Saturday, December 31, 2011

begin and end

Begin:  my One Little Word for 2011.  
This word is a verb meaning: 1) to perform the first or earliest part of some action; commence; start 2) to come into existence; arise; originate 3) to be the originator of.  its synonyms include such words as: inaugurate, actualize, establish, instigate, introduce, generate, impel, open, prepare, produce, undertake, become functional. 
At the beginning of the year I introduced my word and shared my thoughts on why I had picked "begin" as my word (or why I thought it picked me).  I love how this year really has come full circle.  This is what I said in January:   
this is how i am approaching the year 2011... with the intention of opening myself up to the possibility held by this word.  i want to begin so many things, and also finish what i start.  i want to savor the beginnings of things and recognize the change they bring.  i want to "be the originator" of action and progress and movement.
i want to begin to live.
And looking back through these last 12 months I feel fulfilled in what I wanted to accomplish and even surprised in what my word brought into my life.

The Facts:  I literally began many things this year, including regular auxiliary pioneering, being a homeowner, handling stress differently, online courses to help me find my way, keeping a check register, actively encouraging others, making our house a home, learning more about my husband, designing (wedding invitations and logos this year) traveling and going on adventures, trying out recipes, doing blog makeovers again, experimenting with my hair style, collecting things on Pinterest and created my "Stop Pinning // Start Doing" posts, figuring out my photography and editing style, a 365 project with Chris for our 5th year of marriage, new friendships, rekindle old friendships, read book after book after book, and really live!

The Feelings:  I feel like this word really had a huge impact in my life.  Many things I intentionally decided and began, which let to new goals and fresh outlooks on life.  I know that being back the pioneer work has made me feel more like myself again.  I am so glad to have found my purpose in life have real joy.  I have become more purposeful in my relationships, especially with my husband.  I want to be actively in love, not just married, and I feel like we have begun a new chapter as a couple.  There are also some things that I began and finished, like my 52weeks book.  That was such a precious project to me, and by selling my book throughout the year I was able to carry it with me.  And then there was the month I gave up Diet Coke; that was an undertaking that I followed through with.  Our 365 project is still alive and going strong.  I am so proud of deciding to begin that project and can't wait to finish it and hold the book in my hands.  That feeling of accomplishment is something that only comes when first you begin.

As I say goodbye to my word this year I want to remember how I feel today: refreshed, eager, ready, happy.  And that's not to say that everything is perfect right now... I'm just savoring the little things that make me happy.  I want to remember there is fear in beginning, but also a chance to learn and grow.  I want to remember to finish the things I begin and continue to incite in myself and others action, and progress and forward motion.

What a year it has been.... from beginning to end. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

SHADYlane Photography: year end

As the year comes to a close we all find that it is a time of reflection.  And I wanted to compile all of the sessions I did this year and share my favorite images.  I did this last year and it was one of my favorite posts, so I wanted to make sure and do it again for 2011.  

I really feel like I have developed and defined my style as a photographer this year.  I am so grateful to those who hired me and let me take their pictures this year.  I have grown so much, and its only through practice that I'll continue to get better and hone my skills behind the lens.  

And on to my shoots from 2011: 
Bennett Family
(largest group I've ever shot!!)  

Katie and Cody Legere wedding in Halifax, Nova Scotia 

Dear family friends, Tracy and Lisa and their sweet daughters. 

My sister Megan and her husband Siyani 

Senior Shoot 1: Rebekah

Senior Shoot 2:  Ri

Engagement shoot for Rob and Kirsten
(I shot their family pictures in 2010 too!) 

Schwartz family.  Oh what a fun shoot.  See more here

Jimmy and Marla Weed

Thank you for all your support throughout the year as my ever dreams of photography keep expanding.  I'd love to shoot you and your family in 2012!  Click on the SHADYlane Photography link at the top for more information. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In Memory...

A little over a month ago I received a phone call... you know the kind: where you're hit with the news that causes a pit to form in your stomach and panic to get caught in your throat; that ends in a mess of tears and a struggle to find the right thing to do.  The hard kind of phone call... the worst kind. 

It was from my sister, letting me know that my Grandmother had been rushed to the hospital and that the family was gathering.  That it looked like the end... 

I thanked her for letting me know and at that moment, everything started spinning.  I was at work that day and couldn't get it covered, there was a horrible snow storm headed the direction I needed to go, and Chris couldn't get off to take me.  I just needed to be there with my family.  I was able to make it through the next two days of work and then Thursday night I got another call.  This time saying "If you're going to come, you need to come now."  So I got the next day covered at work and braved the weather all by myself and headed up to the hospital in Trail, BC.  The trip that should of taken me 4 1/2 hours, took me 7 with the snow and crazy drivers, but I made it.  And I was able to say goodbye to my Grandma and be with my family through one of the hardest times we've ever faced.  

I will cherish those last moments I was able to spend by her side before she passed away on Sunday evening, November 20, 2011.  I stroked her arm, fed her slivers of oranges, gave her water and little ice cubes, and talked...I told her all about what my life has been the last year, about service and the joy its bringing me, about our new house and decorating it, about married life, about music and spiritual things.  And through it all I regretted not taking the time to be with her before, not calling her to share stories before, not visiting.  The resurrection hope is made more real in these circumstances... and I will try to live my life the way that she did: in full service to God so that I may one day see her again, in perfect health with her bright smile.  

I have tried for many days (almost a month now) to write about how this has effected me.  I know I need to put pen to paper and pour out the emotions, but the words just do not come for some reason.  The poetry escapes me.  Perhaps I just need more time, but I wanted to at least write this blog post in her memory.  To not let this moment that's had such a huge impact on me pass by without mention.  

Thank you for your patience as I've been grieving and been a little quiet around the blog lately.  And thank you for reading this post, and for in just a little way, helping me celebrate her life and who she was as a person, a wife, mother and grandmother, and a servant of Jehovah.  

Hug your loved ones every chance you get.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

december hair diaries

Its been almost a month since my last, that time went by fast.  So much has happened and I've been really sick, but I'll share a few things in the days to come.  

But for today I thought another installment of "The Hair Diaries" would be just perfect. :)  New hair always makes me happy.  

I had been rocking the ombre look since September and it had grown out nicely, but was seriously SO LONG.  So long it was getting caught in things.... embarrassing my armpits.  :P  And it was looking kind of brassy in the places where the red color from before never quite got covered over.  

Of course once I knew it was time for a change I started pinning ideas and a direction seemed to form.... milk chocolate color with lots of dimension and a fresh cut. 

And cutting my hair was a big deal...this year I promised my husband I would go the whole year without getting a drastic cut.  And I did it!!  I can't believe how long it got.  The before pictures really don't even do it justice.  And I didn't do anything drastic with the cut.  Just my favorite chunky layers and clean, healthy ends.  

I am happy with how it turned out.  Its probably the closest to my natural color I've had my hair in a long time.  I think it will be perfect for the winter time...which is just now maybe hitting us.  We've had a couple days of a little snow, but nothing sticking.  That's my kind of winter!

Of course my cousin Hannah was the one who did my color and cut for me.  She is just starting a new adventure herself, she quit the salon she was working at, got her business license and has opened an adorable little studio on the Ave in Wenatchee.  I was so excited to go see her new space and get my hair done there.  I'm so proud of her and I know she's going to do awesome as she progresses forward with this new journey.  

So there is a little hair happiness for today.  Its been a hard month, but I think even this little change is helping.