2020: A Look Back- Dec 30, 2020 -
Not gonna lie I have been finding joy in looking back at my year. Looking at the hurdles I have jumped, the joy despite the chaos, the peace of Christ despite the unrest, the love of an amazing close-knit family; I’m shouting my blessings from the mountaintops as we close 2020. How can I keep from singing when God has SHOWN UP this year?! I think it’s a healthy way to move forward into the next year to ensure strong positive success. And who doesn’t want to look back and remember beautiful times? I know I do. Will you join me?
++ SPRING ++
Sparkling table cloths and draped organza welcome many guests into the Best Western event center for the first annual Best of the Prairie Bridal Expo. Brides are welcomed with sponsor bags and free admission, with friends and family. Guests were welcome to visit 29 vendors and have their choice of viewing a morning or afternoon model session complete with brides, grooms, and bridesmaids all dressed in David’s Bridal’s 2020 collection.
I knew this would be a rewarding experience I just wasn’t prepared for all the amazing people I would meet! Coffee dates are set up in the future with a fellow model, a few vendors and beautiful new friendships are blooming. It is times like this it’s not just about work! And although modeling was out of my comfort zone, I did it anyway!
Like most of you when I think about Valentine’s Day, I think of romantic love and this single ladies’ heart hurts on the 14th day of the second month. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking for pity, just stating the facts. When I prayed that God would bring love into my life last year I can honestly say he has fulfilled that request in so many ways.
I propose let’s not take a single thing for granted, not a text, note or card.
Desmond Tutu famously said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” It’s true. As followers of Jesus, we have a duty, an honor, to bring heaven to earth with our love and compassion. Our silence is a choice. One we can’t afford to make. Significant gains for the Kingdom of God are made as we fight injustice on the earth. God is not the source of injustice but the answer to it. As image-bearers, we have a vital role to play.
In this blog, I educated you on proper fort food requirements! In case you are wondering you are never too old to build a fort. You just read that on the internet so it must be true! I would have to say Ashley and I rocked it pretty well.
In this fast-paced digital world, time with friends can be invaluable. What if we invested our time in each other with no agenda? You may have heard if you want to be successful you need to spend time with successful people, but what if we just wanted to show people love for the sake of being a Christ-follower? What if we were so full of Jesus that it just bubbled out of us, and no strategic plan was set in place?
We met in January and I can’t imagine not having these two amazing humans in my life. When I said my passion-filled, life-giving ‘yes’ to modeling for an event that led me to meet Kabedi and her devoted fiance, that led to them winning the giveaway that held my photo session inside, that led to the coffee date that lasted 4 hours, that led to that amazing conversation where we bonded over shared struggles.
2020 would be the first year I have taken a full Infant Photoshoot, and while I did not blog about this, it’s certainly noteworthy. I mean, look at this adorable little guy, his beautiful family, and sweet little nursery! I was in heaven with this one. The style and colors were so perfect!
And then there was another! I joked with the mothers of these two about setting these sweet babies up on a date. They both felt it was a bit early for that.
++ SUMMER ++
On to summertime, what better place to start than 10 Riveting Summer Reads!
You Are Free by Rebekah Lyons encourages you to be who you already are.
“Hold these pages like a burning flame, in the palm of your hands, like a bit of glowing sun that will grow you into freedom soaring on the wind.”-NYT
Christ doesn’t say that you can be or may be or will be free. He says you are free. Dare you believe it?
“How many of us try to manage our stress with some method of numbing ourselves? The problem with pain management is exactly that; we are managing. What if we are called to acknowledge our pain, to confess our inability to beat it? What if we’re called to admit our weakness and declare that only God’s strength is sufficient? This kind of healing could bring you into one of your richest seasons, but make no mistake about it; when you confess that God is the strength in your weakness, things may seem worse for a time. Why? Because when you find yourself on the cusp of strongholds being released, the enemy marches in double-time.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m in need of feeling that kind of freedom!
A weekend at the cabin, spent fishing, tanning, and grilling!
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
When Ashley followed her calling to Menno Haven Camp and Retreat Center, you better believe I planned a trip to see her and volunteer during family camp to donate my services to the camp as well. Win! Win!
I’ve summer camped here for at least 3 years if not 4 and I remember it being some of the happiest times in my childhood. The staff is highly experienced and extremely friendly!
We explored 5 COVID Nesting Essentials that will help you feel better prepared for heading back to work, breathe easier in your space, and help the environment. honestly, I have kept up with this throughout the year. Having the proper tools and planning in advance has made the biggest difference in my budget and my overall health.
A dear friend of mine mentioned she tries only to speak positive words.
I was surprised when she told me this because I could immediately think of things I had complained about. While I am a reasonably positive person before this conversation, I have noticed a massive difference in my life just by parsing my words.
I used to have this quote in my house, “If speaking kindly to plants helps them grow, imagine what speaking kindly to humans can do.”
That conversation, along with my path to physical healing, is my daily reminder to speak words of life and not destruction. Scripture says, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
A few summertime inspired Photoshoots to follow!!
Reset was another turning point in my year, wow, wow, wow. The amazingly talented speakers and attendees were beyond inspiring! I learned so much and immediately implemented a few things with more amazing changes to come!
Let me just drop a miracle meeting on ya’ right now. I meet Elizabeth pictured below, fell in love with her sweet heart and vulnerability up on stage, we swapped contact info, then she posted about a Giveaway Zoom call session with her and George, which I won…on my birthday! Mind blown yet???? Ok, it gets better after speaking with her and George they gave me such awesome advice and cheered me on so much that I SIGNED UP FOR THEIR MASTERCLASS! Yep, so I get to start 2021 with amazing & successful luxury wedding photographer friends. If that not enough adjectives I can email you more!
++ FALL ++
The Fall Mini Photo Sessions at Allerton Park and Retreat Center were an absolute joy! Most of you wanted family sessions which I adore shooting for a variety of reasons. I love fulfilling those much-needed family pictures since the kids have suddenly sprouted overnight. I love the little and big personalities that emerge as kids become more comfortable around me, and I love how meeting a beautiful family can continue to inspire me long after we have parted.
Fall Photoshoots didn’t stop with the Mini Sessions, they just kept right on going. Check out the beautiful family who are as obsessed with fall color as I am!
I love that my sweet cousin took a chance on me, and I took one on myself too when I agreed to arrange the bridal bouquets and boutonnieres. You see, my first wedding didn’t include those so this would be a first for me. I love how her colors coordinated so well and were the perfect end to fall.
++ WINTER ++
Winter brought with it families needing Christmas Card photos, Seniors who could finally squeeze in a photoshoot, and an entire School needing School Picture Day photos.
The Dhaliwal’s are such a sweet family, only spending one year in the Midwest, they desperately wanted family photos here, at Allerton Park and Retreat Center. I was so thrilled to work with this family and their sweet lab, Remi.
One of Mehndi’s favorite things about working with me was, “I loved how comfortable you were with working with our puppy. Not all photographers are. You were so fast at capturing the shots of him! you were especially incredible at posing us! We are so bad at that stuff & you made us look so natural in our photos and I love that!”
This would be the second year of photographing the Arthur Christian School student body. And I knew I wanted to keep it fresh for them from the previous year. To do that I designed this custom backdrop just for these kiddos. It was a ton of fun and I am already dreaming up new exciting ideas for 2021! I am determined to make school photos rad again! (not boring!)
Dawson’s Senior Photos are some of my favorite with his red checked patterns and glowing pine trees in the back. Karen, his mother could not join us for our session, but when she saw the photos she said, “Oh my goodness Kim they are amazing! I want them all!!! Dawson made sure he told me about each picture and which ones his favorite are?”
What I can’t get over with the Rocke’s is their longevity with me. I plan to share more about this in the future, but seriously how cute is this family and their three puppers!?
“I am in love!!! You have and ALWAYS will be my favorite photographer!!!”-Esther Rocke
It was Lori that pointed out my love of nurturing budding female 15-year-old aspiring photographers. She was one of them once and now I have another I have taken under my wing. She has always been a huge encouragement to me and I hope I can do the same for her. She is driven and beautiful and I had a blast shivering with her and her family.
How amazing is this truck right!? Be on the lookout on my Instagram for more on that!
Whew! We made it to the end and if you read all that you deserve a medal! I know this is for you, but it is for me too. This isn’t all the work I have done for the year, but it is definitely the majority. Looking at this validates the time I spend working on this business. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank you as I always do for following, messaging, commenting, and basically cheering on my business. I feel so lucky and blessed to have clients like you who let me pursue my passions!
Do you know YOU are inspiring!?
You are lovely friends.
Until next year,