Today I am going to post one of my most favorite pictures of the year. This photo is one of my favorites because of how I had to get it. It also signifies so much about your year.
In July we spent some time with my family at a reunion at Lake Michigan. One of the things the kid loved to do was to climb a mountain sand pile. At the top of the sand pile was a swing the kids could swing into the soft dirt. When they got too hot, they would run down the sand pile and wash off in Lake Michigan. From there they would repeat the process.
They bugged my husband and I over and over to go see their swing. I knew I would get a great view of the Lake from up there and decided to hike it for a sunset picture.
When I turned 29, a friend and I hiked the sand dunes in New Mexico. It was at a point in my life where a lot of change were happening. It was the most difficult thing I had done up to that point, and it always symbolized to me that I could overcome anything if I reached the top of that hill.
So as we started out on this even larger sand dune, I thought I knew what I was in store for. When you climb a mountain of sand, you can lift your foot up 2 feet, but then the sand carries your foot back down so actually you only climbed 2 inches. It takes so much effort because of the way your foot slides down.
Up, and up, and up we went. My husband by my side. We had to stop and take a lot of breaks. The kid were climbing circles around us. About half way up I thought I was done. All my energy drained out. My husband sat with me until he got a burst of energy and climbed 6 feet higher and waited for me. He kept encouraging me. The kids all kept encouraging me. Slowly I made my way up.
Before I knew it I was at the top. I was exhausted, drained, and fell into the sand. Then I looked up and began to notice the view around me. It was the prettiest sight I had ever seen. I felt rejuvinated and new as I ran around the top of the dune.
I set up my camera and began to take sunset shots. The one below is my favorite.
That whole experience describes my year…. trying to climb out of debt but not really getting anywhere. The slow painful process of improving our lives only to have it leave me exhausted and disoriented. The encouragement of those who love us when all seems hopeless. The views from the top once it is over. What a great way for me to remember 2011.