Happy 2014!  I can’t believe it’s another new year!  I know that this year will be one full of excitement, happiness, hard work and growth for my family.  We seem to be turning a corner with our children’s ages and abilities and it is opening up new opportunities for us all.  It is painful for me to see the baby years slip by but I have to admit that I am really excited about what lies ahead in the next pre-teen years for us.  I know that there will be a very special period of time where we can all do things together, and which our children all still WANT to be with us.  I know that these next 5 years will be the safest time for our family, before our boys are out on the road and subject to all the dangers that accompany driving these days.  I pray  that something changes in the world of texting and driving before they get there.

I worry about so many things for them in the years that lay ahead but my goal for this new year is to put that aside and focus on the here and now.  Looking to the future is not a bad thing, as it keeps us moving forward, but being fully present in the moment is a true challenge and one that I am forever striving to do.  Life is a precarious balance of preserving the past, living in the moment and looking ahead.

On January 2, 2013, the first January that Bea was part of our family, I laid the 4 kids down on my bed and took a picture of them together.  I wanted a clean and simple portrait of all of their faces together.  I wasn’t intending to do it as a yearly project but somehow I’ve managed to do it each year since on the same day.  I am surprised at how much I love these images of their faces and the changes you can see in their beautiful faces over time.  Here are the three New Year’s images that I’ve taken so far.

2012

Kate Preftakes Photography

Kate Preftakes Photography

When my mom and I were in Scotland last summer we came across this beautiful poem.  It’s not so much of a poem as it is advice,  and I think it is so fitting as we start a new year.  It is quite old, although I don’t know the origins or the author, but I think it is amazing that, while our society seems to change so drastically year after year, this old wisdom is still sound.  I am happy to share it with you.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.  As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant;

they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive person, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and

disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

 But do not distress yourself with imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here. 

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be careful.

Strive to be happy.

May God be with you always.

 And here are a few of my favorite outtakes from this year. 

january-7

january_out-1

Kate Preftakes Photography

Happy New Year to you and your families!  May you be blessed with good health,  happiness, and love!

XO~Kate