best nine of 2016

“instructions for living a life:
pay attention.
be astonished.
tell about it.”
– mary oliver
01grand_wailea_resort_photos127-copy-2can you believe we’re in the last days of 2016?! it always takes me a bit longer than most to process through things at the end of the year.. the good, the bad, the hard, the fun, the chaotic, the joyful moments. in the mean time, instagram always does a “best nine” from the year, highlighting the nine photos that received the most “likes”. here’s what mine looked according to instagram:
01instagram2016bestninejessiesmith220bso it seems instagram agrees, that first and foremost, i have some of the very best friends in the world :) i love that katie, sarah, and brian were in three of the top nine! both of the weddings represented here were taken at shadow creek, my favorite place to be on a wedding day! and those last two at disney world!! i’m with ya, instagram friends… i definitely need to be at disney world WAY more often ;)

as much as i love the images represented here, it made me think about what my PERSONAL favorite nine photos from the year were, and i came up with a few different ones! while each of these images might not be the best i’ve taken, they each represent extraordinary little things that made this year great.

these are in chronological order, starting with our trip to maui this past january! you can go back and see highlights of part 1 and part 2 of that trip on the blog. maui was nothing short of spectacular, and i can’t wait to go back!02grand_wailea_resort_photos41-copy-3next up, was my 30th birthday at my favorite place in the world! a few of my most favorite ladies joined us for the week, and i’m already counting down till this years trip (only 6 weeks left!!) 03walt_disney_world_vacation43-copy-2it was a butterbeer filled, up-to-no-good, magical kind of birthday :)04wizarding_world_of_harry_potter06-copy-2being a part of the worship team at my church has been the biggest blessing, this past year especially! on days when it seemed like work would never end, this was always the escape and dose of fellowship i needed. it’s truly the biggest honor to be trusted with such a special role in our church! this image was taken this past easter during our service, and means so much to me!05fullsizerender-copy-2this was definitely one of the highlights of my year! having my entire extended family (almost!) together at our favorite place for the first time in 20ish years was SO so special! here’s the post from our roan mountain reunion!View More:… i miss baseball!! i spend april-october cheering on the Nats, and some of my favorite summer memories were spent right here with SO many great friends! there were photos i could have picked from each of those games, but instead this one here can represent them all :) 07img_2167-copythis next one will be a forever favorite image. having all FIVE of my god kids in one images?! wildest dreams do come true! this was taken in august when i flew out to california to meet my tiniest goddaughter Harper, and this photo just makes me so very happy having all 5 of their beautiful faces in it! and good gosh kenzie in that pizza costume just kills me every time!08monterey_ca_family_photographer_cuthbertson108-copy-4this next one made #2 on the initial top nine, and i can understand why! these three singlehandedly made holiday mini sessions possible… along with every one of the 17 weddings we shot this year! katie or sarah came to every single one of my weddings this year and supported me and this business in every way. the business grew this year because of them, and i can never say thank you enough! but even beyond that, these three showed up every time i needed anything, whether it was a lunch date, someone to talk to on my drive home, a business question, a second opinion (about anything and everything), they were my sounding boards and could always be counted on for an extra dose of wisdom and laughter to go along with it. i’ve got the best friends ever, to say the least :)
09northern_va_2016_bts_holiday_mini_session619-copy-2these ladies, they’re the best of the best. this summer we started doing a monthly dinner date just us four, and it’s become one of the things i look forward to most! sometimes it can be tricky to piece together a group that gels as well as we do, but i think we knew it was the perfect balance right away, so much so that it has continued every month since! there’s always laughter, genuine conversation, and a yummy dessert (duh!) we’re usually a 5:00 dinner kinda crew, and this was taken closer to 10:00pm (whew! i think it’s a record, ladies! ;) ) but i still love it!! it’s truly a God-thing how this group was pieced together, and i wouldn’t have it any other way! love you all dearly!10img_0054-copy-22016 was pretty great, but man i’m excited to see what 2017 holds! happy thursday! :)

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