2010 : The Year You Were Our Gift

It was almost a year ago today. Thomas and I had just wrapped up a beautiful wedding, and we decided to go grab an early dinner to celebrate. We sat at the bar in Logan’s Roadhouse, waiting for our meal. We were heading back to Huntsville that day…leaving our families…heading back to my day job…and photography would once again become my side job. Even though we were supposed to be celebrating, my heart was heavy. Giant, hot tears began to roll down my cheeks.

Today, as I drove towards my home and husband in Auburn, with my dogs in the back seat, I began to reflect on 2010. My mind was spinning. I was trying to write this blog post in my head, and I had no idea where to begin. How in the world could I sum up this year in one blog post? How could I express all of my feelings about this year? The same word came back to me every time.


I am humbled.

As all of the emotions flooded through my mind and heart, my chest got hot, and then my face, and those same giant tears filled my eyes and flooded down my cheeks. My giant baby-of-a-black-lab leaned up from the back seat and set his big ol’ head on my shoulder. This year, my tears are different. As I prepare to ring in the new year, these tears are full of gratitude and humility.

Today, thinking about sitting in that restaurant a year ago, realizing just how much our lives have changed this year, I experienced one of the most humbling moments of my life. Thomas and I have come so far this year…but we would not be here without you.

I am humbled.

I know I’ve said it before, but I honestly haven’t ever felt like I have successfully put into words how much of an impact all of you have made on our lives in this past year.

After heading home in January, I went back to work. But I knew something was going to have to change soon. Although Thomas had gone full-time in October, I had stayed at work, and I just worked with him in the evenings and on the weekends. This put a huge amount of pressure on our marriage. I was so glad that Thomas was home and taking care of business, but I so badly wanted to be with him there. I craved creativity. I had gotten a taste of what I wanted to do every day of my life, and I craved it. But I was afraid. We were afraid. We were afraid to give up the regular pay check. Afraid to give up the security. Afraid to give up the great health insurance.

But you kept encouraging us. You said some of the kindest words anyone has ever said to us. You made us realize, that maybe, just maybe, photography really was something we could do, full-time, and make a living doing it.

But we were still afraid.

In January, Thomas bought me the most wonderful gift he has ever bought me (aside from my engagement ring, only because that involved me getting to be his wife forever)! He bought us tickets to attend Making Things Happen. I knew that Making Things Happen was exactly what we needed. I needed to talk to people who were once dreamers, who made their dreams reality. I needed to meet people who had big dreams and wanted to make them reality. I needed to be surrounded by other photographers. I needed a supportive group who really understood what I was going through. And I needed Thomas to experience all of it with me. Well Thomas and I went to MTH2010 in February, and we got all of that and a whole lot more. We made new friends…lifelong friends. They have been cheerleaders when we needed encouragement,  brainstormers when we needed help with ideas, and most of all, friends throughout this year.

I am humbled.

In February, Thomas and I decided that soon, we would make the leap. We would both be full-time photographers. I made the announcement to my parents, preparing for the worst. I expected them to tell me how crazy we were. But they didn’t. They supported our decision, and they spent a lot of time talking with us as we prepared for the leap. My sister was also a huge cheerleader, and Thomas’ parents were supportive too.

I am humbled.

We were terrified, but we had the support of so many friends, family members, clients and even complete strangers. Since then, we have not failed. We are making it! We’re full-time photographers. We decided to move back to Auburn. We were terrified to leave the city in which our business was born, but even with the move, we are as busy as ever. We have been completely full-time since May of 2010.

I am humbled.

We have had the honor to get to know some wonderful people. Seriously…we have been blessed with some of the most amazing clients ever. You are so much more than that, though. You are not just our clients. You are our friends. We are so honored to capture the most special moments of your life. I am so honored to merely be present for those moments. To capture them for you? Now that is an amazing gift you’ve given to me.

I am humbled.

Maybe you don’t see any direct reference to how you’ve impacted us in 2010 in the paragraphs above, but I assure you, you’ve still gotten us where we are today. (The mere fact that you are reading this…for me…is completely humbling.) When you saw me in the grocery store, and told me how much you loved our most recent engagement session? When you saw Thomas at the bank and told him how much you loved your friend’s wedding photos? When you saw me shooting a wedding, and you stopped me to tell me that I’m an inspiration? When you commented on a blog post that I poured my heart and soul into, and told me that it really spoke to you? When you sent an email after being a bridesmaid in a wedding, just to tell me how impressed you were by the way Thomas and I work together? When you sent me a Facebook message a few months ago, just to let me know you were thinking of us, and praying for us?

Really? Those are the things that blow me away. Those words of kindness are what make this possible. I literally dress myself in your words every day. They are my strength and protection. They are what keep us going. When the world seems too big, the hard times too frequent, and the fire inside me is a little bit dim, I remember your words. The world isn’t so overwhelming. The hard times aren’t so hard after all. And most of all, the fire within me re-ignites. Your words keep me going. I am confident, that your words, are from our Heavenly Father. They are God’s way of letting us know that we are on the right path. Your written messages, letters and emails? I reread them often. I have tattooed your words of kindness and encouragement on my heart. I remember them.

I am humbled.

God allowed me to experience one of the most humbling moments of my life, tonight, as we prepare to welcome 2011.

Because tonight, I realized, that in 2010, God gave me the gift of encouragers.

He gave us you…to help us keep going when we were too afraid to go any further on our own. You are the reason we took the risk…the reason we went full-time…the reason we made the move…the reason we keep going. And we continue to move through the fear…because of you.

Thank you for every kind word. Thank you for every message of encouragement. Thank you for trusting us with your memories. Just…thank you.

I am humbled, and there are no words to even begin to express my gratitude.

In 2011, we wish all of you the very best year yet. I pray that God blesses your socks off, places amazing people in your life, and fills your heart with His amazing love. May you continue to be a light to others. You certainly have been a light to us!

Happy New Year, friends!


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  • Allison @ Engaged & InspiredJanuary 1, 2011 - 2:27 pm

    LOVE this!

    Happy new year!ReplyCancel

  • SarahJanuary 1, 2011 - 3:39 pm

    Thanks so much, Allison! And happy new year to you, too! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • KRISTEN STEELEJanuary 1, 2011 - 6:09 pm

    LOVE this y’all! You two seriously continually inspire me and I’m so proud of all that you’ve accomplished in 2010! 2011 is going to be even better! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Laura ReauxJanuary 1, 2011 - 10:29 pm

    Oh Sarah, you always put a huge goofy smile on my face! YOU have the gift of encouragement. So many sweet words have come from you straight to my heart. You lift me up when I didn’t even realize I needed to be. I feel God’s love through you & Thomas. What a blessing you two are to me!

    Jeromy and I are so thrilled for you guys! We are inspired by your journey and look forward to the day when we can work together full time, too. 🙂 (((((Big hugs))))) Love you, guys! xoxoReplyCancel

  • LatriceJanuary 3, 2011 - 6:55 am

    Love this post & so happy to call you guys friends! Happy New Year!ReplyCancel

  • SarahJanuary 6, 2011 - 4:58 pm

    Kristen, Laura and Latrice~
    Thank you so much for your support. We are so blessed to know y’all and call you friends! Love you guys!ReplyCancel

  • SarahJanuary 6, 2011 - 4:58 pm

    Kristen, Laura and Latrice~
    Thank you so much for your support. We are so blessed to know y’all and call you friends! Love you guys!ReplyCancel

  • SydneyFebruary 3, 2011 - 4:51 pm


    I booked you today after reading this post. We have been in the process of getting money for this wedding we are planning and though many times people have told me about different photographers, Jamie and I go back to ya’ll because the two of you are a true inspiration that there are still good hearted people in this world and that is not something that comes around too often these days. I thank you for your inspiring words and i just am so thankful that you and Thomas can be apart of mine and Jamie’s special day 🙂ReplyCancel

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