The year in review

When I was little, I used to think that on the day of my birthday, I would wake up a different person. Not that I would look different (maybe I'd finally lose my freckles as a birthday gift?), but I'd just be different. I used to hate the skin I was in so much, that my birthday wish was usually to be a different person. I wanted to wake up and be prettier, smarter, skinnier, less shy and definitely more confident.  

Today it's my birthday, and it's becoming a tradition to share what my previous year was like. Now that I'm older, I don't ask to be skinnier or prettier, but I do ask to be someone who is grateful for all the things she took for granted for years. 

The past year brought many wonderful moments, along with many frustrations and disappointments. But in all honesty, I want to hold on to the moments where I felt the most beautiful, the happiest and most generous. I'm sharing my favorite pictures of myself from last year, as a reminder that despite all the difficulties, there were always reasons to smile. 

April

One of my happiest moments in April was when my sister came to visit for my birthday and I had a chance to show her my favorite spots in town. 

May

My happiest moments are always when I have a camera in my hand. That and colorful walls.

June

In June I started teaching a series of photography workshops, so naturally, telling people about what I love to do made me especially happy. The first photo below was taken by Theresa Delaney. 

July 

At the beginning of July, I went to the beach for the first time in years. I filled my senses with beauty and the salty water was perfect to cure my soul. 

In July I also taught parts 2 and 3 of the photography workshop that I started in June. My happiest moments were teaching a group of awesome ladies, and having the opportunity to collaborate with the wonderful Theresa Delaney, the founder of Creative Tribe

August

This photo was the beginning of many photographic adventures. 

 

September

In September, I took a trip to Cananea, Mexico, the place where I grew up. Spending time with my family and celebrating my little nephew's birthday were the highlights of this beautiful month. 

October

In October I had my own personal photo shoot, with my favorite person. I am so glad that Erick, my boyfriend, likes photography as much as I do, and is always willing to take my photo. 

November

November was full of travel. I first traveled to Nogales, Mexico for a Dia de los Muertos festival (and I also met my boyfriend's family for the first time). I loved the Bone Festival, and it was definitely one of my most joyous moments in November. 

I spent Thanksgiving surrounded by my family in Mexico. Family+Mexico+Food = happy Nieves

Decemeber

Ah, Christmas time!! My favorite moments in December where definitely spending time with my family and enjoying the snow on Christmas day. 

January

January was a tough month, as it was the one-year anniversary of my father's passing. In January I decided to live more intentionally and not take anything for granted. I got to spend some wonderful moments with my favorite person, and we took some pictures together to hold on to those beautiful memories. 

February

The weather in February was very nice, so I decided to go outside and get some sunshine. 

March

With March came spring break, and with spring break came new photo ideas and new places in town to photograph. 

April

At the beginning of April I directed a photo shoot to showcase the work of local artists. It was such an empowering experience to be surrounded by so many wonderful ladies who are creating unique and stunning products (full post coming soon!). 

In general, year 28 brought self-acceptance, which fostered a deeper and friendlier relationship with myself. I stopped cringing every time I saw myself in photos and I learned, little by little, to love my freckles, my overbite, and even my extra pounds. I started realizing that the more I accepted myself, the more comfortable I felt with other people. And I learned that many people reciprocated those feeling towards me. 

Today, on my birthday, I'm going to wear my favorite dress, do my hair and put my favorite lipstick on. I'm going to give myself permission to feel the most loving, free and confident I've ever felt before. I'm going to tell myself, "dear Nieves, today is the day. The day to assert yourself anew."

Cheers to year 29.