Hindsight, Foresight, and a whole lot of 2018 Glitter

Every year, we always go through this routine of sappiness and sentimentalism, and every year, it’s just as weird. I’m feeling slightly speechless as I type out the number 2018.


It’s 2018.

I might actually slip a tear.

2017 has been a whirlwind, let me tell you, and I honestly don’t remember most of it. But as I rummaged through my data-bank of memories to pull forth something worthy of commemorating the year with, I kept finding more and more things that would induce a gasp of surprise and an, “I forgot about this!” I mean, it’s been a pretty memorable year.

Buckle down for the achievements, failures, and family highlights of 2017.


Something Happy

I started a blog.

Yup, you have 2017 to thank for this thing. May it live long and prosper.

Something Sad

I didn’t finish the Silmarillion this year. I started it in January, 2017, and…

Here we are. January 1st, 2018. I still haven’t finished it.

In my defense, there are about 17 different characters who all have names that are a variation of “Fin”.

Fingon, Finrod, Finarfin, Finduilas, Finwe, Fingolfin, Falathar, Fuinar…


Something Adventurous

We drove down to South Carolina TWICE to see a play of Prince Caspian (it was that good), and I about died both times. It was that good.


Plus, I got this lovely picture, so it was a triple-win.

Something Thought-Provoking

I turned sixteen this year. And yes, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not really that old, but there’s something about being of marriageable age (according to Jane Austen’s standards) that makes one sit up and take life a little more seriously. I passed the hump of the teenage years. Now I’m on the downward slide, fast careening toward adulthood and the responsibilities thereof. It’s exhilarating, terrifying, nerve-wracking, and solemn. I’m growing up. I never noticed it until this year.

Something Received



Disregard all previous mention of growing up. I don’t think I ever will.

Something Writerly


Well this is awkward. I basically didn’t do anything worthwhile this year. Besides quit my book and start a new one.

Oh, wait. There is something, after all. I DID CAMP NANOWRIMO, AND ACTUALLY COMPLETED MY GOAL!

*as all the real NaNoWriMo people groan and boo me off the stage*

Moving on.

Something Artistic

Despite that cool Arwen portrait I just did, my favorite artwork of 2017 will forever be this gal.


Simple, yes. Not a lot of shading or fancy stuff. But still. Just look at her hair.

Something Family-ish


The common denominator here is that in almost every one, Anna’s doing something freaky.

Something Strange

I got a plastic skeleton in art class.




Something Victorious

I had to write an essay.


I would like to point out that it was for ART, not creative writing or grammar or history or whatever other classes you should write essays for, which is just lame. But apparently, that wasn’t a consideration when the higher-ups decreed it. Disregard the fact that I’ve never WRITTEN an essay before—and didn’t even know how—and that I was only aware of this a week before I had to turn it in.

I may or may not have gotten sick that week and was unable to attend class.


Being the idiotically independent creature that I am, I spurned Anna’s offers of help and insisted on doing it myself. A massive Wikipedia page on essay writing and a couple of sleepless nights and subdued meltdowns later, I finished the thing and turned it in on the same day (because that’s how I roll), fully expecting to get an F.

I got an A+.

No joke.


I’m trying to convince my mother that it’s not adding to my bighead, but look; I can’t help that I’m INVINCIBLE!!!!!

*and everyone groans*

Something Awe-Inspiring

Dad took Anna and I to Hobby Lobby a couple months ago, and I almost passed out in the art section.

Guys. They have a WHOLE STINKIN’ SHELF of just paintbrushes.

What is life.


*dignified shrieking and flailing of limbs*

If anyone had told me a couple of years ago that I would be geeking out over paintbrushes, I would have packed them off to the loony bin.

Something Joyful

Back in November, my family and I made the five hour journey to visit two of my best friends, Emma and Kate, and their terrific family. There was much glittery exploding, evil cackling, inside joking, and, yes, even hugging.

*the stunned masses blink*

Look, even INTJs submit to it from time to time.

Something Quotable

Around my house, something ridiculous flies off a tongue every four seconds, which makes it very hard to record all the funny things that get said. But I did my best this year. Here are the most iconic Baran quotes of 2017.

Anna: “It’s strange to think that in many places of the world, people have never seen a pizza.”


Now, in this next one, mom was having a righteously indignant rant about reckless teenage drivers, and how it’s unwise to give a sixteen-year-old their own car for those reasons. (No offense to 16-year-olds. I’m one, so I’m allowed to call us stupid.)

Mom: “It wasn’t so bad back in the day, when kids only had horse and buggies, and it didn’t matter if they were stupid, but now… We’re giving them SIX-HORSE-POWERED ENGINES!!!”

Mom, don’t show your ignorance.

Dad: “Excuse me if I eat with my mouth full.”

Me: *in an elevator on the ground floor, desperately searching the control panel* “Why isn’t there a down button???”

Anna: “I had a Star Wars dream last night. It was really interesting! …except that Han Solo shot me…”

Anna: “Mom, how would you feel if I one day randomly walked into the house with dreadlocks?”

I’m imagining she wouldn’t feel good.

Now, this next one is a conversation between Anna and I. I’d just written a blog post about some random memory, and I made mention of the fact that I wasn’t even sure why I remembered it.

Anna: “Desperation.”

Mom: *who wasn’t even listening* “What did you say about Burger King?”

Anna: “It’s not comforting to know that Kylo Ren, one of the most emotionally unstable villains ever, is an INFP, my personality type.”

Me: “Well apparently, I’m Palpatine, the psychopathic supervillain who massacred planets, slaughtered the Jedi, and held the galaxy in bondage for twenty years.”

Anna: “Yeah, but that’s different. INTJs are just pure evil to the core.”

I think she was trying to make me feel better, but…

And now, folks, for the grand winner of the year. The quote of all quotes. The champion.

Anna: *randomly walks into the kitchen* “Bad News Tilda!” *randomly walks out*

Who is Bad News Tilda, you may ask? A figment of my dear sister’s head, that’s who. Anna, for whatever reason, decided that she was going to blurt out every weird thought that came into her head. This was the result.

We’ve taken to calling her Tilda…

Something Everlasting


(Yeah, yeah. “Smooth way to bring it back to this, Sarah.” Shut up and let me be a thankful Christian.)

Though in many respects, 2017 has been a tough year for me, it has also brought me closer in my relationship with Jesus. Through struggles, we grow. Through pain, we get stronger. Through hardships, we draw nearer to God. And I have found that to be true. A year ago, I wondered how people could talk to the Lord like he was actually in the room, right there, listening. I wondered how they could get around the roadblock of not being able to see him, not being able to hear his answer.

I don’t wonder that anymore.

2017 has been a humbling experience in the fact that it’s taught me both my shortcomings and my incredible fallibility. But through that fallibility, I feel stronger. There’s nothing quite as thought-provoking as realizing you’re stupid.

There’s nothing quite as awing as realizing God loves you anyway.

So yeah, it’s been a long year. It was fun. It was wacky. It was sometimes painful. But we’re another year older, another year wiser, another year closer to not breaking our necks doing something a stupid teenager would do. And we’re another year closer to God.

So I’d say it’s been a good year.

All hail 2018, and the wonders it has in store. *straps on helmet* I’m ready.



EDIT: Oh, and guess what? This post, first post of 2018, happens to be my 50th blog post. The poetic rightness of that is just flooring. All hail the 50th post of The Sarcastic Elf.)

46 thoughts on “Hindsight, Foresight, and a whole lot of 2018 Glitter

  1. Yeah… and this brilliance right here is one of the reasons I decided not to do a New Years post myself and just sorta smoothly roll into the next year and hope no one noticed… XD

    Don’t get me started on INFP villains. Just don’t. You will be healthier for it.
    And I have to say, your visit to us was one of the highlights of our year as well. πŸ˜‰

    2018, HERE WE COME!


    1. Well, you just blew it for yourself. I now am aware that you’re not doing a New Years post, and I say for shame, Kate Flournoy. Whatever comes out of that Jedi mind of yours is more than enough to rival my *glances at Mop and lowers voice* brilliance.

      *doesn’t get you started on INFP villains*


          1. Wow, apparently I am NOT alive and well. News to me. Wherever would I be without you here to tell me these things, MOP?


            1. I KNOW. *smug satisfaction * Tell the other one please. She needs a reminder from time to time …😁


  2. Those quotes. *rolls on floor laughing*
    That is so funny! I’m an INFP too! And I had no idea that INTJs are capable of willingly hugging. o_o They seem to dislike it so much.
    I started The Silmarilion earlier this year too, and I still haven’t finished it either! Those names are VERY confusing. I’m glad to know that you, also, are having a hard time getting through it. XP
    Happy New Year!


    1. Our opinion on hugging is the sort of thing INTJs try to keep under wraps as much as possible. It wouldn’t do to have people think they can just come up to us and give us a bear hug. There’s an art to the hug, you see, and only very special people who we’ve made sure are properly sanitized and won’t spread germs are allowed the privileged. πŸ˜‰

      Well gee. This makes me feel a lot better about my lame attempts to be an ultimate Tokien Geek. I’m glad you can commiserate with me. Happy New Year, and may we actually finish it this time. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, I see. That is good to know. πŸ™‚

        Yes! What part have you gotten to? I’m in the middle of Beren and Luthien.


          1. I’ll be happy when I get to the parts of Middle-earth history that I’m familiar with… the later part of the second age and the third age. πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

  3. So what was the essay ABOUT?

    All those quotes are beautiful, but my favorite is your dad’s “Excuse me if I eat with my mouth full.” I cannot stop cracking up about it.

    You know what’s great about you? (I mean, ONE of the things that’s great about you, you know.) Despite being somewhat of a *cough* bighead at times, you make fun of yourself more than anyone else. You call yourself stupid and make fun of your own…arrogance…, and if that’s not endearing nothing is. πŸ˜‚ If there are proud people, it puts them in a whole different light when they acknowledge and know their shortcomings. And make fun of them. Even if they DO yet acknowledge their own brilliance. πŸ˜€


    1. *blatantly ignores Mop* The essay was about Van Gogh. Did you know Van Gogh cut his ear off, wrapped it up in brown paper, and SENT IT TO A LADY? Some poor got a bloody ear in the mail.

      See, making fun of myself is the preventative measures I take to protect against bigheadedness. When it comes right down to it, I’m really not THAT arrogant of a person (be quiet, Mop). I make fun of it because I recognize that I COULD be terrible if I let myself go. I think everyone ought to recognize that deep down inside, we’re all just stupid.

      “I mean, ONE of the things that’s great about you, you know.”

      I approve this message. πŸ˜‚


      1. Oh yikes. I’ve read about him, and methinketh any essay on him could be slightly depressing. And while I knew he cut off his ear, apparently I missed the part of what he did with it. That’s…quite appalling.

        Well hey, that makes a lot of sense. *exuberant nod* I like sense.


  4. As an INTJ myself, I both agree and disagree with her statement that all of us are “just pure evil.” Still, great post, and I love reading your sarcastic comments on basically everything ever.


  5. *chokes with laughter* those quotes πŸ˜‚! That picture is really cool. Congrats on the A+. Hobby Lobby is awesome. Just awesome. Happy New Year Sarah!


  6. First you have the SAME sword as my brother… πŸ˜‚
    That drawing will always leave my jaw gapping. It’s absolutely stunning.
    A+ that’s awesome!
    Oh I could get lost in Hobby Lobby. 😁
    And J must say that your family sounds like a living breathing comedy show. πŸ˜‰
    Happy New Year!


    1. HA! Cold Steel training sword? It was actually recommended to me by someone on KP, so apparently, we’re not the only ones.

      A living breathing comedy show… you don’t know the half of it. πŸ˜‚ We’ve been called everything from the Traveling Circus to the Loony Bin. I prefer to call us “eccentric”. πŸ˜‰ Happy New Year to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Sarah!
    Your year sounded eventful, to say the least…

    We have a notebook where we put down the crazy quotes of the year, like
    Brother: “Can you give me a hand?”
    Sister (Me): “Why, when you already have two?”
    or my four year old sister saying that the windshield wipers are dancers who keep falling down and that they need to tie their shoes, or something like that.

    Hobby Lobby is great, but as a non-serious artist, I can only say each to their own thing.

    This year (2018) how about you make another great year by coming down to my house! *HINT HINT* I would love it, and so would you. We can make up for the lack of children’s noises by our laughter and story creation. And I wouldn’t hug you. I promise, even though I enjoy hugging people. But I do agree somewhat about the hugs. There is an art to it. If you do it wishy-washily, then it is awkward and not worth it. In fact, it’s better not to do it at all unless you know the person knows the art. Most do not. But they still come at me anyways, so I make the best of it. I don’t have a neat sword to ward them off. πŸ˜€ I do have a bow though…

    I started the Silmarillion this past July, and, well, I just got past the dwarves being made. I don’t think I even got to all those confusing names. *Sheepishly hides behind another book, not Silmarillion* I did get a Tolkien book for Christmas entitled Tales from the Perilous Realm, and I read that in a matter of hours. Maybe I will finish Silmarillion next.

    And your face with the plastic skeleton! XD
    Love it!

    Happy New Year, Elf-friend!


    1. HA, we could be the Non-Hugging Writing Rangers with our sword and bow. πŸ˜‚ That would be hilarious. And I’m pretty sure the Silmarillion was Tolkien’s attempt at taking over the world by confusing everyone into submission.

      Happy New Year, oh thou Crazy Person with a Billion Personalities!


      1. Not quite a billion, but I (all five of me) accept your salutations.
        (Have you ask Mop and Pop if you could come down for my birthday?)


  8. *dies* This whole thing… I am in stitches XD XD
    YOU SAW EMMA AND KATE?! FLOURNOY?!!!! *fangirls* They are awesome!!
    (You know you’re a Kapeefer when you treat other Kapeefers like celebrities X) )
    (Ohh, I should add that to my “How to Spot a Kapeefer” list…)


    1. Yes indeedy, the one and only’s. πŸ˜‚ They are awesome. I wholeheartedly agree. *nod nod*

      (*gasps, eyes widening as she clutches her heart* You mean Kapeefers AREN’T celebrities? My world has been crushed.)


    2. This comment is SUPER late, but I just wanted to add:
      That look on your face with those paintbrushes at Hobby Lobby, is PRICELESS.
      Hobby Lobby is AWESOME!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Everyone seems to think INTJ Females are rare, but we’re all over the blogosphere so…

    You’re blog is amazing and if you think I won’t be stalking everything you write, your wrong πŸ˜‰

    (And your drawings are amazing!)

    (And so is your profile picture)

    (And congrats on the sword)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stalk away, fellow INTJ! It’s a continual source of amazement to me at how many of us there seem to be in the writing/blogging world. Maybe it’s because we can let out the true inner villain in us, and every one just thinks we’re funny. πŸ˜‰


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