It’s hard to believe we are nearing the end of 2018 and wishing you another Merry Christmas. I feel like we just experienced all the new feels of Willow’s first Christmas together, but here we are a year later still experiencing so many new things and reflecting back on a great (but also hard) year.
Willow continues to keep us smiling and laughing. Her language skills are growing every day and she amazes us with all she can say and do. Sometimes it’s a lot of gibberish and I am pretty sure she just likes to hear herself talk, but my goodness, this stage has been the most fun! Nothing but 20 months of growing, learning and love! This girl loves to love…she could give hugs and kisses for days!
Together, Ryan and I filmed 11 weddings, plus Ryan shot one in late October on his own. We’ve cut back significantly since having Willow and we’re striving to find a balance of home, work, school, and filming. I don’t ever think we’ll find a perfect balance, but it’s a work in progress. We wouldn’t have been able to get through our busy filming days without our parents and amazing babysitters throughout the year. Leaving our precious Peanut behind to film was hard, but we are so grateful our amazing clients trusted us to capture one of the most important days of their lives. Bring on those 2019 weddings…we will be ready for you come spring time!
In November, we made the incredibly difficult decision to put our first and oldest dog Rook down. Rook and Willow were as close as a pup and his babe could be, which made the decision that much more difficult. Rook’s health had declined significantly in recent years, and it got to a point where we just knew it was time. We sure miss him.
Ryan and I have experienced growth this year as we worked through many firsts and parenting struggles. We have been so thankful for our church and close friends for reminding us about the importance of keeping God at the center of our marriages and our lives. Even through it has been challenging times, we have come out stronger and for that we are thankful. Our life together has been the absolute best because we have refused to settle for anything less than God’s best for our marriage. That being said, we’re planning to get better about date nights in 2019. Spending quality time together is important and sometimes we neglect this necessity because we feel pulled in so many directions, but we’re going to make date nights a priority in the coming year.
I finished my coursework at the University of Kentucky and am well on my way to completing my doctorate (yay!). Three years and a baby later, but goodness have I learned a TON! Let me tell you though, a lot of sweat and tears have taken place in these last few years. I finally got to the point where I told Ryan that I needed more encouragement from him because I felt like giving up. His response, “How can I encourage you when all you talk about is wanting to quit and give up?” Well, I stopped complaining. Haha! Seriously though, my family and friends have encouraged me every step of the way. I am hoping to complete my degree in 2020!
Ryan just surpassed 15 years of service at his full-time job with KEMI where he serves as the Director of Communications. I know that God uses him every single day in all that he does. His talents and abilities continue to amaze me. He is the one behind the computer editing all of our clients’ wedding videos, building websites, updating work ideas, and constantly finding new ways to get better. He is also the social media guru between us, as I tend to “hate” it. I’m constantly proud of this man and what he does to provide for us.
Last but not least, we just wanted to let you know that we have prayed for you this year. Whether through the happiest moments or the really sad situations, thank you for doing life together with us. We are looking forward to 2019, but first we will cherish the days we have left this year.
This time is a sweet reminder that our Savior was born to bring good news. And as my favorite Christmas song recites, “O holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining. Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new glorious morn. Fall on your knees. O hear the angels’ voices. O night divine.”
We celebrate our King, the Light of this World. From our family to yours, we are wish you a very Merry Christmas!
Photos by The Malicotes
(we’re so, so blessed by their friendship + photo skills!)