My One Year Blogiversary!

Hey friends!

I can't believe it but this time of year officially marks my one year Blogiversary! WHAT A YEAR. I love that my blogiversary comes around the holidays and the end of the year as it makes a nice little recap marker for me to reflect on my journey of 2016 and focus on my goals for 2017.

When I look back at where I was this time last year - I would have NEVER thought that I would be where I am this year! I have experienced so many changes, made a lot of big decisions, conquered a lot of my fears, and have had the most happiness in the past year!

This time last year Collin and I were engaged and planning a wedding and our future together. We had just secured a rent house in Fayetteville to be our home after the wedding. I moved into the house in December and Collin was to join me in June. We celebrated the holidays separately with our families and rung in the new year together! Quickly after the new year started, we got the news of Collin's promotion and transfer to Dallas, TX. Mixed emotions for sure! An exciting opportunity was ahead for Collin in his career, and at the same time all we knew and loved and my career was in Arkansas.

Six months of long distance, our first home buying experience, a wedding, a honeymoon and a big move later and BAM we woke up married, in our first home, in Texas!

It truly has been whirlwind year but we wouldn't have traded it for anything! We have learned so much this past year and we both agreed how great this has been for our marriage. We've gotten to experience a new life together and a lot of big changes and it has only made us stronger and closer.

When I set out to create this blog last year, I took a huge leap! I had always wanted a hobby and creative outlet that could be a constant for me. I've always enjoyed being creative, heck I practically majored in it! When I started focusing on my career, my career became my main passion and I was perfectly fine with that! I guess it hit me that I needed something outside of work and everything else that could be mine to enjoy, create, and share. I have always admired Collin's passion for hunting and fishing and decided that in our marriage I would need a passion of my own. Little did I know that it would serve far more of a purpose to me than I thought just 7 months later.

This past June after the wedding we moved into our home in Texas. Collin had already been down for 6 months working while I finished up and wrapped things up in Arkansas. With the move, the wedding and buying our first home, it was difficult for me to also look for a job - so as much as I would have loved to hop right into a new job right after the wedding, it just wasn't feasible.

As I look back - I am grateful for the transition time. The move was REALLY hard for us. Throwing in homeownership and a brand new marriage didn't make it any easier - but Collin and I have thrived in our new life setting and are so grateful to feel somewhat on the other side. We have grown so much these past six months, we've learned more about each other than we ever thought we would know and we've enjoyed journeying the unknown together.

After applying for countless jobs, a few interviews, and passing over some that weren't just right, I finally landed at inVentiv Medical Communications as a Meeting Planner. The idea of doing something new and different frightened me and when I found out about the amount of travel tied with the job I was just as much nervous as excited. Collin and I were so grateful when I was offered the position. I still remember hitting my knees when I got the call (I'm about to get real with you here lol!). Let me just tell you that navigating your first few months of marriage is AWESOME, but also equally challenging; throw in a new home, a mortgage payment , and only one source of income and that will really get ya!

Looking back, as hard as those first few struggling months were for us, we are incredibly grateful for the things that it taught us! To be wise with our money, to be patient with God's timing, to be thankful for what you have, and to be grateful for those rooting for you and supporting you - because they are the ones that help you get through.

We finally started to feel settled once I started settling into my new job. The new job has been different, exciting, and challenging. I am so blessed to work with an amazing team of planners and to have the opportunity to work with many women my age who have started to become more than just co-workers, but also friends!

While I knew I would lack a sense of creativity with the new job, the blog became my creative source to fill the void I once had before, an outlet to share snippets of our life and to share areas of my life that I find creative and fun! It has been a saving grace for me as I struggled to navigate a job that was less creative than where I was before. It was such a drastic change for me and while I have enjoyed navigating this whole new world of corporate meeting planner at a very large-scale, global level, it requires less of my creativity and more of my logistical planning skills. I'm a logistics queen but I also love to use my left brain. When I found that a need for creativity was lacking in the new job, the blog became more to me than I ever thought it could be. It became a way to use my left brain, collaborate with other bloggers, meet new people, make new friends, and to create, share, and inspire others along the way.

What I love the most is that this is my not so little or private space on the internet, but in a way, it feels like a little space! A place that I can share my thoughts freely with others. I'm excited to venture into my second year and see where it takes me! Thank you to those who have followed me from day one, those who picked up along the way, and for journeying with me on blog adventure and watching me grow so much in my first year.

I've created a sweet little giveaway of a few of my favorite things to celebrate my one year!

Prize consists of:

-8x10 rose gold hand-lettered "Happy Holidays" acrylic sign placed in one of my favorite white wood frames

-My Favorite Holiday-scented candle! A Signature Eleven Point Candle (hand poured, 17 Oz soy blend candle, in a large silver mercury glass, topped with a wooden lid)

-A sassy coffee mug with a fun little inscription at the bottom of the mug when you finish your coffee

-A gold notebook with rose gold foil lettering on the front

-An adorable rose gold 2017 desktop planner complete with a rose gold striped pencil

Can you tell I like rose gold? hah!

You can enter this by commenting your favorite blog post of mine below on this blog post or by heading to my Instagram and entering there!

I've got some big ideas for 2017 and I can't wait to bring them to fruition and share with you all! Eeekk! Stay tuned!

Cheers y'all! 2017 is looking bright!!


Stephanie Grace Benton

#blogiversary #oneyear #lifestyleblogger #lifestyleblog #holidays #giveaway

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