A 2016 Love Letter to My Family

To my intensely joyful house of high fives and the people who share it with me -

You made my year amazing.  In the ways that you didn't make the awesome happen, you gave me time to find the awesome and add it to my days.  You let me travel to learn and grow and when I came back you were always waiting for me with buckets of hugs and kisses - in quantities far more than I could ask for.  Thank you for jumping on my bed, the tickle fights, the actual fights, and so much noise both happy and sad.

Henry - you are getting giant.  You're so heavy, I can barely pick you up these days.  As much as you don't like school, you're having the best year.  I can see so much of the little kid in you fading away and you're becoming quite the young man.  As much as my heart breaks to see your baby look disappear and as scary as it is to think how old that must make me, I am insanely proud to be your mama.

William - oh my little one.  You radiate excitement.  I see so much joy in the world looking through your eyes.  You are fierce in your emotions - be it happy, sad, or angry - you are all in every step of the way.  You are a night owl (a kid after my own heart) and stumble out of bed quite late in the mornings.  Your innocence and naive bravery inspires me to be brave, hug tighter, and just be happier.  And your blonde curls that are so often a ridiculous mess are the absolute best.

Chris - my best friend.  It has taken me so long to trust leaning on another person.  To give up my pride and realize that I cannot do everything alone.  That my achievements won't mean more because I struggled and made the journey so much more difficult than it needed to be.  That I could have asked for help and it would mean just as much.  I still won't ask you to get something for me from a tall shelf, but I let go of so much useless pride this year and asked you to help me follow a dream.  And of course, as you've always promised you would, you alone made 2016 possible for me.  For us.  And now I realize that everything we've done this year is more special because you believed in it from the beginning.  All of this wouldn't mean half as much if you weren't here to share it.

Press play and enjoy my favorite images from this year.  I can't wait to see what adventure 2017 brings our way.