2020. Wow. What a year it’s been.
When I imagined June 19, 2020, I always pictured a warm summer night… Jacob & I, surrounded by family and friends, dancing under twinkle lights to the words we danced to on our wedding day, “I love you, I do.” We got married and started our business in the same year – 2010, so I thought we’d plan a big party on our 10th anniversary, with our closest friends and family, celebrating the past decade of business and marriage… food and wine and dancing… the whole thing. Instead, on June 19, 2020, I found myself with only Jacob, shivering on a beach, absolutely exhausted. Now, you know I love to be dramatic, so that sounds a lot worse than it was… but I thought it was the perfect metaphor for what many of us expected 2020 to look like, versus what it actually looked like. 2020 has been a year of fear and disappointment and so much unknown, but it also has been a year that has taught us all to search for the silver linings, to recognize what we have instead of what we have lost.
So my silver linings for June 19th, 2020 were this:
1. Yes, we were alone, not surrounded by family and friends like I imagined, but we were healthy and safe and celebrating a huge milestone – 10 years of doing the hard marriage work, loving one another, building a business, and doing life together.
2. Yes, I was shivering, but it was because Jacob had surprised me with a beach photoshoot – him in a tux and me in a white gown. What a thoughtful gift.
And 3. Yes, I was SO exhausted, but it was because we had been able to reopen our business just a month before, and I had been working like a crazy woman to photograph all of the 2020 seniors that we had to cancel on during the first lockdown. I’ve never been so tired, yet so thankful to have work.
I’m not someone who chooses a “word of the year“, but this year, I have constantly come back to the word “thankful”. Though it seems like the opposite of what I could feel in the midst all that is going on in our world, it’s honestly what I’ve felt. I am thankful for my family and my health and my work and our home and our safety and so many more things. I have thanked God for so many things I used to take for granted.
And now, just because you know I love a good walk down memory lane, here are our highlights from the past decade together.
In 2010 we got married and officially launched “We Heart Photography”.
In 2011 we got a puppy and named her Molly Mae.
In 2012 we took a leap of faith and moved into a live/work loft so that we could open our photography studio.
In 2013 we hosted weekly dinners with friends, built our business, and spent our last year “just us”.
In 2014 we found out we were pregnant, took a babymoon to Europe, and welcomed our first little love, Lilah Rae.
In 2015 we traveled with our baby girl and just enjoyed figuring out life with work and parenthood and marriage all intertwined.
In 2016 we welcomed our second little sweetheart, Sadie Joy.
In 2017 we worked like crazy and really felt like a “family” with our two daughters and puppy.
In 2018 we lost Grandpa Stanberry, but just weeks later, welcomed our third child – A BOY – Jay Stanberry.
In 2019 we continued to grow our business and enjoy our growing family.
And, in 2020, we laughed and cried and worked and quarantined and played and slept and biked and camped and were happy and scared and so many things that were unexpected, and sometimes hard, but so beautiful.
I’m leaving this year feeling extra thankful – searching for those silver linings – despite all the hard that 2020 has held. We hope that you too are filled with thankfulness this holiday season.
Jacob & Christin