I can say with full confidence that 2014 was one of the sweetest years of my life so far. I could list the simple and complex, the happy and the sad, the grateful and ungrateful moments but we’ll stick to one particular sweet spot: birth.

This year was devoted to simplicity. I felt like my life had too much clutter – clothes, stuff in my home, business, relationships. While overloading myself with good things, I was still overloading. It was a year of purging for me and that, of course, rolled over into my love and life as a birth photographer.

I grow very fond of many mamas I work with and it was a goal of mine to continue offering the same type of devotion to each and every family that came my way in 2014. I want to live intentionally, serve intentionally, which is why cutting back and “simplifying” my workload for the year was a must. It was bittersweet, to have to turn away so many potentially amazing stories but to also have more time to devote to my clients and more importantly, to have more time to live life adventurously with my husband, family, and friends. To sum it up in too few words, it was the most life-giving year in this gig so far and I am so excited to continue this philosophy into 2015. The stories were so sweet and the families even sweeter. There are no words to thank them properly for letting me into their sacred stories, into their lives, and for the friendships that formed.

Tonight I’ll be raising my glass to the fact that in all the darkness, sadness, and unknowns that life brings, there is the gift of joy and new beginnings through the celebration of new babies. Praise God for this dream job and for another year to do it.

And while you hold your loved ones close into the new year, enjoy some of my favorite moments from 2014: