Reviewing 2010... Counting Our Blessings

Monday, January 3, 2011

January: We began the year in a new home, healing from the abrupt departure from our beloved Mason Attic....

We started finding our niche in "Kate's House", the combination of cold winter and new surroundings keeping it easy for us to hunker down and hibernate a bit as we healed and prepared for a new year. A blog post from January I still cherish:  Everyday Magic.

In February, we enjoyed some snow:

We indulged in more quilt/couch time... We made morning art when we felt like it... And we celebrated Valentine's Day with the sweetest Cupid around.
I also embarked on the 12-week Artists' Way course, which led to a Wordless Week during February. A post at the end of that time that reflected on our relationship to the online world: "Invoking Amber Ludlow"...

By March, things started thawing out, and I posted about Five Other Lives... another Artists' Way exercise.

What Are My Five Lives? It was fun to explore what other futures I might have had, in another life....

By April, the need to hunker down and go inward was ending, and the itch to get out and be ALIVE in the world was coming back... The light outside was changing, the weather was improving, and we were thawing out.
I got a new lens and had a blast playing. The above photos are from this post: "These Boys." And I got around to sharing one of my favorite projects I've ever done, the Lamby ABC Book. (I still adore this idea, and think everyone should do one!!) April was the month I got to drive to Wisconsin to meet and photograph Stef's new little guy, and it was also the month Joe, Noah and I drove to Nashville to meet a bunch of Peas and bond over photography. A busy, delightful month!

May was even more of a whirlwind. I asked readers to tell me about their toddler routines, and I managed to find time to post a few photodsof Noah just being himself... like this:

Joe wrapped up his final semester as an undergraduate, a huge accomplishment and reason for celebration!!
After Joe's graduation, we packed up for a surprise, wonderful, amazing trip to Hawaii with his parents.The week was AMAZING-- a true break from the realities of life. Noah was a dream kiddo, and Joe's parents made it a picture-perfect vacation for all of us.

But  May wasn't done with me yet--- I got off the plane from Hawaii, only to hop back on another plane less than 24 hours later to head to Portland, Oregon for photo sessions. Another week away from home, more incredible memories... And by the end, a SERIOUS yearning to just be HOME for awhile!

I got that break for two weeks in the beginning of June... And relished my time with Noah.

Only to turn around and hop a plane yet again and head to New England for one last photography trip. Covering 5 states in 4 days, I had AMAZING families to photograph and had amazing food and fun. It was a perfect way to wrap up my busy season with photography.

After all the traveling, I took most of July/August off of work. I missed the slower rhythm of being mostly a mama, so Noah and worked on getting that back.
A favorite post from July:
 And another one--- this one a photo essay: "Summer Outing: The St. Louis Boathouse." 
July was also the month Beckie treated me to an INCREDIBLE weekend in Chicago to see "Billy Elliot". She also let me talk her brains out about some major dissatisfaction I was having with my life of late...And that weekend with her was the beginning of a massive personal philosophy shift in the form of a "Boot Camp" I set up for myself-- 28 days of hard core dietary, physical, and spiritual goals. I did this from the middle of July to the middle of August.

In August, still off work and still working hard on my Boot Camp, life was mostly good. We had a rhythm to our days...
 (From the post, "My Little World Right Now"). But it wasn't all good at the end of the summer---- Joe and I were stressing out about our future, since he hadn't gotten into grad schools and the potential job he thought he had with the University had been on indefinite hold. We had a bit of a scary month of unemployment, and the strain was not easy. At the time, it seemed unending.

Luckily, by September 1st, we heard back from the University of Missouri: STL, and Joe was officially offered a job as an academic advisor. I honored his accomplishments with my favorite photo shoot of the year:

(The Mime Session blogged HERE.)

More September goodness:
1. "Slowly, Slowly, Stop and Take it a Bit More Slowly"- a blog post about my month of rediscovering my center...

2. Noah playing, everyday moments:

3. Photos of Noah WITH me. (I need to try to step in front of the camera more often!)

October: We made a MAJOR announcement, in the form of a letter to our little, growing baby.

The month flew by in a flurry of photography work and fall fun. Noah's Halloween:

And time at the pumpkin patch:

But by the end of October, some unforeseen complications to my health became the unwanted focus of my energy. After avoiding the gravity of it for a bit, I finally blogged about Betty and the breast abscess: "Betty, You Weren't In the Plans."

And then in November, I blogged after the surgery.

Luckily, there were lots of bright spots amid the health frustrations
November disappeared in a blur-- mostly caught up in the recovery from the surgery and the subsequent reactive arthritis that debilitated me the rest of the month... But we managed to have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I somehow managed to wrap up my business year. 

 And we made sure to get our tree by the start of December, so that the entire month could be a celebration of the holidays:

We were graced with a lovely long visit from Joe's parents in the last part of December, and Mother Nature gave us a white Christmas. 
I wrapped up the year by taking a minute to remember the things I could be grateful for:
And we let the year go... Ready for a new start. Some new adventures. More chances for growth. 

And here you are, 2011. 

And all I have is all I need. I want to hold to that thought for the year... even when things get tough again (as they always do)... Even when familiarity completely disappears (as it will when  Lucy arrives in April)... Even when I end up on month 4 of total sleep deprivation (as I anticipate in the summertime)... Even if jobs change, health changes, relationships alter (all things we were surprised with in 2010)... 

All I have is all I need. And I will be grateful.

G'night.... I'm headed back to REAL LIFE tomorrow. Most of you guys are, too. Good luck!


  1. What a great year! I love how you journal in picture form. My favorites are also of Joe as a mime.

    I'm curious about the adorable pic of the 'tree' house in the kid's room. Where did that come from?

  2. Happy New Year!! It's always great to look back and reflect but it is so wonderful to look ahead to the future too and your's is soo BRIGHT and exciting!!

  3. Probably my most favorite blog post from you EVER....beautifully written :)


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