The Best of 2015

2015 is not the year I would have chosen for myself, but somehow, it was all good. Really good. It was a year with challenges, uncertainties, and hard work. Hard work often looked like showing up to live life fully each day, trusting God and his good work, and hanging on to hope.

I said goodbye to 2015 with a stronger faith, the trust that we can make it through the hard times, and knowing exactly who I can count on. I’m thankful for all of the incredible people in my life, who’ve supported me throughout the year.

I’m eagerly looking forward to 2016.

Now, for my tradition… a favorite picture for each month of 2015.

January: I thought about a family picture, but as I looked through my pictures from January, these shots jumped out at me. Lena and I had a lot of fun in front of the camera together and I treasure these shots of us together.

February: This is one of my all time favorite pictures I’ve ever taken. It was a fun moment– he was loving trying to catch the snow on his tongue. I also think it’s magical… and classic.

March: This is a self portrait I took back in March. Photography is mostly about documenting our lives and how I see the world. Sometimes, I also use it for introspection.

April: At Tallgrass Prairie in April, one of our favorite places.

May: I knew May needed to be a camping photo, but it as hard to pick one. There’s a lot “technically” wrong about this photo as a photographer, but I love it as a mom. It was one of our most fun days of 2015.

June: I had to pick a photo from Rocky Mountain National Park for June. One of my friends called RMNP more magical than Disney World, and while I’ve never been to Disney World, I have to guess this is true. The mountains, the wildlife, the incredible view of the stars… I never wanted to leave. I am hoping we can go back in 2016.

July: Our time with my favorite in Pennsylvania is always a favorite for me. The kids love time spent at the pool with their cousins. I often wish we weren’t so far away, but even though we are, my kids still have the opportunity to know their cousins well.

August: N’s summer with us is one of the things I don’t yet have closure about for 2015. I am still praying for a great ending to her story. That being said, I’m glad I could give her this… photos that make it easier to advocate for her and help her be “known”, and all that we learned about her this summer that might help her find a forever family.

September: Another favorite weekend of 2015 was when we went to Colorado without the kids. This is my favorite picture of Aaron ever. He is completely in his element, and obviously comfortable in front of the camera (a rarity). We did a ton of hiking this weekend, so it was exhausting, but being without the kids and doing exactly what we wanted, it was also very relaxing.

October: We took a camping trip in October. I love this photo instantly… and it ended up winning a photo contest this fall. That made me extra proud!

November: This was another photo that I look and instantly loved. It’s hardly posed… the kids’ clothes are coordinated, I wasn’t planning on the dog photobomb. We were just out for a walk and I said “stand right here for a picture!” This is one of our favorite places, sunsets are one of my favorite things, these are some of my favorite people, and two thirds of my favorite dogs… I love it.

December: December was hard because there are so many photos I loved, having Luda back for Christmas and all of the magic of the season. I chose this one of all four kids, which I also used on our Christmas card. They don’t always get along, but for siblings, they do awfully well. I love them and how they love each other. So often, we think of family and life as what we’re given, but they remind me that it’s what we make with what we’re given.

Happy 2016!

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