It was the best of years. It was the worst of years. 2017 was one of the most challenging years of my life. It had moments of joy, but a large number of heartache moments as well. Here are some of my favorite highlights from the year:
The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. // Socrates
- My brother got engaged!
- I bought my first house.
- Continued to grow this space. (Thanks for your help!)
- I traveled the most number of miles ever in a single year, approximately 33,000 miles.
- And I crossed a bunch of items off my bucket list!
- Countries Visited:
- New States Visited:
- Alabama Football Games Attended:
- Books Read: 37
- My favorite was The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck.
January kicked-off with Georgia’s first “snow” storm of the year, which ended up being full of ice. I spent the majority of the month working on this little corner of the internet, getting it revamped and set some goals for the year. The Tall Man and I also adventured to The Windy City for a very short trip with his work, and my mom and I headed over to Anniston, Alabama for Southern Exhilaration’s first sponsored post. (If you are ever in the city, be sure to check out Hotel Finial.)
February was a pretty chill month. It started off with the Falcons and Patriots playing each other in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, my team lost and The Tall Man’s won. There were the trips to North Carolina to see my guy, and then some quality time with friends. The short month passed quickly.
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In two words, March was an emotional roller-coaster. It started off with a trip to Raleigh, but this time my whole family joined me. Not only was it my dad’s birthday weekend, but it was also one of my brother’s best friend’s wedding. We played in Durham around the wedding schedule. I also celebrated one of my best friend’s bachelorette parties with a food tour around Atlanta. Unfortunately, the end of March brought a lot of unexpected changes and heartbreak.
April and May were not easy months for me. I decided to take a slight hiatus from this space and worked on figuring out the next steps of my life. Despite the heartache and feeling utterly lost, life moved on. In April, I celebrated a friend’s wedding, spent some time with my best friend drinking wine and shopping, traveled to Santa Monica with a work trip, and concluded the month with a trip to Birmingham to see my smarty-pants brother graduate with his masters.
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May brought a lot of travel. I started off with a trip to New York for my third National Geographic Photography Workshop. I always love the opportunity to explore new parts of this city. The following weekend, I hit the road to Rochester Hills, Michigan for a quick work-related trip, and then headed to the beach for a week of some serious R&R.
June was a busy month of house hunting, job searching and getting my feet back under me. I kicked off June with a trip to Connecticut for work and to visit some family. It was a relaxing time, and it felt good to spend some time with my aunt. For Father’s Day, we surprised my dad with an outing to TopGolf.
July was a very low-key month when it came to traveling. I did manage to get in a weekend visit with my best friend and head to Tuscaloosa for an alumni meeting. My family also celebrated my brother’s engagement! 🙂
August was a busy month. The month kicked off with a week-long trip to Buffalo, New York for a client meeting that included a day trip to see Niagara Falls. I also celebrated my 29th birthday with a surprise trip to Denver with my mom and Pack Up + Go. (If you are a planner looking for a little spontaneity, then you need to check out this company.) Then ended the month with a whirlwind trip to northern California for a friend’s wedding and to Chicago for a conference.
September equals the start of football season! My brother and I were able to attend the Alabama vs. FSU game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and then my parents and I headed to Nashville to see Alabama take on Vanderbilt. (Roll Tide!) I was home for basically the whole month, so I put a lot of energy into this space.
The biggest and best of October was purchasing my first home! I made the offer on October 3rd and closed on October 30th, so the whole month revolved around all that goes into becoming a first-time homeowner. I also managed to get in a couple of trips, including a trip out to Texas with my dad for the Alabama vs. Texas A&M game. And thanks to Publix, I was able to up my culinary skills with a six-week class through their Aprons Cooking School.
The theme of my November was boxes. I spent the majority of the month unpacking everything I own and getting settled into my new home. My family had a quiet Thanksgiving at home, which was exactly what I needed after a crazy two months.
December was an exciting month! It kicked off with a trip to Madison, Georgia to do a feature on their “Honeymoon” Mansion. December also brought Atlanta a lovely
dusting 10 inches or so of snow. The month concluded with my whole family in town to celebrate the holidays.