For many years I’ve sat down on the last day of the year to do a recap of my family’s year. I used to do it on our family blog when we were roadschooling and traveling in our vintage Airstream motorhome. Last year I did a recap here on my blog, and so, here we go again.
Year 2018 brought many firsts in the journey of grief. In December 2017 my dad moved to his new heavenly address, and so this year has been filled with tears of missing him, and learning to live without him on this side of eternity. Thank You, Jesus, for the hope of heaven!
I welcomed the new year in Finland, as I had traveled back for my dad’s funeral, and was able to stay a little while with my mom before returning to Florida, where the rest of my family was.
In January my sister’s family came for a visit from Virginia, and we took some of the kids to Legoland for a fun homeschool filed trip! We started homeschooling again, and mid-month Thomas returned to his school in Virginia.
February’s highlight was a trip to Click Away Conference on Amelia Island with my husband, and seeing my image displayed in the Joyfulness category of the Voice 2017 Collection. I so enjoyed the workshops and supportive environment Click Away provides.
In March our family took a trip to Maine for spring break, and my littlest (then 4) learned to ice skate on the lake! Abby turned twelve in Maine!
In April we said goodbyes to our beloved Mothership motorhome. It was bittersweet to have this chapter of our life end, but we had peace as it was the right decision.
We also had our first Day in the Life Session! Shelby Truly Photography came and spent the day with us, documenting an ordinary day of ours. Thomas was away at college in Virginia, but that is what life is like for us now, so we went ahead with our session.
In May we had two very special events - at first we had decided not to attend the Florida Parent Education Association’s yearly convention, but friends of ours tipped us to a great reason to go - one of my images was on display at the Sonlight Curriculum’s booth! So we had to go see it :-)
And little Mae had her very first ballet performance in May. She did a fantastic job, and it was one of her highlights of 2018!
In June our youngest turned five! She insisted all last year she was eleven, but to our great relief she actually turned five and we celebrated big.
I found out one of my images was accepted as one of Sonlight’s homeschool catalog’s cover winners! I’m not sure how they’ll use it since there were three winners, but it was a huge honor, nevertheless! It was a lifestyle self-portrait image of my two youngest girls and me. (They cropped it funny - the image is so much better in original crop. #itstrue)
We traveled from Florida to Maine. Every June we work on our Maine home getting it ready for summer rentals. It’s a lot of work, and a lot of fun.
In July my girls and I traveled to Finland to be with family. We had a wonderful and chaotic and hot (!!!) time in Virrat, Seinajoki and Lohja. Our older daughter Sarah got to go to France during our time in Finland - what a neat opportunity for her!
We returned to USA in August, and spent the rest of the time in Maine, enjoying vacation days with our family and many friends who came to visit us. Sweet times!
Our boys had to head to college in August, so Thomas went to Virginia, Daniel and Andrew to Florida to start studies again. Sarah flew to Finland to spend a semester with my mom, and started Chinese studies while in Finland.
In September we traveled from Maine back to Florida, and started school. It was great to get back into fall routines. Before we got too into our schedules, we took a short trip to Sanibel Island for a homeschool science convention.
While I had worked some over the summer, a full scheduled kicked right in of many photo sessions. Despite the crazy schedule I felt we had a great mix of homeschooling, work and fun times. Abby started assisting me on photo sessions and slowly started being also my second shooter. We had so much fun together!
October brought horseback riding lessons, pumpkin patches, beach trips and Disney days. At the end of the month our little Mae was sick and we did trick or treating from door to door - at home. She thought it was the best thing ever!
November was a full month! My husband, our little girls and I took a trip to Rhode Island and Massachusetts to attend and photograph a friend’s wedding, and to enjoy a few days away in blustery New England. And then Thanksgiving was wonderful - our son Thomas came home for a few days. We missed our daughter Sarah, but we comforted ourselves we’d see her soon.
Oh December. Always a full month. So many celebrations. As hard as it was to lose my dad right before Christmas it is now kind of sweet to remember him in the middle of all our celebrations.
Little Mae got to visit Santa at Magic Kingdom (first time for her) before we traveled to Maine to spend Christmas up north. Even my mom and our Sarah came from Finland. We celebrated twelve years of having Abby as our daughter. We celebrated our quadruplets turning twenty. We celebrated my birthday. We celebrated our Savior’s birth. We had such precious family time all of us together, and my husband’s uncle and aunt came for a weekend too, then my husband’s parents.
One of the best gifts I gave myself and our family is a Day in the Life Session. I invited Aura Moore Photography to come spend a day with us to document one of our Christmas vacation days. I know these pictures will be treasures for years to come - for me as well as for my children’s families - one day.
And now we get to celebrate the New Year. Whatever year 2019 brings, my trust is in my Savior - in all our joys and sorrows.
Happy New Year, Friend.
Sennu from Stories of Joy Photography