My Favorite Moments & Looks Of 2017
Hello friend. Happy end of the year. I'm doing a lot of the reminiscing and looking backward at my 2017 right now. It's been an amazing year of breakthrough for me. I'm going to take you through my year in moments and outfits and give you a little insight as to how I grew this year. My hope is to encourage you to look back for yourself at your life and mark and remember all those tinny victories you had. Celebrate the big wins and give yourself grace over the parts that you rather not think about. I love the aspect of a New Year. A fresh start what a beloved thing to start a new! Here's where I believe we have a gorgeous opportunity to make some good decisions as to what we would like focus on 2018.But it will benefit to re-evaluat and celebrate your 2017!
In January I had just come home from visiting Mexico and I had a lot in my little heart to grieve over. Lots of wounds that hadn't been touched in a while were hurting and I decided to take some time to heal. I wrote a song that I am looking forward to recording and putting on iTunes soon. I love that we can take our deepest pain and turn it into art. it sure helps the soul to heal when we express pain in a safe manner!
On style notes. I really loved purchasing my very first camel coat! It ended up not fitting me correctly so I sold it in my pop-up shop but I found a new one now that fits great! I still really dig the color in this picture and I would say I had a great January in style.
FEBRUARY: This month was amazing. I feel like I was living and breathing Instagram at this point I had lost a little focus on my blog and I was doing a lot of Insta stories and Instagram posts. I was able to get my first sponsored post through Crossroads in February and was so delighted to get to do my Spring Lookbook! I got sponsored by Smile Brilliant and did a post testing out their whitening system. They were amazing and love the way they whiten my smile! I remember February being a month of ease and excitement since I had been blogging for two years and finally brands started to want and work with me! What an honor!
In my family, my girls were growing and I was growing as well as a wife and mother. I can't even begin to tell you how much my family means to me. It's been an honor being Doug's wife and these girls mother. I definitely have made a lot of mistakes, especially in these areas. However, the grace of God covers me and continues to give me hope that I am enough as a woman. A wife and to raise these two precious gifts that he had given me, with my weaknesses and strengths.
I also choped my bangs off in March! I loved those bangs!
APRIL: I can remember vividly coming back from New York on this enormous high feeling like the next few months were just going to explode with work and MORE opportunities. Little did I know God was filling me up to enter one of the most painful and quiet seasons of my life. From April to about September it was a season of absolute quiet in which I threw a lot of tantrums and I questioned why I even started this blog. Honest to goodness, I wanted to give up because I couldn't see any results after that trip to New York. I believe it was at that very moment of quiet and no answers for a good while, that God was preparing my heart for what was to come.
It was in the midst of these difficult moments that Doug and I found a new intimacy with each other. He always knew that I felt called to follow my dreams but I don't know if I ever gave my husband the time and respect to catch up with my vision. I just told him this is what I believe God is asking me to do," I'm gonna do it." Looking back I now understand that whatever God calls me to do, he is calling our whole family to do. So I'm learning to first go to God then go to Doug and allow him the respect of time to be able to say if whatever opportunity has presented itself for us is going to work for our family. My number one priority is my relationship with God, then my husband and then my children. Everything else has to be filtered through OUR prayer and together we can make better decisions. I had to learn how to trust God that I didn't have to manipulate my husband if the assignment was truly from God, he would confirm it to Doug in his own way. It's been amazing seeing my husband grow into this leadership role in our family where he is really a front runner for us. What a safe place to be in the Godly submission of a man knowing that when he disappoints me we can both get our healing from the true source of life, God himself. I have never in my life been able to trust a man. Even as I was already married, trusting men wasn't a thing I even knew how to do. But God in his infinite grace and love has guided my rebellious heart into trusting him first, then accepting others to be human Just as I make mistakes so will others. Thank you, Doug, for all we've been through with this adventure. I can not have done three years of this without your love and support and gentle guidance. God knew we needed one another. I know it hasn't always been easy taking this woman's photo! ha!
MAY: Personally, this month was to celebrate my 4-year-old! This little girl has my heart! She is such a joy to be around and I can't think of anyone better to do life with than with my Haylee! On a professional note; I did a bridal film photoshoot with Ashley Noelle Edwards. It was so nice to meet her and be her model for her amazing wedding photography business. I felt like such a vintage bride!
AND I produced a pop-up shop in benefit to The Glass Slipper. This was a great experience in realizing that ANY one can do ANYthing if you set goals, break them down into bite-size pieces. And no matter what happens, work diligently even when things fail, keep moving forward. I loved having this experience as a part of my 2017. My inner business woman was growing and I can feel so much more ownership for what I do after this experience.
JUNE: I was on FOX40! I will tell you honestly what was going on in m heart in these months. I was learning how to do a lot of things I had never before. Like be my own PR, pitch myself to brands for collaborations (although not many had said yes, but A LOT said NO!) Be my own boss in terms of keeping myself motivated to do editorial calendars and stay abreast on the content of the blog, Youtube and TV segments I was a part of. And something inside of me was really struggling to find my confidence as a model. I was really struggling with comparing myself to other women on social media and wondering if I truly had it in me to make it in this business. Feeling like my pictures were dumb and I wasn't a good model really really got to me in these summer months.
Doug and I also hit our 9 year wedding anniversary which we celebrated at the Firehouse restaurant. It was very pleasant and fancy experience for both of us. 9 years of marriage to this gal, literal miracle!
AND I did the unimaginable as a blogger and new business. I decided after much prayer to delete my social media (Facebook and Instagram) I could write an entire post and book about this and why! ha! IF you want to hear about it comment below and let me know!
JULY: I remember back when I first started my blog and how hard I was on myself and on my kids. I wanted to perform excellently but I was forgetting that part of being a great businesswoman was to take time off! I had been going full force for so long that I decided to take a much-needed break to focus on my kids and truly enjoy them as they were home with me from school. I've really learned that my kids time is non-negotiable and that I won't ever get that treasure of time with them at this stage of their lives. I've learned that what I say about my kids is important that I am the one who decides if I am receiving them as the gifts that God intended them to be for me. (Psalm 127:3) In every aspect. When they are helping me learn painful lessons or when my heart is so overjoyed from gratitude that I get to pour into their lives!
AUGUST: My baby girl turned 7 and we got her ears pierced. We went to Forest Home ONE of my favorite places in the world. And my life as I knew it was falling apart in the very best ways. Prayers I had prayed for MANY years where being answered but in a way I never immagined. A rather painful way. But I was deteremined to praise God through the storm and continue to believe HIM above what the circumnstances showed. I was faithful in prayer and in surrender and God never failed me. I was hurt but not defeated.
SEPTEMBER: WOAH! Hold on, Lord! Hold on! So many blessing pouring out of the gates of Heaven! September was the month of abundance and more than enough. It was the month that Josh McDowell and his wife personally called me after reading my book manuscript and told me what a story of Jesus through my life!! It was the month I got 4 TV segments in one fell swoop and the month some of my FAVORITE brands started collaborating with me and sending me PR packages. It was the month I decided to chop all my hair off into a pixie and realized that I had been placing my confidence in myself again. My confidence comes from Jesus when it's true and honestly coming from HIM, I am at my very best! This was a month of complete break thru!
OCTOBER: I don't know if you know this but my heart is for the children of Sacramento! I've had the privilege and honor of speaking about WORTH and PURPOSE to elementary schools girls with the Shine program in 2017! My friend, Rachelle Ditmore is the director of City Of Refuge, she's been a tremendous blessing in my life when she asked me to share my story with the elementary school girls, my heart rejoiced for in my brokenness God's light shines through. Speaking at shine was one of the BIGGEST highlights of my 2017. I get no greater joy than to see a little girl that could've been me and I tell her that her worth is in her and nothing and no one can take it away! I've booked another speaking engagement with Shine for this next coming week. I am so pumped and excited to see these girls and pour my heart into them!
NOVEMBER: A month of celebrating my birth. I can't write better than I did in this post about my birthday about the month of November. Eternally grateful for this month and the way I celebrated my life in 2017! I saw miracles birth right before my eyes from all the difficulty we had faced earlier in the year and I saw the faithfulness of God. Endurance my beloved friend. Endurance!
DECEMBER: A month of abundance and challenge at the same time! I learned in September that my dad has bone cancer. This month marked us going through his treatment and faithfully walking out all that situation together. I'm definitely writing a post about all that has come from this painful circumstance! We are also losing our doggie to old age and it's been quite painful to see him getting older and not being able to hold his bowels or urine. We had a lot of ups and downs with a few challenges that brought me to my knees this month with relational issues and I am looking forward to seeing what God was preparing us for in the midst of this month full of trials! I am learning that this life is full of great moments and awful moments and it's our attitude of how we respond to these moments that define our quality of life.
2017 was a year of growth and resilience. Of getting spiritually stronger for what 2018 has to bring. I thank you for being a part of our journey. My prayer is that out of my brokenness and failure you might find rest and know that you're not alone in your challenges whatever they may be. Thank you for reading!! I truly appreciate you!