year in pictures

I opted out of the resolution list this year. The process was helpful last year. Though the product was a bit ambitious, I feel like putting desires to words helped me remember my direction, even if it's taking longer to get there. In the last several days I've read some thoughts that hit particularly close to home about the timing of resolutions; I felt free to let go of the need to resolve anything quite yet when Brigitte Lyons reminded me how busy and often emotionally taxing the holidays can be . And when I read Holly Becker's idea of making a list of the year's accomplishments instead of resolutions for the next, that felt spot on for me. Particularly because I process life a bit slowly, taking ample time to remember before deciding how to step forward feels like a relief. At the same time, Sam and I have been in the process of crafting our own traditions for the holidays and in general. Last year we decided on a new one: make a photo album every year around New Years of the previous year. We did ours through iPhoto, and it was such a fun thing to work on together. (of course, we both needed to occasionally express that we were feeling control issues when the other had the track pad/wacom pen for too long, but those are the very conversations that make a relationship strong, right?) And this was the perfect year to start, because it included several trips, so we had plenty of photos. The challenges of the coming year will be to take more photos of every day life, and to take more of family and friends....because evidently it's easier to obnoxiously make your spouse pose for 10 different shots in front of the same cool tree, we tend to have plenty of photos of ourselves, but not nearly enough of other loved ones. We'd like to also remember the good and the hard things pictorially somehow. We did that a bit in this book with an X-ray from one of Sam's bouts in the hospital, images of pages from poetry books that helped, and with a brief introduction before the photos highlighting some of the major happenings of the year. It turns out this year had plenty of intensely good times, but also more than the usual amount of hard times too, and we've been shaped by it all. When I do get to the resolution list (or intention list, as a friend gracefully puts it), I hope to have an better perspective of 2011 through these pictures and reflections. I'm thinking this will happen come spring.

The book had 64 pages total...Here are a few. The photo on the right of us holding hands in the garden was taken by Julianna Boehm. She's incredibly talented.

Our friends Robert and Erin made this vegetable garden in our yard and sold the produce in a neighborhood coop. Neither of us were ever very excited about having a lawn, so we felt so lucky that they turned our very loud weekly chore called grass into something so beautiful, and we were even more lucky that they had an excuse to come to our house often.

Sam got us year passes to the Aquarium for my birthday...

We went to bloody England for Sam's work!

And then Italia, Bella! This had nothing to do with work (other than, of course, the fact the Italy can't help but inspire art). We were already over there, so why not? yay!

Random shots in California (another work trip)