Today is the very first day of 2014. I want to begin this post by talking a little bit about last year. 2013 was a bit of a wild ride for me. Mostly because my mom was diagnosed with tongue cancer at the beginning of the year and underwent a very scary surgery where they removed her entire tongue and replaced it with muscle and tissue from her leg. It’s amazing what doctors can do these days and after she spent a little bit of time healing from the surgery she underwent chemo and radiation to attack the cancer. These days my mom cannot swallow or eat through her mouth but is learning how to talk again. I can’t describe the joy I felt after months of not hearing her voice when I called her after her speech therapy appointments began and she was talking. Granted, it’s much easier to understand her when I’m in person and can read her lips but the progress she’s made is seriously incredible. (And hearing her cute little giggle requires no translation:) She has a long road in front of her with lots of therapy to relearn many basic functions that we all take for granted. And I don’t know that I really needed this to happen to know to be grateful for my health and for every single day that I have on this earth. But it did serve as a sobering reminder to always be happy for what I have and to make good use of the precious little time that there is in one lifetime.
And so my husband and I did make good use of our time in 2013. It wasn’t always under happy circumstances, but the cancer allowed me to spend a lot more time being with my mom than I have before as an adult. Same with some of my brothers and sisters that I don’t see as often now that we’re grown up. Before I found out my mom had cancer I agreed to be a captain for Fight Club, the travel team at Rocky Mountain Rollergirls. At first I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to run my business, captain the team, and be able to help care for my mom but it was a good challenge and somehow I made it all happen. Our goal was to make it to the Championship tournament again (we’ve been before but missed out on it in 2012) and we made it! And I even got to go to a few fun places with my teammates who I also consider some of my best friends. We went to Austin, Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas, Asheville, and Milwaukee. Not too shabby for a little roller derby team:)
My husband and I went on a pretty epic trip together ourselves. At the beginning of summer we decided to buy a vintage trailer so that we could live like hippies and see part of our corner of this world in more detail. With some help from his very handy friends, G transformed the trailer into the best little home on wheels anyone could ask for. He installed a solar panel so we always had as much electricity as we wanted anywhere we went and we added the coziest mattress and bedding in the world too. In August we drove that thing across the midwest into upstate New York, down to Washington DC and even through parts of Amish Country. For about a month we became the Buffalo Bills’ biggest fans and watched G’s little brother play wide receiver with them all through pre-season. Between all of the games we went on hikes, made delicious food on an open fire, drank good beer, hung out with old friends and made new ones. It was The Life.
Just like everyone else I have a collection of resolutions for the new year but I’m not going to bore you with the details of them. I’d rather talk about how my clients made this past year the best one yet! They let me in to photograph their families at the most important moments in their lives and it was an honor to capture their memories for them. I could probably go on and on about how happy this job I have makes me but I think this post has already been sappy enough. So I’ll just say that the photos below are some of my favorite moments from 2013. And here’s hoping that 2014 will be even better!
(I just want to say that the line in the blog title is taken from Ralph Waldo Emerson)