Saturday, December 30, 2017

Year in Review: 2017

This past year has been a whirlwind! There have been a lot of changes, experiences, and excitement that have occurred throughout the year. Looking back over the past 12 months, I'm reminded of how blessed I am. Below, I'm recapping my year, filled with my top 8 experiences of 2017.

#1: STARTING LAVENDER ELIZABETH
Back in February, Lavender Elizabeth came to fruition. I had been toying with the idea of combining previous blogs to make one lifestyle blog, and this year, I finally took the plunge. Having this blog has been so much fun! I love creating posts and sharing about my life. I can't wait to see where Lavender Elizabeth takes me in 2018.

#2: SPECIAL VISITS WITH FRIENDS
Despite living in a different state, I was able to see my friends multiple times this year. I started off the year in Southern California with my OG best friends; Marie came to Chicago in February; my college besties visited Illinois for Memorial Day; Keiko and Lindsay came to Chicago in May; I saw Camille (and her beautiful daughter) in July; and saw Shannon in November for work. I love that I have friends from each place I've lived - it makes for some wonderful visits and the closest of friendships. Already in 2018, I have my college best friends coming the first week of January and I'm headed back to the Bay Area in February. I can't wait!

#3: BEST FRIEND WEDDING FESTIVITIES
On top of the above visits, I was also able to spend extra time with my Southern California besties thanks to one of them getting married. In April, I headed down to San Diego for an epic bachelorette weekend and in July, I watched my best friend marry the love her life. The four of us have been friends for 17 years, so being able to see them multiple times this year was pure bliss.

#4: SOUTHERN MAGNOLIAS WAS PUBLISHED & CELEBRATED ITS ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY
This September, Southern Magnolias celebrated its one year anniversary - and what a year its been! Throughout 2017, we participated in 5 styled shoots, coordinated 5 weddings, styled a photography conference, and grew as a creative team immensely. Not only that, but our work was published 4 separate times: Jewel Shoot on Artfully Wed; Spring Shoot on The Perfect Palette; Boho Shoot #1 on Cake and Lace; and Boho Shoot #2 on Borrowed and Blue

#5: SHARED PERSONAL STORIES ON THE BLOG
Two stories in particular stand out to me. The first was sharing about my battle with depression. Although I'd referenced it before, I had never dedicated a full post to something so vulnerable on my blog. This year, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I shared my story. The second was my purity ring story. I've worn my ring for 4 years and was so proud to finally share the why behind it.

#6: MOVED TO NAPERVILLE TO START A NEW JOB
Moving to Naperville was a big deal for me. I was sure that I would be headed back to California, but God had other plans. In June, I moved back in with my parents and started a job in human resources. What started as a three month internship turned into one that would last nine months. I fell in love with my career path, my company, and my new town. And best of all, I made work friends and church friends, both of which have kept me nice and busy.

#7: FOUND A COMMUNITY IN MY NEW CITY
Joining my church, Community Christian, was the biggest blessing. I quickly joined a small group for young adult women, which introduced me to some amazing women. Not only did they love Jesus, but they loved to explore and have a good time. We went apple picking, went into Chicago for Halloween, had an ugly Christmas sweater brunch, and so much more. 

#8: TRAVELED TO BARCELONA WITH MY BEST FRIEND
This is one of my favorite experiences of 2017. Traveling abroad with my best friend was surreal. We met up in Barcelona for a week and explored the city together. I hadn't been on a big trip in a couple of years, so this sparked the travel bug in me quick! I cannot wait to travel to another part of the world in the coming year (now to just determine the where).

2017 was a great year - can't wait to see what 2018 brings!

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