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photo by Savannah Smith Photography

A couple of years ago, I started a blog tradition of interviewing myself every year on my birthday. If you're curious, you can read 25th birthday post, here & my 24th birthday post here. I'm a little behind on posting this year, actually a LOT behind. My birthday was March 25th, but to be honest, I just wasn't in the mood to write that day. But thinking to the future, I didn't want to let this opportunity for reflection pass me by, so I'm back, 26 years old + 2 months old to share my thoughts with you guys.  

What are my defining personality traits?

This year, I think I'm getting comfortable with all of my contradictions. I'm a very ambitious and driven person but I also value a slow and simple life. I can be very brave when I need to be, but I still experience what I call "vulnerability hangovers" as a small business owner, creative and just as a person trying to live life and "put herself out there". I think and feel emotions very deeply (introvert, reporting for duty!) but those who know me best get to see my wicked & dry sense of humor. I consider myself to be very independent, but I'm noticing a more nurturing side evolving in me. I'm keeping houseplants alive for the first time and I secretly wish all of my friends would move into my house so I could just take care of everybody and solve all their problems. 

What are my favorite design trends?

The return of brown, taupes, beiges and creams after nearly a decade of everything grey and bright white! I love the warmer, cozy and lived-in look that is filling up my Instagram feed. I'm loving simple materials, layered neutral color schemes, and design philosophy that's more about how you make your home versus just decorating a room. 

What would I tell my younger self?

In 2015, I said "to learn to trust my instincts". In 2016, I said "to slow down and enjoy the things you've worked for". This year, I'm coming up a little blank. They say you get wiser as you get older, but lately the only thing I feel wise about is how little wisdom I actually have. But maybe that's a kind of wisdom in and of itself? 

What do I want to be better at?

Home organization! I've done a pretty good job of getting rid of excess stuff and being more thoughtful about the things I bring into our home. It's helped a lot, but now I need to focus on finding/creating organizational solutions that function well for us and prevent us from letting clutter build up. The biggest struggle for us with this house has been clothes storage! Because we've been renovating the master bedroom, our clothes have been spread throughout 3 different rooms. I've tried so many different methods but since there's not one good place to put them all away, they often end up just staying baskets in the laundry room which makes finding things in the morning a huge pain! This year, I want to beat this problem once and for all by figuring out new closet systems and drawer dividers as we finish our master bedroom project. 

What's been the biggest challenge for me this year?

Dealing with some heavy personal/family issues that hit hard just a month or so after I left my day job to pursue my interior design business full-time. Last spring and summer was such a roller coaster of emotions, from feeling super energized and excited to just totally overwhelmed and shut down. It wasn't just one thing, it was a lot of things and sometimes it felt like they were coming at us from every angle. There's a lot I'd rather not get into but one thing I will share, for anyone out there who may be experiencing the same thing, is that my parents are divorcing after 26 years of marriage. There's not a lot of talk out there about adult children of divorce, but a family separating is rough business, no matter how old you are. These articles helped me through some harder moments, so I'm sharing them for anyone who might need them. 1 | 2

What things did I try for the first time this year?

Full-time entrepreneurship! 

Who makes life fun for me?

Anthony and Chloe make every day feel like a party, but this year I've gotten a lot closer with my three siblings and I really enjoy when we can all be together. My older brother and sister each live about 30 minutes from us, but my little sister moved from NYC to Los Angeles last month. Before she made the cross country trip, we all got together to get matching sibling tattoos and for them to make fun of me for my excitement about "being edgy now". 

What is my favorite memory from this year?

Spending 5 days in Pittsburgh leading up to my best friend Rachel's wedding! All of my best friends from college are scattered across the country but whenever we get together, we pick up like we've never been apart. It was an absolute honor to stand up with her as a bridesmaid as she married her true love in her perfect, mountainside winter wedding.