What a year it has been. That is an understatement to say the least! It was a wild year that none of could have ever predicted. I know it’s been a tough year for a lot of people, but for me personally it has been a really great year. Yes, it wasn’t what I expected and some plans had to be changed, but I can honestly say I accomplished so much and grew so much this year. I know the Lord has been in control this WHOLE time even when things didn’t make sense and He has given me the strength to thrive during this time. So here is my year in review-a month by month recap of the highlights of my year. Enjoy! I loved looking back on all the amazing moments of this year.
The highlights of this year included:
- Beginning my first semester of clinical rotations in the hospital for nursing school (& then continuing into my 2nd semester of clinical rotations!)
- Lots of travels and adventures to new places
- Getting to live at home for 3 months due to the pandemic and spend quality time with my parents
- Getting my first nursing related job as a nurse tech at Baylor Scott & White
- Seeing tremendous growth in my photography business
- Starting my job as a sports photographer for Texas Athletics
- Forming deeper friendships with some amazing people I am lucky enough to call my friends
I also made some major changes this year. First, I started eating vegetarian and it has been a great change in my life and not as difficult to do as I thought it would be. Second, I started doing something called intermittent fasting and it has really been life changing for me in having a better relationship and mindset with food & “dieting”. And third, I finally found a workout place that is perfect for me (Orange Theory Fitness) and I am just so happy with where I’m at. I have always struggled with body image (as a lot of us do!) and the end of last year was really an all time low for me and I knew I needed to make a change. I’m still not exactly where I want to be, but I have habits in place now that are helping me reach my goal and I am overall much more confident and just have a better relationship with my body image <3. Hopefully I can do a blog post soon really diving more into my journey with dieting, fitness, body image, etc because I have a lot to say about this topic, especially going from being a full time athlete my entire life to just a regular college student.
And now for the month by month highlights + pictures!
- New Year’s Eve party roaring 20’s themed
- Started out the year visiting my family in Maine! We had fun snowboarding, skiing, and snow tubing
- Finished out winter break by attending Imaging USA, a photography conference in Nashville, TN & spent a few days visiting 2 friends in Knoxville, TN
- Started my job with Texas Athletics and shot my first college basketball game (it was such a surreal moment & a dream come true! Next dream is to shoot a professional sporting event!)
- Different outings & adventures with friends
January was really good! It’s crazy how this year started out and no one had any idea what was coming in March. I’m glad we had at least a few months of normal this year. In this month, I took 2 trips. First, I went to Maine to visit my family and it was great to see everyone and spend time with them! Second, I went to Tennesse. I went to Knoxville, TN for a few days to visit my friends that live there and then I took a bus over to Nashville for my first photography conference, Imaging USA. This conference was an amazing experience and I had the opportunity to learn so much from all the classes and meet lots of other photographers! This conference really gave me the push I needed to pursue portrait photography more in my business. Once the spring semester started, I shot my first college basketball game with Texas Athletics and it was a dream come true. I continued to shoot more sporting events this month as well. I also enjoyed different outings and explorations with my friends as I began my 2nd semester of junior year!
- White coat ceremony & my first every clinical day of nursing school
- Had a couple photoshoots of some friends. In the moment this didn’t seem like a huge deal, but in hindsight this first senior session with my friend Grace was really a a huge turning point in my business and made room for everything that happened after that
- Flower Vault pop up photoshoot with friends!
- Lots more sports photography-softball, basketball, & tennis
- Ordered my UT class ring (UT put a ring on it!)
February began with my white coat ceremony for nursing school. I feel so grateful to have gotten to have my ceremony in person surrounded by all my friends and family before the pandemic began. I can’t believe that was almost a year ago and now I am just a year out from being a real nurse. My first clinical day of nursing school was for my mental health clinical and I remember the day very vividly. I was very nervous but of course it all turned out okay and I ended up absolutely loving that clinical. My first day of adult health clinical in the hospital, I was so nervous I barely got any sleep the night before. But the Lord really took care of me and I ended up having the most sweet experience. Long story short, my patient ended up being a believer and I sat in his room for almost an hour talking with him about our testimonies and our experiences with the Lord. It was one of my favorite moments ever honestly and something I will always cherish. I think about that patient a lot and I can’t wait to have so many more moments like that with my future patients. As far as photography, I continued shooting lots of sports for Texas Athletics in February. I shot my first ever tennis match & softball game and it was cool to get experience in new sports. In my personal photography business, I did a few sessions with friends and like I said above this was a big turning point for my business. It was really all about my mindset shifting and overcoming a lot of limiting beliefs I had for myself and my abilities. Thank you to Grace & Myah for being some of my first models! I continued exploring Austin and making fun memories with my friends and then UT PUT A RING ON MY FINGER and suddenly I could start to see the light at the end of the tunnel to graduation.
- Semi-formal with my bestie, Emily (who knew it might be our last of college)
- Visit to Meg at Fossil Rim (made it just in time!)
- Spring college conference with Christian Students on Campus
- Spring break camping trip to Guadalupe State Park with the roomies (+ visit to Carlsbad & White Sands)
- Spring break was extended 1 extra week to coronavirus & I headed home for the extra week not knowing I would end up staying there for 3 months (During this time I was surprised with a dollhouse built by my Grampa pictured below)
- More photography sessions with Salym, Faith, & Hallie!
March as we all know turned crazy real quick. I can still vividly remember so many days of this month as I’m sure many of us can as things changed so quickly. At the beginning of the month, I was able to go to semi-formal and spring college conference the weekend before everything started going down. I remember shooting a tennis match on that Friday night when I got a notification that South by Southwest had been cancelled which was a huge deal. I was shocked it had been cancelled and still like many of us did not understand the magnitude of the coronavirus. That week following was pretty normal and on Wednesday I even worked the University Health Services Oasis spring break event for my healthy horns program. I think that night was when they cancelled the NBA season and then the following day on Thursday UT emailed us that our spring break was going to be extended an extra week. We were so excited and I remember my roommates and I jumping around our apartment screaming about how excited we were to now have 2 weeks of spring break. Little did we know, 2 weeks would turn into the rest of the semester living at home and classes virtually. That Thursday, I also vividly remember my last ever healthy horns class in person. We were supposed to cover a certain lesson that day, but my teacher scratched that and took the class time to just chat with all of us (it’s a small class of about 15 people) about how we were feeling with this new virus emerging. I really appreciate her doing that because at that point no one really knew what was going on. On Friday morning, I woke up to an email from UT that classes had been cancelled for that day. Then, that afternoon we received an email that the president of UT had tested positive for COVID-19. It was an absolutely insane day and week. The next day, my roommates and I left for our planned spring break trip. We felt safe still going on the trip because we were driving and were going to be camping the whole time and away from people just doing stuff in nature. We ended up cutting our trip a little short because the situation with the pandemic was rapidly getting worse and we felt like it was the safest thing to do to just head back home and be with our families. I realize how long this story is getting, but I feel like I just really want to document this well because it is history and I hope I can look back in 50 years and read this post to my kids and grandkids and have a detailed account of what living through this pandemic was really like. So March ended with me staying at home and the world getting ready to enter into lockdown.
- Had a couple socially distanced photoshoots including beginning the #FrontPorchProject taking photos of families in the DFW area in their front yard & capturing what quarantine was like to them. As you can see below, a lot of people got very creative!
- Launched my application for my first ever senior spokesmodel team for my photography business
- Many, many zoom calls for everything
- Easter at home with just the family (we missed going to Houston like we normally do!)
April was interesting for sure. It was the first official month of the lockdown. All my classes went online which really sucked. My first semester of clinical rotations and I ended up having mostly virtual patients. I know it was the only way with everything that was happening, but it definitely sucked missing out on a whole semester of clinicals, especially when it was my first one. At the moment, I felt like I was missing so much and losing so much hands on experience. But now at this point in nursing school, I realize you never feel 100% confident and capable and you just have to do your best. So even though that online semester wasn’t ideal, we made it through and everyone in my class is still going to make amazing nurses one day. Living at home again was surreal to say the least. When I left home after high school, I never thought I would live at home again. I am thankful to have gotten to live at home again for 3 months. I enjoyed hanging out with my parents every night, going on our nightly walks, and binging so many tv shows and movies. Even better was that my best friend was living with us and it was like having a sister. She has always been a sister to me, but getting to live together made us feel like true sisters! It was so much fun getting to spend so much time with her. Our biggest accomplishment of quarantine was watching all the Marvel movies in chronological order! I hadn’t really seen any of them before because I wasn’t really into that, but once we started watching them and I got into the storyline I got really into them. All the free time stuck at home also gave me the opportunity to really focus on my photography business. I purchased a lot of photography education online and started diving into that. I worked really, really hard whenever I got the chance and it slowly started to pay off. I continued practicing through different photoshoots whenever I got the chance. During the month of April, I worked on marketing my first ever senior spokesmodel team for my business and at the end of the month the application launched. Having a team is something I never would have pushed myself to do if it weren’t for this pandemic and all the free time. Like I said earlier, my mindset really started shifting as I overcame a lot of limiting beliefs. More on my spokesmodel team later. I ended the month by beginning the Front Porch Project. This is another photography project that I had to really push myself to do and get over my fears. And I am SO glad I did because I had so much fun with this project! During the course of about 2 weeks, I got to photograph 20 + families in the DFW area. I loved getting to capture this crazy season of life for so many families and I loved meeting & talking with all of them! For the record, April is also when I finally gave in and joined Tik Tok.
- Lots more photoshoots including #FrontPorchProject, my first maternity session, a couples session, a family session, & a senior session!
- My UT class ring came in the mail
- Lots of celebrations & seeing some friends including Faith’s birthday and Alysia’s virtual graduation
- Re-did my room including painting, rearranging, & new decorations
- Worked on my new website for my photography business
May was a good month honestly. It was pretty chill. I finished up my spring semester and officially became 1/4 a nurse! I continued living at home and enjoyed spending time with my parents & Faith. I had a lot of photoshoots and I’m so glad I said yes to all these opportunities and I am thankful for all the people who trusted me to capture their photos! We got lots of cute masks during this time and when restaurants finally reopened, we were there (not a huge shocker lol). I enjoyed the slow pace of life this month, just spending time with family & a few friends, and continuing to put in a lot of work to grow my business! I continued advertising about my senior spokesmodel team and at the end of May, the application officially closed and I had a lot of sweet senior girls apply. At the end of the month, Faith and I made our first official big outing since quarantine had begun. We went to a farm about an hour north of Dallas that had a beautiful sunflower field and lots of fun activities! It was good to get out of the house and go on a little adventure. Re-doing my room was great! I had been wanting to do that for a while to make it more grown-up and also more of a neutral guest room for my parents to have once I graduate. We painted the walls grey and I got a new light pink bedspread. I got lots of new decorations and made it more minimalistic than it was before. It has kind of a travel/adventure theme because y’all know that’s what I live for! I love spending time in my newly decorated room every time I visit home.
- More photoshoots!! (Lifestyle + product shoot for Jamber, a few senior shoots, and a bff shoot!)
- Welcomed my first senior spokesmodel team! I have 3 amazing girls on my team and I absolutely love them to pieces
- Successfully watched all the Marvel movies in chronological order with Faith
- And finally headed back to Austin for the rest of the summer!
June was also a pretty slow month for me. I enjoyed my last few weeks living at home before heading back to my apartment in Austin. I got excited to welcome my first senior spokesmodel team and continued to have more photoshoots! I don’t have too much to say about June. It was good to get back to Austin and see some of my friends & continue working on my business. I also began my summer class during this time that lasted 5 weeks on zoom!
- Photoshoot & visit to Taquero Mucho with Sarah
- Spokesmodel welcome party where I got to meet my 3 sweet girls
- Quick little beach trip to Corpus Christi with Meredith
- Working at Camp Longhorn, a summer camp in Burnet, TX for 2 weeks in the “pit stop” (aka infirmary) as a student nurse! #attawaytogo
July was awesome!!! I was excited & nervous to finally meet my spokesmodel girls, but the welcome party turned out great. We had a lot of fun getting to know each other and snapping some photos! In the 2nd week of July, I headed to Corpus Christi for a little beach week getaway with my friend Meredith. We had the absolute best time! We had no idea Corpus was only 3 1/2 hours away from Austin and neither of us had ever been there before. It was a super relaxing time just getting to spend time on the beach tanning & in the water! We are dying to go back so catch us back in Corpus when the weather warms back up. After getting back from Corpus, I headed to work at Camp Longhorn for 2 weeks! Camp Longhorn is a summer camp for ages 2nd grade-16 years old in Burnet, TX. I worked in the “pit stop” (aka infirmary) alongside 4 nurses, a nurse practitioner, & other student nurses. It was honestly the most fun 2 weeks ever! First of all, it was absolutely amazing that they were able to make camp happen safely amidst the pandemic. I was so incredibly happy to see all the kids running around like normal and just being kids!! I learned so much from working there just 2 short weeks. I got to practice giving medications, charting, triaging, covid-19 screening, & lots more. And the best part were all the awesome people I got to meet & work alongside! We had so much fun playing spicy uno, making bracelets, & running around camp going on the waterslides, jumping on the trampoline, & ALLLL the camp things.
- First spokesmodel team photoshoot! The theme was “summertime”
- Lots of fun outings exploring Austin with friends
- Started my new job as a nurse tech at Baylor Scott & White in South Austin
- Started the fall 2020 semester as a J2 nursing student!!!
August was also a fun month! I was in Austin the whole time and I was happy to have time to explore Austin more with my friends. I always feel like there is never enough time during the school year to see all the amazing things Austin has to offer. This year made me realize how incredibly thankful I am to the Lord for all the incredible friends he has put in my life. I just feel so much joy. I’m the type of person that just needs a few really, really close friends. My love language is also quality time and so being able to spend so much time with my friends this year and have those quality conversations made me feel so connected to them. At the beginning of the month we had our first spokesmodel team photoshoot! The theme was summertime so I brought lots of fun summer props like popsicles, bubbles, bubble gum, picnic blanket, sunglasses, etc and I loved how the photos turned out. You can check out the entire shoot here on my photography blog! It was also a big month for me as I started a new job as a nurse tech at Baylor Scott & White. It was crazy how it all worked out. Back in the spring semester, I had started thinking about looking for a nurse tech job for my final 1 1/2 years of college. I started looking back in April, but wasn’t finding too many available. I applied to one I found and got rejected and I was kind of discouraged. Then, while I was working at Camp Longhorn in July I got an email from my nursing school that BSW was looking to hire nurse techs! God just brought the perfect opportunity and position right to my lap. I applied and got the job within days and I started training shortly after getting back from Camp Longhorn. I’ve been working there now 5 months officially and I absolutely love it. The staff are all so nice & I have already learned so much. And it was really the perfect position because it is PRN meaning as needed so no minimum amount of hours required to work each week/month & we can sign up for shifts in 4 hours (most hospital do 12 hour shifts) so it was able to work around my school & clinical schedule perfectly. I can’t wait to keep working there next semester & continue learning. And finally, the end of August rolled around and I began senior year & my J2 semester of nursing school. I was pretty pumped for this semester because I had my maternity clinical. It was everything I had hoped it would be and I loved it. This was hands down one of my favorite semesters of college as far as school and my personal life. In my maternity clinical, I got to rotate through Labor & Delivery, Postpartum, Newborn Nursery, NICU, & lactation consultant. Labor & Delivery nursing is my love and this semester just affirmed that love even more! I can’t wait to graduate in just 1 year and become a L&D nurse ❤
- More adventures in Austin with my besties
- Birthday trip to Nashville, TN with Meredith
- Birthday dinner celebration with friends
- Spokesmodel group photoshoot on South Congress
- Nia’s senior photoshoot in Gruene, TX
September was a good time. It started out going to Nashville, TN with Meredith for my birthday weekend! We had an absolute blast exploring Nashville and I am so thankful she was able to come with me. I fell in love with Nashville and I would absolutely LOVE to go back there (especially during non-covid times!). I celebrated my birthday in Austin with my close friends going out to one of my favorite restaurants in Austin, Juliet’s. In the middle of the month, we had our 2nd group spokesmodel photoshoot on South Congress! Finally, at the end of the month I met my spokesmodel, Nia, in Gruene, TX near San Marcos for her senior photoshoot! I absolutely loved this photoshoot hanging out with Nia & her family and I loved how the photos turned out. And on top of all these highlights, I continued in my classes, clinicals, work, photography business, & exploring Austin.