This Year.

It’s the evening of the very first day of this new year, and as I sit here typing I can hear leftover fireworks being set off not far away. Last night they went on for hours. My own celebration was simple and quiet, which was just fine with me as I enter the eighth month of my pregnancy.

I have always loved New Year’s Eve. It’s the welcoming of something fresh- three hundred and sixty-five days, yet to be written and full of promise. This year I’m anticipating so much change as our family grows by one. There will adjustments and challenges, and the complete joy that a new baby brings. There will be the continuation of my constant search for balance in life as I must learn all over again to simultaneously be wife and mama, photographer and entrepreneur, and still just me- all in a new way.

There will be some frustration (I already feel it) in finding that balance. Even now my body tells me to slow down and I’m not yet ready to. I have set the start of my maternity leave for mid-February, when I’ll be full term. I have much to do between now and then, but I really want to get to a place where I can turn off my business mind for a few months and focus completely on my family. I want to give them all of me in that time- I need to.
I want to focus my lens on them as well, and get back to that place where each expression and sweet moment makes me reach for a camera. I want to document us- our life as family- because as much as I love doing this for my clients and I am incredibly thankful that this is my job, this gift I’ve been given must be used for my family. Looking back at the folders of images I’ve taken over the last few years I noticed a trend in my work that bothered me a lot- as my business became busier, the number of pictures I took of Seth decreased. During his first year, during which I worked very little, I was always photographing him- sleeping, eating, smiling, playing. The following two years I still brought my camera out with us from time to time and I still took pictures of Seth, but not nearly as many, and often hardly any of the everyday life stuff- the details I’ll want to look back on and share with him later. It would simply not be okay with me if one day my grown boys ask me why there weren’t so many photos of them over the years as my career grew. They are truly my most important subjects. So I am going to start a habit- I guess you could call it one of my New Year’s goals- of documenting the lives of those I love the most. I know that artistically it will do nothing but sharpen me as well.

Last year, I chose the word thrive for 2011. It turned out to be quite fitting, though there were so many times in the last year when I didn’t really feel like I was thriving. But spending more than half the year growing a baby inside, and growing personally and spiritually in ways my soul desperately needed, definitely made it an appropriate word for the year.

In 2012, it is not one word but two:

be present.

This is one thing I have never been particularly good at, and yet I know so many areas of my life need it, and will more so than ever this year. Mentally, I am so often everywhere but the current moment, and I know it contributes to so much worry and mental chaos.
I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on that here soon… but for now, happy new year!

{Do you like our fun with sparklers from last night? I’ve been wanting to play with light and long exposure for several fireworks-type holidays in a row now, and this time I finally had a decent tripod. So when Manny got home from work yesterday I dragged him outside and had him do some light-writing for me. :) Seth absolutely loves them too, as you can see. I’m so glad, because I was inexplicably terrified to go near them when I was little.}

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