The Wheaton Takeover 2018 Year in Review

2018 Year In Review

2018 Year In Review

2018 has finally written its last chapter of the year and now it’s time to dig in and do all the dirty work…that’s reflection and regrouping. My birthday month is in November being that it’s usually cold (blah) and the end of the year-I always start the month of by ordering a planner (which takes a lot of thought and research because you know…it’s me). This year, I chose the Erin Condren Life Planner to take me into 2019. I started my 2019 planning session reviewing 2018 and all its highlights and low lights. Let’s be real-we need to reflect on the good, the band and the ugly.


  • Two items were scratched off my bucket listexperiencing NYC with my family (again) and seeing a Broadway play on Broadway.
  • We had OFFICIAL visitors this month: five sets of friends, two sets of children and my parents. Their visits filled my soul.
  • We traveled to the US twice this year and one of those visits was a month visit at home during the holidays. I was SO in heaven.
  • I launched a freelance writing business.


  • I launched and closed a travel agency in a matter of a few months.
  • We faced our first major medical obstacle overseas that required two surgeries and a third one at home in the states.
  • My entire mouth had to be gutted and reset (basically) despite consistent visits to a dentist in Dublin.
  • I knocked over a post and busted a tail light on my truck.


This year we took it easy in the traveling department and chose to only travel around the husband’s days off and school holidays instead of yanking the kids out of school every two seconds.

Cliffs of Moher

In March, Bigg Dogg had a tournament in Limerick. We decided to go up a day early and visit the Cliffs of Moher. In typical Irish fashion, we started out the morning with rain that just wouldn’t stop. I told the husband that we should just call the Cliffs visit off and try another time. He insisted that we press on and I’m proud to report that I’m so glad we did because the clouds and rain disappeared, the sun came out and was magnificent. It ended up being a beautiful day.

New York City

In case I haven’t told you a thousand times, New York City is my absolute favorite city on Earth. This summer marked my third visit and second for the family. We had an absolute blast soaking in all the NYC energy and the summer sun. We were THAT family. We were absolute tourists from the open top tourist busses to taking a stroll in Central Park to seeing the Lion King on Broadway. We. Did. It. All. And I would do it again in a heartbeat.


For Bigg Dogg’s and the husband’s birthday, we visited the largest Canary Island, Tenerife. We saw wild dolphins (again), had pina coladas on the beach and took a private tour (our signature vacation stamp). On Bigg Dogg’s actual birthday, we spent the day at Siam Park which was voted as the best water park in the world. I am not a fan of water parks and I must admit, this was the best water park experience I have ever had…and it was absolutely spotless. We had a blast and it was definitely the highlight of our holiday.

Ring of Kerry

We took an old-fashioned road trip to visit Ireland’s Ring of Kerry. When I say old-fashioned, I mean we loaded up my SUV with my family of four, my mom, the bestie and her son. When traveling through the Ring of Kerry you see a bit of everything from beaches, to sheep to green like you have never seen before. I honestly have never seen anything like it in my lifetime.


We chased the sun with a Spanish summer and visited Mallorca in July. My parents were in town visiting and came along for this holiday. To date, Bigg Dogg says Mallorca is at the top of his list simply because his grandparents were there with him. So, I guess we’re chopped liver. I digress. Mallorca was a great holiday. The beaches were beautiful and the sun was awesome. Spain owes us absolutely nothing.


I turned the big 4-0 in November and we celebrated with an epic holiday to Rome. I absolutely love Italy and Rome was an awesome way to celebrate this milestone. Of course everyone had dibs on how they wanted to celebrate MY special day and in true mother/wife fashion…we did all those things. We spent the day visiting Pompeii and Naples, touring the Colosseum and spending hours at the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. And we ate all the food. And I mean all the food. Italian food is my favorite and add in some good wine and gelato. I’m done.


Houston is home. Houston gave me life. After visiting home for over a month, I am able to continue my life in Dublin. I miss Houston everyday.  I miss the smells, the diversity, the convenience, the grocery stores, the food and most importantly all my people.


I read 30 books in 2018. My top 3 books I devoured this year are:

An American Marriage was just great fiction. Each character had so many layers and Tayari Jones unpeeled every layer. This was the story that just kept on giving. I actually read this book over a 3 day period. Now, when does that ever happen? I was determined.

She’s Still There reassured me that I still have fire left in me. Becoming a mother and then a stay at home mom sucked me dry. But, this gem reminded me that all those hopes and dreams I had years ago…they still matter.

The Sun Does Shine is a gripping account of Anthony Ray Hinton’s life as a wrongly accused death row inmate for 30 years. This book has me pondering how I can do more to help those wrongly accused. Get your tissues ready.


Here’s my entire book list:


One Word 2019 Reboot

Moving into 2019

My one word for 2019 has been selected and changed but now it’s settled. This year I’m hoping to recoup some of what I have lost over the last few years and simply find my way again. I have crossed the 40 threshold and now it’s time to grow up and finally be who I want to be. So, I’m starting another journey that will hopefully finally set me on that path.

My goals for 2019 are to:

–commit to a writing schedule

build my writing portfolio

–create a (mostly) paperless home

–increase our reading minutes

–read even more and cutting down on social media minutes

It’s time to get a jump on 2019. I feel like time should be on my side. What is one of your highlights from 2018? Please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear all about it.

Hugs and love,

Dee Dee

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Dee Dee Wheaton

Dee Dee Wheaton is the editor and main contributor of her family’s blog, The Wheaton Takeover. She writes and edits her posts listening to hip hop and r&b while sipping hot tea. Dee Dee and her family have temporarily relocated to Dublin, Ireland from Houston, Texas. They are traveling the world, learning and experiencing new things everyday and loving life one day at a time. Through their blog, they share their worldwide excursions, experiences living as American expats in Ireland, lessons learned along the way and glimpses into their crazy life.