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Hello 30.

my family

The changing of years.  I love it.  I’m one of those crazies who loves all the things that mark new beginnings.  Heck, I even love Mondays… I mean, you can’t beat a fresh start every single week!

So a new year?  Bring it on.  This year especially.  

I’ve been sitting here a full 20 minutes typing and deleting, typing and deleting.  Last year was rough.  I weaned my last baby and with that triggered some late-onset postpartum depression.  Spring and summer are a blur, we did fun things, but I felt so disconnected from the life that was happening all around me.  And by the time the holidays hit, even though I was feeling better, I was playing catch up to the 8 billion things that had fallen behind thanks to that dark season.  And its hard to play catch up amidst the busiest work season of the year for a photographer, and well.. the normal holiday craziness!

But we made it!  Hello 2017!  Goodbye 2016!


So where am I at right now? My desk, writing.  HA.  I make myself giggle guys.  

But really.  I’m still married to this really awesome guy I’ve known for what I can now say is more than half my life! We adore these crazy, stubborn, giggly, ACTIVE girls who are 3 (and almost a half) and 20 months.  They are soooo sweet, and they are sooooo good at pushing all of our buttons.  Life lessons all around, we can just leave it at that.  ;)

Aaron rides a lot of bikes, I’m training for another triathlon.  Abbi is in preschool.  Ella knows so many words.  We love the outdoors.  We all spend a bunch of time with our church family.  I co-coordinate for MOPS, Aaron is a youth boys small group leader.  Work for both of us (it’s weird… it only took me 5 years to finally be comfortable calling my photography business “work” which it definitely is, but I still LOVE it!).  It’s a full life.  Busy, but in the best possible way.


The next logical question… where are we going?  (insert me resisting telling another lame joke about going to bed…)

As a family?  Much in the same direction.  More time outdoors, more family adventures in the land cruiser (see the soon-to-be-more-developed #thecruisernamedpearl), more time with our framily, more time in pursuit of the things that really matter.

For me? I’m really looking forward to the things this year is going to hold.  Enter the meat of this post (and why it’s called Hello 30):

I turned 30 a couple of months ago!  And was/am super excited to reach the next decade.  But much of my enthusiasm got lost in the holiday shuffle.


There… enthusiasm!  :D  

And realistically, I know I’ve been a grown up for a while.  You can’t really deny it when you own a house, are married, have two kids, a dog, a business… the whole deal.  But there is something that I feel like I’ve been arriving at anyway, that feels appropriate to be feeling in my 30th year of existence.  Some sense of responsibility.  Of owning up to where I’m at, and where I want to get to.  I still have SO much life to live.  30 is young.  I used to think it was old… like when i was 12, but man was I wrong.  I feel like I’m just coming in to my own, figuring out who I am… it’s a good thing!


Which sorta brings me to my goals for the year.  Ok, so that wasn’t a good segue, but deal with it.  

My word for this year is SEEK.  Seek God, seek life, seek adventure, seek connections and relationships, seek whole (mind/body/soul) healthy living, seek intention in actions.

This year is not going to pass me by.  I’m going to LIVE it.  I’m going to SEEK it.  It is a year of action.  It is a year of intentional restoration, not mindless laziness.  

There are some big things on the horizon and I don’t want them to sneak up on me, I want to be prepared.  This, my 30th year (plus a couple of months), will be my year!


Seek and Intention: when I think of New Years resolutions, that about covers it.  

Don’t worry though… if you thought I didn’t make a list, you don’t know me very well.  :P

I didn’t make firmer New Years resolutions because I had already made a “30 Things While I’m 30” list.  And because, as I said, my enthusiasm for 30 got lost in the holiday shuffle, I figured I’d just keep SEEKING that list with INTENTION.  So in no particular order and with notes in parentheses both for you and for me, here’s my list…

30 Things While I’m 30

  1. FLOSS every. damn. day. (or every other at least if we’re being realistic)
  2. read 30 books
  3. do 30 random acts of kindness
  4. blog weekly on 2create and Snapdragon
  5. consistent work routine that doesn’t leave editing until last minute
  6. consistent morning and evening routine (take care of your mind and skin better!)
  7. good big-camera photos of my kids regularly
  8. eat intentionally
  9. write 30 letters
  10. apply for seminary (this is THE big one, I don’t talk a ton about my Jesus loving heart on this blog, but if this doesn’t clue you in I’m not sure what will.  If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!)
  11. do something active everyday (you bought yoga and zumba dvds for a reason… the girls would love to join in!)
  12. go on a backpacking trip
  13. do a triathlon
  14. lose 30+ pounds
  15. give everything in our house a home
  16. get up with Aaron in the morning
  17. do one hard thing every day (the task you’ve been putting off, the conversation you’ve been avoiding, the effort you’ve been slacking on)
  18. print and hang more photos
  19. surprise somebody with a “just because” gift every month
  20. spend more time outdoors
  21. do lunch and a movie by myself
  22. say no or delegate more (don’t spread yourself too thin!)
  23. read more stories with the girls
  24. journal weekly at a minimum
  25. do something everyday that adds to a WHOLE (mind/body/soul whole) HEALTHY LIFE
  26. finish a project you started a while ago
  27. do something generous with snapdragon income
  28. stick to your budget… be a grown up dammit
  29. family dinners at the table, no phones, at least weekly
  30. use social media intentionally (read: no mindless scrolling)

You’ll see there is a range of small to big (hello flossing vs. seminary), there are one time tasks and habits I want to form.  There were no rules when I made this list, just a lot of things I’ve been mulling over for a long time.  Things that seem appropriate for a year of stepping one step closer to the person I want to be. 


And I think that about sums it up! Complete with recent photos, including my beautiful family and this GORGEOUS double rainbow we saw driving back from our latest snow adventure… the photo does not do its brilliance justice!

Cheers to seeking everything 2017 has in store for us!


  • Diane Johnston - Sam, I have so much admiration for you (and your mom) heading into this new year with such a sense of purpose and determination to have a wonderful year of accomplishment and adventure. God bless you with His help to do all that you want to do on that list.

    I am 75 and wish I had learned to set goals when I was your age. I am still so hesitant to set goals because of the fear of failure. My hubby and I have some really big challenges for this year. We have to trust God to guide us and help us make major changes. I will be praying your you…especially for that goal of attending seminary.
    Diane01.07.2017 – 12:38pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Thank you Diane! Fear is a big stumbling block for me too, I actually got “faith over fear” tattooed on my arm last year as a reminder that we were never meant to be perfect… Failure is just part of this world, and the beauty of God’s perfect plan keeps me striving for the things I’ve come to believe He wants from me. Thanks for rooting for me and Mom. I’ll be praying for peace and assurance in your transitions this year. :) -Sam01.07.2017 – 1:00pmReplyCancel

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