As the year ends, it can be so easy to be bombarded with setting New Years Resolutions and focusing on the future. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and of course planning and goal setting is a great thing, I think it’s equally important to reflect on the past year and take note of all the victories and perhaps things we could change and apply them to the new year. When I look back at 2015, I am blown away as I think about all of the incredible things that have happened throughout the year. To be completely honest, at the end of 2014 I was slacking big time in my goal setting for 2015. I was very pregnant with our second child, and really had no idea what life would look like for us as we welcomed this new little bundle into our world. When New Years Day came and went and I realized that my vision was lacking, I decided to kick things into high gear and make some serious goals to go after for 2015. I thought it would be fun to share all of the ways God has worked this year, and these are just 10 of them!
1. Going from day job to dream job: Photography has been a passion of mine since high school, and has always been what I considered my dream job. Often times it seemed like life was always “too busy” for me to pursue it, and honestly, for so long I wasn’t sure where to even start. BUT, I knew without a doubt that’s what I was meant to do, and boy, did I want it! After high school I became a hairstylist & worked in an incredible salon for 5 years. In 2012 we moved to Boston and gave birth to our first child, Connor, so needless to say our life transitioned in enormous ways! It was an incredible blessing to be able to stay home with Connor for the first year, and right after his first birthday I had the opportunity to become a nanny for one of our good friends and was with them for almost a year and a half. When I got pregnant with our second baby, I had an overwhelming desire to make. photography. HAPPEN! By the end of January of 2015 and after tons of prayer and advice, I took a huge leap of faith and quit my day job to pursue my dream job as a wedding + portrait photographer! I’m still blown away by the ways God has worked by stepping out of my comfort zone, and acting on faith when I was so uncertain how things would turn out.
2. The birth of our second son, Brayden: We welcomed this incredible little guy into our lives on February 1st, 2015 and, of course, couldn’t be more in love. As parents of just one child you quickly understand a depth of love that you never knew was possible. You also learn selflessness, patience, sacrifice (and the list goes on) to it’s fullest degree as well. It can be difficult to understand how you can love Baby #2 just as much, and quickly doubt and fear of the unknown can begin to take over. Somehow, someway, your heart expands and again, you experience an inexpressible love for these children. Motherhood is such an incredible gift and something I never want to take for granted. These boys have completed us in so many ways, and make every day an adventure!
3. Celebrating 7 years of Marriage to my High School Sweetheart!: This one is fairly self explanatory, but I’m constantly amazed at how blessed I am to be married to my husband, Stephen. Not only is he ridiculously handsome, but he’s the most hardworking, serving, and giving person that I know. He has so much faith and vision for me, and constantly pushes me to be my greatest. I could go on and on, but I won’t for time’s sake : ) I’m so so grateful for him!
4. Having a deeper faith & a closer relationship with God: This is something that I constantly want to be growing in. My prayer is that each year I can say with confidence that I’ve given my whole heart to my relationship with God, served Him, and served His people. After all I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for his mercy and grace on me.
5. The support of my amazing family: I thank God every day for my family. I’m so grateful that I have incredible parents and an awesome brother, and likely the greatest extended family a girl could ask for! It’s not easy living cross country from each and every family member, but the love and support we have received means infinite amounts. I’m so grateful that this year we have been able to travel back to Oregon twice and had family visit us here in Boston three times!
6. Having my busiest wedding + portrait season to date!: Remember earlier how I said I had no idea if my leap of faith from transitioning from day job to dream job would be a success? I’m so grateful and also humbled to say that this by far has been my most successful year in photography YET! Ahh!! Each and every wedding or portrait session I walked away asking myself “is this really what I do now?!” It’s an amazing feeling and I can’t WAIT to work with all of my 2016 couples and too see all of the blessings that will come from it! And to all my 2015 couples, THANK YOU!!
7. New friendships & stronger existing ones: Looking back at this year, I’m so encouraged at all of the new friends I’ve made, and to see all the ways that my existing friendships have gotten deeper. I ended 2014 with the intention to really invest in the friendships that I have and I can say with confidence that so many of my relationships have an unshakable bond. I’m so blessed to know all of the amazing people that I do!
8. Healthcare: Kind of random, right? I guess not really, but regardless it’s something that has been such a huge blessing to us, especially this year. Our son Connor has had kidney stones three times before the age of THREE, all happening this year. Yikes! It is horrible to watch your child go through that kind of pain (especially at such a young age) and for no explainable reason, BUT I’m so, SO grateful that we live so close and have access to incredible healthcare that is desperately searching for answers! We are definitely getting to the bottom of it and I’m so happy to say that the last few months have been going great!! Thank you God!
9. Attending The Academy: What’s that? Well, let me tell you. Simply put, it’s an online school for Wedding Photographers, with the teachers being wedding photographers themselves leading the way in the industry. The Academy has classes on everything from the business of wedding photography to posing, to post production, and everything in between. It has been SO fun to be a student and to have the privilege of learning from such incredibly talented people who are excited to share their knowledge! I can’t wait to complete the certification process next year!
10. Last, but certainly not least, as I reflect on the year, I’m so humbled at all of the ways that God has provided for us. From “simple” things like a comfortable home, cars, food, incredible jobs for both my husband and I, clean water, fresh air, good health and I could go on and on, I never, ever want to take these things for granted! We are so fortunate to have everything we need and SO much more.
I’m so excited to head into 2016 with an even greater vision, solid goals, and a readiness to make things happen!