4 years of Top Nine photos + memories

In Life, Travel by LauraLeave a Comment

Over the past few years, I’ve used the Top Nine app to peek at my top-performing Instagram images. I love this. Being a hyper-visual person, I adore the chance to see a picturesque summary of what happened in the previous 12 months.

This year, I had the insane idea to put my Top Nine images side-by-side. 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 – all in one cool post. Together, the images have quickly pointed out that – boy, oh boy – my priorities and experiences have changed dramatically. Let’s look:


This random Top Nine collection reflects the crazy chaos of 2015 perfectly. Cheekily, I drank way too much wine (1). By Q1, I had finished rebranding our company and was introducing all new trade show booths and graphics to the sales team (2). Ogi turned 1 and was an uber menace (3).

By Q4, I had developed an all-new brand for my personal marketing business – MARKETMOX (4). I was snapping all kinds of delicious photos for my friends at Sweet Kiss Brigadeiro (5). With my brother in tow – I got my first tattoo which I’m still absolutely obsessed with to this day (6).

That last row really says it all. I was hustling for my day job non-stop and found the most joy chilling with Ogilvy in our tiny little house any time I could catch a break. We celebrated xmas together (7). He got a baseball bat that year (8). (The Kansas City Royals had won the world series and he was a HUGE fan. He barked at the TV constantly that season.) And, there was the big new Star Wars movie release. Ogi was an ewok (9).


The Top Nine for the following year brought some huge shifts to my life. It’s worth noting that despite the visual absence of Ogi, he was still alive. He turned 2.

I started spending more time “back home” on my family’s farm (1). In the middle of the summer, I took the first of a series of road trips with my grandparents. We spent 15 days driving across the country to visit Monument Rocks, Arches National Park, Sequoia National Park (with General Sherman!), Yosemite National Park, Highway 101 and a long list of states in the western US (2).

I quit my corporate job at the start of Q2 and spent plenty of time working from coffee shops – like this day editing videos with my friend Shanda (3). By April, I was traipsing about Italy and the UK. I drank some amazing pitchers of wine and explored stunning Italian towns with my friend Elizabeth (8). Then, found some cool places in London (4).

Back home, I celebrated with friends in Westport (5) and dove into some incredible branding projects for my thriving business (6). At some point in there, I dyed my hair varying shades of silver and purple (7). It was epic.

2016 also marked my first year involved with Nelson-Atkins Young Friends of Art and the creation of its amazing summer party (9). I made some pretty incredible new friends there.


Once again, in 2017, Ogi was alive. But his pictures in my Top Nine were vastly out-numbered by more travels.

Early in the year, I got to work with the Nelson-Atkins crew for round 2 with the summer party. This year, it was rebranded as Muse and the celebration was epic (7).

I shared a couple of past shots that brought some zen – a previous trip to Oregon (8) and my absolute favorite memories of Sorento from the year before (9).

The real showstoppers in this year should be credited to the epic adventures with my grandparents, mom, her boyfriend Joe, his daughter Sarah and my friend Boyce.

Once again, in the middle of the summer, I took off on a road trip to the Northeast with my grandma and grandpa. The stormy shores were unforgettable (4).

In August – just a week after meeting Aaron – Mom, Joe, Sarah and I traveled the entire Northern Ireland coastline in a stunning Mercedes. Every single view was incredible – especially Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (3) and the Cliffs of Moher (6).

And then, in November, Boyce and I flew around the world to hike to Everest Base Camp (1, 2 and 5). We landed in Kathmandu, ate some awesome foods, drank some awesome beer and went on an insane adventure. In all that magic, we met some insane new friends and even brought Katie back to KC with us. Seriously unbelievable.


With such an ridiculous ending to 2017, I could never have imagined what my 2018 Top Nine would bring. I was still obsessed with sharing the Ireland (7) and Nepal trip photos (4, 8 and 9).

Aaron and I spent some time around home with friends, family and each other. We found BarK dog park which quickly became a summertime favorite for the mutts and ourselves (5). After moving to a new neighborhood in January (3), we got to know our neighbors by helping with the annual homes tour (6).

Then, in a truly epic style, we ended the year in Chile – our first international trip together (1). Having spent a few days side-by-side in a tent and not died in the wilderness, Aaron proposed (2). The Mirador Base de las Torres will forever hold a special place in my heart after that insane hike through Torres del Paine National Park.

There are seriously so many more moments – I can’t even begin to recall them all. That thought alone makes me ultra grateful for these simple images that help to commemorate each year that passes. What a truly incredible adventure this is turning out to be.