© 2019 by Giselle Smith / Lovely Leaves

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The Latest Year-End Review Ever

Updated: Feb 4, 2019

Does time ever just get away from you? Yeah, me too. Cheers to the latest 2018 year-end review currently on the internet.


JANUARY

JANUARY 4 — ALEKS PROPOSED (finally)! I said YES. Excuse all of the slightly intoxicated images of me at Jeff Ruby’s, #champagnethursday is my favorite day of the week and that particular Thursday was epic. I’m still totally in love with my ring and catch myself staring at it at random points throughout the day a full year later. January is super special because of new beginnings and whatnot, but also because it’s Aleks’ birthday month.


FEBRUARY

Check out our Aspen Ski Vacay. A ENT Medical Conference held somewhere gorgeous—I’m in albeit not in the conference because that’s above my pay grade. We stayed at the Viceroy Snowmass which is pricey but worth every penny. Aleks loves skiing, me not so much, but we’re going again later this month. Trip highlights include snowmobiling, pizza, Ular nights, the Viceroy spa, lots of drinks in hot tubs and amazing dinners. Toro and Gwyn’s High Alpine were my fav restaurants. This year I’m totally trying to find some snowshoes to walk a mile uphill in the snow to Gwyn’s since I can’t ski though.


MARCH

Personally uneventful, but very WEDDING-full. Wedding season kicks off with more excitement than the Super Bowl usually in February, but by March the festivities are in full swing. I will be sharing weddings throughout the Lovely Leaves section of this blog, but these are my favorite bouquets from 2018 https://www.lovelyleavesweddings.com/blog/lovely-leaves-favorite-bouquets-2018. BONUS: I was lucky enough to have had all of my grandparents make it through 2018 alive. Left to right, PoPo, Grandma Rosie (now deceased) & PoPo, Grandma Davis and a bunch of southern smilax that Oma (bottom middle) rode around with me on the golf cart to cut all over her east Texas neighborhood. Not shown: Larry / Opa and Grandpa Davis. They don't like social events and photos respectively, but I love them both anyways.


APRIL

VIVA LA MEXICO! Mexico City might just be my soul city overflowing with flowers, bright color, culture and some of the literal best restaurants in the world. Highlights included the Frida Kahlo House, lots of Mexican ice cream, Palacio de Bellas Artes, climbing half way the Aztec Temple of the Sun in 105° sun, dinner at Dulce de Patria and lunch at Quintonil, currently the #11 restaurant in the world. https://m.theworlds50best.com/blog/News/worlds-50-best-2018-list-in-pics.html Culturing Kenzie is likely my favorite pass time although she typically pretends to hate it.


MAY

May is marvelous in Kentucky not only because of the green rolling hills and plentiful weddings, but also Derby. The first week of May is quite possibly the most festive week of the year in the Bluegrass State (next to Christmas) and 2018 was my first year to witness it. That Friday we attended my first ever Derby-Eve Party at 21C in Louisville with friends Morgan Worley and Ashley Martin and their husbands. We skipped out on the actual Derby on the account of rain, but had a blast at a crawfish boil hosted by some of Aleks’ hometown friends.


JUNE

Taylor Bible comes to Kentucky! It’s not every day your best friend comes to stay and work weddings and go to restaurants and do pretty much all of the fun things I LOVE. Later that month in Georgia, Aleks was Best Man to Ryan & Emily and we had the honor of designing their wedding florals at Jekyll Island Club. Highlights of the trip included a couple nights in Savannah with restaurants including 700 Drayton at The Mansion at Forsyth Park and the Olde Pink House, Purrvana Cat Coffee Shop, a vintage trolley tour and ice cream at Leopold’s plus taking Kenzie to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. I swear Kenzie didn't hate the trip. She just hates pictures.


JULY

Aleks comes to Texas! My one-and-only in the Lonestar State is always a blast, but the Fourth of July is a literal blast as my parents typically host a live firework show at their house in the country. Spending the week with my brothers always makes me happy to be home. While in Texas we also managed to make a trip to Austin for some stand-up paddle boarding on Ladybird Lake (a tradition we adopted the first summer we were together), lunch at Perla’s with Taylor Bible and my brother Evan which happens to be conveniently located across from our FAV—South Congress Hotel—where we sleep and have brunch at Café No Sé. Trips to Texas are never complete without Whataburger (and two-stepping at Bo's Barn, but I'll save that for another time).


AUGUST

August is my birthday month and it was packed full of amazing: We had so many awesome trips in 2018 and New England did not disappoint. We flew into Boston and rented a car driving from Massachusetts to Maine and then back to Cape Cod visiting Aleks’ family along the way. Stay tuned for a blog post in the next few weeks for never-before-seen vacay photos showing days of hiking, lobsters, whale-watching and more. Mid-month we flew to Scottsdale, AZ for an intimate styled elopement with vendor-friends Ashley & Zac Brown (Shining Light Photography), Michelle & Kyle Scott (Summit Stone Creations) and Maddie Woff (Hair by Maddie Woff). The florals from this were one of my favorite designs of 2018. To top off August, we ended the month with a Louisville stay-cation at OmniLou complete with a rooftop pool, Cirque du Soleil with Kenzie, dinner at Jeff Ruby's and brunch at Proof at 21C.


SEPTEMBER

My favorite wedding color-palette of fall 2018 happened in September (shoutout to Mandy & Collin and their gorgeous pink palette) AND I came to the realization that I honestly miss coordinating weddings. I haven’t been able to coordinate many over the past couple years because of my travel schedule, but I’m about to get back into it. My Austin bachelorette party was also a highlight—I couldn’t be more grateful for the wonderful women who came together to make it happen. Planning by none other than my best friend Taylor Bible of Taylor Bible Weddings. Fun photo cred: Hannah Haston Photography.


OCTOBER

Aleks and I tied the knot in his hometown on October 20, 2018. Seriously the BEST weekend with friends and family from Kentucky, Texas and everywhere else. A ton of doctors and wedding people in attendance—an interesting mix to say the least. Always the florist and never the bride, I couldn't have imagined how special being on the other side of our wedding would be. We had so much fun and have the pictures to prove it thanks to my dear friend Dani Cowan, Dani Cowan Photography. Even friends who couldn't travel to Lexington were a part of the day, namely Teresa Williams of Studio W Designs coming in with to-die-for fine paper products and Lilian Halabi with a lovely four-tiered wedding cake. Shout out to my sister-in-law Alicia for hosting the wedding at her home and to our friend Zach from Zachary Brady Designs for keeping all of my crazy plans in order and the badass floral tent entrance.


NOVEMBER

We spent a cool ten days in France for our honeymoon. We stayed in Paris the majority of the trip splitting time between Le Meurice and the Shangri-La with a short venture to the Loire Valley to visit castles Chenonceau and Amboise. Museums and cathedrals are nice, but restaurants are my jam. We visited multiple Michelin-starred establishments including Loiseau Rive Gauche, Garance, L’Abeille and Arpège (#8 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018). We also had brunch at Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse which featured pastries Cédric Grolet who was recently named the World’s Best Pastry Chef. November happens to be my favorite month of the year because Kenzie was born in November the week of Thanksgiving. She turned 14 in the Lonestar State this past year surrounded by friends and family and we couldn’t have had more fun. France was exceptional, but Whataburger in Texas will always have my heart. More to come from our France trip, but these gorgeous images are from Ashley & Zac Brown, Shining Light Photography.


DECEMBER

We spent December in Kentucky with the Smiths with the most exciting event being the adoption of our ginger / white cat Jesus (named in honor of, you guessed it, the son of God [contact Kenzie with questions and comments]). Settling into my new town has eluded me thus far. When in Elizabethtown, I usually spend my time organizing for the next event or trip, cooking Aleks dinner, hitting the gym or sitting on my computer at Vibe Coffee. Sometimes I walk my dogs with Elizabethtown BFF / dentist, Susan King. It's actually been 2.5 years, but 2019 will be the year I finally settle in, meet new people and try to participate in community events. My year is likely going to look different than those over the past decade with less weddings and more time with Kenzie, Aleks and our pets. Over they next year we plan to explore every inch of Etown, but my favorite places thus far are Fine Home & Garden, Denizen and Walker Lane Boutique. Exciting things are coming on the home front, namely us buying a cabin to remodel and our own 85 acres of the Bluegrass State. Beautiful Elizabethtown images by Katie Rhodes Photography.