Blogmas Day 37: 2017 — My year in review

This post has been so much fun to pull together. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always one of my favorite times of year because it’s a time filled with reflection on the past and planning for the future. I loved going through all the pictures on my camera roll and my Snapchat memories to decide what I wanted to write about for my year in review because this was such a special year for me. I’ll be going into a lot more detail below, but to summarize, my theme for this year ended up being growth.

I learned so much about myself and the way I handle life, both the good and the bad. I went through a major breakup, fell in love, made new friends, lost other friends, reconnected with old friends, tried new things, figured out what I want to do after graduation, re-focused my priorities, took my blog off hiatus, and spent tons of time with my family. 2017 held some of my personal bests and personal worsts and I honestly wouldn’t change the way any of it went.

I hope you have fun reliving 2017 with me in this post and keep an eye on the blog for posts about my goals and plans for 2018 in the next few days!

{Be sure to leave a comment down below about some of your favorite 2017 memories!}

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

 

*Note: These photos are going to be of wildly varying quality. Some are grainy Snapchats and some were taken with the newest iPhone or a DSLR. One of my goals for 2018 is going to be to take more photos, but I do love looking through the weird photos I ended up taking this year!*

 

January

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

I don’t have many photos from the beginning of the year, but this one makes me smile. To celebrate the new year last year, my friends Sarah, Kayla, and Alyssa all came over and we went for a hike on the Manassas Battlefield. It was freezing and muddy, but we had lots of fun being active together (they’re friends from The Flat Hat so we normally spend most of our time together in our basement newspaper office). I also had a bunch of fun showing them around Manassas (including my favorite pizza joint!), as these lovely ladies are from different towns in the area.

In January I also finished watching The Office for the first time (I know, I was super late on that) and it ended up becoming one of my absolute favorite TV shows! Classes for the spring semester of my junior year started in January and I also began my second semester as an RA.

 

 

February

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

I don’t remember the events of February very much, so it must not have been a very eventful month for me. The only photo of note I have is this one, where I decided to do something relatively mild in the grand scheme of things, but pretty out there for me. I had never dyed my hair or anything, but in February I went to a salon and got my hair highlighted! It ended up looking super subtle, which is exactly what I wanted, but means I never got a good photo of it. However, the highlight added some really nice dimension to my hair IRL. It was super fun and was a big “treat yo’ self” moment for me, but let me tell you I did not realize how expensive it is to get your hair done at a salon. Props to y’all who do it on a regular basis!

 

 

March

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Part of being an RA is sitting duty in the duty office. That entails going on rounds of the buildings we’re responsible for to make sure there are no maintenance concerns or other issues as well as just being in the duty office in case someone needs to check out a spare key or borrow a vacuum. Unfortunately, someone has to be there on breaks the school is still open for (like fall break and spring break) and I drew the short straw and had to be at school to sit duty over spring break. This ended up being one of the most eventful weeks of my year in terms of personal growth. I broke up with my now-ex who I had been with for over three years, which was obviously not an easy time. But, I ended up being able to get a lot accomplished, including cleaning, journaling, bubble baths, and more. At the beginning of March I really realized a lot about myself and being pretty alone on campus helped me a lot by basically forcing me to be alone with my thoughts and spend some time reflecting. I might end up writing a blog post about what I learned in the wake of a major breakup. Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in reading that! 

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

March wasn’t just a great time for self reflection, but it was a great month for friendship and trying new things too! I made a March Madness bracket for the first time and almost won, which was pretty exciting because at the beginning of the month I knew almost nothing about basketball. This picture is from a time Brendan, me, Alyssa, and Kevin all went out for appetizers and March Madness viewing. It was a lot of fun and I hope we can do something like that again this year, even though the restaurant we went to no longer exists (RIP The Crust).

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Remember how I said March was a good month for trying new things? Well one of those new things ended up being dyeing my hair blue! My lovely residents (who have now become some of my best friends) helped me out. We sat in the dorm’s lounge (known as “the porch”), ordered pizza, and bleached and dyed the underside of my hair. It’s a cliche that every girl makes a drastic hair change after a breakup, but honestly it was exactly what I needed in March. I needed to take some harmless risks, step outside of my comfort zone, and live in the moment and spending time with friends dyeing my hair was the perfect way to make that happen!

 

 

April

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

In April, Brendan and I started spending a ton more time together. By this point, he was definitely one of my best friends in the world and by the end of the month I was pretty much head over heels. One of our favorite activities to do together before we started dating was to go for walks in the woods. The dorm he lived in was right next to a gorgeous path through the woods and we went for walks on a little loop there all the time. (Don’t ask me why I’m wearing a tank top and he’s wearing a sweatshirt in this picture. It’s usually the other way around and I have no idea why we’d be dressed like this.) Also: peep my blue hair!

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

I told you Brendan and I were spending a ton of time together! One of my favorite memories from April was the day trip we took to Virginia Beach. It was definitely not warm enough to swim, but we had lots of fun relaxing on the beach, walking forever down the boardwalk, and eating at touristy places near the oceanfront. Our relationship is very much built on trying new things and going on adventures together, and I like that that foundation was laid long before we started dating!

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Easter weekend, Brendan’s sister Callie came to visit and she stayed in my room instead of Brendan’s because my room was objectively better. Brendan, Kevin, and I showed her around campus, took her to a little beach close by, went to the Yankee Candle store (it sounds crazy, I know but if you’ve been there, you know it’s a must-see if you’re visiting Williamsburg), and more. It was such a fun weekend and I’m so glad Callie and I have become great friends since then.

 

 

May

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Prior to 2017, I was decidedly not a sports gal. However, this year I covered our gymnastics teams for our newspaper, in March I got into basketball, but in May I found my true sports love — hockey. I watched sooo much hockey with Brendan and our lovely friend Julia (she’s back from her semester abroad and I’m pumped to watch hockey with her again, even though she’s unfortunately a Penguins fan). It’s pretty crazy to me that just a couple of months ago I had never seen a hockey game, but now it’s hard to get me to shut up about how much I love the Caps!

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Brendan and I kept spending tons of time together in May. This photo is from what was, in retrospect, probably our first real date. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings, just the two of us, and he paid for my food and I was soooo confused about what it meant and if he liked me and blah blah blah. I don’t even remember why that’s where we went, but I do remember being really excited that I was pretty sure I was on a date with my best friend!

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

In May I moved out of what is probably the best room on campus. I loved being an RA in Brown Hall and I miss it a lot. Not only did I love having my own room and my own bathroom, but the community on the hall was absolutely amazing. Luckily some of the girls who were my residents have become some of my best friends. It definitely felt weird to close the door on my junior year (and my first year as an RA), but I have so many great memories from that room and that hall.

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

A couple days after I got home from school, my sister Abby, Brendan, and I went to a Jimmy Buffett concert. It was a bunch of fun even though we forgot several supplies for our tailgate and had to use french onion dip on the outside of the grilled cheese sandwiches we made and flip them over with an ice scraper (oops!). The best part of all? Brendan asked me to be his girlfriend!

 

At the end of May, Brendan and I made yet another trip to Virginia Beach. This time, we met up with some of our friends (these girls were all my residents in Brown!). We loved spending time with Noelle, Naomi, Jenny, Heather, Rachel, and were sad we missed seeing our friend Jenna (it was her masterful work that made my blue hair possible!). We went to two different beaches, saw a cute local coffee shop, ate dinner and slept at Noelle’s house, and went to a comedy show that we left early because it was painfully bad. It was a great kickoff to the summer and such a fun way to transition from the RA-resident relationship into just plain friendship.

 

 

June

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

In June I took the big step of figuring out what I wanted to do with my life! I started substitute teaching over winter break last year, and picked it back up again when I came home for the summer. Eventually, I realized that I just absolutely adored being in a classroom and finally realized that maybe I actually wanted to be a teacher. I looked into the School of Education at my college and discovered they have a 5th year master’s program they market as basically a program for people who got to their junior year and realized they want to be a teacher. Since that was my exact situation, I talked to my parents, applied, and was admitted! I started taking education classes in August and I’m absolutely in love and so excited to have my own classroom one day.

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

June was also when I started my nannying job for the summer. I was watching an eight-year-old boy named Connor and we honestly had one of the best summers ever together. We went on adventures, played outside, swam in the pool, colored, went on scavenger hunts, watched movies, and more. It was like being a kid again, except this time I could drive!

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

In June I continued my sports adventures that had started in March and went to a Major League Baseball game with my dad, sisters, and Brendan. It was the Cleveland Indians vs. Baltimore Orioles at Baltimore, but we were rooting for the Indians of course. The stadium was absolutely beautiful and so full of history. The game was really fun (the Indians won!) but exploring the stadium was tons of fun too.

 

 

July

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

So much of my summer was spent by the pool. Connor and I played and worked on his swimming skills, and sometimes we took breaks in the sun to read books. I re-read a lot of old favorites from my childhood this summer, as I’ve really been trying to get back in the habit of reading for fun (more of that in 2018!)

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

I didn’t realize when I made a bracket back in March, but basketball has become a big part of my life ever since Brendan and I got close. This summer, in addition to his job at an ice cream shop (where I had the best coffee ice cream ever!), he worked at a couple of basketball camps and coached the summer league team from his high school. I had really started making an effort to step out of my comfort zone back in February when I got my hair highlighted, and continued this theme in major ways over the summer. I don’t enjoy driving, especially to places I’ve never been, but throughout the summer I drove to all kinds of new places and lots of times didn’t even use a GPS. Instead I challenged myself to look at maps beforehand and then use signs and my memory to help me find new locations. It was a little stressful, but honestly such a great experience that really made me more confident in myself. A couple of the new places I drove were high schools to see Brendan coach basketball. I’ve watched more basketball since we started dating than I ever had before, and we weren’t even dating during March Madness!

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

All throughout the summer while I was lounging by the pool and working through coloring books with Connor, my sisters were hard at work on our church’s production of Beauty and the Beast. Abby had a dancer role and got to play a ball guest, napkin, tavern girl, and a wolf. Elizabeth worked behind the scenes and was a big part of making sure rehearsals ran smoothly and special effects happened like they were supposed to (she was also an awesome salesperson of “star grams” for the cast and crew during shows!). In July, Brendan, Callie, my parents, and I went to go see the show. I know you probably think I’m biased, but it was seriously amazing. I’m always impressed by the caliber of the shows Upper Room Theater Ministry puts on, and I think they outdid themselves this year.

 

It's hard to step back from activities you love, but it's important to hold yourself accountable and stop spreading yourself too thin!

In July, I took the really exciting step of re-launching my blog! I started Honeybee Joyous back in November of 2015 with a post about inexpensive gifts and then went on hiatus from the fall of 2016 through July 2017, when I re-launched with a post about how to step back from things (such as why and how I stepped back from blogging when it got too overwhelming). Since then, I’ve been blogging consistently and not stressing out about it nearly as much. I’ve found the fun in blogging again and it’s found a comfortable place in my life where I am able to make the time to post.

 

July’s blog posts

How to step back from the things you love — guilt free!

7 reasons why I absolutely love my “catch-all notebook”

 

 

August

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

In August, my family took our yearly trip to Walt Disney World. It was absolutely magical, as always, and I loved seeing the new land in Animal Kingdom called Pandora (the last picture above). Disney World is definitely my happy place and it was so much fun to go and spend time with my family there this year, especially after having to miss last year’s trip for my summer “big girl job” in DC. A million thanks to my amazing parents who make amazing trips like this happen for our family. I’m incredibly lucky and grateful!

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

In August, I also moved in for my senior year! I’m an RA again, so I’m once again living on a freshman hall. It was definitely weird moving into a freshman dorm as a senior, especially because this year we have hall style bathrooms instead of my own bathroom like last year. However, I love the community we have on my hall so far and in August I was so excited to be back on campus. It was especially fun to be a returning RA this year and be able to mentor the new RAs the way the returners on my staff last year were mentors for me.

 

August’s blog posts

How to pack to make sure you don’t forget ANYTHING

10 things in life to start appreciating + photos from my life

How to plan your schedule to maximize your productivity

RA series: How to make incredible bulletin boards that WOW your residents

 

 

September

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

In September I celebrated my 21st birthday! It was a lot of fun, because I feel like 21 is the biggest birthday since 18 and probably the biggest until 30. In Virginia, weird laws mean you can buy alcohol from the ABC store the day before your 21st birthday, so that night I went to the ABC store with my friends Sarah and Isabel. On my actual birthday, I got lunch (my favorite grilled cheese!) with Emily and Nandini, two of my best friends from my RA staff last year. I went to class and then went to dinner at a mexican restaurant and drank a margarita the size of my face with Talya, Lydia, Megan, and Meilan — some of my best friends from my freshman hall. That night, some other friends from my freshman hall (Tom, Kyle, Katie D., Katie C., and Claire) took me on a tour of the bars of Williamsburg. It was a super fun birthday and all my friends were absolutely amazing. To celebrate on the blog, I set some goals that I want to be working on this year!

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

In September, I also went to my first wedding as an adult. I got to see my lovely friend Andie get married in Pennsylvania. I’ve known Andie since middle school when we were on the dance team together. In high school we were on color guard together and had some of the best times. She was one of my best friends in high school and it was absolutely surreal to realize we’re old enough now to be doing things like getting married! This picture is reuniting some of the wonderful ladies from Stonewall’s winter guard program — from left to right Evy, Ms. Mary Ann, me, Andie, Rachelle, and Keisha. These ladies were some of my very best friends in high school and I spent many long hours rehearsing with them, and it was so good to reconnect!

 

September’s blog posts

A list of lists you NEED to keep in your planner

Happy birthday to me! My goals for 21

How to save money in college

 

 

October

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

In early October, Brendan and I went on one of the most fun dates ever. We took a day trip over to Yorktown and tried this sweet little cafe that was home of (seriously!) the best breakfast I’ve ever had. I had the yummiest poached eggs served over toast with spinach, tomatoes, and a balsamic reduction. My french toast addicted boyfriend had (obviously) the french toast! After brunch, we spent some time walking around the cute little town and putting our feet in the sand. I had been feeling a bit burnt out from school and some time by the water was just what I needed. I’m convinced I’m part mermaid because if I go too long without seeing the water, I get super bummed out and it’s always fixed with a quick trip to the beach.

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

October also means fall break, which for those of us on my school’s newspaper, means Media Day! We visited C-SPAN, The Washington Post, and National Geographic and talked about careers, internships, and journalism overall. I always love Media Day and as a senior, it was particularly special because I could really see all of the younger people on staff getting excited about journalism and seeing their future careers for the first time.

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

In October I also had the amazing opportunity of hearing Newbery Award winning author Kwame Alexander talk. My friend Talya and I read his book The Crossover when we took Children’s Literature together our sophomore year. I wasn’t sure about it when I first read it because it was a book about basketball told through poetry (and remember, my sports adventures didn’t start until my junior year), however, I ended up absolutely loving the book and I was lucky enough to get my copy signed in October! Most of Kwame’s books are stories aimed at kids who love sports but don’t love reading, but my experience reading The Crossover as someone who loved reading but didn’t love sports, really opened my eyes to loving stories about sports, which I think plays a major part in my newfound interest in sports of all kinds!

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

October also means homecoming, which is always a fun weekend! This year, Brendan pulled together a tailgate for Flat Hat staff, which was lots of fun. The Flat Hat also always hosts a homecoming reception in our office, and that’s always one of my favorite events of the year because we always get to talk to people who did our same jobs as long ago as the ’50s and it’s amazing hearing about that history.

 

October is also the month of Halloween, which was fun because Brendan and I did a couple’s costume this year! We went as Janet Snakehole and Burt Macklin, which is funny and cute if you’ve seen Parks & Rec and makes no sense if you haven’t!

 

October’s blog posts

How to exercise when you hate the gym

How to choose the best major for you

The essential guide to creating a fantastic resume

RA series: The 4 best resources for beautiful boards and flyers

 

 

November

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

In November I was mostly focused on school, so I don’t have a lot of fun pictures and exciting memories. This semester I was able to only take 12 credits (the minimum to be a full time student) and it was great because I was able to really focus on doing my best in my classes and I actually had enough time to do all of my reading for once! I was able to take a break from academics toward the end of the month to spend time with some of my best friends celebrating “Friendsgiving.” We had an all side dishes celebration because turkeys are just too complicated for a dorm kitchen. My friend Heather even made an apple pie from scratch!

 

So excited to announce I'll be participating in Blogmas this year! One new post every day of the Christmas season (11/24 - 1/6) for 44 days of content! | BLOGMAS DAY 1: ANNOUNCING BLOGMAS | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

In November, I also announced #HBJblogmas! I decided I wanted to do more than just the standard Blogmas, because I really wanted to celebrate how well Honeybee Joyous has been doing since I re-launched. So, I decided to go for my entire Christmas season, which I personally celebrate from the day after Thanksgiving until the Epiphany on January 6th. #HBJblogmas is still going strong, and I’m pretty proud of myself for all the work I’ve done on this project!

 

November’s blog posts

Announcing Blogmas!

Gift guide: White elephant gift exchange

Gift guide: What to get for your parents

Monday Motivation: FREE White Christmas desktop wallpaper

How to be productive when you have a spare hour

What I’m listening to Wednesday: Songs for a rainy day

How to organize a Secret Santa

 

 

December

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

December was probably my favorite month of 2017 (May was a close second!). I’ve written about this before, but I actually usually really love finals week because the way my classes work out, not having classes or readings and just working on papers is way less stressful than the day-to-day of the semester. Finals week this semester kicked off with Flat Hat Formal on the night of the last day of classes. We all got dressed up, danced, and took pictures together and it was tons of fun. Pictured here is Brendan, me, Isabel (our glorious Editor-in-Chief), and then me and Heather, who was my resident last year and is now one of my BFFs and is Variety Editor, which was my first major job on the paper.

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

William and Mary celebrates the tradition of Yule Log, where we all gather during the weekend between finals weeks and listen to holiday music, hear about the meaning of togetherness and unity, hear our school’s president read How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and throw holly into a fire to celebrate casting off all the worries of last year in preparation for the new year. This tradition is lots of fun and it was so lovely to be able to celebrate with Meilan, Lydia, Talya, and Megan, my BFFs since freshman year!

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Brendan and I found time for lots of adventures together during finals week, including going to the Star Wars premiere with our friends Isabel and Josh, going to see one of our favorite bands (Highly Suspect) in Richmond, and (my personal favorite) spending eight hours at Busch Gardens Christmas Town! I said before that Brendan and I love going on adventures and trying new things together and we did so much of that in December! He’s really good at helping me step outside my comfort zone and I’m so thankful for all the time we get to spend together.

 

2017 was a year of immense personal growth for me. Relive my year with my for #HBJblogmas Day 37 and tell me what you did this year. | BLOGMAS DAY 37: 2017 — MY YEAR IN REVIEW | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Yesterday, I got to reunite with Connor and his lovely family and this time it was all play and no work! We decorated cookies, caught up, and he showed me everything he got for Christmas. I loved being his nanny over the summer and I never dreamed when I accepted the job that I would basically become part of the family!

 

December’s blog posts

Friday Favs No. 1

Finals week: 5 ways to destress with your friends

My favorite YouTube channels

Monday Motivation: Kindness challenge

How I stay on top of my emails

What I’m listening to Wednesday: Christmas playlist

My Christmas wishlist

Friday Favs No. 2

How to beat the winter break blues

What’s in my makeup bag?

Monday Motivation: Videos to inspire you

Blogs I love to read

What I’m listening to Wednesday: My top songs of 2017

Gift guide: From parents to students (feat fygböx)

Friday Favs No. 3

How to respond when people ask, “What are you going to do with that?”

Tips for shifting yourself into a more positive mindset

Monday Motivation: Goal setting link roundup

How to practice self care over the holidays

What I’m listening to Wednesday: My “songs to play on repeat” playlist

Places to shop for last minute gifts

Friday Favs No. 4

The “definitive” ranking of my favorite Christmas songs

How to start reading for fun + Bookish Secret Santa reveal

Blogger Secret Santa reveal

3 things to think about before making New Year’s resolutions

What I’m listening to Wednesday: Girl Power playlist

Let me help you with your New Year’s resolutions

Friday Favs No. 5

 

 

Goodbye 2017!

You can probably tell that 2017 was a really big year for me. I stepped out of my comfort zone so many times, tried new things, made changes, and I really feel like I entered a brand new season of life this year. I’m really proud of how well I handled all the change 2017 brought me and so excited about what 2018 will bring. I hope 2017 was good to you too and wishing you many blessings in 2018.

 

{What are your favorite memories from 2017? What are you looking forward to in 2018? Leave me a comment below and tell me!}