2014 was a daring, rewarding, and fun year. There were certainly challenges and sad happenings, but overall it leaves me with a sense of pride and gratitude. I will attempt to name some of the high points:

On the passion project level, we killed it. I finished (for the most part) a feature script that I hope to start making in 2015 called Electric Bleau during a creative residency with the Cucalorus Film Festival. I spent 2.5 months in another city focused on this alone, leaving my normal day-to-day life. James helped make this possible – and for that I can never thank him enough. Speaking of James, together we made a music video for St. Paul and the Broken Bones (was it a dream?) and we tackled the massive short film project that is Little Cabbage. We learned lessons that we will take with us into 2015, and shared experiences that we will remember forever. Damn – we are a good team.

Professionally I took some risks. I left my 9-5 in January for the creative residency, then relied on freelance for the remainder of the year. I’ve done fulfilling marketing/design/video work for places like Piedmont Park, Historic Oakland Cemetery and Zoo Atlanta. I also did some writing that I am proud of. Because of this freedom and flexibility, I was able to step back and take a look at what I really want in the short-term and long-term. There are still questions that need answering when it comes to money-making possibilities in 2015, but I am actively pursuing several options. Ultimately I want to do work I love, that financially enables me to keep following my dreams in film.

Experience-wise, 2014 was full of new places and people. Bonnaroo remains a high point for us each year, and we plan to go again in 2015. My trip out to California in April for the Sonoma International Film Festival was a remarkable one, and just so happens to be where I met our Executive Producer on Little Cabbage. James and I have met & made so many new filmmaker friends this year…and each one of them inspires us to be better. Speaking of friends, my pool in Atlanta continues to grow. I feel like I am part of a community here of like-minded folks, which is more than I could have ever asked for after leaving Birmingham. I really, really miss Birmingham. I see her growth from afar, and it makes me proud. I go back as often as I can, and it fills me with a happiness like nothing else. Several dear friends got married this year, too. Those were very special moments for us.

In 2014 we lost and gained some people in our lives. My remarkable Aunt Shirley passed away in January. She was a strong woman who always stood up for what she believed in, and was a true fighter for love and life. I remember seeing her last Christmas, and our final hug goodbye. It was as if she knew. The service was packed for her life celebration, there was a special magic in the air. She is missed and remembered by many. In July we welcomed my newest niece Abigail Rose, born to my sister Rachel and brother-in-law David. A highlight from this year is playing future game for her on the beach the day she was born, predicting all of the wonderful things she will do in her life. She is a sweet little girl full of hope & promise.

This is my last paragraph, I swear! I do want to state a few of my intentions for 2015. I know not everyone believes in resolutions, but I thrive on visualizing the future. I want to make my feature in the next 365 days…at least have it in the can. I want to do more short form pieces – maybe another music video, maybe a commercial or two, maybe an actual short film. We will see what opportunities present themselves. I want to be healthier, and in a weight range I am happy with. We’ve already started making steps towards this. I want to spend quality time with my family and friends, creating more memories and appreciating them. I want to keep exploring, keep having fun, keep dreaming even bigger. I want to take challenges, failures, and disappointments with grace and turn them into something positive. I want to embrace being in my mid-30’s. I want to release hate, fear, anger and resentment when they arise. I want to forgive easily….including myself. I am ready for 2015 and everything it brings.

Dad & Owen

Dad & Owen

O'fella's first birthday!

O’fella’s first birthday!

Lily loves James' snowman cheese ball.

Lily loves James’ snowman cheese ball.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones in Atlanta, playing at the Fox ballroom!

St. Paul and the Broken Bones in Atlanta, playing at the Fox ballroom!

Christmas selfie.

Christmas selfie.

Sloss Furnace + James

Sloss Furnace + James

Sloss Furnace

Sloss Furnace

Anna & Lucy at ZOO Atlanta!

Anna & Lucy at ZOO Atlanta!

Hanging out with cute animals.

Hanging out with cute animals.

2014 selfies in print form from James.

2014 selfies in print form from James.

Cilantro has a new best friend named Cincinnati Fred.

Cilantro has a new best friend named Cincinnati Fred.

Lots of amazing food explorations with James' family! This is an awesome burger joint called Terry's.

Lots of amazing food explorations with James’ family! This is an awesome burger joint called Terry’s.

Brainstorming 2015 dreams & goals with James.

Brainstorming 2015 dreams & goals with James.