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Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

January 6, 2015

Yesterday’s blog post was titled similarly, however, today’s blog post is much different!

2014 brought many great, amazing blessings and challenges… definitely a year I am proud of but I’m also ready to have it over and done with. Last year, I blogged a 2013 review in a methodical way that I feel really helped me reflect on the good and push past the not so good. Let’s do that again!

What Worked in 2014 - Rachael Houser Photography

+ My Ideal Morning. Last year, I wrote about My Ideal Morning, and it worked really well… so well that I plan on implementing the new Ideal Day that I created a few days ago. Blog to come on that soon!

+ Daily devotionals to start out my morning. This year, according to My Ideal Day, I’m doing my daily devotional during my lunch break. So far it’s helping me realign my day in the middle of the day! Plus, I seem to have more time in the afternoons than I do in the mornings.

+ DIY home renovations. Just like in 2013, we did several projects in 2014 that Neil and I are both extremely proud of: Custom handmade hardwood flooring in the living areas, new baseboards and crown moulding in every room, new window bench in the eat in part of the kitchen, and started work on the nursery and guest bedroom. I can’t wait to share those projects in more detail!

+ The 2014 Connect Retreat. What a great way to recharge yourself and your focus on leading a Godly marriage!! We attended the first year in 2013 and again this past year but sadly won’t be able to attend this year… can you guess why? YUP, because we’ll have a brand new newborn!

+ In vitro fertilization. If you’re new to the blog, you may not know that we underwent our first (and thankfully only) cycle of IVF in July and successfully got pregnant with our first child, a little boy due in early April! We are beyond thrilled and ready to be parents after trying for almost 4 years! Want to read more about our journey? I’d love to share it with you!

+ Our Young Married Sunday School Class. The relationships Neil and I have gained through our class is surprising and wonderful. It’s something we didn’t know we were missing and the hole has been filled with amazing couples!

+ Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner. Y’all. This planner has been saving my life on a daily basis since I started using it this time last year. The 2015 planners are all sold out but in May they’re introducing the 2015-2016 planners, which I’m sure will be just as amazing!

What Didn't Work in 2014 - Rachael Houser Photography

+ The Bristol Bridal Expo. I attended my first bridal expo in January 2013, very successfully so but by the time the 2014 bridal expo rolled around the following January I already had 19 weddings booked for 2014. I ended up having to tell most brides, sorry I’m already booked, which I hated to do. Also, because I didn’t book many weddings at the expo, it ended up being a drain on my business. Lesson learned.

+ Our best friends still live 8 hours away. With the birth of my best friend Megan’s second child, a baby boy (born April 4th, 2014) it made it extra hard for me to be away from them. But since he was born at the beginning of my wedding season, I wasn’t able to make it up there until he was already 4 months old! I felt like the worst best friend ever. But Megan understood. In 2014 we only made it up there in February and August and they came home in October. That is not enough for best friends to see each other. We’re going up there in January but won’t be doing much if any traveling after that but Megan is already winning best friend of the universe award by taking off work to come down for a few days (hopefully more?) right after out baby boy’s birth. To have her here is the best gift she could ever give me.

+ Going back to work as a nurse almost full time. This time last year I started my saving grace of a nursing job. We’d been praying for financial assistance for our infertility treatments and that job came at just the right time. However, the busy wedding season I had in 2014 combined with going through IVF treatments and dealing with pregnancy woes made working 30 hours a week a little difficult. I’ve since gone down to two days a week and am getting ready to go down to one day.

For most people, the new year is a time of change. I pray for change in our new year and welcome the change that this entire year will bring!