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Happy(er) New Year!

So, 2013 was basically one kick in the teeth after another. It started out innocently enough, but my Grandma passed away on January 19th. She was really special to me and just knowing she’s no longer in the world has been hard at times. The bittersweet part of her passing was that it brought me and my siblings back to St. Louis for her funeral and it was truly wonderful to spend time with all of my extended family, whom I also love dearly. Exactly a month later, we had to put our sweet 12 year old labrador Shadow down. Now THAT was hard. He was our friend, our kid before we had kids, and the best dog in the universe. A few months later, we had to say goodbye to our other elderly Labrador, Kahlua. Seriously 2013!?!? What the heck? Why does this year suck so much?!?!? We finished the year with my other grandma passing away in early December. 2013 was apparently hard on the elderly.

Somewhere in all the awfulness of 2013, some beautiful things happened and that got us through it all. I ran my first 10K and realized that I LOVE running! We added a new puppy to our family who looks just like our dog Shadow but he’s the prettiest chocolate color. His personality reminds us of our old friend too, and that has been so sweet for our family. My son discovered the joy of reading and I love watching him love a book to the point of being totally absorbed. My daughter continues to be an amazing student and my other son Aidan has really come out of his shy shell and we’re looking forward to him starting Kindergarten next year and making friends! We took all four kids to Portland in the Spring. This trip was our first flying-with-four-kids experience, and while they all had the stomach flu the day we left (translation, four kids puking on a plane … OMG) we had a wonderful time together and I realized that if I can handle this kind of travel nightmare, I can handle just about anything. In August, we took 3 of our 4 kids camping for the first time and that was a total blast! I had no idea how much I loved sleeping in a tent, cooking on a fire and being away from it all. My daughter Madelynn said “Camping would be really fun if it weren’t for the peeing in the woods and all the bugs!” Well, ok, it’s not all glamor but it sure was fun! In September we spent 10 glorious days on the beach with our kids in Coronado, which is amazing and refreshing and aaaaahhhhhh. What could be wrong with 10 day in Coronado? Not a darn thing. In October we took all four kids to visit my beloved aunt and uncle in Chicago and we had a beautiful time there. As One 3 Photography goes, I had one of my busiest years yet and I continue to be so blessed by my clients. How cool is it that I get to do what I love, while making people happy with my art? It’s seriously the best job ever. Thank you, friends, family and clients for trusting me to capture your memories.

I guess 2013 wasn’t all a loss, but we tackled some hard times and came through together. I look back at this year and my general sentiment is “Wow, that sucked” but there were some lovely moments. I’m hopeful for 2014 to be a less heart-wrenching but if it isn’t, I know I have my family, my friends, my doofy dog and my art. What more could I ever need?

So here’s to a happier New Year from my family to yours, wishing you a beautiful 2014!

(Special thanks to my friend Leslie Lejcar for these beautiful images of our family! Photographed by Leslie, Photoshopped by me. Teamwork!)

View Slideshow HERE

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