Memories, Dreams and Reflections 2011 - Behind the Camera and Dreaming

Memories, Dreams and Reflections 2011

Monday, January 02, 2012


I like my posts to read like a story. That happens occasionally, but for the most part they are just blocks of information accompanied by a photo. However, when I began thinking about how to reflect on 2011, nothing else made sense but to write the story of how my life has changed so dramatically in just one year. So, here is my contribution to Memories, Dreams, and Reflections 2011. My photos are not in order, but I hope you will be able to follow and enjoy anyway.

Twenty eleven began with a commitment to myself that it would not be just another year. I didn’t want December 31st to come and go with me left saying “where did the time go?” or “what exactly did I do this year?” Thankfully, today (December 27th) I am writing with the thought “wow, how do I fit it all in?” My life has changed immensely. It has not been without struggles, but with a little help from family and friends, we are better. I am better than I was last year. Many of the resolutions fell by the wayside, but the big things really do stand out. This will never be a year that I look back on and say “what was I doing in 2011?”

Family Christmas Eve 2011

 In January/February, I decided to take a job back home in Jackson, Mississippi. Something I said I’d never do. Over time while living away (not really that far way), I realized that no matter where you go people are generally the same. You just have to make where you are home. Memphis never really felt like home to me. One day I dream of living somewhere coastal, but three and half hours further south is progress.

Beautiful - the person and the place- June 2011
 Living in Memphis and driving into the rural parts of Arkansas really did a number on my psyche. This was especially true in the cold of winter. I didn’t think it’d be that big of a difference, but in recent years I’ve seen more snow and ice than I care for. I use to think snow was magical, because it was rare here, but with the humidity, country roads of the delta, and a city that is generally underfunded and ill prepared, it’s just hazardous. I want to be able to enjoy God’s creation instead of it being a constant source of stress. Winter’s gray skies and frigid wet temperatures give me the blues. So, last year, I decided I’d had enough and went looking for greener pastures.
Spring Fever 2011


 
Calm night in a Memphis Winter Wonderland January 2011

No, a few weeks of ice and snow didn’t make me pick up and change my whole life, but it sure did push me over the edge. The truth is I really wasn’t happy with my life in Memphis. We travelled so much to visit family and friends because I didn’t want to miss anything. I wanted to be present in the lives of my nieces, nephews and friends. I rarely let birthdays, baby showers, or holidays go by without hitting the road to Jackson or Starkville. Our vacations were spent visiting family and welcoming babies. This left little time for relationships in the place where I lived. Once my built in friendships moved away or just fizzled out, it was just me and Wesley. While I love spending time with my husband, I need options when he just feels lazy or I just want to go shopping for nothing.

Holiday Easter April 2011                                                  Connor's Birthday - June 2011
Vacation and  Summer Days July 2011
 
Don't Ever Change - June 2011

I also needed a job that was not as demanding of me physically and emotionally. The two hours I spent in the car every day, began to be filled with thoughts of dread. I didn’t want the car ride to end in the morning and at the end of the day I spent it either pissed off or worried about what’s happening in the homes of my clients. I felt I didn’t have the support I needed to be successful at my job or to really make a difference. Looking back now, I can really see how it changed me. My thinking was so negative and honestly my only escape was here on this blog or just forgetting about work period – completely blocking it out of my mind. I began to ask myself, God, and my husband, how we were going to have children living like we were. The answer came. We weren’t. It was scary to come to the decision that we wanted to have our own children sooner than later. This was especially true after having an unplanned and very scary ectopic just after we were married at the end of 2008. It took us a long time to recover emotionally, but we were there. God obviously had plans for us that we couldn’t even have dreamed up.


I Love You - September 2011
 When I asked Him to change my life in 2011, He took me seriously. I had a new job and a baby on the way less than a month into the year. That’s when the challenges really began. I put my notice in and by the end of February; I was saying goodbye to relationships I’d built over the past four years and packing my bags. It was a little sad, but such a relief to be moving forward. My new job is completely different, but challenging in new ways.

In March, I told my family the news of our little one and the nausea set in for good. Wesley and I lived apart for the month. This was definitely more challenging on his end seeing as he was living out of a suitcase in a – not so accommodating- motel room. I was in my childhood home, with my mommy to take care of me. Even though I was yacking my brains out at my new job and being a total drag around the house, it was still exciting. I looked forward to coming home and was excited for the days I got to play with my niece before she was picked up. I dreamed of the days when I would walk in to pick up my own child and hear all about his day.
I was Inspired - see this post here

Celebrate - Mom & Dad's Anniversary July 2011

In April, we found out we were having a little boy and in May, our search for a home began. We wanted a house. A house with character and good bones. We needed a yard and room for expansion. We needed a place that felt like us. We found it on our first trip out, but it took some time to decide. We had both taken serious cuts in pay and were expecting a new family member. It was tiring, but by July we had a new home.
Friends 10 Year High School Reunion May 2011
 
All Smiles June 2011


Still Laughing (hehe) - September 2011
Also fitting for A Day in My Life!
   Our new home needed some work, but that’s what we wanted, a place to make ours. Being six months pregnant in the heat of a late Mississippi summer, I was little help with the actual work part, but I am proud of what we accomplished and forever grateful to our family and friends for the work they put into our home. I hope it will always be a place where we can gather together, celebrate, and just be at ease.
Me in MY home growing MY baby - September 2011
Our days and nights were occupied with work, baby and house. We’d finally moved in by the end of August and set goals for what would be accomplished before the baby came in October. Through long weekends, days off work, and relentless nagging the house looked awesome by the time we welcomed our friends and family for a baby shower/open house in mid-September.

October came and I could barely believe our little Jonah would arrive any day. I was ready. Beginning in August, after my gestational diabetes diagnosis, we were at the doctor every other week, so we knew pretty much exactly what was going on with him, but I still couldn’t believe I made it to my due date. The doctors we saw didn’t think it was a good idea for us to go over our due date because of the risk of him being large, so we scheduled for the nineteenth. It all seemed like it led up to that day. The move, new jobs, new house, being home; it was all for him. Finally, he was here.

Let's Do It Again (Someday)- October 19, 2011
Macro - October 2011
He was perfect. Every mother says this, but it is unfathomable how much I love this tiny person. I still sit in my office just looking at his photo thinking “really? I brought that little human into this world and get to keep him?” I pray every day for his protection, health and happiness. I worry about him constantly, but know he is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God and He cares for him. I was chosen to be his mother. It is the most important job I will ever have. I get to teach him and mold him. The coolest part of it all is he loves me. He can’t form words or wrap his arms around me, but he can show love and I am a grateful recipient. The way his smile can just make your whole day better, is only the start of the awesome things this kid can do. This is how I now know how unconditional God's love is for us.

Hopes and Dreams November 2011

Now that November and December have gone, I can truly say, this year has been one for the record books! My hopes for 2012 are just as big, but I really want to just enjoy life this year, make memories, and fulfill some more dreams!

  
I Miss You Connor December 18, 2011         All Dressed Up for his first Egg Bowl November 2011



A Day in the Life & Just Because....December 2011


Autumn Harvest- December 2011



My Two Favorite Boys Christmas Day 2011







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29 comments

  1. You have had quite a year my friend - I loved how you put it into such a beautiful story. I can't wait to see the story that will unfold in 2012.

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  2. This post is perfection... what a beautiful collection of photos and words. So many lovely pictures, but my favorite is probably the hopes and dreams shot. Just wonderful my friend!

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  3. What a beautiful post!! You have SUCH a beautiful story and so many beautiful photos of your son.

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  4. So many beautiful photos. My favorites are Winter Wonderland, Macro & I Love You.

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  5. Absolutely wonderful - great photography and story -- thank you for sharing. You are truly blessed -

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  6. beautiful post, all just so beautiful!!!!

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  7. This is a wonderful "Memories Dreams and Reflections post" I love the story behind it. Congrats on the precious baby.
    Now if I can just get my post finished.

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  8. Wow, that was an awesome year! Love the photo of you in the hospital. I wish I had some like that.

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  9. I love how you did this post! GREAT pics too. :)

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  10. Awesome post and really beautiful photos! May 2012 be a great year!

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