GOODBYE 2017, HELLO 2018

Sweater | Leggings | Boots | Handbag {dupe} | Hat {similar} | Lips
I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas + New Year!  After a crazy few months following moving into @thelovelycottage and a super busy holiday season, I was so grateful to take a couple of weeks off and spend quality time with my friends + family.  The holidays are always the perfect time for me to be present, shift my focus, and reflect on the year in the rearview mirror.  
I posted a quote the other day on my stories that I love so much – ‘You don’t need to be perfect to inspire others.  Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfection.’  I’ve never been the type of person that has to try to be real, that’s always been something that has felt natural + normal to me.  However, I do have to make much more of an effort to share that realness with you.  It’s easy to get caught up in separating my blog life from my real, day to day life, but in 2018, I want to bring much more to the table in sharing the messy, the ugly, and the downright truth with you.  And I want this to be the place it happens.  Getting back to why I started, what sets me apart, and diving deeper.  With that said, I wanted to share a few highs and lows with you guys, as well as follow up on the resolutions I set last year around this time!
High: Obviously first and foremost has to be moving into our new {old} house.  Looking back to this time last year, we had to be out of our home by January 13th and had no idea what the next few months would look like.  We  sold our house in 24 hours, rented a storage unit by the month, and literally threw our entire life into it.  It took me a while to admit this, even to myself, but I was scared sh*tless.  And so was J, but luckily there were few times he let me in on that – because then I really would’ve been freaking out.  I like to think that at least one of us has it together at all times…
Anyway, fast forward seven months later to August 18th and we moved in feeling so incredibly thankful.  Just the two four of us again – boxes unpacked, cooking in our own kitchen, and knowing the hard part is officially over.
Low: With all of that said, those seven months were quite the test.  I’d always heard people say ‘if you can build a house together, you can get through anything together’ and we found that to be true.  Although our project was on a slightly smaller scale, the toll it took on us personally and as a couple was just HARD some days.  Everything from the constant phone calls with our builder and decision making to the monetary commitment, it was definitely a new ‘normal’ for us.  There were days where we really struggled with questioning if we made the right decision and if we were ever going to actually live in this house that we were working so hard to make perfect.
The bad news – it was the longest seven months of my life.  The good news – it was by far the best decision and we’re so in love with our cozy, little cottage.
High: Travel.  During our crazy year of figuring all of that out, we were afraid our love for travel + wanderlust was going to come to a screeching halt.  However, somehow we pulled it off and made a few amazing trips happen.  We kicked off the year in DC, got to visit a few of our favorite cities like New York, Charleston, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Reynolds Plantation multiple times, as well as a few new ones like Riviera Maya, 30A, Newport, and Curaçao.  23 flights and a few road trips later – the magic that happened in 2017 are memories + experiences we’ll never forget.
Low: On a personal level, I had a couple of ‘knock you off your feet’ moments this past year that were really hard to get up from.  I’ve said this many times before, but when I love, I love hard – and inevitably feel things really hard.  It’s something I’ve learned to embrace rather than shy away from.  My relationships and the people I surround myself with mean everything to me.  The older I get, that group of people has become so close knit and I love that.  Having go-to girlfriends that you love, trust, and would do anything for (and having that reciprocated) is something that simply cannot be replaced.  This year, I had to really evaluate those people in my life, push feelings aside, and trust my gut.  I learned that sometimes – relationships result in unfortunate realizations and that’s one of the hardest things in life to confront.  I had an amazing, intense, whirlwind friendship with one of my closest friends that sadly, had to come to an end.  It just wasn’t one of those things that was easy to let go of.  When circumstances are out of your control, you simply have to know the truth by the way it feels and trust the character instilled in you.  After countless thoughts + prayers, it’s one of the most difficult decisions J and I have ever had to make, but we wouldn’t take anything for the life lessons it taught us.  At the end of the day, I’m grateful for the journey – knowing that I grew so much through it and I’m stronger because of it.  
High: I learned how to best take care of myself.  Everything from finding my 28-year old groove in working out, to a skincare routine I actually see results from, and making my health a priority with bi-annual check ups, regulating medicines, + reducing/healing the appearance of both of my scars.  Aside from my body, I’ve also learned how to take care of my mind.  Different ways to de-stress and what works well for me when feeling overwhelmed.  Some days that looks like focusing on chores around the house in order to have peace of mind, other days it looks like knocking out a ton of work in the office and staying un-plugged the rest of the evening.  Either way, taking care of my mind + body in my 20’s is something that has become not only necessary, but enjoyable.  I’m excited about the fact that learning + doing these things now will better myself in the long run!
Last, but definitely not least – following up on my 2017 resolutions:
Give myself grace. (I’m better at this now than I ever have been, so I’m considering that a win.)
Always seek adventure. (Done and done.)
Don’t get caught up in the small stuff. (Easier said than done, but I definitely don’t sweat the small stuff.)
Never let my inbox get over 50 emails. Whew, deep breaths. (Yeeeaahhh, definitely didn’t do this one.)
Go to three concerts. (Check, check, check! Miranda Lambert, LANY, and best of all – Country Christmas!)
Show my friends so much love. (Something I’ll always do my best at.)
Go to the water at least once a month.  It’s simply good for my soul. (I went 12 times for sure, so surely that evens out to once a month, right?)
Wash my hair.  Just in general. (See FAIL – verb, to be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal.)
Always see the glass half full and encourage others. (Most days this was true!)
Take care of my skin. (Religiously.)
Run.  (Yeah right.)

As for 2018, I’ve decided to give myself even more grace and not set too many high expectations.  Haha.  Seriously though, my goals are to enjoy the little things, embrace fearlessness, celebrate everything, be bold, be present, and be better than I was yesterday.  Taking it back to the basics for 2018 and couldn’t be happier about it.  I love you all – thanks so much for reading + supporting all of these years and I’m so excited for what’s to come!  

Cheers to 2018!!



Lucy O'Connor

Such a great post! I think sometimes we can look back on the year that's been and focus on either the good points or the bad but it's important to be able to reflect on both for sure!

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The sheer number of "girl, same!" thoughts I had while reading this inspired me to comment. My 2017 parallels with your experiences – we flipped a house and purchased a new, we're raising a daughter with a life-threatening chronic illness, my husband's work travel increased, and I too, learned some tough truths about those I called "friend" and even my own relatives. I had to be shown those truths though. I had to be taken to place of discomfort in order to find my place of content. Life is not perfect, and there is no escaping it, but I am here for every single moment of it. I could not be more grateful. Cheers to 2018!

J. Ellarie

Thank you so much for sharing! I too have trouble sharing personal things on the blog but I figured I can’t be the only one going through things. You are an amazing person (from what I’ve read on your blog) and I hope 2018 grants all your wishes!

Huong Vo

This is such a great post, Megan! I like getting to know you more. Unfortunately, I know all to well the process and decision of when to end a relationship, especially a friend. No regrets because many lessons were learned.

Sidenote, totally laughed at your inbox and run responses, LOL!

You had a very fulfilling 2017 and it's been so fun watching you and J bring the vision of your home to life! I can't wait to see more home posts from you! My bff told me that your fireplace is goals when I showed her your pic the other day! xo

I hope J feels better soon!

She Sweats Diamonds


Megan I have been following you since 2013 and have always loved your blog. However the moment you started opening up more, I have been connected to you more! You and J are such a great inspiration! The lovely cottage is absolutely adorable. I love personal posts and home decor ones. Hope you have an incredible year! Cheers!


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