This year has been one for the books! To reflect on this past year and all that I’m extremely thankful for, I decided to blog about it. Because why not, right? So here are my 7 highlights for ’17!
1. I married my high school sweetheart, Catlin Rice this past April. It was an incredibly beautiful day and for that I am so thankful! (Especially because the following weekend it snowed… A LOT. Power lines down for weeks on end, freezing weather, you name it, we had it. – Talk about for better, for worse! Just kidding. It wasn’t thaaaaat bad.) We were just so very grateful for the gorgeous day on April 22, 2017 – it made it easier for all of our family to fly into Nebraska or safely drive across the state to make it. It was INCREDIBLE. So surreal in every aspect – I would replay it over and over if I could. (Also S/O to our insanely talented photographer Samantha Weddings – we LOVE every single image.)
2. Catlin and I went on our honeymoon in June, after school was out. We traveled to Cancun, Mexico and spent 5 nights at Secrets Capri Riviera and it was an absolute time to remember! This was Cat’s first time out of the country, and our very FIRST time traveling (alone) together. Other than the minor setback of Catlin spending an entire day in bed with the chills, completely exhausted, and unable to eat – it was one of the best experiences of our lives. The people were so friendly. The scenery was incredibly beautiful. And the memories made – so special to us. (Fun fact: we even got to meet up with my cousin, Alexa and her husband Max, who were also on our their honeymoon!)
3. In July, I finally decided to license Rachel Ann Photography as a real. life. business! Insane, right?! After 2 full years of photographing and serving my clients, it felt like the right move at the right time. (Hello taxes and expense reports. I can’t say that I’ve missed ya.) All in all, I’m so proud and joyful to continue on this journey and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in the future. But for right now, I’m just going to be pleased with the growth Rachel Ann Photography has made from the very beginning and give myself a little grace for where it’s at right now.
4. On July 25, my sister and her husband Jeff welcomed their sweet bundle of joy, Axel David Downey. Being the first grandchild (and grandson) on the Koller side, you could say it was quite the ordeal. Kind of like… “you’ve never EVER had ice cream before and then all of a sudden, you taste it and want it all the time.” We were (and still are) a little obsessed. It’s typically a battle of the siblings (or actually between Grandma Nene, Austin, and myself) on who gets to love on the little babe first. Grandma usually wins. Surprise, surprise. On a serious note, it was (and still is) truly indescribable to get to witness my sister become a mommy and my parents become grandparents for the very first time. It’s a love we never knew could fill a void we didn’t know we had.
5. In early August, I began teaching 4th Grade at Arapahoe Public Schools. It is so wonderful being back at my alma mater and getting to teach the same children I see on a daily basis in the community. It’s such a pleasure knowing the families on a more personal level, and then getting to impact their children’s lives throughout the school day. (Side note: This time next year we will be in our new school! The countdown is on!!!)
6. On August 21, Harlyn Emery entered the world and joined proud parents Ashley and Cody, big brothers Micah, Asher, Silas, and big sister Hadley Faye. The whole world came to Nebraska to celebrate her birth (or was it for the Eclipse?). I’m going with her birth – much more important in my book! Little red hair, little blue eyes, sweet little smile – yep. She fits right in the Gerlach Clan. Loving this little babe to pieces and so thankful we live so close so I can cuddle her anytime I want!
7. On a late Friday evening (Black Friday, to be exact), I found myself making one of the. biggest. purchases. of. my. entire. life! I finally caved and bought the Canon 5D Mark iii. After years of contemplation, it was the time to make the investment in myself and in my business. So beyond excited to break out 2018 with this bad boy and see the wonderful results of all of the hard work, determination, and drive I’ve put into this little favorite side gig of mine. 🙂
2017 has left me feeling overwhelmingly blessed. This year has been a year of change, growth, and new beginnings. In addition to all I’ve shared – I am so incredibly thankful and feel so very blessed to call my clients not only that, but friends. Nothing feeds my soul more than being trusted with some of your most personal and intimate moments. So with that, I thank you. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to serve you and your family, and letting me share in some of life’s most beautiful moments. I am honored – humbled – and completely gracious for every single one of you. You matter.
2018 – I sure hope you’re ready to compete, because 2017 was my favorite so far. Cheers to you all and what we accomplish in 2018!