New year. New hope. Same story + life I'm leading. New dreams. New beginnings.
For last year's words belong to last year's language + next year's words await another voice. - T.S. Elliot
Well, 2015 was a year with quite a bit of trials + heart break + huge life changes for me. In April of 2015 my youngest son, Bowan was diagnosed with multiple life threatening food allergies. He was only 15 months old. As the months went by, + as I introduced more new foods to him the reactions kept coming. So, the diagnoses kept coming. My nerves were shot. I was fearful of feeding him new foods. The new foods in toddlerhood are typically such a joyful, silly + happy time. I morned the loss of what I hoped my motherhood experience would be. My patience was tested as I eliminated foods + slowly added them in one by one.
My entire view of food + life + our true need for food all changed. I never knew how much we truly needed food until I was standing in the grocery store reading each label through the tears running down my face only to find a couple things that were free of Bowan's allergens. My stomach growled, I was in so much pain. I'd never experienced hunger like I did that day. My two sweet little boys were in the cart, in the middle of the wide grocery aisle, just as hungry as I was. This memorable day was just one week post the initial peanut allergy diagnosis. That day I broke. I changed. I decided I needed to do something, if I could just find a way to feed my family, I'd succeed. But, really I was broken so much that I really wanted to do something more.
As the months went on, I learned more about life with food allergies. As the new diagnoses came, there was almost a sense of relief. Things fit together better. The mystery reactions at home no longer happened. Bowan was happier. I was happier. We were all happier.
I'm not the same person I was when this year started.
This past year surely was hard, but that made the special moments shine brighter. I really worked on finding gratitude in the small things. And, because of that I surely have grown. In the midst of it all, I fought for a deeper happiness. This December, I partnered with Minted to create New Years cards to send to friends + family. I love the beautiful + unique cards by the independent designers at Minted. It's something extra special to send to the people I love.
Celebrate the small things. Give thanks for the here + now.
My Great Grandma would say, it is what it is. I sure am doing the best to embrace her way of life that she so graciously modeled. When our circumstances are what they are, sometimes we just need to roll with it + find all the happiness we can grab along the way.
The best time for new beginnings is now. It's time for hope + joy + love. It's a fresh start. It's a chance to create new memories that were just "the little things" in the moment but turn out to have the biggest place in our hearts at the years end. I'm so thankful for my friends + family that I get to share my life with. These New Years cards are just a small way to say thank you for being in my life. For being here in the raw moments + in the joyful ones too.
As the year comes to an end, don't look back on yesterday's disappointments. Look ahead to God's promises yet to unfold. - Buky Ojelabi
Peace + Joy in 2016,
Photography by Lindsey Lee + Co.