Damn. I keep typing this up, and then virtually crumbling it into a digital ball and starting over. It's hard to find the right voice. It's hard to convey the bittersweet feeling this year has left me.
It was hard, and it's hard for me to admit that. It's my nature to focus on the positive --- but sometimes, in order to show yourself how beautiful the good is, you have to contrast it to the rest.
I was really sick... a lot. Like, crawling to the bathroom --- crying, and Roy holding a cup to my mouth so I could drink water. Medicine that made the pain better, but made my hair thin and covered my face in a redness and adult acne. I answered emails from bed. When I traveled, at times I was so nauseated that I would spend HOURS gagging and dry heaving in the TINY airplane bathroom, in tears. I was living in a new city, and stuck at home.
(I'm feeling pretty damn great now, just FYI, so NO worries these are just reflections from the year)
I was so lonely for my family, my heart sometimes felt like it would explode. Moving to a new place is hard — I just wanted those ride-or-die friends from back home where I could show up to brunch in a ugly sweatshirt and be real. It felt hard to meet new people while being so sick, and traveling so often (and working from home!)
I got through it all. It did not break me. And I feel stronger than ever! Bring it on, I can handle it, I promise. The things that got me through this year are what I'm going to focus on when I look back and remember 2016.
Betsy having dinner and ice cream delivered to my house, on one of the hardest days. Letting me know I am never without love and support.
The bouquet of fresh flowers delivered with the sweetest words of gratitude from a couple, that arrived just on time --- it turned a crappy day into a awesome one and reminded me why I love what I do.
New Orleans! Shooting the wedding of a childhood friend, a friend who’s parents cared for us like we were their own. It was surreal. We took a few extra days there, to explore --- it was hands down amazing, and not what I expected. I assumed the scene there is all drinking and partying - and instead I found a warm, delicious, music-filled city with weirdos like me.
Las Vegas! We needed that get-away. It was a quick trip, but beautiful. We drove through the desert, danced in old Vegas, and walked along the Hoover dam.
FINALLY being able to go on the road trip that my best friend, Sen and I had been planning forever! It was her done-with-nursing-school-and-look-at-this-awesome-life-I-have-made-all-on-my-own celebration! I'm so proud of her, and lucky to have her as my friend. #glamping #danceeverywhere #bathingsuitlife
Getting to Experience Colorado through our couples love stories! Telluride. Aspen. Grand Junction. Gunnison. Salida. The Grand Mesa. Twin lakes. Manitou Springs. Black Hawk. Nederland. Estes Park. Loveland. Fort Collins. The list of amazing places goes on and on --- who new they could all exist in a single state!
Riding a bike to the grocery store, and being able to walk to my favorite coffee shop!
Betsy marrying Mitch! She made a really good choice there, and so did he. We already know how I feel about Betsy - but Mitch is one of my best friends. I can't wait to grow old alongside them!
There were countless joyful moments with our couples! Literally crying and laughing with a couple after their engagement session, as we off-roaded in their insane truck. Shooting the reception for, and playing on the rooftop of another photographer, who I admire greatly! Seeing a couple pray together, separated by a wall --- crying because the love and grace surrounding them was to strong that day. Met about a million pets. Played in the sunrise, with couples willing to get up at 4am. Saw a couple dance at the base of a canyon, while wearing cat shoes. Walked through a forest in sub-zero weather to get the perfect winter shot for an adventurous couple. Eating donuts, tacos, a million hot chocolates --- and sharing stories with so many amazing people. Oh, and I gave exactly ONE MILLION hugs.
"SEE SELF??? 2016 was dang AMAZING, and don't you forget it!" So with that... Goodbye 2016, and thank you so so so so so much. You treated me so well, I just needed to stop and remember that.