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2018: My Year in Review

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I cannot believe that 2018 is practically almost over, can you? It feels like one minute I woke up in January, blinked and here we are, almost in 2019! It’s crazy how fast time flies, but I am so thankful for another year.

As you know, it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t share a complete recap of my 2018 with all of you all, so here we go.


January is the first month of the year and, this year, I couldn’t wait until it was over. January 5th, my oldest sister’s birthday was coincidentally the day my whole family had been dreading. My mother experienced open heart surgery for a double valve replacement caused by a-fib and it was absolutely terrifying!

Thankfully, God was with her through it all and, even though the next few weeks were hard, she survived!!!

January allowed me to learn to never take your family for granted! Seriously, family is the best gift God gives you, enjoy it!


February wasn’t too eventful. My mother was still recovering from surgery and still required lot of help.

The only thing that really stands out with February was winning tickets to visit Monster Jam at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh!

It was our kid’s first time watching Monster Jam and it was a complete blast!

Later on in February, we visited Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and stayed at a hotel during a visit to the Great American Outdoor Show. While we were visiting, we also experienced a bit of Hershey Park.


March was my husband and mines 9th wedding anniversary! After being together for so long and going through so much together, it’s safe to say, Mike is stuck with me forever! Haha.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember anything that happened in March, so I’ll move on to April.


April is a big month in my household. All three of my kids were born in April and the festivities never stop – all month long!

We spent the whole month attempting to celebrate their birthdays the best way we could and succeeded. Although their biggest birthday surprise didn’t come until the start of May…


May is my birthday month and the month we were able to cross off a few first on our list like:

  • Taking the kids to Build-a-Bear
  • Visiting New Jersey
  • Visiting Delaware
  • Exploring Philadelphia
  • Trying an actual Philly Cheesesteak

While on our trip to Philadelphia, we surprised our kids with a visit to Monster Jam to see their favorite Monster Trucks like; Grace Digger, Max-D, and Mohawk.

May was also the month my family drove to Ohio and adopted our sweet Teddy, a Yorkshire Terrier.


June was the month the kids finally got out of school for the summer and the month we traded our very loyal Volkswagen in for a Minivan.

While we tried to make any excuse to travel in the caravan, we headed to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where we had to make a very important life decision – move there or stay where we were at.

Ultimately, we didn’t move there, but we are still keeping our hearts open to find that right place.


July was the month we had to decide, what big thing we were going to do with the kids in the summer. We originally decided to head South with the plan being to stop in Gatlinburg, Tennessee on the way down and go to the beach in Florida later on.

Unfortunately, we never made it to the beach, but we did make a visit to Gatlinburg. While there we visited Ripley’s 8 Attractions and the Hollywood Wax Museum.

Later during the month of July, we also took the kids to visit their very first airport, Pittsburgh International Airport.


August is my husband’s birthday month and the month the kids started back to school. We had planned to be settled somewhere by August, but unfortunately, couldn’t make the decision where we wanted to live and decided to wait a little longer to see where God wanted us to be.

All three kids started school in August and it was so bittersweet. It was the first time our kids had all been away from us, all day, and things felt weird for a few weeks.


September is both of my parents birthday month and another month that seemed to come and go faster than I remember. I can’t really think of anything that happened in September, so I’ll move on to October.


October was the month of Halloween and the month our family got to go visit Marvel Universe Live in Pittsburgh! Since our kids are huge Marvel fans, we were so excited to check out our first ever live event!

Marvel Universe Live completely exceeded our expectations and I recommend it to any Marvel fan!


November was Thanksgiving and another one of those months that kind of passed by without anything worth remembering. Thanksgiving was nice, but a bittersweet reminder of how much things are changing and you can’t do anything to stop it.


Oh, December! It wouldn’t be December without a few scares. It started out with an offer to basically fly out to Nebraska and change our whole lives, like now! After giving it some thought, life kind of made the final decision for us.

My mother was hospitalized for what we thought was kidney issues, but was thankfully just another health scare – for now.

Then a week later, Michael started having some health issues and ended up going to the hospital via ambulance. While I really thought it was nothing to worry about, the hospital decided to keep him for a night to check his heart since he’s been a type 1 diabetic for 29 years. We learned that his heart was good, but his lungs may not be so much.

After fearing that he was dying, we visited a pulmonologist who is confident he may just have asthma and sent us for more testing to be certain.

This Year at Crystal Carder

This year at Crystal Carder has been an amazing year! I made my most money to date. I learned a lot. And, I cannot wait to see where 2019 takes this blog.

Although I am still a fairly small blog, I want to thank all of my loyal readers and business partners who feel confident to work with me! I seriously could not do it with out you all, so thank you!!

Here’s to 2019! Let’s make it ROCK!!!!!

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