2011. You were so lovely.
In January, Apb and I finally ended up being together. Physically. After two very long years of living 13 hours apart. I packed up my little Jetta, loaded up my entire life, and Chenks and I drove from Toronto to Chicago. I’ll never forget the feeling of walking into our little apartment for good (at last!) and being enveloped into my sweet husband’s arms. I was finally home.
In February, I had a feature over here. My first one ever. Beth, thank you. And that same week, this feature went up here. After only a few months of officially launching, Hey Gorgeous really took off. With that I knew there would be no looking back. I bought my first desk and a bunch of fresh yellow tulips to sit next to my laptop, long before I even had a desk chair. I set some goals. For once in my life I finally felt like my professional life had a purpose and some really great big things in store.
Moving into March, this sweet mama to be got married. Nat and Ben, I am so thankful for your trust and faith in me and my work. I can’t wait to meet your new little babe in 2012. Then in April, Andrew and I moved into a much bigger little apartment in Grand Rapids right before Easter. I created a safe haven for my work (I miss you old Girl Cave), I tossed pretty hued confetti into the air, I got used to a new city and Apb and I swam neck-deep in a sea of immigration papers and trips to the lawyer’s office to get my Greencard sorted out. Apb turned another year old, and another year wiser and more handsome.
And in May I turned 25. Sweet sweet 25. I can hardly believe that I’m already 25. I feel so old. But so young all at once. I had a nice dinner with Apb and some friends. I was gifted with cake and a white West Elm rhino head. And I crawled into bed on my 25th birthday at 10:00 pm because of an important wedding the next day. Julie and Ryan, you’re wedding was so special. I am blessed to have you as a girlfriend now, Linds. And Julie, get back from Hawaii already please. I miss you so much!
Then in June, this happened. And I will be forever grateful for Tonya who graciously paid to travel to Michigan from Utah, to photograph my work. You are such a dear friend Tonya, and your heart and soul as a photographer and a woman leave me feeling humbled and grateful. Michele, Kelly, Liz, Jen and Nick, Michelle, Maggie, you all selflessly gave and contributed to an endeavor that would have never been possible without you. Paul and Vanessa, your kindness has left me speechless.
In July, we thought about this. And amongst all of the excitement that comes along with digging a huge hole in the ground, this amazing woman entered my life. Together we did this, this and this. Jenna, I can’t even find the words to tell you how big of a blessing you’ve been in my life. You’ve graciously given your time, expertise and friendship to me and I’ve been honoured to work alongside you as we make big and pretty things happen together. I couldn’t even imagine heading into 2012 without you.
In August, I was honoured to be a part of this beautiful wedding here. Which led me to meet this phenomenal photographer who I can now call a friend. I also went back to Canada for the first time in nine months. I slept in my old bedroom, I visited old friends, I snuggled with my Mom. We got pedicures together. And then I got to be a part of this gorgeous Indian-Canadian wedding celebration. I haven’t shown all the photos yet from Shal and Arjun’s big day but these two touched my heart in more ways than I could ever imagine. Their wedding day was so long but oh so fulfilling for me. Thanks for the photo, Peter.
In September, we celebrated this day here. We had the most perfect time celebrating 12 months of happily ever after. Beth I’m not sure I can accurately describe my feelings for you, but I am thanking the heavens we crossed paths. You captured Apb and I in a way that has left a piece of my soul completely and utterly on cloud 9. To feel the same way I did on our anniversary as I did on our wedding day was pretty incredible. And you were a monumental part of making that happen. I love you so much. Also, how could I possibly forget this incredible party? Shawna and Mick, I hope we stay friends for years to come.
In October, we celebrated getting my Greencard (which was actually approved in September). We flew to California with my parents and drove along the coast, soaking in the ocean, the salty air and the sunsets that can only be described as heavenly. Mom and Dad, I love you so much. You are such loving and generous parents and I feel so lucky to have you as mine. Your support and encouragement is a blessing. I also had the opportunity to meet some blogging friends in San Francisco. We sipped on Moscato together. I spent too much money at Paper Source. I started dreaming up ideas for new editorials, new business plans, new and much bigger and better goals for Hey Gorgeous, for me and for my life. And Tonya again braved the long flight from Utah to Michigan and together with some other fantastic vendors we did this, despite the crazy cold weather.
In November, we closed on our first home. I don’t care what anyone says about material things not meaning much. Our home is one the things I am most proud about in our life. This is ours. Uniquely ours. Perfectly us. Warm, cozy, safe, beautiful and big. Did I mention ours? I wake up every day and feel nothing but gratitude for the home we have been blessed with.
In December, we moved into our new home. We turned off our laptops and cell phones. We learned to go to bed a bit earlier. To take better care of our surroundings. To send more notes to friends. To make a better effort to eat healthier, to spend less, to love more. To enjoy all the little things that mean so much in the bigger picture. Our new home means so much more than new cabinets and fancy chandeliers. And in a funny way, Andrew and I have both been preparing for a new year, for months.
In 2012 I want to work smarter, not harder. I want to compete less with others and more with myself. I want HGE to soar to new heights. I want to love my husband more (if that’s even possible), I want to spend more time with my family. I want to feel more and be more. As I mentioned yesterday, I want my balloon of potential to explode mid air so that all of the confetti of fabulousness can absolutely scatter everywhere. So to you my readers, whoever you may be, may your 2012 be confetti-covered in awesomeness too. I can’t wait to share more from this final project of 2011. Some of my most treasured work yet:
Love lots, from my heart to yours, Rhiannon xoxo