31Dec '11

2011, I am not ready to say goodbye

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2012 is coming, 
But first, let’s kiss 2011 goodbye. 2011 took all that I had to offer, and put it to good use. You tested my strength, pushed my creativity, challenged my assumptions and reminded me about the importance of intuition.  
It feels hard to see this year go, it meant so much to me. 2011 planted some beautiful strong seeds, and I promise not to waste them and will  grow them into 2012.  
This year gave me so much to see, feel and experience that I don’t feel quite ready to say goodbye. 
A bit about my year:
– John, Rowan, Gabby, Maggie, Selah and I had our first family holiday. We spent a week in Mexico on a  Make A Wish Foundation trip celebrating Maggie beating Leukaemia. It was an exciting trip for us, as a large family we don’t travel together often. To do so, and be there for such a fabulous reason was a abundant blessing. 
– I lost a friend this year, as did many others in the passing of Jenn Zahavich. It was heartbreaking. What happened around her illness as the community embraced her and her family, was a thing of deep beauty. Just writing that compels me to pause . I can still feel it, and I can feel Jenn. Jenn’s passing changed many. For me, it reduced my very fear of death and it also bonded me even more strongly to some amazing friend. 
– This summer I took every weekday off in August. It doesn’t sound like such a big deal does it? However, to walk away from all my office work, to turn down sessions – this was hard! I spent the month on Hornby, with family and without daily internet. It was bliss! It is already booked again for next year. 
– In October John and I had our first holiday just the two of us. Granted it was a working holiday, as we went to Hawaii to photography Mikhaila and Greg’s beautiful wedding. Still, it was our first time away together off the island. It showed me a taste of our future, when the kids are older and we can sneak off. 
– In August John started his dream job. It has been a long road of school and it makes my heart soar to see him head every day to a job he loves. 
– In November, we made a bold move and pulled our youngest daughter from school to begin homeschooling. It’s what our intuition told us to do. I was scared. Really scared. I was concerned that the combination of work, homeschooling and everything else that life brings, would result in me being a failed homeschooler while turning into a nasty super stressed person. The opposite happened, it brought about this lovely sense of peace. As for messing up homeschooling, well, ask me in a few years.
– All of the above was tied together with a daily life of driving kids to dance, preparing dinner, coffee with friends, photographing and more. To me it is these elements that make the year. The little bits that we sometimes take for granted. I see them, and I feel them and am thankful to have such a lovely thread to pull it all together. 
– This was my tenth year in photography in the Comox Valley. I remember days when I had just moved here, tearfully expressing my insecurity as to if I could make a life of photography in the Comox Valley work. Here I am, ten years later. So fulfilled professionally and overwhelmed with all this career has brought into my, and my families life. It has given me much more that I expected. Most notably a connection to many fun and loveable people. 
– Our holiday season this year, where we celebrate Hanukah and Christmas was calm and restful. Definitely a sign of the kids getting older – which breaks my heart in many ways, but also thrills me to see them come further into their own. Bittersweet. 
Bittersweet, I think that is the word to sum up our 2011. 
Despite loving pulling out my professional camera gear, we tend to tote around the point and shoot and all use it – I treasure our “snapshots” here are few from this year:
In Mexico, with my good friend Jen Dodd at a conference, Rowan graduates from Grade 7, Hornby with Nana and Papa, Time at the famous Hornby Island Bakery, First Day of School, John and I have our first ever touristy toasting photo.
Wishing you a few days of joyful reflection on what the last 12 months has given you. xoxo