2016 GOALS

I always ask my couples to be real, raw, and honest, so I find it only fair that I do the same…

2015 was the year of so much heartache personally, but at the same time so much joy. My grandmother passed away, my dad went through shoulder surgery and a grueling recovery. We found out my grandpa’s cancer had returned, this time at stage IV with no hope of recovery. With all of this happening, I ended up being in Michigan almost every month in 2015. I made sure to make the most of the days I spent with my grandpa, intentionally asking him questions about his history, wisdom, and stories. I started working on a personal project about him, which you can read more about on my Instagram page. Once I catch up from 2015, I intend to start posting some images on the blog.

On the positive side, we started a new journey in Asheville, NC, mid-August! We were sad to sell our first house, a 1930s bungalow in Charlotte, and to now be two hours away from close friends. However, we’ve truly enjoyed our new house where we can watch the sun set over the Blue Ridge Mountains every evening. We’re happy to call Asheville home.

This season I felt more like I found my voice. I loved starting the year under MorningWild Photography and watching prospective couples connect with the new brand and intention I’ve been pursuing in my work. I absolutely loved traveling around the country for many, many weddings and shoots. I traveled to California, Colorado, Boston, New York (upstate and NYC), Arizona, Michigan, Ohio, and all over the Carolinas. Brendan and I also road tripped around Oregon in August, which was a blast. I had the honor of photographing 32 weddings, six of those being elopements. I hiked miles with my couples, watching sunsets, snow, wind, and fog dance along the Blue Ridge Mountains. To say I’m grateful for this season is a grand understatement. Thank YOU to each and every couple/family/individual that walked in front of my camera this season. It’s been a fabulous year.

Per tradition, here are last year’s goals and what was accomplished:

1. Organization
Paint kitchen, organize shelving, clean attic, rearrange office, make curtains, storage.

With selling our home, we had to do all of the above :)

2. Heath
Drink more water. Consistent gym routine and sleep schedule. Set normal work hours and reserve at least one day off a week.

I’d give myself a C- on this goal. With a bigger workload this year, my work/life balance faltered the majority of the season. Something to aspire to in 2016…

3. Artistic Growth
Take an art class. Start a personal project. Shoot and develop more film.

I’m proud of myself for actually starting a personal project this year! It’s been on my list forever. I would love to get back to developing more film in 2016.

4. Travel
Check off another bucket list place. Revisit Portland/Seattle this summer.

We didn’t plan to sell our house at the beginning of 2015, which put a wrench in our travel budget for the year. I’m grateful that we did get a chance to go out west for a week.

5. Be Present
Take more photos of our life. Print our photos. Less phone time, more reading. Be creative with date nights. Thankful project.

Yikes. While we spent the year being intentional about time with our family and relocating, I can admit that other things fell by the wayside. I’ve already started re-working on this goal for 2016…


1. Simplify
Say no more. Don’t take on draining projects that aren’t fulfilling. Organize house. Declutter our spending habits.

If I’m being real, I’m a people pleaser. I like to always say yes to everything and everyone. I learned this past year that some of those yes moments end up taking a lot of time away from my family. They also drain my energy, which makes it impossible to carve out time for personal projects. I need to be better about setting boundaries so that my time and energy can be spent more intentionally.

2. Community
Find a church. Get involved locally. Stay connected to CLT friends. Take part in local events and nature.

One of the biggest reasons we moved to Asheville was because we missed nature. I want to intentionally make time at least once a week to hike and enjoy the events in our community. I’ve loved being a part of the Asheville Folk community, and I hope to continue to contribute this year. And, we need to find a church…

3. Balance
No phone in bed. No emails outside of work hours. 365 devotional. More reading. Schedule exercise and date nights. Create time for creativity.

After last year, this is a major one for me. I’m proud to say that I haven’t checked my phone in bed for 11 straight days!  I can’t tell you how difficult that is for me. I was always worried about missing out on something, so I would be on my phone for unhealthy amounts of time. With access to email on my phone, I was working 24/7. With this new practice, it’s been much easier to make time to read, have quiet time, and set better boundaries.

One thing I’m discovering about myself is that I won’t exercise if I don’t plan ahead. This also goes for date nights and personal projects. I want to be more on top of this in 2016.

4. Adventure
Cross off a place on our bucket list…SCANDINAVIA!

Both of our heritages lie in Sweden and parts of Scandinavia. We’ve ventured around most of western Europe but have never been to northern Europe. We want to do Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

I’m incredibly excited for the memories and adventures we’ll have in 2016!