Dear 2017

Top of the Rock NYC, Holiday dresses under $100

Top of the Rock NYC, Holiday dresses under $100

Top of the Rock NYC, Holiday dresses under $100

Top of the Rock NYC, Holiday dresses under $100

Top of the Rock NYC, Holiday dresses under $100

Top of the Rock NYC, Holiday dresses under $100

Top of the Rock NYC, Holiday dresses under $100

Photography by: Banavenue

Dear 2017,

It’s not me, it’s you. I regret to say that I am NOT sad to see you go. So much happened this year. More than has happened in any year to date. I wish I could say that you rocked because that would be a cute blog post and all being that I am at the top of the Rock (Rockafeller Center) but to be honest, you mostly sucked. When I started trying to recap the year, I got stuck several times because there were only a couple major things that stuck out. The bad. The hard. The heartbreaking. And that made me sad that I couldn’t remember all of the good because of this. So I forced myself to sit down and remember all of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

January– I rang in the New Year in Seaside, Florida watching one of my oldest friends get married! Seaside is one of my absolute favorite places. I then traveled to Waco, Texas the following weekend to watch another childhood friend get married. This also gave me an excuse to visit the popular Magnolia Market for the first time and it did not disappoint! I ended the month with an early Galentine’s Day celebration at my favorite rooftop wine bar in Houston – Sonoma!

February– Not much more to mention about this month besides the fact a man entered my life that changed the rest of the course of the year for me. We will call him “bumble boy”. To be honest I didn’t really share much about this topic with you guys but it was a big factor this year.

March– By far my hardest month of the year. It started off great with a trip to Puerto Vallarta (my first sponsored travel opportunity) and with my best friend, Britt! Shortly after that, I moved home for the short term and had the first of two hip surgeries. Right after my surgery, the guy I met back in February and had spent almost every day with since, completely ghosted me. No text, call or anything to break things off. He just stopped responding to texts/calls. I regret to say I spiraled into a deep depression between these two things. I barely ate, got out of bed, or thought about anything else. For those of you that have been ghosted or had your heart broken by a boy, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy! This was the first time I had been broken up with and the worst part to this day, is that I have no idea why.

April– Since the hip surgery recovery involved being in bed and on crutches for 6 weeks, I had SO many friends visit me at my parents house. I am truly so grateful for all of these friends who helped me more than they knew by just being there in my lowest time. April brought LOTS of pool days and relaxing at hotel Adams. It was also the first (and only) time I opened up about “bumble boy” on the blog.

May– After being off of work for 7 weeks, I went back to my full time job. As much as I hated going back to my desk job, I needed the consistency of a schedule more than I knew at the time. I was still thinking about “bumble boy” every day, ALL day. My family also celebrated my youngest sister graduating from the University of Texas in Austin.

June– June was a fun month! I experienced my first two “staycations” at two of Houston’s nicest hotels! The first staycation involved a wine and taco convention. That’s right, unlimited wine and tacos. Need I say more? The second staycation involved a penthouse, my blogger babes, and a night out at Sonoma Wine Bar! The common theme in June was lots of wine 🙂 I ended the month with a spontaneous girls trip to Denver and Boulder, Colorado and it was by far one of the best trips with one of my oldest best friends and a new one too!

July– July 4th was spent with some of my blogger besties at her grandparent’s ranch and then again with new friends in San Marcos floating the river.

August– It was a full month of big blog collaborations (which I am SO thankful for!) with Academy and CStudio Home, traveling within Texas, wedding shenanigans, and birthday celebrations! August was also the month that Hurricane Harvey reeked havoc on Houston. Thankfully my house and family’s houses were not harmed but I cannot say the same for so many of my friends and it was heartbreaking to watch the people you care so much about, lose everything. As much as it hurt to watch these things, it was a good reminder to not take a single thing for granted, that there could always be worse, and to be thankful for all of life’s many blessings even when we feel God has wronged us. I also must add that my best friends and I got stuck in Fredericksburg (Texas wine country) during the flood and our sweet host comped the entire stay. If you are planning a trip to Fredericksburg, I highly suggest where we stayed for SO many reasons. More here.

September– While I HATE to admit that I was still thinking about “bumble boy” more days than not and after watching so many people lose everything, I had a major realization. What the hell was I doing with my life? Why was I succumbing to the devil? Why was I letting someone or something steal my joy EVERY day? For someone that thought they had everything figured out, I heard God say, “Let go, let go of everything and trust me”. And that’s what I did. I quit the job that was stealing my joy. I moved home. I booked several one way airplane tickets and I felt the most overwhelming sense of peace that I had EVER felt. Travels included: New York Fashion Week (for the second year in a row!), Boston, Nantucket, Copenhagen, Prague, Vienna, Milan and Cinque Terra. Read more about that big announcement here.

October– I ended my month long travel diaries and came back home to have my second hip surgery. While the recovery process ended up being much easier, the first week after surgery was AWFUL in every way. I battled severe nausea and migraines which resulted in an ER trip and trying over 15 medications to get these symptoms under control. I ended up having to completely forgo pain meds the rest of my recovery because of these side effects. Thankfully after the first week (from HELL), my recovery was mostly smooth sailing minus a severe amount of weight loss that I can’t seem to gain back. I ended the month by going to see Bruno Mars with the family. Best concert ever!!

November– November brought some exciting things for the blog! My biggest campaign to date with Olay, an event with Banana Republic, and my most profitable month to date! I cannot put into words how thankful I am that my leap of faith to blog full time (even if just for the short term) proved to be paying off in a big way. More than the money aspect, November brought so many opportunities to connect with all of YOU. If there is anything I have learned this year, it’s that this blog thing doesn’t have to be one sided! It has been so rewarding to start developing a community with you all and it is truly the highlight of my day when I get to chat with you via email or direct message.

December– December was a busy busy month and for that I am thankful. It was the first month that I did not think about “bumble boy” almost a single time. If you only knew how many times I prayed to God that he would erase that boy from my memory. Every day, y’all. My time was spent pouring myself into the blog. 12 hours a day. Between 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways and sharing tons of holiday gift inspiration, I didn’t sleep much but my heart was SO full. I finally felt like I was making a difference. Like I was helping you more than you were helping me! Other highlights of the month included my family taking a vacation to Cabo, ringing in the New Year in Chicago (my sister’s new home), Houston seeing it’s first snow in years, two slips and falls that set me back in physical therapy (clutz!), two amazing roaring 20s parties and more joy than I have felt in months!

While there were so many ups this year, most were regretfully clouded with sadness, grief, and anger. I put on a front to my family and friends that I was ok while I most certainly was not. But two things that stayed constant for me this year were God and all of you. When I think about what I am most thankful for this year, it truly is my faith, my steadfast friends that might not have known what was going on but loved me anyway and my growing relationship with each and every one of you. Most days I would be wallowing in my own self pity or not able to pull myself out of depressing thoughts and then I would get a message from one of you that would turn my entire day around. The thing is that you had no idea what you were doing. You had no idea what I was going through and yet God placed each of you and your voice in my life for a reason. I can only hope that I can return the favor to all of you this year. 2018- this is OUR year!