Every year around New Year's I have a time of reflection. I look at the last year (that literally seems to have FLOWN by) and examine all the big moments. I force myself to look the bad moments in the face and deal with them so that I can LET THEM GO. Then, I rejoice as I look at all the awesome moments. I do this because sometimes it's so easy to just go through the daily motions of life and not realize how far you've come as an individual, in your marriage, in your parenting, or in your career. It's so easy for us to go through life without ever realizing the significance of what you've done and accomplished. I hope this post encourages you to take as step by and examine your own life over this past year, take a deep breath, thank God, and give yourself some credit for your part in that, too!
So, without further ado here are some of my most memorable moments of 2017!
1.) The loss of another sweet child.
- Pregnancy is supposed to be a time of joyous anticipation but the sad truth is that not every positive pregnancy test ends with a baby. In fact, 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime. In March, my husband and I lost another sweet baby to miscarriage. Though this was such a difficult time, photographing my clients and their beautiful babies was actually quite encouraging and every storm has a rainbow. See next memorable moment!
2.) Finding out we get to be parents AGAIN!
- In April we found out again! And in July we found out we were pregnant with Baby Girl #3!!!! Due January 1st!
3.) Going full-time in my business.
- Having just moved to a new town last year I was expecting it to take a while to build up my business but my goodness, the Lord has blessed me ten-fold. Moving to Lincoln was the best thing for my family and my business! Who knew that such much success could be found in a small town in Central Illlinois? Love, Love, Love these people!
4.) Photographing my first 4 weddings as the lead photographer.
- Nothing is more exciting than photographing a wedding. Not only is this a memorable experience for me but I get to witness one of the most memorable days in someone else's life and provide them with photographs to relive these moments. Weddings are an exciting mix of EVERY type of photography. You get family, kids, candids, posed, detail photography, product photography, etc. It truly is an art and honestly, SO MUCH FUN! Can't wait for my 2018 weddings!
5.) Completing photography courses from THE HARVARD.
- Albert Einstein once said, "Once you stop learning, you start dying." I believe this to be true for business as well. I am constantly attending seminars, webinars, and conferences to try and better myself and my business for my clients. This past February I had the opportunity to complete some photography courses at THE HARVARD. It was incredible. It was challenging. It was rewarding. Something I will always remember.
6.) Finding an amazing assistant, being pregnant together, and photographing her brand new baby boy, Oliver Raye.
- My assistant Nicole has been so much more than that, she is also one of my best friends. In April, she told me that she was pregnant and I found out I was pregnant the same day! She was due December 29th and I was due January 1st. But on December 23rd, her sweet baby boy, Oliver Raye, was born and I got to photograph him on December 29th (Which also put me into labor, but more on that later!)
7.) Morning Sickness!
- While this isn't a happy moment, it is definitely one of the most memorable! I was extremely sick with this baby! I was in the hospital nearly every 3 days getting fluids and nutrient bags because I couldn't keep anything down. Not even ice chips. But through this, my marriage was strengthened as well as community relationships. I had people bringing meals for my husband and kids, people offering to clean my house and watch my children, do my laundry, and everything else that mom's do. I was literally bed-ridden for a good 12 weeks and without my community and my wonderful, wonderful husband, I could NOT have done it.
8.) The Birth of my 3rd baby girl, Audrey Chase Dilworth!
- Just after shooting an impromptu newborn session for my BFF and assistant Nicole, I started having contractions 30 minutes later. Ha! The next day on December 30th at 9:12 a.m. my sweet Audrey Chase Dilworth was born! She is adorable and the perfect addition to our family!