2017, Looking Back and Onward

2017!  What a year to recall!  I’ve found that in the looking back, taking stock, that I am granted a clearer vision and pathway to the “what’s next” and beyond.  You too?  I sat down and went through my calendar and the photo archives and found that much happened in our little family and in my business, mostly positive growth and changes, but we had some setbacks too.  The positives definitely outweigh the negatives and we learned much in the entire process of it all, the good, the bad and the not so beautiful days.  

2017, the highlights unfold…

January 

A new year and a new word to guide me (and my girls).  Intention.  Grow.  Listen.  Those were our chosen words.  Intention did not disappoint!  I set out to make my intentions clear, obtainable and worthy of the necessary stretch to attain my goals.  It worked like a charm!  So much growth happened in just one year and listening to one another was not a lost art.  In fact, we learned to better listen and understand one another.  And we took chances, risks, in order to provide the fertile ground for personal and professional growth.  

We (the 4 of us) attended the Women’s Rally of Reading on the #GlobalDayofAction, January 21 (or the 3rd Saturday of January).  What an amazing event it was!  Our little community in Berks County came out in big numbers to attend.  The highlighted link will take you to view my photos from that important day.  Women’s rights are hugely important to me and I’m researching a personal project to give voice to the next generation of women.  More to come on that in the near future. 

Dare to Dream

February

I applied for Marie Forleo’s B-School Scholarship!  Ah!  Talk about reaching out of one’s comfort zone!!  That certainly did it for me!  I wasn’t chosen to win, but I found the exercise itself thoroughly provided me with inspiration and personal growth in and of itself.  Thanks, Marie and Team Forleo!!!  

March

Was an overwhelmingly wonderful month for us!  Kurt and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary; my 48th birthday; Alanna’s renewal of health and vitality by traveling to Florida:  Miami, Englewood and Kissimmee!  Loads of family time with some of our southern-loving family, Disney, and Universal Studios!  And I had the good fortune of a chance meeting with an artist I adore.  He smiled at me, too!!!  

April 

We celebrated Emilia’s 8th birthday with a fairy-themed party with her friends from school.  We prepared for springtime with many house projects and spring clean-up.  I wrapped up portraits with my favorite local preschoolers and did some real estate photography work.

June 2017

May

Brought more celebrations for us to commemorate!  Kurt’s 50th birthday and a weekend away at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and Aquarium.  We also had a visit with our eldest, Chelsea, who is now living in Colorado and working full time as a manager for the largest ski-equipment rental outfit in the Denver area, putting that degree and her super-smarts to good use!  This mom is SO proud.  May is the second busiest month of the year next to December and 2017 did not disappoint!  We planted the garden and flowers and had some mature trees harvested/removed from our property.  Tree frogs love our pool and pond and decided to move in!  I held Mother’s Day mini portrait sessions (in my then outdoor studio) and offered my local preschool Mother’s Day portraits with their special tea events for the moms.   

June

Our girls wrapped up the school year and summer vacation commenced along with my 5-week Busy Bees Summer Camp for Girls program (ages 6 - 12).  June brought on-location family photography sessions my way, and a host of thunderstorms to work around!  We did it!  And with beautiful results!  I worked with Little Mates Child Development Center to provide school portraits.  My friendly neighbor, Jo, my girls and I attended the summer solstice Bubble festivalSo much fun!       

July

We made our way north to Vermont to explore, relax and camp by Lake Champlain at Button Bay State Park.  We made new friends - most of whom did not go by the name of “Grilled Cheese!”  Such a beautiful state to explore!  Busy Bees day camp kept us moving and shaking as we enjoyed the hot summer days together, creating art, learning to meditate and playing as much as possible.  The gardens flourished!!  And there were sparklers, fireworks and fireflies!  Hooray for all things July!

4th of July 2017

August

Brought me high school senior and family portrait sessions!  Alanna’s most anticipated birthday ever - 11 3/4!  That phenomenal psychic, Madam Esmeralda certainly left us with so many fond memories along with that amazing cake and Quidditch match!  We wrapped up our second year of Busy Bees Summer Camp for Girls with a full roster in attendance and more hugs and memories than ever before!  Then the girls were back to school and routine set back in for us.  What an extraordinary summer we had!

August 2017
Busy Bees Summer Camp

September

Was full of highs and lows, a roller-coaster month!  I worked with high school seniors, a maternity session and family portrait sessions plus, school portraits for my favorite local preschool, Robeson Lutheran Preschool!  We were afforded yet another visit with Chelsea!  And we finally got the chance to meet Sara, her partner.  We miss you both!  I got on an airplane and headed to a remote camp in New Hampshire on Lake Squam to RETREAT!  I did not know a soul and traveled alone on a hunch that my gut told me would be good for me, soul-nourishing.  Guess what!  That hunch was absolutely correct, and I came away with new friends and so many fond memories of the wonderful folks that attended, the fabulous food, the sights & sounds, the restorative work and play and the lake.  I sang, danced, laughed, cried, wrote, photographed, taught, learned, and soaked in the creative juices of Squam Art Workshops Retreat!  Deliciously good for me!  Thank you, fellow Squammies!!!  Here's a where's Waldo shot for you.  Can you find me?  Ten points goes to the first person that comments with the color I'm wearing!  ;)  And GO!!   

 Photo credit:  Tory Williams, www.torywilliams.com

Photo credit:  Tory Williams, www.torywilliams.com

September continued…

The low and unfortunate (although I’m still debating this to be true) setback was my husband’s almost company wide lay-off.  He had been traveling every week and we only had weekends together up to this point, so it was a welcome change to have him home every day and night.  We have endured lay-offs in the past, it is “nature of the beast” unfortunately for blue-collar, labor industry.  We managed to get through a 3 month rough spot and Kurt is now back to work, rehired by his former company and he’s home with his girls every night!  So that is a silver lining to report!!  

October, November, December

What a blur these past 3 months were!  All good, amazing blurs, too!  I shot more families and high school seniors and children combined than I think ever before in a 3 month stint of time.  I opened my in-home studio!!!  I still almost can’t believe we made that move!  All in all, this fall season of photography brought many blessings into my life, and carried us through a rough spot, financially speaking.  Like I said at the beginning of this post, the positives definitely outweigh any negative set backs we may have incurred.  The future is bright and I am an eternally hopeful person.  I know there’s more at work than meets the naked eye.  Things have a way of working out and I am grateful to that energy, that light, that which keeps us rising to reveal our full truth.  

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My new word for 2018 is abide.  Abide kept finding me, again when in meditation or in print or in recording.  I noticed it one too many times to be able to disregard it.  This year I will myself to abide by my own truth, my family and their needs, and my business.  With an abiding heart full of gratitude for an utterly amazing year - thank you, friends & family, alike.  Onward we go!!