2018 Year In Review

It's that time of year again! As the wedding season calms I shift focus to my business and figure out what I want for 2019. But I believe the most valuable resource for planning ahead is looking back. And boy, 2018 was quite a year!

Most notably, my family and I moved from Connecticut to Los Angeles. Lara Casey famously said "there is nothing special about January 1st", and though I agree with the point that any day is the day to get organized + focused, with our cross-country move on December 31, 2018, I can't help but feel connected to the official start of a new year as a new beginning.

When we moved, Mike was working long hours at the new job, so the girls and I spent a lot of time exploring. We went and visited places simply by googling "Fun places for kids in Pasadena." (Thank God for the internet!) It was an incredibly freeing time because everything was new and we were ready for adventure. But also, those first couple weeks stuck in a small airbnb waiting for our stuff to arrive were stressful. Yet I often the times we are stretched too thin and unsure of what tomorrow brings, are the times we discover new parts of ourselves. And I'll always cherish our beginning here in LA with my 2 little girls.

The last 12 months has been a lot of starting over. Unpacking boxes, finding good take-out restaurants, getting the kids settled in new schools, making friends...it was quite an undertaking to say the least. I certainly made mistakes along the way, but 2018 was transformative.

In starting over, I changed so much personally and grew by putting myself out there in ways I never would have before, in an effort to find my place in a new community.

Below is a picture at Santa Monica Pier our second day in LA. The second is a photo in the same spot a year later.

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For a creative entrepreneur, your professional life and personal life are intrinsically intertwined. As I experienced growth at home, I inevitably asked myself how I could experience the same in my business. When I arrived I hit the ground running in making connections with vendors out here. One of my goals for 2018 was to "make connections with LA wedding vendors." But my goal sheet was a word document with 3 bullet-point items. I had no action plan for how to actually achieve that, and no measurable way to define success. I am proud that as I resettled my family here, that nothing big fell through the cracks and I was able to serve my clients without issue. My to-do list always was fully crossed-off.

But just like a credit card bill, you can pay the monthly minimum payment and have no issues, but without paying more you aren't making any progress on reducing your debt. The year was just fine, making money and keeping everyone happy, but did my business truly grow?

Now that the year of total change is coming to a close, I've been exploring how I can march into 2019 with intention. Truth: I've never been one to choose a word for the year, as I always thought it was cheesy + useless. But after lots of podcast-listening, I see that what really matters is the plans you make to honor that word. For me, 2019 will be FOCUS. As someone with ADHD this is certainly a challenge, but I've found that my need to get every little task done, to keep my inbox under 20, is maintaining the status quo, but not allowing to make meaningful development in my business.

So with the help of PowerSheets and some serious introspection and goal-planning, I'm looking forward to shifting my mindset for the new year so that I can stop the constant need to multitask and really take the time to grow. I often say to myself, "You can do anything, but not everything", and I want to start living by that. I believe that our move to LA was a wonderful gift for my family, myself, AND my business, and I hope with these plans in place I can make 2019 the best year yet.

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Even though I didn't have a set action plan in place this year, I still did some very exciting things! I worked with some of my favorite wedding planners, and I got to create custom paper stories with couples that I wish I could clone and get dozens of in 2019! I dipped my toe in the Los Angeles wedding pool, doing some west coast weddings + styled shoots, which led to meaningful connections with vendors out here; I'm really pumped to grow my business on the west coast. But Connecticut weddings continue to come in and they will always have a special place in my heart. I'm still waiting to get back photos from a lot of fall weddings, but here is a small sampling of some great moments of Roseville Couples + awesome styled shoots!

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Photo Credits: Gabby Chapin Photography, Xo & Fetti Photography, Abby Grace Photography, Elyse Hall Photography, Shaina Lee Photography, Peterson Design & Photography, Lace & Lapel Photography

Do you make plans or resolutions for a new year? I'd love to hear about how you go about the process! BONUS: Share your word for the year in the comments below!

Here's a look at our 2017 year in review plus some insight how a slow start to the season helped my business!