8 years and a photo project

By Jes • Uncategorized • 22 Dec 2011

For some, the Christmas season starts the second the calendar pages turn to December. For some it starts earlier. The hustle and bustle, the parties, the dinners, the gifts, the nic-naks, the decorating, the lights.
For me, celebrating Christmas doesn’t start until today, December 22nd. Eight years ago today, on a bright cold morning (much like today, except there was snow on the ground) we were in Buffalo, MN welcoming home the soldiers of the 353rd, and I would actually have my husband home for Christmas. December 22nd was the day he got to see our home, the day we started working on being married and living together full time, not only on weekends (like we did while we were still in college) and not with thousands of miles between us. He was then, and will always be, my best Christmas present.
So often I feel that through the month of December I am only going through the motions of the holidays – decorating, shopping, wrapping, planning meals. It isn’t until the 22nd comes that I finally feel like I know what I’m doing, and have a purpose.
This year seems even more poignant as it is the official mark of the end of this war, and many other soldiers are returning home. It is bittersweet as we quietly welcome them home, watch families who are having a magical holiday celebrate, watch others wait, know that there are still many other soldiers out there in other ‘war zones’, and many more still who aren’t coming home to celebrate.

Life is a series of experiences that change you, make you grow, and learn things you maybe never thought you would. 10 years ago, I had no idea any of this lay ahead of me, for us. 7 years and 2 months ago, I was celebrating my 1 year wedding anniversary with my mom and aunt and friend, thinking I would spend Christmas without my husband as well. 8 years ago today, everything changed and I am so grateful it did.
So, today is my Christmas – our happy homecoming day. And even though I don’t think about it often, I realize I can still remember that day so vividly.
It is with all of these thoughts swirling in my head today, that I am starting a new photo side project. I have been wanting to do a 365 photo project for some time now. I have in fact tried it in the past and have not been super successful. Today I am trying again. Today I start documenting one year in our journey. One year of snap shots of where we are. Every day and every year is a journey, and I’m excited to see where this year takes us. The technical details: yes, this photo series will be of digital photos, at least as far as I can tell. I’m planning on taking all of the photos with my iPhone to make the uploading and posting part easier, and to get myself better acquainted with my iPhone camera. These will not be the only photos I post over the course of the year! There will be many more photos, and many many film photos. In fact, I am trying to be a bit better of posting photos to my Flickr account, particularly of all the film snapshots I take of my friends and family when we are out. The photos will be posted everywhere I can post them – here, Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, and most likely eventually in a special gallery on my website. The more I post them, and the more feedback and interaction I get with them, the easier I think it will be to continue and remind myself to post a photo daily.
Today’s photo will be posted a bit later.

For now, I am off to get my work done for the day – printing photos for a show, processing photos for a job, and a bit of holiday cleaning. I want to be done with work by the time my husband comes home from his job, so we can celebrate our happy homecoming day.

Until next time,
~Peace~

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  • Beth

    I had a hunch when you first announced that you had a project starting today and that the date was significant that it was about John’s homecoming all those years ago. I’m sad I wasn’t able to be there for you at that time – but I am SO happy to be there for you now and I am SO excited to see where this project goes! <3 Happy homecoming day to you both!