Reflections on 2011

There is a lot I want to say about 2011, but I’m struggling to find the words.

Mittleheim Germany Train Station Clock

2011 was a great year, but it didn’t pass without some hardships. 2011 gave me first a fiance and then a husband. A new career. A new home. And so much more. But 2011 also took three wonderful men from my life. Rarely a day goes by when I don’t think of them: Father Phil, Pastor Maynard, and Grandpa Fred — you are missed and loved. Thank you for all you did for me and mine and for all you continue to do. I love you.

Kura Hulanda Curacao

The past year was full of changes. We got engaged, and then we got married. Friends from all over the globe came to our wedding. We traveled. Alone and together. My little brother graduated from college, and I flew to Michigan to see it, together we went to Curacao for our honeymoon (that’s the Kura Hulanda in Curacao above. I’d go back in a heartbeat. But bring bug spray this time.) We moved into Seattle, downsizing our stuff, reorganizing our priorities. I quit my job at Starbucks, started grad school, then quit grad school and made the decision to take a leap of faith and quit grad school to pursue my photography business more fully. I feel so blessed that H. supports me in this decision as well. I combined my personal and photography blog, even when people told me not to, because I’m not just a person who takes pictures. I’m a person who travels, writes about random things, and loves life in the in Pacific Northwest. And my site should reflect that.

As I think towards 2012, I am so excited. Excited because I know how much potential life holds and I am determined to grab it and take hold of that potential. But I’ve learned that life is about slowing down. We don’t need to rush through everything, we don’t need to be picture (or magazine) perfect. We just need to be ourselves. I’ve made some personal and professional goals for 2012. The one I think is most important is to make time for my friends and family. So often, I am content to communicate with my friends via the internet, even when they live in the same city. But it’s important to cultivate our friendships, to take time to meet with our friends in person. And sometimes I forget that. So one of my goals next year is to make time to meet up with my friends (and family) in person. Whether it’s coffee dates or dinner or just spending time together, I don’t want my life to pass by in a series of emails, facebook posts, or twitter streams. So let’s chat.

In closing, I want to wish everyone a happy January. January gets a bad reputation sometimes, but it’s really a great month. Bring on the snow and hot cocoa :)

Happy 2012.

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