December 20, 2013

Year in Review 2013

You know sometimes I think it isn't fair. Just think of all the changes and whiplash I make y'all go through. This little blog started as something so little and now is something that has been a constant for almost three years. Three blissful years. Is this real life?

But it has also been moving states, changing careers, building a home, moving into a new home, wanting kids, not wanting kids, adding a dog. I keep changing. And for months I have felt really guilty about that. I was really hard on myself. How can I keep people interested when at times I am moving in different directions? But then I realize that is life. You aren't the same reader that started here in March of 2011. You may have been looking for videography services or was a bride planning her big day. Now some of you are mommys, bloggers of your own, career woman. You are fabulous readers that are changing just like me. Thank you Lord for growth and change and not staying stagnate.

Each year I recap and read back over blog posts. I look to what I can do better, what I loved about this past year, what works, what doesn't. This post is a little bit of everything mixed into one. Back to January we go:

This January we were still dealing with the very realization that Rusty's Dad was gone. I still cannot believe it when I type those words. Our hearts were changing. We had been in our new home for a few months and loved Texas but with the passing of his Dad we didn't realize how far we were from family. And eventually we needed to be closer. We started applying for jobs like crazy. And heard nothing. Our hearts were calling us to Fayetteville, Arkansas so we didn't stop trying.

February was also full of applying for more jobs. In mid February, Rusty heard a reply from a company in Fayetteville where his logistic background would be a perfect match. He started interviewing with the company and over a course of almost four weeks was given the opportunity to start with this company.  I had officially stopped my services with Lovebird Productions as a wedding videography company and started focusing solely on the blog. This was a hard decision but looking back it has never been one that I regretted. I was so glad to be done editing weddings. I still sometimes think back on those two years and 24+ events and think what a gift that was for me and our family. I really did make a business for myself in Texas and Arkansas. With Rusty applying for jobs, I didn't see the need to try to move a business again. This was the final thing that helped me be at peace with not filming weddings anymore.

In March we began making move! We only told a few family members what was happening. We were so excited but really sad to leave New Braunfels. Let me tell you. That town is so magical. I miss it every day. I think about it every day too. I miss my job there and the wonderful people that I worked with. Looking back at New Braunfels, God had his hand in everything there. Absolutely everything. He provided so much for our family. He provided a home in less than a week. He provided two jobs with great companies. He provided finances for a new home. He provided a new car. He provided good friends. He provided a wonderful city full of culture and fun festivals and really good food. Man, I miss the food. Also at the end of March, Rusty moved to Fayetteville leaving me in Texas. We put our new home on the market and tried to be hopeful about selling it with it being less than a year old. We also made a game plan that I had to sell the house by owner or find a job in Fayetteville before I could leave Texas. It was a waiting game but we were optimistic.

In April I told my co-workers that we were moving back to Arkansas. I also told them I didn't have a definite time and again they were amazing and let me stay on as long as I needed. Rusty and I started having problems being a part. We hated the distance. We have never been strong with talking on the phone. We are face to face people and seeing one another each day is something we have to have. About two weeks into our "you cannot move until we sell the house or you get a job" plan, Rusty called and told me I was moving. He made me so mad. Ha! I knew what he was wanting was what I wanted but we hadn't agreed upon that. I started applying for jobs like crazy. I got two interviews with a lovely Chiropractic company as a marketing coordinator/front desk gal and also with a largely growing cupcakery that needed a baker. I was stoked about both jobs. I drove through the night one weekend to interview for both but in the end took the job with the Chiropractic office. They were/are so amazing! {Miss you Ben, Lucy, Arielle and Amos! Oh and Babs, of course!} I felt so settled. We felt so settled. We still hadn't sold our house but we both had jobs and could afford to pay rent and a house note for a few months. In a whirlwind weekend, Rusty and a dear friend packed up our entire house and moved it to Arkansas. We went from 1,600 square feet to a two bedroom/two bathroom apartment that barely hit 1,000 square feet. It was an adventure to say the least. And we totally lived with a outdoor patio table sitting on its side in our entry for a week or so. We were so glad to be back in Arkansas though.

May was a lot of fun for us. We were in Arkansas, working full-time, seeing more of our family and friends, pinching pennies, getting to know our new city. We loved Fayetteville. My first weekend back in Arkansas I got to see snow and sleet which I hadn't seen in over two years since moving to Texas. We loved our little life. I was blogging and working a job that made me feel like I was really helping people. It was such a happy time for us and one were for the first time in a long time felt settled. We felt at peace where we were and knew we were in the right spot at the right time. Then it all changed...again. In end of April/early May, Rusty was contacted by a company in my hometown called Murphy USA. He was offered a position with their company that would be a dream. Rusty came to talk to me about it and I immediately turned it down for him. I wasn't moving again. I wasn't giving up another job that I loved. I was staying put. He told Murphy no but they came back with another offer that was stronger and worth us taking a look at. My biggest thing was that I didn't want to move back to El Dorado. It was were I grew up and to me it felt like taking a step back. We prayed. We fretted. We started packing. Rusty took the job and officially started working at the first of June. We also got a sold offer on our home in Texas. I still cannot believe it. Our first home we built and truly owned all by ourselves was gone but it went to a newly married couple which is what we were hoping. A couple that would love it like we did.

June was another month of moving and packing. We moved into my childhood home with my Grandfather. He was so gracious to us and still is...all the time. I spent a week tucked away in the mountains of Missouri with my family and had such an awesome time. Rusty and I began getting settled into our new life in El Dorado. It was one life I never thought I would be living. And dare I say, I love it and El Dorado.

In July I saw a notice in the paper (yes I read the paper) that the high school (my alma mater) had a position open for a Journalism teacher. I applied having no teaching license but lots of Journalism experience. I got a call the next day that they were interested in me but I had to join grad school immediately (summer II session was scheduled to start the next day) to even be considered. I had to take another gamble. Do I invest money into grad school or look for something else? I decided to give it a try. Another moment where I was praying nonstop. In mid July, the high school officially offered me the full time teaching position for Journalism. I immediately started preparing and making my room my own. I had no clue what I was doing but also started grad school to help with the panic. I instantly took to loving grad school!

In August I welcomed kids into my classroom. It was nothing I expected. It is/was hard, exhausting, fun, entertaining, great and 7,000 different emotions all in one day. High school kids are like nothing I have ever experienced. I love my babes though. I love them so much!

September, October, November are all blurs. I am not even sure I was alive during those months. Teaching is so exhausting yet so rewarding. It is a cycle that carries on each day. I am surprised I even made new friends, attended dinner parties, escaped a few weekends out of town, flew all over to see friends, new babes and family, buried my sweet Grandfather, joined a gym, wrote blog posts, existed, brushed my teeth. I am not kidding guys. All a blur.

December has meant moving into our new home. We are buying my childhood home and are currently waist deep in floral wallpaper, beige crown molding and more plastic ivy than we know what to do with. Isn't moving fun? I did manage to get my tree up after scratching my eye. And December is far from over and my to-do list is officially home related and not school related. I am so glad to have my husband off for two weeks with me. It doesn't get much better!

Last year I already had business goals planned for the blog. I am happy to say that I have accomplished most of those. Let's look back:

1. Double my traffic {Almost there}
2. Tackle a styled shoot and get it submitted for publication You can find it here.
3. Grow my sponsors Ultimately put sponsorships on hold
4. Create a strong media kit Again put on hold with my full time job.
5. Tidy up my Pinterest page and grow that avenue of social media It was oddly fun cleaning up my Pinterest page. Dork, I know.
6. Get a new and pretty logo {Excitedly in the works!! Weeeee!}

I can honestly say that I don't have my business goals planned for next year. It is on the list because I look forward to this time of year. I really do. I love planning and setting goals for what all can be done in the next year. It is so good to prepare our hearts, minds and soul for rest but rest with hopeful intentions for 2014. What are you most looking forward to in 2014? Any Christmas goals still left to accomplish?

You can read last years 2012 Year in Review Post now. I really do hope that your Christmas is magical. Of course, we have one more Love Song Friday to celebrate. See you there!

Image via Green Wedding Shoes by Brittany Dow Photography

1 comment:

  1. Now THAT is a whirlwind year! Although this is my fourth year teaching, it's my FIRST teaching high school so I TOTALLY get you when you talk about the 7000 emotions! Love you girl, can't wait to see what you do in 2014!


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