2017 Recap & Favorite Personal Photos

If you’ve read any of my BEST OF posts, you know that 2017 was a pretty good year for my photo business. It was full of new business ideas, creativity, interesting + adventurous humans, interesting + adventurous places, fun photo shoot concepts and just a lot of good stuff. So thankful!

Personally, in normal, non-photo-related life, this year was mostly amazing. Majority: incredible. So much good stuff, it’s kinda hard to remember it all. The winter wasn’t tooooo wintery (that’s a big deal). My sister hung out for a weekend and she and I got tattoos together 🙂 Our friends Kate + Devon visited in February and we got to play tour guide for them around Boston (we also saw them in August for a camping trip in Lake George!)

This year I reconnected with a few long lost friends, and went on my longest solo road trip to Lancaster to see my friends Mandy + Rob, and went back to the Lanc again with Nate in October for my family reunion. I spent more time than usual in my hometown, which was actually pretty nice. It was a creative year for me, and a lot of my free time was spent painting. I also dabbled in video-making, and uploaded quite a few videos to my Youtube channel.

In April I traveled to Ireland with my family for a family wedding. Traveling out of the country was something I’d never done with my parents and sister before, so it was really special to do that with them (plus my aunts and uncles!). Ireland was completely gorgeous & I can’t wait to go back someday. In June I turned 28, swam pretty often in the local pond, and got to hang out with my besties at our old stomping ground, Camp Spofford.

At the end of July, Nate and I vacationed to two different Hawaiian Islands: Kauai and the Big Island. We did so much exploring, we saw dolphins, we hiked across a volcano, we slept in a treehouse, and I got a(nother) souvenir tattoo. It was the perfect way to celebrate 5 years of marriage, and honestly, one of my favorite trips Nate + I have ever taken together. Most importantly, of course, because on the last day on the Big Island, we found out I was pregnant. Those next 8 weeks were the most surreal, exciting, joyful, thrilling, happy, and ultimately heartbreaking weeks of the year. Heartbreaking because in September, we found out I had miscarried. The rest of Fall was kind of clouded by that devastating experience. We did our best, though. We moved in October and I started as head coach of my swim team in November.

Though 2017, like I said, was for the most part amazing, this year will always have a kind of bittersweet overall feeling when I think about it in years to come. I’m obviously not glad we had the experience of a miscarriage, and I don’t wish that experience upon anyone, but it did force Nate and I to lean on each other more than ever. We’re stronger for it and I can’t be upset about that.

I wanted to share some of my favorite travel/family/personal photos from this year. I was reaaally good at taking photos the first half of this year. If you’ve been around here, you know from January through July I posted weekly personal photos and uploaded about one video a month to our YouTube channel. After our Hawaii trip, life got a bit crazy, and eventually, really sad (a line from American Young’s Love is War song comes to mind: “Nobody hangs hard times on the wall.”). So yeah, around mid-August I stopped making personal photos/documentation a priority. I wish I hadn’t, but the memories I DO have, I love. Maybe I’ll start WKLY back up in 2018 🙂 Here are some faves!! (The first one is by Naomi Wong Photo)

I have a few more thoughts & feeeeeels:
Much of 2017, for me, was spent being mentally and emotionally exhausted from all the things happening in our country. WOWOWOW a lot happened, huh? Too much. There were too many instances when I felt truly defeated & helpless. The travel ban, the riots in Charlottesville, the Vegas shooting, the hurricanes in Texas and Puerto Rico… and so many other things… left me in tears. But there were also (thankfully) so many good & hopeful things that took place in response to the ugly things. The Women’s Marches that happened in DC and all around the world, the throes of generous people who went to help in the places hit hardest by the hurricanes, and friends who raised money, ran races & donated to charities close to their hearts. Another positive light, I believe, were the celebs/influencers who used their platforms for so much good this year. Ellen and her huge heart for giving to teachers, first responders, and people in need. Lin-Manuel and his fight to get resources to Puerto Rico. Various social influencers who talked candidly and honestly about equality and human rights and sharing honest content. YouTube creators who donated their talent and resources to homeless shelters, schools in Africa, cancer research, ect. There are SO MANY good people in this world. I don’t want to forget about that, no matter how hopeless things seem. We did the things we needed to do to survive this year, and we need to keep doing that to get through the next few years as well. Never stop using your voice for good. Never stop loving people. Never stop being a friend to those who need it most. UGH. I LOVE LOVE. And you. And the end, goodbye.