2016 + 2017: A Year in Review & Looking Ahead


I'm a professional copywriter & hobbyist blogger here to share what brings strength & joy.





like to know it

the services

Learn More
About Copy

We're a copywriting &
brand strategy agency.

Leading up to the holidays, I took quite the break from blogging, sending letters to my email list, and even regularly posting to my business social media accounts.

All the time away was so good in so many ways that are still landing with me; making it hard to fully describe quite yet.

For now, the below is what I do know and I’m excited to share it with you. These year-end, goal-setting type posts were some of my favorites on my last blog, simply complicated. It didn’t feel right to not continue that tradition here – belated or not, and whether or not all the “resolution” jazz is currently exploding the internet.

It doesn’t stop me from believing in their necessity and activating the combined power of reflection and intention-setting. Without further ado, I’m sharing a 2-part post that a) lists my 2016 highlights in a way that, honestly, even surprised me to see written out; and b) looks ahead into 2017 to detail my “words” and goals for the year.

As Margaret Wheatley once said,

Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”


2016: A Year in Review

Books Read

Grand Total: 15+


Wild and Free

Present Over Perfect

Places Traveled

Grand Total: 7+


Throughout parts of Virginia, Tahoe, Colorado, West Virginia, Montreal, North Carolina (like 5 times), Ohio, Puerto Rico

Weddings Attended: 6


Major Life-Events Completed

  • Graduated with my Masters in Strategic Communications from Regent University
  • Launched my self-hosted blog/website
  • Got promoted from part-time to full-time in my position, shortly after graduation
  • Had an arthroscopic surgery on my right hip for a repaired labral tear and structural bone impingements
  • Opened an LLC – kvh. Creative, the freelance business side of this blog
  • Landed my first paying client before year’s end
  • Went on the best family vacation we’ve ever taken, to-date
  • Got engaged on said family vacation in Puerto Rico [#puertoringonit]
  • Celebrated other milestones like my niece’s 1st birthday, my parent’s 30th anniversary & the culmination of my little sister’s D1 field hockey career

Other Celebrations

  • Got asked to be a co-Professor at my local church’s leadership college this Spring
  • Started tracking my spending and getting budgets in order (at the end of the year at least! This needs to continue & improve in 2017…)
  • Got physically and mentally healthy in ways that can’t be measured on a scale or proven in a gym
  • Cleaned out my closet and room at least 4x times and am learning the art of “tidying

A Few Favorite Memories & Moments, by Photo


Lessons Learned :: What I’m Willing to Let Go Of


As mentioned above, with the concept of tidying. This brings so much more peace and contentment to whatever space I’m operating in.


Of others, and in some ways myself. There is so much freedom in letting people surprise you. There is a paramount difference between being your own biggest enemy or being your own biggest cheerleader.


Good gosh is patience a virtue! Whether it’s with shopping/spending, large-scale decision-making, reacting instead of responding through my emotions, being impatient with my life/situation, etc.

I will learn to love and own #theprocess.

Perfectionism & Personal Pressure

i.e: Berating myself for not having started “x” organization, making “x” amount of money, living in “x” city/home, etc.

It’s exhausting. I am a work in progress. I am right where I’m supposed to be, right on time.

Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.” [Rumi]

Puerto Rico Ocean and trees

Stories I’ve Been Telling Myself That No Longer Serve Me

“I’m too old to still be living at my parent’s house.”

I may be counting down to Spring 2017 when I finally move out again,  but honestly, what a blessing it has been. Thank you so much, Mom & Dad.

“I’m burdened by ongoing medical bills from surgery.”

There will always be bills and I may never get to “x” day where I feel scot-free. That’s what budgets and savings are for.

“But, I’m injured.”

I have made tremendous strides towards healing and there are still things and activities I can do.

“I’ve gained weight from surgery. I’m heavy and out of shape.”

Although somewhat true, body shaming doesn’t look good on me. The real truth of the matter is, I can get fit again. I will get back in shape. I needed that surgery and that season of stillness.

2017: Looking Ahead

[Written in present tense – stated as affirmations; speaking them into existence.]

Personal Growth Words:


I seek first. God is my compass, my comforter, my counselor. I abide in His presence, His word, prayer, worship, community & wise counsel.

[Verse(s): John 15: 1-11]

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches…”


I worry less & keep learning to trust my gut instincts. I stay in my lane and know things are going to work out. I take action by declaring sound truths over my anxiety, journaling/writing daily and talking out my thoughts and emotions. Regular exercise and proper nutrition allow me to feel strong, balanced, and able to get good sleep at night.

[Verse(s): Isaiah 50:10; Isaiah 41:13; John 16:13-15 ESV]

“…trust in the name of the Lord and rely on His God.”


I embrace imperfection. I let stress, the desire to control the outcome, and the rigidity in my demeanor go. I am fun – funny even! I love deeply, laugh often and let people in – without expectation.

[Verse(s): Isaiah 51:3; Habakkuk 3:18-19; John 15:11 ESV]

“…joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.”

Major Life-Event Related Goals

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” [Tony Robbins]

  • Plan our wedding, stay sane in the process & enjoy the engagement season
  • Teach my first ever college Communications class (with confidence) despite the fear that tries to convince me I’m unqualified
  • Marry my best friend & soul mate, surrounded by family and friends, in the venue of our dreams
  • Find a home we love, furnish it and move back out of my parent’s house
  • Pay for and take off on our honeymoon for a week of newlywedded bliss
  • Increase my income & save for new toys like a Mac computer, a Canon DLSR camera and investments for my business
  • Fully recover from surgery and have a regular food & fitness lifestyle I’m proud of (hello cooking, meal prepping & running again!)
  • Make strides in my freelance business in the latter half of the year
  • Create our first holiday traditions as a married couple and prioritize weekly date nights (#qualitytime)
  • Rekindle my big dream and vision for HD* (*’tis a secret for now!)
  • Read & write my heart out. Write whenever and wherever I can, about whatever I want. Just write.

A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.” [Tony Robbins]


So there you have it – the majority of my year ahead with plenty of unknowns, fill-in-the-blanks, hurdles, celebrations and a total reliance on faith in chaos.

God uses uncertainty to chase us out into the open where we can find him all over again.” [Bob Goff]

I’d love to hear your 2016 reflections &/or 2017 intentions. Share in the comments below!

Much love and wishing you all the best this year.

x Kaitlyn


Read the Comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Your curated guide to effortless, sophisticated, and sporty everyday style — including essentials for your closet, home, self-care routine, next trip & more.

If you're into mostly neutrals, capsule style, endless home decor, clean beauty, wine & great cocktails, deepening your faith & probably way too many videos of our mini goldendoodle, you'll love it here!

Follow along →

I'm real into Pinterest →

Links to outfits & such →