2016 Recap

Goals

 

While I would have loved to get my 2016 Recap on the blog before 2017 was here, it just didn’t happen. And that’s okay. Because grace, my friends. Grace, is the name of the game.

Is it just me, or did it seem like 2016 was a doozy for a lot of people? Y’all. If I’m being honest…really, honest…last year about took me under. And it held me under. And at times, I felt like I wouldn’t ever resurface. Make no mistake about it – this business owner/family balance thing is hard. Really hard.

But God.

He is bigger. He is stronger. He is good. And time and time and time again through 2016, God brought me through the fire and made me better for it.

 

Family/Personal – Hits + Misses/ Highlights and Challenges

Last year was chock full of some really significant changes and events for our family and business. A new baby…making us a family of 5. Finding out that I am considered “pre-diabetic”. Geoff’s ACL surgery. Buying a new house. Unexpectedly preparing and selling our house with a 6 month old while Geoff was on crutches. Packing, moving to and unpacking our new home. Boone starting Kindergarten. Rebranding our business. Geoff’s surgery for his achilles heel.

 

 

 

It was a heavy year, indeed. Definitely in the top two hardest that we’ve had yet since we were married nearly 10 years ago. As a wife, mother, business owner, friend, etc., I’ve never felt more frantic, overcommitted, overworked, incapable and insecure as I did last year trying to manage all of the demands. And yet, when I went to write my notes for this recap and divided a blank piece of paper into quadrants to record our business and family successes and challenges, our challenges were few and our successes were spilling off every side. That alone reminds me that I have such a rich and wonderful life and I am truly grateful.

 

 

At the end of each year Geoff and I take some time to go on a date together and talk about our hits and misses for the year (we love using many of the exercises in Powersheets from Cultivate What Matters). From there, I like to record those highs and lows here on the blog….mostly so I can look back as time passes to remember all of the moments that made the year what it was and all of the ways God has blessed us and provided for us. Since I already covered the challenging parts of last year, here are some of our favorite memories (big and small) that brought us such joy and has us so thankful.

  • Dance competitions in our bay window and our “dinner prep mix” on Spotify.
  • Finding a new show for Geoff and I to share: This Is Us. Not quite our beloved Parenthood, but really good nonetheless.
  • Watching Boone learn to read…he has come so far this year.
  • Wearing Grey everywhere I could in my Solly (still going strong!).
  • Making applesauce muffins (recipe HERE!) and peanut butter balls with the kids.
  • Sweet Mary Jane and our fellow foster friend, Jen, for taking her in when we were at capacity with life.
  • Third annual Grandview Vacay with great friends. I love these people to pieces.

 

 

  • Grey scooting around the house (the child refuses to crawl..but scooting…he is a champ).
  • Crew and I painting each other’s nails.
  • Grey’s nanny, Bryce. So thankful for her.
  • Finding a nest of baby bunnies in our yard.
  • Erika and Jake stepping in to help me paint a million rooms in our old house to get it on the market.
  • Boone and Crew “sledding” in the backyard (on full, sunny days).
  • Our church that we love and co-leading a small group with my friend, Maria.
  • Face swapping hysterics. (Below: Boone + Geoff on the left; Crew + Pa on the right).

 

 

  • Photo Scavenger Hunt date with Boone.
  • Chapel Hill weekend getaway to see our dear friends, The Sheedys. 6 kids under 6 years old…so crazy and so fun.
  • A new latte machine (our old one died JUST before the warranty was up…score!).
  • Boone pushing Grey around the house in his walker. These brothers already have a very sweet relationship.
  • Three year old Crew taking her first ballet class. Her in a leotard, tutu and ballet flats was just too cute.
  • Saturday morning Snoppy Pancake Waffles.
  • Boone’s “Before Kindergarten Bucket List
  • My nursing issues that I normally have with a newborn were drastically easier this time around.
  • Crew’s first roller coaster experience.

 

 

  • Trips to Savannah, the beach, Brevard, Asheville, Greenville.
  • Crew’s beaming face as she performed as an angel in her Christmas play at school.
  • The snack stroller.
  • Boone losing his first teeth and his visit from the Tooth Fairy.
  • Visits from my dad, Geoff’s sister and my brother.
  • Boone’s 6th birthday party. Highlights were me surprising him dressed as Kylo Ren and the look on his face in front of his cupcake as we all sang “Happy Birthday” to him.

 

 

  • Middle of the night YouTube episodes of Dr. Phil and Shark Tank in Grey’s first couple months of Grey’s life. Ain’t no shame in my Dr. Phil game.
  • Trick or treating with dear friends (and Grey dressed as a squirrel costume…the hour he wore it was SO worth that $30 costume).

 

 

 

Business – Highlights and Challenges

 

From a business perspective, 2016 was definitely one of our more challenging years that we’ve had, but it was to be expected. For me, running my business successfully is always a struggle for the first year after I have a baby. Having gone through that twice already before having our third child a year ago this month, I was well aware of what I was in for. But awareness alone just didn’t really make it any easier. For me, the first year is sweet, precious and enjoyable. I really do love loving and caring for my babies. And at the same time, it’s hard, full and stressful trying to do both business and baby well. As much as I knew that I should be cutting myself some slack and giving myself unconditional and consistent grace this past year, I still really struggled at feeling like I was failing at everything. I think I allowed myself to get caught up deeply in the comparison trap, which led me into a place of overwhelming insecurity.

 

With all of that said, we did some things in business this year that I am really proud of. I’ll get more into specific goals that were met/not met in another post, but for now, here are some of our highlights.

 

 

  • Renamed and rebranded our business and launched our new website. Goodness gracious…what a process.

 

 

  • Hired our studio manager, Erika. Such a big win for us.
  • Photographed 12 really special weddings weddings, 8 portrait sessions, a styled shoot (our first ever, believe it or not!) and 24 mini sessions.
  • Spoke to photographers about providing a great client experience at Asheville Folk and returned for a 4th time to speak to photography students at App State.

 

 

  • Had fun shooting a bit of film. The jury is still out if I will be incorporating this more into our workflow this year or not. Big decision.
  • Discovered that I love listening to business podcasts.
  • Got published in various magazines and blogs.
  • Developed new industry relationships.
  • Launched our CSP Brides Facebook group.

 

 

  • Sent promotional mailers to local venues and vendors to announce and celebrate our new brand.
  • Had a mountain retreat with some of my favorite photography friends.

 

 

Lessons Learned and Priorities for 2017:

I truly believe that nothing is wasted when God is in the mess. He can and will use all of the hard stuff – especially the really hard stuff – for His good and for my good. Even though I couldn’t always see it when I was in it, He was growing me, strengthening me and preparing me for what was and is to come.

  • My health must be a priority. I want to live a long and full life for my husband and my children.
  • On that same note, I need to take care of myself and put my oxygen mask on first if I’m to be any good to anyone.
  • My problems aren’t problems and we truly have been gifted a great life! Geoff’s being temporarily disabled this year from his surgeries made me develop a sincere appreciate for the things that we take for granted on a daily basis.
  • I need to develop better systems in my business and really learn to let go and delegate more.
  • Simplifying. I can’t do it all. As much as I might want to, I just can’t. For the sake of my health and the health of my family, I will make space in my schedule, in my home, in my business and in my heart and head for truly what matters most.
  • Comparison is coveting. Thanks for that, Lara Casey.
  • Trying to do it all on my own without accepting help from others in my life and from God will land me on my face. Every single time. I can’t tell you how many times in 2016 I cried actual tears coupled with the phrase, “I can’t do this!”. And the reality is, I can’t. I NEED God to intercede, fill me with His spirit and be my helper to accomplish the things He has called me to do.
  • Take a risk. Do the things I feel led and that I’m excited to do. We get to live this life once…just once. I’m saying “no” to my fears and insecurities and “yes” to confidence and calling.
  • Less of me. More of Him. His kingdom; not mine. All day, every day.

 

I am always eager to grow, learn and become a stronger woman and know that it’s in the mess and the hard stuff that that growth will happen. So, thank you, God. Thank you for 2016.

 

 

My Word

 

I’ve thought and prayed through what “my word” should be for the coming year. The word “confidence” has been sticking with me for the past few weeks and I thought that is what I would land on. However, I’ve decided to move forward with  “renewal”. I’m ready to leave behind the worn out, the run down and the broken parts that I was in 2016 and am believing that I’m walking into a new season…a new year…and that God can and will fill me again. He will renew my spirit and set my feet on solid ground again. Even in just these past 10 days, He has been stirring up so much in me and it has me hopeful, excited, expectant and ready.

 

Here we go 2017. My hands are open and I’m ready.

Cheyenne Schultz

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