2013 // A Look Back

I'm linking up with Nicole from Three 31 for her annual year end link-up. It's been one crazy year, in a good way and a bad way.

What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Started THREE, count 'em, three businesses. One was a failure (RIP Maple Bluebonnet), but two are still here and kicking: my Mary Kay Business and LEC. 

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For a while, I was still going to the gym every day! I still go every chance I get, but I'm made time in my schedule next semester to make sure I get there every day. I've got a goal to be a certain dress size by graduation (December 2015), so, I need to get to work.
This year, I just want to try and eat better. For the sake of my weight and my thyroid.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not that I can think of.

Did anyone close to you die?
Good Lord, no. 

What countries did you visit?
Uh... none.

What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
A little organization. I also feel like something big romantically will happen. I feel like a lot of things will come to me in 2014.

What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?
April 24th. The day I signed my Mary Kay agreement. I was in a really bad mood and spent most of the day in bed until I got a phone call from this number I'd never seen before. On the other end of the line was Shelley, my Mary Kay director, and she has changed my life in so many good ways.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I feel like I have a lot, but I think the biggest achievement this year was finally pushing enough to get the help I really need, even if it was just for a summer. 

What was your biggest failure?
Math. Definitely math. 

Did you suffer illness or injury?
HAHAH. I legitimately laughed out loud at this one. Back in November, I took my head out on the trunk door of my friend's car and a week later, ended up in the ER. When I hit my head, I strained my neck, and a week later when I went home, my neck became stiff after three hours of driving back to Huntsville. 

What was the best thing you bought?
The camera lens that I still haven't bought yet. Christmas present! 

Whose behavior merited celebration?
My friend, Andrew. That kid never loses his sh--. Like, seriously, he's the most calm person I know. Which is a little scary, but still. 

Where did most of your money go?
Sam Houston State University. 

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The list goes on and on! Finally starting a photography business, deciding to self-publish, Mary Kay. It was a pretty good year. 

What song will always remind you of 2013?
uh.... uh.... This is going to sound RIDICULOUSLY CHEESY, but just go with me on it. "Let It Go" by Idina Menzel from the movie, Frozen. Like, the first time I heard it, I just cried, because this whole year has been about letting go of people's judgements and allowing myself to live my life the way God wants me to.
Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or sadder?
Happier, the end of the year was MESSY. 

Thinner or fatter?
Fatter, but overall, I gained less weight this year than last year. 

Richer or poorer?
Poorer. I'm in college. 

What do you wish you’d done more of?

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Wasting time.

How will you be spending Christmas?
In Austin with a really big family. 

Did you fall in love in 2013?
Well, not really, unless you ask my friends who think I never really fell out of it from last year. But, no, I did not. 

How many one-night stands?

Who were your best friends?
Allie, Andrew, Leslie, Eileen, Ashley. 

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others?
Mary Kay. Eileen is a team member of mine and I remember her telling me that she'd thought about joining before (her mom was a Mary Kay consultant), but she didn't think girls our age could do Mary Kay. Until she met me. So, that meant a lot. 

What were your favorite TV programs?
Castle -duh. Nashville and Scandal. 

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is a really strong word, so no. 

What was the best book you read in 2013?
More like what book did I read period? I read, like, five. But, probably Mary Kay's book that came in our starter kit. 

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Oh..... I don't know. I spent most of the year listening to Hunter Hayes! 

What did you want and get?
Help for my depression. 

What did you want but did NOT get?
Long term help. The help was only this summer.

What was your favorite film of this year?
A toss up between Iron Man 3, Thor, and Frozen.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Spent the morning at home, drove back to Huntsville, and hung out with Andrew. I turned the big 2-0. 

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A little bit of finically stability. I really struggled this year. 

What kept you sane?
Writing books. Which most people would argue as something only insane people do. 

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Hunter Hayes. <3

What political issue stirred you the most?
Obamacare and the government shut down.

Who did you miss?
My friend, Evie. I know that ending our friendship was the best thing for both of us, but that doesn't mean I don't think about her from time to time and hope she's doing well. 

Who was the best new person you met this year?
Leslie and Eileen. I can't pick! 

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
People always expect you to put them first. Even when you need to put yourself first for a little bit. 

Quote that sums up your year:
“Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway.” 
― Mary Kay Ash


fresh slate

As I'm writing this blog post, I'm sitting in the allergist's waiting area, waiting for them to call my name to go get my shots. After this semester, I kind of fell off the wagon on getting my allergy shots, so the price I pay is coming every week over the semester break.

A lot like my shots, I feel like I've fallen off the wagon with blogging.  Now, I could sit here and contemplate why that may be, but I know exactly why that is.

You see, over the semester, I had a really bad experience with a photography customer. There was miscommunication and overall, we both made some bad decisions about it. I'm not playing victim, I accept that I did things wrong, but the overall experience kind of ruined photography for me.

I know they say not to let one person get you down, but it really made me think if this was my calling. And even after that, when I did my cousin's senior pictures and everyone loved them, I really questioned whether it was what I wanted to do.

Since my cousin's shoot and the fiasco in Huntsville, I've touched my camera once - to do a shoot with my friend, Allie. Beyond that, nothing.

While I've been questioning this idea of perusing photography, I found myself turning back to the one thing I know best: writing. I've been rewriting The Assassin like a mad woman, placing all my time and talent into that. And while it's great that I've been writing a lot, I feel like many other aspects of my life suffered because of it.

Even within writing, I've begun questioning things. Is self-publishing really the way I want to go? Or do I find a smaller publisher and delay the release a few years? I've done a lot of soul searching these past few weeks.

2013 was a big year. 2014 looks like it's going to be bigger. I've got plans to release The Assassin in July, I want to make my Mary Kay sales director debut in August (I've got a lot of work to do on that one! Only 9 more girls to go and help build a team!), and I'm really pushing myself to make better choices about my body.

At the end of November/beginning of December, I suffered some really bad stomach pains. I couldn't eat without feeling sick. It's better now that I'm staying at home, but I realized I can't keep eating like a college kid. So, obviously I'm going to have to make better food choices, cook more at home. I'm also going to the gym every few days with hope of going every day once I get back.

2104 needs to be a fresh slate with my life and my career. The breakdowns, the doubts, the depression, I'm going to do my bed to leave them all behind in 2014.

At least that's the plan.



Over Thanksgiving break, I got to do a senior session for my cousin, Adriana. Here's just a few of the pictures from our session. We split the session into two, with two locations and multiple wardrobe changes!!

I really loved the way these came out, especially the ones at the top when she's in the black top. The lighting was phenomenal that day! This very last picture was a total experiment. The leaves were every where, and I really wanted to try and see how these pictures would turn out if she threw the leaves. There were a few that didn't come out great - what else do you expect mid throw? - but I love the way most of them came out.


Some Bitter Truths

It's been one heck of a month. I've made a lot of self realizations and it's time to share some.

+the weight won't fall off if I don't get my butt to the gym every day and stop eating crap
+photography is fun behind the camera. Behind the computer screen? Ha, no. Forget that. I'm done.
+I'm craving something new, a new line of thought, a new place or space. New.
+this whole self-publishing thing? It's gonna be brutal. But I really, really, REALLY need it to work because I realized this is what I know. I don't want to spend the rest of my life working on PR campaigns. I want to be writing books.
+Student loans will be the death of me. I'm already in way over my head and I still have four semesters to go.

Needless to say, it's been a weird month.


TIGF :: Things I'm Grateful For

Every week, we take time to celebrate the things we're grateful for with Ashley from Hello Nature. 

finals being OVER!!! . perfect score on my solo production project . passing math . two Mary Kay parties . a month's vacation . the opportunity to jump start my Mary Kay career again . being home . Christmas bonuses from work . free yogurt in the morning . free limeade in the afternoon . passing all my classes . getting to see Mary Kay sisters I haven't seen since I moved . big plans that I have up my sleeves . going to Bible study with my mom . a warm heater and lots of blankets during this cold december . compliments on how great my skin is looking recently . finding it easier to talk to the people I care about the most . my mom . slowly getting my appetite back . and being able to just be alive in this crazy day in age 

What are you thankful for this week? 


two words

two words:
finals week.
peace out.


December Goals

Wow. Where did November go? Even though I know life goes at a bazillion miles per hour, every time I switch the calendar, I'm still floored by how fast the month with. Wasn't it just yesterday that I was sitting here writing November goals?!

November was a BIG month in a bunch of ways. 20 years. Hunter Hayes. About twenty papers. Starting a new job. Really seeing LEC take off. November 2013 was one for the books. 
While all that good stuff happened, bad stuff happened too. I was bogged down with stress and had a bunch of breakdowns. My car was broken into. The door handle on my driver's side broke a few days later. 

There's only one big thing this month (besides Christmas). 


In some ways, I am MORE than ready for next week to come. I'm sick of all my classes and I'm ready to be like "I'm done!" My last final is Thursday afternoon and the minute I am done, I'm getting in my car and heading back to DFW. Funny how much I go home now. Any excuse is a good excuse to go home for me. Huntsville just has nothing to offer. 

So, if I'm gone for the next week and a halfish, I'll either be buried in studying or buried in my book. I think I've finally reached the point where the rest of it can be tweaked (I re-wrote the first 20K), which means I think I can finish it in the next three weeks (Cause once I get home, that is ALL I will be doing #hellohermitworld).

And, without further ado, here are my goals this month:

Actually, last month's goals: 


Start my new job
Find new locations in both Huntsville and Dallas for photoshoots
continue updating my portfolio with old pictures (as I grow my portfolio with updated pictures, I'll take these all down)
Senior shoot in Dallas
Mini-shoot in Huntsville
Learn to manage my time better
Pray a little bit more
Get stinking organized
Do more research on photography businesses
Go to the gym two or three times a week
Read at least two books (I join college and I never read anymore)
Finish or be really close to finishing this round of edits
Book cover!

So, I was going down the list and thinking "man, I did really well!" And then I didn't xD So, this month's goals:


My Mass Comm project (today!)
Study for finals
Continue journalling every night
Read every night (started The Hunger Games again last night) 
More praying this advent season
Organize and deep clean my bedroom before I leave for a month
Edit all my pictures
feature pictures on the photography blog
Save some money
pick up on Mary Kay again (school kind of bogged me down)
Plan Mass Music for long term.
Finish this round of edits for The Assassin
book cover!!! (for real this time)

What's on your goal list this month? 

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