BEST OF 2020

If you’re here for the images only, scroll down :)

To see past best of posts:

Best of 2019
Best of 2018
Best of 2017
Best of 2016
Best of 2015

2020 was a year of reckoning.

There were many moments this year that brought me to my knees in tears and in prayer. There were times that I thought the world was going to end. There were periods of worrying about death, illness, financial ruin, politics, flooding, fire. Ultimately, there was an overwhelming sense of uncertainty.

There were moments of pure joy and bliss. We explored new trails weekly as a family and embraced the freedom of being outside of our house. We enjoyed being together. There was a moment when I turned to Brendan and realized that we hadn’t argued in over a month. In fact, it was the strongest our marriage had ever been because we could pour all of our energy into our family life.

There were other moments of extreme gratitude. Grateful for our health. Grateful for recovered family members who did get COVID. Grateful for all of the couples that persevered through the thick of it and replanned their entire wedding. Grateful for couples that still wanted to support us during such a tough season for everyone.

The events industry was hit hard, but even with the world being shut down for all of the peak spring season, my calendar ended up being full. It was a huge blessing. The year looked like this:

27 sessions
13 rescheduled weddings (6 of these moved to 2021)
8 weddings held their original date
2 wedding cancelations
8 elopements

…and 2 fearless awards!

With so much down time in 2020, I picked up piano again. I was a pretty studious pianist in my adolescence, but I hadn’t practiced in 15+ years. It was like riding a bike, falling down over and over until it finally came back to me (and texting my friend, Julia, regularly for help with piano theory). It was bliss letting something creative consume me without having to share with the world. It was a perfect distraction from the chaos.

I read 38 books, but a few of those took me months because they were 400+ pages long (the longest being The Stand, which was 1152 pages!). My favorites were: The Dutch House, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, After The Flood, The Guest List, My Lovely Wife, In Five Years, Anxious People, and Florence Adler Swims Forever.

The extra time at home gave Brendan and I the space to consider what we wanted for the next five (or 10?) years of our life. Granted, life can change in an instant, but we wanted to work toward some big life goals. Building a house is something we’ve always wanted to do, and it finally felt like we were ready to start pursuing it seriously. We had looked at lots and chatted with a builder a year ago, but we had a hard time finding land that fit the parameters of our budget and requirements. In August, we stumbled upon a lot that seemed too good to be true (it was). It’s a very, very long tumultuous story. I’ll be sharing more about in my newsletter (subscribe here) next week because there truly isn’t space to fit everything in this post.

The short of it all is that we sold our house and are building in Asheville :)

It feels like we’re going into 2021 like a phoenix rising out of the ashes. Growth comes from brokenness, and this year felt like everything fell apart. It was a lot of letting go and letting God. I have hope that 2021 will be a year of rebirth and revival.

With all of the challenges from 2020, I felt refreshed in my work. I’ve never been so excited to arrive to a session or wedding as I have this year. Every single session and wedding felt like a huge gift. Weddings in 2020 were more heartfelt and meaningful because we no longer took being together for granted.

Here are glimpses of all the moments we became lost in…

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