Hello lovely dears! I JUST celebrated my birthday, so please excuse my post being one day late than normal. I always want to provide you with the most consistent, wonderful content…. but sometimes that means I need just one more day to put the finishing touches on it! SO today,  I want to celebrate another year of greatness.

This last Saturday I spent the day in the lovely Ojai visiting my favorite Topa Mountain Winery. If you have read any of my other Ojai posts [because it is by FAR my favorite place to visit], then you will know that my love for the small and quaint town of Ojai is SO real! Set in a valley surrounded by mountains and filled with fields of wines + vines… it is spectacular!

On that note, if you go to Ojai you must ABSOLUTELY visit Topa Mountain Winery. Please ask for Jackie or Larry + let them know you were referred by me. They are truly wonderful people. They made my birthday SO incredibly memorable with flowers + endless rosé + gluten free pizza + live music… it was such a gift to be treated!

When your birthday arises each year, it truly leaves some beautiful space to reflect on the entirety of the last 365 days. The good, bad, ugly, challenging, discouraging, joyful, sorrowful, uplifting. All that being said, I have felt SUCH a whirlwind of all of these emotions this last year… but one thing is for certain, I wouldn’t change a thing!

So what changed exactly? In case you missed following along… here is a little mini recap below

  • I quit my #girlboss Senior Buyer job at a luxury retailer
  • I partnered with the fierce Kat Hennessey and started our Social Media Company, KaitKat
  • I moved apartments
  • I dealt with heartbreak + rejection multiple times + wrote some pretty awesome blog posts about dating
  • I hosted a Christian Singles party where I met my now boyfriend
  • I said I love you to a man that has truly changed my life for the better
  • I discovered I had an auto-immune disease + have been working to best practice self-care as much as possible
  • I launched a new blog design + re-committed to bringing you loves the BEST, most authentic content of my life!

PHEW that was a lot! In reflecting on this last year of growth + change, I starting realizing there were a few trends that were SO apparent. So, I figured I would list them below, to really let you loves know what I learned throughout all of this change!

Surrender. And trust to the surrender!

Some of the biggest challenges this last year have been because it has been nearly impossibly to fully surrender my plans to Jesus. I am pretty darn controlling when I want to be + love taking matters into my own hands. But Jesus has consistently shown me this last year that when I relinquish control in FULL to Him, I am not only left with more peace, I am also free in surrender of my own plans knowing that His are greater.

Finding peace in the chaos

This was EXTREMELY challenging this year. Actually, it has been extremely challenging for the last 6 years to be quite honest, but I finally feel that this year I had a breakthrough. I realized that it is not about just having things slow down [although that is necessary on some days FOR SURE]. But rather, I realized that God’s peace is always readily accessible to us. He wants us to have it, He freely provides it for us. All we have to do is tap into the peace that He already freely gives us, no matter what is going on externally. It IS possible to have peace in the chaos.

Knowing + understand God’s true love for me

Just writing that feels lovely. I can feel the weight of those words so clearly now, when previously I just glazed over the words knowing they were true, but not truly knowing it. I changed my blog post signature back in February this year to say “Live Loved.” The idea of living loved is putting into practice the quiet daily surrender to the One who made you. We are SO precious. We are SO intricately made. We are SO valuable. Can you image that the love you may experience from family or friends or spouses is SO great, but that none of that even compares to the love God has for us? I get overwhelmed by that thought… in the best way possible. This year has been about discovering that love in a new + beautiful way + taking grasp of it with all of my heart.

“Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love” -Lysa Terkeurst

My dears, it has truly been a beautiful year. I ended my birthday night in tears, but not ones of sadness but pure GRATEFULNESS. I am stunned at this journey, + also so thankful that you loves choose to be a part of it.

Here’s to another  amazing, life-changing, challenging, gorgeous year.

Dress: Caroline Constas | Hat: Two Baked Buns | Shoes: Aquazzura | Bag: Cuyana | Earrings: BaubleBar

Another thank you to Topa Mountain Winery for hosting me for this AMAZING birthday celebration!

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