Recapping & Reflecting {2013}

With Christmas right around the corner, and the new year quickly approaching after that, I thought it would be a cool idea to reflect on this past year. 2013 was a great, solid year for me, professionally and personally. I got a very significant raise at the credit union, and my schedule was also filled with shoots. Besides that, I got to experience 3 awesome weddings of people very near and dear to me, gained 3 new amazing babies in my life, and celebrated my one year wedding anniversary with my remarkable husband. There were many other moments, but those were the highlights. Based on what I just said, I can’t help but feeling a little guilty and embarrassed about the numerous times that I found myself complaining about literally the DUMBEST things, which I used to do a lot more before I started dating my husband, who is undoubtedly the most positive, glass-half-full, person I know. It didn’t take long for that to rub off on me and turn me, the pessimist, into an optimist…but I occasionally have my moments. So this is what I started doing, and I am officially challenging you to do the same starting with the new year…like a new years resolution 😉 Every time you find yourself about to complain about something, turn it into something to be thankful to God for. Here are a few examples that I’ve personally experienced:

-My favorite part of the day is coming home to my husband and dogs, so when 1:30pm hits, and I realize I still have 3 hours and 45 minutes left of my work day, I would sigh and get pouty about it, all the while wishing I could just go home. But then I think about the thousands of people (especially in the Mitten) that are unemployed that would probably love to have my job, then I silently thank God for blessing me with a great job with benefits, a great boss, and great coworkers.

-I also dread my 53 mile round trip ride to work every day (especially when we have a branch 6 miles from my house). But then, again, I thank God for my job, for very safe and reliable car, and for getting me to and from work safely every day.

-I hope this last one makes you think (especially if live in the Mitten or anywhere else where it gets cold and snows during the winter). There are things I look at in my house that I really don’t like and want to get re-done…our lavender shower and tub in the master bathroom, the peel and stick tile in the kitchen, gross porcelain sink in the kitchen, our entire basement, and the list goes on. But then I make myself think about the people who live in homes without heat, or don’t have homes at all. Could you imagine being homeless? Bouncing from shelter to shelter, having to rummage through garbage to find food, wearing the same filthy clothes day after day? That’s when I thank God for our awesome little house, for our working furnace, our working air conditioner, the food in our refrigerator, etc, etc, etc. Because let’s be real, the list could go on forever.

I hope you’re all up to this challenge!

And it wouldn’t be a Toni blog post without some photos! So I’ve selected my one favorite photograph from every single thing I’ve shot this year and compiled them below (in chronological order of course). Some of these people were strangers, others great friends, but I can honestly tell you that I’ve learned a lot about myself as a person, and as a photographer from meeting/knowing these people.

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