2018 was a truly unforgettable year, and I’m not one of those people that says this every year. This past year was filled with change and adventure both thrilling and nerve wracking, a constant rollercoaster of emotions, few moments of stillness, loads of joy and tons of take out orders. In my personal life, my husband and newborn daughter packed up our lives in New Hampshire and moved briefly to my home state of Kentucky while we caught up on lost time with friends and family hitting the road every opportunity we could. When car trips got boring, we hopped on plane after plane and took little Nora at 7 months all around the Netherlands, Germany and Norway for a backpacking trip we’ll absolutely never forget. Straight from the Arctic we swooped back in to New Hampshire for graduation and then moved into our new home in Philadelphia.
This summer I kicked off my business in a new city with a new mission to give back. Greg began his residency at Thomas Jefferson. While Nora and I spent each sweaty summer day strolling the streets of Philly stumbling into new snippets of American history and hunting down every kid activity we could find. I also learned that Nora is my perfect wingman in the friend-making department. We. Have. So. Many. Amazing. New. Friends. Philly is the first city I’ve ever moved to where I instantly felt like I had a community that had my back. And I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to express how grateful I am to this city and every new person I’ve met here for welcoming me into your lives and loving on my little girl. Just also know that I’ve got your back too, whenever you need.
As part of Citizen Photography, I started offering my donation day photo events monthly, and have been able to donate almost $2,000 to all of my amazing causes. I had the pleasure of attending summer camp at Own Your Awesomeness in July to learn all about this great group I support and see their work in action. I became part of the Young Women’s Initiative in Women’s Way to meet some big-hearted women with social impact on their mind. And I also hosted the Nuccios of Imani Collective from Kenya in October to show them around Philly and see the brains and heart behind another extraordinary cause I work with.
So as it always goes at the end of the year when it's time to reflect, while this year had no shortage of ups and downs this may have been my most fulfilling year ever.
Adventure, Togetherness, Compassion, Giving and New Beginnings.
I hope all of these themes carry over into 2019. I will tell Nora the stories gifted to us from this year for the rest of her life. I’ll tell her about all of you who helped us thrive even when we were our most defeated. I’ll tell her how we walked where our country’s founding fathers walked. I’ll tell her about how OUR work helped girls and women live their full potential, break through barriers and doubt, and set the pace for the next generation both locally and globally. She’ll know about it all because I think next year is going to be all of this and more. Don’t you agree?
Thank you from all four chambers of our hearts,
Special shout out to these groups for welcoming us to Philly: