Farewell, 2021 {My Year in Review}

Hello, my friends!

I don’t know about you, but I kinda loved 2021. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m going to remember this year forever, and to help with that, I’m here with another year-in-review post. I always make these to record highlights of my year, favorite photos I’ve taken, blog stats, goals and resolutions, etc. Enjoy a little scrapbook of my past twelve months!

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2021 Highlights

Got engaged! Obviously, the most memorable and important part of my year was Sully. ๐Ÿ™‚ We met around February, started dating in May, and got engaged a couple of weeks ago! So many of my favorite days from this year were spent with Sully or our families – day trips, family reunions, or just nice dates and long conversations. Also, thank you all so much for the sweet comments on the announcement post. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s the link. I can’t wait to answer your questions with Sully soon! (First photo below taken by Aria.)

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Published my third poem book. I published Seeing Beyond in October and am really proud of the result! It’s the longest collection so far and the cover turned out lovely. To learn more about it, click here for the post and here for the book itself.

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Finished visiting the 48 contiguous United States. My family and I went on a big road trip this February and finished visiting all the states except Alaska and Hawaii! It was such a fun trip. If you want to read about it, here’s part one, part two, part three, and part four.

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Church. This was kind of a crazy year church-wise. Our pastor resigned, which was really sad (I’m actually housesitting for them as I write this!), but we’re in the process of calling another pastor for my current church as well as the church planting group we’re part of. The church plant group has grown a lot and started meeting in a cute old schoolhouse. Those Bible studies have been a big and wonderful part of my life this year.

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Music. I’ve also started playing piano for worship team and the Bible Study! I’ve really improved with playing leadsheets and also playing by ear or composing my own music. I’ve also listened to TONS of new music (well, old music) thanks to Sully. ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s taught me a lot about music appreciation, and my worship leader has taught me a lot about playing music.

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Did a lot of photoshoots. I got to second shoot a friend’s wedding, photograph another friend’s wedding reception, be an event photographer for a Spring Fest and Fall Fest, and do a senior photoshoot for another friend. I definitely grew my photography skills a lot this year!

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Redesigned the planner. Remember how I designed Jill’s Prairie Homestead planner last year? I got to redesign + update it for 2022, so that project kept me busy for a few months while not being as overwhelming as last year, thankfully. I also did multiple smaller graphic design/art jobs that grew my skills and stretched my creativity.

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Got to attend a Rooted small group. Sully’s church hosted an intensive 10-week study on the basics of the Christian faith. He’s already been through it twice, once as a leader, but attended it again with me. That’s been our date night for several months and I really enjoyed it! I grew a lot, mostly in being taken out of my comfort zone and meeting new people.

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New employee on the farm. My dad hired Chessie’s dad to manage the hay business! Chessie’s my brother’s girlfriend and their family goes to our church and is good friends with ours. It’s worked out splendidly thus far! We’ve had our best year yet as far as sales, and I enjoy going on hay deliveries with him and my brothers.

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Reached 500+ sales on my Etsy shop. It might not seem like a big milestone, but I was excited to hit the 500 marker on The Color Box Studio! I’m getting close to 600 sales currently – maybe next year I can reach 1,000! I’ve painted a *lot* of miniature landscapes this year, including an order of 150 for a wedding.

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Dances! I got to go to several big events with dances, attend a ballroom dancing class, and recently, a lovely Christmas Ball. I know a lot more dances than I did last year! And I have a new dance partner. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I still love barn dancing, ah.

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Lots of personal growth. I feel like I’ve matured this year more than any other. I still have so far to go, but I’m a little less terrified of life and worried about what others think of me and… I just feel older, I guess. In a good way! I give part of the credit to Sully. All of our questions and answers this year forced me to look closely at myself and my own life and explain my choices, as well as see the world through someone else’s eyes. In many ways, my 21st year has felt like a pause on the top of a hill – a time to reflect on where I’ve been before I begin the journey to where I’m going.

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Gratitude List (A Selection)

  • Playing pretend with my art students – dragons and orphans and invisible girls.
  • Going to the beach with Sully, and other day trips with his family.
  • Double dates!
  • Laughing, talking, driving, and hanging out with my family.
  • Finding and playing pianos in random places.
  • Long text conversations with Sully, Chessie, and Aria.
  • Sharing my story with others and getting to hear theirs.
  • A beautiful flower garden + cute flower truck.
  • That I get to have my dream job and that so many of my friends are enjoying their jobs too!
  • Thrifting with my sisters.
  • Book club with friends from where we used to live.
  • Cute little kids. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Recording songs at a friend’s studio.

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blog stats

  • Current followers: 12,543 (last year: 9,358)
  • Posts Written: 52
  • Words Written: 51,243
  • Most popular post: 100 Questions to Ask Your Pen Pal
  • Weirdest search term: “questiond to ask a pebnpal”

stats 2021

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last year’s goals

  • Refine my photo editing and stick to a few presets.ย I sort of accomplished this. I still like to experiment with different styles, but I’m starting to embrace that.
  • Add new Etsy products regularly.ย Yep, I think so. I can never remember when I added what thing. But I added several listings and have some fun ideas for next year.
  • Continue to practice setting work boundaries.ย I spent so much time with Sully and his family or at various events that I was forced to not work all the time. And you know what? That’s been so good for me! I’ve made many more memories focusing on other people or volunteering at church or for friends than I could have made spending that time on my work.
  • Practice contentment. I’d say at any given month this year, I was overall really happy with my life. So that counts as contentment I guess? I definitely looked forward to getting engaged before that happened, but God kept opening my eyes to the blessings of the moment and I was often able to focus on the present instead of longing for the future.
  • Update blog design + pages.ย Eheh, not really. I did update the design and my About page a little bit, but not enough.
  • Create some online courses for you guys!ย Phew, I thought I’d be able to churn out a couple of these, but I only made one mini blogging course. My time kept disappearing, and I decided this was the project to put on the back burner. I did make about half of the video content for the hand lettering course I’m working on, but I’m not sure when or if I’ll finish it because next year’s going to be crazy. Speaking of next year….

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Next year’s goals

  • Get married! ๐Ÿ˜€ Clearly, this is my biggest goal/plan for 2022. I’m making very few definite goals other than this because I know I’ll already feel overwhelmed with all the big changes and decisions to make.
  • Take a video every day.ย I did a “video a day” challenge in 2020, and want to do it again next year since, you know, it seems like a good one to remember. I have a much better phone camera now, so I’m just going to use my phone to take few-second clips every day and then put them all together at the end of the year. I already can’t wait to see the result!
  • Update my blog design and maybe URL.ย I won’t be living on a farm after I get married, so I want to change my blog name to just Allison Marie. I’ll also need to revamp the design and pages and just give it a refresh.
  • Rely on God, not others, myself, or my opinions. I’m sure I’ll realize my need of a sovereign, gracious, wise Heavenly Father this year more than ever. He’s grown me in my trust of Him so much in these past months; I want to keep growing and strive to make God the greatest love and most important treasure of my heart instead of making everything about myself or trying to please others. I’m so, so grateful for all the blessings He’s given me this year, but especially for a Savior who is far better than any of them.

family picture final

And there you go! A snapshot (or several) of my 2021. Happy New Year from our family to yours! Thanks ever so much for following along with me this year. I can’t wait to share 2022 with you as well!

What were some highlights of your year?

Thanks so much for reading, my friends, and have a lovely new year!

***Allison***

24 thoughts on “Farewell, 2021 {My Year in Review}

  1. Aw, I love your pics and your goals, Allison! ๐Ÿค— Congrats again on your wedding, that’s SO EXCITING!!! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿคฃ I love the color scheme in your family’s photoshoot; blue and bright yellow are so summery and such a unique combo!

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  2. Your family picture at the end is so beautifully coordinated and… yellow! Was Megan involved in choosing the color scheme? ๐Ÿ˜‰ 2021 was a pretty amazing year for me, as well! One I am sure to never forget.
    Congrats, again, on your engagement! ๐Ÿฅณ

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    1. Haha actually Mom chose the color scheme, but it did work out to Megan’s advantage. :’D Yay, I’m so happy 2021 was an unforgettable and amazing year for you too!
      And thanks! โค

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    1. I. KNOW. Kendra, my little brother is 6’4″ now! O.o HOW?! He’s definitely grown a ton these past couple of years. It’s so funny to see him with our grandmother or aunt who are both over a foot shorter than him. XD

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh I loved reading about your 2021 Allison! I love how you also looked back on the goals you set for this year ๐Ÿ™‚ I also feel like I’ve grown in contentment this year (obviously still growing and working on it, but I also feel like improvement has happened and I’m grateful for that). Also, you definitely have a big year ahead of you so many prayers for you friend!!! ๐Ÿค

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    1. Yay, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, Hannah! Yeah, I like looking back on goals because it keeps me accountable. ๐Ÿ™‚ Growing in contentment is such a blessing – I’m happy for you that you were able to experience it! And thanks so much for the prayers. โค

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  4. Congrats on publishing another book๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰
    Yeses I remember the road trip, it was fun reading about it.
    I never knew that Hawaii is a state but thanks for teaching me๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ
    Congrats on 500+ sales๐ŸŽ‰ Hopefully you can reach 1000+ indeed๐ŸŽ‰
    Congrats on all the blog growth๐ŸŽ‰. Wishing you much more growth in this new year๐ŸŽŠ
    Good luck on completing all your goals๐ŸŒน. Excited for the blog redesign๐Ÿ’ฎ
    I’m also learning to rely on God even more and make Him the complete center of my life. I want to live for Him and Him alone and I know that He will strengthen me. Our Lord is good๐Ÿ‘. Let me stop rambling๐Ÿ˜…
    Happy new year Allison๐ŸŽ‰โค

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    1. Thanks, Sabrina! Ah yes, I loved making those road trip posts. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Haha, of course! It’s way out in the ocean, not connected to the United States, so you can’t exactly take a road trip there. XD
      Thank you! And thank you again!
      I love that, Sabrina. The Lord is good indeed! Thanks for the lovely comment, and happy new year to you!

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  5. It sounds like this was a busy year for you! Lots of exciting stuff going on! I noticed you mentioned composing your own music – I was just telling my dad earlier today that composing is something I’m interested in, but thus far I’ve only dabbled in it, and I’m not really sure where to start. Do you have any tips? I have a strong, 15+ year musical background (classically trained pianist, guitar, I sing musical theatre), but my ear has always been WAY better than my music theory knowledge, lol.

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    1. It was for sure! Oh goodness, well I don’t have a lot of advice because my “composing” mostly consists of playing around and remembering a few melodies I like. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I recommend practicing the scales for each key (so you can easily remember what flats or sharps each key has) and then the basic chords for each key. Once you know how notes usually fit together, it’s a lot easier to compose music that sounds nice! But yeah, I’m really not professional at it yet, so all I can say is… play around with it! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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