Goals for 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!!!  I'm still in total disbelief that 2016 is over and we've been gifted with a brand new year.  Time seems to be flying by faster and faster and it's just plain crazy.  2016 was a pretty great year for me {I shared lots of my favorite business moments here last week} and in some ways I'm sad to see it go.  But I'm also beyond pumped to make 2017 an even better year, both personally and professionally.

I've got big dreams for this little business of mine and also big goals to better myself.  I always like to share a few of my goals on here to help hold myself accountable.  So here goes nothin!

Book an Out-of-State Wedding
One of my goals in 2016 was to book a wedding outside of Hampton Roads.  And I did!  Thanks to my dear friends Julia and Justin, I coordinated my first wedding at King Family Vineyard in Crozet, VA.  It was an absolutely perfect day and I can't wait to share more of it later this month!  Now this year, I want to coordinate a wedding outside of Virginia.  I would love to take JDE to North Carolina or Maryland...but if I'm dreaming big and putting it all out there, I'd cry the happiest tears if I booked a wedding in Nashville or Charleston.

Take Better Care of Myself
2016 seemed to be the year of putting myself last and letting myself gooooo.  I'm not proud of the shape I'm in or the habits I've developed, and I'm ready to be a better me.  So my goal for this year is to wake up earlier, eat healthier, drink more water, and workout regularly.    Yes I know how cliche that sounds this time of year.  But I'm making a promise to myself to do better.

Begin Transitioning to Part Time in my Day Job
This is a huge one to admit ya'll.  HUGE.  March marks 6 years {!!!!!} of operating JDE while working a full time job.  It's been some of the hardest work I've ever done and I've loved just about every second of it.  But now it's about time I start making a few changes so that I can focus more and more on growing this business.  It's going to mean more hard work and some big changes, but I'm ready to embrace all of that 100%.

Get Outside More
If you know me at all, you know I love to be outside.  I love to play sports, go for long runs, go hunting with Wes, hike mountains, spend time on the beach with my puppy.  I tend to feel more like ME when I'm outside.  But over the last year or so, I've let work take over.  Between working 8-10 hours at my day job and then coming home to accomplish as much as I can before bedtime, I haven't been making much time at all to be outside.  About a month or so ago, I made myself a promise that I would start doing whatever I could to better balance work and life.  Right about that time, I was invited to be a part of a local group called Girls Who Hike, put together by a wedding friend of mine.  I'm so excited for my first hike with the group later this month!  I can't wait to be outside, meeting new people, and having some time to hit the reset button.

So there they are....my four big goals for the year.  I have a handful of smaller goals, simple things I want to accomplish.  But these are the ones that I'm putting the most effort into and marking as most important.

I'd love to hear what you are planning to accomplish this year.  How are you holding yourself accountable?  I'd love to cheer you on!

Weekend Recap: Northern Neck Wineries

A couple weeks ago, the stars aligned and Wes and I both had a day off, without work or plans with friends.  This so rarely happens.  Usually when it does, we stay home on the couch, snuggle the puppy, open a bottle of wine, and catch up on the shows we have on the DVR.  But this time, we decided to take a quick trip to check out a few wineries we hadn’t yet visited.  We headed to the Northern Neck of Virginia, about two hours from home.  The drive, despite the drizzly weather, was absolutely beautiful!

The first stop we made was at Athena Vineyards in Heathsville.  It was so adorable.  It’s a small little building with a super cute front porch with rockers and everything.  Their wines were really yummy too!

Next up was my favorite of the day….Good Luck Cellars in Kilmarnock.  You guys….this place was gorgeous.  They have 3000 square feet of covered porch wrapping around the building which made the best spot for us to eat the big lunch I packed us.  Their wines were definitely my favorite, the staff was so nice, and it was just a perfect spot.  I can’t wait to go back.

Our last stop was at Dog & Oyster Vineyard in Irvington.  While we didn’t love the wines from here, this place was more about the experience.  We sat outside on a screened-in porch while we tasted and ate fresh oysters.  The tables were covered in oyster shells that everyone had written notes on.  And we could see the two packs of rescued beagles running around the vineyards.  On the way out, we stopped to take pictures with the 40-foot tall corkscrews that flank the entrance.

Somehow I managed to come home with only one bottle of wine from each winery.  If you know me at all, you know this is a huge success for me, as I really like wine.  I suppose I’ll also call the Like I said, this doesn’t happen often.  So we really soaked up the time to just be together and laugh at each other.  And of course, drink wine together.

Update: #ourboywyatt

Remember that 11 pound puppy we brought home back in February???  Yeah well, he’s now an 85 pound lap dog.  He’s by far the best thing to ever happen to our little family.  Wes and I probably say 15 times a day how good he is….and how pretty he is….and how we love him more than anything ever.  I keep telling Wes that, if a little puppy-fluff made us total pushovers, we’re going to have serious problems if we ever have human babies.

In the past few months, Wyatt has learned lots of manners {he doesn’t jump on people at all anymore and he doesn't beg while you eat}.  He’s learned to stay out of his kennel all day without eating most of the walls in our condo.  He’s turned snugglier than ever and has grown a thousand times more attached to Wes.  He’s learned a whole bunch of commands and how to hunt dove.  He’s pretty much the smartest dog in the world and certainly the prettiest {I might be biased}.

We just love him so incredibly much and he's changed our little family for the better.

So here are a few new pictures of my sweet boo.  Enjoy!

It's Possible

As some of you may know, I‘ve been running Just Dandy Events part time for the past 5 years.  Like so many other small business owners, I also work a full time job.  From 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, I sit in front of a computer in a corporate office, wishing I was 100% my own boss.  I’m working as hard as I can right now to get to the point of being able to make my own schedule, answer only to myself and my couples, and put my family first as much as possible.  I’ll get there eventually.  But for now, my reality is a delicate balance between my day job and my dream job….and everything in between.  A few weeks ago, this balance was seriously tested.

I was told I had to travel to Maryland for about 36 hours to attend a summit for my day job.  To say I was unhappy about this would be an understatement.  First of all, I cherish my evenings with my little family.  Especially this time of year, when we’re coming out of summer where Wes & I very rarely get any time together.  Up to this point, I hadn’t even spent a night away from #ourboywyatt yet since we brought him home in February {yes I’m that dog mom}.  And honestly, I'm just very much a homebody.  So being away for "so long" was not a happy thought for me.

Second, my evenings are often used to work on JDE things {whatever I can’t get done during my lunch breaks}.  I tend to blog in the evenings while Wes and I watch football.  I answer emails while I cook dinner and work on projects right before bed while Wes showers.  Again, balance.  To add a little more urgency to my workload, I had a really big and important styled shoot for the Aisle Society quickly approaching {I can't wait to share more about this!} and I felt like I needed to spend every bit of my down time working on that.

Sadly, my bosses did not agree.  And so I flew to Baltimore around 5am on a Tuesday.  I spent my time before dawn sitting at the gate working on wedding day timelines on my tablet.  When I landed and took the hour long ride to the office, I was on my phone answering emails from my brides.  I sat through 8 hours of meetings and then spent 45 minutes working from my hotel bed...on conference calls, working out details for the AS styled shoot, and handling a hundred other things that needed to be done….all before going out for a company outing to a Baltimore Orioles game.

When I got home the next evening, surprisingly, I didn’t feel that behind.  I didn’t feel like I’d been “out of office” for close to two straight days.  I felt like I still had a pretty good handle on everything that I had coming up.

 When I was packing for my time away, I made sure to bring any and everything that I thought I might need to get some serious JDE work done while I was “out of office”.  I packed my planner {let’s be real, I am never without my planner}, my notebook, my tablet, and notes from all the projects I had going on.  I was 100% prepared to run my business, regardless of not being at a desk and in front of my computer.  I made it happen.

Those 36 hours were not my favorite...by any stretch.  But you know, I was almost as productive then as I was when I was home in Virginia.  And for that, I was so proud of myself.
My point in recapping all of this, is that it’s possible.  No matter how much you have on your plate.  No matter what big projects and impending deadlines you have approaching.  No matter how much extra “stuff” you have being thrown your way.  It’s possible.  You can get everything accomplished that you want to and need to and dream of, as long as you put in the work.  You have to prioritize and plan and prepare.  But it’s possible.

My Blog Reading List

Do ya’ll ever wonder what we did before the internet, blogs, pinterest, and all that jazz?  I can tell you what we did.  We did research in libraries instead of on Google.  We {or at least I} had binders filled with magazine clippings…recipes, décor ideas, wedding stuff.  And as for blogs….well I guess we just read what was in books and magazines.  Which means, unless you were really someone, your word never got out to anyone else.  That's depressing.

I just love that everyone can have a voice now if they want to.  Anyone can publish a blog and I like being able to “get to know” someone on the other side of the country, or even the world, by reading their stories.  I have a long list of ones that I follow and read on a weekly basis.  They range from wedding stuff to food, from DIY to just plain life.  Here are a few of my favorites that you just might enjoy!
What are some of YOUR favorite blogs?!  I’ve always got room for a few more on my reading list!