"To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold."
November has been...a hard month. Just when we thought life was going to calm down, it didn't and honestly, it's been a blur. I'm not even sure what's happening right now other than we're emotionally spent.
Hard changes came on November 30th with the news that Rich's grandma passed away. Grandma Dottie was a huge influence in his life as he spent much of his childhood with her. When I met her, I instantly liked her and she became my grandma. I remember spending time at her house in the early years of Rich's and my relationship. Life took us in a different direction though and I didn't get enough time with Grandma Dottie, not in person anyway since she lived in Arizona. Rich called her often and the kids and I got to talk with her. She texted me on all of our birthdays to send her love. She always asked about my parents and grandparents and all the important people in our lives. Grandma Dottie loved us and we loved her.
This is hard to write...which is why it's coming late. December has always been a hard month for Rich, ever since his mom passed 8 years ago. Her birthday is today. Now we face the holidays without his grandma. We face the celebrations while also grieving. Yet...we grieve for ourselves, not for Grandma Dottie. We know that she is in heaven with Jesus and she is made new. We rejoice in knowing that she's home and we'll be with her again someday. We'll miss her until that day.
We're dealing with a lot of emotions right now. We're not okay, but we'll get through it.
I know the holidays are a difficult time for many. I have quite a few friends who have lost loved ones or who deal with feelings of loneliness. It's not always a joyful time. I don't know that I have advice. For me, making the holidays joyful for my kids is the priority, even if Rich and I aren't feeling festive. So we've started on getting the house decorated for Christmas. Our tree is up and mostly finished, we have hooks to string lights on the house, and our Christmas shopping has begun. We have parties to attend and a wedding to celebrate. It will be a busy month full of winter activities. I'm sure we're going to experience conflicting emotions as the days tick by, because even during our moments of grief, I know we'll also find moments of joy. As long as we're soaking in the time with each other and remembering that Jesus is the reason for everything, we'll find the comfort we need.
I know this seems like a very downer of a newsletter, especially during what's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but sometimes that's just the reality of life. Life is very much like a rollercoaster, with twists and turns, unexpected drops, and slow climbs to the top. We're at a low point right now, but we won't stay here. Sorrow may last through the night, but joy will come with the morning. Our new morning will come.
As we put 2022 behind us, we look forward to 2023 with hope...as we do every new year. After many years of working toward this, Rich is being ordained on New Year's Day. With his ordination, new opportunities and, likely, new challenges will come. With him moving more into adult ministry, I am moving into more of a teaching role with youth ministry, which somewhat terrifies me. I've never been much of a teacher, but I hope that I can bring something of value to these kids. I'm blessed to have these awesome kids in my life. And beyond our changing ministries, we get the privilege of watching our family grow. Both Rich and I have brothers that are getting married. Mine gets married in a few weeks, while Rich's brother gets married next spring. We're so excited to celebrate with them. Most importantly, we get the opportunity every day to watch our children grow up and to love them. They are our greatest joy. I love seeing them light up with excitement over Christmas. They'll make these next few weeks bright.
As the holidays approach, I hope you find peace and joy and that your 2023 brings many blessings.
Brand New Booking Site
Pixieset has added a new feature that makes it easier and faster than ever to book with us without the back-and-forth of email. Simply visit our BOOKING SITE and select the service of your choice along with your preferred date. Once you enter your information and make a payment, we'll contact you within 24 hours with your booking details and final steps.
Black Friday Print Sale
Photographs make a great holiday gift. Don't miss out on 50% off on prints during our Black Friday Sale, starting on 11/24 and running through 12/04. Use code BLKFRIYAY at checkout. Limit 2 uses per gallery.
Holiday Order Deadlines
UPS/USPS Trackable (12+ business days) - United States
- Prints and Fine Art Prints: November 23rd
- Cards: November 28th
FedEx 3 Day Select (2-5 business days) - United States
- Prints and Fine Art Prints: December 8th
- Cards: December 12th
FedEx Next Day Saver (1-3 business days) - United States
- Prints and Fine Art Prints: December 12th
- Cards: December 14th
December is Closed
We are no longer scheduling new portrait sessions for December 2022, so we can focus on time with our family. Consultations are still available in December. Please schedule your holiday portrait sessions for November or ask us about our 2023 availability.
It's easier to book than ever before. Just go to our BOOKING SITE and select the service and your preferred date from the available dates shown on our calendar. Enter your information and submit payment. We'll contact you within 24 hours with your booking details. Or simply use the form below to contact us.