If you have followed me for a while, you know that last year had quite a few “bumps” to put it lightly. It kicked off on January 1, 2017 with a flood from a burst pipe that lead to an unplanned major renovation. It also included a broken arm (my sons), a ruptured appendix (mine), the loss of my beloved grandmother and hurricane harvey to name a few.
All that being said, I can’t look past all the blessings and joy that 2017 also brought. The unplanned renovation in the spring actually ended up being amazing. It kicked our butts into gear getting our house “finished” which ultimately led to a fast sale at top dollar when we decided to move at the end of the year.
We decluttered a LOT in 2017. I took no less than 15 FULL carloads to our local charity just in the name of simplifying. I finally prioritized my health and started (and stuck with) a diet and exercise plan to lose the last of my baby weight! I lost 12 pounds and have kept it off since the spring!
2017 also included a lot of amazing travel- several of those trips were due to SGP starting to offer travel sessions. And two of those trips I got to take with one of my children, just the two of us. Which was so phenomenal on both occasions.
We found, purchased and moved into the house of our dreams. Which just happens to be on one of our favorite streets in our neighborhood. We literally moved just around the block. We have the best neighbors and are starting a huge renovation next month to make it completely perfect.
I had the pleasure of mentoring several talented photographers who needed a little extra push in their business. This further solidified my love of this business and working to create community over competition.
I attended a phenomenal photography retreat that introduced me to new friends and pushed me to make some needed changes in my work and business. I went through a fabulous re-brand and got this prettied up new website that you are looking at now:) I photographed well over 100 sessions with some pretty amazing families. Many of which have supported SGP for years. I was a featured photographer in a big spread of a nationally sold photography magazine.
Yes, there were a lot of great highlights from 2017. Not to mention so many of the small daily joys that we tend to take for granted: friendships, conversations, meaningful prayers, rest, reading, date nights, laughter, fellowship, good food, Starbucks, hugs and entertaining. I truly have so much to be grateful for. I know this for sure. So, when I make this next statement, please do not judge me or think that I am being a brat.
No matter how amazing 2017 was in so many ways, it will forever be marked by the most painful day of my life. It will forever be remembered as one of the worst years. I can see the blessings that came from last year, but it is through painful tears and heartache that I see them.
Does that even make sense? To those of you reading this that have experienced immense loss and grief, I am sure you understand what I mean. I am certain that you know where I am coming from. If you are lucky enough to not fall into that category (as I was just 4 short months ago) then you will just have to take my word for it.
Grief is weird.
I am sure you have all heard that before. And if you have not lived through a profound loss then you won’t understand. But one day you will. Again, just trust me (and everyone else that says that). There is no other way to describe the process. It is just, weird.
One moment you are going about your normal day and the next you are crying your eyes out for no reason what so ever. Every single day, you remember the loss. And since I was there in the moment, I remember the details of it. Literally, I will be tucking my kids in, picking up my Starbucks, even in the middle of a shoot, and a vivid flash from the hospital hits me like mack truck. And I have to fight the tears back. Which sometimes works and sometimes it doesn’t.
For those of you that are still reading after all of this rambling, thank you for listening. I am sure this won’t be the last ramble, so you have been warned. I do try to keep things “light” here because who wants to come to a site and see pretty pictures and depressing words? But, in the end, it is my tiny corner of the world and so I use it to get some things out from time to time.
Anyways, regarding 2018, I am SOOOO stinking glad that it is here. I LOVE New Years. I love the visual of starting things fresh with the turn of the calendar. I love new habits, cleaning out, resolutions, fresh starts and the promise of adventure ahead. Truly, the end of last year was so hard that I don’t think I have ever been more excited about a New Year. I do have goals and resolutions. I have plans. But mainly, I just needed to move past the weight of still being in 2017…
Know what I mean? Seeing the calendar change to 2018 means I survived. I did it. I made it through the worst time in my life. And I know I am stronger for it.
I know that I am not done grieving. I probably won’t ever be. I don’t think a loss like this is something you ever fully move past. But, with the promise of a new year, I can breathe a little easier. There is a twinge of excitement in my mind now where there used to only be sadness.I have so much more to say about what 2018 will bring for us but I think this post is long enough for today. So, if you are still here, I will leave you with just a few of my favorite images from 2017…
Okay, this is more than a “few” but it was REALLY hard to narrow down! And to all the clients that supported me this year, and especially the ones who stuck with me through the tough months, THANK YOU. It means the absolute world to me that you are still here.
And of course, if you would like to work with me in 2018, I would love to hear from you… I am currently booking newborns, families, mentoring and travel sessions through the summer. Shoot me an email if you would like more information.