2018 in Review

Keeping with tradition (here's 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 for ya too)...wrapping up 2018 with a year in review post for ya on this last day of the year.

I'm not going to lie, 2018 was tough.  Really tough.  Perhaps one of the toughest years ever.  There was a lot of good, but a lot of not so good too.  And My year in review post is not the top 10 best things to happen in 2018...more so the top 10 notable things from 2018 for myself.  Because, as I have been so transparent here on my blog for SO many years, I unload the raw and real and sometimes downright shitty things that happen.  Because that is life.  And I am definitely not going to censor it for a facade for the internet world.  Just keepin' it real folks, as usual, for my top 10 moments of 2018.

10. 1SE & #MooneyCandid365 Projects

I'm sure you've seen my final posts here (1SE) and here (365) for these...but dang nabit I'm resharing cause another year has come and gone and I'm super duper proud of having them done...and fully completed doing one candid 4x4 photo a day as well as a 1 second video everyday of 2018 as well (yay for not missing a day!).  So in case you missed it...you can click here to see all 365 pics (dated! just for your convenience!) and the collage below along with the video of the 365 pics together AND the final 1 second everyday video from 2018.

365 video

1SE: 2018 video

9. New Business Name & Full Time Photog

Gosh about the only thing that went great and right in 2018 was my photog business!!  I had a really great and successful year...so much so that in April I changed my business name to Alexandria Mooney Photography and then just a few weeks ago decided to ditch teaching like now and just be a photographer...and man, I am SO FREAKING EXCITED about it.  I feel like my business really has taken off this past year and it's mostly due to some wonderful clients and recommendations that keep the traffic floodin' my way for people who want pictures taken!  I am so beyond grateful to everyone who have (and continues to!) supported my business this past year (and heck, every year before) and literally CANNOT WAIT to see what's in store for 2019.  I think big things...I just feel it!  And did I mention I have my own office/work space now?!!  I have a desk and everything and feel sooooo WAHM legit now.  I cannot wait to see what 2019 brings SO SO SO SOON.

You may have seen this already...but here's my favorite photos I took in 2018 (I had THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS to go through to pick these!) in a quick little video!  You can click here to see the full blog post all about this (and click here to see my birth stories one!).

2018 Favorites video

2018 birth stories favorites

8. MoBap Birth Stories

Piggy-backing off of #9, one of the coolest and most awesome things of 2018 was getting the contract with MoBap to be their official birth photographer.  Truly, a dream come true -- and every day when an inquiry comes in I pinch myself that this is real life -- that I really get to do this photography thing as a full time everyday job.  AND getting to snap births in there too!  Truly a dream come true.

Even with everything that has happened this year, I am SO GRATEFUL for this job and all of the amazing parents who have entrusted me to capture their little one's arrival into this great big wide world.  It is the best job -- even the difficult days when I go in to photograph those little ones, much like Clark, who were born sleeping.  I know how much those parents will cherish those pictures and I am committed to capturing their little one to hold not only in their hearts for always, but in pictures as well.

Here's a few of my favorite snaps from 2018 (you may have already seen them here) from my Birth Stories snappin'...

Birth snappin' has really been such an amazing part of 2018, especially BEING ON THE MOBAP WEBSITE!!!, and I have big hopes and dreams for where this is going to go for me in 2019...and years to come!

7. Patrick Starts Kindergarten

I cannot believe I'm writing this but my big guy is HALFWAY DONE with Kindergarten!  Golly what a big year this is for him and he's loving every.single.second. of it!  He loves going to school (which I hope keeps up every day of every year of school to come!!) and comes home so happy every single day telling us what things he did in school, what his friends said, who he played with on the playground, and what Mrs. Crnko taught him.

This kid truly loves school and I hope that love never ever leaves him!!

6. Memorable Snaps

I always add my most memorable (and favorite) snaps in this post.  And this year, some of them are just that: memorable.  Not necessarily the happiest or uplifting, but memorable.  Notable.  Things I don't want to forget that happened, despite maybe being a teeny tiny bit difficult to look back on.  Of course I could have included like 500 pictures but I really REALLLLLLY tried hard to narrow it down to just the most notable and favorites from 2018.  I think they tell a story in themselves when you look at them...man, they sure do for me.  You can click here to view them all ... and see them in collage form below (cause there's a lot. sorry.)

5. Mooney Travels

Despite 2018 ending in a shittastic way, we had some pretty rad travels in 2018.  Disney World in March, and then Europe in June where we came back with our little stowaway Clark man.  We really had such a wonderful time on both of these trips and cannot wait to bring the big kids and Annie back to Disney again soon AND do another kidless adventure (which are soooooo good for parental sanity, amongst other things) in a couple months to Hawaii.

I thought I'd reshare a few of my favorite pics from these travels...to make myself jealous looking at these again.  Man, traveling and trips are so good for the soul!

4. Pocket Besties

My lovely friend Olivia coined this term and dammit it is SO GOOD.  And so perfect.  Pocket besties.  You know those friends who are your social media buddies who live on your phone and you're connected to 24/7 via your cellular device and are literally your pocket besties.  Man oh man would I be LOST without mine.  I have met some of the greatest people EVER via the interwebs and I absolutely consider them friends.  These gals have showered me and held me (albeit virtually...STILL!) during my highest and lowest points...have been the driving force to give me the confidence to pursue the birth gig at MoBap and then to quit my teaching job...and have been there for me to giggle at the silliest of things and to cry with me when we lost Clark and Scooter.  They truly are my pocket besties and my goal in 2019 is to meet as many of them in person as I can!  First up: my dear friend Olivia (and her kiddos...one of whom is Patrick's age AND his penpal!) in NY in March!  CAN.NOT.WAIT.

3. Favorite Blog Posts

Ahhh, your favorite...well, hopefully yours too!  I had some great blog posts (in my very humble opinion!) in 2018 and I wanted to link them up and reshare them here for you to enjoy again (maybe!? possibly?!).  A lot of them are pretty powerful ones (to me at least) and I felt like I needed to include them...because, like I said earlier, this isn't 10 amazingly happy things to happen in 2018...it's 10 notable ones, and these posts are part of that.

2. Scooter

Oh man, Scoots.  Man, I could write an entire post dedicated to this pup and all of the pics I have of him over the years!  Mike reminds me every single day how we have no shortage of pictures of him (and he's right...he's literally EVERYWHERE around our house!) and man we miss him SO MUCH.  He was such a staple in our relationship and family forever (literally...Mike has never known an Alex without her little dog Scooter!) and it just feels so weird every day that he's not here.  We've slowly started putting his stuff away (like his crate and dog bed and doggy steps) but it's bittersweet because doing it really means he's gone...and man, that hurts my heart so much.

But dammit, Scooter was an amazing dog.  THE BEST DOG.  So freaking tolerant of every.single.thing. we put him through and just was the best little pup anyone could ask for.  I could talk forever about how awesome he was...but I'm going to stop myself here and share some of my favorite Scooter pics (not just 2018 ones :) and videos for you to walk back down memory lane with me.  Gosh I miss this dog SO DAMN MUCH it hurts.

1. Clark William Mooney

Man oh man, little Clark.  You sure were the focal point of our 2018.  With us for nearly half of the year...and will be with us for the rest of our lives.  You've taught me so much in your short little life and the impact you have had has stretched farther than I could have ever imagined!

I don't feel like I need to rehatch your story...because I feel like I've done a good job of documenting that here already.  But man, what an impact you've made little guy.  And even though I wish you were here with us (or cooking away in my belly for another 8 weeks), I am forever and ever grateful for the time we got to spend with you, albeit short, and that you picked me to be your mama.  Things happen for a reason -- we're on this journey and there's a plan behind every little thing -- and I'm still trying to figure out what that reason was that you're not here with us, but I am a firm believer that you're meant to watch over us from above and live on in our hearts and continue to teach us things I had no idea we needed to be taught.  I do feel like I have a little guardian angel sitting on my shoulders always...and that I see little hints of you wherever I go.  I love you so much little man and cannot wait to hold you and snuggle you again one day.  Thank you for choosing your daddy and me to be your parents.  We'll never stop celebrating you and sharing your story loud and proud.

Alrighty friends, that wraps up my top 10 notable things of 2018!  Crazy to reflect back on this insane year and see some of the lows but also some of the highs too.  Even though 2018 is ending on a shitty note, the whole year wasn't bad.  And even though we only had Clark with us for 22 weeks, I am so glad we did have that time with him.  Such perspective it has given for everything and for that I am eternally thankful for him.  He's taught me so much in his short life and will continue to do so as the years go on I think.  2018: it's been real.  One of the realest years EVER.  2019: I am so so SO glad to welcome you with big wide open arms!  I have great big expectations for you: I hope you live up to them!!  I'm gonna bring it in 2019...I sure hope you can keep up!!!

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