2016 Year In Review

I have been in full reflection mode lately, I think that’s common this time of year. I find myself lost in thought, staring off into space and thinking about the highlights, lessons and accomplishments from this past year. It’s been a really great year, possibly one of the best. The more I think about the events of this year the more evident it becomes. 2016, you will always stand out to me as a particularly special year.

I began 2016 with one word in mind…fearless. I set an intention on day one and built my year around it. I wanted to do things that scared me. I wanted to see new places. I wanted to make everlasting memories with Alex. I wanted to push my business to the next level.

I’m excited to share with you my highlight reel from this year! I want to emphasis the word “highlight” because these really are the shiny beautiful days that stand out. I could make an equally long list of down falls and lessons learned (my computer crashed in three different ways this year and I spent a total of 3 months away from Alex) It’s important to remember there is more to our lives than what we present on social media.

Alex and I had a exceptionally adventurous year. For those that don’t know, Alex is leaving for a year long tour in Bahrain beginning in February and I will be staying in San Diego. Not because I don’t want to go, but it’s an unaccompanied tour, meaning I can’t go. Boo. This gave us a little extra motivation to accomplish a few items on our list before he leaves. We basically took two years worth of vacations and smashed it all into one year!

My Year In Review:

Establishing “fearless” as my word of the year was great but I wanted something a little more….so I went skydiving. It was the best way to start my year!

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I had the pleasure of photographing 12 weddings this year. Twelve amazing couples invited me to be with them on their wedding day. I can’t avoid sounding cheesy when I say that it really is an absolute honor. When a bride is getting into her dress, she is surrounded by the most important people in her life…and me. That’s not something I take lightly! It’s such a beautiful wonderful job that I have, being in the background for these precious and fleeting moments. To my 2016 wedding clients, I love you guys! I’m looking forward to keeping up with you as you buy your first home, move to a new city, add a four legged friend or start a family.

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I love to show off my couples and these photos were featured on blogs or in magazines this year!

Nicole & Nate’s September Wedding featured in Southern Minnesota Weddings Magazine
Amy & Nick’s Joshua Tree Proposal featured on It Started With Yes
Amy & Nick’s Joshua Tree Proposal featured on How He Asked
Katelyn & Ryan’s Keller Golf Course Wedding featured on The Knot
Becca & Andrew’s Winter Wedding featured on The Wedding Concierge
Tatia & Dan’s Minneapolis Engagement featured on Trendy Groom
Peter, Hillary and Waffles featured The Daily Dog Tag
California Dreamin’ Styled Shoot featured on Southern California Bride

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I worked with business coaches this year, Becky & Jesse from Idealust. They helped guide my business and gave me the tools needed to start a business in a new place. They also became friends and a constant source of inspiration! My business took a major leap forward this year thanks to them!

I read 14 books this year! My New Year’s resolution for 2016 was to read 16 books for 2016. Well, I came up two short but the heart of the resolution was to read more. Reading is so powerful. It fills me with inspiration, new ideas and encourages me to step away from the screen and take time for myself. I like to read a healthy mix of personal development/business books, history books and novels.

Think and Grow Rich
Essentialism
The War of Art
Die Empty (my favorite!)
Outlander
Dragonfly in Amber
Voyager
Pride and Prejudice
Red Rising
Killing Reagan
One Door Away From Heaven
The Story of the Van Trapp Family Singers
Orphan Train
Dead Wake
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
(Technically I ended at 14.5 books, I’m halfway through the last one)

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In February we took a weekend trip to Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs. It was a short trip but jam packed with hiking, new sights and our first Airbnb stay, with which we are now obsessed! If you haven’t tried an Airbnb yet, I highly recommend it!

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My goddaughter, Isabella Maria (affectionately known to me as Izzie B) was born on April 19th and I went to Oklahoma City for her baptism.

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In April we drove to Utah for an unforgettable trip to Zion National Park. So far, our favorite National Park! We conquered Angels Landing, a hike that scared the crap out of me, but was oh so worth it! You can see a recap of our trip, here.

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Roadtripped with my sister from Minnesota to San Diego with a stop at Arches National Park in Utah! It was the most epic sister road trip ever! We jammed to 90’s music and talked until our throats were sore.

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In July we took a highly anticipated trip to Sweden, Denmark and Norway for two weeks. This trip has been in the works for years and I still can’t believe we finally made it happen! I’m still working on blogging this trip…I’m a little behind. It was the best two weeks of our marriage, hands down.

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In September we went back to Minnesota to celebrate Alyssa & Jamie’s wedding in Little Falls, Minnesota. It was also our anniversary weekend and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our 4th year of marriage than by witnesses our friends tie the knot!

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My sister got married AND I was the photographer! Double wammy exciting!!

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I attended the Creative at Heart Conference in November and it may be the greatest thing I’ve done for my business yet. I met so many like minded creatives and was blown away by the impact it had. I met Mary Marantz, a photographer and industry leader I have looked up to for years ( I had a little fan girl moment when I met her!) This was a really powerful way to wrap up the year and get my mind ready for 2017. My dad always said to me growing up that if you aren’t getting better, you’re only getting worse. Now he was talking about soccer but it relates to all aspects of life. It’s imperative to always be growing, learning and reaching for new heights.

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We roadtripped to Yosemite for Thanksgiving. This was a huge item on our bucket list and we were so psyched to make it happen! You can see a recap of our trip, here.

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A short and sweet weekend on Catalina Island to go zip lining wrapped up our 2016 travels.

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What a year!! Most days I feel so undeserving of God’s love and the gifts He has given us. Although I fail time and time again, I wake up each day to live my life in a way that pleases and glorifies God. I pray that I use all our gifts to glorify Him, because even if all of our earthly blessings were taken from us, we would still be rich with the knowledge of Heaven. Cheers to another year!

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