2018 was a whirlwind of a year! It was filled with lots of traveling, meeting new friends, starting nursing school, and working with the most incredible couples! I usually hold onto a word throughout the year and this year my one word ended up becoming two. Have you ever heard someone talk about sharing a peach and a pit at the end of the year? Your peach is your high point, your pit is your low. I began the year with the word “unapologetic”. That sounds like an odd word to be your peach but I say I’m sorry ALL. OF. THE. TIME. Like someone stubs their toe on a chair 5 feet away from me and I feel this need to say, “I’m sorry!” It’s a bit ridiculous. I love to be empathetic but this can easily turn into apologizing for being myself. So, I made the decision to walk into 2018 being unapologetically myself. And I feel that this year was a year that really stretched me. I had to learn how to find balance and take better care of myself, to stand up for myself. This meant slowing down, taking on less weddings to invest more in the couples I serve, getting a climbing gym membership, cooking more often, having hard conversations with people, and sitting down to breathe and think over things more intentionally. My second word, my pit, was disappointment. Life has been filled with some big disappointments and to be honest, there are some that I’ve held onto for way long time. Along with this word came growth and healing. It’s easy to walk through this life with hurt and pain and as an Enneagram 7 I tend to run as far and fast as I can away from pain as I can! When I have ran away from dealing with disappointments, I’ve also lost out on being myself and building the life that I want.

As I walk forward into 2019, a beautiful New Year, I hope to take more of the disappointments that haunt me and confront them head on. I hope to heal and to grow past them while learning to become more and more confident in who I am without apologizing for it or thinking I need to conform to a certain image or perspective. Being in the profession I am, I want to encourage each and every one of you to consider my peach and pit. I find that the two words that stood out this past year are often facts and frustrations within a marriage, actually within the human race in general. We disappoint others and find ourselves disappointed in people. When we walk down the road of life together, the fact is that things can get pretty messy! We’re just not perfect people that always get along. Our uniqueness makes us beautiful, and it also makes us tough to deal with haha! I promise though, the mess is worth it when we choose to walk through the highs and lows together.

Whether you are single, dating, engaged, or married, thank you for being here and for reading this far. I believe that we make each day (each year) exactly what we want - things don’t always go smoothly but we have choices that hold the potential to change and direct our paths. During my time home in Western Oklahoma this Christmas, we had a big family blow up. An argument that turned into screaming and yelling (our family is far from perfect), a lot of feelings hurt, and frustrations with one another released in a bunch of wrong ways. This could have torn our family apart but thank goodness it didn’t. Instead of walking away and leaving the giant elephant in the room, we sat down and talked it out. IT. WAS. HARD. I’ve encountered a lot of conflicts this past year; some where the convo stopped, and some where it encouraged growth and a lot of longer deeper conversations to continue. I’d like to see each of us sit down with those people we don’t agree with this year. Let’s get to know one another, not just each others political or religious beliefs. Let’s find a common ground, an understanding, a new appreciation, and a new perspective. Let’s forgive, let’s learn, let’s heal, and let’s grow together in 2019.

Looking back on this year I’m thankful for the experiences it has brought me. I’m so thankful for the new lands I explored (Death Valley and Maui, Hawaii being two that I had wanted to mark off my bucket list), and the beautiful people I connected with on their magical adventures. I hope you all find encouragement for stepping into this new season while reading my blog and that you enjoy reviewing my work throughout all of 2018. I’m leaving tonight to head back to Colorado and throughout all the trials this year has brought, (gosh even up to the last day am I right?!) I feel refreshed, that my connections (family and friends) are stronger, and I have a clear direction filled with excitement about walking into this New Year.

I’ll stop talking now and let the fireworks begin - Happy New Year my friends! These are some of my favorite photos from the past year, it’s been so fun to look back on your stories and the time that we shared together!