Here is a little catch up:
Tuesday, December 7th
Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)
Last January, I asked 3 dear friends to join me in forming a goal-setting group. I figured that they'd think I was a little crazy. But, instead they humored me and said yes. Since then, we've met once a month for lunch, and it has been one of the best things I've done in a long time. Amazing really. We've all set goals for ourselves. We share our successes and our yet-to-be-successes. We keep each other on track and accountable - to ourselves. And we laugh. A LOT. The support I've found around that table is astounding to me. Real community. The kind I've wanted for a long time. Funny thing is I kind of expected "community" to just show up on my doorstep one day. Instead, we had to create it. And I'm so glad we did. These 3 fabulous women have become even more dear to me over this past year. Although I asked everyone to commit to just one year, I think we have more lunches ahead of us.
I also hope to establish a greater connection within the blogging community. Picture the Holidays is giving me a glimpse. So did Kelly Rae's "Flying Lessons" in Fall. I am excited to see the new possibilities.
Wednesday, December 8th
Reverb10: Beautifully Different
Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)
I'm still working on this post. What a surprise, huh?
Thursday, December 9th
Picture the Holidays: It’s A Sign
There is nothing more fun than discovering the right word at the right time. It may be meaningful and telling or it could just be something random and entertaining. Be aware of the words you take in each day. Seek out the affirmations, answers or reminders that are out there looking for you today!
I am overwhelmed by all the opportunities that have come into my life once I simply decided to be OPEN to the possibilities. Really open. And willing to take chances. Be brave. Be willing to make mistakes, even fail. But also learn and try again.
Thankfully, "OPEN" signs are everywhere, so I get constant reminders to maintain this state of mind!
This picture is from a store-front in my hometown. I love that past the OPEN sign is a sidewalk leading to who-knows-where....
A good reminder to be open to the possibilities.
What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)
Ummm....social gathering? Really?
I vaguely remember a date-night shopping trip (new TV, I think) and dinner afterward with my husband. No kids. That's about as rocked as my socks got this year.
Hey - - don't laugh. I'll take what I can get.
Friday, December 10th
Picture the Holidays: Twinkle Twinkle
Twinkle lights, fantasy, wishing and whimsy; they are all a part of the season. The trick is translating the ambiance we see with our eyes and the glow we feel in our hearts into effective photographic images. Don't be afraid to let the light in for shots that sparkle! An extra slow shutter speed (way beyond what you can normally hold by hand) can make for amazing photos that shine! Try capturing something today that twinkles!
I've been trying out lots of these lights photos this month. Here are a few more of the lights on our tree.
Reverb10 : Wisdom.
What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)
This picture, taken by a fellow Picture the Holidays participant, says it best:
(This photo was taken by Holly Clark, an amazing photographer. Check out her other fabulous work HERE.)
Get started...that's exactly what I did. Thankfully! I took that first step with my goal-setting group, and things have snowballed from there. I'm overwhelmed by what this year has brought. And since I would have never imagined all of this a year ago, it makes me even more excited at what could possibly happen in the year ahead.
I'm also posting a few photos from our annual family baking night on Wednesday. It just wasn't the same without Annie, but we did our best (and ate a few extra treats in her honor!)
Anna in particular took her cookie baking duties VERY seriously.