looking back

looking back before i look forward

Around this time every year, before I start planning and goaling up 2016, I find it really helpful to reflect on the last year.  I look at the accomplishments.  The people, places, and projects that made the year anything but ordinary. I try to learn from the mistakes and struggles so I can be stronger and better the next time around the sun.

Looking back on 2015, the best moments were ones where I felt in Awe.  Like being in the presence of beautiful architecture.  A pop of dramatic color.  Being inspired by plants, animals, and nature.  Going above and beyond what I thought was possible of myself.  All of these moments are what pushes me to my full potential.

2015bestnine - nataliyaborener instagram

Last year, my mantra for the year was to simplify.  Did I succeed? In some ways, I can definitely say I did.  But I have a long way to go.  I’m a complex person, so simplifying doesn’t come as an easy task. I’ve realized this goal is a lifelong one – cherishing what you have, refining what you want, and focusing on what you need.

My biggest career accomplishment was completing my NCIDQ certification.  After a conquering one final 4 month study binge and 8 hours of testing, I now can be a registered or licensed Interior Designer.  It was something I put on my career bucket list nearly 10 years ago, and it feels so good to cross it off.

Despite all of the awesomeness, 2015 wasn’t my favorite year.  I’m extremely blessed in so many aspects of this life, so it’s no big deal, just there were a lot of personal trials I’ve had to face. Relearning who you are and what you want is not easy.  Especially when you are so sure of yourself practically your whole child and adult life.  It’s like you wake up one day and everything is no longer black or white.  There’s a whole lot of grey.  Way over 50 shades.  More like 500.  (Any designer will agree!) And it’s hard to navigate your way. But the best advice I can give anybody is to stay true to yourself.  The rest will work itself out.

How was your 2015?  Great or just meh?  What was your self-discovery or favorite moment of the year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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five.

On this day 5 years ago, my life was about to change.  I was excited and hopeful.  Maybe a little stressed because of the rainy windy, 35 degree Michigan morning.  Our pup,  Maci, was about 6 months old, and as I took her out for a walk, my thoughts were a mix of calm and chaotic.  

the dress

the shoes

I had just completed the nearly year long task of the wedding planning rollercoaster.  Self-labeled as “the biggest party of our lives” for nearly 200 guests, I couldn’t believe I was actually going to pull it off, planning it all from 1000 miles away.  More importantly was the realization that today I was giving my life to another person.  For me this has always been a big deal.   I wanted to marry someone I could see myself growing old with.  Someone who you consider a best friend.  And sometimes as girls we get caught up in the planning, but this is one of the most important decisions you can make.  After 6 years of being together, I felt so ready to be his wife.  We felt like we knew it all, but really we were just 25 year old big kids, ready to take on the world together.

So back to that chilly morning-  I was so exhausted running on about 3 hours of sleep.  The bridemaids and I cut watermelon til almost 2 in the morning the night before, but dammit we were going to have those Strawberry Watermelon Mojitos I planned or else this whole event just couldn’t go down.

I didn’t consider myself a Bridezilla, but as an interior designer, I couldn’t have been too far off.  Design is in the details.  I DIY-ed everything.  From the invites to the centerpieces, to the drink picks to the name cards.

coral, tangerine, & champagne wedding details

That morning seemed to fly by.   You feel like a Princess or celebrity.  People running around, catering to your every need.  Something I definitely am not used to.  Hair. Check.  Makeup.  Check.  Get dressed.  Check. Alright now hop in this car and we need to get you to the Church and get you married.

We got there a few minutes late.  But that’s okay because they can’t start without you when you’re the bride, right?  As I was standing in the back of the church, there were people trying to sneak in, thinking they were late, but nope it hadn’t started yet.  It made me laugh but also almost cry seeing friends and family I haven’t seen in years.  It was one of the best feelings knowing everyone was there from near and far just for you.  Really, all I could think was wow I’m about to get married. It all just felt surreal.

me

Walking down that aisle was a moment I will never forget. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t nervous.  I really just couldn’t stop smiling.

It all seemed to go so fast.  The whole world just seem to melt away and it was just us. We said our vows and then POOF we were married!

you may kiss the bride

Untitled-020

And then it’s easy coasting from there.  Because all the things you stressed out about for months during planning just seem to come together.  Finally I could relax, let go, and just have fun!

trolley pic

bridesmaids hidden lake gardens

I may be biased, but it was the best party I’ve ever been to.  We danced all night.  We got to hang out with our friends from all different points in our lives, from Elementary School to new friends we made in Florida.  It was so incredibly weird yet so exciting to have them all under one roof.  Every chance Nate & I got back together to dance or check in with each other, it was like “OMG I’m having so much fun. Isn’t this the best night?! ”

MSU roomies nate & paul the fam dance

Words cannot describe that day really.   It’s more like this overwhelming amount of love you receive from all angles.  I felt so happy.  Like I was in some type of daydream that just happened to be true.

So basically what I’m trying to say, is if I was to do it all over again, I’d do it the same way.

first dance

Nate, you are my heart and soul.  And my (heart-shaped!) rock.  You made me a believer in love at first sight.  You have been there for me when I’ve needed you the most.  And I hope I can find ways to love and thank you for another 50 years.  I love you thiiiiiiiiisss much, Hun.

Love, your Precious.

sunset kiss

(Photo credit: Silver Thumb Photography)

2013 report card

Happy New Year!  I hope your holidays were filled with joy, delicious treats, and treasured family & friends!  🙂

Every January to me is new beginning – a time to reflect and plan.   I first like to look back on the previous year’s accomplishments and shortcomings before making my goals for the next year.   So remember that little goal list I posted last year around this time?  Well time to pull it out of the wood works and see how I actually did…

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Listen To Myself For Once    PASS

I left a job I was not happy at, and that alone would tell me I succeeded in this aspiration.  I also took a job that is more entrepreneurial and out of the box, which by the way, I’m LOVING.   I’ve realized over the last year that deep down only I know whats best for me, no one else.  And that voice is one I have to listen to.  It’s kinda funny how you can know something your whole life and still have to relearn to apply it.

what's good for your soul

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Be More Spiritual   FAIL

I could be doing a lot better at this one.  I think I’ve improved  my stress level but there’s still a lot of progress to be made in terms of how I spend my time.

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Own my Own Piece of Earth     PASS

We did buy a home earlier this year, and it is everything I thought it could be and a whole lot more… of unexpected pop up work.  But that’s fine.  We locked in a great interest rate and we absolutely love our new neighborhood.  We are on the way to making our home uniquely ours.  It feels good only throwing 75% of our payment away instead of the full 100%.  🙂

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Go to Europe    FAIL

Geesh,  let’s put this one on 2014’s list yet again.   We need to just up and do it!!  I’m not getting any younger here.

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Run a 5K    FAIL

This really is not that hard of a goal…and yet I still haven’t accomplished it.  Crazy.  Well this will have to change!  Who else is with me on the Couch to 5k program?!

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Live a Healthier Lifestyle    BEYOND FAIL

I would love to say I totally nailed this one….but not so much.  I still eat way too many cheeseburgers, slices of pizza, and sit around much more than I should.  And I’ve gained like 5lbs…. so yes, massive fail.  But I kind of am forced to change my ways this year (I’ll get into that more in my next post: 2014 goals and resolutions).

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Develop & Maximize my Unique Talents    BARELY PASS

The fact that I have picked up a paint brush again, started journal-ing and writing, and also reading whole books (other than House Beautiful mag) has told me that I am going in the right direction.  Now it’s taking the knowledge I’ve acquired, the countless hours thinking and planning, and turning it into a reality!

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So I’m 3 for 7.  Not bad.  How did you guys do last year?  What are you putting at the top of your list for 2014?