This year has definitely had it's ups and downs, but overall I'm a better person because I've went through it.
I didn't share with many that my husband was deployed for most of this year, which means I was a single mom with a full time job, part time job (photography), and it was our kids' first year of school.
SO, we were off to a rocky start!
I had Lasik surgery in February because my astigmatism was getting worse and it was borderline non-operable. I'm so thankful that God had other plans and I met Dr. Pulin Shah.
It was literally a miracle, because I was told not to expect 20/20 vision since my eyesight was so bad. I was tested on a new machine right before I went into surgery and came out with 20/20! This was such a huge improvement to my quality of life! Also, it really helps with my photography, of course, with being able to see more clearly during editing.
On to March, where I was hired by my first magazine; VIP Northshore. It was definitely a big moment for my photography. I was going to be published, regularly, and paid for it!
I've truly enjoyed my time with the magazine and can't wait to see what the future holds with it!
In May I was hired as a contract photographer by a second magazine, New Orleans City Business. This has been a completely different experience. VIP is an event based magazine where City Business covers more business professional related content.
The value is immeasurable for the people I've met through these two magazines.
These experiences have boosted my confidence in my ability to take the 'part time job' I love and make it something more!
Well, then June came along and put my world upside down.
I went for a check-up at the dermatologist after years of not going, only because my mom had a more recent visit to one to find she had melanoma in her arm and it was removed.
My doctor was great and just by coincidence, I also was found to have melanoma in my back. Just two days later I met with an oncologist, and had my surgery to remove it, along with the lymph node it was connected to, in the next two days. I'm so thankful for the urgency they put on my surgery. I had stage 1 cancer but it had not yet spread to my lymph nodes.
This was the most terrifying week of my life and even after the surgery I was left paranoid. I didn't doubt God's grace and healing, I was just so nervous that there was more.
During this whole time I was contacting my husband and trying to get him home sooner than he was scheduled so I wouldn't be alone.
I'm also thankful for my older brother, who came with me to my surgery, my appointments, and had given me the time I needed to heal from work.
Upon my follow up a month later, it was found that I had pre-cancer cells in my arm. Now I'm getting checked every 2-3 months, and I have an appointment with a geneticist in December.
I've also developed an autoimmune disorder, which is being treated.
Among all those things, my photography business is growing, thriving, and I'm loving it!
I believe God is opening doors, showing me the direction I'm supposed to go and I will follow!
I'm so THANKFUL for 2019.
Thankful for the people in my life that have helped me through it.
Thankful for God's healing.
Thankful for the opportunities and growth.
Thankful for the path He has set before me!