2018 was a wild and crazy ride for us. I always felt like our life was rather fun filled and packed with adventure before we became financially independent. We lived abroad for four years. We traveled to 27 countries and seen 42 states. We bought and renovated three homes in five years. And the kids. 4 adoptions and 2 biological kids. Our life rarely felt boring.

But I took for granted how much calmness and sameness comes from a 9-5 job. Each week feels mostly like the week before. Most months have the same pace and routine. 2018 was a whirlwind of new, different, and extremes. I had the same feeling after our 10 week road trip to 10 National Parks. Those 10 weeks felt like a year of experiences and travel (partly because it is about all the adventure a normal person can do while working a 9-5 job!) 2018 as a whole was that way. It was a year of growth, challenge, adventure, learning, friendships, and rest. A lot. Of all of it!

2018 Highlights

My word for the year in 2018 was “Connection”. I think I lived up to that.

My family and I took 10 weeks to connect with each other during our road trip. We saw 10 National Parks which was exactly the connection I was looking for with nature and history.

Utah national parks camping

I spoke at CampFI: Joshua Tree, where I knew exactly 3 of the 60 people before I went. But I walked away filled up with hugs, good conversation and dear friends.

So many readers came to visit! We ate ice cream (Hello #50scoopsummer!), drank tea, went for walks and hung out in my back yard. Between May and Aug, I think I hugged 200 necks.

In September, I spoke at Fincon and it was an amazing, lovely and exhausting experience. It was a new hug/handshake/or conversation every 5 minutes, 12 hours a day for 5 days. It was like “connection” super powered. I also passed out 300+ snacks, cause that how mom’s roll.

In the Fall I opened more space for mentoring and coaching. I now have 30 incredible people I work with each month. I feel so extraordinary lucky to have such a smart, successful, and inspiring group of people. The people I work with are all in work transitions: selling businesses or preparing for retirement, finding new jobs, or starting to grow or scale up a new business. It’s been incredibly fun and rewarding work to be a small part of their journey. (I open it up to people on my email list first, and last time all the spots filled up in two days. If you interested, make sure you are getting my weekly email! Spots should be opening up in Feb/March.)

Exciting things for 2019!

CampFI: I had such a great time at CampFI last summer that I’m head to CampFI this weekend! I’m speaking on how to find work you love, no matter if your a 9-5 employee, self employed, employer or ready to retire. (It’s one of the lessons in my free 10 day course, but I’ll be digging much deeper.) I’m a big believer in connection and community! It’s hard to go against the flow with your finances and intentional living. It’s much easier if you find a group of people all heading in the same direction.

Snow Escape: Ever since we moved back to Montana 6 years ago, we have toyed with the idea of escaping the snow for a few weeks in the winter. This is the first year we are going to test that idea! We are seeking away for three weeks of sunshine, Disney and some zoo time! On the flip side, I’m trying to embrace the snow a bit more (or have Adam embrace the snow!)

One of the funny things about the FI lifestyle are facing all the things we’ve said over the years “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could…. spend a few weeks someplace warm in the winter….ski once a week…” Either we really meant that or we are blowing smoke. On this journey we continue to test those old ideas. So I’m pushing Adam to try to get on the ski mountain every week. He hasn’t complained so far! =)

FI Summit: In March, I’m speaking at a digital summit about financial independence. There is a great line up of speakers each sharing on one part of the FI journey. I’m booked alongside Mr. Money Mustache for “FIRE and Beyond.” You can save 10% when you sign up with the code MMA.

Chautauqua!: I’m thrilled to be invited to speak at the London Chautauqua event this summer. First off check out this venue…

Chautauqua is the brainchild event of JL Collins. It’s a week long, financial independence minded retreat. Tickets go on sale on the 27th of January and sell out FAST. If it’s at all interesting to you, I’d sign up for their mailing list. I also just wrote a guest for him about our journey to FI.

Speaking Tour: I’m hitting the road this summer with our new camper and the whole family! I’ll be speaking at FI groups, companies and organizations in Colorado, California, Oregon and Washington.

Lola Retreat: I’ll be finishing off my speaking tour with a stop at the Lola Retreat in Seattle! It’s a retreat focused on empowering women with financial knowledge. I’m so excited to hang out with these women for a few days. If you buy your ticket with the code MMA, you’ll save $50.

Fincon: I spoke at Fincon in 2018 and had an amazing experience! I love the entrepreneurs and influencers of personal finance. This year it’ll be in DC, my old stomping grounds. I’m so excited that I bought 5 extra tickets!

2019 Theme: Community

In 2019, I’m doing a lot of speaking and traveling to help support others communities. That’s half my focus.

I’m also going to building out more opportunity for community in the work I do. Most growth and change comes in the context of relationships, conversations and time together. In my mentoring group, I’m creating more opportunity for community and connection in the next few months. I’ve hired my first full-time collaborator, Raina to help create an amazing community. (I love the idea and benefit of community, she’s actually good at creating it!)

While it might be possible to do some things all by yourself. It’s always more fun (and more effective) to go with a friend!

That’s my plan for 2019: more conversations, more growth, more friendship, more connection, more community, more hugs and more tea. Always more tea. And ice cream.

An enormous thanks to all of you who are intentionally designing your life along with me. The journey is really more fun with friends.