2013; delicate + new.

Instead of politely waving 2012 goodbye, I hurriedly pushed him out the door, wiped my brow, and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  Phew.

I don’t want you to misunderstand – especially anyone new to my upbeat business with pleasuuure blog.  I had the chance to work with and learn from photographers turned friends.  I’ve connected with the West Michigan photographer community, and I feel immensely blessed to personally know these skilled individuals.  I’ve photographed over a dozen beautiful weddings: fleeting moments, happy tears, laughter, and eyes beaming with love.  And Adam and I have thankfully (and very excitedly!) filled up 2013’s calendar with more of these precious unions.

But so much of what will make 2013 a fantastic year is what happened in 2012: the chaos, disappointments, working-all-hours-of-the-night, figuring out the messy stuff, personal turmoil, tears, tears, more tears: the hardest year yet …but more importantly, learning from it.

Behind the scenes of maintaining this blog, I’ve been stumbling with learning the process of owning my own business while working through mine and Adam’s first official year of marriage mixed in with a bit of personal struggles that popped in and out of life.  I experienced tremendous highs and desperate – crying on the floor –  lows.  But that mental image just reminds me of how alive I am: instead of a flat-lined, identical everydays of simply existing life, I’ve been living.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary describes live as to be thoroughly absorbed by or involved with.  And how blessed to be able to truly live!

I’ve explored the depths of my own heart, reliving the past and dealing with the consequential present.  I’ve talked with women whose wisdom far outmeasures my own, whose lives are those from which to learn.  I’ve prayed repetitive single sentences on certain nights into the wee hours.  I’ve prayed with my church: a place of comfort, people with recognizable faces and genuine hearts.  And I’ve read more books than I can count on my fingers and toes: ones to escape reality and others to equip me with what I’m called to contend.

Adam and I have learned firsthand what we absolutely love documenting.  Marriage.  True love after the “I do.”  We’ve fought (mainly me) and forgiven (mainly him).  We discovered true intimacy and how to create spontaneity amidst routine.  We maneuvered through two job switches (and six months without insurance) and shared holidays with multiple families and talked seriously about mortgages, budgets, babies, and how to correctly fold towels (which just happens to be my way).   We’ve listened to each other at whatever decibel that was being spoken.  And we truly listened after when tears were cried and hearts were opened.  We’ve grown as individuals, as business partners, and most importantly, as husband and wife.  I would be lost without this man.

You know those feelings that you’re going to experience something great?  I have it.  I close my eyes as my fingers touch our over-heated, buzzing MacBook, and I smile with tears in my eyes.  I don’t want to get my hopes up too high (and I’ve recognized I do this far too often), but I believe 2013 is going to be a beautiful year.

Welcome home, 2013.  Let’s unpack your bags so you can stay awhile.



images taken by two fabulous people we absolutely adore over at bradley james photography.


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