Project Alicia : Ending the Year with some SMILES.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Ending the Year with some SMILES.

I know most of you are probably thinking about how you are going to be ringing in the new year. Or wishing you hadn't eaten so much pie for Christmas. Or maybe you are totally holiday'd out and ready for your kids to go back to school so that you can enjoy some peace and quiet. Or maybe your thoughts are focused on your New Year's Resolutions.

Me? PROJECT SMILE of course.

And what better way to end the year than to reflect on the things that made me smile. Not just for December, but the entire year.

Last night as I trolled through photos I was moved to tears as I reflected over the last twelve months. Even in light of numerous obstacles placed in our path, we have been so incredibly blessed. We have had a very full year.

Trips have been my haven.

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West VirginaPhotobucket

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Washington Photobucket

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So many beautiful memories we have made as a family. Too many to mention.

Project 365 completed.
And although I sorta cheated a bit here and there combining my weeks...

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I am excited to be completed with my 2010 project 365 for this year. You can see the completed compilation here or here.

The year of Lish.
This year has been a year of growth for me as I've actively tried to be more present. I have made conscious efforts to move outside of my comfort zone. One of my goals was to not hide behind the camera so much. You may have noticed more photos of me on my blog recently. This has not been an easy feat for me. I am actively working to overcome fears and insecurities because I want to ENJOY. MY. LIFE.



It may seem a bit selfish to some, but I was just 19 years old when I wed and nestled into married life. I love my role as a wife and mother, but in the last 18 years "me time" has gone by the wayside and I have lost sight of my identity as an individual. A Beautiful Mess was created out of a need to find myself. And although I am a long way from being the completed version of myself, I like the strides I have made this year. I have delved deep and worked hard as I have unveiled the hidden layers of Lish. And I'm happy to report that today I am happier than just 12 short months ago. I can't wait for what lies ahead. Everyday that I take a breath is a gift.

For my 37th birthday I shared 37 Alicia quirks. Also not an easy feat. But identifying and listing the characteristics that define me was an important step in recognizing and accepting myself.

Overcoming.
This year we worked through a long awaited short sale, learned of our son's Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, survived bullies, a Nuclear Outage, and over 15,000 miles car-bound trippin.

Life is full of distractions and obstacles of all kinds. But there is nothing more empowering than to work through an obstacle and come out the other side. The ending to my life's story is up to me.

Today I am especially grateful for good heath, a remarkable hubs, and hundreds of new friends I have made through the blogging community all across the world. Thank you for your continued support and friendship. Feel free to join the smile crusade. The linky will be open for a week, so if you'd like to reflect on those things that made you smile I'd love nothing more.

Happy New Year! Hoping 2011 has great things in store...

A Beatiful Mess



22 comments:

  1. I love seeing photos from your family trips! Your trip to South Dakota had me immediately planning one of our own for next July. That has since been put on hold (ya know pregnant and all...), but seeing your photos again renewed my desire to go ASAP!

    Love your blog, so glad to have found you in 2010, have a great New Year's eve and a wonderful 2011!

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  2. You're amazing. I'm so happy to read that 2010 has brought you closer to who you want to be. It's not selfish in any way - in fact, being the full Alicia is the only way to be able to be the best wife and mother you can be. "Take your oxygen first" and all that. Best wishes to you in your journey through 2011! I'm so glad I met you.

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  3. Lish, you are awesome!!! Your photos are sooo... beautiful! And I´m so glad that you feel much happier. You got married at a very young age and I understand that since then you didn´t have much time for yourself. I got married at the age of 28. Much later then you. But I feel the same way like you. I have no time for myself.Kids and husband are more important then myself. That´s why I started blogging...
    I really hope you have a wonderful and happy new year!
    And don´t forget you are a very beautiful woman!
    Hugs,
    Verena

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  4. Gorgeous collection of photos. What a lovely entry. Congratulations on completing Project 365 in 2010!

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  5. I am so proud of you , Alicia. Way to focus on the good of this year. It made for beautiful pictures and great memories! I had a similar experience this past week. I feel so stuck at times and like I could catch a break in the worst way. But I was looking through our recent family pictures and was brought to tears. I am SO blessed with the family I have! But at times it is hard to remember. On to 2011!!!!!

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  6. If my last comment made NO sense to you, it's cause I got a comment from a gal who goes by City Girl and when I clicked over to her page I thought THIS blog was hers....but as it turns out she doesn't seem to have her own blog....but follows you.
    YES, I am blonde and old.....so it was fun to find you anyway

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  7. Alicia, I always love to come by your blog and see your photos. They are stunning. This post really brought a smile to my face because your family looks so happy, which I think it is what everyone strives. And I have to say, the girls photo in NY...y'all have to be related because y'all look like family. I wish you and your family a beautiful New Year's Eve. May the New Year brings you health, happiness and prosperity. Big hug,

    Angie

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  8. What awesome photos – and wonderful reflections! As someone born and raised in South Dakota, I especially enjoyed your South Dakota photos! :)

    Thanks for bringing so many smiles to everyone with Project Smile in 2010! And I wish you and your family an incredible 2011!

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  9. You certainly did have a wonderful year in many ways. Here's to a great 2011!

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  10. Amazing, beautiful and gorgeous, as always to look at. I love your keen eye and beautiful family. Happy New Year! May only wonderfulness come your way in 2011. xoxo

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  11. I've made it through the most difficult two months for me, and it part thanks to you and Project Smile! Thank you for coming up with this sensational idea that hopefully will touch many lives and help countless people make it through the darkest months.

    I have a slow dial-up connection, so your page is taking forever to load. So I haven't seen all the photos yet, but what I can see is fabulous, as always. I especially love your South Dakota collage... so eye-catching and full of impact! Your Washington pictures bring back so many fond memories and make me want to return again soon! But mostly, I can't wait to sneak back by when I can see EVERYTHING! Your photography is so wonderful, I don't want to miss a single shot!

    Happy 2011!

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  12. Alicia, You are awesome and adorable! I heart your blog and your mad camera skills! I can't wait to see what your blog brings us in 2011! Happy New Year to you and your lovely family and thanks for all the hard work you put into all you do!This reader appreciates it!

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  13. What an exciting year! And so beautiful! BTW, if I looked as great as you did, I would not have problems with people taking pictures!!!! May your new year be filled with blessings and joy!

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  14. Wonderful photos. You never seize to amaze me. I love the one of you standing by the bridge. You are gorgeous! I am going to link up my top 10 photos of my boys if that is okay, they all made me smile.

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  15. I remember almost all of those pictures! That means that we've been friends for awhile now :)

    I'm so glad that we found each other and have become close - you know how much you mean to me and I'm honored to call you my friend.

    Much love to you, and here's to a fantastic 2011 for us both!

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  16. These pictures are absolutely beautiful! Your photography is so inspiring! What a great way to wrap up the year! I can't wait to see what the new year holds for you and your family! Happy New Year!

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  17. wow, what a fabulous post. and what a blessed life you are living. I'm looking forward to a fantastic year and wish one for you as well :)

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  18. What a lovely photo tribute for the years end. I am glad to have made bloggy friends with you this year and hope to learn some of your fantastic photo tricks as well in the new year. You are a beauty inside & out, so come out from behind that camera more often :) Hugs, Faythe @GMT~

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  19. A little late! I linked my smiles for Dec :)

    Wonderful photos Alicia. Totally inspired by this post I'm going to incorporate your idea of not hiding behind the camera into my 2011.

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  20. I've been so anxious to come back and see this page with a speedy internet connection. It was worth coming back for! I love that slide show (had never heard of that website before), but my favs are both shots of you in the snow with your arms outspread. I'm assuming your husband is just as great a photographer as you! I also enjoyed reading your simplicity goals for the new year. Laughed out loud at the 365 one!

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  21. This is really interesting...you are at the end of your journey..and I am just starting it.

    I was asked for a headshot for something I wanted to submit, and realised I had NO (proper) photos of myself. What is up with that?!

    So I am getting myself out of my comfort zone of being behind the camera, and just taking photos. It takes planning and effort, but I am enjoying stretching myself.

    I really glad to read that someone else had to overcome something siliar. I look forward to where I will be in 12 months time ;)

    I've been delving into the layers too...gosh, it's hard work, but boy, things start to make more sense! I am challenging those life long thought habits. Very freeing

    I'm glad I stumbled across your blog.

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  22. Wow you did alot of traveling in 2010! You look like you live a happy blessed life with a great family and girlfriends. And you look great after two kids! Your fam is so cute!

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