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2017 Review

“New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” – Mark Twain

2017 has been a big year for our little family. We started the year at Disney and the beaches in Florida, with my sister and dad. It was a wonderful way to start a new year. Florida in January is LIFE. I also embarked on a 52 week project- a photo each week of 2017.

After returning to Edmond, Ok in the new year, we quickly got back to our daily routine... Zoe returned to her preschool at UCO. Meanwhile, I patiently waited for warmer weather to arrive so that I could get back to client photography work. I doubled my client list (in Oklahoma) this year, and also started work with The Oklahoma City Mom's Blog as their official photographer. I SO enjoyed getting to meet so many new people this year and capturing their special moments. 

Once summer arrived, my husband received a job offer in Portland, OR. While excited about the new adventure, we struggled with the decision to move away from our families and friends. We spent the months of summer in strange limbo...saying goodbye, saying hello, and adjusting to a new life in Portland. I had to step down from my role at OKC Mom's blog, as well as say goodbye to many long-time clients, which was difficult for me. I loved my Photography business in Oklahoma. Our move was relatively easy, although at the time, I felt like it was sheer chaos. The moving truck took longer than expected, and sleeping on an air mattress in an empty apartment was a little depressing. We spent the first month in Portland exploring as much of our new city as possible, while simultaneously attempting to stay cool during an enormous (and out of character) heat wave.

The Fall in Portland was spectacular. The city was positively bustling with energy, and the foliage was incredible. We have a small townhome in a excellent area of the city called Goose Hollow. We absolutely love walking to school, spending nice days at the park up the hill, and meeting on Friday afternoons for happy hour at the plethora of restaurants right down the road. Zoe started a new preschool in Portland, and it has been WONDERFUL. She has learned SO MUCH in such a short period of time, and has made a ton of wonderful friends. Having a social daughter has been a blessing for us here, because her knack for friendships has equated several parent friends for us. It's been so nice to have friends to grab a bite with, friends to go on playdates with, and friends to watch the OU football game with. We were also excited to have several family members visit our new home through the fall months, and we loved exploring the city together.

As Fall faded, the rainy cold season began. In Portland, daylight savings time means that it's dark by about 4:30pm every day. The struggle to get out of bed is REAL most days. Andrew is still working on his second master's degree, so our weekend time to explore the city has been pretty restricted. We did, however, make a trip to Seattle for Thanksgiving, as well as a trip out to Mount Hood the same weekend. There are SO many beautiful places in the Pacific Northwest to see, and I can't seem to get enough of the gorgeous scenery (even if it is rainy and cold...). My business in Portland still hasn't really taken off (yet), but I have had the pleasure of working with a few clients over the last few months, which felt amazing after so much time off. I also started filling in here and there with Portland Public Schools. It's been a great way to get out of the house while Zoe is at school.

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We are ending 2017 right back in Oklahoma. We will return to Portland in the new year, but it's been nice to have a few weeks to catch up with family and friends. Just in case you are starting to think our life sounds like sunshine and rainbows, it's not perfect. There's been plenty of ups, downs, and life struggles. I am still struggling to establish a photography business in a new city, Zoe hasn't quite navigated how to play without a back yard, and we are still adjusting to not having family 10-45 minutes down the road... nevertheless, all #firstworldproblems... We are totally embracing this new life though, and are consciously focusing on the positive, beautiful aspects of our life together. 

My final 2017, 52 Week Project (A Photo a Week for all of 2017). Let the 2018, 365 Project begin!

Cassie Duffle