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Bright Autumn Sun » Bright Autumn Sun | Atlanta & North GA Lifestyle Blog | Photography | Lifestyle | Motherhood

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Happy New Year! My 2016 Resolutions & Our New Year Card

For 2016, I only have a few resolutions. I’m keeping things simple this year. In the past, I’ve struggled with tons of goals, but I wanted to write up a list of things to do this year that were important to me that I could actually, maybe, quite possibly achieve. Here they are:

1. Restart my photography business and enjoy the opportunity to be creative again.
2. Continue my fitness/healthy eating routine – and keep working until I see in the mirror what I see in my head. Then maintain!
3. Spend more time being outdoors, riding my awesome bike and having adventures. Live in the sun!
4. Further develop the friendships I’ve made in GA, and spend more time with family.
5. Try not to get any more sports related injuries. LOL. Stay healthy!
6. Do at least one family “adventure” each month.
7. Be happy. :)

I found this “quote” on Pinterest a while back and it really stuck in my head as something I would like to focus on this year. Better. Faster. Stronger. Happier.

Better. Faster. Stronger. Happier.

Finally, yesterday, I shared the outtakes of the photo shoot I did with the kids for our annual family card. Today, I’m sharing the card itself. I think it came out so cute! This is the first year that I only used professional photos of the kids – Adrian and I had to be in there somehow, so I decided to cover the back with many of my favorite iPhone/Instagram photos that I’ve taken throughout the year from our adventures and life here in Georgia. I think it came out fabulously! If you haven’t gotten our card yet (I’m hoping everyone has) and don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read any further!







New Year Card © Karen Lisa Creative LLC


New Year Card © Karen Lisa Creative LLC


My Boys in December 2015

While my New Year Cards have finally been mailed, I have several fun outtakes from the 5 minute photo-shoot I did with the boys earlier this month to capture an image to use on the cards. I will post a photo of the cards tomorrow (hopefully everyone will have gotten them already… or soon) along with a list of my resolutions for 2016.

Love these cutie pies! Images were captured mostly at the Avalon shopping center in Alpharetta, against the walls for the Lululemon and the Anthropologie stores. So picturesque. ;) The last image was taken at The Collection Forsyth in Cumming. Atlanta friends, don’t forget – I’m reopening my photography business as of 2016! Make sure you check out my new and improved website if you’re looking for an Atlanta wedding or portrait photographer!

Hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year’s Eve… enjoy the images! :)

Portraits in Alpharetta GA

Zachary’s expression just MAKES this image! LOL! William was goofing around here.

Portraits in Alpharetta GA

Little lovebugs!

Portraits in Alpharetta GA

My sweet William.

Portraits in Alpharetta GA

With Star Wars about to come out the following week, I told Zachary to pretend that he was using The Force in this image!

Portraits in Alpharetta GA

My handsome seven-year-old.

Portraits in Alpharetta GA

William wanted to climb on top of the turtle just like the boy in the statue! He thought it was hilarious! I thought he was adorable!

JudyDecember 31, 2015 - 5:31 pm

Best and sweetest example of “Big Brother” is watching you.

My 2015 Resolutions Review

It’s that time again. Today, I’m posting a review of my 2015 resolutions, and soon I will share my 2016 resolutions. This year was a weird year because we moved, so a lot of things I wanted to get done just didn’t happen. I honestly made WAY too many goals for the year, really knowing full well that we were going to be moving, so there was no possible way that I would have attained all of them. It’s all good, though. I’m not upset.

What didn’t happen, didn’t happen, but what did happen, was great! Here is my review:

Continue my 3-4x per week workout regime at Orangetheory Fitness. Work on getting fitter and stronger and healthier.

Yes!! This happened! I lost quite a bit of weight and gained a lot of muscle, and I’m in better shape than I ever have been in my entire life! Not only am I still working out at OTF, but I have added cycling and other forms of exercise to my routine. I did things with my body that I never imagined myself capable of doing. A year ago I could barely hold a plank for one minute. This year, I held a plank for just over SEVEN minutes. I’m so excited about what’s to come, fitness-wise, in 2016.

OTF and Cycling

Me after completing Orangetheory’s Halloween Hell Week and me on my bike at the Greenway

Purge a LOT of the clothing in my closet. Haven’t worn it in years…. It doesn’t belong there anymore.

Did this too. I got rid of a ton of clothes when we moved, and I’m continuing to purge as I lose weight and no longer need to keep larger sizes. In fact, I recently donated a huge amount of clothing. It feels so good to clean out the closets of things that will never be worn again.

Work on my personal style. Replace (eventually) purged clothing with clothes that fit my style.

I’m working on this… It’s a process. Even though I’m in gym clothes most of the time- lol. I find that I really do like wearing a lot of black clothes. I just can’t hide from it! And I really like my fandom stuff. One of my newest favorite sweatshirts is a Star Wars sweatshirt. I love it! And now that I’ve lost so much weight, it’s a lot easier to purchase clothing and enjoy wearing it, too.

personal style

Do something with my hair.

Done! I put purple, blonde, and red streaks in my hair! LOVING IT!

purple hair


Ok… So the following things just DIDN’T HAPPEN. I was focused on other things due to the move, learning about life here, different hobbies, making friends, needing time to myself, not wanting to be on the computer, really not wanting to photograph anything for several months, and well…lots of other things. Some of these things, I’m a little disappointed by, as I really do wish I had taken more photos with my professional camera, but I wasn’t ready to get back into photography or even just BE CREATIVE for quite a while. However, I’m ready now, and I think that 2016 is going to be a very different year for me.

Work more on the business side of my blog.
Focus on writing better, more organic and personal blog posts. I like those best, and so do my readers.
Work on our family albums. Preferably finish one vacation book and one annual book.
Sort my iPhone photos in Lightroom. Preferably by month, but at the very least by year.
Photograph everything- especially using my 5D Mark III.
Indulge in creativity.
Be a more patient & present person… Especially when it comes to the kids.
Read 50 books (or as close to it as possible).


Thoroughly clean out my house (and keep the house cleaner), and purge unneeded things, including baby items/books and toys that are no longer used.

While I’ll never win the housekeeper of the year award, that’s okay… I do think that things look better than they used to… and yeah, all the baby stuff is finally gone! Sometimes I find a few things here and there, but they are getting tossed into a box to be donated.

Spend less money.

Let’s just say I will be better next year.

Spend more time with friends & family.

I made lots of friends here in GA this year, which I am so grateful for, as making friends isn’t easy when you’re out of college… and I loved spending time with them! But, I wish I had spent more time with my parents and missed seeing my Florida family and friends very much.

Take time for myself when necessary.

I definitely did this – and so happy I did! Since I took 9 months off working after we moved, I found that taking time for myself was really necessary for me, and thankful that my wonderful husband has been supportive in my endeavors to take time out when needed to head to the Greenway on my bike, go run a 5K, take my OTF classes, or simply go to the grocery store alone!

Schedule more family activities. Act like a tourist!

We did some cool things this year – Tallulah Gorge State Park, Consolidated Gold Mining Company, Autrey Mill Nature Center, walks in the Deer Forest behind our house, trips to TN, visits to the Atlanta Symphony, a hike at Piedmont Park, and I took a few great bike rides with my good friend at several beautiful places here in N. GA.

Bays Mountain, TN

A deer at Bays Mountain, TN

Autrey Mill Nature Center

The boys and I explored Autrey Mill Nature Center in Johns Creek, GA

Tallulah Gorge

We visited Tallulah Gorge State Park in the North GA Mountains

Move out of Florida! :)

Yes yes yes! We are loving life in GA!

Here is our first photo in front of our house in GA – March 2015!

Georgia Life