As I began this blog, I thought it was going to be kind of uneventful. Or really, just boring in comparison to 2015. I traveled out of the country to South Africa and to Italy in 2015 so in my head I instantly thought I traveled less in 2016. Once I started going through the year I realized this wasn’t really the case at all. I still traveled and did plenty of exciting things.. they just remained in the United States (well for the most part)!
2016 was a wonderful year. I worked more than ever, continued living with John and Bear in Champaign and traveled to exciting places for photography and for fun. I did my best to summarize my year in this blog. I’ve realized this blog is not only for all of you, it is also for me. I love being able to look back and relive the year through photos. After all, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I love pictures!
To begin the year, my family vacationed in Key West. Our weather wasn’t the greatest that week but the company was! I’m also still craving the shrimp cocktail I had there an entire year ago!
Annual Bulls/Pacers game with my parents and their good friends, Tim & Kim! And as always, we ended up at Howl at the Moon Piano bar after the game.
I spent a long weekend with my grandparents in North Dakota. I had the greatest time getting to know their new dog, Lucky, and just spending time with my Grandma and Pappy as well as the rest of my mom’s family. While there, my Uncle Tom and his kids also taught me how to ice fish..or tried.. we never caught any fish!
Career wise, this year was also one to remember. My website was featured by Showit, making me an official Showiteer. I also teamed up with The Reset Conference as their Social Media Marketing Manager.
In March, I traveled with my second family to their home in Florida and on a Carribean cruise. Hannah and I had so much fun soaking up the sun and finding our favorite nooks and crannies of the ship. However, I had a little too much fun in the sun that resulted in a big sunburn and swollen lips. Overall, it was an absolute blast though and I learned my lesson!
John started working for JP Morgan & Chase. Kind of a big fan of him in a shirt and tie.
We traveled to California to photograph Eric & Lauren’s wedding. It was a quick trip but we managed to have fun and get a feel for Redondo Beach while there!
Bear got a haircut! How cute is he?!
The Rising Tide Society & Tuesdays Together was one of the best additions to my year. So many business & life talks with creatives & photographers that understand my goals and business more than anyone.
Fourth of July weekend with my best friends was a success.
I took a Ladies trip to Denver, CO with two of my best friends. We hiked and explored the city. Despite our not so ideal Air BNB, we had an incredible trip and I hope to do something similar again this year.
While in Denver, I also attended the Creative at Heart Conference. This had been one of my goals for 2016 and I am so happy to have done it. I met so many wonderful creatives and was able to connect with some of my biggest inspirations in the industry.
One of my childhood best friends, Emily, got married this summer! My friends and I had fun (probably too much!) in all of the wedding festivities. Emily also set the bar high for all of us because she was the most beautiful bride!
Saying I was busy during the fall doesn’t really even begin to explain… I owe a sincere thank you to coffee and Bear for making those long days manageable.
One of the biggest events in 2016 was my parents moving! They now live in Columbia, MO which means my childhood home is on the market & I can no longer drive 15 minutes to them. It’s a big change but I couldn’t be happier for them on their new adventure and can’t wait to come stay in the new house.
It’s always fun to be a wedding guest 🙂
For the 3rd fall in a row, I made a trip to Phoenix, AZ. This time, one of my main second shooters & best friend, Maddie, joined me for Dain & Jolene’s wedding.
Thanksgiving was spent with my dad’s side of the family in Nashville, TN. Oh, and with two bulldogs in one hotel room! (To see more of our trip, click here).
When I came home from Nashville, John and I decided to host a Friendsgiving at our house. With the help of our friends, we put together an awesome meal and successfully cooked our first Thanksgiving turkey. (Disregard John’s No Shave November mustache).
John and I spent a weekend in December in Naperville with his family. We had a delicious seafood feast, attended a cooking class at Sur La Table & celebrated Christmas together.
Okay, I lied. The biggest event of 2016 was my sister’s incident in Jamaica. Audrey has always been a chronic sleep walker and has been known to do strange things in her sleep. This one takes the cake though.
Our first night in Jamaica, Audrey slept walked outside of our room and fell off of a 13ft balcony. Her fall resulted in a broken pelvis, two broken vertebrae, jammed thumbs and a very bruised heel. Although not ideal, she is very lucky and thankful to have no head injuries or any permanent issues.
With that being said, our family Christmas in Jamaica didn’t turn out how we had intended. My parents and Audrey flew to a hospital in the US the day after the accident and John and I stayed in Jamaica. It was a very strange experience to stay there knowing that Audrey was injured and in a hospital. We made the best of our trip (although missing the rest of the fam) and definitely enjoyed the beautiful Jamaican ocean, sun and sand.
After returning home from Jamaica, we gained an extra pup. My sister’s bulldog, Ollie, came to live with us while she was recovering. I think based on the photos you’ll be able to tell what an entertaining experience it has been!
If you’ve reached the end of this post, I am impressed. Just like last year’s blog, it ended up much longer than I had planned. This post really is a pretty accurate peek into my life and the people that mean the most to me.
And to those of you reading, even if you don’t have a blog or anything like this… look at your photos and calendar from 2016 and make your own version of this. I promise you there’s something about looking into a year of your life and seeing everything that happens that’s rewarding.