2017 was sweet as a peach! Together with 2016, this has been the most growing time in my life so far. When I have reflected on prior years, I have noticed lots of unseen change and growth (emotional, spiritual, etc). This year, however, was altogether different in the best ways.
While I had lots of emotional and spiritual lessons in 2017, many of my milestones and growth happened on the outside: getting married, moving out of my parents home, resuming my college education, starting a new job, eventually leaving that job, and digging deep into my vision for the years ahead. It has been a banner year, to say the least, and I am so thankful. As 2017 comes to a close today I’m excited to share a review of the past 12 months. Enjoy!
January was a beautiful start to the year. It was marked with lots of growth, new disciplines, and the challenge of a brand new job. I had said up-and-down that I would never work a cubicle job but this year I was able to grow and learn from my experience in doing so. January started off with settling into my new position, prioritizing date nights with Dillon, and some of the early steps of wedding planning (building our registry, inviting our flower girls and junior bridesmaids, sending our save the dates, and dreaming together of what our wedding day would look like).
February was such a fun month. I found my wedding gown in the very first weekend and then the Patriots won the Super Bowl the next day. I also remember having a couple paid days off from work due to a snowstorm which was a welcome treat. We spent lots of time with family and I had an early birthday celebration with a dear friend in a quaint small town across the state.
March marked my 25th birthday, which was my favorite birthday yet. We continued wedding planning and really picked up the pace with it. Dillon served as the MC of a regional children’s ministry conference, and I continued to grow a lot through reading nonfiction books (I read more this year than ever before!). This was also the month when we signed on our apartment – an incredibly exciting milestone. We also received our very first wedding gift which was such a treat!
April brought forth a huge Easter celebration with our church. I really started to see my professional growth and was able to speak encouragement into new hires as they joined our team. My bridesmaids hosted the sweetest bridal shower and we really started to tie up loose ends with wedding planning, including sending out our invitations. Dillon and I completed a sugar fast in preparation for our family vacation, too.
May began with a sweet week of rest as we took a family vacation to Bermuda. I spent much of the week taking a break from all of the busyness of wedding planning and moving prep. We got the keys to our apartment right after our family vacation, which marked Dillon’s move-in. We had our engagement session with our sweet photographer and my dear friend Ruthie, and then my bridesmaids hosted a bachelorette weekend for me in a quaint coastal town in Maine.
June was wedding month! The first week involved settling into our apartment as I prepared to move in with Dillon after our wedding. We did lots of shopping for home essentials, searching Craigslist for furniture and tying up the final details before our wedding. On the 10th, we got married – YAY! The week after our wedding we took a short mini-moon staying local and getting much-needed rest. The rest of the month was spent settling into newlywed life and dreaming about the rest of the year in the reprieve of wedding planning. I started blogging regularly that month which has been an incredibly rewarding part of this year.
July was, in a word, productive. I resumed some college coursework at the beginning of the month with a design class, which meant my weekends were filled with homework. I started running that month and working to daily hit 10,000 steps. At work, I was invited to speak at our quarterly awards ceremony, which was a wonderful opportunity for growth! Dillon and I tried Plated, which made way for some fun at-home date nights, and we started using EveryDollar and the envelope system to budget.
August started with a work event, the Brand Olympics. I represented ‘Team Mexico’ and competed outside on a nearly-100 degree day – whew! Dillon and I took advantage of the summer weather with a trip to the farmstand, a few ice cream dates, and a weekend in Maine for the Shattuck Family Vacation. This month also brought with it the hype of the eclipse which made for mid-week fun.
September was BUSY. It was full of growth and accomplishment, but it was a bit too full. I was a full-time student while also working full-time during the busiest work season of the year. I was running several times a week, blogging consistently, exploring photography, and trying to do all.the.things. I celebrated Dillon’s birthday by decorating our home and baking a homemade pie, and then we joined my family for our first-annual river tubing day in the White Mountains. Dillon championed me in a huge way at the end of the month by surprising me with my dream computer, encouraging me to pursue my dream of business ownership and saying that he believes in me in big ways. We also started Financial Peace University, one of my favorite parts of the whole year!
October was beautiful and hard. I transitioned out of my position at work and entered an in-between season as I prayed through my next professional steps. One of the biggest challenges this year has been balancing my dream of business ownership with the responsibility of having stable income to pursue our financial goals. Thankfully, the pieces are all coming together for a beautiful balance of the two in 2018! Dillon and I took advantage of all the fall goodness with a trip to the pumpkin patch and an apple picking day. Two of our dear friends got married and I had the privilege of photographing their rehearsal dinner, which was so much fun!
November was a sweet farewell to fall and the start of our first married holiday season. We hosted Friendsgiving in our home, I got to help photograph a church event that my parents were serving at, and I ran my first 5K. We also graduated from Financial Peace University at the end of the month, which was a life-changing experience for us!
December was so festive and sweet! We packed as much holiday cheer into our days as possible, singing carols, driving around to look at lights, sipping eggnog and cider, playing Christmas music ‘round the clock, and sharing so much time with loved ones. I carved out lots of time to work on my goals for 2018 with my PowerSheets and am so expectant of all the good things to come in the new year.
Happy New Year, friends!