Snapshots from the Year
Before we look ahead, it's customary to take a look back. To see where we want to improve, to remember the good times, and to have a sense of satisfaction moving forward. I had a few big changes this year, from moving back home to dating again. And as you can see, the dating has gone very well.
Though I was still not dating early in the year. I spent my weekends on the couch, watching movies with my two girls, and the rest of the time on work, which I love. I started doing a few more personal style and makeup posts, including the French Connection shoot and the Revlon shoot pictured above. I hope to add even more this year and in the future.
I feel like this time last year, my photography skills improved quite a bit, from the food photography to the makeup, and even my random instagram shots. This was also a time during which I wasn't sure about what was coming up in my future. That bottom right is a picture of a dandelion seed. It blew onto me as I was sitting outside and thinking about the future. I couldn't help but feel like this little seed...something that had to be blown here and there by the wind before it would eventually find a place to grow.
In the summer, I made a big move from San Antonio, Texas back home to Oklahoma. I've had a lot of fun rediscovering my favorite places like Philbrook, Brookside, and Utica Square; and I've had fun seeing new places like the aquarium in Jenks.
August - this was when I met my fiance. The roses in the center photo are two dozen roses that he bought for me on our second date. :) After I got settled into a home here, I decided to make an effort to get back out there and find someone who is right for me. Our first date, while fun and full of good conversation, wasn't exactly full of fireworks, because I take my time...so much so that he thought I wasn't interested and tried to cancel on me for our second date. I was like "No, I want to go out. I like you. I'm attracted to you. I find you interesting." He's pretty lucky I didn't let him cancel.;) And I'm certainly lucky too.
The next few months were filled with more fun work projects, including big makeup brands like e.l.f. and even L'Oreal Paris asking for permission to use my photos. For that I am very grateful and excited to see my brand grow in the future.
These late summer and early fall months were also filled with a lot of date nights. A once-a-week date schedule quickly turned into twice a week, during which we quickly realized not just how much we were into each other, but also how right for each other we are. When you're my age, and you've had time to fail miserably at relationships; you become fully aware of what you need, what you want, what you deserve, and what you have to offer. It's a good time to find someone who is right for you.
While it never seemed like a good time to tell my children that I was dating, I was pleasantly surprised by how happy and excited mine were, especially my oldest daughter. They could see the flowers and gifts I was getting, and they could see how happy I was. They knew it was a good thing. When I envisioned dating again, considering I have young children, I thought it would be complicated. But it has made my life so much easier and better and has put more people in their lives who care about them, and someone in my life who loves me probably even more than I love myself.
There are a lot of different way to define love, but when you can trust someone else to take care of you better than you take care of yourself, without even having to ask, and without them expecting anything in return other than the same love and care, that is definitely the behavior of someone who loves...not just someone who loves to be around you or loves a lot of things about you, but who genuinely wants to give you care, respect, and to make you feel loved. I could go on and on about compatibility and needs, but I suppose I could save that for a different post.
As date nights turned into weekends, he decided to spoil me every month with a nice hotel, something we will do long after we're married, as well as vacations. So you can expect a lot of new travel posts here on the website from now on.
The holidays were so special this year. From shopping to yummy food and fancy events, and just the time at home with a good movie and some snuggles, it was a wonderful first Christmas with my love, and I look forward to many more.
As I look back on 2015, I feel good. Were there stresses? Yes. Did I cry? Yes. Did I lose sleep? Yes. Did I have months where my stats and sales were so low I wondered if I should just go and get a job at McDonald's? Yes. But I like to focus on the good things and keep investing in the things that I know will pay off, and when I do, I find that there is so much to be thankful for and even more to be hopeful of for the future.
Of course the best thing from the year was getting that beautiful ring for Christmas. I'm sure we've all had ups and downs throughout the year, but if we focus on the people we love and who love us back, life gets so much better. Happy New Year!:)