LifeThis was 201630 December 2016

Two thousand sixteen.

I never could have thought things could change so much over one year. 2016 Proved me wrong: it was definitely a strange year. One full of things I absolutely didn’t saw coming. But like every year, I learned some things and for that maybe I’m supposed to be grateful.

First of all, I’ve experienced some amazing weddings. Weddings where I shed a little tear behind my camera because their story was such an amazing one, like the one from Joke & Stijn.

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Weddings where I happy-danced in my head because it was such an original one and the people there were amazing and so relaxed, like the one from Leni and Shinto. It took place on a ranch and had burgers and fries, a rodeo, bluegrass-music and a huge campfire. Or weddings like the one from Isa and Peter. One with smoke bombs, delicious catering, beautiful decorations and the most amazing sunset. Thinking about all those wedding days makes me want to share every single one again here. We also had the chance to cooperate on Nanja Massy’s new book. If you’re in a bookstore in Belgium, be sure to check it out.

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I also had some lovely afternoons and sundays with families to photograph the coolest kids, like little Ada (Olga & Raf) or the pregnancy-shoot from Dorothée, Wim and Raoul.

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When it comes to personal life, I must admit it was a crazy year. First of all we moved to our new place. It’s a small, bright house and we decorated it just the way we wanted. When I’m not photographing, one can usually find me baking in the amazing oven this kitchen has. Love it to the bone.

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We took some trips to Kopenhagen, Marrakech, the Netherlands, the Belgian coast, Germany, Austria and France. (_Yes, we did spend a lòt of time in the car this year!)
We even ended the year surprisingly with a couple of weeks in Thailand.

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And then there was an issue about my health that turned the whole year upside-down. Usually I have boundaries on this kind of things. Personally, I never choose to deny these boundaries up until now. The fact is that my personal life (on Facebook and instagram) sometimes seems like a big pink fluffy cloud. Some people told me a couple of weeks ago how great that daily life of mine looked. I seriously can’t complain: I’m a happy kiddo on many levels. But there’s one level I’ve decided to cut out last year on social media, so there’s also one level people were not informed about. And I hope I make some clearance when I say that this level controlled and overshadowed many of the others. The grass really isn’t always greener on the other side. And I sincerely hope that everyone realizes this when they look at everyone’s lovely pictures or nicely written blogposts.

The end of 2015, right before the christmas-madness, brought me some bad news about my health. I didn’t expect it and it came out of nowhere. So suddenly I had surgery in january. From december on I realized two important things. Number one being: you are never sure of anything. Life can sneak up on you unexpectedly and then you finally have to stop rushing, pause and think about what’s happening. Number two being I have the best girlfriend. It sounds so cheesy and lame, but I remember laying in the hospital after surgery at night, not being able to sleep (it’s really my thing with narcoses and it goes on for days in a row). She slept next to me in a seriously uncomfortable chair and I looked at her and couldn’t help but thinking how grateful I was that she was there. Then, and all the months that followed after that night. She was there with all the check-ups, with all of the hospital-visits. With the uncertainty, with yet another doctor, with another adventure to the MRI or for taking another dozen blood samples. We’re almost 2017 and my health is much better at the moment. 2016 Left some marks on my skin, but above all on my mind. The moment I’m writing this I’m battling with my weight trough medicine. I was never a skinny girl (_truth be told, I was a 220 pounds-a-girl when I was 15. After losing a lot of weight over the years I was finally comfortable in my own skin). But trough the medicine I’m taking right now I’m gaining weight like a pig that has to be slaughtered next week.

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So maybe this is a lesson to be learned. To take a small step back and don’t be so stressful all the time. I created huge respect in my mind for people who are really sick – like hardcore to the bone sick. I can’t even imagine how that must feel like and I’m wishing them all clarity, honesty and beautiful days they can handle. For them, but also for their families.

It’s important to stand still sometimes. I know that now. It’s not that I always tend to live by that emotion. I seem to pass by myself quite easily.  On those moments Janice tries to tell me to be calm, assuring me I have all the time in the world. That works like 60% of the time.

So, 2017. One where we can all hopefully find some peace of mind, a good health, some free time and lots of cozy evenings with friends and family within this busy world.