Happy New Year!

 

I can’t believe we are already at 2019.

I know for so many January 1st is just another day. But for me, I look forward to opening up that still crisp planner I purchased a couple weeks prior and dive into really using it, I love fresh paper and starts!

For the past eight or so years I’ve been following Lara Casey and her business Cultivate What Matters. I spent some time in December going through the Power Sheets in order to prepare for this upcoming year. My favourite part of the process is looking back on the past year and really reflecting on what worked and what didn’t work.

As I flipped through my banged up 2018 planner, I literally teared up over how amazing a year it was - God was so gracious to me!

Some of the highlights I had were:

My bridesmaids and sisters threw me the most refreshing and low-key bachelorette party at a cottage on a beautiful lake. It was exactly what I needed amidst mid-terms and wedding planning craziness.

I finished up my four years at college. This was actually very bittersweet for me! College was like this blissful bubble. I’m not sure what your experience was like, but for me, I loved school. I loved learning, I made the most amazing friends, I met, fell in love and got engaged to my best friend, and I was blessed to serve and grow in the college fellowship and the local church.

Planning our wedding was also a highlight! I had so much fun preparing for the day! Throwing a party with all that diy and at that scale was amazing. It’s also overwhelming to think of our support system who helped make it happen! (If that’s you, thank you!). I blogged about making my own bouquets here and designing our stationery here.

We loved having  Micaela Joy Photography  capture our day!

We loved having Micaela Joy Photography capture our day!

Of course the biggest highlight was getting married!

Francis quickly became my best friend after meeting, and I admire him so much. His love for God and His word was so evident. Now being married to him for 6 months I am so thankful to have this man to do life with.

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Another highlight has been setting up our first apartment together and hosting friends and family for many dinners! I’ve loved arranging the place and hunting for finds at thrift stores. I’ve loved seeing that our table can cultivate conversations that leave us encouraged and worshiping God - this was such an answer to prayer. I also made a free print for you to download for your home here.

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I was honoured that Francis’ Aunt (or Tita!) asked me to be a bridesmaid and help plan her end of September wedding! I found designing the stationery, putting tables-capes together, arranging the bouquets, etc. was even more enjoyable when I didn’t have the stress of it being my wedding day!

My bridesmaid, friend AND photographer,  Michelle Yip , so beautifully captured their day!

My bridesmaid, friend AND photographer, Michelle Yip, so beautifully captured their day!

I also finally launched a stationery line and shop! This has been on my bucket list to do for a very long time. You can read more about that here.

Alexandra of  Alexandra Del Bello Photography  (a photographer based out of Hamilton, Ontario) took some lovely photos of my card designs…I’l share more later this month!

Alexandra of Alexandra Del Bello Photography (a photographer based out of Hamilton, Ontario) took some lovely photos of my card designs…I’l share more later this month!

These are just a few of the top things, but their are endless more. Traveling to the Dominican, family trips, dates, Francis starting his masters, living in a new city...I’m not sure if 2019 or any year can top this one!

Some of the things that didn’t work this year?

Francis and I cultivating a close community. With moving to a new place away from old friends, it has been a challenge for us to keep that community of friends going. We’ve also lacked stepping out to really cultivate community where we’re at. It’s easy for me to say to myself that our focus this year is marriage, or Francis’ school, or my business, but honestly, we’re ending the year feeling like we kinda missed out...But we’re hopeful and eager for where the Lord will plant, water, and grow us this year.

As I was getting closer to graduating I knew I had to get a job. All my classmates were talking of the different jobs they wanted and I wasn’t feeling it. But with getting married and moving to an expensive city I was convinced it was what I had to do. I applied to many jobs for a month, and then, all of a sudden two weeks before the wedding I started getting interviews and an offer I accepted. Working for the summer was hard, the packed subway stressed me out, the work was slow, and I complained a lot to Francis. My attitude is not something I’m proud of. I received what I asked for and I responded with ungratefulness. Yet in God’s kindness He blessed me again with enough freelance work to make me think “oh I don’t think I need this job as much as I thought we did”. I wrote a little bit more about this here. This year I’m deciding to cultivate a thankful heart. If thankfulness is something you’re thinking you might need to work on too, the book One Thousand Gifts is such a helpful reminder and tool!

I am SO VERY thankful for this past year!

For the newly wed life that includes a very patient, super encouraging husband and dates exploring what Toronto has to offer (but in all honestly mostly the bubble tea it offers). I’m overjoyed to get to work from home and with wonderful clients. My work keeps me excited and energized every morning! For my friends who always seemed to check in when I need it most. For my family who I laughed until I cried with! It has been more than blessed.

Here’s to more highlights and growth in 2019!

 
Laura Vidal