Thursday, January 5, 2012


At midnight on New Year's Eve 2005, my best friend, Amy, and I sat outside of a mutual friend's house in her parent's Trailblazer. We had lost interest in what was going on inside the house (to this day neither of us remembers exactly what that was) and decided that we'd retreat to the car and talk.

(Because I like blogs better when they have pictures, I've strategically placed old photos of Amy and myself in between paragraphs of this story.)

Amy and I in high school - please note the sweet scrunchie on Amy's wrist.
In the car, we talked about the year 2005. I was finishing up getting my teaching certification and about to start student teaching. I had just started dating my future husband a few weeks into December, so you could say I had several new things going on as I started 2006 that were exciting but a little scary (I tend to over-analyze everything, making it all much more scary than it ever needs to be).

Chicago 2007 - one of my many trips there throughout the years.
Amy had had a very different 2005. She had graduated years prior with a degree in journalism and moved to Chicago to pursue a job. However, she was at one of those super annoying in between jobs and was really unhappy. She was ready to be done with it. Overall, she was ready for a fresh start.

Morocco 2008 - we took a two week trip with a group of women from Amy's office.
At some point in our conversation, we decided that this new year needed to be awesome for both of us - Amy especially - and we decided to do something about it. We vowed right then and there that we would each come up with 5 goals for the New Year that we would share with each other. Then, at the end of the year, we'd look back on them and see how we did.

Amy and I repelling in West Virginia circa 1998.
So after we both returned home, we emailed each other our 2006 goals. (For the life of me, I can't find the email that details what they were.) Then, at the end of 2006, we emailed again to see how we did.  If I remember correctly, Amy accomplished most - if not all - of hers that year. I, on the other hand, only accomplished one or two. But we kept it up. Every year for the past seven years, about a week before New Year's Eve, we email and remind each other to work on our goals. A few days later, we send another email, critiquing how we did with our own goals and declaring our goals for the coming year. Some years Amy does really well and some years I do really well (brag - this year I blew my goals out of the water). But no matter how the year went, we keep sending our goals to each other, just like we did back in the beginning of 2006.

Amy and me singing what appears to be a powerful duet in someone's basement in high school.
So here we are and it's 2012. A lot has changed since the first year we made our goals. Amy met her now fiancé. I got married. Amy served as my MOH. Amy asked me to be her MOH. Amy started her own photography business. I started this custom invitation business.

So this is kind of a different blog post. I just wanted to start off the year publicly declaring a few of the goals I have for this business in 2012. It has been extremely helpful to have Amy to share my goals with, and I find that sharing things on the blog gives me that extra push to get things done, too.

I have five goals this year, as per usual, and two of the five are Vivian Elle related. Last year, my goal was just to get this business up and running. Check and check. If all goes well, the following will happen by the end of 2012.

1. I will be marketing in two new places and participating in a bridal show.

Right now brides will find me on The Knot and Wedding Wire. I'd like to find at least two additional locations to post my business cards or even advertise with a local newspaper. I am also starting to scout out bridal shows (this would be the biggest overcoming of my fears move ever) to see what I would need to do to get in one of those.

2. I will have a part of my website that is dedicated to Christmas cards.

So far, my time has been taken up with wedding stuff, which I absolutely love. But I realized this past year that I really enjoy doing Christmas cards and I want to work on getting some designs up on my website that people could just pick from and order however many they need, just like you can from Minted or Kodak Gallery or Wal-mart. I plan to start working on those designs next week and have them up by September or October.

So that's it. I'm starting out 2012 with very specific goals and I even have an action plan for each of them. The problem is that life always gets in the way and a goal that should take a week or two to accomplish (if I really dedicate time to it) will end up taking months and months. But I'm going to make my best effort and I have Amy (and now my blog readers!) to hold me accountable, which has always worked on pretty well in the past.

So here's to a happy new year, (hopefully) accomplished goals, and really great friends.

Amy giving her maid of honor speech at our wedding in 2009.


  1. Wow. Is that ever a collection of photos. I think the last one is my favorite because it looks like I am plotting your death, not celebrating your marriage. Although the karaoke one is also good. You have your hand to your ear! Like a pro! HA!

    Cheers to goals and friendship and 2012!

  2. Girrrrrrl, you BETTER accomplish the Christmas card goal! :) I'm so using it if you do! And you WILL! Because you CAN!...was that empowering enough? :)

  3. Good for Jen... you can do it.