What a freaking year! This time last year we were just settling into our East Coast home after road tripping from Hawaii to San Diego then across the states to the East Coast. Right after we arrived, we left again to surprise Alex’s family in Nebraska to be home for the holidays for first time in over 6 years. For me this year has been a lot slower. I’m soaking this sh*t up!
Big changes this year for our little family. Alex started school to become a welder. I now recieve welded birthday cards, kicks ass metal vases and neat little creations he makes in class. I’m incredibly proud of how well he’s picked this trade and can’t wait to see him blossom in 2020!
Our next big change and the one we’ve waited over 5 years for…A DOGGO!!!! We waited on getting a dog while in Hawaii since it’s incredibly difficult to rent a home with just Alfonzo let alone a dog. In early February we were looking to rescue a poodle mix pup (Alex has terrible allergies…yes even to Alfonzo).
When the first pup we met didn’t work out I stumbled upon this cutie 4 month old Golden Doodle pup. We drove two hours to meet the lady who had him and it was LOVE at first site. Jet officially became a part of our family! Alfonzo wasn’t too sure at the beginning but they’re best buds…most of the time now. Fun fact: We had the name Jet picked out almost 7 years ago while we were traveling back to NE to meet Alex’s parents! We were both delayed and annoyed, Alex said ‘I wish we could own a Jet’ I responded ‘Lets start with a dog’ which he quickly said ‘Ok, a dog named Jet I can settle for that’. So Jet, my kind sweet little pup you were meant for our family for a long time!
Don’t fret, while Alfonzo couldn’t be in our Christmas photos he’s enjoyed a great 2019 filled with cat naps, lots of kitty treats and a few strolls out to our back deck to watch the birds. He turned 8 this year and he doesn’t look a day over two. My handsome boy!
My first year here on the East Coast with my little business was successful beyond what I could have planned for. I was 70% booked before I even left Hawaii, which I worked incredibly hard to make sure our family would be taken care of with this big life change.
In May my first round of East Coast weddings started in the Outer Banks and Virginia. By the end of that month I was exhausted but my heart was bursting with love for the success. Each month after that brought the best couples. Each showering me with love; sharing with me their special new beginnings, breaking it down with me on the dance floor, and as always hugs. I’m pretty sure I even say ‘Love you’ when I leave my couples at the end of the night. Hello I’m Cat and I make you feel comfortable like a long time friend. Twenty eight kick ass weddings later I finished my last one on Nov 2nd. Weddings in Raleigh, Virginia, New York and Destination Weddings in Ocean Isle, OBX and the Leatherwood Mountains.
What I’ve learned this year, being me is exactly what my people need. I was put here on this little marble to make people feel comfortable and loved on one of the biggest days of their lives. Wedding or elopement, big or small, this day is YOUR day to become one. I put my little mug infront of the camera more, showed up for my community with a coldsore on my face, dirty laundry behind me but I showed up as a normal human. My advice to really anyone is to be exactly who you are, you were created to be YOU for a reason in this world. Next tip, find a tribe that fans your fire, no matter how human, flawed and weird it may be!
This year has been a slower travel year for us. I say it that way because we are still always traveling, we can’t stop! This years destinations have been: Maine (hello my friend the lobster), Washington DC (a few times), Leatherwood Mountains (highly recommend), Lincoln Nebraska (where I FINALLY attended my first Huskers Football game), Baltimore (still love this city so much, and my people in it). I traveled down to Ocean Isle beach and took a little end of the season relax trip after my wedding.
The exciting part about living somewhere new is exploring what’s around you! We’ve spent weekends exploring Richmond VA, Washington DC, Norfolk VA, Virginia Beach, and the Outer Banks. We travel and explore by food and beverages. We’re suckers for an old time bar for happy hour and delicious lunch/dinner spots.
I think this pretty much sums up our first year post-military life back on the East Coast! We’ll be celebrating our success in New Orleans for new years where I’ll be shooting a wedding in the GORGEOUS French Quarter! (To say I’m excited is an understatement)
Our take away from this year is that you can do anything you put your mind to. Change is scary as hell but worth it! The struggles are worth it, the lessons, and the successes are beyond worth it. We finally get to spend normal time together, make dinners, and wake up next to each other every day…so yes its incredibly worth the challenges! So for 2020 please go for it! You have every tool to be successful at what you want, you just have to utilize those tools.
From our little Ohana to yours, Happy Holidays and may your New Year kick ass!
Special thanks to Katie Ludolph Photography for our cute holiday photos!