Hello! (And a year-end wrap up)

It’s been a while, my friends. I wish I had a good excuse for not being more present in this space, but honestly, life just sort of happened and it got away from me. This has been a rough year with my being sick and recovering and while I’m a great deal better than I was this summer, I’m still not 100 percent. I’m so very thankful for my improved health and didn’t really understand how significant good health was until I didn’t have it.

I’ve spent a lot of time in my own head these past six months, thinking about everything … deep thoughts like “What is the meaning of life?” and wishing I’d paid more attention in classes like chemistry and biology in school as I ponder the answer. I feel that spiritually, I’ve really grown this past year. Probably because there was a good amount of time the only thing I was able to do was lay in bed and think about these things. I still don’t have all the answers and I’m trying to make peace with the idea that I’ll never know the answers to some of my endless questions. For now though, I’m thankful I have this life to enjoy.

My word for 2017 was Nourish and I feel like a really fell short on honoring that word, as a more appropriate word should have been “survival.” I considered recycling the word again for 2018, but in the end, that just didn’t feel right. I downloaded Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year 2018 workbook and spent some afternoons working thru it. Eventually I settled on “embrace” for 2018 and I’m really happy with my choice as I feel it honors where I am in life right now. I’m making a conscious effort to embrace all things for 2018 – life, my health, my family, my children, Mike, my photography, my creativity, my writing and more. I think it’s a solid action word that will serve me well throughout the year, regardless of what 2018 decides to throw at me.

While 2017 was a really rough year, it did see the birth of my photography business Jen Theodore Photography and I’ve accomplished so much with it despite not being that healthy. I’ve taught myself web design and built two websites (my current photography one and my new site for 2018). I’ve had a handful of wonderful photo sessions and met new friends through my work. And I’m seeing enormous growth in my editing skills. I’m so excited for what 2018 will bring professionally.

And speaking of professionally, I have been able to return to full time work as an L&D RN this past month and that has been really rewarding. It feels so good to be back doing what I love and being a part of such a beautiful time in a family’s life. I didn’t realize just how much my career was a part of who I was until I was unable to do it. I’m so thankful my employer has worked with me to ease me back into my position and held my position even when they didn’t have to. I appreciate that more than I can say.

So, what have we been up to? We had a lovely Christmas celebration at home Christmas morning.┬áMike and I took the girls up to the cabin for a winter getaway this week and we’ll be ringing in the new year together tonight. The girls have been having great fun playing in all the snow up here (there’s a few feet!) and I bit the bullet and actually bought some nice Keen winter boots, which I needed up here as my Uggs wouldn’t have cut it! We’ll be headed back home tomorrow morning. I am off work until Friday and plan to put Ella in daycare a few days this week so I can start tackling my huge to-do lists I made (there’s a lot of cleaning and organizing in my future!).

I’ve decided to start a 365 project for the new year, in the hopes of getting me shooting on a regular basis and documenting our daily lives. I’m still unsure if I’m going to post those images on this blog or on my photography blog, or a combination of the both. I’m really looking forward to getting more familiar with my camera’s manual mode, learning how to use my speed light and working on my editing skills everyday. I’m looking forward to seeing the growth in my work over the year as well and hope by the end of 2018, I have a gallery of beautiful images of my family that document our lives – as crazy, messy and chaotic as they may be. I plan to make a book of the year when I’m done.

Well, I hope this year has been good to you and you’re looking forward to the new one with as much hope and anticipation as I am. I plan to write much more often in this space this coming year and start doing my Something for the Weekend posts each Friday as well. My subscriber list has grown by leaps and bounds the past few months and I’m planning to write a newsletter the first week of January to catch everyone up, so keep your eye out for that!

Please drop me a line and let me know what you’re most looking forward to in 2018 and if you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see on this blog, leave those as well for me – I love hearing from you guys!