First snow and a big fat cliche

So if you’ve been following along or if you know anything about me–or if you’ve lurked the about page–you’ll know that as a tried and true Floridian, snow has always been a big deal for me. Not just in its beauty, or the magic I feel it holds, but especially in its purity. I know it’s cliche, it’s been said before, but most cliches are true right? It’s just so pristine and untouched, and it comes at the perfect time: when we’re wrapping up one year and preparing for another. Some people hope for one as good as the last, others pray for a fresh start, a blank slate. I find myself somewhere in between those two at the close of this year. So I find it a perfect pairing to couple the clean white landscape I found a few weeks ago when the first snow rolled in with my resolutions and goals for the year ahead. 2013 brought a couple of pretty awesome beginnings. It was my first year of marriage. It was the start of this crazy business adventure. And while I knew how blessed I was to have my husband by my side, and how lucky I was to be able to follow my passion, I think I stumbled even more in the path of finding and defining myself. In a year’s time I had moved a thousand miles away from all my friends and family, gotten married, and given up on a career path I had been moving toward for 10 years, in the place of an albeit more fulfilling, but also more daunting one. They were big, fantastic, drastic changes and I had to find my footing in this wonderful new life we were building. And I struggled and got turned around a few times. And so my hopes for next year, both business and personal, take all of that into account. So here goes…

Must happens for TMP in 2014…

  • Photograph at least 20 newborns. Hopefully I can surpass this number, but it’s a number I know I can reach with some serious hard work and dedication.
  • Go full frame. Eeeeek! I actually crossed this one off today! Cue me checking the mail incessantly for the next few days!
  • Buy a macro lens. This has just got to happen and soon! The little details are the best part. I’ve got to get a lens that can do them justice.
  • Blog more personally. I want my business to grow and flourish not because I ran some deals or sales, but because my clients know me and my work, know what drives me, know why I’m behind the lens and why I love it. What better way to let them than this?
  • Get canvases and lookbooks in at least 2 OB offices. In order to hit that newborn number, I’ve got to get my name out there to the expectant moms up here. What better way than to show them what they don’t want to miss while they’re waiting to check on their growing little one?
  • Book a twin session. I mean does this really need any explanation? It would be epic.
  • Join a volunteer photography project. I noticed a big gap in my life this past year in the service department. Volunteering has always been a big part of my life, and I know part of the reason it hasn’t happened much since we moved is because it requires putting myself out there up here–scary. I’ve got to get over that, because I need to be giving back.
  • Go to either an expo or a workshop. Part of putting myself out there also means reaching out to this huge community of photographers that I have entered. I need people to confide in, to vent to, to ask questions. I need a support group. People who won’t automatically tell me I’m crazy to do this whenever I hit a bump in the road. I figure if I can be learning while meeting those people and make it a little getaway, well that’s just a triple win.
  • Reach out to more moms’ groups. Well my first shot at this was a smashing success, so why not do it again?
  • Set-up three seasonal mini-sessions. I had a BLAST at my Christmas minis, so I’ll definitely be doing those again. I also want to do back-to-school photos at the end of summer, and something else in the spring.
  • Get head shots and some behind-the-scenes shots. Confession: I really just think this would be fun. And then, you know, I can replace the iPhone shot on my About page.
  • Rebrand and work on marketing…like a lot. Admittedly this probably won’t happen until the back-half of 2014, but that’s alright. I love the theme I have now, and it’s working just fine, but it was a pre-made one and eventually I’d like something a bit more original, a bit more me.
  • Photograph for a cause. I’ve got quite a few ideas floating around in my head: going to the Navy Base at Norfolk and shooting a homecoming for the families, volunteering at the NICU to give the parents some pictures with their little fighters, heading to the courthouse on one of the adoption days to take family photos. If you’ve got an idea, let me hear it. I’d love to do as many of these as possible.
  • Shoot a senior session. I think I would love this. Senior year was such an exciting time, and I remember how boring the standard black shawl/tux-top photos were. It would be so much fun to work with these kids to give them something a little more personal.
  • Possibly get an iMac. I don’t think this will be in the budget for this year but I’m definitely not ruling it out. My 13″ macbook is out of space and making me go even more blind.

And my crazy out-there goal: Rent a studio by the end of the year. HAH! I actually laughed while typing that. It seems impossibly absurd.  But if we don’t try for crazy dreams like this we’ll never surprise ourselves when they happen.

Must do’s for me in 2014…

  • Get back to my faith. I had always been very proud of my faith. I used to be so connected to God, and I strove to help others feel the same way. But then in college my faith got tested and I’m sad to say it came through the other side so weakened, and in the past year it has only gotten worse. Ugly doubts and fears and anger have clouded the trust I once had. I must find my way back. I must recommit. I must trust God blindly in the road ahead. I must have faith in his plan for me. And it’s amazing how just in the past few weeks that I have started trying to let Him in again, to guide me, He has already shown me so much of what I had been missing.
  • Be my strongest, healthiest me yet. I will not get on another yo-yo diet. I will not start a crazy fitness challenge out of nowhere that I can’t finish yet. I will go slow and steady and get back to being healthy. It’s not about a number on the scale. It’s about how I feel in my body, and right now that’s at an all-time low. In all my frustrations and celebrations this year I turned to food. I’ve got to get that under control and get my body in shape.
  • Read more books. I have always been a bookworm. I love to read. I love diving into imaginary worlds. Last year I only read one new series and two new books. How lame is that? I finally went and got a library card so that will be changing. Any must read books you want to share?
  • Take Liam snowboarding. He’s never been on a snow covered mountain. Heck, he’s never been west of Ohio. He wants to go so badly. I know he’d love it, and I know he’d be good at it. I’ve gotta take him.
  • Pick 1 DIY a month, and then actually do it. I love crafting. We’re finally in a house with some space to get things done and I want to make it our own.
  • Start yoga. This suggestion came from my cousin, and I think it would really help me right now. I just have to get over the fear of being the embarrassing newbie in the class and just go for it.
  • Cross 10 things off the bucket list. My bucket list is huge. It’s time to stop adding and start doing.
  • Plan an adventure…and you know go on it. Already in the works. I’ve just got to follow through and not let it get put on a back burner. It’s going to be aca-awesome!
  • Finish a 10K. If you knew how much I loathed cardio, then you would know why writing 10 instead of 5 was a huge deal and why the words running and marathon were never considered. I’ll run, jog, walk or crawl my way across the line, but I’ll finish and then up my goal next year. I really want to learn to enjoy cardio.
  • Trust in the plan. Not quite ready to go public with the plan, but it’s big and requires a whole lot of faith and patience: two things that have been at an all time low this year. So prayers are definitely welcome in this area.
  • Remember that we married young and act like it. We’re 23, and yes, sometimes we like to act like an old married couple–for instance staying in, curled up on the couch and watching movies on NYE. But I’m just not ready for that to become the norm just yet. I want to remember that it’s ok to get a little crazy. I want to write more love notes like we used to when we were dating. I want to plan surprise dates and getaways. I want to love my husband more with every passing year.
  • Take more pictures of our own life. In high school and college, I was always the girl with the camera. I have thousands of pictures of myself with friends and family, pictures of us just hanging out, pictures just because. Since we moved up here…not so much. The camera gets pulled out for special occasions, or when we visit home. I want to be able to look back on the everyday too, to see us just being us.
  • Keep up with the kids’ scrapbooks. I make year books for my niece (soon to be plural) and nephews after each birthday. But at the rate my sister pops them out I got waaaaaay behind which resulted in making 7 of them at once this year. But I am finally caught up, and I want to stay that way!
  • Go exploring on the weekends. We have lived in DC for two years now and I can count on one hand the number of times we have gone exploring into the city. It just so happens to be the same number of times we’ve had company visit. That’s seriously the only time we go, and that is just so lame. On top of that we live within just a few hours reach of some pretty awesome cities, and yet we mostly spend our weekends on the couch being lazy. That stops this year.

So that’s the list. For now at least. I’m sure the minute I press publish, I’ll think of another. And that’s ok, I’ll revisit in a while to see how I’m doing.  And now for the pictures that inspired this post. There’s way too many, but I figure if you’re still reading along you must either like me or be married to me, so I hope you’ll enjoy.

Remember last time when I said I’d be back to the park? Well it didn’t take long. Our friends came to visit and they had never seen snow, so when it started coming down, I knew we had to go have some fun at the park. What I wasn’t prepared for was just how breathtaking it would be when we got there.
First Snow 2013-Collage-1I also saw this as a perfect opportunity to give Brian a crash course with my camera and try to get some Christmas card shots. Worked out quite nice if I do say so myself.First Snow 2013-Collage-2FYI: Heather falls…like a lot. But it makes for super cute pictures. Also, it turns out our dogs have totally abandoned their Florida roots. They love the snow…and so does Liam though he’ll never admit it. And in case you were wondering: snowballs are great for fetch…until they bite down too hard.First Snow 2013-Collage-3So these two found out just how heavy snow can get, but they made a pretty awesome snowman, who apparently needed a top hat.First Snow 2013-Collage-4And when you build a fancy snowman, it is only proper to take lame, goofy pictures with him and then practice your best ninja moves. Heather wins the award for commitment. Homegirl tackled a snowman.First Snow 2013-Collage-5And my three favs. I’m so glad these two came to visit!First Snow 2013-Collage-6

Hope everyone had a Happy New Year!! Until next time!

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