Midwest Wedding + Senior Photographer & Financial Educator for Creative Entrepreneurs



2020 Year-In-Review



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Welcome to my journal where I share recent weddings + shoots, travel photos + pieces of my life! I'm so excited you’re here and I would love for you to say hello! Stay a while and say hello!

Hi, I'm Kelly!



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Without a doubt 2020 will be a year many of us will never forget. I went into this year knowing my life was going to experience many changes, but I never in my wildest dreams imagined the roller coaster of emotions this years’ events would bring about. From excitement and happiness to heartbreak and loneliness to anxiety and depression– I experienced it all (as I’m sure many of you reading this did as well!).

I chose the word “courage” which means, “to do something that frightens one” as my 2020 word of the year because I knew I had some difficult decisions, transitions and interactions I had to face. I had absolutely no idea when I chose this word how much courage I would actually need.. it ended up being a word I had to keep coming back to day after day. From leaving the comfort of an amazing job to take my business full-time, to staying home with my kids and homeschooling, to rescheduling many weddings due to the pandemic, to losing income because of those reschedules, to finding out we were expecting baby #5 and then to lose him just a few months later, to having to go through birth and not knowing what to expect, to burying our sweet baby, Sig, to the passing of our dog, Diesel, to launching the education side of my business to the Black Lives Movement and realizing I have so much to learn, and having to have the courage to have some difficult conversations with friends and loved ones about many of these issues.

2020 was a complete dumpster fire of a year, but despite everything that was thrown my way I was still able to accomplish quite a few of my goals! On the post today I will be doing a quick review of all the good, bad and the ugly along with a few of my 2021 goals. Let’s dive in! 🙂

The Good

  • Participated in Julie Paisley’s Mastermind Jan-March
  • Handed in my resignation to my 9-5 position
  • Taught a Financial Peace University Class (the class of 25 paid off close to $500k in just the 9-week period!)
  • Traveled to San Diego, CA and attended the Hybrid Collective Conference.
  • Finding out we were pregnant with baby #5 in March (it was a shock!)
  • Completed our fully funded emergency fund (if you are a Dave Ramsey follower this will make sense to you!)
  • Started to pay off our home
  • Left my 9-5 position officially on May 1st
  • Participated in Julie Paisley’s Pivot Mastermind May through December
  • Began creating my first course (launching in 2021!)
  • Started an email list (Click here to get on the list!)
  • Launched my new website + online shop full of resources
  • Photographed 12 beautiful weddings & elopements, 28 senior sessions and 8 engagement sessions.
  • Shared our miscarriage story and helped many other women who have gone through the same thing.
  • Traveled to Nashville for branding photos with the amazing Julie Paisley
  • Took the Enneagram Test and learned more about myself (I’m a 9 w 1!)
  • Read 12 books
  • Found out we were pregnant with Baby #6 in August
  • Took a family vacation to Three Bears Lodge
  • Started the education branch of my business (one-on-one coaching, courses and much more!)
  • Met some amazing new friends through my masterminds
  • Had a beautiful wedding published in Wisconsin Bride Magazine
  • Became a Little Black book member for Style Me Pretty
  • Purchased a Photo Booth
  • Cleaned out our barn sheds of the previous owners stuff (so now they are ready to be town down!)
  • Organized files on Google Drive and scanned in our paper files. Bye, bye paper and see ya later bulky file cabinet!
  • Planted two gardens (vegetable and flower)

The Bad and Ugly

  • The loss of our son: Sig Marvin Mathis
  • COVID and the Pandemic
  • Schools shutting down causing the kids to be home schooled
  • Wedding Postponements
  • The loss of our dog, Diesel
  • Travel Bans
  • Not being able to see my grandparents or family members
  • Holiday party cancellations
  • The 2020 election and the aftermath
  • Family medical issues/scares

2021 Goals

Every year I utilize Lara Casey’s Cultivate What Matters Powersheets to help layout my business and personal goals for the year. I always have so many things I want to accomplish, but these powersheets really help me to hone in on what is most important. As a way to hold myself accountable, here are my following goals for 2021 (in no particular order):

  • Finish our bedroom and stairs remodel (we’ve been living in our home since 2014 and there are still MANY rooms that need to be completed!)
  • Start saving for our kid’s college funds
  • Pay off $20k on our mortgage (above our monthly payment)
  • Read 12 books (1 per month)
  • Take off the last two weeks in December
  • Book 13 weddings for 2022
  • Book 35 Senior Sessions for 2021
  • Set business schedule for the entire year
  • Begin a Pinterest strategy
  • Improve my flatlays
  • Increase my email subscribers 10%
  • Be on a podcast (or two!)
  • Complete Financial Coach Master training and launch Financial Coaching program
  • Launch my “Making a Leap” Course
  • Simplify our home (de-clutter!)
  • Start to document my personal life more
  • Get on a daily schedule (wake up early + block schedule)
  • Take more “me” time
  • Monthly date nights with my husband
  • Communicate better (this is hard for an Ennegram 9 as we do not like conflict!)
  • Submit more of my work to publications
  • Make my bed every morning
  • Family game night once a week
  • Less screen time
  • Nightly dinners as a family
  • Take one vacation as a family a year

There has been so much good and bad that has happened to us all in 2020, but everyday I continue to focus on the good and keep pushing through. What is something that happened to you in 2020 you are grateful for? What is something you can’t wait to forget? What is one of your 2021 goals? Tell me below and let’s have a conversation!

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Hello and welcome to my journal where I share recent weddings + shoots, travel photos + pieces of my life! I'm so excited you’re here! Stay a while and say hello!

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