Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 in Review

This year has been full of hard things and beautiful things. I don't think I've ever had a year where I've examined myself so closely and made a more conscious effort to change. I've gone through some really painful transformations and had some really humbling experiences. Thus blogging has become more of a way to share my photography than my writings or musings. I mean, do you ever read a depressing blog? It's much easier just to throw up a few pictures of your cute kid.

So no, 2009 was not perfect in any way. But it was also one of my best years of my life. There have been times where I've consciously tried to savor particular moments because I know I'm going to miss them.

I've become a better homemaker. I've learned to treat being a stay-at-home-mom more like a job and it's made all the difference.

I've become more balanced and less high-strung. I've learned to "go with the flow" more.

I've learned to be more kind and a lot less judgmental. I've felt the refining fire of humility and I hope to exemplify these qualities even more in 2010.

I think the biggest lesson I learned this year is to be grateful. When things are hard and you make mistakes and face challenges I've found the best way to shift your perspective is to be grateful for the blessings in your life. It's difficult to feel despair when you are on your knees, giving thanks for what you've been given.

And I've been given so much. Despite the heartache I look back at 2009 and see a stronger marriage, a beautiful little boy, financial security, good health and newfound hobbies.

2010 is going to bring so many new things (new baby, new house, new city, etc.) and I am excited. Here are a few things I'm looking forward to in 2010:

- Learning Photoshop (thanks Santa!)
- Running another 1/2 marathon (and saying goodbye to baby fat)
- Buying our first home (duplex didn't count)
- Becoming a mom of two boys (eek)
- Taking more pictures
- Reading more books (got any good suggestions?)
- Walking my dog every day (poor neglected puppy)
- Sewing something new every month

I'm looking forward to 2010 for a new start. I hope to accomplish many things and face some new challenges. I'll let you know how it goes.

all my love, ali

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Family ties

We celebrated Christmas last week with the Garfields in the only way we know how: kazoo caroling. It's sort of a tradition.

Last year Franky was not a fan of the kazoos:

But making noise is something he has developed a passion for. And so this year kazooing was right up his alley.

We love being a part of a large, extended family. Our family is growing and it's exciting to get together every year and see all of the new additions. We've got two on the way as we speak - mine and my cousin Katie's who will be born only a few weeks apart. My Grandpa and cousin talked a lot about how important family traditions are and on the way home Zach and I discussed the things we really remember about the holidays. It's not the present or the food (well, sometimes the food) but most of all we remember the things we did and the people we did them with. I really hope we can create lasting memories and traditions for our family.

Merry Christmas!

love, ali