Another Year, Another Reflection

Hello, everyone! It’s December now, the final month of 2019. (Well, the final month of every year, but you know what we mean.) The last 12 months have been ridiculously busy, but they’ve been a fantastic kind of hectic. Most of our blog posts focus on our couples or on advice and information, but if you’re new to our blog, you might not know we love to look back on the year and reflect on how we’ve grown during the course of this crazy idea we had to launch a photography business.


Tristan is my first (and only) kid, so there’s been a lot of learning on my end! I knew that mommy groups love to talk about how fast things move, how kids are constant learning experiences, but holy cow. Between preschool and growing pains and teaching Tristan how the world works, I feel like the year’s been as busy as the television shows I like to watch. When I was in high school, I’d watch Charmed and think that Phoebe, Paige, Piper, and Prue seemed so much older than me. They were unreachable. Not ‘cuz they have powers, but because they found ways to balance their lives when they’re being pulled everywhere. Now that I’m 29, it’s hitting me that I’m Phoebe, Paige, Piper, and Prue. I’m the woman that juggles kids and love and fun and work.

Throw friends into the mix, and I’m surprised anyone does it. I found out that Tristan is a gifted kid. He learns faster than the other kids his age. I had friends in gifted and honors and AP/IB courses, but seeing it happen in my own life is way, way different. Tristan is gonna be a handful. A loving, sweet, amazing handful. I can’t wait to see what he’s like in actual school.

But before that happens: his Golden Birthday Bash at the beginning of January! No matter how gifted he is, he’s still a kid, and his current kid obsession? Rescue Bots. It’s funny seeing him watch the cartoon, since I remember my band friends freaking out over those movies with Shia LaBeouf. Tristan freaks out not over Shia or Megan Fox or Optimus Prime, but the cartoon Bumblebee. I’ll give you one guess who’s gonna crash the party! ;P


Oh, my gosh. I’m in a bit of a different situation than Jo (I have more than one kid, as you might know!), but if there’s one thing I’ve learned during the weirdness that’s parenthood, it’s that raising children is a never-ending whirlwind.

I’m not sure if Damien fits into the ‘gifted classes’ category, but he’s definitely super bright. Moms love to tell people how smart their kids are, but really, I even have trouble helping him with some of the complicated puzzles he loves. He fits ‘em together like a pro! (I’m proud of his fourth birthday bash, too. I think the phrase is “tooting my own horn”, but the decorations I made came out fantastic, if I do say so myself!)

My daughter Salem, too, is beginning to grow into her own. She chatters nonstop and runs around like she’s a future track star. (Maybe she will be! I should look into that. When your kids are beginning to form their true personalities, it’s important to find out what they like and don’t like, what they’re talented at and take a shining to. Something tells me Salem will be sporty.)


As big a part of our lives as motherhood is, it’s not the only thing we’re about! Just look at what we’ve done with Wander Back. We’ve learned a ton, grown so much in our photography skills, as small business owners, as Arizona homemakers. Just looking back at our previous photos, the difference is astounding. When you work in a creative field, it’s immensely rewarding to see the actual factual growth throughout the year.

Photography is one of our biggest passions, but it’s not just for the art form: it’s to serve our couples well, to give them lasting memories of some of the most important, happiest times in their lives. Even just growth as business owners, learning how to do things more efficiently on the back end of the business, helps us help you better. (It also gives us more time to be present with our families. Win-win situation, you know?)

We still have a lot to learn, though. Nobody is ever done growing, and thinking you know it all is how you fall into that trap of stagnancy. As we learn and grown, so will Wander Back, and we can’t wait to show everyone what we have in store for 2020.

We’ve been doing a lot of prepping for the new year, from secret projects to better photography and more–we can’t wait to share things with y’all when the time comes. On a personal note, too, we both want to read more for leisure and for business. Immersing ourselves in books with compelling characters and fascinating plots makes us feel more human. Media can do that to you: it’s part of how we connect. Television and movies are easy to get into, but the written word, the variety of styles and structures and genres is something special. And of course, learning about improving our business is never ending! It might sound like a lot, but do you guys think 100 books in the next year is too high a goal?

There’s not really a way to thank you, readers and friends, for being here for us. For supporting us. For helping us develop into who we’re meant to be.

What we know is that this Christmas, this Hannukah, this Kwanzaa and Solstice and New Year and any other holiday this month: we’re grateful for each and every one of you.

Are you drinking something? Alcohol, coffee, tea, even water? Perfect. Raise that glass. Toast your computer, phone, tablet, whatever device you’re using to read this post. We’re doing it on our end, too. To a great 2020!


Check out our website!

back to top

©Jo + Alli Photography | Web Design by: The Kate Collective

behind the scenes on instagram

join the conversation