We owned the beach
I believe the best way to move forward, is to appreciate and acknowledge where you've come from, and know where you want to go. It's felt important to reflect on what happened this past year, and even more exciting to see where it has led me to. There were some pretty tough personal moments, some amazing personal moments, many wonderful, beautiful photography moments, some sad world moments, and happy world moments. May as well start with the tough stuff, and then we get to finish with the icing on the cake!
The beginning of last year, our little bub was diagnosed with a Juvenile from of Arthritis (JIA). Shocked and heartbroken, this took us some time to digest what this really meant. Thankfully, we've had some incredible doctors who have helped us understand what it all means.
I haven't yet shared this outside of my one-on-one conversations with people, as I really just needed time to soak in what this will mean for my little girl as she grows up. But I also want to say that I feel sharing this information and putting it out to my community, will inevitably open conversations that I'm sure will help us to deal with this new challenge in our family.
I hadn't ever heard of Juvenile Arthritis before. I absolutely thought it was something you get when your older. Not when your 2 years old. But as I've now learnt, there are many, many forms of arthritis at all levels of severity, and at all ages.
Thankfully, Ari has been doing so well with her treatment and is a normal little monkey again at the playground. Yes, we have a bit of a hill to climb and I'm sure there will be some hard days ahead, but she has been such a trooper though all the doctor visits, the medications, the poking and prodding.
I also lost my grandfather at the start of 2016. He lived a beautiful, full life all the way to 95 years. It was a celebration of life, for sure, but nonetheless, hard on my heart to actually see him go. But I feel so lucky that Ari and I were able to spend time with him before he left. She will still see a photo of him, and say, 'Hey! There's Great-Grandpa!'. It warms my heart that she has those little memories and the photos to keep his spirit alive.
With a few other challenges though the spring, we did absolutely manage to come out the other side still motivated to keep pushing and moving forward.
The summer was amazing. We took Ari camping and she connected so much to Mother Nature! She loved every minute of it, surrounded by her grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.
We owned the beach this year. We literally took a picnic dinner to Skaha at least 4 times a week after work. There is no other place I'd rather be when the sun is out in the Okanagan. We even did a mini-staycation this past summer and LOVED it. We are so blessed to live here, and I promise to never take for granted that we live in a summer-paradise!
Every wedding and engagement that I photographed this year, I truly felt so connected to my clients. I am so lucky to find such wonderful people to work for, and it makes me want to do a 150% job for them. I so appreciate each and every one of the bride and grooms who entrust me to capture those memories for them.
I finished up my shooting season at the end of September this year, and had an amazing fall, focused on my own little family. Ari became obsessed with 'ghosts', therefore had to be a ghost for Halloween. Cutest little ghost I ever did see!
Wrapped up all the edits and albums for clients by mid-November, and then was able to focus on Christmas with a toddler! So. Much. Fun.
And now it's a new year, and I can't wait for it! We already have so many amazing things planned, that I can hardly contain my excitement. The next blog post I'll share a bit about what is coming up.
Let me leave you with just a few of my faves from this past season...