2014 - year in review / by Ally Willix

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2014 was a year of BIG life changes and exciting moments!

Here's a long, run-on sentence list of the biggest/best things that happened: I got ENGAGED!!!, I created my first portfolio of wedding photos, I started this website and blog, I was hired for a job in Hilton Head Island (my favorite beach ever) but took a leap of faith and turned it down, shortly after was hired by my favorite photographer and dear friend Nancy Ray to be a second shooter for their team, graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Technical Photography and Magna Cum Laude honors, photographed my first proposal, was hired as the Online Editor for Cottage Hill Magazine, celebrated 4th of July at the beach with my family and Bobby, picked strawberries with Kathryn, continued to work on my business, photographed lots of engagement sessions, photographed behind the scenes on styled shoots for Cottage Hill, had lots of fun wedding festivities like a bridal shower and bachelorette party, signed a lease on our first apartment, GOT MARRIED!!!!, went on an amazing honeymoon in St. Martin!, moved in together to our first home, celebrated our first married Thanksgiving, lived in Charlotte for a month while Bobby trained for his new job, shot 4 weddings, and celebrated our first Christmas as newlyweds!! 

This year has been AMAZING!! When it started, I would have never guessed all of this would happen. That's what I think is so incredible about the start of a new year. You go into it with so much anticipation and have no idea what's in store, no idea how much could change in one year. I think if I could sum up 2014 into one word it would be change. I'm a completely changed woman than I was in 2013. I'm now a wife, a full-time business owner, and a college alumni. I've felt myself grow this year more than I ever have before. There's been lots of changes that have happened to me, but I've also made a lot of changes in me. And that feels really, really good. I believe growth and change are wonderful - it's rejuvenating, exciting, and I want a lot more of it in 2015. 

I won't lie though - all of this change hasn't been easy. That's why they call it "growing pains" right? I've got a list of amazing things that happened this year and on the outside looking in it would look as if life were perfect. But a lot of times those things were accompanied by stress, tears, hurt, frustration, and confusion. I've learned this year that the best things in life are the things that take hard work. The things that don't always come easily. 

I got Taylor Swift's new CD for Christmas and I love what she wrote on the inside cover. She wrote about how she believes everyone can change. This is my favorite quote from her letter - "Isn't it wild and intriguing and beautiful to think that every day we are new?" 

I believe in grace and that every day we wake up with a chance to be made new. "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23 

And now, it's time to celebrate the last day of this crazy and wonderful year and say hello to 2015! Happy New Year everyone!!