December 31, 2016
I can’t even believe today is the LAST day of 2016. It seems like each year of my life goes by faster than the last. Just this time last year I was thankful to have gotten over the holidays without my husband as he was deployed, building a home on my own as he was gone, attending every meeting with my builders and making approximately 2,872 Lowe’s trips all on my own with a 2 year old on my hip. I was living in a friends house who was deployed with Kyle, running a full time business on my own and taking care of our family all by myself. It was chaotic, but worth it for sure. My husband came home from deployment in March of this year and it made 2016 so much brighter for our little family. We were whole again. And we’ve spent every waking moment together ever since. That’s just how our family does things. We don’t do anything without each other and if we have a free moment, we want it to be spent together. I love that my husband and I are on the same page with that. We’ve almost spent a whole year in our brand new home that we designed and built from our hearts and are again, approaching another deployment.
2016 was good for the most part. I’ve heard so many people say it was such a rough year for them and that makes me sad for them! We hit one rough patch of losing a baby we never got to meet and that seemed like the lowest part of my entire life, so I guess you could say 2016 had its pits for me as well, but overall, it was good. We’re together, happy and healthy and I know God will continue to bless us as a family.
2016 was an amazing year for my little business!! Each year I say I’ll ONLY shoot 10 weddings, but this year I took on 13 and only shot 12 after one got cancelled. For me, I want to make lasting relationships with my brides and grooms and I want to serve them well. I want to give the best of me to them and shoot their wedding day through the eyes of God and not just through my artistic capability. That’s important to me…which is why I put a small cap on how many weddings I take each year. I never want to be that photographer that over works myself, shooting 30, 40 weddings a year and getting burnt out. That was never my intention when I started this business and I promised myself a long time ago I would never shoot TOO many each year. That number varies from photographer to photographer, but my couples aren’t just a paycheck to me… they’re my friends who turn into family and each one of them deserves the best of me and I simply can’t give the best of myself to people if I’m spread too thin. We’re also trying to grow our family and while I LOVE what I do, I want to also give the best of me to my family. I’m sure I’ll take more than 10 for 2017 as well, because lets face it… I just can’t say no to the perfect couple, but I’m eager to see what 2017 brings to this beautiful blessing of a business!
2016 brought one of my BIGGEST goals to light. One I never thought would come true, but somehow it did. I prayed, I put it out there in a blog post, and God knows my heart. He brought to me the most amazing couple I could’ve ever asked for who wholeheartedly trusted me to shoot their wedding in Paris, France. All expenses paid, a 6 day trip to Paris — the trip of a lifetime. I still look back and want to pinch myself. Was it real? Did that REALLY happen? I just can’t believe it. 4 years ago when I made the huge leap of faith to quit my corporate job that I worked almost 8 YEARS to finally get into the position I was in, I never thought in my wildest dreams it would pay off so well by financially supporting our family and taking me to Paris — somewhere I’ve wanted to go my whole life. God is so good you guys. I can’t think Him enough for guiding me and guiding my business.
I will admit however, leaving for 6 days was HARD. I missed my family so much and leaving that baby girl of mine just felt awful. International weddings are SO fun so we’ll see if the right one comes along again soon. I’ve already turned one down for 2017 for a couple of different reasons. The location would’ve been magical, but I believe in putting family first and Kyle and Aubree will always be my #1 focus. I HATE turning down brides and grooms but with a husband who leaves so often for work, I only want to say YES to the absolutely amazing things that feel 100% right before leaving Aubree again. We never want to be that family that leaves her often.
So, now for the extra good stuff…my FAVORITE images of 2016 — a little from each wedding I shot this year! I haven’t blogged my Paris wedding yet but only because I wanted to respect my couple by letting them look through their images first, share with family, etc. It’ll be one of my FIRST blog posts of 2017 — eeeek!!! :)
First, before I add a little favorites from each wedding I shot, I just want to give a huge thank you to every couple who trusted me with their most important day. Its never something I take lightly when someone hires ME to shoot their wedding and I’ll forever be grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to meet you, to befriend you, to shoot your day in the best way I possibly can, and to have forever friendships with you. Grateful that you make my dreams come true with each “we want YOU” and my family is forever grateful that you help support us. So thank you from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate each one of my couples so very much!
And while everyone else is leaving these massively long encouraging posts (I’m guilty of typically doing this myself at the end of each year), I only want to leave you with 2 words for 2017. Do better. Do better than you did this year. Strive a little harder. Spread kindness more and love more. In the end, all we EVER need to do, is better.
Thank you for going on this beautiful journey with me, I love all of you so much for being by my side and supporting me, my family and this beautiful blessing of a business! Xo!
So excited for 2017 wedding season and to serve all of my new brides and grooms! Let’s make 2017 AMAZING!!! xo!
Design by West + Free Co. Photography by Jami Thompson Photography