With 2020 in sight, I thought it'd be fun to take a look back at everything that's happened this year - both the good and the bad. I truly believe in celebrating every success and every opportunity that allows you to fail forward. This was, without a doubt, the greatest year of my life thus far. I grew leaps and bounds, learned so much, and fell flat on my face plenty of times along the way. So, without further ado, let's begin the 2019 tour!
To be honest, my year started really poorly. I had a huge fight with a family member over the holidays that left me absolutely devastated. I spent the last few days of 2018 in tears and I still felt really broken well into the New Year. Albert and I headed west to spend New Years in Colorado with his best friend. We had so much fun, but I felt super introspective the entire time and couldn't seem to fully shake my sadness. Lucky for me, introspection bodes well for my creative mind, because on the plane home I had my epiphany about The Balancing Effect! I decided then and there that I would not only create a blog that embodies mindfulness and mental health, but I would also create products that help others add more self-love and self-care into their daily lives. I spent the entire plane ride scribbling notes in my journal and crafting my master plan.
I also got to celebrate my bachelorette in January with my very best friends! My little sis planned the whole weekend in Miami and it was absolutely perfect. It was, hands down, the most fun and hilarious weekend of my entire life. There is truly nothing better than being surrounded by your besties and shaking sh*t up in a town where no one knows you. I won't share photos of this, but know that cage dancing, strip clubs, and copious amounts of champagne were involved. We look so sweet and innocent in these photos though, right?
March was the greatest month of the year, because it was the month I got to marry my person. Our wedding was on March 23, 2019 and it was perfect. Albert proposed on our 5-year anniversary and when we got married we were celebrating 6 years together. He's seriously the most incredible man on the planet and I am so grateful to get to live this life with him. Surrounded by our wild families and closest friends, we said "I do" at Hibernian Hall in downtown Charleston and had the most epic night ever. Two days later, we were sipping cocktails on the beach in the Dominican Republic on our honeymoon. Of all the things that happened this year, becoming Albert's wife was my favorite.
Although of course our wedding was the highlight of my year, I wouldn't be being real if I didn't mention the level of stress and sadness I felt in the weeks leading up to the big day. Both Albert and mine's parents are divorced and I was so nervous about how everyone would interact and all of the family dynamics in general. I was also super sad about not being able to take a photo with both of my parents on my wedding day. And I also felt guilty about feeling all of those things because so many people don't even have families to celebrate their wedding with.
April was a month of smitten newlywed-ness and the month of Albert's 27th birthday! This photo was snapped at Proof before our traditional birthday dinner at Hall's Chophouse. The first birthday I celebrated with Albert was his 21st, and it's always so funny to me how much more mature our birthdays get as years pass.
Also going to fill you guys in on my lows for this month because it is what it is. I started teaching regular yoga classes again at a studio in April, and couldn't even last a month due to the stress of my full-time job and had to quit. I felt so bummed and disappointed in myself that I couldn't do it all and make it work, but in the end I knew that I would always be anxious and stressed if I continued to try and teach on top of my demanding job. After I left, I definitely fell into a little depression and was really down on myself. I know now that what I did was the right thing to do, but at the time I took it really hard.
July was a month of travel! We kicked off the month in New England with two of our best friends (who also got engaged the week after our wedding! ahhhh!) at a beautiful lake house with several of their other friends. We had a freaking blast - drank too many White Claws, floated on a giant flamingo, and set our phones aside to enjoy the incredible company around us. It was heaven.
Also in July - one of my best friends had been working her a$$ off to get her masters from Columbia for the past couple of years, and she graduated at the end of the month! Unbeknownst to her, my friend Dani and I surprised her to be there on her graduation day! She was so surprised and happy - tears were shed and lots of drinks were had to celebrate her incredible achievement. We had the best time in the city for the short 24 hours we were there. Love you Erin!!!
August was my birthday month! I turned 26 on August 7 - this photo was snapped on our way to Hall's Chophouse, of course :)
September was another month of travel! We kicked off Labor Day weekend in Gatlinburg, Tennessee to celebrate Albert's aunt's wedding. The photo of Albert in the cowboy hat is the only one I have from the trip LOL (you're welcome). Then, we went to New York City for a romantic weekend! We had such a blast in New York and enjoyed sushi, sake, comedy clubs, Central Park, and my personal favorite...ZARA!
Also, on the last day of September, I announced the project I had been working on all year: The Balancing Effect and my very first product, the True North Planner! Pressing publish on this post to share what I had been working so hard on was absolutely terrifying and amazing, and it's been a whirlwind ever since! The response I received for the True North Planners was overwhelmingly supportive. I am incredibly proud of this product and I am so glad you all are loving it!
In October we took our annual Asheville trip with our friends who live in Johnson City, Tennessee for a fun weekend away! As a West Virginia girl, I always love escaping to the mountains in the fall. We happened to be in town on the same weekend as Oktoberfest at Sierra Nevada, so this gem of a picture with Albert grinning ear to ear over his giant mug of beer was taken there.
In October I also hit publish on The Balancing Effect website and SOLD OUT of my first batch of True North Planners! Ahhhhh!!! I was the happiest gal in the world when I saw those numbers.
I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty details, but this month was an extremely stressful one for Albert and I job wise. In the end it all worked out fine, but let's just say a lot of wine was drank and soul searching was done this month for both of us, ha.
November was one of those months where everything started to come together. I started the month at the incredible Rachel Hollis's RISE Business Conference and was lit up from inspiration. In November, I also announced a partnership with a local boutique for a pop-up event here in Charleston AND got the True North Planners in stores at one of my absolute favorite local shops!!! It was the most rewarding month to date. Sometimes I worry if all of my hard work is actually paying off, and this was one of those months were I could feel the needle moving in the right direction. I am so inspired and excited for what's to come with The Balancing Effect after November's incredible events.
I have so many exciting things to look forward to this month, from holiday parties to my Balancing Effect pop-up event and more. Albert and I also closed on our first home this month!!! Talk about a new level of adulting. This month, I'm looking forward to relaxing with my family over the holidays and getting ready for my most kick ass year yet. I am so looking forward to what 2020 will bring, and I can't wait to share everything else I've been quietly working on with The Balancing Effect :) My word for the new year is abundance, and I fully plan on embodying and living that word in every sense. Get ready 2020, cause here I come!