best. year. yet.

I read an instagram post from Lara Casey that started with the words:

Something has shifted.

Immediately I felt like I resonated with that phrase. Something has shifted in me lately, and I believe it happened sometime during the haze that existed between December and January.

During that time, I was completely MIA. No emails, no blogging, not even one click on my camera. Not that it was entirely my decision though, because I fell into a pretty crappy sickness on Boxing Day and only now am I starting to feel like myself again. Being pregnant AND sick is not a fun combination…but as usual, it seems everything happens for a reason. 

Maybe I needed those three weeks of nothing but sleep and reading and alone time with my husband. Maybe I needed my life to shut down for this shift to take place. 

Before the break I felt intimidated by 2014. I thought of it as "the year of the unknown," largely due to the arrival of our little one in April.

I pictured myself drowning in carseat manuals, diaper bags, overflowing baskets of laundry. 2014 looked cluttered and confusing and scariest of all…it looked like a big question mark.

Saying goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014 was hard. I felt like I was trying to put it off as long as possible…that is, until I saw January SEVENTH on the calendar yesterday and realized I needed to get my act together. 

When I think back on how I spent the last year, I am reminded of things like:

Lessons in friendship.
Lessons in patience.
Searching for balance.

I was a distracted person, alienated by my own self-employment and seriously unfulfilled when it came to personal relationships. I thought I could control everything and was humbled by the process of trying to create a baby. I was hungry for changes to take place, yet so resistant to actually doing it.

And then March happened…and I started becoming the person I wanted to be.

I spent the year making small changes, day by day or month by month; building meaningful relationships, taking care of myself, filling up on the good stuff and getting rid of the bad, decluttering my mind/my home…you name it.

If there's one thing I know now, it's that a year is LONG. 

There is SO much time to make change and direct your days purposefully! And if you're thinking about your past year and wishing you had made some changes, I hope this simple concept will inspire your heart:

2014 really IS "the year of the unknown."

But in a great way.

It's a year that will (again) change my life completely. It's a year that will no doubt come with struggle, challenge, and frustration. It's a year that I will always remember. 

It's the year that brings us our little baby boy… 

The things that I want for my life are clearer than ever, and it's hitting me hard in the making-things-happen department. I feel ready to take this year ON.

2014: It will be the best year yet.

Calm (wherever I can get it). Less noise. Less social media distractions. 

Adventure. More meaningful conversations. More mugs of tea. More time spent reading. More time outside. More photos of US.

Passion. I want to feel like my insides are exploding with passion for my work. I am desperate to feel this way at least a handful of times this year, and being that it's off-season and the outside world is in a deep-freeze…the desire only gets stronger.

Clarity. This year is so important and apparently it flies by! I want my head to be clear so that I can fully appreciate the life and growth of our little baby boy. I want to document this year in a meaningful way…to have forever.

Lovely friends, I hope you've found your way to Lara's goal setting blog posts at some point this week! I encourage you to fill out this letter to yourself:

Following through on these steps was a CRUCIAL part of making changes in 2013, and I am very excited to work through it again this year. One part I'm clear on though, is my word for 2014.

Balance. Balance when it comes to the good stuff:

Being a wife.
Being a mom.
Being a friend.
Being a wedding photographer.

To me, balance means feeling like you're in the right place. That feeling of being pulled in a hundred directions…it gives me a headache just thinking about it. And it makes it very difficult to feel PRESENT.  

When I'm spending time being a wife and preparing lunches and dinners for my husband, I want to be present.

When I'm spending time being a mom and ogling my adorable little creation, I want to be present. 

When I'm photographing a beautiful couple in love on their wedding day, I want to be present.

And ultimately, when I'm truly PRESENT in these things, that's when I feel fired up. That's when I want to WRITE and SHARE and CREATE. That's when life comes together for me!

In the words of Rhi from Hey Gorgeous Events
2014, you're mine.

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