Memories that mean so much now that they are only seen in our rearview mirror as we look ahead to a lot of new memories waiting to be made in what's sure to be a big year for us... a year that's probably going to look a little different. So before we hit the road running and venture off into 2015, a proper farewell to this past year of ours. One that took my love of photography to a whole new level with thousands and thousands of pictures to document all the good. I tried to sort through them all to pick my favorites from the past 12 months and realized I was asking too much of myself. So instead, just a few of the highlights...
...birthdays. Brandon turned four. Jaden turned six. I turned 30! And we warmed up our winter months with birthday candles and parties and cupcakes.
...Brandon letting his little light shine bright from the front row of his preschool spring program. I teared up watching him, so proud of how confidently he sang those songs about God and Jesus and I will never forget how badly I wanted to keep him little in that moment.
...Jaden and sports. He's a budding athlete with natural capabilities and is happiest when he's competing. Basketball in the winter, soccer in the spring, baseball in the summer and his first year of flag football in the fall. We're his biggest fans and loved or summer nights spent at the baseball diamonds and Saturday mornings spent on the football field. Looking forward to many more memories made this way...
...becoming proud owners of a fishing boat. Something I never would have thought would be something I would be grateful for, but something that brought a lot of joy and adventure to our spring and summer months. Just the four of us on our tiny boat, exploring places we'd never seen before, relying on our Daddy to be our guide and captain. There was the time we got caught on the river with the darkening skies moving in overhead, that day we beached it, collected clam shells and wrote our name in the sand, and our 4th of July on Big Woods with our Batman fishing poles and little fishermen.
...a special Sturgis Falls weekend with Nana and Papa selected as the Grand Marshalls, Jaden and Brandon riding beautifully in the parade and memories that will never ever be forgotten as I watched the people I love most lead the way by horse-drawn carriage through the town we love so much.
...a summer filled with beautiful sunsets, our favorite dinners on the deck, little celebrations and so many nights at the pool. Though Fall is my favorite season and December is my favorite month, Summer is always filled with such special times and is one of my favorite parts of the year to look back on. There's just nothing like those summer nights, and I get a little emotional when I look at these pictures and think about all the fun times we share when our days are longer and our spirits just a bit brighter.
...road trips. St. Louis. Decorah. Adventureland. Showing the boys their first waterfall. Dipping Brandon in his first wave pool. Little moments with lasting effects.
...a Fall that brought me some of my most favorite pictures. Of leaves and pumpkins and football games. Of our family standing on the Dome field during Homecoming while my dad was honored for his 40 years of volunteer dedication. And just because Fall is Fall... and it's always good.
...a new puppy, a new member of our extended family. Dogs have always been important to us. We love Dasher.
...lots of memorable holidays and celebrations. A perfect Easter spent on the farm, a full Memorial Day weekend filled with boat rides and nature walks and water balloon fights. A 4th of July party at our home with sparklers and fires, and firefly catching and neighborhood fireworks. A Halloween with my little super heroes and a Christmas Eve for the record books.
New Year's always makes me a little sentimental when looking back on all that was, especially with two kids that grow and change every year. But I'm so anxious to tackle 2015. It's so crazy to think about where we'll be by year's end... with TWO kids in school full time and other plans in the works. The Christmas tree comes down today, and I have big dreams for what life will look like when it goes back up again.
"Write what should not be forgotten." - Isabel Allende
...looking forward to lots of blessings to write about in the next year. But most of all, through the big plans and big dreams, it boils down to the simple. Praying for peace and happiness and health and safety. And wishing all these things to all of you as well. Happy New Year. Happy 2015.
Here we go...!