Thursday, January 1, 2009

my year in photos

Norristown, PA

Here on New Year's day, I thought it might be fun to browse through my photographs from the past year and post some highlights.
I had no idea what an emotional trip through this year's upheavals, travels, friends and... delicious food (!) would be! it all started back Pennsylvania and my full-time Etsy shop taking up my every thought...

Not soon after 2008 began, my sister was pregnant and the great design of our plan to move out west began in earnest! With much prayer, patience and NetFlix we saw the winter merge into spring. I learned some pretty difficult lessons in keeping an online business going through profits and debts (eventually just debts), went through some drastic changes in my health & diet after quitting smoking, and stored up a little bravery to take the plunge and move to a city I'd never before seen. We found out it was a TWIN pregnancy somewhere between January and April, and found out they were two boys as my sister and I parted ways to begin our travels west.


my friend and I made the drive from MA to OR while my sister finished her visit with family and boarded a plane to make the trip. At that point it seemed the best plan for fully pregnant Celeste. Phil and I saw sights all across America that were new and exciting; a night running around abandoned Omaha, my first visit to Chicago, sweet people in Billings (ah, Billings!) and mountains, lakes, parks, sculpture, petrified forest... more coffee than one person should reasonably consume in a week. Phew! Our most mind-blowing adventure by far was leaving the 90 degree May highway for a snowy stop in Yellowstone~

Certainly, Yellowstone (with 3 days left on the trip) was the point where I began to feel I had entered into a new chapter of my life, a new definition for happiness, and a broadened appreciation for the world we are a part of. If ever you are thinking "Maybe I'll drive cross-country and see what that's like..." I would say hands-down: talk to people that have done it, prepare, and do it without hesitation. If you're thinking "Maybe I'll just go to Yellowstone National Park instead"- oh my gosh, by all means do that instead!

sw Portland, Multnomah Village

...and Portland ain't too bad, neither.

I got to know this city of roses in June, of all months, when the entire place is lush and green and perfumed in summer sweetness. To say I spent the summer dazed and dazzled would be an understatement.

We spent the time getting to know our new friends the R family, I started work downtown, and thoughts of reopening the shop were pushed back and back again. It was strawberries, flowers, homemade jam, an apartment to myself, incredible coffee houses and everyone reading Animal Vegetable Miracle this summer.

RVR looking for a pal to paint with

Nice to have a break, because the end of July found C in the hospital with water breaking early. Doctor's orders were bed rest and C's goal was to Keep Those Babies In! until after 29...30...31 weeks. We were a mobilized team, I stayed with my sister as often as I could, KR and I fretted, commiserated and laughed our way through a new friendship and a whole lot of car rides back and forth.

C, RVR, and myself feeling babies kick

C and I watched more debates, more NetFlix, and even a bleary tail-end of the 2008 Olympics in those revolving hospital rooms. She had true fortitude and blessings on her side, those babies kicked and kicked but waited and waited. Finally, on the last day of our mother's first trip to Portland I got the call at work that my sister was in labor.

Every second that made up that day (well, and the next... and the next) have made this undoubtedly the most important, amazing, loving, beautiful year my life has yet seen. Those sweet boys have changed everything... my dad was right, my heart really did grow three sizes that day. I feel honored to have been there, crying with Korin and brushing my sister's hair with my hand as Shoghi and Maxwell came into this world. I feel humbled to have whispered prayers into their ears in those first minates. And I have felt such awe watching them grow and learn and take the world in in their different ways since that day that I have no words to describe it- but it is always a surprise, and always a wonder.

These two families I have by my side, my own family including my sister and her sons, and the R family of KR, RR, and little RVR, are truely a vital part of my heart and my life. Through September, October, November we have seen summer pass and autumn bring in more challenges, worries and fears. I've watched my job transform into turbulence and strife with the economic trouble, effecting my apartment and my Etsy shop too. But we have also seen great things, historic triumph, and moments of true happiness among our friends and loved ones. My folks had another opportunity to visit, including my brother and his girlfriend, which was the best family get-together we've ever had (as we doted over the boys night and day). And another little thing- my shop reopened! ...Much to my delight. :)

MNJ before his first airplane trip

In December Celeste and I spent a lot of time together before she embarked on a 2 month trip back east. The boys started smiling, and then started pouting, in the time before they left. Challenges continue on for all of us. The year might be over but transitions surely are not. There are still many decisions and shuffling to do before stability sets in for her family or myself. I've had some time while C is away with the R family, a warm and loving place to be for the Holiday season. I honestly can't say enough good things about these people and can't thank them enough, either, for keeping me from terrible lonliness without my big sis around.

I'm looking ahead to my next trip out east, to a new studio space and getting back into printmaking. I can't wait to check out the rest of Oregon and the Pacific coast in the upcoming year (well, not the rest exactly...), to see friends and family I'm far away from, and what other adventures in Publishing I may have. I'm grateful that I still have work and that I am able without hesitation to keep my Etsy shop going. I'm blessed to have new friends and old friends who I love deeply, without whom I'm not sure I ever would have made it out of those hard, depressed, clouded years of my late 20's. I wish them (and you!) all the very best in the year ahead, with joys and triumphs to make all of our hearts feel strong, bright, and loved. Three sizes more!


penguinsplunder said...

that is so cool! that makes me want to start taking a photo journal of my new year lol

mushroommeadows said...

beautiful! sounds like a very wonderful, eventful year! :)

always young at heart said...

you are an amazing, reflective woman! If your heart gets any bigger, it will surely burst! take care of it and yourself til we are together again....

korin said...

WEEP! we are so blessed to have you in our family. I'm so glad your year ended here with us!
xo xo xo

ps. I miss C & those babies too!!!

laurie said...

It was pretty wild, going through my archives and realizing just how many big events unfolded. I'm happy to have you all on this grand adventure with me!

celeste said...

"weep" is right! how amazing to see the year through your eyes. we have shared far more than many siblings ever get to, and how fortunate we are! i'm so grateful and amazed. love you!

tinee said...

awww wow, what a year!! hope the new year will be equally full with pleasures and adventures :)

all the best for you and your dear ones, laurie!

xo tinee