Looking Back (and) Moving Forward - 2013

Wow. Aren't you just amazed some days at how fast time flies? I mean, I know it's something we all say ... but it seems to be moving even faster than usual. I think that happens as you have kids and they start to grow. But also seeing your own siblings, their children and your own parents - I just marvel at our time together and how fast the year just zips by. I am so thankful and grateful for it all. I wanted to take this time to mention that 2012 was a monumental year for MachC Photography, for you, my readers & clients and fans. We quietly (but still with gusto and excitement) celebrated five years and are now moving into our sixth year in business. That is huge. Huge for a small town. Huge for a small business. I couldn't have done it without you. Every day I am so thankful for my clients, getting to see their lives, document their lives and sprinkle a little love on their walls. I feel it was what I was meant to do. Thank you for letting me be a part of it all.

On the last days of our "12 Days of Christmas" fun & celebration, I offered up 1 complimentary session (a gift of $325) to one family with our session scheduled here in the early part of this year (before June). I just asked that you send an email with a little bit about you, your family, who is in your family, what they are like, why family portraits are important to you and how you would pay it forward. The responses that poured in were nothing short of amazing. To even type that seems like an understatement. I laughed and cried and grinned from ear to ear reading your entries! They were thoughtful, honest, funny, heartfelt ... and family centered.

I felt blessed just to read your words.

I love this quote by Aisha Elderwyn,

Every new year people make resolutions to change aspects of themselves they believe are negative. A majority of people revert back to how they were before and feel like failures. This year I challenge you to a new resolution. I challenge you to just be yourself.

And it seems that so much of what you wrote was a challenge in just that. A life challenge to just be you and walk the path that was laid before you.

After reading all of the entries, I couldn't quite decide. While all the stories were good, two in particular stood out for reasons that will soon become very, very clear. I plan to talk with the winners, photograph their families & share as much of their story(ies) as they will allow me to. Yes ... families. Yes ... stories ... yes ... I decided that I wanted to honor & surprise TWO families - TWO FAMILIES!!! I am so excited! But I was also so touched by everyone's entries that I also have something for each of you. So if you didn't "win" the grand prize, I would still love for you to email me your snail mail addy ... I have something for you too.

The world is certainly a brighter place with these families in it. I cannot wait to tell your story and share your love. Congratulations to Jennifer Bruce and her family AND Jenna Feddersen and her family! They both had incredible stories of looking back and moving forward with a lot of hope and amazing grace. I am so excited to photograph your families and showcase your love.

I cannot wait for 2013 to unfold ~ Happy New Year to all of you!