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I stepped into 2013 knowing my whole life would change. And it did.

I started out the year four months pregnant and in the Air Force, completely unsure of which path I should take or where I would be today.

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In January we found out that we we're having a boy and I will never forget the look on my husbands face when the nurse told us. The room was dim, but then his eyes lit up the whole thing and he stood pressed to the exam table getting as close as he could to see and holding my hand.

At the end of February my dad flew out to Biloxi to go to the annual awards banquet with us because I was up for Airman of the Year and I'm still kicking myself for not getting a photo of the three of us dressed up before we headed to the banquet. Even though I didn't win, it meant so much to me for him to be there. The next morning before the sun was even up, we headed out on the road for a too-short trip to Colorado. Its a two-day drive there and a two-day drive back so we had to divide our six days between a baby shower, spending time with our families snowboarding (Ok, I pouted a lot that I didn't get to go) an epic Heiney family basement party (I just asked Brian the other day if it was sad that the coolest parties I've ever been to we're in his parents basement) and a maternity photo session.

The photo session with my friend Autumn of Autumn Cutaia Photography, who I've known since I was in second grade, was so much fun! We climbed a mile and a half up a mountain to the frozen Bierstadt Lake and the view was stunning. We might all be a little crazy for doing it, but I think you have to be a bit adventurous if you want images like these.

Im so glad that I got to see everyone in my family several times this year because the military lifestyle doesn't always allow for that. Its hard to be so far away from them all the time because I'm missing so much of their lives and they don't get to see all of Nates milestones in person.

I also spent February and March doing a lot of serious thinking and trying to make the decision of whether to stay in the Air Force or separate and be a stay at home mom with the goal of developing my own photography business. After hashing over the decision with just about everyone I know I decided to go for it.

I filled out the paperwork at the beginning of April and sent it up my chain of command. It was disapproved by my immediate commander but forwarded on to the base commander for approval. A few days later, my lieutenant (now rocking it as a captain) told me that the general and command chief wanted to talk to me and I was scared out of my mind and prepared myself for a lecture. They made me sit on the couch (which is not easy to do when you're in uniform, seven months pregnant, five feet tall and have to sit up straight to be respectful) and to my surprise I didn't get a lecture just the question, Are you sure? and compliments. It took everything for me not to start crying and I'm certain that my face was entirely red.

At the end of April I got to fly to Ohio to see my best friend graduate nursing school, re-meet her other bestie (because I only briefly met her when we all lived in Hawaii at the same time) and meet the man she married this year. I approve of her husband wholeheartedly, especially after she realized that she was marrying the male version of me. I couldn't tell you how proud I was to watch her stand on stage, crack open a diet coke and speak in front of her entire nursing class during her pinning ceremony. I'm also so proud of everything she's done for her family this year and I can't wait to see what next year has in store for her.

When I got back to Biloxi, I only had about a week left to wrap up my entire Air Force career and I spent the majority of that time writing a commentary. Well, slaving over a commentary would be a more accurate description. I wanted to write something that gave me closure with the Air Force and reassured me in my decision to pursue my dream. That was not one bit easy to do. Click here if you'd like to check it out.

My son was born at the beginning of June and I'm not going to lie to you, giving birth was one of the most painful things I've ever done. The first two months of my sweet boy's life we're the most emotionally straining I've been through, but once we took a vacation to Florida and Nate learned to smile, I started to feel more like myself again.

I've spent the time between August and now being consumed with love and fully absorbed in our little family and my photography. The three of us laugh and play and goof off together every single day and I wouldn't trade the time I get to spend with my husband and son for anything in this world. They bring me immeasurable amounts of joy and I never knew my life and heart could be this full.

There are so many things that I'm looking forward to in the new year! Please check back tomorrow for my post on looking ahead to 2014 and all the things I have planned for our little family, myself and my business. Its taken me the entire year, but I think I've finally discovered my niche and I can't wait to tell you all about it. But until then here are a few more of my favorite photos from this year. I wish I could share them all, but I've taken thousands and fallen in love with every single one of them for different reasons. I just don't think this post could handle that.

Happy New Year!

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Posted in Photograph Post Date 06/21/2017