January 6, 2022
When creating my yearly recap blog post each year, I like to look back on my posts from past years. That’s the whole reason I write these and share my unflattering iPhone snapshots – these are digital journal entries for myself, as well as my followers. But even if no one reads it, I love looking back on what our years have been like.
As I reread 2020’s recap, I was reminded of the hardship the pandemic brought us, how life changed so suddenly. We struggled but as I read, I realized I still found moments of joy and motivation. We hoped that this time in our lives would stay in 2020, but then 2021 happened and it’s almost as if it leaked over. When I look back on the past twelve months, I see pockets of joy but nothing like how I expected 2021 would go.
2020 was difficult but for me personally, 2021 was just as hard but in different ways. Not only did we still have to deal with the pandemic, but personally our lives catapulted into so much change and transition like I had never experienced before. Imagine going through BIG life changes and doing them ALL at the same time. That was 2021 for us. I left my home, my business as I knew it, and moved across the country. I left behind family and friends and any thoughts of what the future would look like.
This year was challenging. We were in a new place, not knowing anyone or where anything was all while still dealing with a pandemic. I wish I could say we eased into everything gracefully and we’re thriving now. But truthfully, we’re not. I still feel lonely sometimes, I’m still trying to make new friends (safely, of course.) The business I built for 10 years I’m slowly building up again in a new location. I miss my family, I miss my old house. We are discovering new places but it’s overwhelming how many more places there are still left to explore.
But with all of that, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m not saying any of this to make you feel sorry for us, I want to normalize that not everything has to feel “perfect” all the time. I’m thrilled we believed in ourselves and in each other to take the leap and move to a new city. I know it’s a process and will take time for us to thrive in this environment. Maybe 2021 wasn’t about doing all these amazing new things in life or business, for us it was about being vulnerable and putting ourselves out there. Even if we didn’t always feel fearless, we were brave. Change is the only constant in our lives and I’m proud that we are here, feeling uncomfortable, trying new things. That’s what life is all about.
Whatever 2021 brought you, know that it was enough. You didn’t have to do all these amazing things to make the year “worth it.” You made it through and you should feel SO proud of yourself.
The word I chose for 2021 was “Embrace.” My goal was to embrace the changes I knew this year would bring me. Did I always embrace them gracefully? Definitely not. But I tried to see the gift with each new life lesson 2021 brought me.
We started off the year by packing up our home in Wisconsin, filling up a truck with our belongings, driving 30 hours with three cats, and moving into our home in Seattle! So many tears were shed but we were ready for this adventure.
First night in our new house and LOTS of house projects followed over the next few months.
I joined Seattle’s Rising Tide chapter and became a co-leader! I have met some amazing people from this group throughout the year and I’m excited to meet even more this year.
Matt and I began exploring our new home of Seattle. Lots of coffee and ice cream trips!
One of my goals this year was to meet as many wedding vendors as possible. I loved my wedding vendor friends in the Midwest and I was eager to make new friends here. I put together these adorable welcome boxes for each of them!
Spring came to the PNW and I loved seeing all the blooms for the first time. We have this gorgeous trail by our house and its beauty changes with each new season.
I started visiting some wonderful wedding venues around my area and even began shooting medium format film!
Easter celebration at home and getting vaccinated! Being in a new city so far away from family has been an adjustment this year. Holidays were quieter but more intimate. We value every chance we get to celebrate together.
In May, I made my first of MANY trips back to the Midwest for the 2021 wedding season. One of my first weddings back I even got to work with my sister!
Matt and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary at the end of May in Washington. We enjoyed a night out downtown then a fun little hike and beach rest at Deception Pass!
Thankful for friends who came to visit this year and friends we grew closer with!
This wedding season really was a work from anywhere situation! I edited photos in coffeeshops, airports, my parents’ house – everywhere! I traveled SO much and didn’t want to get backed up. Because of my busy schedule I lived in Wisconsin for the entire month of July and photographed so many weddings and portrait sessions. I even guest taught at Pure Barre Green Bay again! I still made time for family, friends, and fun too.
My sweet friend Natalie wrote this book! I also beat my yearly goal of reading 52 books, I read 57 – yay!
Fall came and with it another trip back to the Midwest for weddings and a trip to Boston for an AMAZING Engagement Session. I loved seeing how beautiful our house in Seattle looked with the new fall colors.
Matt started his second season with the Seahawks!
The biggest and BEST news of the year! In September, I found out I was pregnant! We have been trying to begin our family for years now and while we were cautious with this news, we were also SO excited. We kept it quiet for a long time while we basked in our joy and amazement over this miracle. We’re so excited to finally be sharing more now and can’t wait to meet our little one in May!
I attended my first Seahawks game at Lumen Field and my sister came to visit!
During the Seahawks bye week, Matt and I journeyed back to the Midwest for an Iowa State football game followed by a Packers/Seahawks game at Lambeau Field.
Back home in Seattle, more baby progress and I celebrated my 31st birthday!!
Christmas came and we loved celebrating it with wreathing making, gingerbread house building, and finding Christmas lights. I also photographed my last wedding of 2021 at 18 weeks pregnant!
Christmas Day marked the halfway point of my pregnancy. I’ve enjoyed it SO much and I cannot wait to see what the second half brings me in 2022. This has truly been a dream come true! We celebrated New Year’s Eve cozied up on the couch, eating pancakes, and enjoying sparkling grape juice.
Cheers to the new year! I’m so excited for all 2022 has to bring us!