2017 Big Adventures Recap

2017 Big Adventures Recap

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I love the time between Christmas and New years. I get lost and don’t know what day it is, but it seems to be my most productive time of year. I don’t know if I get energized to accomplish a shit ton of stuff before the end of the year, just to say that I accomplished something. Or if I find the energy to clean, file papers, and tidy up so that I can start off the new year on good foot. It’s probably a combination of both. But now that the end of 2017 is here, I want to look back on all that’s changed in my life.

The year started well and ended well……the middle was kinda rough…..but they say you remember the first things and the last things, the stuff in the middle kinda gets lost. As painful as the middle part of the year was, it’s true, when I think about the year I tend to forget about that period of time (or maybe I’m just trying to block out the bad shit).

At the beginning of the year I dubbed 2017 the year of Big Adventures, you can read that post, here. It most certainly was a year of Big Adventures. From starting a business, to selling my house, to buying a new one, adding a new stamp to my passport and two new states to my list, and finally turning 30, it was a full year! Somethings turned out how I planned and others not so much.

Living on Saltwater Business

I started an Etsy shop (link to shop, here) at the end of 2016 selling photos. This quickly evolved into other things like home décor pieces including wooden flags and signs. It was moderately successful with several requests for custom pieces. I went to a couple of artist pop-up markets in Raleigh. Those were terrifying. I’m terrible at making small talk with random strangers and engaging with them, it’s just not my personality. I had a lot of support from friends and family along the way. I’m truly thankful for the people who came out to see me at pop-up markets, sat with me during the markets, helped me prepare for them, and those that bought pieces of my inventory. I’m not sure what the future holds for my Etsy shop. It’s still open for business, but I’ve been preoccupied the second half of the year and haven’t done a pop-up market since the beginning of the summer. Here’s a look at some of my custom requests and pop-up markets from 2017.
Living on Saltwater - Etsy Shop Chicago Flag

Living on Saltwater - Etsy Shop NY Home

Living on Saltwater - Etsy Shop NC Flag

Living on Saltwater - Mini Flag - North Carolina

Living on Saltwater - Pop Up Market


It was an exciting year of travel for me. I started off the year by adding Washington State to my list of states I’ve been to. By the end of 2017 I made the trip to Seattle 4 times (my day job has a location out that way). Over the course of the four trips I got to see some of the city. I convinced my coworkers on the first trip to ride the giant Ferris Wheel and on the last trip we had time to go explore downtown Seattle, Pikes Place Market, and the Space Needle.
Living on Saltwater - Seattle Ferris Wheel

Living on Saltwater - Space Needle

In February I went south to warm up for a bit. It was a nice long weekend to get some sun in Mexico.
Living on Saltwater - Mexico

In July I traveled to Ohio for work and got to see the “A Christmas Story” house.
Living on Saltwater - A Christmas Story House

At the end of the year I went to Nashville to celebrate turning 30. I’d been planning that trip for almost a year. It was a lot of fun to explore Music City with friends. My only “must-do” for the trip was to get on the radio for the Live Broadcast from Margaritaville…..we were in the first group that they brought up on stage that day!
Living on Saltwater - MRHH - The Highway - SiriusXM

Selling and Buying a House

From mid-March to mid-October my life was consumed with stressing over if someone would buy my house and if I’d ever find a new house. You can read about my saga, here, here, and here. I think in the end everything worked out for the best. There are times when I question my decision to leave the townhouse life and buy and older home. I worry about all the things that could go wrong in my current house and all of the everyday maintenance things that I gotta put my “big girl pants” on to do. There are times like that where I wish I was back in a new construction townhouse. Overall, I’ve enjoyed working on the cosmetic DIY of for the new house. It’s kept me busy the last 2 months of the year and things are finally starting to feel like home. It’s also nice having some space between me and my neighbors. I wouldn’t have been able to get through this process without the support from family and friends. My parents have helped me so much when it came to moving and getting stuff done at the house. Here’s a look back at closing day on buying my current house:

Turning 30

Leaving my 20s was difficult. My idea of who a 30 year old was not something I could 100% identify with. As a perfectionist, if I can’t check off every single thing related to an item, then I have a hard time “owning it” (I know I’m 30 years old no matter what. It feels like I thrown into being 30 without accomplishing all of these things that my head says a 30 year-old should have done). I am working on redefining what 30 means to me and the characteristics I associate with this age, but that mindset is still a work in progress. When I need a little help on turning 30, I listen to Tim McGraw’s My Next 30 Years:

“I think I’ll take a moment celebrate my age
End of an era and the turning of a page
Now it’s time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years

In my next thirty years I’m gonna have some fun
Try to forget about all the crazy things I’ve done
Maybe now I’ve conquered all my adolescent fears
And I’ll do it better in my next thirty years

My next thirty years I’m gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I’m doin’ here in my next thirty years

For my next thirty years I’m gonna watch my weight
Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late
Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers
Maybe I’ll remember my next thirty years

My next thirty years will be the best years of my life
Raise a little family and hang out with my wife
Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear
Make up for lost time here in my next thirty years
In my next thirty years”

Here’s to 2017 and rounding out my first 30 years. It was a year of big adventures and I’m looking forward to 2018.

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