2014 In Review

January 2, 2015

I’m back from my vacation (hello, inbox. Let’s get to work) and ready to tackle 2015. I spent a lot of time in the last week thinking about 2014. And what I was going to say in this post. I wanted to come back and tell you all how fabulous and wonderful 2014 was. Because, it was fabulous and wonderful. But it was also hard, and while it started out amazing, the last few months were really hard, and by the end, I was done with 2014.

Paris on Film // Emily Wenzel Photography

There were highs – we bought a house, traveled all over, I had an amazing year full of wonderful clients, but there were so many lows too. Lows I never wrote about online, lows I never acknowledged for many reasons. Business, family, and personal issues that, at times, were so all consuming I could barely think of anything else, much less blog about weddings and happiness. There were a lot of tears and heartache, and there were many times when 2014 got the better of me.

Paris on Film // Emily Wenzel Photography

In 2014:

My business grew by leaps and bounds – yay! But, on the downside, I dropped the ball quite a bit when things got busy and I didn’t have the structure in place to handle that growth. I traveled more than I had originally planned, and didn’t have a “work & travel” balance set up. I got sick while I was in Europe, and flying home sick took me out for over a week. My clients felt it, and I felt it. I’ve been working on getting things in order for next year, instituting more structure so that I can handle things differently. Because my clients come first. And I come first too. And finding the balance that makes them happy and me sane is important. [Read: more yoga]

I learned to say no. And that, as a small business owner, has been important. I’ve had to stand my ground for what I believed in as a business, and as an artist, and it was hard. In 2014, I turned down work (and money) for my sanity and my family. Which was hard, but in the end, the right thing to do. I stood my ground and learned some serious lessons (have a good lawyer, friends) about business principles and contracts and integrity.

Frankfurt on Film // Emily Wenzel Photography

We hosted an exchange student. And then, we didn’t. Something I haven’t talked about yet, but we were planning to host all year and it didn’t work out. I’m not sure if I’ll write about that later, because I’m still processing it, but hosting wasn’t a decision we took lightly, and having our student leave was not a decision we took lightly either.

I failed at running this business and this blog the way I wanted. I tried to be more professional, more of a “brand” and it didn’t work. In my mind, I wanted this blog to be all business suits and power heels. But those who know me, they know I’m more of a polka dot dresses and killer boots kind of girl. I had this idea that I should be more professional and only post about weddings and stuff, but dang, that gets old. Because this is a one woman show and I needed to write about the shitty stuff, and the random stuff, and the totally-off-topic-but-fun stuff. [Like how amazing Emma Watson is? Because I still want to be her when I grow up.] Because when I don’t write about these things, I feel like I’m not being honest. And my muse, she likes honesty, and I like having my muse around. I don’t know yet how this will work, but I think I’ll just end up writing a few more personal posts here. With my blogging rate, it’ll be a couple a month, but not too many.

Munich on Film // Emily Wenzel Photography

I’m learning to let go. 2014 was a great year, but it was a hard year. It was a year of joy and pain and growth. And I sit here in my “corner office” [aka, my office in a corner], and I watch the snow fall outside the windows of our sweet little home, I’m reminded that every day is precious. Even the bad ones.



All the photos are from my trip to Europe this fall, which I’ll be blogging about sometime soon. I hope.




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photo of the author, she has dark wavy hair, brown glasses, and red lipstick on. She is wearing a grey shirt.


Servus! I’m Emily and you’ve found my little corner of the internet, where I write about travel, intentionally living with less stuff, and living as a German-American family in Munich, Germany.  Want to know more?