While I absolutely hate the frigid temperatures that come along with this time of year, I do love the feeling of a clean slate, a fresh start. I love taking the time to think about all the wonderful things that happened the year before and the dreams I have for the year to come. As a person who is constantly jumping from one thing to the next, I desperately need this time at the beginning of the year to soak in and appreciate all that has happened, how much I've grown and how our family has been blessed. When life is moving at rapid pace, sometimes you need to slow down and be thankful.
That is where I find myself at the start of this new year. 2014 was a good year, a year where I found myself getting back into the groove of things. Life with a baby sure does flip your world upside down (in the best of ways) and by the end of 2013 I was just trying to catch my breath. As we moved into 2014 things felt more settled. And while the year certainly had it's fair share of surprises and ups and downs, in general it was a calm and relaxing year for us. After 2013 which found me pregnant, giving birth, recovering from a c-section, raising a toddler, selling a home, buying a home, moving and running a business, our family was ready for a calm year!
Before I jump into 2015 I wanted to reflect on this past 2014, thankful for the amazing and wonderful things that happened in our life. What better way to do that than with 14 highlights of 2014!
One : Training For and Completing my first Half Marathon.
This trip and race had been a dream of mine for a long time. To actually cross that finish line and complete this MASSIVE goal was a HUGE personal victory for me. Added bonus : it was on my 30th birthday! It boosted my confidence not only as a runner but as a person. To work towards and accomplish a lofty goal of running 13.1 miles was a defining moment for me in 2014. One of my favorite memories of the year!
Two : Traveling to Chicago, Florida and Texas with the family.
In the first three months of the year we traveled cross country with the babe. These were some special moments for us a family this year, I'll never forget Jonathan's first plane ride or how we meticulously planned every step before we boarded that plane (Fear of screaming baby on plane anyone?) We rallied as a team and I'm incredibly proud of how Dave and I worked together. It might seem like a small thing, but this year especially, it's been in the small moments that we've experienced the most joy.
Three : The DZP Home Office Makeover.
I had no idea how popular the home office makeover would be OR the amazing feedback I had from Instagram and blog readers on paint choices, furniture placement, desk orders and more! Thanks to your feedback and help I was able to come up with a home office that feels like home. A place where I can breath, be inspired and do my best work. I love here! The amazing Style Me Pretty feature was the icing on the cake!!
Four : Jonathan's First Birthday.
My baby turned ONE this year!! Waaahhh. We celebrated with a family picnic on a beautiful spring day. To see so much love poured out to Jonathan made my heart swell. This kid sure is loved and I'm ever so grateful for that! Plus you can't beat that adorable bow tie or the fact that he got frosting up his nose!!
Five : Portrait Sessions.
I photographed many more portraits sessions than ever I anticipated this past year. And I loved it!! So much so that I am toying with the idea of adding portraits as a permanent part of my brand. All this to say, I've loved the families (near and far) that I've had the joy of documenting this year. It's felt like a perfect fit...more on this soon!
Six : Celebrating out 8th wedding anniversary.
We celebrated 8 years of marriage this summer...that's almost a decade!! We've grown a lot, together, and I'm incredibly proud of all that we have accomplished. While we have SO much to look forward to and a lot of growing left to do, we took time out to thank God for all he's done in us and through us as a couple. I'm thankful for 8 years of marriage and I can't wait to see what another 8 years brings us!
Seven : My shared office space.
I had been looking for an office space for a long time, a place where I could meet with clients in a space that was quiet and "my own." In an unexpected turn, the fabulous ladies at Paper Moss approached me about sharing their office space in downtown Boston. Isn't it funny how God presents us with opportunities at just right moment? It's been wonderful sharing a space with Paper Moss team and it's been fantastic having a space all "my own" to meet with clients!
Eight : Traveling to Virginia.
Another unexpected turn this year was having the opportunity to travel to Virginia (with the family!) to attend a mentor session with friend and fellow photographer Katelyn James. We made a road trip out of it and had a blast together as a family. The business got an added boost from all of Katelyn's wisdom and I'm so grateful to have had the chance to reconnect with this dear friend and mentor!
Nine : Speaking at the Boston PUG.
A highlight (and knee shakingly nervous moment) for me this year was having the opportunity to speak at the Boston PUG. I shared my heart for work/life balance as well as tip and tricks on growing a business while nurturing a family and marriage. It's something I'm incredibly passionate about so to be able to share that with others, well it was a defining moment for me!
Ten : Deepening Relationships.
This year seemed to be focused on deepening relationships. From industry peers to old friends to new friendships, I found relationships being strengthened and deepened all along the way. This is one of the things I am most grateful for this year and I pray that 2015 only finds these relationships enriched and strengthened.
Eleven : Hosting the first DZP Workshop.
It's been a dream of mine to help educate and encourage others through my business and this November we hosted a private workshop at our home for 5 photographers! Wow, what a dream come true! Many vendors came together to help this idea become a reality and it was in short, an incredible experience. I'm so very thankful for the ladies represented here and their eagerness to learn and grow with me!
Twelve :My First Print Feature.
Eeekk, I couldn't wait to share this one! Technically it's not my first print publication but it is my first full length feature!! Mark and Marlo's wedding is currently being featured in Southern New England Weddings magazine and I'm like a proud mama bear. They put so much thought and detail into their day and I'm delighted to see it getting the attention it deserves! Once I get my hands on a copy I'll be sure to share it here!
Thirteen : Further developing my style.
It felt like this year was a stretching one for me as a photographer. I felt back in the groove after the birth of our son and I used 2014 as a year for learning. Becoming a Mom changed everything for me and that meant some core aspects of my business and photography changed too. I care about different things, see the world differently. New perspective have influenced who I am as a photographer and business owner. I'm starting to see that take shape in the images I create and boy does that excite me!
Fourteen : Sharing more of my heart of family & business.
My desire in 2015 is to share more of my heart of family and business here on the blog and throughout all aspects of DZP. My aim is to encourage and equip those who have or are looking to start a family but are overwhelmed with how to "balance" it all. Or perhaps you don't have a family but simply want to have better boundaries between your business and your life. Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of doing something creative, of owning a business AND having a family. And while I don't have it all figured out (that's for sure!) I am learning along the way and carving a path towards the things, people, dreams and experiences that make my heart set fire. I hope you'll join me!