Does anyone else feel like 2019 has been a fast blur?! It's like the earth has started spinning faster. Perhaps it's just because we've packed A LOT into the last 12 months?! We've built our tiny home, July marked my third year full time with the business, I've learnt to ride a dirt bike and we've had some wicked adventures. It certainly hasn't been the easiest year though - it turns out aiming for a slower, simple lifestyle doesn't exactly happen while you're building your forever home! But that's okay. We made it and life is good.
There's also some things that just never got done in 2019 - like our annual #heidihortoncouples reunion! (Don't worry we haven't forgotten entirely, fingers crossed for a late summer get together!). 2019 definitely was not the year for my book project to be completed, maybe next year! And we've been living without a veggie garden for over a year now and I miss it so much - that's next on the landscaping list!
But as summer hits I feel like we’ve finally struck a beautiful balance with work. It’s always hard to say no to more bookings but I’m also grateful for a business that allows us to only be as booked and busy as we wish to be. We've created space for weekends off this summer after five years of big wedding seasons. Slower days spent more intentionally rather than chasing my tail. Time to step my family portraits up a level because I love this branch of my business so much. And breathing room to work on my book project which involves some much anticipated road trips around NZ.
Anyway here's the highlights reel for our 2019, beginning the year in the North Island with our best friends! Bring on 2020 for more Horton Butler adventures!!!
This year has included many mini adventures - day trips, swimming at the river, bush walks, camping missions. I can't wait to step things up in this department for 2020.
I've come to the conclusion that my arms are just too short to nail the selfie game! But as unflattering and imperfect as these selfies may be they are such precious memories to me.
2019 will go down in history as the year Matt finally convinced me to get my own dirt bike! And now I am addicted. I started on a Honda CRF110 and soon upgraded to the CRF150R.
Turns out dirt bike riding was an expensive hobby to take up - because there's so much bling stuff you can buy for your bike, and then there's the gear!
I even rode Matt's 450 this year! With him on it, putting around in first gear...but I'm claiming it!
Matt also got a new race bike this year. Do you see what he did there?! #crafty
This year he raced at Teretonga, Burt Munro, Levels in Timaru and the Greymouth Street Race.
We attended a few weddings - as photographers and as guests!
Parties, concerts, so many fun times!
If you take a look back on my previous year's annual highlights reels you'll notice I change my hairstyle a lot. Well this year I went next level and got my hair dreadlocked in April. Matt did them for me. (Fun fact: Matt had dreads when we started dating! His were done with wax, mine are made using a crochet hook).
I was going to get extensions put in as my aim is for long dreadlocks past my shoulders, but I'm actually enjoying the delayed gratification of growing them naturally.
While we weren't short of adventures this year, we only ventured overseas once - to Rarotonga of course. It was wonderfully relaxing as always but Matt got food poisoning which dulled the shine of the holiday for him. We were both pretty keen to get home again...
And that isn't altogether surprising because the biggest milestone of 2019 is most definitely our tiny house build! We got consent in March and battled through a wet winter building what has become our favourite place in the whole world. Our little slice of paradise.
We were as hands on with the build as we could be, which was both a lot of fun but also a huge challenge!
I hope by now you've realised that 2019 was not my strongest year for taking personal photos on my big camera! 95% of these photos are off my phone and I'm totally okay with that. As much as I love taking high quality photographs, this year has been a whirlwind and just making sure we documented the memories as they happened is what counts.
After countless late nights working on the interior, we shifted in on the 7th of September. Within just days the house felt like home. It feels like we've been here forever, perhaps because we'd been dreaming of this home for so long - but maybe also because it's perfectly ours with so many personal touches, walls we put up ourselves and even the layout which we drew up from scratch on a piece of A4 paper.
We had our first Christmas in our home.
Now we begin landscaping...
And it wouldn't be my annual highlights blog without some mug shots of the fur babies!
2020 is the dawn of a new decade, I'm about to enter the 30's club and I am so excited for what life has in store. Here's to being in the moment, cherishing those you love and living life with reckless abandon!
Happy New Year friends! x