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I look back at 2018 and honestly can’t believe so much was packed into 365 days!!! Between personal and business, it’s a year I will never, ever forget… and it’s bittersweet for me to see it end!! 2018 was an amazing year for our family and our business; one we had prayed for and waited for.
On the business side of things, I started the year doing #allthethings … and am ending the year with a very clear focus on just what & where I want my time to go. I’m really, really excited about that & it’s one of the reasons I feel energized about 2019!!
On the personal side of things, my life changed drastically in May. Who would have thought one sweet little boy would wrap himself so tightly around my heart & never let go? My outlook on everything shifted when he arrived and I am so, so thankful for the heart change.
Let’s look back at what 2018 was all about:
Matt and I stepped into the new year knowing we were having a SON!! That in and of itself made 2018 seem bright & filled with new beginnings!
January has traditionally been a big month for us in business… and 2018 didn’t disappoint in that! We launched Creative at Heart Round 8 on January 30, and 3 hours later sold 110 seats! WOW! Never could I have expected such a response and our small but might team was blown away!!! I also spoke at the Posh PR Intensive and styled a shoot for Hope Taylor‘s Senior Spokesmodels!
February didn’t slow down and my biz bestie Megan Martin and I proceeded to launch the Business Intensive, I styled a shoot with Hope Taylor that is hands-down one of my faves to date (see the full shoot here!) and I launched Coffee Chats with Kat: weekly pitch, free webinars! I loved my Coffee Chats with Kat series and while I took a hiatus for the last half of 2018, hope to bring it back with more intention in 2019!!
In March, personal took a front seat to business! It began with a babymoon in Maui, Hawaii!! Even though locals said it was the coldest winter since the 90’s, we still had an amazing trip – so much food, relaxing & beach time!! It was actually on this trip that I fell in love with Micah’s middle name, Asher. And even though his first name was still undecided, we knew Asher would be his middle.
We came home from Hawaii and celebrated Baby Schmo with family & friends at my baby shower!! My sweet friend Katelyn opened up her home, and my mama, and 2 of the Emily’s in my life planned a once-in-a-lifetime shower for me. It was truly what dreams are made of!!! (See more of that amazing day here!)
Rounding at March was a quick trip to the Creative at Heart venue with Emily!! I love getting to travel with her for conference to-do’s and was so glad we could road-trip down for a short one-night stay!!
April was BUSY!! Matt and I attending a birthing class and the final nesting for Baby Schmo was in full swing!!!
I also had a mountain of to-do’s on my plate as I geared up for Maternity Leave beginning in May, my last wedding (at 37 weeks!) before Micah arrived and I even flew down to Atlanta for a Mastermind Retreat.
Megan and I joined a Mastermind together that ran from January – June. I joined the mastermind in hopes to expand my template shop; but truth be told it was during the mastermind that my ideas shifted!! My template shop hasn’t changed (no new products or launch strategies… didn’t even do a Black Friday sale!) and that’s all because a BIG change is coming in February. It’s been a long, long time coming… the longest project I’ve ever had on my plate … a baby in the middle added to the lengthy timeline! 😉 But I am so, so excited to share what’s coming soon!!
Besides gaining new ideas & insight during the mastermind, one of the biggest blessing came through my relationship with Megan. We’d already launched our Business Intensive together but doing a 6 month mastermind program, too, allowed our friendship to flourish! She’s such a kindred spirit. I admire her biz smarts & mompreneur balance & we ended up continuing our own mini-mastermind throughout the reminder for 2018!! Knowing I have calls with her every Thursday to brain dump biz ideas / get accountability, has been huge for me this year!!
In May, Baby Schmo arrived!!! Micah Asher arrived 3 days late, but still lived up to his #babyschmoinmay hashtag! 😉 My May 31 baby is such a joyful, happy little one and he has changed so much about why I do what I do! (See his newborn session by my sweet friend Emily here!)
I took an 8 week Maternity Leave with Micah and while it was definitely filled with lots of snuggles and relaxing moments, we also had a quite a few events!! Hindsights 20/20 but I look back and wish for MORE time and hope I keep that in mind should we ever have #2!
In June, my brother got married!! His wife is the perfect addition to our family and I am so, so glad she’s my sister!!! Executing their wedding 3 weeks postpartum was hard but gosh, it was such a sweet day!! (And Micah road down the aisle in a wagon – in just a diaper hahah! It was SO hot so we’d taken his clothes off when we changed his diaper. He feel asleep & ended up riding down the aisle as is!) (See their entire wedding by my sweet friend Amanda here!!)
July began by celebrating Micah’s first July 4th and ended with wedding season in full swing! I jumped back into life as a wedding planner with three weddings in a row … it was TOUGH, y’all, but we all survived!! I remember crying on the way to my first wedding and crying even more 2 weeks later when I had to leave Micah overnight … I think Matt cried that night too, ha! 😉 I also spoke at Wedding Wire World on Social Media and while I love speaking on stage, my favorite part was absolutely having Matt & Micah there, too!!
In August, our family of three flew to Florida so I could co-host the Business Intensive with Megan. Micah did GREAT on his first flight and I’m so, so grateful we could travel together!!! That trip was HUGE step for me in “momprenuer” world. Here I was co-hosting a retreat with a 12-week-old baby boy in the room next door. I was still nursing him on demand, up with him every 2 hours at night and trying to pour into the women who attended. I loved seeing their light-bulb moments and helping them strategies about next steps in their business!! While I left that trip completely exhausted, it was worth every sleepless night!!
September brought one more wedding, tons of prep work for C@H Round 8 and a dream project of mine: the Creative at Heart website!!!
I hired Megan for our website re-design before Micah was born. We began to strategies over colors and copy and overall layout for the new site the end of August and I knew right away I hired the right woman for the job. You can read more about the re-design here (it’s a good one!!).
While Megan was working on the website, I reached out to Lauren Carnes & brought her on board to help me strategies copy for the quiz that would launch when the website did. Monthly calls with her were SO helpful – we both have very similar work styles & I’m grateful for our crazy Google Doc notes! 🙂
I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back I now see that the website + quiz launch in September was a true turning point for the brand. Creative at Heart Conference became Creative at Heart – a brand about so much more than an annual conference. We changed our name across all social media platforms to reflect our heart change and began taking intentional steps towards an even bigger brand shift in 2019!!
October held my final DSE wedding of the year PLUS our little trio also worked on 2 styled shoots together! These two shoots with Katelyn James were a highlight in my career and SO many vendors contributed to how amazing they were!! I can’t wait to share the full project with you!! For now, here’s a sneak peek of both:
With all of our down time 😉 Matt and I took Micah to TN for a family reunion, Megan and I opened registration for the second Business Intensive and my team worked on so many final details for C@H Round 8!!!
November was my 2nd favorite month of 2018 (right behind May, of course!) because we hosted C@H Round 8 at WinMock in North Carolina! I can’t say I have a favorite Creative at Heart since each one means something special to me, but Round 8 was truly unforgettable!!! It was such a life-changing conference for me and I promise I’ll share more about why very soon! 🙂
As soon as the conference ended, I jumped into prepping details for Round 9. We’re launching Round 9 January 30 and another C@H project in February so I knew we’d be pressed for time, but I felt strongly about waiting until AFTER Round 8 to make concrete plants for Round 9. As a conference, we were doing some things differently with Round 8; I wanted to be sure they were “right” before blazing ahead with them in 2019. I’m grateful I waited even if it does crunch our prep period before Round 9 registration!!
December held Micah’s first Christmas (cue the tears!), a lot of business planning for 2019 and tons of prep for the first quarter of 2019 (since it’s our busiest one of the year!!)!
December was busy … much busier then I expected it to be and I’ll admit that I felt overwhelmed quite a bit. Instead of a month soaking up Christmas, it was a month filled with projected revenue planning for 2019, team building (we literally doubled our C@H team in 1 week’s time – ah!) and Round 9 launch preparation. (Of course, I had Hallmark Channel Christmas Movies on in the background but it’s not *quite* the same!).
My Powersheets aren’t done yet and I don’t have a 2019 word of the year. And while part of my type a self is very, very stressed by that fact, the other part of me is learning to take a deep breath. In an effort to not step into 2019 overwhelmed, I’m taking time the first week of January to get my head on straight. I want to spend this first week of 2019 feeling like I’m rightfully closing the door on 2018… and not just rushing from one to another. It feels GOOD to sit back and look at all 2018 held. Just like it feels good to look ahead to 2019 and plan for what’s ahead!!! Both are very, very important and I want to be intentional with each step!!
Wishing each of you the sweetest step into 2019 you could ask for … Goodbye, 2018 and Hello, 2019!
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