A Year of Gratitude

May 08, 2019

I want to tell you a story about a year I could have never imagined in the best way possible.  When we moved to Minnesota two years ago, I was 25 weeks pregnant and immersed in the uncharted territory of "re-planting" a church with my husband.  I had no idea how I was going to rebuild a business that was already so hard to cultivate in the PNW.  Then, I met people that would shock you with their goodness and they offered me business.  They started giving my name to clients on dates they were booked and I found not only a community of friends but of entrepreneurs that did actually believe in community over competition.

As 2017 ended, I had three beautiful children, a growing church and more weddings booked for 2018 than I had ever photographed in a year, times two.  I could not believe it.  I was so excited about what my work would become and what this amazing new community to bring.  Truthfully, it brought the kind of genuine support that feels like solid ground and the kind of laughter that can only be found in grown-up sleepovers complete with makeup, champagne, and early 2000s hits.  It was a great year.

It was also challenging in a way I couldn't grasp.  I realized early in 2018 that I needed help because my anxiety and depression kept me on a razor's edge between lethargy and rage nearly every day.  I was given an official diagnosis in February and was given life and sanity-saving meds just in time to help one of my closest people through a spiral I never saw coming.  Only now am I realizing how much I needed more time to process than I was given because wedding season started with a bang and I was off and running.  

For years, one of my biggest points of pride was the fact I could get a blog up about my couples in about two days and nothing made me happier than their reaction to seeing a selection of their photos so soon after they said, "I do."  In 2018, I blogged one wedding.  One.  The weight of my mental health and the fact that parenting three kids while working at home full time was truly stretching me past my limits.  I felt like a failure.  I felt like I let everyone down.  

And then, almost every day, I get tagged in an Instagram photo of one of my clients.  Whether they are photos from 2018 or 2013, people still loving the photo stories I got to tell.  My people are the best people you will ever know and they remind me that I didn't fail, and they give me grace, and they update me on their lives, and we get drinks via Skype, and all of a sudden my view of failure has a new lens that doesn't focus on the little things quite as well.

So, if you would, please enjoy an insanely long blog post full of highlights from 2018, from my best and favorite people and know that I do hope to tell their stories in detail, but even if I don't, that's OK too.

Without further ado, the good stuff...
Oh how grateful I am to each and every one of you in these photos and those surrounding the incredible people in them.  Thank you thank you thank you for 2018.

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