2018 has been a wild ride. Tumultuous emotionally, in many ways, but also such a year of sweet moments. Isn’t that just normal life?! Perhaps I’m just adjusting to life as an adult. I believe that reflecting on the past, planning for the future, and living in the present can add such insight for wise living. With that, this is my Personal post on 2018! Mainly for my processing, but you’re welcome to join me. ;)

chicago skyline with trees at millennium park

I rang in 2018 with a wedding party, celebrating in western Nebraska as bitter winds tossed snow around like glitter. A week later, I photographed another wedding during a sunny but high of 5 degree day. SO COLD. But worth it! In fact, 2018 was my business year photographically. 16 weddings! And numerous other senior photo sessions and family pictures for incredible people. Ministry was still a huge part of my life. My last semester on staff at ISU came and went far too quickly.

This year was one of traveling! Kansas for a wedding in February, Texas for a spring break ministry trip in March, Chicago (pictured above) in May just for fun with the sister, Omaha in June for a wedding and again in October, Colorado twice, Kansas City at least three times, and Waco was the pinnacle trip.

One best friend (Emily) got engaged in April, and another bestie Morganne started dating (her now fiancé!!!) in May. My name-twin Amelia married Kurtis in August, and that was one of the few weddings I was able to actually attend. And play violin at!


I held more babies than I had in years! Sweet Lily has been a favorite, but I also got to love on Isla and Hector and Hugh. God continues to break my heart for the orphan and children in need of love. I’m hoping that He will reveal more of what that looks like in my life, as I want to love in not only word but in deed.

des moines civic center hamilton summer shows

2018 was the YEAR of shows! Clarissa and I went to a ballet in Ames last winter. Hamilton, of course, was the most anticipated musical! And then I sporadically bought tickets to see both Aladdin and Finding Neverland at the Civic Center in Des Moines this fall. (Living 8 minutes away from there is a dream.) Not only did I see live shows, but concerts as well! Goodbye Road (a collective show from Drew Holcomb, Johnnyswim, and Penny & Sparrow) was incredible. Mat Kearney outside, at night, dancing in the back of the crowd while hearing Jesus’s sweet love through the lyrics. Colony House played in DSM in October, and Ben Rector in November with Bethany completed my concert circuit.

senior photos in sunflower field iowa
plane to waco texas

This year was the year of spontaneous fun. Chasing sunset in a field of sunflowers with Morganne, driving with no plan in Des Moines after moving (and many, many wandering walks downtown), thrifting pour-over coffee makers and meeting new friends over Instagram. Many evenings driving up to Ames at last minute’s notice to visit heart-level friends and sleeping on many couches in borrowed PJ’s.

Music I listened to this year: Ben Rector’s Magic album. (SO good!) The Grey Havens, Sleeping at Last (oh yes—the Enneagram! I finally started digging in to that!), NF, GAWVI, and rap because a mainstay in my life, and I continued to become obsessed with oldies… especially Peter Cetera. That was the one concert I was so sad I couldn’t make fit in my schedule.

TV Shows: almost finished NCIS, watched the current seasons of This is Us and Grey’s Anatomy, watched Full House and The Office (yes, I’m that behind in pop culture!) and started Blue Bloods. Movies that moved me to laugh, cry, or both: Black Panther, Incredibles 2, A Quiet Place, Crazy Rich Asians, and Mary Poppins Returns. Plus a lot of Netflix films. ;)


Overall, 2018 was a great year. New adventures, and lots of fun memories with dear friends. I’m hopeful the 2019 will produce much more of the same!