As 2018 draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the year, before welcoming all of the exciting things 2019 may have in store. Let me warn you, this post could get rather long, so grab a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, a glass of wine or beer, let’s catch up!
I’m not sure about you, but I feel like I have been distant from the blog this year. In 2018 we have shared 49 recipes with you. However, besides a few short stories inside the posts I have done a really lousy job at keeping in touch with you. My heart just hasn’t been into my writing this year. I write from the heart and it’s difficult for me to write when my heart isn’t in the right place. (Keep reading! I promise you will understand why at the end of this post.)
I love that a blog can document life like a diary. I haven’t been writing nearly as much and I have failed to keep in touch with what has been going on outside of
My hope is to be more focused in the coming year. To plan better and to be more present here on the blog in 2019.
Surprise! I lost over 40 pounds this year!
No doubt, 2018 has been all about serious change for me. I was sick and tired of being uncomfortable in my own skin. I finally got my mind right. I ate better and started exercising. I got up off my lazy overeating ass and did something about it. I worked my ass off, literally!
Unless you have seen my posts on my personal Instagram feed, you may not have known this about me.
Now you see where all my time, energy and focus has been this year, hence the lack of blog posts.
April – October
Neck: 2 inches ⬇️?
Waist: 10 inches ⬇️?
Hips: 6 inches ⬇️?
Chest: 7 inches ⬇️?
Thighs: 4 inches ⬇️?
Size: 6/8 ⬇️? from 12
I have had a lot of people ask how I lost the weight. It wasn’t magic. It wasn’t a gimmicky diet or some weird milkshake plan like you see advertise on tv. Heck, except for food, I didn’t even spend a dime to do it.
I feel better at 42 than I did the whole decade in my 30’s. I’m stronger than ever.
Watch out 2019 here I come!!!! ?Create your own user feedback survey
Not Just 20/20 But 20/15!
In May I elected to have Lasik eye surgery to correct my vision. I started wearing glasses at age 18 and used contacts for years. I hated dealing with both glasses and contacts and decided to fix my eyes. It kind of freaked me out but when I found out I was a candidate for Lasik. I was all in! I didn’t allow myself to think about it and just did it.
Not only am I seeing 20/20, but I’m also 20/15 in both eyes! It was hands down the best decision I have ever made!
Thanks Dr. Wills!
Click HERE to watch the video of my surgery being performed!
I Cut Off My Hair!
My hair was dead from highlighting it for two years. The texture was like sandpaper and I couldn’t do anything with it. So, I had it
The last time my hair was this short was when I was 18 years old, a senior in high school!
2018 As A Melanoma Survivor
All in all, 2018 was a great year for skin checks. However, I did have one biopsy early in the year, which came back ok.
I continue to stay out of the sun and protecting my skin if I am out in the sun. I hope and pray that 2019 will be just as good if not better.
Raising awareness about skin cancer is very important to me. I like to write updated blog posts about what’s been going on since I was diagnosed in 2015. My hope in sharing this journey with you is that you can keep your brother, your aunt, your daughter, your neighbor or your friend from having to go through this. Most importantly don’t let the fear of melanoma keep you from getting checked out.
Last year, I joined forces with The Mighty! The Mighty is the largest digital health community geared towards people with disease, mental illness, and disabilities. The community empowers and connects people facing health challenges and disabilities. After reading my melanoma story, the Cancer Editor of The Mighty, Trish Broome, reached out to me and asked me to join as a contributor and asked to share my story with the online community. As a contributor to The Mighty, I can share my cancer story with others to help raise awareness about skin cancer. TheMighty.com is a great community and I highly encourage everyone to check it out. The stories about the diseases, mental illness, and disabilities affect every one of you or someone you love in some way.
Remember skin checks are so very important. Your skin is your largest living organ; it houses all your most vital parts.
Have you called a dermatologist to schedule a skin check?
Before you come up with an excuse not too, I want you to know I didn’t think I would get Melanoma either, but I did. My story has turned out well. So many others aren’t so lucky.
Go get checked. It could save your life!
If you would like to read more about my Melanoma Story, click HERE.
The Hole In Our Hearts
2018 brought a lot of sadness to The Mountain Kitchen, yet another reason my heart hasn’t been into writing.
In March, we lost our beloved Atchee. His Royal Highness was the most inspiring creature that ever lived. His strength and determination never wavered. He taught us so much about life, spirit, and love. The loss is still pretty raw and coming home just isn’t quite the same anymore.
2018 will forever be the year we lost Atchee.
If I ever had a spirit animal it was definitely Atchee.
To read more about His Royal Highness, click HERE.
A New Hemi
It’s been almost 10 years since David and I crashed into that dead tree our first year of living in the mountains. The Hemi we purchased all those years ago was showing signs of age, so at over 186,000 miles we traded it in and got a
The new to us 2017 Dodge Ram Hemi is a beast!
2018 will now be known as the year that I started drinking beer. When I started trying to lose weight in April, I gave up my beloved poison called Mountain Dew. In fact, I gave up soft drinks of any kind and haven’t looked back. I hate drinking water, but it is my beverage of choice now. So, by the time the weekend rolls around my taste buds are looking for something besides water to drink.
We started to visit some local craft breweries since David loves beer. I never really understood the complexity beer has and the true craft it takes to make beer. I find that David’s and my taste are very similar except for when it comes to sours. Those are my favorite while, “Mr. Sweet Teeth” cannot stand them.
Here are a few of our local brewery favorites:
- Pen Druid Brewing
- Backroom Brewery
- Front Royal Brewing Company
- Old Bust Head Brewing Company
- Wort Hog Brewing Company
- Powers Farm Brewery
We still frequent our local wineries. Every now and then we will pick out a few we don’t visit that often just to change things up.
This year was our third blending session at Fox Meadow Winery and we bottled another vintage Spivey’s Red.
We have attended two wine dinners this year and are looking forward to another one in January!
Last year I sat down and took the time to compose a list of all the concerts that David and I have attended since we became a couple in 2001. We like a wide variety of music from George Jones to Metallica and many genres in between.
This year we added 20 bands to the list this year. There are now 192 bands on our list. Some bands we have seen more than once. Below is a list of the headlining concerts we have attended this in 2018.
- Avatar ~ Avatar Country, Baltimore, MD
I met the bass player at Phillips restaurant before the show. He was casually sitting in the bar area enjoying a beer with friends. I casually walked over and asked for an autograph without causing a big scene. Very cool!
- P!nk ~ Beautiful Trauma World Tour, Charlottesville, VA
- Dave Matthews Band ~ Summer Tour 2018, Bristow, VA
This was our 8th DMB Concert. Love the new album, “Come Tomorrow”
- Black Label Society ~ Earth Rocker Festival 2018, Inwood, WV
- Godsmack / Shinedown ~ Summer Tour 2018, Bristow, VA
- Five Finger Death Punch / Breaking Benjamin ~ Summer Tour, Bristow, VA
- Slash Myles Kennedy & Conspirators ~ Living the Dream, Silver Spring, MD
- Chris Stapleton ~ 2018 Tour, Charlottesville, VA
We can’t wait to see what music adventures 2019 will bring. If all goes as planned will involve a “Destination Concert”! Stay tuned…
Other Moments Worth Mentioning
2018 Views From The Mountain
More than anything today, I want to thank you for another year together. I cannot tell you what it means to have your encouragement and support. Your faithful readership, your willingness to try our recipes, your emails and comments mean so very much to me. Thank you for allowing us into your homes and supporting me to do what I love to do.
Really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
As we say goodbye to another year gone by, we are excited to see what lies ahead in 2019. Thanks for reading this blog and trying our recipes. May 2019 be filled with health and happiness!
From David and I at The Mountain Kitchen, Happy New Year!
Love you all!