Every year I am amazed at how quickly the last year passed. I look back on where we were and what we were doing in January of last year and I am surprised at how far we have come, how many changes have been made, and how blessed the year has been to us. We went out a couple of weeks ago for our “beginning of our new year” family photo shoot, and we were not blessed with a beautiful day of sunshine or warmth…instead we were greeted with rain, wind, and very cold temperatures….but, it didn’t stop us from having some fun anyway! Besides, it was the only day we all had available…so, we took it!
I have a picture like this of the kids from every year since Jesse was three….it is one of my favorites….…followed by the one of him wiping off the kisses with much feigned drama as we all laugh hysterically! Oh…how I love these beautiful people!I know I have stated it here before, but I am not a resolution girl! Not a “New Year” resolution any way. I believe that every day when I wake up is a new chance at life….mistakes, victories, learning experiences, and lots and lots of grace and love! Instead, I prefer to reflect on the past year and look forward in anticipation and hope for the next year….
So, for my Selah Layne, I hope for laughter, a deeper wisdom, and a peace in who she is….…Natalie Kaye. Oh, I hope for strength, deep love, and a sense of freedom in who she is.And, Jesse Donovan. I have huge hopes for him to come into a better sense of the man that he is becoming….full of determination, adventure, and courage.These people are my favorite three people on the face of the earth, and as much as I would love to wrap them up in packing plastic or hide them in my closet, I know that that is not why God gave them to me. It is not my job to keep them from getting hurt or making poor choices as we head into this year, it is to walk alongside them and pick them up when they fall, or offer advice as it is asked for, and to remind them in each of their choices that I love them more than all the M&M’s in the world! Nothing that will happen this coming year could ever change that…in fact, I can promise you that at the end of this year I will love them even more!Mr. Jesse Joy Boy….Can I just say, he is a CUTIE! He has finally stopped being the awkward jokester in front of the camera and I am LOVING it!!! My boy…plain and simple in an image….LOVE! I am so proud of Jesse. He has a heart that is so sweet and kind. He loves to chat and debate, which yes, sometimes is hard to keep up with, but, maybe he is going to be a great lawyer someday?! Right?
His sisters were so cute when they saw this one….”ADORABLE” That is their new word for everything they like, and I heard it several times when they were looking at this image! I have to say….he is already quite the ladies man! Love that I get to have all three of them with me still…it won’t be too long till Selah is off to college and a picture like this will be a rarity. But…I get ahead of myself!Natalie Kaye…you got to see her just recently in her own shining moment….but, I might not have mentioned that I am in love with this girl! She has proven to have some pretty amazing people skills that I have never been able to approach, let alone master. Being Vice President of the student body at Mason Middle School has required quite a bit of public speaking from her and she has risen to the occasion with very little hesitation. I can’t imagine!!! She has stepped out a few times in worship and helping out with the creative arts at our church as well! I love to see her blossoming! I can’t wait to see how she takes on high school this year!And, of course I think she is gorgeous!….LOVE!My Selah Girl! Also couldn’t be prouder of this girl. She is walking through a tough season in her life with a pretty good head on her shoulders, her convictions in tact, and almost all the time-a smile on her face. Being the oldest is a blessing and a challenge all at the same time and Selah is working her way through the whole mess with as much grace as I have seen any teenager navigate. Upper Classman next year at Stadium! I can’t believe it…keys in hand, a time card to stamp, and grades to start tracking….this year is going to hold a lot of “firsts” for her….I believe in her, though! She is more than capable!And…her smile lights up our whole house! So beautiful!So, this was my first time trying to use a remote on my camera…and while I would say it wasn’t a great experience, it did produce quite a few images like this one….me and my beautiful children laughing together…this is what I want to remember years from now…and even throughout this coming year. The times of laughter that bring us together.So…when the rain got to be too much we headed into the safe covering of this tunnel! Since I wasn’t loving the remote, we handed the camera off to Selah’s friend, Becca….I am grateful for these shots that she took….I don’t get the opportunity to be in a lot of shots…but, once a year at least it is a must!My favorite…I know it is technically not perfect…but, the memory of what we were laughing at here….priceless! Don’t you think they could all be models? Well, I have bigger dreams for them, but in the meantime it makes a photographer mom pretty happy to have built in models! I have known many colleagues who have bribed or even paid their kids to model for them…not me! They love it and willing “play” with me whenever I have the free time! I love it. Even, just yesterday Selah and I headed out for some fun location hunting and doing some shooting….so, keep your eyes out this year for more of these cuties!
Waiting for the rain to stop can be boring….what helps pass the time? A dance party!!! They are mortified that I picked these to put up…but I love them! Dance parties are a pretty regular occurrence in our house! I would hate to be a peeper during our dancing times as rythym was not necessarily a gift given to all of us…but it sure brings us joy! More dance parties to come in 2012 for sure!!Although, I will say that Jesse tends to “miss” most of them!He is more the comedic type of funny guy! Watch out 2012….they are coming!
Just kidding…nothing to fear….but, they are going to be great this year! I just know it!Natalie Kaye….I love you and I am so impressed with your efforts! With your desire to worship Jesus, your friendships, convictions, and school work…I have seen you grow so much and I can’t wait to see what you do this coming year!
Selah Layne…wow….I never doubted that you would be a leader, and I have seen you stand for some hard things this year, but it is growing you into a mature woman who I see weighing the ‘pros and cons’ in any situation in your head. Gotta give major props to you for all the growth I have seen, emotionally and relationally. Love you, Babygirl!
Jesse Donovan….You are boy of this house and I am so glad you are!!! We wouldn’t trade you for anything. Well, I wouldn’t anyway! 🙂 You are amazing in your engineering and in the imagination you have for inventing. I am constantly wondering and praying over what you will do with all your intuitive ideas! Can’t wait to see you grow up! (and, since you are just about to pass me up in height, I do mean-UP!)My heart…all in one image. Me and the loves of my life….with the twinkle of joy in our eyes and the smile of love on our lips! As much as I hope for our coming year, I pray that you, my friends, have a year of life that you can face with joy, wisdom, strength, and courage! Run this messy race of life this year as if you have nothing to lose. Let’s all leave as much love on the table of life as we can this year! And…HAPPY NEW YEAR TO US ALL!!!Thanks to all of you who have been along for the ride, either for a few years or just a few months! I couldn’t do this without you, and I don’t know where I would be without this passion of photography! I can’t wait to see who comes along my path this year….if it is at all like this last year-it will be completely worth it!! Cheers to you….and here’s to 2012!