I just celebrated by 20th birthday yesterday and today I’m celebrating 20 things from my 20th year. I wrote this post last year just before my 19th birthday, and I meant to get this one up earlier, but life happens. I love reading birthday posts with people’s celebrations, accomplishments, and lessons from the past year! So today, I’m reflecting on life between 19 and 20, and so much happened. My mom was so surprised at me not being a teenager anymore, but I truly feel like I grew up this year.
I took a lot of bad with the good, and lows with the highs this year, but moving forward, I’m celebrating 20 amazing things that happened this year.
1. My blog Instagram account
I started my Instagram for this blog on my 19th birthday last year like I talked about in this post, and I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I started this blog because I love to write, and I was not ready to take on the world of “Instagram blogging”. That being said, I’ve challenged myself to improve my photography and social media skills, and I’ve made so many friends through Instagram, it’s crazy!
I’ve battled a lot with comparison especially through Instagram, but I’m keeping the mentality I wrote about here and re-focusing for the new year.
2. My Pinterest account
Along the lines of #1, I really tackled Pinterest for blogging this year. I share all my tips for utilizing Pinterest for your blog in this post, so be sure to give that a read!
3. My blog Facebook group
I’ll just keep celebrating blog things because this blog is truly one of my greatest accomplishments! I’ll be updating my “goals” posts for this year soon, but I’ve continued to grow my “Graced College Girl Bloggers” Facebook group, and I’m continuously humbled and amazed by the beautiful women I’ve met through the group.
4. Going self-hosted
I wrote a few posts about my experience switching to self-hosted, and it was definitely a challenge, but now a celebration. Going self-hosted was definitely the move for me, and it allowed this site to grow in so many ways!
5. Brand collaborations
I worked my first few brand collaborations and my first sponsored post this year, and that’s a huge celebration for me!
6. Going from a college freshman… to a college junior
Moving out of the blog celebrations, this was a big-deal-year for me academic-wise. I’ll be graduating with my bachelor’s degree in political science in two and a half years, which means I won’t have the typical freshman – senior years. Over the past 2 semesters, I’ve basically completed my “sophomore” and “junior” years of college combined. A year from this week, I will be graduating college. Craziness!
7. Election to Gamma Phi’s executive board
I wrote about my election to my sorority’s executive board in this post, and this is another one of my biggest celebrations from the year. Since I won’t have four full years as a collegiate member, it’s a big deal to have the opportunity to serve as a exec member.
8. Looking for a house
9. Getting a contract on a house
10. Buying a house
11. Renovating a house
12. Decorating & moving into the house
There is truly too many challenges-turned-celebrations to include my whole house journey in just one number. Since I turned 19, I went through the whole process of looking for, getting a contract on, buying, renovating, and decorating my precious townhouse in Tallahassee. Never would I ever have imagined that I’d become a homeowner at 19. This house was my greatest challenge and my greatest blessing this past year. I spent countless worries and hours into getting this house to become the home it is for me now.
13. Some amazing friends
I hope some of them are reading this, and I hope they know how incredible they are and how much they mean to me. This was a pretty stable year for friendships for me, which is a massive blessing. I learned to lean on people more this year, and I try to celebrate and appreciate my friends as much as I can.
14. My Etsy store!
My other blush-colored-blessing. I took the leap and opened my own little Etsy store called PaintedGracebyKS (all one word if you try to search for it!) this year and while it’s another challenge/celebration, it was so so worth it! It’s been the perfect outlet and just the project I needed.
15. Travels to Orlando, Clemson, Montana, and more
I’m sure you’ve seen my adventures from this year on my social media, but even as a born-and-bred Florida girl, our trip to Big Sky, Montana was one of my favorites! And I just celebrated my 20th in Orlando with some of my closest friends, so that’s worth celebrating, too!
16. Giving back
The holiday season (the season of giving) makes me thankful for how much I’m able to give back. I donated my hair this year, and I’m currently fundraising again for Dance Marathon at FSU! I participated in Dance Marathon for the first time last year, and I’ve set even bigger goals for myself this year!
If you feel called to give back and donate to my account, you can do so at the link below!
17. A year of good health
This past finals week may be the first one I wasn’t sick for, which is basically a miracle. I had some weird health issues last year which I largely credit to having bad allergies and living in a dorm, so I’m celebrating a much better year of health this year!
18. A new camera!
I just received a Canon Rebel T6i for my birthday, and I am so excited to have my own camera! I’ve always been interested in photography because of my dad, and I’m going to be dedicating lots of time this winter break for some serious picture-taking.
For lack of a better title, I’m celebrating the creativity and inspiration I was graced with this year. As my classwork becomes more stressful, I rely more and more on creative outlets (like my blog, journals, and Etsy store) to keep me balanced and happy. I truly embraced my creative passions this year.
20. An ever-graceful God
My faith will always be my rock and while I have not been the best Christian I could’ve been this year, I’m trying, and I’ve got an all-forgiving God. I’m planning for some more faith/scripture writing next year like I posted more about on my blog early on, and I’ll be posting a new blog-goals post soon!
Thanks for reading and celebrating this year with me! I hope this post helped you learn a little more about me and I hope it inspired you to get inspired for 2018!
December 21, 2017
I love this post! It’s so nice to see some celebration from those who deserve it! I’ve loved following along with you, on Instagram especially, and I am so happy for all that’s going your way! Happy Birthday!
December 23, 2017
Thank you, Julia!! 🙂
December 22, 2017
Happy Birthday! Whenever I read your blog posts, I am always so impressed with the things you are doing. You’re such a go-getter and I’m glad this year has been incredibly fruitful for you! Keep up the good work!!
December 23, 2017
Wow thank you, Dianne! I always love reading your blog as well. Blessings girl! 🙂
December 23, 2017
I loved this! I’m so glad you have so many things to be thankful for from your nineteenth year. Happy birthday! ❤️
December 23, 2017
Thank you!!! <3
December 31, 2017
I’d love to participate in Dance Marathon in college. It’s such a great way to help children and hospitals.
January 3, 2018
I totally agree! It’s such a great cause and I’m thankful I get to be a part of it!