2014 : tears, triumphs and toasts to new adventures.

Well, here we are. Christmas has come and gone. I was, in fact, not on the naughty list and now it's time to recap a whirlwind freaking crazy year and talk about the triumph over those blasted imperfections that managed to become such lovely blessings.  You ready for this, ma peeps? 

In true Raylynn spirit I'm only going to talk about my Top 5 moments because I could easily talk about each of the pictures above (one per month) but I won't bore you and you've probably already seen them if you follow le instagram. Even as I look at all of the photos I get sentimental because this year goes down in the books and each picture has a story and it's deep and close to my heart. Before we go any further I want to share my annual holiday card with you. 
Below the visually obvious, "Simply Blessed" it reads, "A whirlwind year with tears & triumphs! Happy Holidays from the 'Hood. Love - Raylynn"

Let's get down to business.

 *Raylynn's 5 Best Moments of 2014 (there are plenty more)*

1.  April:  Spring brought a lot of sadness and looming reality that my career of 11 years was hastily coming to a close.  In the midst of all the struggle, I found great solace in my little experiment on Instagram and even more joy in creating a hash tag revolution for my darling kiwi girl Anneke.  The photo above (that resembles more of a dead body than a gingerbread man) was the very first #shoeselfieforanneke that I snapped and, as of writing this, I am pleased to report that we have 317 photos from across the globe for our darling girl.  She is doing amazing things as she continues to face her personal struggles and I am so proud of her.  I will admit that I'm a bit jealous that it is SUMMER in her world right now, but I can't have sunshine and sand all the time.  If you would like to read about the revolution -- click here--
After a whole lotta prayin.....

2.  June: PEACE OUT CAREER OF 11 YEARS!  It may have happened on June 30, but let me tell you what that goof ball picture of me looking tired and haggard but so damn overjoyed was the greatest day of my life and the best day in June.  I finally chose to leave the comfort of money that came with a whole too much drama and politics for a new job in a new industry that has given me the flexibility to grow, be creative and connect with such amazing and wonderful people.  Every day I come to work I thank God for dropping that one special person in my life who made the connection to this new job.  She is a guardian angel of 2014 and I don't let her forget it. 

3.  July:  I love July.  It's my birthday month.  And it also started with a week of relaxation, pampering and a trip to see my Jo in Idaho for the Fourth of July.  As I acted like a kid with my sparklers in the street, I again thanked God for all my many blessings and the fact that I was sleeping through the night again.  To read all about that fabulous week goooooo here!
4.  September:  Three words.  Van. Lady. Love.  Read the original blog.  It's probably one of my all-time favorite posts this year.  I sound like a complete crazy person and a silly groupie girl over that cute beardy boy named Steele, but I'm only sort of crazy and they are such a great band.  Truly.  Never underestimate the power of a good pair of red shoes.  Needle point that on a pillow. 
5. November:  Fashion features for an entire month!!!!!!!!!  Woot!  This girl was in heaven sharing some of my favorite outfits with all of you.  And it meant that I had the opportunity to have another photo shoot with a lovely photographer from Ogden.  Kel-Z Photography and I had a blast running around Ogden snapping some gorgeous photos for features on Mandatory Metallica, Polka Dots in the 'Hood, and Bringin Homemade to the Yard
Ok, because I'm the boss, I will say one extra thing because ... I can....  This year, because of my exit from my career, I was able to join the Friends Board for the Weber-Morgan Children's Justice Center.  I wrote about this in September after we did our annual motorcycle ride, but I just have to say that it has been such a HUGE blessing.  I am surrounded by some really incredible people who are fiercely passionate about this cause and it has boosted my spirits and got me out of my comfort zone on a few things.  I love it.  As the year ends and I look at my calendar for 2015 much of the first half of my year is going to be consumed by planning for our HUGE gala in May.  It is going to ROCK & I can't wait to tell you all about it. 
I spent some quality (pish, who am I kidding) time in bed, very sick, this past weekend, which meant I got to peruse social media and find inspiring quotes.  I found this one and I've decided that it's going to be my personal mantra for 2015.  I've taken this approach with my blog already and have kept it strictly about my musings and not about sponsorships or money because I know that who needs to find me and my words will and those who don't, won't.  Plain and simple.  We don't need to prove to people that we are awesome, my lovelies.  They can take the time to talk to us and find out. 
The moral of the story:  Although my year was FULL of tears, it was also full of SO much triumph and joy and that is what I will look back on with gratitude in my heart when I remember 2014. 

Until 2015, my lovelies!  And CHEEEEEEEEEEERS!

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