My Top Ten Favorite Photographs from 2017

My Top Ten Favorite Photographs from 2017

My Top Ten Photos from 2017

I thought it would be cool to go through and pick my favorite pictures from 2017 and create a Top Ten Favorite Photographs post. 2017 was an absolutely amazing year overflowing with blessings and beautiful moments. We had an amazing family trip to Hilton Head. We celebrated our seven year wedding anniversary aboard a cruise ship traveling through the Caribbean. We hiked up mountains trying to reach the sky itself and sometimes it felt like we did it! My sister got married and one niece was born and another got engaged. There were long walks beside rivers and lakes and treasures discovered just yards from our front door. There was so much love! So much beauty! So much to capture. Moments transformed into treasure. So many opportunities to freeze time in an attempt to make a moment endure throughout. Narrowing it down to ten felt impossible. But it was a lovely journey to take down memory lane! I am overwhelmed with gratitude as I write this.

Note: While I was able to narrow this down to ten putting them in an order leading up to my very favorite one turned out to be impossible. They are all my favorites. So here they are are in no particular order.

Why did Boy On A Path Through Life make my Top Ten Photographs?

This one was taken in Hilton Head! We had such an amazing vacation. In this moment T and I are walking through the Nature Reserve heading to the ocean. He is barefoot as usual. He holds in one hand his flip flops and in the other a tiny pinecone he wants to look up so he can see what it will become. The weather is perfect. It is early morning and Mr. Wonderful is still sleeping peacefully in the Villa but T and I could not wait to see the water so we quietly snuck away. We can smell the ocean at the very moment you see here. In another minute or so we will come over a slight hill and the Atlantic will unfold in all its glory before us. We will follow its’ shore, feet in the water, for over an hour before we decide to head back for breakfast. We will encounter an alligator and a beautiful water bird almost as tall as T on the way back. But here in this moment, I see T just being a boy so close to becoming a teenager. Pants rolled up and barefoot enjoying life and all its wonder. I remember the excitement he woke with me maybe twenty minutes before the camera stole this scene for me. I remember how every few feet he stopped to inspect a lizard, a flower, a stone, the bamboo. His curiosity, I see it in this moment. His carefree love of life. All the precious time we will spend together in the week which lies ahead is still just an enticing opportunity. We will be cradled, held sweetly in the bliss of a beach vacation at Hilton Head Island for five more days. There will be many more of these memorable moments. But this moment! I treasure this moment. I loved this moment. I always will.

Check out this post about our trip to Hilton Head.

Why did Young Love make my Top Ten Photographs?

This moment between my niece and her fiance was captured at sunset at Allendale Manor. The golden sunlight. The tender way they look at each other. The sweetness of true loves kiss. The promise of a bright future and of a beautiful marriage ahead… It’s all here. I love this girl more than words can say. She is and always will be my baby girl. I was so proud when she took her first step, when she read her first book, when she wrote her first story, when she drove for the first time and when she graduated high school, and on and on…  And soon, she will stand before us in a stunning gown and she will be a bride. And I will cry. I have this one in an 8 x 10 presented in my home and everytime I glance its way I smile with my heart.

Why did Pondering Time make my Top Ten Photographs?

What is not to love here? The lines, the light, the shadows, the gorgeous subject. Let me tell you what else I see here. I remember the day I took this was a day all about T and I. We had walked the path along the river, we had been to the park, we had stopped to eat and talk together. It was a hot summer day. We had been reminiscing about a recent bike ride we took through this area and we talked about how we had raced across the covered bridge. He won. We decided to walk back there and along the way we talked about all the History here in Elizabethton. After I took this shot and we began to make our way toward the other side T started talking about all the other people throughout time that had traveled beneath this covered bridge. I looked down at his bare feet and I said its probably been a while since anyone else walked through here barefoot. How long do you think since someone passed this way in boots with the buttons running up their sides and those adorable little heels? Do you suppose any moccasins passed across this bridge? Saddle shoes? We paused and talked about the differences each individual would discover at the lip of this covered bridge. Once upon a time, there would have been only horse and buggies out there. The buildings would look very different. We discussed the changes in architecture. The telephone poles would be wiped completely away for some of the people who walked out from under this bridge. The sounds of engines running vanished in our minds as we imagined the many decades behind us. We imagined how the people would dress differently and speak uniquely. We stood just at the edge of the bridge frozen in time ourselves as we walked through each other’s imaginations trying to see how the world had looked so different in that very same spot depending on where in the timeline you stepped out of it shaded retreat. Then we stepped out together into the sunshine.

Why did Bright Jewel make my Top Ten Photographs?

You might see a picture of a jewelweed here. Perhaps you like how bright and bold it is. Maybe you recognize that the aged wood of the Spring House it grows beside is lovely. But when I see this picture I see a picture of homeschool. The reason I see this is because, for one, this was taken on a Homeschool Field trip to Tipton-Haynes. But more importantly, this is one of about thirty pictures we took of plants, trees, and mushrooms for a super fun project. We are always identifying things. It’s fun to find out what something is called and why it is called that and what uses it has and what threats it presents and on and on. We collect these images all year and when Spring finally rolls around the next time we print them off and make a book of them. We do all the research. We learn and discover as much as possible about each of these, God’s creations. We compete to see who can find the strangest thing about it, the coolest thing about it, what makes it super unique. We write it all down on the page beneath the print, right below its Scientific Name. In the end, we have a Science Book that is so much more. Each image holds within it the memory of the particular adventure we were on when we discovered it. That’s why homeschool is amazing. One of so very many reasons.

Check out our trip to Tipton-Haynes where this shot was taken.




Why did You Got A Friend In Me make my Top Ten Photographs

You can see it, can’t you? It’s all in the way that T looks at this horse. This is not just a horse, this is his friend, and he loves him. We believe in Volunteering and T works every week with an amazing group called Small Miracles. This group of people along with this Miracle Herd change lives for the better every day! They work with disabled children, at-risk youth, and veterans. T has learned so much from this experience and while he works really hard, he will be the first to tell you that it feels so good to do work worth doing. So in this image, we have captured a boy and a horse. But if you look close you will find an image of two heroes that love and value one another and are both showing up and working hard to make the world a better place.

To learn more about Small Miracles check out our blog post Make A Difference here.

Why did Unwavering Faith make my Top Ten Photographs

What a shot! I love this picture. T in his element. The freckles, the mountain behind him, the happiness in his eyes. It’s there. But when I see this image I see SO much more. This was the day before we had to go to Shriners to meet with his surgeons. I love we don’t see any fear in those bright eyes. Had we turned the camera around and focused on my eyes, fear would likely have taken over the frame. I have never been as strong as he is. He said to me that day, ” Don’t worry, Mom. It’s all in God’s hands. It couldn’t be in a better place. We’re good.” So instead of worrying about what lay ahead, we were instead enjoying our favorite place. Enjoying each other. He was happy! We climbed Roan Mountain, breathing it in. We paused to admire every detail that caught his eye. We prayed at the top of Roan Mountain that day and everything turned out just fine in the end. This picture represents to me his unwavering faith, his peace within the storm, his wisdom, his curiosity, his appreciation of God’s world… It’s all there too. Right there with those freckles.

Check out this post about a Fall Hike up Roan Mountain.

Why did Cheerful and Lovely make my Top Ten Photographs?

Sometime towards the end of the Summer of 2017, I developed a deep love for barbed wire. I know that sounds weird. But I really looked at it one day and I noticed all the different hues within its tangle that spoke of the storm’s it had endured. I also noticed how it held things up. The wildflowers loved it and reached from the earth to surround it and then raced along it as though it were a tightrope while clinging to it like a child to its mother. And so I began seeking barbed wire. A lot of my favorite pictures from last year contain it. The reason I choose this one, even though it’s not the best one, is that it was captured on a day I planned to stay in. T talked me into taking a short walk with him by telling me all about these cheerful yellow flowers growing along the barbed wire just down the road. He was so convinced I would love them that I had to see. And sure enough, he was right, they were so lovely! T so often encourages me to get out there and when I do shows me so many of life’s most charming treasures. I’m so blessed to have him!

Why did Escape make my Top Ten Photographs?

This moment! I am standing on our private balcony aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship absolutely overflowing with happiness and just crazy in love with my husband. This is our second cruise and all of the adventures we have planned like the glass bottom boat ride in the Bahamas and a visit to Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West are still ahead of us. We have just boarded. We spent the night before in a beautiful hotel called The International in Doral, Florida. We had a business suite and it was gorgeous. We have been desperate for this vacation to arrive. This time uninterrupted, just the two of us, where we really get to talk, to walk together, to laugh together, to explore this amazing world together. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love my husband. He truly is the most amazing man! He is kind and generous, a genius (for real), hilarious, selfless, strong, gorgeous, a man of his word and a man of great faith. I will never deserve him, but I will spend my life trying my best to show him how precious he is. So, this moment… our escape to celebrate seven years of marriage together is more beautiful to me than I can tell you!




Why did Sweet Sophia make my Top Ten Photographs?

Look at this sweet girl! Every year I do a photoshoot of Sweet Sophia. This year I was looking for the Vintage look and in this shot, I feel like I captured it. This baby girl is growing way too fast for my liking. It truly is unreal how fast our children grow up. After I took these shots, I realized these will likely be the last I take where the baby in this little girl is still present. You can still see her in the roundness of those cheeks and the innocence of those sparkling blue eyes. Next year, we will take her Christmas pictures again and it will be a beautiful little seven-year-old girl looking back at me but for this one last season, I still see baby Sophie in this shot. And so it makes my top ten easily. It is precious to me, just like she is. How could I not put her in my Top Ten Photographs?

Why did Warrior Princess make my Top Ten Photographs?

This baby girl! My niece was born on January 24th, 2017 and let me just tell you she entered this world with a bang and she has kept us all on our toes ever since. She is a warrior princess, this sweet baby girl with all of that silky hair. She is an overcomer. She is sweet, adorable, precious, and loved more than words can say. This year has been largely about her for us. She spent her first forty days in NICU and has been in and out of the children’s hospital all year long. She has smiled through it all. She goes with the flow. She fights again. She overcomes. She teaches her whole family what real strength is and we thank God every day she is ours. She completes our family in the most beautiful way! I tell her that I need to write to Webster because when you look in the dictionary next to the word beautiful, there should be a picture of her.

This completes my Top Ten Photographs of 2017. That was so hard to sort through and I’m sure my Top Ten are not my Ten Best but they are the ones that end up in frames, in books, in my heart.

Please tell me in the comments below which ones you like the best of my Top Ten Photographs. I can use all the encouragement I can get! This year I am really focusing on improving my photography. I have joined several online groups and am taking online classes. It will be interesting to look back next year and see if I can spot some improvement. Join me then by signing up for our free newsletter now. We share our journey through family-friendly posts designed to inspire. We would love to have you join us on this adventure! Consider yourself welcomed.

Thank you for stopping by Geez, Gwen today! Hope to see you here again soon!

Be blessed,

Gwen

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