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Jan 8, 2018

Looking Back And To The Year Ahead

Published in Personal
I can say with certainty 2017 was hands down the fastest year of my life and felt like it was maaaaybe only 4 months long, tops.  Greyson's first year of life went by fast so I figured that so would Harper's this past year... but let me tell you it FLEW by at lightening speed!  How is our baby girl almost one already?!  When planning for 2017 and thinking about what I wanted it to look like, there was a driving factor to many decisions. As unglamorous as it sounds, that thing was the unknown.  I didn't know what it would really be like having two littles.  I wasn't sure exactly how I would be home taking care of them and running our business.  I didn't know what my day to day schedule and routine would look like.  Didn't know what curveballs life had in store.  However as I sat there at the end of 2016, the feeling that overshadowed all the rest was a feeling of pure gratitude to be planning the year ahead with all the miracles, excitement and the unknown it included. 
 
What I did know was that last year was sure to be full and about finding a new balance.  And it certainly was!  The funny thing is about finding a new balance is that so often I try to add and FIT more things in to create a better balance of everything on my plate.  Anyone else?  But by adding more to create "balance" it can still leave me feeling just as overwhelmed, tired, and burned out as before.  So for 2017 I decided I wanted LESS busy-ness and more flexibility.  I wanted more balance by doing, juggling, balancing less stuff.  I tried to be more intentional about having scheduled days with nothing but playtime with the kids.  Bake.  Make a playdough mess. Go to the lake spontaneously. Read and build trains.  See friends.  Visit my Nana.  I wanted simplicity and more time that would allow us to change our plans.  I took a step back from social media and blogging to have more time and focus on being present.  Before the days' activities began, more often then not I was up before the sun and the rest of the house to have quiet focused time on our photography business I enjoy so much and am BEYOND thankful for.  I said no to opportunities I usually would have tried to squeeze in and said yes to more grace and patience as I continually learned and adjusted. 
 
Now with 2017 in the past, let me tell you, I am so glad I made these changes.  This past year I was able to be much more intentional and present, pouring more of myself into what I was doing as a mom, wife, daughter, friend, business owner.  I was able to focus more on the things that matter most to me and felt like I could really enjoy and embrace Harper's first year of life.  While looking back now 2017 felt like it was one of the fastest of my life, I can say with a grateful heart that I feel like I didn't miss any of it.  While it wasn't picture perfect by any means, I felt and embraced it.  All of it.  The good, the hard, the cute, the messy, the challenging, the bittersweet. 
 
This year I know there will continue to be growth and adjustments in so many areas.  My goal is to continue to pour myself into my priorities and keep them as just that, my priorities.  2017 you were an awesome life changing one I will never forget. 2018, I already know you are going to be amazing and I can't wait for the memories, excitement, laughs, adventures you are bringing with you.  I'm ready for your big champagne moments (my sister is getting married this year! YAY!) and the small sweet moments in between. 
Looking Back And To The Year Ahead
Her Secret
Apr 4, 2017

Her Secret

Published in Personal
If you have read my blog over the years, you already know that one of my favorite things to write about is one of my favorite people of all time... my Nana. She lives only 3 miles up the road from us with my Pop and well, saying she is a blessing to me would be a huge understatement. I savor every minute I have with her because I know one day, I won't be able to chat on the phone with her whenever I want, swing by for a spontaneous visit, get a surprise delivery of fresh baked cookies from her, swap recipes (okay its more like a one way swap as she has all the yummy recipes!), and to just sit with her. To be honest, I get emotional every time I see her playing with Greyson and Harper, her great grandkids, and know that those are life giving moments. They breath into my heart, her heart, and my kids hearts. It fills us all up. 
 
One of my favorite little stories about her was when she had a procedure done at the hospital about 5 years ago.... Before going into the operating room the nurse took her vital signs and asked her a few questions. This was the conversation: 
 
NURSE: What year were you born? 
NANA: 1932. I'm 80 years old. (she looks at me with a smile) 
NURSE: Wow, you look great for 80! What's your secret? 
NANA: (without saying a word she points to her husband sitting next to me, Pop). He's my secret. 
NURSE: Awwww, I like that! 
NANA: ME TOO!! (winks at Pop with a huge smile). But stay away, he's mine. 
 
I seriously could not help but laugh at Nana and her witty sense of humor. The love between her and my Pop is one that is so special. Their love story started when they were 14 years old and has continued through the decades. Since I was little, I wanted what they have and I feel so blessed to have found it in Chris. And I hope both my kids find this too... a sweet love to last the ages.
Mar 29, 2017

Our Sweet Harper Rose

Published in Personal
Chris would be a millionaire... no actually make that a billionaire. If I gave him a dollar for every time I have said out loud in complete disbelief "I can't believe you are here..." while staring into our baby girl's eyes he would be crazy rich. Like Beyonce times a thousand kind of rich! :)  
 
It has been a month since our daughter Harper Rose came into this world and to be honest, I am still wrapping my head around it. That she is here. That she's in our arms. That she is ours forever. That I am a mama to a boy AND a girl now. Yes, day by day I am slowing sinking into and soaking up the role of mom to the two most adorable miracles.
Our Sweet Harper Rose
Already Three
Mar 13, 2017

Already Three

Published in Personal
I keep asking myself, how can it be our first born is already THREE?! Wasn't it just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital and figuring out the whole parenting stuff for the very first time?! Wasn't it just the other day he was taking his first wobbly step and sputtering his first word? Now I can hardly keep up with this energetic boy of ours, who is quite the conversationalist and has thoughts and opinions about everything!  
 
It's hard to believe three years ago yesterday my life would completely change for the better... more then I could have ever imagined. Our son Greyson was born and in the process completely stole my heart and showed me a new depth of God's amazing grace and unfailing love.  
 
Greyson, your laugh is contagious, your love of animals and trucks is adorable and the way you love is inspiring. Everything is just more fun with you, and that much more of an adventure. I feel so blessed to be your mama and still can't believe that you're mine. Happy Birthday my sweet boy! Oh how we love you so!
Feb 1, 2017

Hello Sweet February

Published in Personal
Hello sweet February. It's so good to see you. Oh how I have been longing and waiting for you. Now, just like that, you are finally here. Since last summer I have been counting down until our calendars would boldly declare that you have arrived. And with January now in the past, today they do. It's finally February! 
 
Before you came, there was anticipation, joy, fear, trust, sleepless nights and hope filled days. With you comes the reality that soon, well before you give way to March, I will be giving birth to the sweet baby girl that has been the answer to so many of our prayers and the longing of our hearts.  
 
Leading up to you February, God has been so faithful and showed His grace time and time again. Now that you are here, there is still a nervousness as we journey through this ever changing territory and excitement as this gift will soon be here. Both of my babies, before they even took their first breath taught me so much about myself and God's deep unwavering love. And so February, I know that with you will come more of that, lots of more that. More leaning into the truth of who God is and His promises. More of letting go and letting Him. More of surrendering my natural desire to control and plan what is truly not in my control anyway and hand this time over to my Heavenly Father... to the One who created this little life and simultaneously changed mine at the same time.  
 
February, I am so excited that you are here... with all of your hearts, your sparkle and love. You are going to be life changing and I can't wait!  
Hello Sweet February
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