On the very last day of this year, Dave and I sat on the couch and watched as images faded in and out.  We played some sappy (but tasteful) music and got a little emotional as we watched our year progress in photographs.   And what a year it was.  I suppose the biggest thing that I will feel from this past year is growth.  Mostly in growth of my little man.  Watching a child bloom from a little snuggle bug that can’t walk to a walking, talking, communicating tiny person is an incredible thing.  He really is his own little person, and we are his parents, what an immense honor and blessing.  It has been tiring and hard to be sure, I experienced anxiety that was tied to postpartum hormones and worked through it with the help of Dave and my faith (it is not forever gone, but is something that I work on and trust in God for daily).  But the good things, the insanely joyful times of this year far outweigh the hardships.  I look back and my heart wells with thankfulness and joy.

And just a quick reflection on the project itself.  Taking a photo everyday (or nearly everyday) was pretty interesting.  Mostly I loved it, there were some days were I forgot until the very end (there are several photos of Dave and I brushing our teeth or laying in bed for the night)!  It forced me to think about my day and what I wanted to remember from that day.  I also had my camera in many situations I wouldn’t normally, which helped me take photos that were not only pretty, but really documented my life.  Also, it must be noted that Dave took a lot of the photos from this project.  A lot of times I asked him to, sometimes I didn’t.  We really make a good team.  I am not doing a 365 this year, and the break in always having to remember that 1 photo is nice,  BUT I really enjoyed it and very well might do another project in the future.

With out further ado, here are few of my favorite photos (with some words) from this project.  Please enjoy!

365final001This photo was early in the year taken on the way back to Virginia for my Grandfather’s funeral.  It’s quiet, a little somber, and yet beautiful.365final003My little man was sick.  I can just feel his little body resting on mine when I look at this photo. 365final004I love this photo.  It symbolizes his Dad’s constant support, he will always be there as Jonah tries new things. 365final005Winter last year was a little tough, this was another cold.  I like being there for him when he has bedhead, a floppy sweatshirt, and a snotty nose. 365final006Jonah’s personality started developing this past year.  This photo of him copying his Daddy just cracks me up. 365final007At this point in his little life, he is a pretty big mama’s boy, but moments and photos like this point to how important Dave will be in his life, I know he will look up to him and Dave is a good man to look up to. 365final008I love this photo of family and friends around the table in Florida.  Florida will be a special place in our family’s life. 365final009There is just movement in this photo, which to me just shows the busyness of our lives.  It also shows our house, the house were we brought Jonah home. 365final010Early in the year last year Jonah started really feeling his emotions.  This was one of the first ways he would “pout”, I hope it isn’t too mean, but it was pretty cute. 365final011Sometimes I was tired. 365final012Our last visit to Dave’s childhood home.  It now belongs to someone else, but I know he and his family will always keep a piece of it in his heart. 365final013Another sickness hits our house, this time it got poor Dave.  Sometimes you have to parent when you don’t feel good. 365final014My heart melts at photos like this. 365final015That window has my favorite light.  I was happy that Jonah sat there (even for just a couple moments) and enjoyed it with me. I also enjoy how you can see the craziness of our living room. 365final016This is one of Dave’s favorite photos from the past year.  365final017We went camping in July, Jonah was happy and very messy.365final018Okay, this photo, that face.  Ugh…he is the cutest!  365final020Same caption as above. 365final021365final022This image says iconic America to me.365final023There is a funny story here.  Jonah loves dancing and as he was dancing, he wanted other people to dance too.  He made us all take off our socks and shoes, not sure why, but he did…and we did it, because he is cute 🙂 365final024My favorite photo of the year.  It is at my parents new house in Virginia.  This is not where I grew up, but it is the only home that Jonah and other kids will associate with their Grandparents home.  Lots of special memories will be made here.365final025Jonah loves to “drive”.  Gosh, I can’t imagine this photo 14 years from now…time, please slow down. 365final027Little boy, big basketball hoop. 365final028I really love how you can see Daddy in the background doing “grown-up” things. 365final029A boy and his dog.  I really hope that they have a special relationship through the next several years. 365final030I do love this light. 365final031I love how Jonah moves and contorts his body.  Our bodies can move so many ways, but as adults, I feel like we move them less.  365final032The Lyell men are hard workers.  Dave is passing down the tradition. 365final033I hope to look off into many more sunsets with this little man, dreaming and being thankful for the beauty of the world. 365final034I had to include this because it was the first time Jonah “smiled” for the camera.  I hope he doesn’t “cheese” for me too much, because I love documentary photos, but this first time was pretty adorable. 365final035Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas.  I just like this image a lot. 365final036Dave and Jonah playing “woof”.  It’s one of his favorite games as of late.365final038This was taken the last day of 2016.  Our living room, our family, the big brown couch and toys on the floor.

So there are some favorites.  It has been a good good year.

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January 11, 2017
Stephanie, This was...so beautiful. It was really moving. Thank you for sharing your heart and your family so beautifully in the best way God gifted you too. It was an absolute treat to see these <3