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December 30, 2012 /


Dear 2012,

When the clock struck 12 midnight last January, you opened the door and arrived with many, many gifts. For some, you brought new opportunities in love or friendship, in business or maybe even health. For others, like us, it was simply the chance to become.

Your gift of January, wrapped up in glistening snow, brought us new Friendship and Idealism. Natalie and I were swimming in our own imaginations with the excitement you snowed upon us. We began to explore new ideas together. We had the optimism of naively “wise” children, who know that anything is possible. We began on a creative journey together. We turned to every book, movie, poem, painting and face that would inspire us. We learned that although creativity comes from idealism within, inspiration is all around us.

In February, you brought the gift of Creativity, wrapped up in splendid, glowing light and magic. By then, our imaginations were swirling. Our idealism gave us the sense that skies had no limit and that our depth was bottomless. With this in mind, we let go of many boundaries. We let our creativity flow. We learned that fear often cloaks itself in routine. By freeing ourselves of the rigid rules and attitudes that held us back, we created opportunity.

Your Gift in March was Opportunity. By March, we realized that our creativity and enjoyment largely depended on each other’s skill sets and character. We took a road less traveled, joined forces and started to build upon a creative dream…together. Idealism can take hold like wildfire, so it was time to apply some business wisdom.

Your gift of April gave us wisdom. It was not just employing the wisdom of our own business acumen, but the modesty of knowing that there is so much we didn’t know. We learn from everyone around us… clients, friends, mentors, even our vendors and suppliers. Sometimes, the wisest thing to do …is to just ask. You won’t know until you ask. So we did. And we shared our knowledge right back.

In May, you gave us courage. Armed with new intelligence, we set out on a journey to make our ideas and creative vision come to life. We took risks, mostly calculated risks…but also sometimes risks that most people would not. Risk taking is valuable when it brings you great rewards. But risk taking is priceless when it teaches you life lessons.

In June, you gave us the gift of growth. We announced a new business model, met wonderful new clients and we began to grow. Sometimes we grew faster than we were ready for. Putting new systems into place helps. With organization and structure, business can thrive.

In July, we soon realized we needed to put your highly practical gift of patience to use. With growth brings new challenges. Maybe we weren’t ready for those challenges. Or maybe they were gems, just teaching us what we needed to know for our wonderful future.

In August, we took out your gift of success and tried it on for size. With much hard work, it was beginning to fit. But looking at ourselves in the mirror, maybe we could not see what was staring at us.  We tell our clients all the time how beautiful they are inside and out. Sometimes you need to treat your business like that vulnerable human being as well.

In September, you taught us resolution. Life is not always easy, but there is always an answer, just waiting for one to discover. And you know what? We discovered that having each other to solve issues and challenges makes life much easier.

In October, you gave us the gift of gratitude. You did not wrap it up all pretty. In fact, it was ugly, scary and stormy. By depriving us of daily conveniences and even our own safety at times, we learned to be grateful for the things we have everyday and take for granted.

In November, you gave us the gift of humility. There was so much loss around us, there was nothing we could do but give. Give ourselves, our time, our money, our prayers and try to share our blessings as best we could. October’s gift was ugly. But it was the greatest gift we could ask for.

In December, you gave us all the gift of togetherness. In sorrow we watched horrific events unfold. But we saw families, communities, and an entire country band together with solidarity. Whether it was raising money for the storm survivors or mourning the victims of Sandy Hook, there was never a better time to come together. Somehow the holidays felt a little more precious despite it all.

2012, you were so generous with your many gifts. Sometimes they were beautiful, sometimes ugly, sometimes they did not fit or make sense. But we will be forever grateful.

Here’s to a wonderful 2013 to all our families, friends and clients that enrich our lives every day.

What gifts will 2013 bring you?

Cate & Natalie


  1. Amanda-lee on August 14, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Love, this work is fantastic. Don’t ever expect anything less than pure perfection from you!

  2. Jen on August 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Natalie! These images are wonderful! But id expect nothing less! What a beautiful couple. I feel as if I know them now after reading your blog. Great job all around!! (And the groom kinda looks like noah wylie ;))

  3. Jennifer on August 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous Natalie!! The story is just as beautiful as the images.

  4. Pete Gebhardt on August 15, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Great photos Natalie! I love the first and the last especially!

  5. Patrick on August 15, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Beautifully done, Natalie!

  6. Peter-Harrison Montauredes on August 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Beautiful Couple, Beautiful Photos…All in Perfect 2 Part Harmony!I just known the Father of the Bride was singing in the Key of “L” for Love, for his Lovely Daughter & New Son!

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