I’ve never really been a big New Year’s person, because instead of having the opportunity to start afresh each year on 1/1, I absolutely believe that anybody has the opportunity to start new or change or move forward in something at any point in their lives.

So, when it was the middle of 2018 and God gave me a word, especially one so out of my comfort zone, I knew it was what I had to do.  –also, isn’t it so funny that I got this word in the middle of last year, no special occasion or anything to mark it or make it happen, just a word and it was up to me!

You may be asking right now, Caitlin, what WAS the word you got?  Well, my 2018 word was organize.  Now, let me be clear, I am not a crazy messy person.  My home doesn’t belong on hoarders and my world isn’t completely unorganized, however as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned there is a freeing life in a life that is organized and has structure.

And so it began.  I set out to really organize things.  I downloaded an app that I can pay all of my bills through – with the exception of a couple that aren’t linked with the app yet (check out PRISM app, it is amazing and it will revolutionize your bill paying experience: https://get.prismapp.com/RhaNMjHRvT – I don’t get anything for you using this link, but you get a rad new app!).  I started going through the things in our home and organizing them and deciding if we really needed the things we were hanging onto.  I purchased a program that helped organize my client system – that makes it more streamlined and easy for me and for all of you!  And then there is the big undertaking of the client system, which really puts it all down, what I do for your sessions and events from start to finish.

There are still things I’ve been working on, but I figure that like anything else worth doing in life, a task like organizing is one that grows and adapts throughout your life vs a one and done kind of thing.

Now, this leads me to my 2019 word of the year.

Last year brought quite a lot to celebrate and quite a lot to be sad about.  Adulting is not for the faint of heart, ya’ll.  But one thing that I really felt pulled to lean into this year is Joy.

I think, as people, we all really long for happiness.  And while happiness is a byproduct of joy, I don’t think joy is a byproduct of happiness.  Because, we can be happy about the things that are going on in our life, but joy is a deep, soul feeling.  Joy is being able to look at the life around you, and regardless of the circumstances, you can find the peace and hope within.

Like I said a couple sentences ago, adulting is hard.  But, sometimes I get tired of the excuses I am able to pull out of thin air that falls back on that.  I want to stand on solid ground that says, even though this IS hard, there is hope.  Even though this is not what you imagined it’d be, you’re just fine!  And then to take that peace, hope and joy and spread it around like the contagious confetti that it is!  And guess what, it gets everywhere and in everything and makes life such an experience – and that is gold.  Because life is an experience, and we have a choice.  And, we won’t always make the right one, but if we can choose to make  a series of good choices, to focus on joy, hope, love and peace then the experiences, even when bad, will be bearable.


So, if you’re reading this and you haven’t got a word of the year or you’ve never really bought into this idea – because I never did until I was given a word – I want to give you permission to go ahead and steal my word!  Take Joy, and run with it.  And make each day, a little bit better than the last.


Oh! and by the way, remember, none of us are perfect, so on the days where it’s just a terrible, no good, very bad day and you can’t find the joy, allow yourself that space – just remember to start fresh the next morning and kick that negative self talk to the curb, because your joy is worth more!



Caitlin Audrey Photographer Phoenix Scottsdale Arizona Photography Wedding

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