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2011 – The Year Reflected

2011 is coming to a close. Sometimes it feels like an arbitrary thing that we’re supposed to do at the end of the year. Stop and reflect upon our last year of life. Think about what we’ve done, what we want to do and how we want to change for the future. I guess it’s a good thing. Kind of like going to sleep every night on a grand scale. There are definitely nights, many in fact, that I go to sleep thankful and hopeful for the next day. For the next day to be better, for me to be kinder, more forgiving, more gentle. On the larger scale, the new year is a time for letting go of the past, creating new goals, new aspirations and new beginnings.
I think that this year, which has been filled with so much, gratitude is where I land. That is what I want to share for my end-of-the-year snapshot. Gratitude.
I am grateful for my breath. For being able to breath deeply at every moment of my day. I am grateful for my sight and my hearing and my voice. I am grateful for the movement of my body. To be able to wrap my arms around my children, to hear them tell me “I love you”. I am grateful for the sound of my husbands breath as he sleeps next to me at night. For the warmth of his body and his being with me each day.
I am grateful to have had time spent with my mother before she died. To have her live here with us, so that she was able to share time with the boys. I am grateful to have photographed all of it. To have images as memories for myself and for them.
I am grateful for my sister and for her family. For her being there with my mom when she died. For her being here still, to laugh with and share our life experiences. There is nothing like a sister for those times. I am grateful that we share a similar sense of humor and the memories of our parents.
I am grateful for my extended family. I now have parents and grandparents and many brothers and sisters  and I love them all deeply. Even extended aunts and uncles and cousins. It’s pretty amazing and special to have married into such a wonderful group of people. I am truly grateful for that and for each and every one of them. In the face of losing my mother this extended family was there in complete support, in many different ways, all meaningful and deeply appreciated.
I am grateful for my business FMN Design and the lessons that owning that business has taught and continues to teach me. I am grateful for all of the wonderful brides and grooms I have met and designed beautiful books for as well as the photographers that I have worked with over this past year.
I am grateful for the launch of September-Days and the joy that taking photographs has brought to my life. I had the pleasure of photographing over a dozen families in this last three months of the year. Each family was unique and fun and different. And thanks to my amazing husband who is a brilliant location scout, each family was photographed at a different place. Amazing.
I am grateful for my friends, new and old. They keep me real and honest and what I love most is that they love me for me, allowing me to be who I am, which is a gift.
I am grateful for real, whole food. We are what we eat and I appreciate having access to and the ability to provide organic, whole food for myself and my family. We all feel the difference.
I am grateful for this life. Each day.
My ability to learn and grow and change.
My ability to love, deeply.
I will end with some photographs from over this past year. Just a gathering of images that sum everything up. I tried to pull something from each month or at least close to that. I’m not at home and I have what I have and breath while I put this out into the world. Not perfect, not completely buttoned up the way I would like, the way that at one point in my life would have stopped me from hitting “publish”. But today, I know that even this, not my best, not my perfect self is something worth sharing.
I hope everyone has a safe and peaceful New Year’s Eve and that this transition brings joy and prosperity.
Mason had a Star Wars party that was outstanding.
Both boys played on the Dixie Soccer team this year and had a blast.
We hosted a soccer coach, Coach Daniel, which was an amazing experience. We miss you Daniel and wish you a Happy New Year!!!!
Matt and I attended the most amazing car show ever hosted by Kelly and Steve Finn and Matt and I had a wonderful vacation in Lassen with our close friends whom we love.
We hosted both Easter and Thanksgiving at our home.
I was able to create something with my hands which I haven’t done for a while which was rewarding and beautiful.

We went to Stinson for an incredible break from the world.

We had a vacation in Michigan which was revitalizing.

We went to Kauai which was a bitter sweet trip but beautiful all the same.
 Miles had his first girlfriend.
The boys discovered their primal side.

My mother’s life ended.

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