Personal Post: 2018 In Review

January 1, 2018 I started an over ambitious 365 day photo project. I was a bit sad that the last few years resulted in very few portraits of my kiddos as my photography side hustle started to grow. So last year, I decided to be intentional about capturing the every day photos of our lives. I am happy to report I posted 278 days out of 365, which is pretty darn good in my book!


January we explored the museum, did a few hikes, celebrated GG’s 90th birthday and made a trip to Disneyland!



February, we explored some cool caves, swam at the pool & the beach and most notably, Paul started his sobriety journey on February 15th.



March was a busy month! We road tripped to the desert, Emma turned 4, The Nelson’s visited for spring break (which also included an overnight stay at Disney), we said goodbye to Paul’s grandma, Christian & I did an epic hike for his spring break & I started remodeling the kids’ room!



April was filled with the outdoors! from our first camping trip, to lots of day hikes. I also revamped Emma’s playhouse which was a fun little project.



May we celebrated Christian’s 7th birthday, the end of the school year and a special Mother’s Day.



June, our first full month of summer vacation!! We went to the San Diego Fair, set up our outdoor pool, celebrated Father’s Day & spent lots of time swimming at the beach & the pool. Christian lost his front tooth and Emma started swimming without her life jacket! what a fun month!



July was super hot and filled with days at the beach, pool and any other place we could think of to stay cool! We spent the 4th of the July riding trikes & got freaked out by bugs at the park. Christian really got into boogie boarding for the first time and wasn’t afraid of the ocean at all! so much fun watching him and swimming past the breaks with him!



August, Christian started 2nd grade at HFA (a wonderful charter school/ homeschool co-op). It was a bit rough for me starting our 3 rd year of our homeschooling journey. Latin, Chemistry, spelling & just taking up so much time in our day as we hit the books. Some highlights from the month was our family photos that we had done by an amazing photographer (when christian was 1 was the last time we had professional family photos!) It was such an eye-opener that I NEED to have them done each year! In fact, I already paid and booked our family photographer for next winter ;) The kids and I also spent a week at my parent’s cabin in Washington. It was the last week of August, and we only had a few days of sun, but we enjoyed every minute of it!



September kicked off my busy easy for family photography. I went from 4-6 sessions a month to 4-6 sessions a week. Unfortunately, this busy streak continued all the way thru December. It took a toll on me and this photo project. Between homeschooling, working my partime corporate job and full-time photography business it was a bit of insanity and something I need to find a way to avoid in 2019… we also celebrated Paul’s 46th birthday. The highlight was my weekend away with my sister & parents. I flew into SF and spent a whole day with my sister exploring the entire city. We then drove a rental car to Santa Rosa, photographed my nieces’ wedding and on the way back to the airport managed to stop at the Redwood forest for a quick hike. It was glorious, and my first weekend away from my kiddos! My hubby survived at home with them and traveling without kids is so, so relaxing ;)



October is generally my favorite month of the year! It starts the whole holiday season (in my opinion). Cooler weather (we took down our summer pool), pumpkin patches, decorating, Halloween…such a fun month when you have littles to celebrate with!



November was spent taking the kids out on adventures as much as possible with working 7 days a week - I spent every weekend photographing families or on my computer editing from 7 am to sometimes 1 or 2 am the next day. Exhausted & grateful. We also started to renovate our kitchen! I painted/stenciled the floors, cabinets, picked out new countertops, sink & faucet. We’ve lived in the same house for 12 years, so it was such a nice and needed upgrade! We also celebrated Thanksgiving & I turned 38!



My favorite memory of December is going to be Christian wearing his santa hat almost every day of the month and everywhere!! Isn’t it awesome to be a kid?! We didn’t get to do all the Christmas activities that I hoped for, but we spent time together, picked out and decorated our tree, made gingerbread houses and we got passes to Legoland! The kids loved it, and we hope to get a lot of use out of them in the next year and when their waterpark opens up. Most of all, celebrating our Savior’s Birth and having that glorious week between Christmas and New Years off (I only worked 2 days at my corporate job in the span of 2 weeks!). It’s all about enjoying the little things, like sleeping in, indulging on sweets & having fires in our fireplace.


Moving Forward . . .

There are so many things we are excited for in 2019!! Paul finally got a steady job last year that actually gives him vacation time! He wasn’t able to join us on our washington trip because he had no paid vacation. We also made a bit of a crazy decision and bought a travel trailer! I am 100% fine with sleeping in a tent, but my hubby wasn’t as enthusiastic as I am about it! Hoping to get a lot of use out of it this year with long weekend trips. Of course, this will require that I work less on the weekends with my photography business which can be a challenge. I am going to have to learn to say “no” more so I can "yes” more to my family. Come February, Paul celebrates 1 year of sobriety - his sobriety has absolutely changed our family & our marriage this last year!! I am so, so, thankful and proud of him!! I am excited to see what this year has in store for us, because I truly feel it can only keep getting better! Alcoholism consumed him and it led to so many problems in our marriage and family. God has been faithful to me and has answered my prayers and worked miracles in our lives. I still have a lot of areas to grow a as a wife though. Coming from a place of unhappiness and distrust, I need to work on loving my husband better and being a better wife to him.

This year, Emma will turn 5 and Christian will turn 8! Both kids will be in school come September and homeschooling both at home will be a new challenge, but one I am excited about! honestly, I couldn’t stand the thought of them being in school 5 days a week. I love that I get to be apart of their education and teach them from home. It also helps me know and understand their struggles & strengths.

They are the perfect age for family adventures and exploring and am going to do my best to be intentional and present with them! I know I need to find a better balance with my photography work. It is so hard for me, because I am SO passionate about it! I am also SO grateful to have clients who actually pay me to do something I love…but my family needs to come first and this year I pray that I will be able to achieve more balance. Cheers to a New Year!