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Aug 2, 2016

Made With Love

Published in Personal
This summer has been full of home improvement projects around here. You know, small and big ones that have been on our long term to do list that we have been planning and saving for. Since we bought this home five years ago this month we, well really I mean Chris (let's be honest)... has done so much work to our house and with each project he completes it is looking better and better and feels even more like our home. I love seeing the transformation of our house as these projects are completed, but honestly, there is one project I secretly had hoped he wouldn't finish. After years of walking over the ripped up door threshold from the hallway to one of the bathrooms that looked like it was straight out of the 60s, I joked with Chris, This house was definitely made with love!. Based on the look on Chris' face and response mumbling about how this and that was done wrong and the inspector never noted x, y, & z, I am not too sure he agreed. LOL However, he finally asked, What do you mean? 
 
I had him follow me to the door threshold. Chris apparently never noticed it, but when he was pulling up this portion or the floor years ago, pieces of cement came out forming a heart shaped indent. It has been a little reminder to me every time I step over it to be grateful to have a home to call our own.  
 
While I do love our completely renovated beautiful modern bathroom that was just finished (goodbye 60s blue tile and toilet!), a piece of me misses that imprint in the floor. Sometimes it's the little things... :)
Made With Love
An Escalator Ride Down Memory Lane
Jul 14, 2016

An Escalator Ride Down Memory Lane

Published in Personal
Every morning I would walk to work and take out my headphones before entering in the building early.  I had just graduated from college and was eager, excited, and a complete over achiever. Everything was going as I had imagined and planned.... graduate college, move to NYC, begin working at a top advertising firm.  I got to travel, work on celebrity accounts and dive head first into everything advertising. Weeks turned into months which turned into over a year. Now I would ride up the escalators with my headphones still in my ears, coffee in hand.  It was my last few seconds of me time until stepping into my daily grind of advertising. 
  
But as one year turned into two, the ride on the escalator changed. I didn't take out my headphones now until I reached my desk and began to slightly resent being back at my desk again after getting out so late the night before. I might of well have slept there.  I wasn't happy.  This was not what I had planned.  I needed a change.  I decided to take a job at another advertising firm and although I stayed for a few years, I realized it wasn't really for me.  My heart just wasn't in it... at all. I called Chris, my boyfriend at the time, and told him life was too short and I wanted more from my job. This was just the beginning of the change that would happen... 
  
Chris and I walked around NYC years later, spending a few days in the city where we met.  It was a bittersweet walk down memory lane.  Together we silently rode up those same escalators where I started my first job after I graduated and came to NYC.  We both looked at one another and smiled.  They were smiles that came from a place of quiet understanding and deep gratefulness within our hearts.  Riding up those escalators years prior I couldn't have imagined where I would be now.  It wasn't what I had planned I couldn't be happier.  It is better then what I had imagined. As I stood in the lobby and stared up to the sixth floor as a self employed professional photographer, I was grateful for what I learned at my first job. I was grateful for Chris encouraging me to not just settle with a job because it's what I thought I ought to be doing. I couldn't have felt more blessed for the ups and downs of life that got me from that 6th floor desk to now waking up everyday and doing what I am passionate about.  
  
After chatting with the woman at the front desk, we turned around and rode the escalators back down without saying a word. I had been down those escalators to the front door a hundred times.  But this time was different.  I was truly happy. Not, just as happy as I could be doing what I was doing, but truly and fully happy with a life passion that made me feel excited and alive.  I love everything about what I do - the creativity, the way it changed the way I saw the world, the couples we meet, the stories we are lucky enough to tell.  We pushed opened the doors and walked out of the building. We walked a few yards from the front door to the spot where I literally met Chris for the first time.  A few doors down we strolled past the store where Chris bought me my first digital camera.  It was a beautiful and bittersweet stroll down memory lane, a lane that I wouldn't change one bit as it brought me to this very place. 
 
Here are these elevators....
Jun 22, 2016

The Present Gift Of Rest

Published in Personal
Truth be told, I am not the best at resting. Like fully resting and not multitasking. It's just not my jam, especially as a momprenuer! You know, it's the kind of resting that includes picking up a book to read, taking a quick nap when I can barely stay awake, and just sitting outside in the sun. My mind starts bubbling with the people I need to email, errands I need to run, the amount of laundry stacked up, appointments I have to schedule and everything else on my To Do list. My mind is starting to race right now as I sit here writing this blog post of all I have to do! Resting takes a back seat and is rarely a priority for me. Yet the ironic part is I fully know and champion how important it is. 
 
But when we go on vacation, Chris and I always try to unplug as much as possible, putting away our phones and not even bring our laptops, to fully rest and be totally present. Last week we got back from one of these amazing and much needed family vacations to Cape Cod. We stayed in a little beach house where you could hear the waves crashing through every window, and let me tell you, it was good for the soul. The only math we had to do was counting boats on the water and seashells in the sand. We barbequed as much as possible and ate lunch whenever we felt like it instead of whenever we had time. We only had to make tough decisions like if we wanted to drink our coffee at the beach or on the porch. There were stretches of days I didn't wash my hair, make the bed or wear shoes most of the time. We ate lobster rolls as often as we could, ate icecream whenever Greyson suggested it and woke up each morning to sunlight and the sound of birds instead of the chirping of our alarm. We were breathing slower and focusing on just being together, the three of us with no distractions. It was exactly what we both needed and are so so grateful for this time away! 
 
As we said goodbye to the beach one last time and drove away from the sweet beach house I told Chris I was sad to leave, and he replied almost automatically, "Welp, I guess all good things must come to an end..." But it got us thinking, do they? I mean, can't we bring pieces of this week and infuse them into our daily life? We decided we could and would... more. More rest. More spontaneous adventures. More quiet moments. Less busyness, more free time. More lobster rolls. :)  
 
Just because we were back home and back to our day to day responsibilities and activities didn't mean, and shouldn't mean, more intentional rest and unplugging couldn't be part of it. So in this spirit, a few nights ago after we put Greyson to bed we lit a bonfire in our fire pit and just sat and talked for a long time as the sky grew dark. There is so much to get done when our adventurous, curious, fountain of energy son goes to sleep and we have some free time, especially since we just got back from vacation. But our time away reminded us of the importance of prioritizing resting and just being more. To taking the time to rejuvenate and recharge on a random Wednesday and not just on annual vacations. The To Do list will be there tomorrow but this sweet gift of the present and the rest and enjoyment it currently offers won't be.
The Present Gift Of Rest
Jun 13, 2016

Seven Years Today

Published in Personal
If you had told me that the guy my mom picked out when she saw the first 10 profile "matches" that were emailed to me from Match.com would be the guy that I would end up dating, falling madly in love with and marrying, I probably would've told you and her that ya'll are crazy! But she liked the way his profile was written... that he was a a man of faith, that he was a volunteer fireman that was from around the same area in Connecticut I was from, that he also lived in New York City at the time like me, and that family was very important to him. I have to admit he seemed like a dream and maybe to good to be true. But weeks later emails lead to phone calls, which lead to our first date and hundreds after that. Ten years ago our love story started in the Big Apple and seven years ago today I promised that man my heart for the rest of my days. This sweet man was an answer to prayer and the one I had been waiting for my whole life. Chris is a man of God that loves me and our son Greyson unconditionally with every fiber of his being and continually demonstrates what it means to live with grace. To say that I truly feel blessed to be the one that gets to walk through this life next to him would be an understatement. How lucky I am that he is the love of my life and my best friend.  
 
Chris, I would pick you and pick our story every single time over and over again. I am beyond grateful for you. You are indeed the man of my dreams and are more then I could have ever hoped for in a soul mate. I couldn't have imagined the adventure that would be in store for us when we said "I do" seven years ago today... it has been unexplainably beautiful and I can' wait for what's in store for us in the next 70 years. I love you! Happy 7th Anniversary!
Jun 1, 2016

Sprinklers, Sunshine and Sand

Published in Personal
As I watched Greyson run through the sprinkler for the first time this year, with nothing but pure joy and excitement as his bare feet moved through the wet grass, I couldn't help but think that THIS is why... THIS is the reason why Chris and I made some changes to our business last year to impact this year and the future. THIS is part of why we wanted to have our own business, one that would support and allow us free time filled with moments like these. THIS is why we hustled and worked so hard during other seasons, to allow for times of rest like this with family. THIS is why we wanted to implement some new things in our business that would keep our priorities at the forefront. Moments like THIS. 
 
This weekend was exactly what we needed more of. More time with family and friends. More time gardening. More rest. More time trying new BBQing recipes. More time doing nothing but drinking iced coffee and playing trains with Greyson. And what a fun long weekend we had doing all these things. There was BBQing with loved ones, sitting around the bonfire, running through the sprinkler, eating watermelon, playing in the sand and just soaking up the sun.  
 
Last year we decided that it was time to make a few adjustments so that our business supported and worked around the life we wanted versus the other way around. We didn't want to fit in family time only when it worked with our busy schedules, but to have our work fit around the time we carved out for ourselves as a family. Along with shutting down my computer and email each day a little earlier at 5pm, booking engagement sessions during the week and not on weekends (with some exceptions), limiting the number of weddings we book even more and other changes, we also decided we wanted to spend long holiday weekends and other days around holidays as a family. Our family is our priority and we have learned and continue to learn that when running your own business, it can be even harder to maintain and protect your priorities unless you are conscious and intentional in doing so. It's especially hard when you are so passionate about your business and love what you do! There was a time in our business where we weren't in a position to have holiday weekends off and really limit the number of weddings we book, but we are grateful that our business has grown and allows us this freedom now. 
 
Watching Greyson run through the sprinkler and play in the sandbox made me grateful for those tough conversations and intentional decisions Chris and I made and will continue to make. Because in the end, it is so worth it for sweet sandy wet grass watermelon juice stained moments like these that I never want to miss. 
Sprinklers, Sunshine and Sand
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