Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

December 31, 2022

2022 in Review: Highlights From My Year.

      Time once again to write my most favorite blog post of the year. This year's edition of the post is extra special, as 2022 was by far the best year of my life (so far). This year held so many precious memories and amazing experiences! Let's recap:

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2022 Summary:

     This sounds so corny, but I can feel myself tearing up a little bit as I start to write this post because I'm sad to be saying goodbye to such a special year. 2022 was truly the best year of my life so far. Some years of my past decade have definitely been filled with more lows than highs overall (2017 and 2020 as whole years for sure, and the first half of 2021 held some of the worst few months in my adult life thus far). So if this year wasn't the best for you... please know that I can relate to that from past years. But it was really amazing and special to have a year that was so fulfilling in so many ways: personally and professionally.  

     Since the rest of this blog post will mainly be focusing on the many highlights and blessings of the year, I did want to take a second to acknowledge the few lows of the year! 😂 Life is always full of highs and lows, even in an overall very good year. A few lows of this year included my previous laptop died unexpectedly in March, my first (and hopefully last) root canal in April, having horrific flight delays and cancellations both to and from Ireland in May, and getting sick in the second half of the year multiple times. One other low that I haven't really talked about on my blog or social media (that I do want to write a post about at some point) is that I struggled a bit in the second half of this year with really missing friends that live far away, especially my main Charlottesville friend group. It really hit me this year that I want to be in the Hampton Roads (Virginia Beach/Norfolk) area longterm... and that means permanently living away from all my best friends all over the country. As tough as it was, it was important for me to feel those feelings this fall. I just share this now because social media truly is a highlight reel sometimes, and this was something that was very tough for me in the later months of this year. 

      But I will remember 2022 as the year that I put myself out there in major ways and saw amazing results. Learning a new sport turned into a newfound love of golf, joining Junior League in 2021 lead to me taking on a leadership role in my chapter in 2022, realizing it was time to take a step back from blogging and taking a much needed "sabbatical," and entering 2022 with a drive and desire to date more and get out of my romantic comfort zone lead to me falling in love with the most wonderful man. And 2022 was one of the biggest year of travel of my adult life (post college) so far!

2022 Accomplishments:

     Career-wise, it was a great year that built off of everything that my new job started for me in 2021! The best moment of the entire year (and one of the best of my life) is Cash and I winning Best Radio Personality / Team for Large Market at the 2022 Virginia Association of Broadcasting awards. This was the first time that a radio show I was part of ever submitted something for the VAB awards. It was a huge honor to be nominated and find out Cash and I were finalists in our category! Just getting to attend my first VAB awards was good enough for me. But winning was so special! The VAB awards was also the first time I got to bring a guy that I was head over heels about as my date to a special event. As the girl who attended every prom, sorority formal and friends' weddings in adulthood without a boyfriend date... it was an extra special night to have Ryan there with me. 😊

     Besides for the VAB award win, this year also brought two amazing work trips for me! I finally got to attend the popular Morning Show Boot Camp radio conference in Chicago in August, after wanting to attend for the past five years! And in October, I went to Memphis to attend the St. Jude Hospital Country Cares Radio Seminar conference, which was also an amazing trip. The Memphis trip also brought my first-ever record label dinner, which was a fun rite of passage for me in country radio! 

      Personal-life wise, there are also many things I'm proud of from this year! I am so proud that I went into 2022 with a new outlook on dating and continued to put myself out there. I decided at the start of the year that I was going to go on at least 10 dates over the first few months of the year, and make dating and meeting new guys a regular part of my routine. Ryan was the 7th guy I went out with in 2022! We matched on Hinge in February. Most of the first six date experiences weren't the best, and it would've been so easy to fall into old patterns and delete my dating apps and stop putting myself out there and instead throw a pity party. But I kept going. And I am so glad I did! I started 2022 very single, and I end it in a happy and serious relationship since April. I have kept a lot of my relationship private and off the internet (the first six months I really didn't share very often about Ryan on Instagram at all), but I will take this moment to quickly be sappy. Ryan is the most incredible boyfriend. Being in a relationship is so easy and natural when it's the right person! We talk a lot about our future together while enjoying the present and not rushing the first year of dating stage. I can't wait to marry Ryan someday, but for the year to come I can't wait to make more memories as boyfriend and girlfriend. 

      I'm also really proud of myself this year for finally learning golf! It's intimidating to learn a new sport/hobby as an adult. My grandma has always loved to golf, and I knew a lot of people in college who were on the golf team. College is when I first started thinking that golf might be a sport I'd like to learn someday. That finally came true in 2022! I took lessons in the winter and spring, and then started playing and practicing with girlfriends later in the year. I fell in love with golf so much that I now even have a whole section of golf related goals on my latest 101 in 1001 bucket list, ha! 

     I am still involved in Junior League, and this year I became a committee chair within the organization and took on a leadership role! I am serving as the 2022-23 Chair of Corporate and Individual Giving. I look forward to sharing more about this later in 2023 at the conclusion of my term, but for now I'll just say it's been a cool experience to have a small leadership role and more responsibility within JL! And I've met some awesome new ladies this year through my position as well.  

     And finally, 2022 was the year that I realized that after a decade of blogging and making it one of the top priorities in my life... it was time to take a step back. Not quit completely! But for it to become less of my second job and more of a hobby again. I took the entire summer off of blogging, and returned in September feeling refreshed and with a new outlook on blogging

2022 Travels:

     This year brought the most travel that I've had in my adult life post-college! It was the type of year of travel that I hoped 2020 would be, and since I had to wait two extra years I feel like I was that much more appreciative for all the adventures. My mom and I finally got to take our much awaited international trip that had been postponed for two and a half years. We spent a week in Ireland in May! My other big trip of the year was Puerto Rico with my friend Liane in July. Puerto Rico quickly became one of my favorite places I've ever been, and it shocked me that it that actually ended up becoming my overall favorite trip of 2022! I can't wait to finally blog about Puerto Rico in 2023.

      I also traveled a lot within the East Coast in the first half of the year (so much so that I was barely home on weekends from February-May). I finally got to visit the famous Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, which had been at the top of my US travel bucket list for the last several years! I also made two less-than-24-hour trips to Charlotte this year. That was almost torturous- I still love Charlotte so much and it's such a tease to be there for such a short amount of time! I hope 2023 can bring at least one full weekend in Charlotte for me. I also spent a few weekends in my most favorite little NC town, Edenton

     Here were all my 2022 trips:

Charlotte, NC (Trip 1) - January

Atlanta, GA - February

Kennebunkport, ME - March 

Charlottesville, VA - March 

White Sulphur Springs (The Greenbrier), WV - March 

Washington, DC - April

Concord / Charlotte, NC (Trip 2) - May

Ireland - May

Edenton, NC - July

San Juan, Puerto Rico - July 

Chicago, IL - August 

Memphis, TN - October

Edenton, NC - November

2022 Visitors:

     I had the pleasure of hosting several visitors this year!! Five friends got to visit me in 2022, as well as both of my parents. My dad and I got to spend a lot of time together in Virginia Beach as he was able to visit three times! 

Dad - May, September & November 

Mom- November

Caroline - January & September

Liane - March

Cara - April 

Michelle - August

Ciera - November


2022 Winter Memories:

     2022 was such a good year for me overall, but if I had to pick the two hardest months it would probably be January and February. As I wrote earlier in this post, I went into the year with a new outlook on dating, but right off the bat in January I went on a few bad dates which was kind of a bummer. It also snowed a large amount for this area twice (!!) in Virginia Beach in January, which ruined many weekend plans that month. 

     But the absolute highlight of the whole winter was being part of the planning process and attending my best friend Ciera's proposal in Charlotte! Our other best friend Priyanka and I helped her fiance Patrick with a lot of the planning and details, and it was magical to be there. A memory I will always treasure!! I started traveling pretty often on weekends in mid-February and that continued all the way until May, which kept me busy. The winter season concluded with matching with Ryan on the dating app Hinge, and a trip home to Maine to throw my best friend Julia's bachelorette party and wedding dress shopping weekend! Julia and her husband Luke eloped in July 2022, so the bachelorette was her only chance to celebrate with family and friends, which made it extra special. Seeing Julia pick her wedding dress was another magical moment of the year! One last funny winter highlight was getting to dress up as a mermaid at work when I lost a bet to my co-host Cash about who would win the Super Bowl!

2022 Spring Memories:

     Spring was when life started to get really good! I finally got to meet Ryan in person (he was living out-of-state when we met on Hinge but was preparing to move to Virginia Beach in June). Our first date was on March 13th when he was visiting his family in Virginia Beach. I was still traveling most weekends, and when I was in town on a weekend I most likely had a friend visiting me! One of my weekend trips was my first visit back to Charlottesville since moving away in July 2021. I stayed busy with Junior League commitments, and started golf lessons and practicing regularly at the driving range. In March and April, I started seriously thinking and praying about taking a blogging break for the summer months, and what that would look like. Ryan spent nine days visiting Virginia Beach in late April, and he asked me to be his girlfriend officially on April 24th! That week that he was here in late April was filled with so many precious memories. Spring concluded with my mom and I finally going to Ireland! 

2022 Summer Memories:

     Ryan moved to Virginia Beach in mid-June, ending the long distance part of our relationship! I met and go to know a lot of his family members after he moved here, and he got to meet some of my local friends. Summer is concert season at work, and I got to work at and attend some fun country concerts in the area! The VAB awards in June were the highlight of my entire year, and July brought my amazing Puerto Rico trip! July also brought my one year anniversary since moving to Virginia Beach, and Ryan surprised me with flowers and a dinner date which made that so special. Unfortunately I did spend a good chunk of the summer really sick. I hope that next summer will look different in that regard! I got out to the beach a decent amount, but thanks to being sick and then catching up on life after being sick, it wasn't quite as much beach time as 2021. 

2022 Fall Memories:

     Fall and the rest of the year was busy! My birthday was unfortunately ruined by Covid this year. It cracks me up that 2022 was one of the best years of my life, but also one of the worst birthdays of my life!! Funny how that is. 😂 Ryan did everything he could to make it special despite me having Covid, and that meant so much to me. I had a lot of busy weekends with friends in the last few months of the year! I also welcomed a couple more visitors to Virginia Beach. I resumed blogging again after my sabbatical, but at a much more relaxed pace that fits my current lifestyle. Ryan and I went on some really fun dates, and after he got more settled here in Virginia Beach we finally started falling into weeknight routines a few nights a week. My parents visited for Thanksgiving and finally got to get to know Ryan and spend some quality time with him! I also hosted Thanksgiving for the first time ever. December was crazy busy, with tons of stuff going on the first three weekends of the month! Ryan and I had a relaxing Christmas with his family here in Virginia Beach, which was nice after the first part of the month was so busy. 

2022 Weddings: (Surprisingly I only had one wedding to attend in 2022!)

Hannah and David - May 

2022 Concerts:

    I worked at a bunch of concerts with my radio station this year, but a lot of them were weeknights/past my bedtime so I couldn't stay late at them. Here are the shows that I did get to stay for and enjoy! 

Priscilla Block 

Maren Morris 

Thomas Rhett 

Dierks Bentley 

TV Shows I Loved in 2022: Abbott Elementary, American Auto, Buying Beverly Hills, Emily in Paris, Is It Cake, Love is Blind, How I Met Your Father, My Unorthodox Life, Partner Track (so sad this got cancelled!) Selling Sunset, Selling the OC, Sweet Magnolias, The White Lotus.

5 Favorite Memories of 2022:

    1. Winning an award at the 2022 Virginia Association of Broadcasters (VAB) Awards, and celebrating after with Ryan (We also said "I love you" for the first time just a week before this!). 

    2. Ryan and I opening Christmas gifts together for the first time on Christmas Eve. Just the two of us and Delilah in my apartment.

    3. Relaxing poolside with a book and drink in Puerto Rico this summer.

    4. (For the second year in a row, #4 is a tie between special memories with each of my two closest friends!) A tie between being part of my best friend Ciera's proposal planning with her fiancé and being there in Charlotte to watch her get engaged, and seeing my best Julia find her wedding dress during her bachelorette party weekend (she and her husband eloped, so that was my only time seeing her in the dress!). 

    5. Attending the Morning Show Boot Camp radio conference in Chicago for the first time, after five years of wanting to attend! 

    In past years, I've done a Year in Blogging post in addition to the Highlights of My Year post. Since I took a big step back from blogging this year, I decided to just put two categories from the Year in Blogging into this post!

Blog - Readers' Favorite Blog Posts:

  1. HOTEL GUIDE: Staying at The Greenbrier On a Budget
  2. Lilly Pulitzer SURPRISE SALE 2022
  3. Lilly Pulitzer Winter 2022 Sunshine Sale
  4. My Sabbatical - I'm Taking a Break From Blogging
  5. Why I'm Glad I Joined Junior League

Blog - Top Selling Items:

  1. Lilly Pulitzer Homepage
  2. KISS Nail Glue 
  3. Sweet Magnolias Sticker Pack
  4. Lilly Pulitzer Cecilia Dress
  5. Lilly Pulitzer Mila Dress

Highlights From My Year posts from years passed:
2021 // 2020 // 2019 // 2018 // 2017 // 2016 // 2015

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 


1 comment

  1. This actually made me a little teary reading! I remember you sharing about how difficult your previous years were and I am so so happy to hear that 2022 was overall a better year for you and one of your best yet!! Also you guys look so cute together! Happy New Year! <3


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