This blog post is always one of my favorites to write every year. I love looking through all of the beautiful couples I’ve been so blessed to meet and photograph. I remember Kim+ Kris dancing in the rain with all of their guests in Anguilla. Jaimie + John playing in leaves on the most beautiful fall day in Syracuse. Alex + Cam seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day (still makes me tear up). Franny + Mike dancing on the dock in bare feet. Lydia + Stephen saying vows in the backyard of the home she grew up in. Celebrating 10 years of marriage with Becky + Jason and 24 years with Vikki + Craig. Laughing with Margo + Anthony as their friends sang about good times on stage. Frolicking with Katie + Luke in fields while they sang and goofed around. Watching the most epic sunset with Sara + Steve.
I could go on and on about every couple I met this year, but I really just want to emphasize how much I truly love my job and the couples I work with. The longer I am a photographer, the more I realize how IMPORTANT it is to choose a photographer that not only fits your “style” but also one that gets you. I can get along with most people, but magic is made with the couples that trust me and simply fit well creatively.
Some personal highlights:
>> Traveling with Brendan to Portland and Seattle to explore a part of the country we’ve never been to before
>> Celebrating two years of marriage in Savannah
>> Becoming puppy parents
>> Shooting underwater for the first time
>> Watching so many close friends become parents for the first time
>> Reuniting with Syracuse friends
>> Hosting our families and friends in Charlotte and giving them a taste of our favorite foods and places
Oh, and my goals from 2013. It’s exciting to check some of those off, but frustrating when the easiest ones are still on the page with no time allotted to them. My personal goals from last year:
>> Play more. Work less.
>> Try a new recipe every week
>> Revisit an old talent
>> Take an art class
>> Go with Brendan to one of the places on our bucket list
>> Finish painting our house
Furnish the office, living room, storage, and fix laundry room
>> Craft once a month
>> Daily quiet time + study
>> Create structure/habits for gym +
One thing I am so proud of is the fact that we’ve instituted healthier eating habits. We were never people that ate fast food all the time or anything crazy, but we did eat a lot of processed foods. I read many transformational stories of people that starting making food from scratch, eating organic food, etc. and then it changed their health completely. I’m happy to announce that after almost five months of eating more “whole,” we haven’t been sick ONCE (rare during the fall with how crazy September/October/November are with weddings), including Brendan who used to get a sinus infection every 2-3 months. I haven’t been drinking as much coffee because I have more energy. We both just feel better. It’s really fun to discover new food and make things from scratch. It’s become one of our favorite things to do together as a couple. I think the biggest excuse people make for changing their eating habits is that it cost more. Our grocery bills have actually been the same, although it does involve more time to prepare meals.
I’m also happy that we finished our laundry room (thanks Uncle Mike!) and filled in some much needed gaps around our home that drastically improved our bug situation in the summer with our older home. Butttt, we still haven’t finished painting or furnishing the house. Slowly, but surely…
I haven’t been good about making time for a personal project. I never took an art class (although, I’ve recently picked up calligraphy). I haven’t been to the gym as much as I’d like. I haven’t been making much time to be quiet, reflect, read, and be with God. All things to improve upon next year…
Personal goals for 2014
1. Finish Decorating The House
Paint hallway. Paint kitchen (and cabinets…yikes!). Finish furnishing living room. Make curtains.
2. Be More Intentional About Spending
Plan meals better with less waste. Give more. Be less impulsive with spending.
3. Be Content With What We Have
Shop less, save more for trips we want to take to Europe and Africa.
4. Be Adventurers
Make time to go back to the Northwest. Explore Charlotte more. Keep up with whole food eating and new recipes. Be creative with training Poa (agility? sled dog racing?). Skydiving?
5. Take Reigns On Health
Start taking vitamins. Drink more water, less caffeine. Set realistic fitness goals. Go to bed earlier. Eat less dessert. Make time for yoga. Take at least one day off a week.
6. Cut Down On Technology Use
Read more, watch TV less. Do quiet time first thing in the morning instead of checking phone. Set office hours. Be present, off phone.
I think overall, I want to start living more intentionally. As Brendan and I have started to talk about having kids in the next few years, we realized there are quite a few things we really want to do together. There are better habits I want to integrate. There are places we’ve wanted to visit for years that we haven’t made happen.
Here’s to being more intentional about making time to be with the people we love and doing the things we love.
Without further adieu, here are my favorite images from the past year.
Finally, a HUGE thank you to all of my lovely couples from this year. It wouldn’t be as wonderful without all of you!
Stacey + Eli, Megan + Charles, Kim + Kris, Katie + Luke, Franny + Mike, Lauren + Devan, Madeline + John, Jennifer + Manoj, Julianne + Nick, Margo + Anthony, Jennifer + CJ, Carissa + Joe, Elizabeth + Jeffrey, Alex + Cam, Erin + Zeke, Molly + Dave, Hannah + Jon, Lydia + Stephen, Sara + Steve, Lindsay + Matt, Talie + Jared
Cannot wait for all the memories that 2014 will bring :)