Looking Back at 2013…

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Well, the holiday sick bug that’s been going around hit our household …and hard. Normally we’re not ones to get sick, but this time ALL THREE of us got sick to varying degrees. I guess, if there is a silver lining to be seen, it’s that the littlest one of us seems to have gotten off the lightest. Us adults, on the other hand, got the heavy-handed version of things (don’t worry, I will spare you the details). Suffice it to say, we’ve been holed up since Christmas, and I doubt we’ll be doing anything special tonight; I have no desire to pass this bug on to anyone else. So, if you have portrait orders to pick up, don’t worry, I will let you know when we have sanitized and decontaminated the place 😉 so that you can come get your lovely portraits without fear of also bringing home a bug.

Anyways, as we were lazying around (er, resting?) this morning, I couldn’t help but see the lovely snowflakes falling and glittering in the sun’s rays. It’s no fun to be out in the cold when sick, but it certainly is still nice to look at, regardless. Here’s some of our morning view (no turkeys today, but yesterday we say 5-6 of them).

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As the day continues to unfold, and the new year approaches, I couldn’t help but leave you with some reflections from this year and thoughts on 2014. Maybe if you bear with me I’ll share my favorite pictures from 2013 😉 …ok?

First of all, I have truly been blessed in so many ways. My husband and son have both been so wonderful to me, even when undeserved (I hear I can blame that on pregnancy hormones, but I’m not going to take the easy out. I owe it to them to be nice — all the time). This week while sick my toddler has been asking us, “are you ok?” if he hears us coughing; it makes my heart melt. I have also been blessed with wonderful parents and in-laws — both of whom are always willing to drop pretty much anything to help out in a pinch. They have offered countless times to come over and help, or just called to see what they could do. And the rest of our family has been similarly gracious. Our last minute (well, week of) Christmas gift for our son was to have him move into his “big boy room” on Christmas day. I wasn’t sure it was going to happen, but thanks to family and friends, we got “library” of books, furniture, and art craft supplies moved elsewhere in the house so that the full bedroom set of furniture at my parents’ house could be transported over and put into place in time for Christmas morning. Here’s a late night snapshot of the room, just finished:

Then there’s all those other “standards” to be thankful for: food, a warm home, and the like. But I won’t go into those just for the sake of covering “everything.” Life’s too short. What have I learned from this year that I plan to do differently next year? Well, for starters, I know I need to give my loved ones more of my undivided attention. Too often, I try to be super-mom-photographer-homemaker all at the same time…and well, let’s just say that usually ends up with my loved ones getting the short end of the stick somehow. When I’m working, I will be working. When I’m “at home” with my family, I plan to be more intentional about resting in the moment and enjoying that time (rather than planning ahead, thinking of something that needs to be done, etc). Multitasking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Maybe I should devote 2014 to avoiding the urge to multitask, and instead go back to that old adage – doing one thing well at a time. Patience, contentment, and willingness to accept the imperfect also are things I want to cultivate for myself personally (business-wise, you all know I plan to make more stellar portraits and continue to be creative, so no sense in me going there on this post).

I plan to take time to revel in the little things – a nice spontaneous snuggle given by my toddler, enjoy the sun’s rays streaming through our windows (cats have it down, don’t they? Ginger found this perfect sunbeam spot atop one of the presents this year (at right). I don’t want to look back on 2014 and feel like I missed out on all those precious moments because I was too busy worrying about making sure things “go according to plan” or because my head was off in the clouds. Sometimes its tough to be intentional about being truly present in the moment. But that’s my resolution for 2014. Finding contentment where I am at in a given moment.

Kids can do it so easily… how do we forget that life-enhancing trait? I was reminded of this during the present-opening frenzy… while our son loved opening and unwrapping his presents (look at that huge smile on his face while astride the balance bike!), he really kept going back to several key things — his “sewing” and a jungle toyset (particularly the spider that went up and down on its “web”). He was content to be in his own little world, amidst the present opening and craziness. There were no complaints; he let us know when he needed something (wait, no he didn’t – he got his own water, used the potty himself)…it was amazing. The more I parent, the more I see that we have so much to learn from our kids. Yes, they have lots to learn about life, but by learning, they also teach us.

Yes, you were patient… now for the promised “favorites from 2013! I’ve chosen 13 pictures – for the year 2013. Enjoy!

My Favorites from 2013

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