Happy new year, everyone! Looking back on 2017, I feel like I ran a yearlong marathon. (Or at least what I think it would feel like to actually ran a marathon. Let’s be real, it’s probably what it would feel like if I ran at all, even a mile.) It wasn’t until I started thinking back on all that occurred for my family and my business over the last year that I realized how crazy it actually was. As we get older, time seems to pass us by faster and faster each year. Am I right? Instead of resolutions, I’ve taken to choosing a word for the upcoming year. 2017 was The Year of Adventure.
I thought I would take a look back at the year that was 2017 for the Baker family and Christy B Photography. It should explain why it has been so quiet here on the blog; something I hope to change in 2018.
Hubby had shoulder surgery 2 days after Christmas. The day before his surgery we received a signed contract on our house with a less than 30-day closing date. That meant hubby was down and out and couldn’t help with any of the packing or move. Our fun-filled New Year’s Eve was spent beginning the packing up of the last 18 years of our family’s life while hubby recuperated on the couch.
The first three weeks of January were spent packing, meeting with architects and builders to build a new house, attending our daughter’s senior year school events, getting together everything needed for our taxes which had to be done early for our new house loan, and making final fixes to the house before the closing. Oh, and finding a place to live because the house we were supposed to rent was not yet vacated due to their new house still under endless construction.
Three weeks of January down, the kids and I successfully packed up the entire house, closing was a success and it was time to move; but where? The home we were going to rent still wasn’t vacated. Thankfully my grandpa goes to Texas for the winter so we moved all of our belongings into storage units and his garage and made ourselves at home in his teeny-tiny house in the country for what we hoped would be just a few weeks.
PHHS Matwarming Senior Queen Candidate
We were living out a select few boxes at my grandpa’s house in the boonies waiting for our rental to be ready. Thankfully, I was able to take much of the month of January off to focus on moving. But I had to get back to work. Only problem is the country isn’t the best option for fast, reliable internet. My days were spent setting up office 20 minutes away at the nearest Starbucks or Panera and my evenings were spent lugging my gear around to various locations because I no longer had the studio in my basement. We celebrated Valentine’s Day, our son’s 22nd birthday and our 23rd anniversary.
Fast forward four weeks and we were still living ten minutes outside of town in my grandpa’s house as our rental was still occupied. My grandpa was due back home at the end of the month and we were super antsy at what our living situation would be next. I continued to make my office at any place with decent wi-fi and photographed last minute spring seniors on location. Hubby was back to work in a limited capacity. Our daughter was coming to the finish line of her senior year of high school and our son came back occasionally from college.
The crazy continued when the day my grandpa was on his way back home from Texas to reclaim his home we were able to move into our rental. Thankfully hubby was able to somewhat help with the move that time.
Did I mention that the house we were renting was also listed for sale? We were renting while it was being shown multiple times a week to potential buyers. Nerve wracking! At the same time we were finalizing drawings for building a new house, we were celebrating our daughter’s 18th birthday and I was working like crazy with spring photo sessions while multiple times a day/week we had to leave the house for showings. As if that wasn’t adventurous enough, I decided it was the perfect time to open up a commercial studio space. Oh, and get it ready in less than a month to host our daughter’s graduation party.
The arrival of May brought our daughter’s graduation from high school. We were frantically painting my new studio space from top to bottom to get it ready for her graduation party. We also made a trip to Manhattan to move our son into a different house so he would be ready to continue into his masters program at K-State in the fall. Our architect completed our house plans and we submitted the drawings for final pricing. We also welcomed a new puppy, Daisy Mae, into our household.
Kylie – PHHS Class of 2017
I officially opened up a commercial photography studio after having my studio in the basement of our previous home for 9 years.
The month of June brought the unexpected news that final pricing to build our new home came in almost double what the initial estimate was. We could be house poor or home plans (that we had already paid for) had to change. At the same our rental was still being shown multiple times a day/week as we prayed we wouldn’t have to move again any time soon.
New Studio – 125 Veterans Parkway, Pleasant Hill
The realization hit that building our dream home wasn’t meant to be just yet. We would rather enjoy life than have a new home that stretched our budget to the max. And we had gotten used to living in the 4,300 square feet our rental allowed us with cabinets that weren’t even full. (Our new home would have only been 2,700 square feet.) Where else in town could we find 6 acres with a 4,300 square foot house? July was the month we put our plans of building new on hold and made an offer on the home we were renting. It just happened to be the day before the owners received a second offer on the house. It was meant to be. We became homeowners of a fixer upper three times the size of our previous home. Here we go again…
I also celebrated 10 years in business for Christy B Photography.
In August we became empty nesters as our son began his 5th year of college and we moved our daughter in for her first year of college. I wouldn’t say things slowed down much, though. The beginning of the busy fall portrait season took off. Around the house we started cleaning up the exterior, trimming trees and removing overgrown landscaping around the house.
We attended family weekend at Missouri State University with our daughter. I cooked tons of football inspired food and we hosted a tailgate for all of her friends.
I couldn’t take the dark, paneled family room any longer so we started the first project indoors. We removed the paneling and trim from the walls, exposed the ceiling beams which also turned out to be stained 1970s dark brown, cut down and planed the fireplace mantel back to it’s natural wood tone. I forced myself to have a garage sale to clean out things we no longer needed (garage sales are so much work).
Missouri State University Family Weekend
October made me another year older. I was blessed with a crazy busy month of photo sessions while I prepped sets for upcoming holiday photos. We attended family weekend at K-State with our son.
Kansas State University Family Weekend – It poured down rain the entire time and I didn’t get any photos so here are some from last year.
The holiday photo season was upon me and 16-hour workdays had taken over my life. Progress on the family room was put on hold for the holidays so I decorated right over the bare sheetrock walls. #fixerupperlife
Christmas 2017 in the middle of renovating
Our crazy year was quickly coming to an end. I wrapped up my busiest year yet at the studio. So thankful!! It may have been two weeks before Christmas but I finally had time to complete decorating the house for Christmas. We hosted Christmas Eve at our house, unfinished sheetrock walls and all. We pulled off the best Christmas gift ever by surprising my dad with a mini donkey on Christmas morning. (He has always wanted one. Mom has always said no. My sister and I are adults now so we got him one anyway. ☺) And I successfully made it through the holiday season without getting the sick bug that was going around. It was a great end to a wonderfully crazy 2017!
My family was truly blessed in 2017. It really was a “Year of Adventure”. I have to admit, I’m looking forward to a slightly slower paced 2018. I found myself so busy last year, there wasn’t much time to breathe and enjoy the little things in life. That brings me to my words for 2018.
I want to do “All the Things” this year; in my business and in my personal life. I’m going to focus more on the things I truly enjoy and say no more often to things I don’t enjoy. This blog, for example. I want to refocus on using this space to share all of the things I love – photography, cooking, fashion, home decor, remodeling, crafts, organization, etc. on a regular basis. I do love photography and my business but I also love “all the things” and I need to make more time for more than just 16-hour work days. My hope for you, too, in 2018 is that you can find time this year to do “all the things” that make you happy.
To follow along with me this year as I share “all the things” be sure to check back here on the blog but also follow Christy B Photography on Instagram and Instagram Stories and thechristyB on Snapchat and hold me accountable as this new year inevitably flies by even faster than the previous.