2016 in Review

I’ve heard that the older you get the faster the years seems. That is definitely how it feels. 2016 flew by and my first reaction was disappointment because I felt like a lot of things didn’t happen that I wanted to. I felt like all of 2016 was wasted on hours of working and peeing on sticks (TMI).

I knew my thinking was a black hole so I made a list of everything I accomplished this year, big or small.

2016 Accomplishments

I worked on over 50 brands and websites.

I stopped trying to count exactly how many websites I have worked on this past year. From Verisage, GADABOUT, and freelance I have worked with dozens and dozens of entrepreneurs and have enjoyed creating brands and websites for their businesses to thrive. Two of my BYU peers and I have worked on projects together which has been a blast. This year has definitely been more focused on web design/development and less graphic design and branding but I have learned SO much that I look at sites I did in January and I would have set them up in a completely different way. I think about these old ideas I had that I couldn’t finish because of my lack of skills and now I know exactly how to create a completely custom site all on my own. I am very proud of my accomplishment in my career, I am hoping to make just as big of leaps this next year.

We traveled to Cambodia & Thailand and visited my husband’s LDS mission.

This was definitely a highlight of 2016. Thanks to my great career I could take a full 2.5 weeks off and visit some amazing places. Crossed off a lot of things on my bucket list and got to enjoy company with family.

I also go to visit my sister in New York City who lives right in the middle of Manhattan. Plus we had a fun trip to Chicago with my parents where we saw the Cubs play in their winning year and eat at the top of the Sears classy restaurant.

We moved into a place that really feels like home. And I finally have white walls!!

We moved into our new place in June and we have loved it. It is three stories, has a great backyard, and is a perfect neighborhood to live the rest of our years left in dental school. I have had a blast making our place a home. Ryan and I worked on our first wood project together and created our kitchen table and coffee table. I bought some items I’ve been wanting and created a few, like my Travel Map Canvas in our kitchen area. I love our house and am so happy to have a great place for the next 2.5 years we have left in Iowa.

We started new hobbies.

This year Ryan and I learned how to paint like Bob Ross. I learned how to knit and is now my favorite travel activity (although I sometimes feel like the grandma on the airplane ha. It usually is a great conversation starter with those sitting next to me though!). I just recently bought a loom and am learning how to weave. Ryan and I have perfected our artisan bread and pizza dough making. We just started making homemade pasta and we have it 3 times a week, it’s amazing! And I’ve been working on my photography skills. Out of all of my accomplishments, these are my favorite. I’ve realized that learning something new makes me really happy. It makes my heart leap seeing Ryan coming up with new things for us to try. I definitely chose the right man for me! 🙂

I met my 2016 goal and make 50% of my income from freelance.

On this blog post, I made a goal to make 50% of my income from freelance. I worked so hard to make that happen and by September I had achieved it! I keep a very intense budget excel sheet so I have my expenses and income, my averages and a graph of our weak budget points. It’s pretty embarrassing but I really like numbers. For those interested, you can duplicate this Google Doc Excel sheet and start keeping note of exactly where your money goes like I do twice a month!

I left my full-time job and am part of the GADABOUT Creative (DREAM!) team.

During my initial calls with new clients, seriously every single one of them would tell me a site that they love and it would be designed by GADABOUT. I knew of her sites, they are flawless. One day when I was feeling randomly ambitious I decided to reach out and make a connection. I sent an email saying how all my clients would reference her sites and that I love her work. I told her I was interested in working with a company like hers and left it at that. Surprisingly she reached out shortly after and coincidently that exact week she was thinking of adding another person to the team. Talk about great timing and divine inspiration! I have been working with Hanna since August and have already learned 100x more than I knew before. I can’t wait to see how 2017 turns out working with this team.

I designed and created a cookbook for my wonderful Grandma.

December 2015 I called my grandma about this idea and November 2016 we had the book in our hands! Even with a lot of complications in the middle of that year for my grandma, she still spent some much time gathering everything that was needed for this book. I love this cookbook so much and definitely call it one of my 2016 accomplishments.

The things I didn’t accomplish this year now is less disappointing than before. Some things I’ve learned I can’t control and I know that God has a reason and plan for everything. There is nothing I can do about it but patiently wait. Other things I just need to kick my butt into gear and get ‘er done!

2017, I’m coming for you.

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