Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I've spent a good deal of the past couple of weeks thinking about my intentions and goals for 2010. I've thought in generals and specifics about the ways in which I was going to make myself a better person, improve my quality of living be better for my family, and so on. And I'm getting really excited for the new year and for the freshness and renewal that it brings.

However, like a brick wall, it hit me today that all of my plotting, planning, & goal making gave absolutely no credit to the accomplishments of the past year. And, as excited as I was about my intentions, they were starting to feel more like self criticisms. Yes, I had a big 'ole list of things that I was currently not actively focusing on within my life that I would like to. However, I also needed to make a list of the things about 2009 that I feel really good about.

  1. I gave birth to my third beautiful daughter {goodness, can you even remember life without Maya? She feels like such an essential and natural part of our lives.} I'm proud that it was an all natural, drug free birth! {I'm including that because I feel very proud...not because I'm judging any other form of giving birth}. It had been a goal for me last year. It wasn't something I knew I could do at the time, but it was something I wanted very badly for myself and for Maya.

  2. I set course on a personal creative journey. Last year at this time I was really just beginning to explore my creativity. I spent the winter months of 2009 throwing myself into a plethora of creative projects in an effort to a) become more creative, b) learn what my creative strengths were, and c) figure out where I wanted to put the bulk of my creative energy.

  3. I fell in LOVE with photography! I am so incredibly grateful for the gift of photography in my life. It has taught me mounds about finding beauty in unlikely places, living in the moment, and holding on to these incredible years with my young children. And though I still have so much to learn, I have come such a long way in one year's time and I have learned soooo much. This year, I got my first SLR camera and have started learning how to shoot manually!

  4. This year, I put my first born on a bus, all by herself, and sent her to Kindergarten. It was {and still is some days} one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. It taught me a lot about letting go and trusting God. I've learned some important things about myself and my thoughts and feelings on ideas that I had previously considered as truth. This single event encouraged me to look deeply at my life and evaluate it's authenticity. I continue to learn and grow from this experience even today, mid-way through the school year.

  5. I've learned how to use my photo-editing program semi-proficiently. I've taken my photo editing {including the use of textures and overlays} to a personal new level. I've improved my skills tremendously {especially in the area of black and white conversions} and have opened the door to further learning and skill building. ***I realize that if you are not a photography nerd like myself, that whole paragraph is pretty much gibberish***

  6. I have met some wonderful friends and established some really nice connections online. Before this year, I had imagined that meeting people online was best left for lonely singletons and pedophiles. Okay, maybe I was not that cynical but I did not ever see myself truly becoming friends with someone I had never met. I am so grateful for the community here in blogsville and over at Flickr for introducing me to some truly amazing women with whom I share common interests. After living 29 years feeling like a total outsider, it's been so nice meeting like minded individuals with whom I feel at home.

  7. I potty-trained yet another of my children. I abhor the task and find it nearly impossible. But, for the second time in my life, I taught a completely resistant child to use the facilities {yay for me and yay for a hu-normous bag of M&M's!!!}
  8. I accepted and embraced breastfeeding in public places. What once I would have felt completely self conscious about has become pretty much a non-issue. Because, quite frankly, when it comes to keeping your baby fed and happy, you'll do what you have to do. I have breastfed in restaurants, amusements parks, churches, dance recitals, the Baltimore Aquarium, the movie theater, and Longwood Gardens. In fact, on those same lines...
  9. I have solely breastfed Maya. I knew I wanted to breastfeed {I had done both with Rayne and had bottle fed Layla} but I never really put any expectations on it with regards to how long I would breastfeed or if I would supplement with formula or not. But I really just went with the flow and let what happened naturally happen. And now here we are, Maya is almost ten months, having been fed only breast milk, and having had a total of 6 bottles in her entire life. {please, again, I'm not judging the choices of others...obviously I've done both and do not view one as better than the other} I am so happy with the very special relationship that Maya and I share as a result.
  10. I have made decisions regarding my life that have put the well being of my family {and the well being of myself} a head of other things. I have chosen some things over others, said no, cut back...all in the name of being the right for us. I have fully and completely embraced my role in this family and I love what I do.

Now I'm feeling really good about 2009 and I'm ready to enter 2010 with new goals and intentions to continue on my path to my best self. If you are still struggling with your reflections/intentions for the year within your family, I read this great article that can help you to evaluate where you've been and where you'd like to go.

I'll see you tomorrow with my list of goals and intentions!


barbara December 30, 2009 at 8:01 PM  

awesome!!!! what a wonderful list of accomplishments:) i was able to relate to nearly all of them... nursing, potty training, photography, natural birth.... twice! congrats on them all, and i'm so happy to have found someone as unique as yourself in the virtual community :)

Kristina Kiessig December 30, 2009 at 8:10 PM  

what a wonderful list! you should be proud.:)
wishing you and yours a very happy new year....

johnna lafaith December 31, 2009 at 12:22 AM  

you are such an awesome person! :) what amazing accomplishments and beautiful triumphs.

I really admire you...

and thanks for sharing this list. ;)

Happy New Year! I'll pray for so many blessings to come your way!

Robin December 31, 2009 at 3:47 PM  

Kudos to you my new friend! I love your process...
All Things Heart and Home

Amy December 31, 2009 at 4:06 PM  

I love your list and I think you should feel very good about yourself your accomplishments this past year. I had to laugh out loud at your comment about lonely singles and pedophiles because that was always in the back of my mind as well!
I'm so happy to have found you on Flickr which lead me here; you truly are inspiring to me as an artist, a photographer and a mother and I am so happy to have met you! In "real life" I just know we would sit and have coffee (tea?) together and chat while the kids played. Can't wait to see where the new year takes you. Happy New Year to you and your family!

Jamie January 1, 2010 at 12:03 PM  

What a beautiful post. Your 2009 has been full of wonderful accomplishments. You've inspired me to look back and celebrate the good rather than focus on all the things I'm still working on.

casual friday every day January 3, 2010 at 6:53 PM  

love. just love this all.