Friday, January 4, 2019

2018 Year in Review

Whew!  It has been a long time since I wrote one of these.  I went to go look at some past Year in Reviews and realized that the last one I actually did was for 2015.  That's insane!  So here we are, getting back into
the swing of it and going through a quick review of this past year. :)

And it's been a pretty good one, folks.  I'm not saying there weren't challenging parts and hard parts and scary parts, but I feel like I've grown A LOT in the last year, and I started taking care of myself a lot better this year to boot.  There have been many changes in my life in the last 365 days, and there will be many more to come in the next year, but each day I feel that I am embracing life more fiercely and confidently than I have before.

So without further ado, here we go...


This spring I rebooted my blog with a passion like never before, kicking off with some photos from our PNW trip we took to solidify some details for our wedding next year.  It was a quick trip and very appointment focused with a lot of driving involved, so I didn't get as much nature photography in, but we did get the chance to relax a little in Portland when we went to hike Latourell Falls in the Columbia River Gorge.  Other than that, we had a LOT of great food, and got to travel to both Seattle and Portland, so we got the full gamut of fun scenery while driving!  


At the tail end of the Spring I also posted my first Ootd in forever, which was kind of a big deal for me because I had been battling the urge to stay inside for a long time.  I think I was also kind of feeling a little uncomfortable in my skin and in front of the camera.  I do actually have a lot of fears surrounding taking outfit photos for this blog —  it's often a tug of war between wanting to be behind the camera taking the photos and also wanting to show what I like to wear.  I've heard this talked about a few times with other bloggers... I love shooting fashion, but I'm not necessarily interested in being a 'fashion photographer' or even a people portrait photographer.  For one, I feel most comfortable working by myself, so it makes the most sense to have myself be the one wearing clothing in my images.  And I will always be the most available model, I don't need to worry about another person's schedule or paying another person, and the fashion and outfits are what I experience and what works for me.  Which is really the story I'm trying to tell anyways.  And that's not to say there isn't an aspect of self consciousness that comes with it — I often fear running into people while shooting and having them watch me shoot for the blog in a public space.   But you have to push past those fears in order to create the art and content that you want to share.  I see so many inspiring blogs and instagram accounts out there and I'm just so driven by the content that surrounds me... I want to push myself to keep creating content despite my social anxieties. 



In the late spring and early summer we moved apartments which was a big change for us, and influenced a kind of 'spring cleaning' in a lot of areas of my life.  Obviously in the most literal sense, we purged A TON of stuff when we moved, and tried very hard to pare down our possessions to an amount that actually made sense.   We had accumulated so many things that we didn't need or want, we just never knew what to do with and were too tired to get rid of.  I now feel that I should do this at least once a year.  Just go through EVERYTHING and decide if things are worth holding on to or not.  Honestly, it feels really good to lighten the load.  It's just less things everywhere. 

It carried over to my life figuratively as well.   I made a very conscious effort to lighten my life. We have so many habits that we get into that weigh us down (aka starbucks multiple times a day, paying for cable, etc.).   I realized that I really didn't need everything that was one of these habits in my life.  I chose to prioritize doing things that would actually improve my mood and well being.  

I started walking more, paying attention to the things I was eating (seriously portion size is mind blowing.  You actually don't need to eat 3 brownies to experience brownies, or 8 oz of steak to be happy eating a steak),  and paying attention to my daily mood.  I realized that I had been stressed out and unhappy most of the time, and I wasn't listening to my body when it was telling me to slow down.   I would literally get winded from crossing a room.   I think I just thought because I was running around at work all the time constantly thinking, moving, planning, etc., that nothing could be wrong with me — I was fine; it was 'normal'.  Turns out if you constantly push yourself without taking care of yourself you get panic attacks. 

I also decided to leave my full time job of 5 years.  That was a big change over the summer. 

I decided to take the leap and put my faith in my small business and start putting my passion first.  I figured that if I could work as hard as I did for an employer, then I could sure as heck hustle for my own business.  And that was what I needed to do to start taking care of my self emotionally and physically.  Put what I loved the most first.  And while you don't always know what the future will bring with a small business, I have felt so much more calm and satisfied with my decisions in life since I took the leap.  It might not be for everyone, and perhaps not everyone will understand when you make a decision like that, but it was the right decision.  And I think I knew that in my heart. 


The summer was also a largely successful season for outfit photos.  I got to style a lot of different looks, and experiment with a lot of fun prints and accessories!





Happy to fit in these festive lay downs this fall!

All right y'all, here's where I really feel things got good this year.  Fall, man.  I have this thing with fall.  Every year working in retail I've wanted to do fall right on this blog (except that one year I wasn't blogging).  And every year I have this great plan that totally gets eclipsed by black friday and all of the holiday madness that comes with it.  

Well this year I was determined to not let that happen since I was part time.  And while there was some Black Friday stress, and I didn't do quite everything I planned to, I did achieve a good portion of what I wanted to for the fall :)

AND we went on a west coast trip.

AND yes, we DID get photos of all the great trees and I was so thrilled.  It was a good fall, y'all.

Some of my favorites from our trip:

The fall was also stellar for all the trees and their leaves.  And for the first year ever, I was properly able to take advantage of all the beauty of fall and incorporate it into this space.






And finally, winter. 

While I know that the bulk of winter is still to come this year,  I'd say that what we've had so far hasn't been too shabby!  I loved gearing up for the holidays and making a lot of fun Christmas themed posts for the season.

Our first apartment reveal and just in time for all the festive holiday decorations! (above)
Some fun and jolly holiday outfit lay downs (below)

Only the best gingerbread and sugar cookie cutouts for the family for the holidays! (above)
My festive doorway arrangement (below left),  A fun family cheese board! (below right)

And finally, some of my favorite looks of the year came from the more recent winter sets.  I'm loving everything ethereal scenery and fairytale-esque!




All in all, it's been a great year.  I'm looking forward to what 2019 brings. 

Until Next Time, 

- The Lovely Red Fox

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