I’m beginning to write this, and I find that I have little to no idea of what to write. This year has been such a year of rush, busyness and of transition.I wouldn’t change it for the world, but there have been those times when I’ve wished for life to just be a little easier on us. Above, is one photograph from each month of 2011.
Back in January we were still living in Heidelberg, Germany. I took some maternity photos for my friend Leslie, who has since had a beautiful baby boy. Took a trip to Frankfurt with fellow photographer Kim, to meet two other photographers living in Germany: Nelou and Laura. At this point we were still waiting for news as to what that military wanted to do with us.
In February I took some more maternity portraits for another friend, a photographer herself (now based in Austin, Texas). I managed to talk our neighbours into modelling for me so that I could have some practice at portraits. At the end of this month, we finally had our news from the Army. We were given less than three weeks for my husband to out-process from the military and for us to make an international move.
We arrived in the U.S. on March 5th and were met at the airport by my husband’s family and plenty of snow. The move was tough on Mikey, who had lived in Germany since he was 10 months old and didn’t really know any different. We moved into my husband’s parents basement and began the job of putting our lives back together and finding somewhere to live. This month, a little friend joined us in the house, a lamb who was born prematurely out in the cold and didn’t stand or eat fast enough to survive. We brought her inside and took care of her, her and Mikey became good friends.
April marked the start of Spring. We ventured to the city to look for somewhere to live several times again this month and finally found a sweet little apartment by the end of the month. We celebrated Easter and hunted for bugs. Life felt somewhat like it was on pause.
In May we moved into our new apartment in Chicago. Very happy to have a home again. We spent time exploring the local markets, streets and parks. When it started to get hot outside, we made sure to eat plenty of ice cream. I also posted the first in a short series [How to Take a Photograph].
July was hot. On the hottest days we managed to escape the city and head out to the suburbs to play in sprinklers and swim in pools. We were playing outside a whole lot, blowing bubbles in the courtyard of our building and drawing with sidewalk chalk.
In August we explored the city some more, visiting our local farmer’s market for some summer treats. My husband finished school for the summer, a short break where he was able to spend a lot of time with us, wandering around parts of the city both close to home or downtown. Finally in the last lazy days of August we visited Will County Fair where Mikey had his first taste of cotton candy.
September, I managed to convince one of our friends to let me take her photo. I’m sure I need to do some more portraits next year too. I had my 26th birthday, my husband started school again for the semester and Mikey and I played outside with the grass and leaves a whole lot. Autumn began to poke it’s head out here and there. At the end of the month my parents arrived to visit from England and Mikey celebrated his 4th birthday. Still hard to believe that my tiny little NICU baby is now four years old.
In October, I took some Maternity photos for my sister in-law and her husband. I also began hosting the Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge with Kristi of Live and Love Out Loud and Alicia of Project Alicia. The first colour was green, and I had a lot of fun at the Lincoln Park Zoo with Mikey and my parents taking green photos. I also attended the first annual ClickinMom’s ClickinWalk, and photographed the Occupy Chicago March. My dad and I took Mikey up on the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier, I photographed some yellow, orange and red and my parents took Mikey to get his pumpkin for Halloween before they left to return to England. At the end of October the family experienced the premature birth of Mikey’s cousin and the loss of another, her twin.
And so October ended, and November began, clouded in sadness, with a burial. Heading more firmly into Autumn and Winter now, the days were bright and cold. We completed the final colours of the Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge: purple, brown and white. I won tickets to the Chicago Children’s Theatre and we attended the Beckoning of Lovely at Millennium Park. We spent a lovely Thanksgiving with neighbours and friends.
Finally December. Time spent walking outside in the cold, wrapped in knitted scarves. Time spent inside, cozy and learning new things. The preparation for Christmas, baking cookies, fetching the tree, making decorations (with lots of glitter), watching the snow fall and finally the decorations themselves.
It’s been quite a year.
I have some goals and projects in mind for 2012, I’ll be sharing them with you next week along with some thoughts on the year ahead. I hope that you all had a very wonderful Christmas and that you have a Happy (and safe!) New Year.