Colette, Aziz & 2019

Okay. I said I was going to do it so here it goes. A year of blogging, actual blogging. Adding my words to pictures that are related or have absolutely no connection. This is my blog after all, so expect it to be all over the place and even have a slight case of multiple personality disorder. It'll be great.

I thought I'd start out with the obvious, a little bit about 2018 and what my plans are for the new year. All in all, this past year was a quiet one. We didn't do a ton of traveling or once in a life time sort of experiences. If I had to sum it up, last year we put our heads down and got shit done. My business grew, Stefan got a promotion, we got out of debt, we got engaged. Business as usual, even including the last feat. I am by no means taking the romance out if it, but one of our goals was to save up for a ring and when we accomplished that, we took our thick envelope of money to the jewelers and bought the ring together. Stefan added the element of surprise and sweetness with the proposal, but it was very much an exciting and mutual decision. We were ready.

On business

I shot 34 weddings in total in 2018. It was insane. It was madness. It was everything I dreamed of. My second year of being an actual "wedding photographer" and I was completely booked. I took one week off for a family vacation, but other than that it's been nonstop editing and shooting. My only regret is that I let the behind the scenes work slack. The blogging, the superb customer experience, the following up, the communication, the marketing; it all took a back seat in 2018, but it's at the top of my list this Winter.

On Debt

I plan to do many a blog posts talking about personal finances, and debt in particular because you all asked for it, but also because I have learned too much not to share. The more I learn, the more concerned I become with how our society has normalized debt and how our generation approaches it. BUT that's another conversation for another day. Last year (June - November) we paid off $22,000 worth of debt comprised of mostly student loans and some past medical charges, we bought a $5,000 ring with cash, I cut up my very first credit card into tiny pieces. 2018 was about getting out of the red and into the green. 2019 will be about growing the green to set ourselves up long term.

On getting engaged

I thought about getting engaged probably every single day this past year until it happened. I never once pressured Stefan, just tried to enjoy what I knew would be the last few months of being a "girlfriend". Part of me thought there would be this transformation in our relationship when it happened, but the logical side knew it would just be an exciting memory to keep forever, him down on one knee. We've lived together for the past two years, have four animals, and combined our finances awhile ago so the act of "getting engaged" wasn't all the big of a deal. I think the change really lies in how we prepare ourselves for marriage. We now say things like "our health insurance" or "our (child)ren". It's coming to grasps with the fact that all the dreams you had of marrying the person you Love and sharing a life with them is finally coming true. Convincing yourself that your dreams are now a reality. All while trying to not kill each other while planning a wedding. It's fun.

My top goals for 2019 are all in regards to personal, relationship, financial, and mental health. Essentially, just living a healthy life in all of those realms.

We are so excited for what this new year will bring!

Thanks for reading along,

Ayren

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email:

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