reflections on a year…

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Lauren Conrad bird dress (Kohl’s clearance, $12) | INC denim jacket | Apt. 9 boots (Kohl’s, on sale for less than $50!) 

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Today is my 27th birthday. It seems like just yesterday I turned 26.

26 may have been my best year yet. Not the easiest, or the most carefree, but definitely monumental.

My marriage is stronger than ever. After jumping into a business we knew nothing about, running it together 24/7, handling challenges we never thought we’d face, and conquering some pretty daunting obstacles, I’m pretty convinced that with this man by my side, I can do just about anything.

We re-prioritized, and learned some valuable lessons about what’s really important. After leaving the security of two salaried positions, we had to downsize a lot. We sold both of our cars and bought a used SUV, made a budget, and got serious about our spending. And we realized that we don’t need much to have a full and blessed life. We have a beautiful home, all our needs (and many of our wants) are met, and we know that one day the small sacrifices we’re making now are going to pay off in a big way.

We started {another} new business. The brick-and-mortar version of A Pretty Penny is still in its early stages, but it’s already taking on a life of its own, and I’m so excited to see where it takes us!

I’ve built amazing new friendships with some of the most talented, dynamic, and genuine women I’ve ever known. Lauren, Lisa, Perry, Iris, and Meghan, you ladies rock my socks off, and I just know all our girl’s nights have added up to substantial savings in professional therapy over this last crazy year of my life.

This blog has grown in ways I never imagined, and I’ve had the privilege to work with some incredible retailers, brands, and other small business owners through the last 12 months. It humbles {and bewilders} me that so many of you come back here every day to see what I have to say. To say “thank you” just doesn’t seem adequate.

Perhaps most important, I’ve learned a lot about myself this year. I spent 24 and 25 in what I refer to as “the quarter-life-crisis”; floundering around and trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing with my life, people-pleasing to a fault, questioning every move I made and winding myself up into a ball of stress and anxiety. This year, I was able to let a lot of that go, and just trust that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 27. Now, time for cake.

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{Birthdays seem like appropriate occasions to bring your best Glamour Shot pose}

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39 Comments

  1. 11.18.11

    Awww! I am late commenting… so cute! Congrats to A Pretty Penny and Happy B-lated :)

  2. 11.18.11
    Laurie said:

    You’re doing a great job of re-making your life at 27. All the best to you.

  3. 11.18.11

    You are such a beautiful girl and so much fun to follow… You are typically the first blog I read in the mornings because you inspire and motivate me! I will be 27 in May and still seem to be in that “quarter-life-crisis” but I know it is only a stage and like everything else will pass away! Thank you for just being you… we here in blog world, are blessed to have you! Happy Birthday sweet thang!!
    p.s. I am working on getting my blog up and running “Search for Something.” It will be my journey of getting out of this funk and finding what I really want in life!

  4. 11.18.11
    Viv said:

    happy birthday :) Lovely boots(and socks)!

  5. 11.18.11

    loved the outfit. Hope you had a great birthday! :)

  6. 11.17.11

    I’m glad you seemed to have had a great birthday. Your outfit is so cute. The dress and boots combo is my fave.

    <3 Rachel

  7. 11.17.11
    Jenn said:

    Happy birthday, Keira! Here’s to a happy 27th year, indeed!

  8. 11.17.11
    Christine said:

    Congrats on your birthday and your many accomplishments! Enjoy your cake!
    http://work-it-blog.blogspot.com/

  9. 11.17.11
    gi-gi said:

    Happiest of birthdays to you, each year will be better and better. Enjoy it and having a great husband. Cheers to you!

  10. 11.17.11
    Annie said:

    Happy Birthday! Sounds like you had an amazing year! I’m new to the blog…but I love it :) And that dress you’re wearing.

    Annie
    The Other Side of Gray

  11. 11.17.11

    Happy Birthday Keira! i really enjoy visiting your blog and seeing your pretty outfits and smiley face!!
    hugs

  12. 11.17.11
    Jessica said:

    I’ve just started reading your blog but happy birthday! What you went through during 24-25 is exactly what I’m feeling now, so it’s good to hear that someone else has passed through that phase… anyway, I love your outfit, especially the dress!!

  13. 11.17.11
    Linda Z said:

    What? It’s my birthday, too… the big 4-0! Happy, happy birthday to you! Yay for learning amazing things and surviving the hard stuff. I hope this next year brings many blessings. :)

  14. 11.17.11
    Meg said:

    Happy birthday! I’m reassured at knowing I’m not the only person who’s ever had a quarter-life crisis (still in the midst of mine!). I hope I can get it together as beautifully as you have. :)

  15. 11.16.11
    Melina said:

    Happy Birthday!! This is such a great post and it’s wonderful that you had such a fulfilling year! Here’s to what I hope is another fantastic year ahead of you! :)

    xx Melina

  16. 11.16.11

    HBD love! Really sounds like you had a fantastic year! hope next year is as good as this one!

    Cess O. <3 The Outfit Diaries

  17. 11.16.11

    Happy birthday to you! Sounds like a fantastic year you’ve had, and I’m sure 27 will be even better. I hope you’ve carved some time out of the hectic schedule of business ownership to celebrate today!

  18. 11.16.11
    Joanne said:

    Hey girl hey! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! As the first blog that I started following religiously, I’m happy you’ve let all of us in to your life, both through this blog and through the shops! I hope you have a great day, you deserve it! Here’s to another great year:D

  19. 11.16.11
    Linda said:

    Happy Birthday, sweet Keira! I’m so proud of you for taking on the flower shop and opening A Pretty Penny. You’re a great businesswoman, stylish blogger, and kind friend! I hope your family spoils you today!

  20. 11.16.11
    adecolife said:

    Happy Birthday!!!!! I hope you had a wonderful day!

  21. 11.16.11

    happy, happy birthday! you are an inspiring beauty. hope your day was special. speaking from experience, 27 has definitely been the most incredible year of my life (and i’ve still got two months of it to go!). i hope and pray 27 is the same for you.

  22. 11.16.11
    Katie said:

    Happy birthday! I think you picked a very birthday appropriate dress – I just love it (and the price)!! :)

  23. 11.16.11
    Dasia Gonzalez said:

    I have that same dress :) I waited MONTHS for it to go on sale!!

  24. 11.16.11
    Sara said:

    Happy Birthday! yay to a fun and adventurous 26! I turned 26 in May and the first 6 months have been ok so Im hoping the next 6 are better! What a fun birthday outfit!

  25. 11.16.11
    Terri said:

    Happy birthday! Congratulations on your wonderful year!

  26. 11.16.11

    Happy birthday! I’m sure your years will keep getting better.

    Oh, and I can’t believe you got that dress for $12! It is adorable.

    http://www.chillairandperfume.blogspot.com

  27. 11.16.11

    Happy birthday!!! And thank you for this. This post gave me hope. I turn 25 in a few months, and I feel a bit like I’m floundering, so I’ll hang tight until it passes. ; )

  28. 11.16.11

    Well happy birthday!!!!! Here is to hoping that the next year will be incredible and filled with blessings!

  29. 11.16.11
    Lidiane said:

    Happy birthday, Keira! I’m a brazilian girl and I started to see your blog right now… and I’m loving! Congratulations for your 27th birthday and for the site! Nice look and very good reflections! ;-)

    • 11.16.11
      Lidiane said:

      (ops, sorry my english!! ;-)

  30. 11.16.11

    Yay! Happy birthday and many more to come! What a great reflection. Glad this was a good year for you!

  31. 11.16.11
    Stefanie said:

    Happy Birthday Keira!

    I hope you are having a wonderful day! This is a great and inspiring post, and I really enjoyed reading it!

  32. 11.16.11
    Jeannee said:

    Love that dress! Now, my dear, as one who is older than you, I say this: that it’s tremendous! that you are doing this young! And what’s over the moon is that you and your dh are doing this TOGETHER!!! Believe me, it’s nearly impossible to row a boat built for two, when only one person is doing all the hard work paddlin’!

  33. 11.16.11
    Loren said:

    Happy Birthday! What a lovely inspiring post, you look great in these shots. I hope the next years brings you MORE exciting things.

  34. 11.16.11
    Anonymous said:

    Happy Birthday and congratulations on having the courage to go for what you want in life! It is so easy to get too comfortable and postpone our dreams because we’re scared. Good for you!