Can you believe 2019 is upon us in just a few days?? 2018 was definitely a year of growth for our family. Like most years, it had its ups and downs. I’m definitely feeling ready for a fresh start in 2019. I have a feeling it is going to be a really big year for us. Here are some of our highlights (and low lights– because we had those too).

Danny’s eye infection.

We had a bit of a scare earlier in the year when Danny’s eye got some weird infection. He had a procedure done to try to fix it and ended up getting an even worse infection from the procedure when we were out of state (aka out of insurance network) and on a family reunion (aka didn’t want to spend all his time in the hospital). When he went to the hospital, the doctor told him if he had come even an hour later he may have lost his vision forever. Crazy. These days, he’s completely recovered but it was a scary go there for a minute.

We paid off $110,036 in student loan debt.

I’m really happy we were able to pay off a good chunk of our student loan debt this year. Starting in August(ish) we put our aggressive student loan payments on hold and started saving up to buy a dental practice. Just like getting financing for a house, financing a dental practice is a bit smoother when you have some liquid assets. We’re really excited to get back to those aggressive student loan payments once we purchase a practice. We refinanced our student loans with a private lender this year and cut our interests rates by more than half which has helped us pay more towards our principal balance and less interest. We used Travis from the Student Loan Planner to help us come up with a plan for paying off our student loans and it was honestly the best financial decision I’ve ever made. It gave us SO much peace of mind knowing that we’re saving the most money on the path we’re on.

We saved ~$45k (mostly so that we can buy a dental practice) .

Started a business. (The Contracts Counselor)

After I had been reviewing a lot of contracts for some friends this year (commercial and residential lease agreements, employment agreements, severance agreements, etc) I decided to officially open up for business at The Contracts Counselor. I’m hoping this little venture will help us pay off our debt even faster, since I’ll still be working in public service for my day job.

Went to a family reunion at Bear Lake.

We spoke at a dental conference about student loan debt.

We had a blast speaking at CDA’s event in May and got to go to Disneyland! It was right around our anniversary so it was fun to sneak away for a weekend. We missed M a ton and felt totally guilty for being at Disneyland without him! Disneyland and beach hanging were really fun, but it was also a blast meeting dentists and people in dental school getting ready to graduate who felt completely lost (like we did) regarding what the heck to do with their student loan debt.

My grandmother passed away.

My dad’s mom passed away. We went to her funeral in Mesa, AZ. She was 101 and amazing in every way! And while that was sad, it was nice to get together with family members I hadn’t seen in a long time for her funeral and celebrate her life.

Jumped in the ocean. 

A good year includes a trip to mother ocean.

2018 in review

Fed exotic animals. 

We didn’t make it back to Africa this year, but it sure felt like it when we went on this safari in southern Oklahoma.

Did no less than 100 home projects including a complete hvac replacement.

We felt like real adults this year by doing a million home projects, many of which would not have been possible without the help of Danny’s dad who came to town a few times. (Also as an aside, if you follow us on instagram, remember when that cabinet FELL OFF THE WALL?? Haha I’m proud to say it’s finally fixed!)

We boated, biked, hiked, and parked. 

We’ve been loving how close our house is to the Gathering Place in Tulsa and go tons during the week. We also spent a good amount of time biking, hiking, and boating, which things make for a good life.

Grew a garden. 

M grew another epic garden with strawberries, green beans, mint, rosemary, pumpkins, watermelon, and cucumbers. He definitely has a green thumb! And when I say it’s his garden, I really mean it. He weeded it and watered it frequently and always reminded me to go check on how it was doing.

M learned to swim. 

Speaking of M, he basically taught himself out to swim this summer! We had a friend whose baby did one of those baby swimming classes and he saw a video of her doing it and said that he wasn’t a baby so… he just started swimming haha. I tried to take him to the pool as often as I could this summer which obviously really helps.

Connected with friends. 

We got to see friends in Utah and Arizona that we don’t always get to see and it felt like heaven. And of course, spend tons of time with our Okie bunch.


I did my first race since M was born. It wasn’t a marathon like my good old days, but it felt really good to train for something and I got my personal best in a 15k so I was proud of myself.

Danny raced in Conquer the Gauntlet which is one of those obstacle course style races. It was four miles of pure manly muscle and he had a blast.

Little brother got married in Portland. 

We got to travel to Portland for my little brother’s wedding which was a blast. Always nice to see old family members (and we got to see them on both mine and Danny’s side which was so nice!) and we LOVE his new wifey.

Settled into our careers.

2018 was definitely the year of figuring things out career wise and getting settled into being adults kind of.

Tell me about your year! What were some highlights? Some lowlights? What are you looking forward to for next year? Have you started setting your New Year’s resolutions

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