Wow, you guys. I think we can ALL agree that 2017 was quite the year. Not only politically & in pop culture, but 2017 brought along a lot of changes for me both personally and professionally. While so many articles I’ve read online jokes about how 2018 just has to be better than 2017 – in the idea that 2017 was a rough year – I just have to beg to differ! Like any year, it had its highs and lows, but 2017 will always always always hold a special place in my heart because it was the year that Annie was born and I became a mother. It’s also the year that I took the biggest career risk I could ever imagine doing! I’m sharing my biggest milestones below & a reflection on the wild ride that was 2017.
A reflection on 2017
- This past year I went through more changes both physically, mentally and professionally in this past year than I could have ever dreamed. I mean just look at this picture above where I’m 9 months pregnant. This was snapped at 9 am and I went into labor at 1 pm later that day.
- The biggest gift & joy that Patrick and I could have ever received graced our lives on January 20th at 7:26 am. I honestly can’t put into words how wonderful it is to be Annie’s mom is and I feel like I was always destined to be in this special role.
- Along with my new role as a mom, I also took on the title of self-employed in January 2017. I left my career in marketing behind to focus full-time (as much full-time as motherhood allows) on Lone Star Looking Glass. While super scary at times, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made!! I honestly still can’t believe I was able to replace my career with my passions. I’m forever grateful to you guys for all of your support & I wouldn’t be here (and home with Annie everyday) without y’all!
- Spring was both happy and sad. We lost my 98-year-old grandmother this spring. I was extremely close to her and growing up I couldn’t imagine a life without her. I’m so grateful that I had 28 full years to know her and love her and I am proud to continue her legacy on through my life & Annie’s.
- Spring was also a time to start traveling. As soon as Annie got those 2-month shots we were off! From New Orleans to Amarillo, Texas Hill Country and Tennessee, the travel bug bit me hard (and hasn’t let go since!) Teaming up with Texas Tourism to visit Amarillo was definitely one of the highlights of the year. It was the first time Patrick, Annie and I got away just the three of us and the whole experience was so special.
- I also stretched my “new mom” legs this spring and was out & about with Annie as much as possible. I made so many new mom friends and felt like I got into a “groove” of sorts.
- Annie was baptized in Tennessee in May and we celebrated with all of our family & friends. Annie must have known how serious the ceremony was, because she slept riiiiiight through it!
- Collaboration opportunities with brands started to really pick up just as I was getting my energy back after having a baby. There were a few pinch-me moments that had me starting to feel that I was doing the right thing.
- One of my blog goals each & every year is to attend a blogger conference. This summer I headed down to Orlando to attend BlogHer. My mom jumped at the chance to travel with me and we stacked a visit to Disney on the trip too. (Because how could you not do Disney when in Orlando!?) My mom watched Annie while I was conferencing and I felt like my old “career” self again. Working on laptop (not in my pjs) with coffee in hand surrounded by peers. It felt so good to be back in that type of element, doing what I loved too. I also was able to make many connections with other bloggers and brands that has led to really cool opportunities since.
- We took Annie to the beach with Patrick’s family where she played in the ocean for the very first time. It was completely magical!!
- Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc in Houston in August of 2017. We evacuated to Mississippi and had to watch the chilling news reports from afar, not knowing if our friends or our home were safe. The city came together in the aftermath in a way like I’d never seen to prove that we are indeed Houston Strong.
- Spending a week in New York for NYFW was such a dream! It definitely was a bucket list moment for the blogger/fashionista in me. But I have to say my favorite part of the experience was connecting with other bloggers from across the country and showing off NYC to Annie.
- Patrick, Annie & I went an another TX adventure, this time to the State Fair of Texas in Dallas. I partnered with Visit Dallas for the trip and we had an amazing time!
- Another big milestone for the blog was my partnership with The Blog Societies and AmericasMart in Atlanta. I spent a few days in ATL with bloggers from across the country & left not only with a new outlook on blogging but a few new friends too.
- The Astros won the World Series!!!
- You guys, I still can’t believe my trip to The Bahamas with BahamasAir actually happened! I’ll be sharing every single detail in January. But this was a huge collaboration for me because it made me realize that my travel stories are being recognized while reaching more & more people and I couldn’t be more thrilled or thankful.
- Getting to spend a week in both Nashville & Memphis, Tennessee was so so so so good for my soul. One of my resolutions for 2018 is to spend more time with family and more time back in TN.
- Annie’s First Christmas was incredibly special. I truly think she felt the magic of the day because little girl just did not want to nap! She wanted to spend every moment of this festive holiday with us and we gladly obliged. I also kept her in Christmas pjs the majority of the day. I’m so glad Christmas pjs are a thing!
A Few More Big Moments:
- Watching Annie learn to walk. I still can’t believe it!
- Okay watching Annie do EVERYTHING was huge, let’s be honest. I even teared up the first time she grabbed her hanging toy when she was just over a month.
- Doing this parenting thing with Patrick. It has shaped our relationship and marriage into something new and even more amazing. We’re not only partners in life but we’re now partners in raising a child and I couldn’t imagine a better person to do it all with.
- I not only took Lone Star Looking Glass full-time this year, but I also picked up two part-time jobs. I do freelance media projects for Cheeky Vintage here & there and work one to two 4-hour shifts a week at Anthropologie. Both of these make for fun little side hustles that keep me both busy and give me a chance to get away & chitchat with likeminded gals.
- I’ve also grown super close to quite a few other Houston mama bloggers this year. And I have to say having this community of women who are not only similar but who also continuously inspire me is probably my favorite thing about living in Houston. They’re always up for brunch, a play date & some good girl talk!
- Last but not least, I was able to grow Lone Star Looking Glass tremendously this year. I was approached by an agency to manage my collaboration opportunities this summer and took the leap. I ended up sticking with them for about three months. While it took a huge weight off my shoulders, it made me realize that I enjoy the back-end business side of my blog as much as I do the creative side. I used what I learned from them to take Lone Star Looking Glass even further. And I’m thrilled that I get to share so many new things with you guys each & every day.
The Four Most Popular Blog Posts of 2017:
- My recipe for (knock-off Torchy’s Tacos) Texas- Style Queso was number one! (Now I’m hungry!)
- Galveston, Texas Travel Guide
- What to pack in your hospital bag and newborn must-haves.
- Amarillo & Palo Duro Canyon Travel Guide
The Four Pieces of Clothing Y’ALL Loved the Most:
And if you have a minute (or less, I would be thrilled if you could fill out this reader survey for me. I’d love to hear y’alls thoughts and share more of what YOU want to see in 2018.
So moral of this story, THANK YOU ALL so so much for following along what was a crazy busy year. I’ve enjoyed sharing all of the big and little moments with you all. I also think that it’s the coolest thing that this blog also acts as a time capsule of sorts. Now I’m curious to look back on what I may have written in 2016 & 2015 too! Anywho, I hope you all are celebrating the end of one year and the start of the next in the best way you know how! Thanks again for following along on my journey and cheers to 2018!!