As I sit here looking back on 2016, I can’t help but feel overwhelmingly nostalgic and thankful. I know the year had plenty of wins and challenges for us all, but it was without a doubt my favorite year yet.

There are some pretty obvious reasons I guess:

Marrying Eric, the most wonderful human, was the best ever.

looking back on 2016

My Bachelorette Party in Austin, which consisted of dancing and sunshine for three days with my best girls.

Austin Bachelorette

E & I moving into our first place together, a cozy two bedroom apartment where we love hosting others. I’ll have to share more once we’ve got all the wall decor up!

looking back on 2016

Visiting a new country – Jamaica for our Honeymoon –  and getting my scuba diving license (more of this to come next week).

looking back on 2016

This year, I also loved discovering new hobbies in crafting, like hand lettering and creating some unique pieces for our wedding.  Relaunching Days By Day with a fresh new look was also an exciting milestone.

looking back on 2016

looking back on 2016

Blogging was sporadic at times when wedding planning took over, but I just love it so much and did the best I could throughout it all. According to the numbers, here are the top 5 posts from 2016:

  1. Married Life Rocks // My first post after the wedding, where I shared some of the favorite pictures I had so far.
  2. Our Store + Celebrating Four Years! // I’d written about E & I’s incredible Parisian engagement, but never the classic “our story” post – this was finally it.
  3. Happy Anniversary, Chicago! // Reminiscing on one year in The Windy City + my top moments.
  4. Changing My Last Name // Real & raw thoughts on what a new name meant for me.
  5. How to Plan a Wedding From Far Away // Living in Illinois, getting married in Texas – my top tips for  planning a long distance wedding.

I love getting to share thoughts and moments with all of you, and am so thankful for the opportunity to do so. So a huge THANK YOU. For real, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for checking out my little space on the internet and all your support.

I’ll be honest. I’ve got some goals in mind for the blog in 2017, but the everlasting busyness of life and the feeling of not knowing what the heck you’re doing can seem overwhelming.

I always push people to pursue their passions and take it one step at at time though, so I need to do the same!

Well, what a year, friends! I truly am thankful for 2016. For my husband, my home, my loved ones. For all the incredible moments, and for the challenging ones that helped me to grow.

Wishing you and your loved ones the Happiest of New Years yet. See you in 2017!

Days By Day

days by day

Happy February, friends! (How is that possible already?) Now bare with me as I revert back to 2015 for a very delayed reflection that was still super important to me I get down, even if just for my own memories.

January always holds twice the newness for me, due to my birthday that happens just a couple weeks after the New Year. With 2015, and now twenty-two years recently behind me, I figured a brief look at last year was still appropriate.

2015 was a year of self-discovery and some of the best moments in my life to date. There were big wins, big challenges, and big changes. I look back on all that happened and can’t help but smile – not because every single moment was plain peachy (even though lots were), but because now being on the other side of it all, I can see how much I’ve grown. I can see how those around me have grown. I can see how how things work out as they should through God’s plans that he has carefully and lovingly written out for us.

Taking time to acknowledge our hardships is important to me, because that’s life, and our happy-go-lucky Instagram posts don’t really give anyone a full picture. At the same time though, once I acknowledge these moments, I try really hard to grow from them and shift focus back to those happy-go-lucky, rose colored things – they are really what make our worlds go ‘round.

And with all this being said, I’m finishing this reflection (told ya it was brief) with a list of some of my favorite and defining events of 2015 –

Graduating // I’m not going to say my four years at The University of Texas are going to be the best years of my life, because with all the love, dreams, and adventures I’ve got within and around me, I know that can’t be true. That being said, those four years were pretty darn amazing. Meeting my best friends, my future husband, conquering projects we thought would end us, getting exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking that made me smarter…the list goes on.

graduation days by day

Traveling Abroad // Man, this was on my list F O R E V E R – and it was just as magical as I hoped it would be. 28 days, 4 countries, 5 cities. If you want to grow a lot in a little bit of time, travel. There’s just no better answer. A big goal of mine is to get the rest of this trip on the blog by May. Some highlights included learning a little bit of French, drinking a lot of wine, indulging in my love for history, and living out of a backpack. Oh and number three I guess…

days by day

Getting Engaged // I’ll hold this whole moment in my heart forever. I’m so glad that one of the first things I did when we returned from Europe was document this story. Eric and I got engaged in front of the Eiffel Tower on our first full day in Paris, halfway through our journey, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. We’ve taught each other a lot, and I couldn’t imagine a better person to grow, love, and adventure with. Now counting down to the big day (11.6.16) and pretending we know how to plan weddings.

engagement days by day

Moving to Chicago // Eric and I have talked about how this is one of the best decisions we could have ever made multiple times. We love that amongst our family and friends, Chicago is our thing, and they’ve been so supportive of our big move. Just as wonderful has been settling in over these last several months, and making friends that have become our family here. Safe to say we love this city and the growth it’s bringing us.

chicago days by day

Vegas Girls Trip // I can have a more fun, less life changing one on the list, right?? Even though this trip was life changing in the fact that a getaway with the girlfriends is SO good for the soul, am I right ladies? Three dear friends and I jetted off to Las Vegas for a few days and lived like celebrities – limos and penthouses and dancing until the wee hours of the night were involved. It was fabulous and it just might happen again this year.

vegas days by day

I already know I’ll have some big moments coming out of this year and I’m pumped about them – now back to 2016!

Days By Day