I debated whether or not I should share this blog post. A few weeks ago, when a lot of people started to share their 2018 recaps on Instagram stories or on social media, I saw so many mean tweets floating around.
“Yeah thanks for sharing a mile-long story, no one wanted to see that!!!”
“PSA no one cares about your insta story recap”
“I’m not wasting my time watching that crap”
It reminded me a WHOLLEEE lot of the types of things people said about me at the beginning of my business in high school. I had this blog post in my queue for the last month or so, but started to doubt whether it was a good idea to share it. But, over the course of 2018 I learned just how valuable memories are. The big moments, the ones worth celebrating, the ones that leave you crying, the ones that you want to hold onto forever and the seemingly-unimportant moments that actually make up some of the best seasons of your life: they MATTER. They matter so much more than you realize until they’re gone. So, I spent 2018 doing my absolute best at soaking up every single moment by being present, but also documenting them so that I could look back and remember exactly how I felt. And because I know the weight and the value of these moments, I absolutely LOVED watching other people share their favorite moments from 2018, too!
So, if you are like me and question sharing your memories with others, let me remind you of one thing: you don’t have to get anyone’s approval. I am sharing this blog post today for ME. So that one day, I can scroll back through this post with all of my favorite (and some of my least favorite) memories and photos in one place and relive them when I’m 65 with my grand babies. My hope is that you’ll enjoy scrolling through and getting a deeper look into my life than my curated Instagram feed, but I’m okay if you just exit out of this window, too. But, overall, I hope that I can inspire someone to share their own memories and document them in whatever way brings you the most joy – because these moments matter.
This post is going to be a LONG one, but I’m breaking down all of my favorite moments from 2018 month-by-month. These photos are almost ALL iPhone images, so the quality isn’t the best – but that’s okay with me 🙂 Most of these have never been shared before, and there’s even things in here that you probably never knew about me in 2018 – so I hope that you enjoy reading through!!!
Ringing in the New Year with my girls the best way we knew how: daiquiris and Uno and Cards Against Humanity. Haha!!!
I received this as a gift because January was the first month in my new home. SUCH a special season!!! There wasn’t much of anything in the house besides a couple rugs and some old couches…but I loved this time of the move-in process!!
I photographed my 2018 spokesmodel styled shoot!!! All 19 of my girls gathered in Richmond for an amazing day, and Kat designed this amazing donut backdrop!!! It’s what #dreamsaremadeof.
And, the same night as that styled shoot – I flew out to New Orleans for the Rising Tide Leader’s Retreat! I spoke on a panel all about creating passive income in your business and got to spend time with some of my favorite people!!!
DISNEY!!!!! For Christmas in 2017 the kiddos in the family were gifted a trip to Disney, and I hadn’t been since I was SO young! It was such a special trip with so many fun memories!!!
Wine in Disney with momma Taylor!!!
I got home and chopped off so much of my hair!!! This was the first time I got brave and went shorter because I had been losing hair due to a medication I was on (more on that later). I was terrified I’d hate it but actually started loving it!!!
This picture is definitely one that has never been seen 🙂 Literally the day after the above photo was taken, I found myself in the ER after over a YEAR of some scary health issues. There is a lot to the story, but essentially I kept getting the same sickness over and over and over again. And my body couldn’t get rid of it without strong doses of steroids – which created a whole new set of health scares, like the one that landed me in the hospital. I wasn’t supposed to do cardio on the medicine I was taking because it causes high heart rate and blood pressure…but it also causes weight gain. And I was OVER. IT. So, I decided to try to do some cardio…it didn’t go well HAHA! My heart rate wouldn’t come down an hour after leaving the gym so my mom gave me no choice but to head to the ER. My heart rate stayed in the 130-140s+ the entire 6 hours I was there, and they thought it was a blood clot in my lungs. It wasn’t (thank the Lord!) but there was a lot of needle poking and testing involved and I was not happy!
The reason I’m including this picture is because THIS WAS THE LAST TIME I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL! It’s been almost a year now since I was sick or needed an ER trip because of some major lifestyle changes that have drastically helped my autoimmune issues. Maybe I’ll share more on this later, but this was one of those times I had no idea it would end up being a milestone…but I’m glad I have this dumb selfie to remember!!!
Following that hospital trip, I was told to be on bed rest for a few weeks…but I had a workshop 3 days later 🙂 Aint NOBODY got time for that. Haha! But seriously, NO ONE knew at the time that I was sick and recovering from a big scare. I had 3-4 of my friends helping me this entire workshop (I normally only have one!) and told them to just use me as a puppet if I fell over and passed out, LOL! But, I made it through with no issues and it was an AMAZING workshop!! Plus it was the ONLY one I hosted in 2018 so that I could work on other projects!!
I FINALLY finished decorating my living room two months after moving in!! It was the ONLY room in the house that was even somewhat complete, but I had to have it finished because…
I filmed the Senior Posing & Experience course in my home!!! I had 16 ladies travel in from all over to attend the LIVE filming of the course…and it was amazing!!! And ya’ll…this was still within 10 days of my hospital visit!!!
I spent a few weeks recovering from #allthethings, and then Natalie and I planned a big surprise for Kristen – we showed up at her home in Chesapeake to celebrate her 21st birthday with her!!!
I got to FINALLY meet all of my incredible 2018 interns in person!!! These ladies were SUCH a blessing to me throughout my entire wedding season. They are all insanely talented, crazy smart and served me so well that I couldn’t even believe it sometimes. Raygan, Caity, Manali and Andrea: THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!!
Kristen and Natalie have birthdays only a couple weeks apart, so I had ANOTHER birthday surprise to attend for this sweet girl!!!
One of my absolute best friends, Erika, got married in 2018 – so I got to attend her shower as a guest!!!
I had some of the sweetest visitors to my house (and Caroline and I were up to some serious planning!!!)
Filming for the Senior Posing and Experience course was COMPLETE!!!
I got to celebrate my sweet friend Kat at her ADORABLE baby shower (and obviously didn’t get the memo to wear blue for her baby BOY…nice one, Hope).
Erika and I saw DEMI LOVATO in concert…our dream come true!!!!
Natalie, Kristen and I try to get together every year at the Cranham’s family lake house…but we knew our summer seasons were going to be too busy in 2018. So, we got together for a CHILLY March lake trip and it was so much fun!!! Complete with a boat ride and Mexican food on the water. Love these girls!
I photographed my FIRST wedding of the year…at the BILTMORE!!! #Casual way to kick off the 2018 season!! Also, should have packed a heavier coat…
Shot LOTS of weddings in April!!! So I included some behind-the-scenes…
I launched a HUGE project…my Senior Posing & Experience course was LIVE to the world!!! So Natalie and my sweet friends threw me a “launch party” with balloons and cake and my favorite local Italian spot!!! Sweetest friends there ever were.
RIGHT after my course launch (like, the next day) I FLEW TO GREECE!!! I dreamed of flying to Santorini for years and years and years…and even had a Pinterest board dedicated to it! My best friend Morgan and I went through very similar tough seasons last year, and we decided to book this trip to celebrate the start of a NEW chapter!!! You can see the full trip recap HERE!!
I wanted to include SO many Greece photos…but I’ll stick with 2!! Haha!!
I came home from Greece and got to install my new kitchen nook!!! I was a little excited 🙂
April was also the month of COOKING for me!!! There was always a joke in my family that I was the least “domestic” one…because I never had the desire to learn to cook (despite my mom being the best cook I’ve ever known!!) But, in April I started to LOVE cooking my own homemade meals…gluten free bang bang shrimp tacos being an absolute fave!!!
It was finally time to start feeling like SPRING….so I re-vamped my front porch!!! My mom and I spent a whole day together ripping everything up out of the garden, hanging plants on my porch and powerwashing the front of the house. They were such special memories!!!
My dad was also there…and clearly very excited about hanging curtains 🙂
My best friends Erika and Josh got MARRIED, so I got to attend my first wedding as a GUEST!!! And it was AMAZING!!!
I kicked off my birthday month with my favorite ladies, because Kristen and I surprised Natalie with a surprise trip for her graduation!! We spent a night at the Salamander Resort and it was so wonderful!!
I came home to immediately leave town again with my sweet momma. We spent the day at Pippin Hill and the night in Charlottesville – complete with burgers and lots of fries 🙂
Back to WORK!!! May was one of my busiest months for wedding in 2018! I traveled to Ohio for a wedding…
Then traveled to Vermont for a wedding the very next weekend!!!
You can’t be in Vermont without some Ben & Jerry’s 🙂
I came home to the absolute SWEETEST early birthday surprise!!! My mom, her best friend (aka my second mom) and my little sister turned my back porch into a Southern oasis!!!
Got to spend quality time with my family (especially my mini me!!!)
And then my friends threw me a SURPRISE 22nd birthday party!!!! I’ve never felt so special in my entire life.
Out family’s tradition is to spend the 4th of July at the Homestead Resort…so 2018 was no different!!! We hiked, watch fireworks, ate a lot of food and had a lot of vodka sodas – haha!!
Spent time with my favorite friends on the lake and poolside!!
Volunteered for our church’s “Paint the Town Red” event – where we cover the entire area in red shirt volunteers doing various projects for our community. We painted and built fences for an incredible horse farm that works with disabled veterans!
Caroline and I hosted the sold-out Gathering event (for the SECOND time!!!) with over 100 young business owners from all over the COUNTRY!!!
Seriously the best day. HERE is the full recap!!!
I went on a beach trip with my family and got to see AMANDA!!!! Love this lady and all her mermaid little girls!!!
Erika and I packed up and headed to Nashville to host my second annual Alumni Retreat!!! All of my past workshop students and online course students are invited to an event where I teach next-level education and we spend time growing as a COMMUNITY. We are one big family!!
We hosted at The Noelle Nashville – which was INCREDIBLE!!
Love every single one of them!!!
Amazing styled shoot designed by Blush & Crew!!!
I thought it was a good idea to come home from the retreat and film a whole new course…so I DID!!! Huge thanks to Josh for being my filmmaker for life!!
Filming done…back to work!!! One of my first September weddings was in WISCONSIN!!! And we kicked off the trip with THIS:
Then I got to photograph THIS…
Came home and it was time to decorate for FALL!!!
And get some new headshots/content! It was HOTTTT during these shots…but we were trying to get fall content so we were all wearing SWEATERS. The sweat was real.
Content done. Time for more tacos.
Kicking off the fall season with some fall baking!!! Momma Taylor has the BEST pumpkin spice muffin recipe.
Actually was able to make time to ENJOY some fall activities in 2018!! This is always the busiest time of the year as a photographer, so it was SO special to get to spend some time at Carter’s Mountain with my best friend! Drinking Bold Rock, eating apple cider donuts and picking out pumpkins!
Fearfest at King’s Dominion with Kristen!!! We waited in line for over an hour for a roller coaster and the line barely moved…so we got fast passes to the front of each line! HAHA! We left right when it got dark because we were terrified of the haunted scary people LOL
Launching my SECOND course of 2018: The Photography Course!!!
Kickstarting the month with a family trip to the Greenbrier!!! We snuck away for just a few days to soak up the beautiful weather, views and food!
Horseback ride across the property with Abby!!!
Shopping for Christmas decorations!!!
Mom and dad went out of town…so we took Christmas pictures as a surprise!!!!
I decorated my house…slightly prematurely. But it was necessary.
Speaking at the Creative at Heart Conference in November!!! One of my FAVORITE conferences each year!!!
All of the Hope Taylor Alumni at the conference!!! I love each of these ladies so much!!!
Thanksgiving with my little brother!!!
Momma Taylor has the BEST Thanksgivings!!!
FINALLY OFFICIAL CHRISTMAS SEASON!!! Shopping for #allthethings and having a decorating day with mom and dad!!! The chicken nuggets in the bottom right corner are OBVIOUSLY mine.
Prepping for my Christmas party!!! My all time favorite: Popcorn Bag!
This was such a fun night!!! It was so special to invite so many of my favorite girls into my home to host my first event that wasn’t business related. I love every single one of these ladies!!!
Christmas Eve church & dinner!!!
Christmas morning…we were surprised with a trip to KEY WEST!!!
This was totally fine.
The best dad ever who made it all happen!!!
Ringing in 2019 with my best friends!!! And some fake eyelashes.