A look back at 2016

2016. What a year. This year was full of unexpected surprises and fun adventures, for sure. It's hard to believe that today I got out my 2017 planner; I swear every year goes faster that the last.

This year was such a fun year to watch my business really bloom. I got to photograph so many wonderful families, couples, and kiddos; I loved every second of capturing your memories. I got to photograph a number of weddings, lots of families, so many kids, family reunions, birthday parties, and even a birth! Every time someone entrusts their precious memories to me and my camera, I am so honored. That is not something that I take lightly at all.

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My Etsy shop continues to grow with new products, and my hand-lettered designs have found new homes in nearly every state now. I feel so blessed every time I hear how God is using those products to remind friends of His promises and how He always places the right words on my heart to be used in the lives of people I don't even know. Through that adventure, I've gotten to travel to craft fairs to meet some of you in person, and even have my designs sold in a handful of physical shops now!

I also got to Design a variety of custom graphic design projects for clients. Logo designs, invitations, marketing materials, and so many other fun projects! I loved working with business to help them creatively solve their visual problems.

On a personal note, I got to watch my family grow as my brother got engaged and we got to know his fiance - we are so excited to officially welcome her into our family in just a few weeks now! We watched my grandpa prepare for a new marriage with his new wife. I drove thousands of miles to visit friends; I got to take adventures with my mom and my sister - including a day trip to Hot Springs, and a trip to a Star Wars museum. I got to go to my favorite place in the whole world - Deception Pass. I got to be reunited with lots of cousins and aunts and uncles I hadn't seen for years. I continued to be amazed by how faithful God is. I petted an elephant. I went to Magnolia Market - twice. I spent a weekend in a cabin with my best friends. I read lots of books, but not as many as I wanted to, I snuggled kitties and babies, I enjoyed my porch swing, I learned new hobbies and didn't turn them into businesses. I learned a thing or two about unplugging and resting well.

And then God surprised me big time when I suddenly found myself moving back to Central Illinois for a new job. It wasn't something that I was looking for or even expected - and it was somewhat scary and in some ways felt like giving up on what I'd been working so hard on for over two years, but in the end I know this is right. I've reconnected with old friends, and made some new ones. I'm back in the place I grew up, walking those same small town sidewalks I never thought I'd be walking again on a regular basis.

What an adventure. It was a great year, really.

I'm so excited about the next year and seeing the adventures that God is going to take me on!