Eighteen for 2018

Diving in head first, friends...  So, here it is: 

My list of eighteen for 2018.

1.  Take more long walks.  In the woods, and otherwise.  Get up off my cushion and get moving!  I walked my neighborhood 3 mile loop 2 days ago and my shins are still screaming at me.  I guess I should be happy that's all that's aching!  Must make walking a priority, again.   

2.  Meditate everyday.  Find at minimum 5 - 10 minutes everyday to notice the breath, just be, listen inward.  

3.  Open an Etsy shop.  Whoops.  Scratch that!  I did!!  I opened an Etsy Shop!!!  Come see me!  :) This is sooo exciting!  I'm offering custom, hand-painted watercolor logo design, branding work!  Calligraphy, too!  Plus, vintage goodies + collectible items.  Shop often!  :)  

4.  Clean out the attic of the clutter!  I am so ashamed, friends.  If you saw my attic, you'd be appalled and probably rush to call the fire department to alert them of my mayhem.  Pack rat, am I.  Having the Etsy shop now will hopefully help to inspire me to clean house.  It's time.  

5.  Grow a sunflower patch - along with a wildflower, bee-thriving, butterfly-attracting, mower-detracting patch in our yard.  I am super stoked about this.  The hubby agreed to remove sod from about a 30' x 35' area (or maybe larger) in our backyard this spring and plant it!  Can't wait!  You know I'll be certain to keep you up-to-date on this progress, my friends.  :) 

6.  Photograph more high school seniors (wink, wink).  Hey, friends, that sunflower patch in late summer sure would be an ideal spot for some photos highlighting your senior!!  Just thought I'd throw that out there.  ;)  You in? 

7.  See a Broadway play.  I have never experienced one in my 48 young years.  Have you?  Do tell!  Either way, I'm ready to cross this off my bucket list.  

8.  Take the family to New York City for a weekend.  Hence, the above statement ^^ (ahem).  Family, are you in?!!  I know you are reading this.  

9.  Seek out wonder.  Let it nurture your inner child.  I do love her.  She's a gift.  Wonder is beautiful. 

10.  Remember that it's okay to say "no" to the things that do not sit well with your soul.  You won't be able to please everyone all of the time, but if you abide by your gut feelings, your truth, you may please the ones most worthy.  There.  I said it.  Out loud.  Feels good, too.     

11.  Detox.  Detox.  Detox.  Especially from social media on occasion.  As much as it has brought about such a positive force in my life, bringing me out of my cozy little shell and learning a great deal in the entire process, it also drains my energy.  Must restore a balance.  If you, my reader, have any tips I'd love to hear from you!  Do share how you find balance with all things social.  And if you are an introvert, such as myself, even better!  

12.  Speaking of introverts, I plan to read more books this year.  Any soulful novels worth mentioning?  Any good reads?  Do share!  My favorite books from 2017 were: Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird (on writing); Terry Tempest Williams'  When Women Were Birds (another great read on voice and writing); Linda Ly's The New Camp Cookbook (well, okay, it's a cookbook, but so much more!) and The Atlas of Beauty: women of the world in 500 portraits by photographer Mihaela Noroc (truly incredible lady).  There were more, but these were my top favorites.  Next up, Farley Mowat's Woman in the Mists: The Story of Dian Fossey and the Mountain Gorillas of Africa (thanks, Chelsea!).  :) 

13.  Lucky 13!  I just announced this week that we'll be running a 3rd year of Busy Bees Summer Camp for Girls!  Hooray!  Once a Busy Bee, always a Busy Bee.  I love teaching art to the girls and watching their imaginations take flight.  It is an honor and a special treat to be able to host this day camp for another year!  It's a 4 week program set to begin July 23.  I'm excited for it!   

14.  Speaking of summertime, I'd love to plan for and photograph more families - At the beach!!  I'll be offering summertime, sunset beach sessions (oy, say that ten times fast!) just for families!  My dear friend Jen has agreed to host me for weekend stays in New Jersey - so I'll be within a half hour drive from any and all of the Jersey shore points!  (Thanks, Jenny!).  I'm imagining relaxed, sun-kissed family time, beachside, pastel colors in the sky, wind gently playing with hair, the surf against the shore, exploring for sand crabs and sand castles and big, beautiful smiles!!  Who's in?  Send me a note once you book your beach stay for this summer - or if you already have and we'll start our plan of action!  :)  

15.  I have a personal project I've decided to take on and work towards this year titled, "The Year of the Girl."  My aim, intent is to connect with as many young girls as I possibly can, photograph and interview them, and then share them with the world!  Okay, on my blog. ;)  The world, too!  So, either check back often or get yourself subscribed to my blog to see all the girls I will be highlighting with this project.  My goal for this project is two-fold:  #1, seek out girls making a difference in the community, doing what they love, picking their brains for wisdom that only they have, and then #2, share them with you.  It's a human interest project which seeks to empower young girls, their voices, their desires/dreams for the future, their unique qualities in order to offer other girls (and women alike) role models, inspiration, motivation, strength.  My first shoot is this weekend and I can't wait to share with you all!  #YearoftheGirl #HereWeCome

16.  Collaborate with other artists, professionals, and photographers.  If you want to collaborate in some way, shape or form, please do reach out.  I'm all ears!!  

17.  Maintain an open, hopeful heart and mind.  Stay curious.  Keep the creative juices flowing in all things.  

18.  Looking back at my list, Seventeen for 2017, so many wondrous, amazing things happened for me and my little family - this gives me such hope for this year.  A year does make all the difference and in the looking back allows us to see the proof of it.  I'm looking ahead now, full steam, ready for 2018 and all the glorious blessings that are already at work.  Do share some of your list, your wishes, goals for the year ahead.  You know I always love to hear from you!  Your comments brighten my day!  Keep shining your light out there, my friends.  Thank you for stopping by!!  Onward!!