Oh, What a World, What a Year.

In traditional Tamara Camera Blog fashion, I’m here to complete my favorite end of year questionnaire – my third to date.

I decided to take the week off, which really just means only do personal blog posts. In other traditional Tamara fashion, I managed to achieve 5,000 presents to wrap, four calling birds, three photo shoots, two horrible Bowman illnesses, and a cat who likes to drink the Christmas tree… water. So basically, I “took the week off.” There was an appointment in there too.

Speaking of appointments, I saw an urgent care doctor during Saturday hours when I was sick for 7,000 years last month. I rambled to her that it was my busy season and I was underwater anyway and I thought I might never get better. Ever. Unless I moved to New Zealand and opened up a banana stand. She asked me for my business card. I never made the connection with an email I got this week to photograph a family for the holidays, but on my way there this morning, I thought about how ok I felt and how I wished I could go find that lovely doctor to tell her that I got better. You know what happened next, right?

She answered the door as my new client. It’s as serendipitous as Frozen Hot Chocolate.

Last year for my end of year wrap-up, I likened the whole thing to a Kinks song with lyrics. Today it’s Steve Winwood’s “The Finer Things.” I heard it today. It’s like a question being answered. It’s a theme, somewhere in here, and out there:

“While there is time
Let’s go out and feel everything
If you hold me
I will let you into my dream
For time is a river rolling into nowhere
We must live while we can
And we’ll drink our cup of laughter

The finer things keep shining through
The way my soul gets lost in you
The finer things I feel in me
The golden dance life could be

Oh, I’ve been sad
And have walked bitter streets alone
And come morning
There’s a good wind to blow me home
So time is a river rolling into nowhere
I will live while I can
I will have my ever after

The finer things keep shining through
The way my soul gets lost in you
The finer things I feel in me
The golden dance life could be

We go so fast, why don’t we make it last
Life is glowing inside you and me
Please take my hand, here where I stand
Won’t you come out and dance with me
Come see, with me, come see

And lovers try
‘Til they get the best of the night
And come morning
They are tangled up in the light
So time be a river rolling into nowhere
They love while they can
And they think about the night so sweet

The finer things keep shining through
The way my soul gets lost in you
The finer things I feel in me
The golden dance life could be”

And now. It starts.

What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

I photographed two weddings in one year. I submitted an essay for a book I was really nervous about, and got my acceptance email at the end of summer. I got a call from one pregnant sister and then a call from another pregnant sister. I went moosing with my family. I saw moose with my kids! I stayed alone at a hotel with Scarlet. I felt more..possible. It was like I was figuring out more where all of the puzzle pieces would be going. I know it won’t be easy, but I also know that it’s mine.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I had a few. I wanted to meet as many blogging friends in 2015 as I had in 2014. That didn’t happen, but I did meet Christine and Christy , and I think that a lot of my blogging friendships intensified. There are always layers and levels. I think if this were a video game, I’d say there were some warp zones. I’m talking the people you can Facebook message at all hours of the night and get a loving and reassuring answer back. I also had a resolution to be with my kids the first time they saw moose. That happened. All of my resolutions were about being brave. 2015 was a year for that. It was also a year for growing pains, and I’m ok with that. It was also a year for being split apart, so that the light can seep in. I’m more than ok with that.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

I think that will be the case for many years to come, but three particularly cute babies entered into my friend circles:

Did anyone close to you die?

My Uncle Norm passed away late this year and that was shockingly sad. Loved ones of loved ones passed too.

What countries did you visit?

One day, I’ll have an answer for this. 2015 was not the year.

What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

Better balance. In previous years I didn’t work a lot. In 2015 I worked so much I lost track of other things.

What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory?

September 5th. It was a wedding photography day and I kept seeing it looming towards me – like a calendar page flying at me. I thought I had so much time, and then there it was. I think the whole experience just changed me.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Feeling possible. 2014 ended so dramatically that I honestly thought I might die. I thought I was dying. I thought I’d never catch my breath. And then I did. And for all of 2015, I was heading somewhere and it wasn’t underwater or underground.

What was your biggest failure?

I don’t like to dwell on failures, but I’m officially a full year behind on family photos. Not proud.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

I don’t know if I’ve ever suffered injury but I did twist an ankle in the fall. It hurt for a few hours. And I got a cold in the early part of the year, plus a three week cold in October that I honestly thought would never go away.

What was the best thing you bought?

Probably so many things, but I’m really happy with my Canon 6D.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

Every single one of us! Even the cat.

Where did most of your money go?

Food, my camera, a Disney vacation! The last one and an upcoming one.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Pretty much if I’m not enthusiastic about everything, that means something is wrong. What excited me the most? Possibility, time, travel, food, kisses, the first time I see a photo on my computer screen, the book I got accepted into..

What song will always remind you of 2015?

This or the Star Wars theme:

Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or sadder? Happier.
Thinner or fatter? Probably about the same, give or take two pounds.
Richer or poorer? Richer.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Again. All of it. All of those great life gifts we get – the physical and the emotional. And the moose.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying about money. Eating sugar. Wanting everything all at once and fast.

Did you fall in love in 2015?


How many one-night stands?

None. If the answer ever changes, I’m not sure I can tell you, though.

Who were your best friends?

It’s so hard to really pinpoint that stuff. I have sisters, old friends, new friends and more. Janine and Eli – you are up there with me being able to tell you everything. Des, you are up there because you tell me I’m your best friend.

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others?

I hope it’s not just one thing, but all I can say is that having an open heart really helps.. everything.

What were your favorite TV programs?

Life in Pieces, Nashville, Jane the Virgin, Jessica Jones, Doctor Who, Once Upon a Time, although it’s being so weird..

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No one in real life. There are people on the news who fill my heart with unpleasant feelings.

What was the best book you read in 2015?

I blank on these things. I really liked Jennifer Weiner’s, “Who Do You Love.”

What was your greatest musical discovery?

My Pandora playlists. It grows and grows!

What did you want and get?

A kitten. A camera. Moose. Burgers. Answers.

What did you want but did NOT get?

A lens. A bull moose. More burgers. Even more answers.

What was your favorite film of this year?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 35 and I wanted a trip to The White Mountains. Ask, and you shall receive.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

While you see the chance, take it. More of that.

What kept you sane?

Late night conversations, deep breathing with this very particular exhale I like to do, cookies, moose, and mainly – my kids.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I don’t really do that – fancy people who aren’t in front of me. It’s very difficult for me. That said, Hook from “Once Upon a Time” came close a few times. And probably a million others. I like people who walk by me on the streets better, though.

What political issue stirred you the most?

I mean, really. Take your pick. I don’t talk about it a lot. I can’t even believe that this is our country. It’s not even the candidates running, it’s the fact that people support them. It’s so unbelievably scary. Thoughtfulness is key right now.

Who did you miss?

I really missed Nana Jane this year. Scarlet talks about her so often.

Who was the best new person cat you met this year?

Her name is Penelope.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

Just how much work it takes to do the really good stuff in this life.

Quote Song lyric that sums up your year:

“You could be my luck
Even if the sky is falling down
I know that we’ll be safe and sound
We’re safe and sound

I could fill your cup
You know my river won’t evaporate
This world we still appreciate”

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  1. I love Serendipity! It’s also one of my favorite words. I did something I’ve never done before this yeah, I ran a half marathon! I had my grandma & a really really close friend pass away this year, I miss them so much. This is a fun way to get to know ya!

  2. Aw, I was reading and then all of a sudden saw my name with Eli’s and just couldn’t help but smile so much. Seriously, I adore and love you so much and hope you know the feelings you shared here are mutual. Honestly, just so honored and happy to be your friend always. Love you xoxo <3

    1. Aww! Well it’s true! Every word of it! You guys mean the world to me. It’s as they say, “ride or die.” You’re my “ride or die” blogging friends.

  3. I remember last year’s blog and song “No More Looking Back” from The Kinks. I enjoyed reading these “What A Year” memories, You always add such delightful humor to your posts and blogs. I love to read all of them. I like this year’s song and video from Capital Cities! As always your photos capture the spirit of your blogs.

    1. I think this is my third year in a row referencing Capital Cities! I can’t seem to stop.
      I think “No More Looking Back” is my favorite Kinks song. Cassidy’s favorite is “Do It Again.”

  4. I love your look back on your year! The questions are such a fun way to see what you did and where you are going. My answers to these questions are not very exciting, but I’m inspired to make 2016 a better year 🙂

  5. I’m definitely stealing this, but not until after I fully express how much I love this. I recognize so much of this. It was quite a year, wasn’t it? I can’t thank you enough not only for what you’ve given, but what you take from the likes of Janine and I. I could go on and on …

    1. I just told Janine that you two are my blogging “ride or die” friends. That’s a thing, I’ve decided.
      Yes, it was quite the year. I think they all are, aren’t they?

      1. Sounds like a plot of a Hallmark movie, if I also was a woman. Or would they allow 1/3 of it to be a dude, in the name of diversity?

        Every year is bound to be loaded with magic and tragic, right?

  6. What an awesome year! I love that you also got most of what you wanted to have. Merry Christmas and a great New Year to you & your family! Thanks for the friendship!! :))

  7. Last year this time I was right where you were with being sick. I had this cold that never went away, that apparently morphed into a sinus infection. I felt awful for a month! I’m glad you found a doctor who made you feel better — and who ended up photographing!
    It sounds like 2015 was an awesome year for you in so many ways! Wishing for even more of it for you in 2016 🙂 And seeing you and Des & Scarlet again!

    1. When I think of seeing you, I can’t help but think about warm weather. We’ve had some lovely days together! Ah, spring and summer and fall.
      I remember your one month cold! I was thinking about it when Cassidy was sick forever. With him, it was a sinus infection because the meds cleared it up FAST.

  8. Awww I just love this post. I can’t believe another year has come and has almost gone. This has been one of the worst years for me so far and I’ve already promised myself that 2016 can only get better. We have trips already in the works and I’m going to be focusing less on blogging and more on family, so essentially I’ll be taking a break. I’ll still be around though. Here’s to a fantastic 2016 to you and your family.

  9. What an incredible year it has been for you, my sweet one. It sounds as though there were a lot of memorable moments and a lot of good changes for your family (including a new kitty!).

    I love serendipitous moments like that. And frozen hot chocolate. And Scarlet’s little face. And Des in his stroller 🙂 So cute all of these photos. Here’s hoping you have a beautiful Christmas with your family and I’m excited to hear all about it. XOXO

    1. Thank you! I do it every year and I love it.
      As for the best of years and the worst of them, years really are mixed bags. I have started to base years on my mental health, but it’s still such a mix out there.

  10. Loved reading through this Tamara 🙂 So many changes and adventures for you. And yep, Hook from Once Upon a Time. I thought I was the only one who watched that show lol! Have an awesome 2016 my dear!

  11. so beautiful and such an amazing year for you!! Merry Christmas, and I know that 2016 will bring even more love and joy for you. Loved reading this. It surely does take a lot of work for all the amazing things in life!

  12. That was a pretty personal blog post! I like how into the moose you were – that’s somehow not what I pictured moose looking like. And wouldn’t it be awesome if you could visit a new country every year? I’m just glad I’ve visited a few different countries ever!

    1. All of my posts used to be like this! I don’t know how I kept that up, but I appreciate you reading mine.
      Moose look different depending on age, time of year, and sex. So seeing a straight up bull moose would be so different because of huge antlers! Those two above are a cow and a young one.

  13. I am so glad that 2015 was a happier year for you! These were great questions too! It has been fun going through the year with you and I am so happy that you saw your moose! Most of the year was good for me although it ended sadder than most. I love your Dr. Who coat BTW!

    1. Ah, I love that coat. It’s been too cold to wear it, although it was warm on Christmas! I know it will be a reason to look forward to fall each year.
      I was sad by the end of your year. I’m hoping for sweet beginnings in 2016 for you.

  14. What an amazing year you’ve had, Tamara! This is an awesome re-cap. I love the Q & A. Especially your answers are so real and honest. I would have a hard time answering some of those. Unfortunately, most of my money went to lawyers in 2015 and we know that’s rarely a good thing. My year ended with a boom (legally speaking). It’s not over though and only just beginning. Still, I remain grateful in spite of it all. There’s so much to be happy about. I love that you posted the lyrics to the Steve Winwood song. I used to love that song but didn’t realize how beautiful the lyrics are! Thanks, Tamara for a lovely share. We’re sending out 2015 with grace and courage 🙂

    1. Ugh, lawyer fees. Here’s hoping for 2016!
      It’s so funny because I didn’t even think of it as that honest, since my blog used to be 100% personal, but then I realized how hard those questions were. They were probing! Annoying!
      Anyway, let’s have high hopes for 2016!
      And with Steve Winwood!

  15. What a year huh! I like that Des is your best friend. My boy and I gel pretty nicely too. He is so mellow and easy going it’s awfully easy being with him. Thanks for sharing your warm heart and tender thoughts. Here’s hoping for an even better 2016!

    1. It’s strange. Des breaks my heart too. He’s at a phase right now where he’s not that cuddly. Although Scarlet IS very cuddly. So there’s hope! Maybe it comes back around.

  16. There was so much You in here, I loved it completely. of course.
    I always say I will do one of these yearly round up posts…. and in 7 years; still Not. Ha. But I guess since my overall theme is always about Being Present, it fits that I don’t look back much. Just enough to know what I always know each new year: It’s A Wonderful Life.

  17. That Safe and Sound song is our family anthem. We sing it to each other when it comes on to remind ourselves that we’ll always be there for each other. It’s the most corniest-awesome family thing we do.
    Everything about this post of yours is awesome.

    1. My post can’t be more awesome than what you just described.
      It is so corny-awesome – and no doubt – every member of your family does feel safe and sound. And loved.

    1. Yay, you loved it too!
      Life in Pieces seriously gets me every time. Awesome writing and acting. My favorite is that little blond girl and I also love the woman who plays Colin Hanks’ character’s wife. Forgot her name!

    1. See one of my newer readers who ONLY knows me with all the sponsored posts too said that, but coming from YOU, I know it to be true. You’ve been with me since it was all personal! That said, these were really hard. Very probing!

  18. You had an amazing 2015!!! I’m happy to see all the success that you have had this year. I hope next year is even better 🙂

  19. Wow – you had an amazing year! I know I tagged along on the fringes, so I should have known, but seeing it listed and illustrated with photos here – that has impact. So much to love about it. e.g. What was your greatest musical discovery? My Pandora playlists. It grows and grows! Mine, too!! Hah – I’m listening to it right now while I am typing.

    Here’s to an even better new year 2016!!

  20. I love this, especially that you felt the feeling of possibility. I love that we met on New Year’s Day (really a year ago?!). I’m excited to see what you will do in 2016.

  21. What a year you’ve had! So very full of memorable moments.  Love that Des says your his best friend…that’s just the sweetest! May you finish next year also saying you’re happier and richer ( in whatever measure you deem most important).

    1. It’s strange because Des seems obsessed with everyone but me, but maybe I’m just always around. As long as he thinks I’m his best friend still!

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