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Gosh, I just cannot believe it’s 2018.

I am officially to that point of my life where I’m starting to feel old. The other day at school, I realized that some of my high school students weren’t even alive when 9/11 happened. OMG!

I seriously don’t even know where to begin….2017 was an insane year. I thought I would share with you some of my year highs and lows, as well as share where I see my life headed from here.

At the end of the post, I’d love for you to comment about your 2017!

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My 2017 Highlights //

  • In January, we brought home Shadow puppers! He is seriously the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life, aside from meeting Trevor. I cannot begin to describe to you guys how much I adore that 70 pound fluffball.
  • In February, I had the opportunity to participate in an amazing styled shoot at the Ice Castles in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
  • This isn’t exactly a highlight, but also in February, I spun out my vehicle on the icy highway and was nicked by a semi! Thank God everyone was okay. Vehicles are replaceable, but humans are not!
  • In March, I was featured on Becca Tilley’s blog on how to mix boho patterns.
  • Also in March, I started the “My Current Obsession” series on my blog, which has been so fun to write for!
  • In July, I saw Guns N’ Roses in concert for the second time.
  • In August, I had the most beautiful bridal shower <3
  • At the end of August, I started my high school counseling career (!!) I love my job and am so thankful for the opportunity!!
  • In September and October, I stood up in two of my best friends’ weddings.
  • In October, I married the love of my life!
  • I continued to grow my fashion platform here on my blog and started to monetize my outfits.
  • I worked with some awesome brands this year, including POPSUGARWeddingWire, Apricot Lane, Bay Park Square Mall, Best Self Company, Almost Famous Clothing, Dove, Basic Invite, Tom’s of Maine, the Luv.It app, and Jord Wood Watches. Specifically, Apricot Lane and Bay Park Square are local collaborations in the Green Bay, WI, area. It was super awesome to meet and collaborate with amazing local creatives.
  • In December, I graduated with my Master’s degree in Professional Counseling!
  • Also in December, I traveled to Punta Cana on our honeymoon! I won’t mention the broken ankle that occurred there…

WHEW!!!!!! There was a LOT going on this year!!!

Isn’t it funny how day by day, nothing seems to change, but when you look back, everything is different?

I’ve seen a lot of posts from other bloggers on their “Word(s) of the year.” Last January in my 2017 post, my guided words were Fearless, Patience, and Passion. I strived to take more risks, be patient with where I was at in life, and passionately pursue my dreams and goals. I still love these three words!! But this year, I have a different focus of where my life is heading.

2017 was a year that marked new beginnings for me; a year of change. There was a lot of fear associated with where I was heading, and what my new beginning would look like. I was still in school, job searching, and afraid of what was next lingering around the corner. I was overwhelmed financially with planning a wedding and being a student. I was stressed with how much was on my plate, and I struggled trying to balance it all. Specifically, September/October was the most challenging time for me, which is when I balanced starting my career, planning a wedding, and gearing up for graduation.

I believe that 2018 will bring me more security and (hopefully) more relaxation.  Now, it’s time to enjoy the recent life changes, and build our lives together as newlyweds.

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Without further ado, here are my guided words for 2018…

Balance
Specifically, I’d like to focus on work/ life balance. My job is high-demand and high stress. I realize that I cannot realistically save all of my students nor guide them all to make the perfect decisions. I need to give myself more grace, and remember the importance of setting boundaries.

Self-Care
In 2017, I spent a great deal of time studying, checking my email, and working. I wasn’t so great at the whole “self-care” thing. This year, I’d like to focus my self-care this year on more active self-care (AKA, Netflix, you’re going down.) Specifically, I’d like to cook more, exercise more, and exercise my brain by reading more books!

Perspective 
Like I mentioned above, I struggled with work-life balance. My husband and I both do. Sometimes, I lose focus of what’s really important. It can be difficult to focus on one another when we are both career-focused. For 2018, I’d like to remember in the moments of chaos what the “big picture.” I pray for perspective. To remember what is truly important in life; relationships and people. To slow down and enjoy where I’m at.

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Photos by Shaunae Teske // Sweater: Nordstrom // Scarf: Walmart // Purse: Target // Boots: Charlotte Russ

Why did I choose these guided words?

I think about 2017 and how big of a year it was for me. In terms of “accomplishments,” it was a great year, but in retrospect- does that mean it truly was the “best” year? Do accomplishments = happiness?

In some aspects, yes, it was the best year! But personally, did I really have time to enjoy my new accomplishments/changes? As much as I tried to be intentional, I feel like I was stuck in a snow globe, and someone was constantly shaking it. Everything happened so fast and I didn’t have a lot of time to spend focusing on myself or be with my  family and friends this year. I was constantly stressed and sick with anxiety about my new role, not to mention burnt out from trying to balance everything on my plate.

I’m such a goal-driven person and am fueled by feeling productive , but I have to say that right now, I am initiative-fatigued. I just don’t want to accomplish anything at the moment. I want to enjoy my husband. I want to get outside more. I want to check my email less. I want to stop worrying about the things on my to-do list. I want to brush it off if my house is messy and cluttered. I want to feel okay with doing less. Ultimately, I want to stop thinking the world can’t go on without me.

If I have learned anything in the past year, it’s that no matter how hard you work in your career, it doesn’t bring happiness. People and self-care bring happiness. We all need time to refresh and replenish.

So I challenge you to remember that it’s OKAY to slow down and enjoy the natural flow of life instead of trying to always beat the clock to get ahead. Work is important, but so is balance. Boundaries are imperative! And we are the only ones who can stop this endless cycle of the “busyness” madness. We can choose to do less. It doesn’t make us any less important, successful, skilled, or unproductive human beings. It makes us human.

I encourage you to put people over yourself this year and above tangible things. I challenge you to care for yourself, even when it’s hard. Although this is incredibly cliche, I challenge you to not take life for granted and to appreciate the presence of these around you.❤️ It really does make a difference.

Here’s to you and a happy 2018! I’d love to hear about your year, if you are willing to share!

Xoxo,

  • Simply Stacey

    I love your goals, and being goal driven is an excellent quality. My 2017 want too exciting but it went so quick and I wish I had done more. That’s why this year I am going to make a difference xx

    • You WILL make a difference, girl!! I SO believe in you!! xoxo

  • I love that you’ve been working with local boutiques. Those are really special partnerships!

    I took my 17-year-old cousin to NYC in December and we visited the 9/11 reflecting pools downtown. She was only 1.5 years old at the time so of course she couldn’t truly grasp the gravity of what she was seeing. We told her our “where we were” stories and tried to relay how different life was beforehand, but those concepts are not really an easy thing to explain.

    • Thank you, Em! It was so awesome to work with local gigs, especially since fashion isn’t the “major” focus in northern Wisconsin.

      Omg, wow. Isn’t that crazy? I remember where I was. I was in 4th grade, in music class with Mr. Dessart. I didn’t understand what was going on or why the TVs were on. I think it is so awesome that you took your cousin to visit the memorial. It’s a very solemn and surreal experience. I would love to go back some day.

  • Well, getting married kind of guarantees that 2017 will be a milestone year! Sorry about the broken ankle, though, ouch! It sounds like a good idea to focus a little more on balance and active self-care in the year to come, after how full your 2017 was!

    • Exactly! That is my theme. After how busy 2017 was, I’m ready to take care of myself and relax.

  • Sounds like you had an amazing year in 2017! I love the words you chose for the new year and think you are spot on with your goals for balancing and taking care of yourself. Hope 2018 is wonderful for you, Chelsea!

    • Happy 2018, Lecy! You are so sweet!!

  • I love all your goals for this year! Finding a good work-life balance is imperative for us all and learning to leave work at work is worth its weight in gold. I hope you have a wonderful 2018 and are able to slow down and enjoy the little stuff! :)

    • It’s such a struggle, I hope to write a blog post about work/life balance specifically soon!! Thanks Cara, cheers to 2018!

  • I completely resonate with all of your words that you have for this year. I’m still deciding on mine… but “rise” keeps coming back to mind every time. But, work/life balance is so huge. I’m currently having to work on that again, as now I have to balance our home. It’s so much work! ALSO, you’ve reminded me that I have to start reaching out to local places near me!

    • SUCH a great word, girl!!! XOXO I’m so excited to see what 2018 brings for you, and I’m thankful for our friendship!

  • I love the words you chose for 2018. My word for 2018 is fearless. I started a podcast and plan on doing a lot of things that scare me because I’m always living in my comfort zone and that’s no good.

    • That was my word for last year! I love it, Jenny!! xoxo. P.S. You should link the podcast on here!

  • First off, your year was CRAY! Second, your words are fab. So many of them are on my list too – clearly great minds think alike and we have GOT THIS YEAR!!!

    • IT WAS CRAY! I’m still recovering!! haha. Thanks girl. We got this!!

  • Thena Reading-Franssen

    Great words for 2018. Sounds like you had a great year last year and cheers to another awesome one this year!!!

    • Thanks Thena! Cheers to the new year!

  • Oh wow! It sounds like you had the most wonderful 2017! I personally loved this past year, but now I’m feeling quite boring as all I did was discover some new creative hobbies, go on my first holiday with my partner, and book our second one for this year (which will be our first time going on a plane!) – that seems like nothing compared to you 😅 I hope 2018 will be just as exciting for you!

    Indya || The Small Adventurer

    • Oh my gosh, don’t compare yourself to me! It sounds like you had an absolute phenomenal year!!

  • Taylor Smith

    What a beautiful 2017! I know so many people who got married in 2017 and I love that!