3:25 PM


I told you I was ahead of the curve.  They are talking about Peaky Blinders.  Told ya.

4:23 PM

2014 - Year in review

I have been answering these same questions about the new year for 18 years now. Ya, some of the questions sound like something a teen would ask... I considered looking for a new list, but my love of tradition and consistency won out and voila, this year's year in review:

1.     What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?

I got licked by a giraffe!  One of my life goals is to ride a giraffe, although people say it can’t be done, I will count this as a step towards that dream!

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did meet my business and career goals, I think I also wanted to have more date nights and I think that the marriage/family balance is in more equilibrium now.  This year I resolve to listen to the messages the universe is sending me and to be open in both mind and heart.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope, I guess everyone I know is done with babies, thankfully I get to snuggle new born babies and new arrivals all the time when I photograph them J

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No but for the first time ever I felt really impacted by a celebrity’s death.  When Robin Williams died I felt really sad all week and still find it hard to watch his movies now, it’s just all so sad.

5. What countries did you visit?

We were in the states this year for our annual trip to KV, really, really hoping for more travel soon.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

More travel.  More adventures.

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

This year it was Yoyo’s turn to start school.  Walking away from her as she bawled and screamed for me was one of the hardest things I did all year.  That was the first time I ever had to walk away from her when she needed me, leaving her to strangers.  HARD stuff.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

My biggest achievement of the year is convincing my husband, kids, mother and step dad that we really should buy that great house across the street and all move in together.  I worked on closing that deal for over a year before I got all of our family on board and then two months of negotiations with the previous owners, finally resulted in our new and amazing house living the multi-generational lifestyle.  We might still be in the honeymoon phase but so far I have to say that having a build in babysitter who cooks and does laundry has changed my life for only the better.  Because we can all share in the child minding and the chores I have so much more time and mental space to delve into my business and I am a more complete and fulfilled version of me.  A close second would be the achievement of locating Yoyo’s nanny from China and building that relationship.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I am not saying I am perfect, but there have been no major failures.  I tend to see my flaws and failings as periods of growth, I usually have no regrets and seem to always land on my feet even when things go topsy turvey, and I think that’s just my nature.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Squeaker had croup and we had our first midnight hospital ER visit, but in the greater picture we are so lucky with our health.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The new house!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Yoyo’s nanny from China.  As I have come to know her I am overwhelmed by her bravery.  She executes her religious freedoms in a country that allows none, forges our friendship that could get her fired and for her life time of dedication and perseverance for her babies who she raises only to send them blindly across the ocean, armed with only faith, hope and her love.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Okay appalled might be a slight overstatement, but I was really depressed watching the new Annie movie.  The acting and the songs and all that jazz were fine and good.  About half way through though I just go so sad, because the world was making Annie prove herself and earn her right to have a family.  And the worst part was that Annie had placed this enormous burden on herself to make herself adoptable and to maximize her potential and forge her path in life.  I just kept thinking she is a child, she has the right to be a selfish bubble headed preteen with no other concern then whether New Direction is really breaking up.  A family is a basic human right not something a child has to earn with a plucky attitude, jazz hands and determination.  But that is not the world we live in, so I was sad watching that because I realized how much every other person in the theatre found the movie to be so uplifting and heartwarming and inspirational, and I just was so sad.  On the topic of inspirational please watch this TED talk, you will love it! http://www.ted.com/talks/stella_young_i_m_not_your_inspiration_thank_you_very_much?language=en

14. Where did most of your money go?

The move and the new house.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The new house.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

so i let crazy 
pull me in 
then i let crazy 
take his spin 
kicked off my shoes 
shut reason out 
he said "first let's just unzip 
your religion down" 
heard that you were once 
"temptation's girl" 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? Happier

ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner

iii. richer or poorer? Richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

I wish I had spent more time with friends, towards the end of the year I did, and it was so amazing and rewarding, and it has been far, far too long since I went out with a friend for me, not because our kids play well together but just for me.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

I had a lot of conflict in my life this year.  It was necessary to get me here now, but since this is about wishing, sometimes I wish that the path was clearer.  Despite what those of you who stand in the way of my goals may think, I really don’t enjoy conflict.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

I have now come to a full and complete understanding of how being a photographer can ruin your Christmas spirit. I photographed 25 families this holiday season, I was burnt out by the time the last smiling photo in front of the tree was sent out and did not even take my own photo until Christmas eve. On that note here is our very late holiday card, from me to you! But later that night, several wines later, we had an amazing dinner, this house was built for parties, and I laughed and laughed harder and longer then I have laughed in years.  It was a fantastic, amazing, happy Christmas.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?

I guess the simple answer is no?  Scratch that, I fell hard for Tommy Shelby and I don’t care who knows it!

23. How many one-night stands?


24. What was your favorite TV program?

Peaky Blinders!!!!!  Trust me you need to watch this.  Remember when I told you that Downton Abbey is amazing and you should watch it, and you were thinking what is this crazy woman talking about?  Then 3 years later Kristen over on Rage Against the Minivan is all go watch Downton Abbey and you thought you might have vaguely heard of it, well you did and it was from me and this is the next one.  It is brutal but it is amazing, sort of Downton meets Boardwalk Empire.  I am fully obsessed and also in love with the main character Tommy Shelby.  See point 21.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

No, hate is so worthless.

26. What was the best book you read?

I really only read one book this year, or five if you count audio books, good thing it was a super kick ass book.  We are Water by Wally Lamb.  His work is always great, but this was my favorite from him.  It really spoke to me about motherhood, hope, redemption, self-actualization and truth and how all of that relates to family.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Okay I must sound like a broken record but not only is the Peaky Blinders an amazing show, what is even better is the soundtrack.  So much diversity in sound yet all amazing, sexy, unique, dark, light, sad.  I have a play list to share with you, just let me know and we can go all fan girl together. J

28. What did you want and get?

The new house, with a pool and hot tub.  I love my pool!!

29. What did you want and not get?

Underwater housing for my camera.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Philomena.  It was just so great and I think the story foreshadows what our children from China will be facing and fighting in the future.  When an entire establishment and country stands by and even supports family separation, it’s children will not stand by quietly and be forsaken.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 35 and I went and got my hair cut.  It involved an exquisite long scalp massage that I am still dreaming about.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably satisfying?

This year was immeasurably satisfying. Wow that is three great years in a row.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

I am still proudly rocking the spanks pants and onsies!

34. What kept you sane?


35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Cillian Murphy aka Tommy Shelby.  Here enjoy this!

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The municipal elections.

37. Who did you miss?

I had a lot of friends moved away this year, and I missed them.  They are still here but they are not in my kitchen once a week and that was sad.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Sara!!  We work together but our friendship really blossomed this year.  We have a lot in common and she is so, so, so fun.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:

To thine own self be true.

Happy New Year!!!