Friday, December 31, 2010

Glancing Back & Moving Forward!!!

I have to be honest, I don't think I have ever looked forward to a new year more than I am 2011!!!  Not that I am not thankful for 2010, but let's just say it won't go down as one of my top 28 years.  For those of you that do not know me too well, this year many of my good friends or family have lost their parents, siblings, or grandparents (and you all know who you are, and I pray for you everyday).  And back in May, my world was turned upside down when my grandfather, Ron, was diagnosed with an aggressive gastric cancer.  Like my grandfather, I'm usually a very logical person, but I've managed to cry almost everyday for about 8 months now (seriously . . . how are my tear ducts still functioning!?!?).  The day he was diagnosed, he told us this was going to be a long and hard battle, but that he was ready to fight.  And he was right.  It was, and he did.  My grandmother asked him if there was anywhere he wanted to go or anything he wanted to do . . . his reply was that he had been everywhere he had ever dreamed of going and done everything he wanted to do, so he just wanted to continue living each day just as he always had, surrounded by his famiy and friends and working to inspire people to achieve their dreams and become all that God had created them to be!!!  

My grandfather left this earth to be with Christ the day after Thanksgiving.  He had no regrets.  He dreamed big dreams, and he knew how to keep his eye on the dream and create a plan to achieve it regardless of what the world says . . . if the dream is big enough, the facts don't count!!!

How many people come to the end of their lives, and can really say what my grandfather said??  We were not ready to let him go, but we know he made the best use of his "dash."  He served God, helped others, and lived each day to the fullest (ok, so lots of people say this, but so far it is taking about about 5 of us to just accomplish most of the stuff that he did . . . not joking -- it is INSANE!!!  And I'm sure we don't do it near as well - haha!).  God has blessed me with an amazing husband and family who have always taught me that life is a gift, so we should make the most of each day, so that's what I hope to do.  I'm not going to lie . . . this is really hard, but God had given me (and my family) a strength and joy and peace that I really cannot explain otherwise.  I am soooo immeasurably blessed!!!! 

Every year in November, my grandfather would start reminding us to work on our goals for the New Year (and of course, a plan of action to achieve them).  And this year, like every year, I procrastinate and start working on my list the first week of January (haha!).  Last January, I decided I wanted to start a photography business (ok, so I had thought about it for a long time, but in January started working out the goals and details to take the plunge).  Before I officially started, my grandparents were the first to ask me to take their pictures . . . in the SNOW!!!  Which of course I LOVE!!!!  And that is how Leverton Photography got started . . . in January 2010, I set a goal, made a plan, and I have to be honest it had grown way beyond my wildest dreams!!!!  I LOVE it!!!! 

I am very passionate about photos . . . they are the thing I treasure most in my own life, so I hope I can help others capture their own lives to hold on to and treasure forever!!!!  Seriously, to all the amazing people who gave me a chance this year and loved my work, I am soooo incredibly grateful!!!!  You all are the absolute BEST, and I love working with each and every one of you!!!!

Soooo . . . I hope you all sit down and make your own list of goals for 2011 and a plan of action to achieve them!!!!  All worthwhile dreams require sacrifice, but you can do it!!!  As my grandfather said in his last cd / dvd "Pitch to the Glove":  "Sure, all hell's gonna break loose.  The moment you decide to do anything hell gets loose . . . do it anyway!" 

Here are some of my personal favorite photos from 2010 (well, up through Dec 5th anyway)!!!  I hope you enjoy!!!  God Bless and Happy 2011!!!  It is going to be a super FABULOUS year!!!!!!!!