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the best of 2017

January 1, 2018

2017 was a big, juicy, packed-to-the-brim year of years.  The best day of my 2017 will forever be June 10th, our wedding day! Surrounded by a small group of our loved ones in a setting close to our hearts, my favorite person and I said our vows and tied the knot, followed by the biggest best party we could have ever imagined with a few hundred of our favorite people. Some people had warned me that after the wedding festivities are over it can be a bit of a letdown getting back to 'real life' but I've found quite the opposite - I've loved settling into married life and have found the last 6+ months to be my most favorite yet in our relationship. 

Backing up to earlier in the year, I treated myself to a weeklong yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico. I'd been dreaming of Tulum for years after reading so much about how it was such a beautiful, wellness-centered place, and I thought a yoga retreat was the perfect way to do something good for myself during my big wedding year. When 2 girlfriends decided to join me for this adventure, it made the whole experience even more meaningful. (Tulum yoga retreat recap here).

With one day to unpack and repack for Tulum, I took a solo work trip cruising up the West Coast from San Diego to Seattle. It was a real life planes, trains and automobiles trip as I worked my tail off to visit as many of my customers as I possibly could all along the coast. During my first morning there it occurred to me that I may never again travel alone for 2 weeks - or at least not again for awhile. I met lots of cool people along the way, scouted out cool little healthy food stops everywhere I went, convinced a girlfriend in LA to hop in for the ride with me up to San Fran, and anytime I had a few extra minutes, I took the scenic route if possible. 

In May we adopted 4 CHICKENS! (and I officially became a crazy chicken lady). I sometimes joke to Pete that these are literal walking happy pills because they make me so incredibly happy every single day - I actually jump out of bed pretty much every morning, so excited to get outside to open up their coop door and see their darling little faces. I just adore them, so much. (and a special thanks to Justin Meyer for capturing my sweet little chicks).

A real biggie of the year - in June I quit my job! At the serious encouragement from my sweet husband, I quit the job that I wasn't feeling completely happy in anymore to pursue my love of healthy food and launch my own business - The Cutler Kitchen. I still sometimes can't believe it's real, and I often think of how easy it would have been to stay in my job and just pursue the food thing on the side, and keep thinking about it instead of actually making it happen. Staying in my full time job would have been more comfortable, more predictable, and way less scary than going out on my own, but every single day I'm so grateful I took the leap. Starting a business from my passion was something I used to just think was something for others to do, but certainly not me. I can't wait to grow it in new ways in 2018.

Another vacation highlight of the year - 2 weeks in Europe where we sailed around Croatia with a great group of pals, ate and drank our weight in cheese and wine in Italy while attending a friends real life fairy-tale wedding, and took a train to Nice, France for the last couple days to indulge in some beach time with my husband and take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea. (more pics + stories from that trip here).

 

This fall, we loaded up our camper (one of the best purchases we've ever made) and trekked out to Utah where we lived out of it for almost a week climbing, camping, cooking, and taking in the chill, beautiful area with a landscape so unique you almost feel as if you're on another planet. (See my recap from a past Utah trip here).

Some other 2017 highlights : visited NYC a handful of times, a relaxing girls trip to Florida, celebrated my cousins beautiful wedding in Savannah, jumping off some super scary my-legs-are-shaking-they're-so-high cliffs into the ocean in Croatia, a few impromptu deep sea fishing trips with my husband, attempted many firsts including rock climbing routes harder than I'd ever done in Arkansas and Utah, taking classes to learn both tennis and calligraphy - both skills of which I've talked about wanting to learn for years, trout fishing, biking more miles during RAGBRAI than ever before, and more!

 

I squeezed a lot of good into this past year, and am using it as my motivation to create a happy, adventurous, full of life 2018!

 

 

 

 

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