Apparently My Word For 2014 Was “Travel”.

This time last year I noticed many of my friends picking “a word for 2014”, something they would live by or strive for. I didn’t join in but it all worked out. As it turned out my word, “Travel”, found its way to me.

While thinking about what kind of 2014 wrap-up post I wanted to write, what stuck out the most was how much travel I did this year. In fact, without even looking at my calendar to count days properly I figured out off the top of my head that I was away from my home for between six and eight weeks. That’s a lot of time living out of a suitcase, but it’s also a lot of time making some pretty spectacular memories.

Of course, I had some Chicago-based adventures too. (It’s a well known fact that I can make an adventure out of just about anything.) Here are my all-around favorites from 2014:

Not a lot happened around here in January and February other than constant shoveling so I’m just skipping those months.

At the beginning of March I road-tripped to Momo’s house in Columbus. I LOVE solo road-tripping. The post I wrote about my Musings From The Road kind of cracks me up. I loved hanging out with Momo’s family and live-tweeting the Oscars with her, in the same room.

At the end of April, Tracey and I hit the road to support our fellow LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER co-producers in Milwaukee, meeting up with a few other Chicago friends as well as LTYM founder and National Director Ann Imig for the show. It was a great day. I just LOLed all over again when I went back to read the post I wrote about it, because of Tracey’s tweets and the pictures I took, including the group selfie we got with Ann after about thirty tries and Ann saying “I just never know where to look!” about twenty-nine times.

Also in the spring, my trail mix became famous. Or infamous. And it’s actually my mother-in-law’s trail mix. I “revealed” the recipe, “ish”, in this post…even though there’s no set recipe. You’ll get the idea.

May was the biggest, most busy-for-me month of 2014. I was busy at home AND busy on the road. May 2014 is a huge and awesome blur for me. For starters, it was LTYM month. Our third annual Chicago show was beyond amazing and I wrote about my favorite moments from that experience.

Oscar Selfie

I also hit up the Northwest Indiana LTYM show and the Mother of them all, Ann’s Madison show. SO much fun.

There was no resting after LTYM season closed, as BlogHer conference season started with BlogHer Food in Miami. I ADORE working at BlogHer Food, and this year was even more epic than last because I was with Momo AND Liz nearly 24/7. We were mostly working, but we snuck in a few madcap adventures too, of course.

Drinks are larger than they appear.

Right after BlogHer Food I flew directly to New Jersey without passing “Go”, and spent a few days with my east coast family. I didn’t write any blog posts specifically about that trip because Liz and I were fried from the conference and didn’t spend too much time with our computers (not to mention we were busy seeing “Wicked” and eating steak and drinking Raspberry Rosemary Martinis at Crisp’s to celebrate her birthday), but this is one of my favorite pictures because HAPPY PLACE:


In June we drove to Tennessee to help my parents celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They renewed their vows in a lovely and intimate ceremony at a friend’s home. It was awesome to be present for that; I can’t even express how much.

July brought my first “In Pictures” post, in which I drew pictures of our dinner at Chicago’s “The Purple Pig” instead of capturing them with a camera. At the end of July I flew to San Jose, California for the tenth annual BlogHer conference. I was with Momo and Liz nearly 24/7 again, along with tons of other blog friends from all over the country. The weekend was epic as always, and I’m not only talking about the part where RUN-DMC’s Rev Run DJed the closing party.

Momo, Melisa, Liz

Rev Run

I wrote one of my favorite posts in all of 2014 in August when I took a sabbatical day at a friend’s lake house in Wisconsin.


At the end of August I wrote another “In Pictures” post, this time about my adventures with Samantha at the Steve Harvey show taping, with featured guest Pitbull. What a day THAT was. What a sunburn THAT was. Totally worth it.

I wrote another favorite post in September after Jim and I took a hike with D. I also accompanied Jim on a business trip to Merida, Mexico ABOUT WHICH I ONLY WROTE ONE TEENY POST OMG but I sure did take a bunch of pictures…

Chichen Itza


Stairs to the cenote

Merida tree

Coke bottle

Mexican dresses


October was another huge travel month. In early October Jim and I went to Tennessee for his sister’s wedding, and a week later I went back to Liz’s to enjoy yet another phenomenal visit with my sistuh-from-anuthuh-muthuh. We had good times at This Full House and all the way down the Jersey coast to Cape May.

Liz and Melisa at Sunset Beach

I also got addicted to tea on that trip. Oops.

I finished out October in a temporary but deep depression brought on by the combination of returning to a completely empty house after my New Jersey trip and, likely, hormones (stupid peri-menopause), and worked it out by writing a post that resulted in my being wrapped in love from my friends (thank you!).

I participated in NaBloPoMo in November, blogging each and every day of the month. They weren’t all gems, of course, but I wrote about my newly-developed tea obsession and let you all in on my crazy. (You’re welcome.) I also turned 46 and got one of the best birthday-gifts-that-wasn’t-meant-to-be-a-birthday-gift ever (because she didn’t know it was my birthday), when my friend, the amazingly wonderful and hugely tremendous Erica, got two members of the Brady Bunch to address me on video. I’m still sweating.

Earlier this month Jim and I left town again, this time to go on a cruise to the Bahamas, with an overnight stop in South Beach. (I highly recommend heading to the islands during December.)

Melisa and Jim at the beach

I also wrote about finding my inner pirate at Neverland, gave you guys a peek into the five hundred millionth reason why I love my husband, and, yesterday, wrote an empty nester post that is actually syndicated on BlogHer today! (Thanks, BlogHer!)

I can’t say I’m in as much of a hurry as most of my friends are for 2014 to be over; it’s been a pretty darn good year for me. That said, I’m in complete favor of moving forward, saying goodbye to it, and welcoming 2015 with open arms because I’ve got some new adventures in the hopper and I can’t wait to get started. So let’s go! I’m wishing you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Happy 2015!