Welcome To The Blog + Looking Back At 2018

Wow. 2018 was a whirlwind of a year for me, and since one of my BIG goals for 2019 is to keep consistent with my online content (welcome to the blog, btw!), I thought what better way to kick off this blog than a review of the past 365 days?

SO HERE'S MY YEAR IN HIGHLIGHTS...

01. We got engaged almost exactly a year ago today! We hosted a NYE party on December 31st, 2017, and once all our guests had left and we'd cleaned up the house a bit, we decided to take a stroll at around 2 AM on January 1st, 2018. Under a full moon with big fat snowflakes falling all around us, Shawn got down on one knee and proposed. I was a little tipsy from several glasses of rosé and my toes were numb from the cold (tipsy Julia did not choose very practical footwear for a 2 AM winter walk lol), but it was one of the happiest moments of my life. Worth the frostbite. ;)

Engagement-3-VERSION 3.jpg

02. I finally got my full G license. I'm a big girl now. ;)

03. We wrapped up renos on the main floor of our house! I feel a little bit like I'm cheating with this one, since we do plan to one day gut and replace our entire kitchen. But for the next few years, our newly completed main floor/living space will remain as it is, and I'm suuuuupperrr happy with it. If you're new to my little nook of the internet here's a quick refresh; we bought our home about five years ago and have been reno-ing it ever since. It was a MASSIVE undertaking to say the least. This old house of our was truly butt ugly when we first got the keys. But it also had so so much potential.

There is a video up on my YouTube channel showing how I gave our kitchen cabinets a DIY and ultra budget-friendly makeover. Since then, we've put in new floors and new countertops, re-painted the walls, added a DIY kitchen pantry, and overall just added in finishing touches to the kitchen, living room, guest bath, and main staircase. I am someone who is really influenced by my surroundings, and having this space all finished and fully functional has made me such a happy camper!

JULIA RAE KITCHEN BEFORE AND AFTER.png

04. We planned... and had a wedding, all in under 10 months lol. We're tuckered, but so so happy that we did it the way we did. When Shawn proposed we'd already been dating for almost eight years, so we knew we didn't want a long engagement. And since we were on the same page in regards to wedding style, size and budget, we actually had a pretty streamlined wedding planning experience. That being said, we had a wedding planner and I still felt overwhelmed now and agin. Wedding planning is hard work people. If we ever decide to renew our vows we're sending email invites to our beach ceremony where everyone will be enjoying BBQ in shorts and t-shirts. And it'll be BYOB. I'm kidding...or am I?

Anyways! We made it official on November 3rd, 2018. And that just makes my heart feel all full and happy.

PicMonkey Collage (1).png

05. I made the transition to working for myself full-time. I've been slowly moving towards this over the last two years, and it has been hugely satisfying. That being said it does totally have it's challenges. How does one stop oneself from working in pajamas every.single.day? Asking for a friend.

06. My YouTube channel grew from 300 to over 4,000 subscribers! This was a big personal goal for me and watching my channel grow (slowly but surely haha) has been incredibly motivating for me. I'm so excited for what's to come in 2019. Stay tuned!

07. I completed a specialized photography course over the past four months and am now all set up to begin offering lifestyle photography services in the new year. This was a major goal of mine from 2018 and I am over-the-moon that I was finally able to make it happen this past year - especially with everything else we had going on! I already do quite a bit of product photography for work and for freelance clients, but I've always wanted to get into shooting engagements, newborns and weddings. 2019 is the year!

SOME SMALLER TRIUMPS FROM 2018...

Sorting out my skin and finally feeling comfortable going makeup-free in public (this product has changed my life), taking more photos with Shawn, saving more (and spending more let's be real weddings are essspensiiiive), learning more patience, exercising more, reading more books (this one was my fave so far this year), watching less television, and getting my first brand sponsorship.

2018 will be a hard one to top, but I'm so looking forward to 2019...

Every New Year's Eve I choose a word to embody and embrace through the year ahead starting on January 1st. Last year my word was patience. So much was put on hold in 2018 because of the wedding and all that goes along with the planning process. It was frustrating at times when there was just too much to juggle and some things had to be put on the back-burner. But! It was all so completely worth it. That being said, this year my word is determination. I feel so energized and optimistic moving into the new year, and I have a bunch of goals that I'm excited to tackle!

What is your word for 2019?

Julia NelsonComment