the best of 2012

it would be easy for me to say that the whole of 2012 was "the best" - it was filled with incredible friendship, laughter, growth + love.  i'm a bit overwhelmed thinking about how life could get any better than this year has been!  here are some of the "highlights" from this year!  happy happy new year to you all! (+ go badgers!)

1.  Fell in love with the "business"
This was the year that i dove in face first to the photography game.  I dreamt big + never stopped believing in myself + my abilities.  I had ONE wedding booked for 2012 when I started in January.  I finished the year with 14 weddings.  I already have 15 weddings booked for next year.  It was an incredible year of growth in something that I am hopelessly and completely in love with.  It never feels like work (even trying to navigate HTML coding!)  I learn something new every day + I get to spend all my time doing something that is creatively challenging and brings absolute joy into each of my days. 

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2.  Bought a house!
Built in 1945. Original Hardwood Floors.  Old Town.  It was love at first site. 

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3.  National television debut on HGTV's House Hunters!
It went by so fast sometimes I don't even think it actually happened.  What a crazy experience.  I have a few things I would like to clarify :
-  My sister is the sweetest woman I have ever met + they created conflict between the two of us to create drama.
-  Just because you live in a tri-level doesn't mean I would hate your house, it's just not the right layout for me.
-  Yes, I realize how much I paid for such few square feet, but it has been worth every penny to me. 
- We "flipped" the house in 3 days.  That includes moving everything in.  My parents are INCREDIBLE, none of it would've been possible without them.

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4. Traveled
I got to spend time across the United States spending time with the people that I love!  I traveled to San Francisco, Boston, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Nevada, New Mexico + Wisconsin!  2013 will bring international travel + I can't wait! 

5. Celebrated the marriage of my two best friends
My senior year of college I watched my best friend meet her future wife + fall deeply and passionately in love.  This year, in the presence of some of the most incredible people I have had the pleasure of knowing, on a warm June evening they got married.  It was such an incredible celebration of love.  My heart swelled with so much joy, that I did the splits on the dance floor!

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6. The Presidential election | Progress toward marriage equality
I was able to see President Obama speak at Colorado State University and support him as the nation voted to legalize same sex unions and rights across the country.  I felt proud to be an American for the first time in a very long time.  I hope that in the next four years this progress can continue to be made + that people who have already made lifelong commitments will be able to be legally bound. 

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7. 15 weddings | 85 portrait session | THOUSANDS of photos
What a year.  Big, happy smile.  Thank you for making it possible.  For believing in me. For trusting me with your memories. 

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8.  Mountain Weekend | Breckenridge, CO
Spent an entire weekend in the mountains as the aspen trees turned, having community dinners, taking group photos, snuggling by a fire + late nights in the hot tub.

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9. The Year of Live Music
Bon Iver. Adele. Head + the Heart. Of Monsters + Men. Band of Horses. My Morning Jacket.  The Shins.  Brandi Carlile. Blizten Trapper. Gregory Alan Isakov. Macklemore + Ryan Lewis. Florence + The Machine. The Blue Scholars. Mumford + Sons. Josh Ritter.  Grace Potter. Mat Kearney. Train. Missy Higgins.  Gotye. Ben Howard. Trevor Hall.   

I don't even want to think about how much money I spent this year on live music.
Worth. Every. Penny. 

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10.  Family Accomplishments
I love my family + I'm so proud of them.  My beautiful sister graduated from Indiana University this year in May and was accepted into DC Teaching Fellows + then was hired as an ESL Teacher in Washington, DC.  She is constantly an inspiration to me through her hard work + compassion for her students!  My brother moved with his wife, Megan, when he was offered a job at Cal!  He know runs the football program at Berkeley! (Go Bears!)  I couldn't be prouder of the two of them and what they have accomplished this year.  I just wish we weren't so spread across the country!

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11.  Jenna Beverly
It has been great getting to know this little lady over the past year + especially the last seven months.  Thanks for constantly encouraging me and making me feel special.  I'm SO LUCKY to have you in my life.

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12.  SCOUTY-ROO!
Do you really think I could leave her out?  She brings so much joy to my life.

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