Monday, January 1, 2018

A Look Back at 2017

What a year it has been! I wanted to spend today's post taking a look back at this year. I started 2017 out by spending it in Lake Tahoe with my family... this was a really special time for us because my brother (who lives in Japan) was able to spend Christmas with us, and it was the first time we had seen him in two years.

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I traveled to Tulum in February...

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I got super excited about Spring outfits, embracing palm prints, off-the-shoulder looks and ripped denim...

classic spring inspiration. love the Chloe Faye handbag
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The biggest surprise was getting ENGAGED to Chris in April! (I wrote all about Chris's proposal in this blog post)

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We started the wedding planning process and I got to try on some gorgeous wedding dresses... 

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And in August, we bought our first house!! (I even shared pictures of our empty house tour here)


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We traveled to Portland, Oregon, in November to take our engagement photos and meet our wedding photographer...



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And speaking of traveling, I got to take the best trip of my entire life in May - to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. I had been dreaming about going there since I was young... to be there in real life was a dream come true! 
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Later in August I got to see Banff and Lake Louise in Canada... one of the top 5 prettiest places I've ever been!

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I also got to witness the fall leaves in Aspen and Vermont in October...

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I met new friends all around the country... 

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And finally, ended the year by celebrating Christmas at home with my loved ones...


When I look back at 2017, it blows my mind to think of all the major life events that occurred... getting engaged, planning a wedding, and buying a house - and at the same time my work/travel schedule was busier than ever. In all honesty it was a stressful year, but I can't think of a time when I've ever been happier. There are certain times in your life when you're able to put things into perspective, and 2017 was one of those times for me. I feel like, at age 27, I'm just starting to figure some things out - about what REALLY matters in life (hint: it doesn't involve anything to do with fashion blogging, but rather the relationships with family and friends around you) - and I have found peace with myself. I know who I am, what I stand for, and the God I believe in. I've never felt more stable or secure in my relationships and I'm so thankful to be surrounded by the best fiancé, family and friends a girl could ask for.

I don't think I've ever opened up about this on my blog before, but I've had some really low points in my life. In particular, college really stands out as the worst - I didn't know who I was as a person or what I wanted to do for a career, I struggled with incredibly low self-confidence and body-image, and I woke up every day with a mixture of anxiety, depression and hopelessness. I was living an unhealthy lifestyle coupled with unhealthy relationships... in a nutshell, I was utterly, completely lost. If any of you feel that way right now, please trust that God has a plan for you and can use all of those terrible times for good. He knows EXACTLY what He's doing, even if it doesn't seem like that in the moment. I don't want this blog post to sound like I magically have everything figured out now - I still struggle every day like everyone else, but looking back on my college years I can see how far I've come in building healthy relationships and a healthy self image. As long as we're on this Earth, we will continue to learn, grow, and adapt every day. I pray that I have the ear to listen when God nudges me in a different direction or on a different path and to look outside of myself to help others. After all, we're all in this together!

On another note, I want to say thank you to all of YOU who read my blog every day. You guys truly mean the world to me, and I'm overwhelmed with gratitude that you continue to come back every day. I read every single one of your tweets, comments, emails, etc. and I so, so thankful for every single one of you. Wishing you all the best year yet!!!!

xoxo,
Cait

38 comments:

  1. Stunning photos! Happy New Year! Hope 2018 is even better than the last!!

    Lauren,
    http://www.atouchofsoutherngrace.com

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  2. Great post! x

    www.evdaily.blogspot.com

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  3. Thank you for opening up! I do agree that life gets better and glad it did for you! Cheers for a great 2018!

    www.rdsobsessions.com

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  4. Just wonderful. I love reading your blog and following along with your life! Congratulations again on the engagement!

    www.jessicabroyles.com

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  5. Gorgeous! I love the thanks you give to God! Happy New Year!!

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  6. Happy New Year! It was really nice to hear you open up at the end. We can all use a reminder to follow and listen to God's plan as we go into the new year!

    www.fallingforautumn.com

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  7. The last paragraph made me cry! I so appreciate you sharing your past struggles with us in relation to where you are now. Not only is it inspiring for the new year, but I think I can speak for many when I say we love when you show your personal side here and there. Happy New Year Caitlin! So excited to see what 2018 holds for you! xox

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  8. Wonderful roundup! Beautiful photos!
    Happy New Year!

    https://lartoffashion.com/new-years-resolutions/

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  9. I love all your pics in this post, and I can't wait to catch up on the blog posts I haven't read, being newer to your blog. Thank you for being so realistic and opening up about your struggles-- you are definitely an inspiration to so many, and it makes a connection even stronger to know that you are human, too!! I am so happy for the amazing year you had. You deserve it! Just love your blog. So glad I stumbled upon it! Happy New Year! Will you be getting married this year? It is sure to be your best year yet!! God is good!
    xxoo
    Mary
    www.BelleOnTrend.com

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  10. Wonderful post Caitlin.....I think we All suffer from the same things. Thank you for sharing your life with us. We are very honored. I always enjoy all your posts and try to recreate your ourfits. Thanks again.

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  11. Happy new year Caitlin! Thanks for sharing your ups and downs moments with us. Your path is really inspiring! Yes, I believe God has plan :) Wishing you a new year filled with happiness and love. I'm looking forward to your 2018 blog posts. Cheeeeerrrrs...

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  12. Great recap of the year. Happy New Year!

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  13. Such lovely reflection, Cait! I've loved reading your blog over the past year and can't wait to read all about 2018!

    Happy New Year!
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.com

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  14. I think this is my favorite post of all time. Thank you for opening up about your past struggles. As a blogger sometimes I find myself unintentionally feeling down because everyone seems to have these perfect lives (unlike me) and your post is such a good reminder that to struggle is human, and the beauty is in the growth God helps us gain from it.

    Terra
    www.fifteenminutestoflawless.com

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  15. All of your pictures from this past year are gorgeous! Happy New Year!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com 

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  16. Loved this post Caitlin! Glad you are in a good place. God works in amazing ways!!!

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  17. Obsessed with your photos babe, looks like you had an awesome year!
    x Rubi
    Pose & Repeat

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  18. I’m a loyal reader, and I can honestly say that this is my favorite post of yours! Thank you so much for being so transparent with us and opening up about some of the struggles you’ve endured. I am glad that 2017 ended up being a great year for you, and I’m looking forward to following you in 2018!

    Xoxo,

    Amber S. | www.thesuburbansocialite.com

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  19. I love the round up! You definitely had a great year!

    Briana
    https://beyoutifulbrunette.com/

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  20. Thanks for your post (all of your posts are great, but especially this one!). I had similar struggles during my college years, and I also feel like I am so much happier now. I got engaged in July and feel like I am surrounded by love with the best fiancé, family, and friends. It helps me to remind myself that "the best is yet to come" :) . We could all use inspiration from time to time, and you definitely provide that with your blog. Thank you and Happy New Year!!

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  21. Happy New Year Caitlin!! And thank you for sharing and blogging ! You inspire me and I love that you’re my sister in Christ! Hope 2018 is your best year yet!

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  22. I just want to thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing this. I struggle with anxiety pretty much daily, but you are so right, I have to trust that God has a plan for my life. As a college student, it is really hard to remember that. In a matter of months, my life is going to change a lot and that is so scary, but I need to remember that God has a plan!

    pennysavingstyle.wordpress.com

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  23. You really had such a wonderful year! Congrats on all your life changing events and can’t wait to see what more is to come in 2018!


    Www.sunsetsandbubbly.com

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  24. I am in college right now in my third year and I too have no idea what I want to do for a career. I am excelling in my classses for my English major, but I don’t want to be a starving artist and I’m getting a lot of pressure to pursue a career in healthcare. I also struggle with some of the things you mentioned you struggled with in college. You are inspirational to me both career and style wise and it’s nice to know that as you continue to grow up you start to see the bigger picture.

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  25. You had a great 2017, wishing you a greater year.

    www.underaytedray.com

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  26. What an incredible year 2017 was for you. It's so wonderful to see you've found inner peace and I think it really comes across through your work. You're always so inspiring!

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  27. What a great post, to end the new year. You give me lots of fashion ideas-thank you! On your beautiful posts of travel; do they pay you to travel? Like, the places you go & post. Would love to know. Thanks for sharing and inspiring and speaking your truth-congrats on your engagement! Happy 2018, wishing you all the best!

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  28. What a great post, to end the new year. You give me lots of fashion ideas-thank you! On your beautiful posts of travel; do they pay you to travel? Like, the places you go & post. Would love to know. Thanks for sharing and inspiring and speaking your truth-congrats on your engagement! Happy 2018, wishing you all the best!

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  29. Thank you Cait for such an honest and transparent post. You have inspired me with fashion ideas & food, too! You are beautiful, inside & out! I'm wondering if the places that you travel to, pay you to do so? Incredible photos & memories.

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  30. Love, love, love your blog! Thank you for all the great writing! I look forward to the new posts this year!

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  31. Oh Caitlin, it's blog posts like this that make me come back time and again to read your blog. It's been so fun to come along on all your adventures this year. On top of that, you really inspire me to keep going with my blog.

    I'm with you. College wasn't that great of a time for me relationship-wise either. I thought that the friendship I'd make during that time would last forever, but it's wayyy after college is when you find the best relationships. 2017 was a huge year for me too in terms of building healthy relationships and a healthy self image like you said. I've never been so sure of who God says I am and the direction He is leading me.

    I pray you have even more success in 2018 because you deserve it! You really do seem like a genuine and sweet person and hard-working people like you deserve all the success in this world! I CANNOT wait to see all you do in 2018! Happy New Year! x

    She Sweats Diamonds

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  32. Thank you for sharing about yourself. Anxiety & depression are the worsttt and there's so many of us that go through it at some point in our lives. Happy 2018!

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  33. You had a great 2017! Happy New Year Caitlin!! Thank you for sharing. I love that you incorporate your faith. Your messages of faith always come at the right time. I am holding on to faith and trust that God has a plan for me and that 2018 will be a great year!

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  34. Such an inspirational post, thank you for writing this. I am also 27, married, bought a house, and believer. I look back all the time at how far I come but I still feel so lost and sometimes need encouragement like this post! We moved to Florida for my husbands job and I have struggled to find anyone my age here so it’s been a lonely journey but I always look forward to your blog posts and know there are people out there all going through something different but all together :)

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  35. Thank you so much for sharing this! I love how you went back through the past year and noted your most important events. I'm so happy for you on all the exciting things that have happened the past year. I have also suffered through depression very badly in the past. It still rears its ugly head every now and then but wonderful life events have helped it so much. Here's to a new start in 2018! xoxo

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  36. Omg this totally made me cry! Not in a bad way-- just really inspired to hear from someone that social media isn't the most important, that family and friends are, and that if you haven't made it to where you want to be yet, keep going. I love your blog!!

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  37. Wow, what a wonderful 2017! I'm overjoyed that you have taken time to reflect & understand where God leading you to go. As someone who is 10 years your senior, I too struggled through college to find myself & felt pressured to mimic a lifestyle that wasn't healthy trying to "fit in". Now, I'm married for 10 yrs & have two children 7 & 4. The reason why I'm sharing this in the hopes that I can provide you some guidance of what could come if you & fiance don't have your priorities set & revisited. I have learned the most this year since the year I was engaged. However, from my husband's weekly travels & my career driven ambitions caused our relationship & home life (kids) to be unbalanced... to put it mildly. No one ever plans unbalance it as it gradually builds up overtime as both parties sweep it under the rug pretending it's not there & think that they are just living a typical American life. Finally, 6 months ago I left my job I had for over 15 yrs & now God and family are my first priorities in my life. This year I was also introduced to Bible Study Fellowship this has been a tremendous blessing. Please consider researching it if you already do not have a bible study you are apart of as it is world wide organization. This group has helped me grow tenfold in the word (currently studying Romans) & in return be able to grow in my relationship w/God & focus my energy into areas that really matter. Wishing you much peace & joy in 2018!

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  38. So appreciate you sharing things so close to your heart and really glad to hear that you had a wonderful 2017 - even after following along throughout the process. It really makes a difference to look back on the year as a whole. Even though my 2017 was a bit of a struggle, looking back on the big picture really does make me appreciate friends, family and all my relationships and it also makes me look forward to the new ones to come this year. Thanks again for continuing to share your life! The hard work doesn't go unnoticed.

    Lindsey xx

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