December 31, 2018

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Kelly

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Last December, when I turned 30, I knew 2018 would be a one-of-a-kind year. I had always heard, when you turn 30, your perspective changes — and it couldn’t be more true! Turning 30 was like reaching a “checkpoint” on a mountain; it was awesome to look back and see how much life has changed and how far we’ve come, but I was also filled with a completely renewed passion for continuing to learn and grow. I always feel blessed to celebrate birthdays.

This December, I turned 31 (Or as I asked Ben to confirm — I turned “30 again.”) and I can’t believe 2018 is behind us! Today, I’m excited to recap 2018 and share some of my favorite memories from the year.

March: In March, Ben and I traveled to California to attend Ben’s cousin’s wedding. It was only a weekend getaway, but we packed in as much adventure as we possibly could. We spent a couple of days in Los Angeles before driving up the coast, through Malibu, to Oxnard. From watching a Holocaust survivor speak at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust to having lunch on a pier in Malibu and being attacked by birds – our trip was an experience to hold onto forever.

June: In June, Andra and I hosted the very first With Grace and Gold Workshop! It was a 3-day educational workshop created exclusively for designers. On top of an education-filled weekend, I was most excited about the fun surprises we added to our weekend, like a visit from Coffee Cart MPLS and Chipotle catered for lunch! For one weekend, we worked so, so hard to help fellow designers have a seamless experience, learning and growing, side by side. It was such a heart-filling experience, which left us feeling excited for the seasons ahead at With Grace and Gold. Since then, we’ve launched our Designer Education Shop, which has been a really awesome, exciting addition to our business!

July: After our With Grace and Gold Workshop, Ben and I decided to take a spontaneous road trip to Nashville, Tennessee! It was our third visit to Nashville together (We always used to stop in Nashville on our drives from Wisconsin to Walt Disney World.) but this trip was a completely unique experience. Not only did I run into Miley Cyrus TWICE, but every person we spoke with was so excited about our spontaneous trip; one person gave us a free personal tour of a museum, and another person paid for our dinner. The generosity we experienced in Nashville reminded me to hold onto our sense of adventure and to practice spontaneity as often as we can. You just never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll experience — just on the other side of routine or fear.

September: In September, Ben began a big adventure of his own — he started earning his Doctorate of Business Administration! In August, we did our own version of “nesting” to prepare for Ben’s program; we completed some condo renovations, we started using Purple Carrot to help us cook healthy, vegan meals more efficiently, and Ben taught me the art of vacuuming — a chore he usually leads. (He’s truly a real-life Danny Tanner from Full House!) Ben’s educational adventure has definitely stretched us, but, I think, like any challenge, there is something really wonderful on the other side.

October: In October, Ben and I traveled to Fort Worth, Texas. For one week, we stayed at Omni Fort Worth Hotel, which was a really beautiful hotel in downtown Fort Worth. We explored lots of cool shops, restaurants, and areas — which reminds me I’ve got to finish my Travel Diary for our trip! Nonetheless, visiting Fort Worth was like a breath of fresh air. I always love trips to Texas (I went to Dallas and Waco last year!) so I was very grateful for another opportunity to visit, especially with Ben!

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November: In November, I traveled to both Arizona and North Carolina. In Arizona, we spoke at Showit United on behalf of With Grace and Gold. This year, we were awarded the “Designer of the Year” award, which I’m still in awe of. (What an honor!) In North Carolina, we spoke at Creative at Heart on behalf of With Grace and Gold. Both experiences were so rewarding — and as always, I come away feeling so full and excited for the seasons ahead. Plus, eating guacamole every day in North Carolina wasn’t bad at all!

December: In December, Ben and I went on our yearly trip to Chicago. This year, the weather was great — no snow at all! We visited all of our favorite restaurants and places, and overall, it was so nice to have a few days together before the holidays officially began.

What I’ll remember most from 2018:

  • Spending lots of quality time with Ben — especially during our trips to Los Angeles, Nashville, Fort Worth, and Chicago.
  • When Ben took me horseback riding for our wedding anniversary – and I cried tears of joy. We celebrated 5 years of marriage and 10 years overall.
  • Continuing to learn and grow through work at With Grace and Gold.
  • And personally, experiencing my 30th year — learning to embrace the ups and downs of life with a little bit more peace and a lot less stress.

What I’m looking forward to in 2019:

  • Becoming a college-level Instructor once again! In spring, I’ll be teaching one class, Entrepreneurial Marketing, at the college level. Having started my career in higher education, I’m really excited to have one foot in education and the other in entrepreneurship.
  • Running a 5K! In fall, I’ll be running Disney’s Wine and Dine 5K! Right now, all I do is yoga and barre — so running will be totally new for me!
  • Spending more quality time with Ben, with family, and with friends. After a few years of being really focused on work, I’m just genuinely excited to prioritize relationships more now than ever.

Happy New Year!

8

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