I must say, I'm prettttty impressed with the fact that this blog post is coming before Christmas and not after...that's a huge accomplishment coming from the procrastination and hustle and bustle that is my life! Now, did I send out Holiday cards, no. Epic FAIL! Every year I tell myself I will and every year goes by without mailing any out--for some reason, being a photographer, I feel it's seen as almost a requirement so I always feel even worse! My days are always brightened by the happy mail we receive over the Holiday season. So many beautiful cards with heartfelt messages and so many pictures displayed that WE'VE taken--it warms me down to my toes! So, I vow to one day be the sender instead of just the receiver but for now, this is me wishing you ALL a very Merry Christmas!! (and if you sent cards out, be proud, it's a task that's not the easiest for some ;) ) Now, on to the year in review! Like anyone, we've had our fair share of ups and downs. Everything always seems to be bittersweet. Some days, more bitter than sweet. However, I can honestly say that this has been one of the best years of my life. Regardless of tears, heartbreak and sometimes just plain old aching of the soul--I'm lucky. Tyler Hope has saved our lives in more ways than one. The second I found out I was pregnant, my world became brighter. Through the hard days that followed she has continued to pull me through. We are so very blessed to own a beautiful home in the heart of Chesapeake, close to the people we love. Our family is our backbone and our biggest supporters. Our friends have the biggest hearts and are always there. Our dream 'Husband and Wife' photography business is thriving, thanks to all of you. Thanks to hard work we've added a second Mark III to the photo family and my Christmas present came early (after months of searching/test drives/safety research)--a 2014 Honda Pilot, big enough to fit all of our photography equipment aaaaand hopefully more babies in the future with that convenient 3rd row seating ;) My husband continues to be my rock, my best friend. The hardest working man and the most loving and devoted father. Some how, I love him more with each passing day we're granted. Life is good. Life may not always be easy--but nothing that's worth it ever is. It's funny, it seems the more people you have to love in your life, the stronger the fear of losing it all becomes. You just have to keep that as your motivation to love with your whole heart and never take life for granted. Much easier said than done, mostly, I just try to keep my sanity in tact ;)
We finished the year out with 30 FABULOUS Weddings (on top of bringing our perfect girl in to the world on March 29th!). The most amazing couples I'm blessed to call friends. They chose US and for that I'm eternally grateful and will always hold a place for them in my heart! I was jam-packed with sessions this year, sometimes every day of the week. Lucky is an understatement. However, I will be making adjustments for 2014--taking on less family sessions and focusing on engagements/bridals and Weddings. It's imperative for me to allow more time for my family and less time on the computer editing at 2 a.m. To further ensure that my family comes first, we have set aside a weekend every month with nothing but family time and Nagshead mini-get-aways! Getting 'burnt out' can happen to everyone, no matter how much they love their job, and I never ever want that to be me--prevention 101 in affect! As you all know, my husband works Monday-Friday as well as shooting Weddings every weekend--he deserves a break every now and then to enjoy this beautiful life with his girls that adore him so :) I'm determined to make that happen! Life's too short for 'next times' and 'maybe laters'!
Back to the Holidays and what I consider to be the heart of it all. Family. Love. Traditions. Oh my goodness, the Traditions that we have built up in this family! Starting with, getting the tree! We dress up in our festive attire, we pack cocoa and cookies and we set out on the hunt for the perfect tree--with my parents of course; it's a family affair! This year we did the most damage; 4 lots before finding that perfect tree--crazy but worth it and all the laughs that came with it :) We settled on a lot put on by a church so all the proceeds go to a deserving community, win win! Next, a big pot of chili boils as we unload the decorations and start trimming the tree. Every ornament since I was a child is unwrapped and hung with love. Reminiscing about the significance; my mom telling me the stories behind each one-- why I chose a ballerina one year and a soccer ball the next--from horses and starfish to 'first year married' and 'new home' to 'baby's first Christmas' as Brian and I continue on with the tradition. Each year we collect ornaments to represent the family. It may seem silly to most, but something as simple as an ornament brings me so much joy and is able to take me back to the greatest memories and moments in time (much like a photograph ;) ) Each year I will choose an ornament for my children in hopes that the same tradition will carry on.
Tonight, we will be heading to Suffolk to spend Christmas Eve with my family. My mom has a permanent glow and warmth in her heart that I envy and admire. She is beautiful in every way and to me, she is Christmas, she is joy. She busts her butt baking everything under the sun, wrapping for hours, 5 huge trees fill the house along with decorations in every corner. She slaves away on feasts for the entire family to join in on because to her, that is all the matters. Togetherness and happiness for those she loves most. One day I hope to be half the woman and mother that she is. My dad, he's pretty great too--he's the one helping her do everything, with a little bitching mixed in of course ;) There are so many exciting things in store for the Macons and I cannot wait to see what the new year brings!!! I hope you all are able to take a few minutes to appreciate your loved ones. Appreciate the company that surrounds you and acknowledge the love that brings you together. Don't sweat the small stuff! Everyone gets so wrapped up in finding the 'perfect gift' instead of realizing that being together is gift enough! Brian and I will be going on a trip together in February to enjoy sunshine and beaches-- to make memories together as a family! To me that's more significant than any jewelry or article of clothing he could've picked out (and as he claims, I wind up returning anyway ;) )
Wishing you ALL the happiest of Holidays and a safe New Year!!! Love to you all and a million Thank you's for another successful year for Macon Photography!
Here are some of our Holiday photos captured throughout the month of December! A special Thank you to the light in our life and best friend, Zoe Grant, for capturing our family photos--even though those simple words will never be enough.
I set up a 'mock photobooth' backdrop for our girls annual Progressive Christmas Dinner! This years theme, 'Lady Lumber Jacks' or Jills I should say ;) We're obviously easily amused. Love them more than life!
Merriest of Holidays! Love, the Macons!