First of all, this is a long post. Consider yourself warned. :) Not only long text, but I’ve got lots of images below too. What do you expect when I haven’t blogged in forever! :)

Second of all, I want to thank EVERY one of you who follow this blog. I know some of you refresh this blog multiple times a day (not naming any names! :)). In the last 10 days, there hasn’t been as much to refresh. Your understanding is much appreciated! Brian and I have taken some time off to regroup, refocus and most of all refresh. The time off has been so rich, and I thank you all for being patient during this time. Not only were you patient, but you kept up with our Twitters. And the other day, when I twittered that I was going to church for prayer, I was overwhelmed at how many of you sent love my way.

A number of you have emailed and asked if everything is okay since I posted that Twitter. Thank you so much for your concern. Everything is okay. A difficult and scary part of my past confronted me for the first time in 15 years the other day. The experience caused all my old fears, insecurities and pain to come roaring back at me. It’s amazing how something so long ago can seem like it was yesterday. But I must tell you, that all of you (even though you didn’t know it at the time) played a major role in me pushing through. It’s one of those rare situations where I can’t share details with you over the blog, but I do look forward to sharing with you in our workshops this year. You need to know how you inspired me to push forward.

2009 holds what I call BIG BLESSINGS. And if I could be brutally honest, some of the big blessings overwhelm me with questions like, “Can I do this? Am I the right person? What about all my weaknesses and brokenness? There must be someone not so broken, someone more confident and sure of themselves for what is to come…”. Isn’t it just classic that in the midst of me sorting through these deeper questions, finding my grounding and place of rest, that my past would come at me out of nowhere? It is classic, don’t you think?! But to continue the honesty, regardless of my past, my pain, my brokenness and questions, I know that God has brought every BIG BLESSING to us. He must see more in me and our family than we see in ourselves. So I’m going to choose to bet on Him rather than my fears. I don’t want to walk into 2009 with fear, I want to RUN, RUN, RUN!

We are not the only ones who have BIG BLESSINGS waiting for us in 2009. Each one of you has a new chapter waiting to unfold. And I’m sure that many of you can relate to the old voices that haunt us, trying to keep us in a place of fear or insecurity. I want to encourage you to take some time during the New Year to write down your dreams, your BIG dreams. Share them with someone you trust. Don’t let them read them, you read them out loud. Speak out your dreams and take ownership. I know this is painful for some of you, but it is a must to not only survive but thrive in life. You and I were meant for so much–more than we can even dream of. Will you push forward with me this New Year? I know the voices of our past are always on repeat mode, but maybe we could turn the volume down just a little and listen to the voice of our dreams, the voice of the Impossible becoming possible. If we could, I believe that this time next year we will be sharing the BIG BLESSINGS that came our way, whether we deserved them, earned them or were worthy of them…they came.

Happy New Year to all of YOU–EACH one of you!! Brian and I love you all and look forward to stepping into 2009 with you by our side!

Here is a fun window into what we’ve been doing these last couple weeks! :) Enjoy!

Rosie the Reindeer!

Best sledding hills in the world!

Can you beat that view of the water? :)

Best Buds!

Frosty with her Teapot and Rosemary necklace. :) Before all you moms jump on me about where Pascaline’s snow clothes are, she only stepped outside to get in on the photo!

Lots of quiet nights by the fire with hot chocolate, Christmas lights and a good movie. Now Lauren, if you look real close you can see the branches on the wall with the photo frames. Just for you my dear! :)

A favorite past time by the Christmas tree.

Prince Phillip is so patient and so loved. :)

The kids wanted you to see their latest dancing moves.

And one of my favorite! Here’s to a New Year of growth (no matter how small, young, old or furry we are) and a year of BIG BLESSINGS!

Meet us back here this Monday, January 5th for the first blog post of 2009! And on Tuesday, we may be doing a live interview over the web that you can join in on. More details to follow!

Happy New Year Everyone! It’s good to be back!

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ATLANTA-Start 2009 with a weekend of inspiration! If you live on the East Coast and want an inspiring type of Christmas gift for your loved one, send her to Atlanta! The dates are January 17th and 18th! Register here !!

For fun photo exercises, check out our popular Instructional DVDs Refuse to Say Cheese (see the downloadable version that is now available if you live outside the US!), our 101 Kits for starting or expanding a business in photography, click on the words of your choice! To read a great review done on our DVDs, click here!

18 Comments: “What Waits for Us All in 2009 and a Photo or Two! :)”

  1. Amanda mays says:

    I love you!!!! Happy happy new year my friend!

    Can’t wait to see you through all your big business!

  2. Peace to you, Brian and your beautiful family. Coming here each morning with my coffee is a gift you give me every day….thank you for sharing, teaching and blessing your readers. Looking forward to all the big blessings that are in store in ’09. Cheers!

  3. Kelli says:

    Love the post Mera! I can’t wait to have these babes and move forward with 2009! Such exciting stuff..! Happy New Year to you and your family! Kelli

  4. Amanda says:

    Me Ra and Brian, your kiddos are too BEAUTIFUL!!!! Glad you hear you have been taking time to refresh and are feeling good going into 2009. I can’t believe I just typed that…just as I got used to 2008. ;)

    Take comfort in all your blessings, big and small! I’m hoping one of my blessings this year is attending one of your workshops. =) We’ll see!

  5. Wonderful shots and your dog is so cute!

  6. beck says:

    What wonderful warm pictures, and how nice it is to hear you sounding so refreshed and optimistic about the year ahead! I am thinking about how to take your challenge to heart…

    Happy New Year!

  7. Sabine says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR to You and all Your Family.
    In france, we’re in 2009
    Love

    Sabine

  8. Michelle says:

    Happy New Year Me Ra & Brian. Sorry you have had to deal with the past right now, but if anyone can overcome it, you surely can. Your words made me cry and spoke so much to the part of me that has been in the post Christmas, pre-new year funk. The part that wonders if I accomplished any of the things I had planned for 2008 and if it worth setting goals for 2009 that do not involve laundry. But then I remembered how I have grown and what I have done. I attended your workshop (that seems like years ago) which was the first step to calling myself a “photographer”. I met some amazing women who share my passion and insecurities who help me to turn down the voices that hold me back. I look forward to your blog posts and hopefully another workshop to help me grow and learn in 2009.

  9. Addie says:

    “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” — (Siddhartha Gautama) Thank you for sharing the light of your candle with all of us. Happy and Blessed New Year to you and your family.

  10. jeramy says:

    it’s so encouraging to hear you pushing through your fears. don’t be mistaken…we’ve all got them. i can tell that you have an amazing support system around you. use them. don’t keep them out. that’s important. i’m excited for the new year…what god has in store for us. my challenge for myself this year is to choose change….not to talk or write about it and then settle into familiarity. but actually choose it and follow through.

    so, hope is on the menu….that’s a great thing. have a fantastic night….talk to you soon.

  11. Lauren says:

    So happy to see a post from you! As much as I adore and crave your photo tips and challenges, I love even more to hear about what’s going on with you and Brian. I feel like we’re family now. :)

    I love the branches and picture frames!!! What a delicious idea!!! Your kids and Rosie are sooooooooooooooooo cute!!!!!! ♥

    I’ve been thinking about you guys and your twitters. I’ve also been coming back over and over and over again to Pascaline’s “swimming with sharks” story and I came to the stunning realization a week or so ago that I’ve been under an oppressive, consuming spirit of fear for the last 5 years. I could never really identify why I reacted certain ways to everything, but it can all be boiled down to fear. The shark story unlocked that realization.

    I have no idea what to do with it but I think it’s a big step already in just having a name for what’s going on.

    I am hoping 2009 brings some wonderful blessings for you & your family. I can’t wait to hear more about things hinted at in the Chicago workshop. ;) I am also leaping into the deep end and I’m going to start a portrait business on the side (while still working full time and full time mommy/wife duties). BUSY!

    ♥ Love you, Me Ra & Brian! Happy New Year!! ♥

  12. Sandy says:

    Happy New Year!

  13. I just read the comment from Lauren, that is exactly what I have been thinking about. Fear and anxiety have been common feelings to me as of late and I have made certain self destructive decisions based on them. After reading the “swimming with sharks” post I was able to let a different voice control my actions. The voice that says “its ok to keep swimming” is going to win out in 2009 so thank you so much for your wonderful encouragement and positive spirit! Ps, I am starting to read a really cool book called Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, normally I am not much of a self help kind of person, I think certain things should be left to professionals, but I liked the title!

  14. Christiana says:

    I’m pretty sure you wrote this post just for me! I went to bed last night filled with doubt whether I can do this photography thing. So thank you for being real with us. I think if you didn’t share your struggles it’d make me want to give up! I’m just in the beginning stages and it is scary! I had to give my first real price to someone yesterday and I think they were expecting me to charge less and I’ll be suprised if they hire me. I’m such a pleaser that I don’t want to disappoint people. Your blog is so good for me to get encouragement to keep going! Thanks again!!
    Happy New Year!

  15. Sue Christianson says:

    Hey Me Ra!

    Thanks for the beautifully written post today! Thanks for the challenge on speaking out your dreams. I was just asked the other day “what are your dreams Sue?” My thought was to give up on those dreams because of life situations that have come my way and seemed to crush those dreams. I know deep down that God wants to restore those dreams. I just need to courage from God to step and and share the dreams with someone I trust and step out in those dreams. At a time in my life when I thought my dreams were crazy and out there, a man with cerebal palsy (he cannot speak verbally, but spells out words with his nose), he told me that “don’t you know that God placed those dreams in your heart Sue?” Wow! That very moment changed my life! Thanks again for the encouragement that I needed today!
    Love you!!!

  16. Stephanie says:

    Me Ra – What a wonderful post today. In the last few months I’ve been working towards following my dreams. Well atleast figuring out what they are and nuturing that process. I also had a stirring dream last night and it reminded me of the Swimming with sharks post.

    I love the photos, especially the ones of the kids through the window. I’m constantly taking pics of the kids. But it is either too dark or to bright from the flash. I’m hoping I can learn that soon. My hubby just got me the 1st DVD for christmas and I loved it. I already ordered the 2nd one. One day I will make it to the workshop. Speaking of will there be a Running On Empty for Atlanta?

  17. Me Ra Koh says:

    Wow, what wonderful feedback from all of you. It’s so good to know that we are not alone as we continue to swim with the sharks. Lauren and all the other women who brought up that post, it seems that to know what we are created for is to look at where our biggest pain and fear rests. If the ugliness of the world could have its way, I’m sure it would first destroy what we were meant to be. Hang in there with me as we fight on together!

    Love you all!

  18. You go girl!!! Just listened to your webcast on photography mentor! Loved it! You are too cute…Also love to know that you believe in blessings and speaking positive…”We speak things that are not as though they were…” Yes, God has brought every blessing to us, and will now in 2009!
    There is power in the tongue, and my husband and I join you in believing that 2009 is a blessed year! He is a commercial real estate broker in Fort Walton Beach, FL, and we know what blessings God has for us!