Looking Back At It: 2018 At A Glance

To say this year was life changing would be an understatement. As I write this post, I am sitting on a rocking chair, overlooking the beach in Jamaica. Not at all where I thought I would end the year! Luther just so happened to book a New Year’s gig on a resort on the island, and they fully comped our stay for the week. And although I generally take the last two weeks of the year to reflect on the last 12 months while setting intentional goals for the next year, I could not pass up this opportunity. So you’ll be seeing a pretty warm and festive IG feed this week!

Although I was able to work on a couple of weddings for some amazing couples this year, I can’t deny that from January - October, it was full on #SwipeRiggs mode. From our joint bachelor/bachelorette party in Puerto Rico, my Bridal Shower in Massachusetts and finally our wedding weekend in the Dominican Republic, it felt like the year was spinning around all of the festivities we had planned for over a year. It was literally, all, an amazing dream. Here is 2018, at a glance.

Our Rehearsal Dinner at Casa De Campo ; photo by Mikkel Paige

Our Rehearsal Dinner at Casa De Campo ; photo by Mikkel Paige

In keeping with our yearly tradition, (you can read more about that HERE) I have chosen a word that I would like to continuously remind myself in 2019. Let me preface this by saying, I usually find my word in December, when I’m writing and reviewing my year, but this year, I thought of this word immediately after our wedding! Literally the day after, while we were taking a group boat trip to a private island, the word just came to me and I’ll never forget what that felt like because it was like someone whispered it in my ear. I wish it weren’t such a dramatic epiphany but it truly was! So in tradition, from the personal to the professional, this word has to present in everything that I do. And because I hope all of you hold me accountable as well, I plan to live 2019, unapologetically.

2018 started and ended a bit dramatically. But what’s new when it comes to life eh? For the first time in my life, I experienced an allergic reaction to food. Truth be told, it has been incredibly difficult to adjust to this new lifestyle where I have to read menus in detail and carry medicine with me in case of emergencies. I experienced quite a few moments of full on panic attacks where I felt my dramatic responses were entirely justified. Who knew you could all of sudden become allergic to ginger in your 30’s?

Another life changing moment this year happened when my siblings and I moved our mother to Miami in the Fall. For the first time in my life, my mother was not a simple 30 min car ride away. It was with mixed emotions we packed all of her belongings and drove south. It has undoubtably shifted all of our lives collectively. Phone call conversations are different, Sunday dinners aren’t the same and now we plan in advance who is traveling where for the Holidays. It has been interesting to see and feel how one decision can impact so many lives at once. But here we are, making it work nonetheless.

And in the midst of all of this, we were planning our wedding. Hundreds of emails, phone calls, dress fittings and meetings where well underway while we figured out how to balance life and planning.

Before I knew it, we were planning our joint bachelor/bachelorette trip to Puerto Rico. Not exactly a traditional bachelorette party, but I would not have had it any other way.

San Juan Puerto Rico

Two months later, my mother and sister planned the most wonderful Bridal Shower. We had the shower in my hometown so that both sides of my family wouldn’t have to travel to attend. In the end, as always, I wanted it to be about all of us together. Women celebrating women and being in each other’s presence. It was exactly what I wanted it to be. You can see more of it HERE.

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And then of course, our wedding day. It’s hard to go through all of the details because it truly is so much to emotionally unravel but I hope to do it someday soon. What I can say, is that it is 100% true what everyone says, the day flies by. Your thoughts go a mile a minute and in a snap it’s the end of the night. I remember fragments of the day, details and emotions. I didn’t even remember what the ceremony looked like until I saw our pictures. To say my heart was full that weekend really doesn’t feel like I’m saying much. But in this moment, I don’t think words can ever justify what is felt like when everyone you love is together, dancing, enjoying the sun and celebrating one of life’s greatest milestones with you.

I wish I could do this more justice but truthfully, our wedding photographer and one of my closest friends, did a much better job recapping the festivities on her blog which can be found HERE. To Mikkel I am forever in debt. I closed my eyes and she was there holding it down like only a true friend could do.

Our Wedding Ceremony ; photo by Mikkel Paige

I’m sure it sounds like a cliche but after the wedding, our relationship changed somehow. It wasn’t anything specific really, but the way we thought and spoke about our future shifted. All of a sudden everything we said or planned carried a different weight to it. A good kind of weight. The kind of weight I never thought I wanted to carry but now feels overwhelmingly satisfying.

My now husband has gifted me the kind of love, respect and friendship that I could honestly never have thought of. He is undoubtably my best friend. biggest supporter, and the one person I look for in a crowed room.

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And now for 2019! My word of choice is ‘unapologetic’. A lot of my goals for the year really get down to the nitty gritty of what this word means to me and the various forms I want to manifest it in my life. Some of the goals I have in mind are below:

Personal Goal for 2019 = Self Care

  • Find & work with a Life Coach/Therapist

  • Meditate Daily, even if it’s only for 5 minutes

  • Strategically cut down on things that deplete my energy (ex. scrolling through IG) and spend more time doing things that replenish me (reading)

  • Learn what my body needs in order to feel my personal best

  • Start that book club I’ve been talking about for months

  • Plan more weekend trips where we can relax, explore and try new things

Professional Goal for 2019 = Be Accountable

  • Write at least 2 blog posts per month.

  • Create me content for the blog!

  • Walk back into the styled shoots arena with intention.

  • Collaborate with more Latinx vendors in the wedding industry.

  • Sit down with a financial advisor and really discuss my financial future both personally and professionally

I hope this list and this year’s word, reminds me that every goal, plan and mission I set out for myself is not derailed by someone else’s thoughts or opinions. More importantly, I don’t want to doubt myself either. How easy it to do that! I am over that lifestyle and want to hold myself accountable every single time a negative thought takes space in my mind. Be unapologetic!

So here is to all of you friends! May you live not just this year, but every other year, with clear intentions on how you want to live your life. I hope you all are filled with so much love, joy and determination to find happiness within yourself. May this year be better than the last, but not as good as the ones to come.

xoxo