Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year

2015 has been with us for four days.  Enough time to start reflecting on what I'd like to see personally and professionally in the new year.  Personally, it's a return to the gym, being a better friend, and learning to relax and live in the moment.  I'd also like to recommit to writing (blogging, freelancing, etc) and doing more live TV segments for the good folks at KATV Saturday Daybreak-- these really push me to be better at everything I do.    

KATV Saturday Daybreak, December 27, 2014,
Recycling Your Christmas Decor for New Years Parties
Professionally, I updated my website at during 2014, and I must say, it looks much more fresh and modern (and I have my team at Agency501, where I work part time, to thank for introducing me to Square Space and encouraging me to give it a try).  I was honored to work for many non-profits and businesses in 2014, as a special event photographer and I hope to continue getting those meaningful jobs where knowing I played a very small part in a big event makes my heart happy.      

ACH a la Carte Event,  April 2014

ACH private party, October 2014
ACH Miracle Ball, December 2014
LJJR Holiday House,
October 2014 (filled in for
a sick photographer at last minute)
Rebecca Rice and Associates present
Easter Seals with a donation.
ACH Elizabeth Smart event,
private home, October 2014

One of the special touches from a
graduation party I planned, wish lanterns,
May 2014

While I'll continue to do family, individual, and party pic photography, I think the biggest trend you will see for my little company is a return to event planning.  I was honored to do several parties and even a wedding in 2014, and loved it.  Loved, loved, loved it.  There's something about the planning, organizing and creativity that just feeds my soul. 

Pastel by Mandy Shoptaw
(can you believe it?!)

Another thing that feeds my soul is art.  In 2014, I had the opportunity to take a pastel class at the Arkansas Arts Center.  For Christmas Vince gave me a lovely set of pastels, some fancy pastel paper and smudge sticks.  I can't wait to try them out.  

While our plans to build our dream house disappeared, we do find ourselves where we are supposed to be-- in a house that needs us as much as we need it.  It's a 1970's Colonial-style house only a minute and a half from where Vince and I lived 18 and 15 years respectively.  By mid-late January we are hoping a huge kitchen remodel will be complete… and then it's on to bathrooms, floors, more painting, and hopefully some spring gardening.  It is definitely a house that will keep us busy for many years to come.  I take great pride when a little area comes together, such as my son's movie inspired bedroom or the guest room which is really taking shape thanks to my parent's and their Christmas gifts of new mattresses and linens for the room. 

2015 is also about thankfulness.  I'm thankful for my community of friends-- online and in the great big real world.  Thanks for being part of it.