Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Memories, Dreams, Reflections 2011

How has another year come and gone?  I will admit this year has been full of challenges and circumstances that have forced me to grow closer to my God.  They have been needed, but WOW has it been difficult.  

Today, I am linking up with Ashley of Ramblings and Photos for Memories, Dreams, and Reflections of 2011.  

1.  Me!-  In 2011, I am most proud of accomplishing a full year of staying at home with my son.  This may not seem like a big deal, but it has been more challenging to choose to stay at home and not return to work than I ever thought it would be.  At one point, I thought I was going to go back, because I was struggling with being home every day, but after much prayer and a few changes I stuck it out......for now.

I am also proud at how much better I have learned to deal with stress.  Some people who know me may LAUGH at this, because I still allow stress to affect me more than I should, but it is much better.  

2.  I Love You-My life is so much better because these two are in it.  They love me, challenge me, embrace me, make me LAUGH, cry with me, embarrass me, hug me, and so much more.

3.  Still LAUGHing- My son has done a lot of things that still have me LAUGHing, but each time I think about him in the ocean this summer I LAUGH.  I love how he would lay down on his back and let the waves crash over him.

4.  Winter Wonderland- Ummmm, I really don't have a photo to share for this one.  Here is our winter wonderland.  Seriously, we took this in February.  

5.  Birthday- Smashing cake on his 1st birthday in March.

photos taken by Billy Waller

6.  Friends-My best friend in the whole world--my sister.  It has been a tough year for many reasons and I honestly don't know what I would have done without my sister.  She may live far away, but thankfully, she is only a phone call away.  No matter what happens, she is forever my best friend.

7.  I Was Inspired-In January/February I took my first Clickin' Moms workshop-Natural Light 101.  I was inspired by so many people during the 4 week course and am so thankful I took it.  Here is one of my favorite shots from the class.

8.  Spring Fever-I'll be honest, we don't really get spring fever in South Florida.  The one thing we really look forward to is a warmer ocean.  You can find us at the beach almost any month of the year, but by spring we are ready to get in the ocean.

9.  Travel or Vacation-We spent our second summer vacation in a row in Hilton Head.  It was a much needed break from the routine.

10.  Summer Days-You may be getting tired of beach photos, but when you live so close to the beach you tend to have a million photos of your family there.  We don't spend that many summer days at the beach, but it still makes me think of summer.

11.  A Day in My Life- Always involves a whole lot of this guy

12.  All Smiles- I took photos of this little cutie and her family in November.  What a treat!!

13.  Autumn Harvest

14.  Family or Home- My parents and sister at Thanksgiving.  We haven't taken a photo of the four of us in years, so it is nice to have this one.

All of my cousins on my dad's side at my grandmother's funeral.

15.  Celebrate!- Sam and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary in May.  I was able to capture this photo the evening we went to dinner at our favorite restaurant, while my mother-in-law watched B. 

16.  Let's Do It Again-  Have a picnic on Davis Island......again and again and again!!

17.  I Miss You- This was a very difficult year, as I said goodbye to both of my grandmothers.  I miss them nearly every day.  Some days, I just long to pick up the phone and talk to them.  Throughout my college and young adult years I was quick to phone them when I was feeling lonely, as I knew they would always be there to chat.  

18.  Beautiful- God's creation!!!!!!!!!!!!!

19.  Dress Up- Just a snapshot, but Sam and I dressed up for his work Christmas party.  

20.  Macro- I really don't really have any "true" macro shots, so I thought I would share this photo of one of my grandfather's roses.

21.  Holidays- Christmas is definitely more fun when you have kids around.  Bennett just enjoyed his gifts this year, as did his cousins.  Plus, we were able to Skype with my parents which was very nice.

22.  My Favorite- No one way could I only choose one favorite from a full year of photos, but this is one of my top 100 :)  These rosaries have hung from my grandmother's lamp since my grandfather purchased them for her several years ago.  I took this photo the week she went home to be with the LORD.

23.  Don't Ever Change- My boy with his 3 of his sweet cousins.  I hope they are always as close as they are now.

24.  Just Because...So There- Practicing night photography this year was one of my favorite adventures.  This is my favorite shot!

25.  Hopes and Dreams- Wow, where to begin.  My hope for this year is that I rest knowing that God is at work in my life no matter how hard, easy, beautiful, ugly, joyful or sad it may be.  2011 was a difficult year for many reasons, but I learned a lot about myself, my God, my family and my friends.  I hope and dream that when 2012 comes to a close that I feel more at peace with living in Tampa, with the activities I am involved in, and with my role as a mother.  I hope that I work hard to follow the LORD and all the ways He is challenging me to be more like Him.


Unknown said...

I absolutely love the lighting of that last shot!!

trulymegs said...

Your last photo is fantastic! Looks like 2011 was good to your family.

Carolina said...

Loved reading this today and what a good way to remember 2011. What stood out the most was the 'me' part as I can SO relate to the struggles of being at home. And don't be too hard on yourself, I think you deal well with stress and do an absolute wonderful job as a mother and wife!

SarahinSC said...

Beautiful shots! I am still a SAHM (10.5 years!) and STILL struggle with it from time to time, but look back on the years I would've missed and am so thankful for each and every day.


Katie Perdue said...

I love your pictures and all that you wrote- especially jealous of that picture taken in February! I pray 2012 brings all you have hoped for and that you and your precious little family have an amazing year!

Jeska said...

LOVE your favorite, hopes and dreams, and your just because shot. All really beautiful!

Unknown said...

Great shots! I love the celebrate shot! Its so great looking back at your photos this year!

Ashley Sisk said...

Oh Amber - this set is absolutely gorgeous. I really loved scrolling through 2011 with you one more time and that last shot blows me away. Happy 2012.

Anna Boney said...

Love everything about this post! His faithfulness is all over this!

JCo said...

Amber, great photos, especially the one of you and Sam under Celebrate and that last photo is AMAZING. Happy New Year to you!

katy said...

Great great photos! You have so much talent Amber! And the one of you with Bennett at the beach! Sheesh, you don't look like you ever had a baby!

katy said...

PS - Staying at home IS one of the hardest job out there, I am convinced. Somedays I feel like going back to work too. And someday I might, but not right now.

Kindra said...

Beautiful words and pictures. Here's to a new year full of seeing God's glory revealed!

Unknown said...

Your still laughing is still a favorite of mine! Advd of course the rosary photo! I love seeing tiny B since we didn't find each other til later in the year. There are just so many I could comment on. You have had an amazing year with photography, and are incredibly talented. I know we have talked about self-doubt, but this collection is such a great example of why you should believe in yourself. And there are many (so many!) photos not included here that have blown me away. You are definitely blessed with a gift for this. As for the words of this post, you are such a beautiful person... and I am glad we found each other. I can't wait to see how God works in your life this year. :)

Craig said...

you have so much talent Amber, so much. All your photos – all of them – professional. And I can see a little bit of you and your sister and vice versa – and I can see a lot of Sam your baby – and the picture of the hands! So much here to feast on – and maybe my favorite – next to you holding your baby in the sunset – is that shot of you and Sam on the bench. I smiled at it all. Thank you Amber. God bless you and yours.

Aud's Space said...

Beautiful photos! All of them. I love seeing your little baby on the beach.~

Tracy P. said...

So beautiful! Love the one of you and your husband on your anniversary. Stopped in from the linky! May your hopes and dreams come true this year.

Kay K said...

Amber your pictures are beautiful
what sweet pictures of your little guy
The one of Betty oh it touched my heart such a sweet lady
also the one of you and Sam , the love you can just see it in this picture

Lori said...

I love the lighting in the last shot too! Fantastic year in review!


Natalie said...

So sorry to hear you lost both your Grandmothers! I know that had to be tough! On a lighter note, your beach photos were my fav, ive never seen the ocean, but hope to someday! :)

Linda said...

What a wonderful journey you provided! Since we don't know each other, it provided a window on your world - and a beautiful one at that! Your photography is a joy to view. I pray you continue to grow and trust God's direction in your life, however hard it may seem. God bless you and your family.

Sara said...

Sounds like you've had a challenging, but because of your perseverance and the love of your family a very rewarding year. Being a SAHM is heaps harder than what anyone ever tells you, so don't ever feel guilty for feeling this way or compare yourself to other mothers. I'm really sorry you lost your grandmothers, especially this year as it can be so isolating to be a SAHM.
Hope you can find your passion for photography again. These are wonderful photos, I love the joy you've captured with your family, and wow, the hands, your anniversary picture, the rosary, and the sunset are all so beautiful. I hope 2012 is a wonderful year!