Your Most Amazing Photos of the Year
Hiliary Epp of San Diego writes: "This is a photo of my husband and me at Naval Station San Diego, minutes after his ship pulled into port after a nine-month deployment. It was hard not to just step back and look at him. Like, 'Is he really home?' "
Jenn McBride of Fort Lewis, Wash., writes: "My daughter, Grace, and I were picking up my husband (her daddy) in Chicago Jan. 7 for his RampR from Iraq. It just so happened that it was also Grace's 2nd birthday. It had been 7 months since we last saw him and she was so excited. She has a tear on her left cheek because she got upset when I told her we had to wait just a little bit longer!"
Laura Terry of Ashburn, Va., writes: "My husband, Jon, and I visited Egypt for three weeks this summer. I took this picture of Jon at 6 a.m. at the top of Mt. Sinai. We began our hike at 2 a.m. from a Bedouin camp at the base of the mountain. It was four long hours to the top (some rode camels, but we hiked), but it was worth it. An amazing view, and a special, spiritual time that Jon and I will remember forever!"
Craig Lybbert of Mead, Wash., writes: "This is my son riding his bike at sunset on our family's property in Elk, Wash. It was very dry and dusty at the time – creating a dramatic sunset."
Becky Opp of Edmond, Okla., writes: "The wildflowers in the fields of Oklahoma are one of the most amazing sights. My daughter loved picking the flowers, and I was able to capture a great moment that will last forever."
Rani Terese of Baton Rouge, La., writes: "We got married on top of Sandia Mountain in Albuquerque at 10,678 feet. It was exactly at sunset, and absolutely perfect [with only five people in attendance]. Everyone says, 'Oh, I wish we would have done that.' Well, we did."
Ian Forman of New York City writes: "This was taken during a hike near the Upsala Glacier in Patagonia. The view was breathtaking – as was my entire trip to Argentina."
Darlene Long of Odessa, Texas, writes: "Every year since 9/11, Odessa places flags around Buffalo Waller representing each person who died that day. They are left there for a week for everyone to remember and reflect. I took my daughter in her July Fourth outfit to see the flags. This is one of the best I took that day."
Caren Sachs of Los Angeles writes: "On Aug. 24, I went skydiving with eight other friends at Lake Elsinore, Calif. We were 12,500 feet high when we took the big plunge!"
Amy Fisher of Arlington, Texas, writes: "My 2-year-old daughter Caleigh just loves bubbles! So to make bath time lots of fun, her daddy would blow them and she would try to catch them and hold them. They kept popping, but she never gave up and finally one landed. Now this picture hangs by the bathtub for her to enjoy all the time."
Rachel Harris of Metairie, La., writes: "This past Labor Day on the beach, my boyfriend asked a stranger to take our picture, and as I stood there with my arm out waiting for him to stand next to me, he instead dropped down on one knee! He asked me to marry him! I said yes, of course, and our wedding is in May 2008. I love this man!"
Julie Cunningham of New York writes: "On her first crisp fall day, my daughter Mia discovers the colors of autumn. I love this picture because it captured her curiosity. At first she was suspicious, then she started touching the pumpkins, laughing the whole time."
Beth Cortez of Thibodaux, La., writes: "This picture is of my son, Tristan, in April. He's holding his port in his hand – it used to be where that scar is on his chest – which means NO MORE CHEMO. He is such a tough little guy and he is my hero."
Shannon Ryals of Lillington, N.C., writes: "My husband Michael came home April 9 from being in Iraq for seven months. We had a wedding planned in October 2006, but in August that year he was called up for service. We instead were married two weeks before he had to leave. April 9 was the happiest day of my life."
Elisa Galloway of State College, Pa., writes: "This picture was take on Sept. 8 of sisters Anna, 6 months, and Adria, 5 years old, five days before Adria was struck and killed by a motorcycle in our back yard. She is a hero because of the lives she saved when hers was taken: Her organs were donated. She loved life, she loved school – she had been in kindergarten for six days – she loved her friends, her family ... and most of all, she loved being a big sister to Anna."
Ed Morris of Midland, Mich., writes: "The catch may be small (it's a perch), but it was made on Father's Day, when I got to spend the day on the lake with my grown daughters and go fishing, just like we used to do when they were little. And for the record, we threw the fish back in to rejoin his buddies."
Samantha Silver of Toledo, Ohio, writes: "This is my sister, Lynden, and her future husband, Tom, after bringing my first niece, beautiful Lilyana into the world. I don't think I could've captured their joy any better. This was such a beautiful moment. Nothing compares to the birth of your first child ... or your first niece!"
Ronald Rogers of Killeen, Texas, writes: "My wife took this picture while I was deployed to Iraq. This is our son Tyler (7 months old at the time) watching the rain. It was one of those pictures that just made me want to come home faster."
Erika Lassetter of Cincinnati writes: "This is my boyfriend, Brad. We went snorkeling off the coast of Grand Cayman. It was beautiful!"
Sam Jeffries of Los Angeles writes: "In July, my newlywed wife Daniela and I returned to the awesome-beyond-words Yosemite National Park. After scrambling to the top of Lembert Dome, we enjoyed the knockout view. The beauty hit us just as hard as when we first visited."
Angela Burroughs of Mobile, Ala., writes: "This photo was taken while on a dolphin cruise in Orange Beach, Ala. I was able to snap the picture at the perfect moment, all four dolphins jumping in the wake at the same time!"