new year

Hello 2014

Follow me on Instagram at @agirlnamedleney

So I originally intended to write a blog post at the first of the new year with all of my goals and resolutions for 2014 but as it turns out, making that list is taking more time than I realized...

This year I want to be more purposeful.
In a lot of things, but especially with my business.
Last year was the first year I really started to take everything work wise more seriously, and while it was an awesome year and I learned a lot, there's definitely room for some improvement.
Having a set work schedule for one thing.
This is something friends and family alike have advised me to create for myself (usually after I have a meltdown from the combination of not getting sleep, working until 4am knitting and editing photos and working all day everyday including weekends) and I kept putting it off and kept putting it off but now I'm finally going to make one and stick to it! Because I definitely can't keep going the way that I have been.

So the first few days of this new year have been spent reading lots of encouraging/instructional/inspiring articles and books, watching informational videos, meditating on what's important to me, what my passions and core values are, organizing my new calendar and making many many many lists (we all know I love my lists).
I'm actually really excited about this year and I have a really good feeling that making these new goals are going to do me a world of good.

So anyway, I'll be sharing my list of goals for 2014 soon, but in the meantime I'm enjoying figuring out what they're going to be.

What about you?
Do you have some resolutions and goals for the year?
I'd love to hear them!

The Best Year Ever

I'm sitting here at my desk this morning reflecting on this past year, as most of us do around this time, and I really am overwhelmed with what a good year it's been.
To be honest I've actually had a hard last few weeks and remembering the good things hasn't come super easily. My work load for the holidays was one I really had a hard time keeping up with amongst other things and a lot of little and not so little things kept discouraging me.
I've definitely had my fair share of melt downs this season.
However, I've grown so much in this past year, which is made even more apparent when I look back at where I was this time in 2012. So much has changed, and though some of it's been really hard and not the most fun or completely painless, it's still been good. I wouldn't change a single thing about any of it.
Good or bad.
(Except maybe the fact that I didn't read a single book on this list... 2014 is going to be the year of the book worm. I'm just going to go ahead and declare that right now.)
And truthfully, there really has been more good than bad anyway.

In fact I had decided that I was going to speak this over my year, and I really think it came true.
2013 really was the best year ever.

So, in the spirit of reflection and recounting good times, here are a few favorite moments from this past year...

Tried out freelensing.
And now I can't get enough of it.
I do it too much actually.
Is there some sort of cure for this sort of addiction??

Spent a lot of happy weekends with lots of beautiful friends.
New and old

Speaking of friends Meagan and I had more than one or two grand adventures

Had many, many, many, manymany, successful photo shoots 

Tried out more than one or two new Richmond restaurants

Discovered a reason I love taking pictures

Found a new favorite quote

Did a Q&A post

Traveled to California, New York, Chicago, North Carolina, Georgia, Charlottesville, Williamsburg and a few other local cities and places

Realized how full and complete God's goodness is

Redesigned the blog

(which I didn't do the greatest job of posting for but that's okay)

Started teaching myself French.
Which didn't get very far.
So we'll be trying again next year...

Learned how let love quiet me, what perfect love is, which way to walk, how to be challenged, how invaluable mornings are, how to weather storms, what grace is, who I am, how to just be and few other things

Saw Best Coast and Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros in concert

Took a beach trip or two or three

Went sailing.
More than once.

Bought my dream camera

Shot many wonderful engagements

Shot six weddings on my own and second shot for seven more.
 Already have several more booked for next year and I couldn't be more excited!

Made some happy lists

Attended the first annual Bacon Festival

Sang a song. And made a video.

Got better at playing the ukulele

Had my pen pal of 5+ years come visit

Updated the shop

Watched a dear friend get engaged, then get married
(all of which I had the pleasure of capturing)

Was featured on Etsy's front page and Facebook page more times than I could keep track of

Shot a lot of film

Learned how to see the art in the everyday

Had to say some goodbyes to some very dear friends who moved away which was hard but now I have more places to have an excuse to visit

Was a counselor for a cabin full of some of the most beautiful girls I've ever had the pleasure of spending a weekend with

Got to be on the news

Met and became friends with a lot of really wonderful people 

Discovered what it truly means to be thankful

Celebrated turning 22

Reached over 1,000 likes on the Facebook page

Made my first girls and guys lookbook for the shop

Had the most profitable year with my business yet

Started sharing bits and pieces of my hometown RVA

Bought my dream lens

Participated again in the Bizarre Market

Had a very wonderful and perfect Christmas

Learned to cherish solitude, how to stick up for myself and speak my mind more, that I love routine, I have a mind like a lens, that I'm worth it, what the best way is to watch the world, that I love to write, that things are never ever as bad as they seem, how to dream bigger, how some things are just givens, and how there are many many things that can take you by surprise.
In the most wonderful way.

Bring it on 2014.

See past years in review...

Happy New Year

A few little goals for the year...

1. Learn how to play my ukulele
3. Be better about responding to your blog comments! You're so sweet to comment and I always read each and every single one so I'm going to try and be better about showing my appreciation!
4. Don't buy things I don't need
5. Finish editing the England photos!!!
6. Keep things clean and organized
7. Spend more quality time with family
8. Read more
9. Redesign the blog
10. Travel at any and every opportunity possible
12. Pray more diligently 
13. Finish knitting that one sweater

What are some of yours?

Year In Review

Photo Cred: Meagan Abell

Goodness I can't believe 2012 is coming to an end.
Is it just me or did it go by really fast?
It's been such a great year though.
So many amazing things happened!
While I was writing this post and looking back on 2012, I couldn't quite believe how many amazing things.
God's blessed me in more ways than I can imagine and I have so much to be thankful for.
Here are a few of my favorite highlights...

Attended the Passion conference. What an amazing experience!
I only wish I was able to go again this year.
If you ever have the chance to go, you must!

Had several awesome photoshoots and I have more booked for next year already!
Could not be more excited.
I can't decide which one is my favorite.

Celebrated a one year anniversary with this guy.
Saying I could not be happier would be an understatement.
He's the best.

On that note, I celebrated Valentine's Day!

Attended the IFB Conference in New York City

Officially started my new job
(still working on my work routine but I'm getting better!)

Made my first ever Tutorial. Think I should make more?

Travelled to England and Scotland.
Definitely in the top five as far as highlights go and one of the best experiences of my life!
You can see a full list of the posts on my travels here.
Hopefully I'll get around to sharing the rest of the photos next year...

Attended a few local fashion shows, not to mention had a few of my pieces in one!
Also was a part of RVA Fashion Week.

Got a pretty drastic haircut

Had lots of various adventures in Richmond

Discovered what would soon become one of my most popular items in my Etsy shop

Helped out with an event or two with The Gray Haven Project as well as take photos for their new website and brochures! Looking forward to doing more with them in the upcoming year!

Figured out how to use iMovie and made my first ever video!
(I've made a few more since)

Went camping

Attempted to get back into Street Style Photography.
Didn't really keep up with it... so maybe I'll try again next year!

Attended The Vans Warped Tour

Tried lots of new Richmond restaurants

Helped a new friend with shooting a wedding or two!
Both were so much fun and great learning experiences.
Wouldn't trade them for anything!

Attended a Farmers Market

Was in a fun photoshoot or two

Finally invested in some Blue China!
Isn't it beautiful?
I've since been given more pieces by some sweet family members.
Looking forward to building my set more in the years to come!

Went sailing a few times

Made some changes with the shop and have more in store for next year!

Started contributing to a new blog called Darling Companion.
You should check it out!

Went to the Virginia State Fair.
Of course.

Went Pumpkin and apple picking

Had one of the sweetest features written about me!
See more here.

Had my very own logo made!!!
Still obsessed with it.

Attended lots of First Fridays

Celebrated my 21st Birthday

Learned to be still and satisfied, among some other things.

Had some of my items accepted into Chop Suey Books Holiday Bizarre Market!
Sold a lot of stuff, it was great!

Had quite a few successful craft and jewelry shows.
Including one in Baltimore!

Had a fantastic and merry Christmas

Made some new friends and became even better friends with some old ones

2013, I know you are going to be the best year yet.
I can just feel it.

Last year's post can be read here