fully what I intend to do.  Happy New Year!

With Love,


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