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Mar

A Cake Smash

Celebrating Greyson's first birthday a few weeks ago with our families was just the best. With a fire crackling in the fireplace, we cheered to surviving this first year of parenthood and all watched as Greyson ripped the wrapping paper off his gifts. It was bittersweet to think back over this past year and see how quickly time has flown by. 
 
Naturally I am always so happy to see Greyson share things with others - it just warms my mama heart. However, it wasn't more then three seconds into his cake smash as we knelt down to take a photo with him that Greyson decided to share his cake with Chris and I. In our faces. In my hair. Up our noses. Before Chris and I even got a photo with him and his cake we found it alllll over us. It turned into a cake smash with the three of us (yes, both Greyson and I took this opportunity to put some frosting on Chris' face!) But the photos of this moment are my favorite. They remind me of so many of the things I have learned this past year as a mom. I have learned that things often don't go as planned and that's okay. I have been reminded that seeking perfection is crazy. I have been reminded not to take myself too seriously and the importance of living in the moment. And I have learned to always keep a change of clothes in the car for Greyson... and myself. :) 
 
Love this little cutie and can't wait for more messy and beautiful memories with him!








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Mar

The Juggling Act

Nowadays I wear a lot of different hats, the three biggest ones being mom, wife, and full time business owner. And truth be told, at times it can be tough to juggle these three roles and all of the responsibilities that come with them. In conversations people often make the comment to me, "I don't know how you do it all..." And while my initial answer wants to be, a little luck and a LOOOOT of coffee, I know that the success at which I strike a balance and juggle all that I needs to be done takes more then luck and caffeine.  
 
There are three things that I did when first starting my business and was in the hustle phase of making my dream of being a full time photographer a reality that had a huge impact in helping me juggle all I had going on. And with all I have going on now years later, they are three things I still do to this day to get stuff done and win each day. And let me tell you, for me they still make ALL the difference. They don't appear to be "hard" or earth shattering, and truly aren't once they become an integrated part of your routine. 
 
1. Get up earlier. Boom. There it is. I said it. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this has single handedly made a HUGE difference in my life throughout different stages of my life. And now especially being I mom. I am most productive from 5:00am - 7:00am when there is a quiet stillness that enables me to focus on the list of things to do and just get 'er done. When I was starting my business, I would get up a heck of a lot earlier then that to make progress and work hard before going to my full time job. I had the most clarity and the most drive at that time of day and after putting in a solid two hours working on my passion, it was easier to then go to my job which I was less then passionate about. I knew I was making progress. Same goes for now. I feel like I get a head start on the day and feel less distracted with a To Do list looming in the back of my mind during the day, because I already completed all or most of it before the sun even rose. Getting up earlier each morning helps me win the day and be a more intentional and present mom and wife. 
 
2. Have a schedule. Being a mom and being a business owner is no easy task and truth be told, more times then not it can feel like there are only 2 hours in a day to do everything that needs to be done. It can be overwhelming to think about all the to dos from doctor appointments, going to the grocery store, cleaning the house, and playdates to answering emails, editing, album design, calls, photoshoots, blogging and so on. And those are just the basic things to keep things rolling. It is a fine balancing act, but having a schedule that reflects my priorities and what needs to get done has made all the difference. Planning out my week and each day, but knowing that things could and will change around has helped me be more efficient, effective, and much more intentional. 
 
3. Know your priorities. This is the golden egg right here. Getting up early and having a plan and schedule makes no difference if you don't know what your priorities are. This goes for your priorities within your work and business, and also within the other areas of your personal life that you are balancing, like for me being a mom. Knowing your priorities is only half of the equation though - ACTING accordingly is the other half. You can have an idea of what your your priorities should be, but knowing and acting in a way which reflects them is equally important. Giving your priorities, well, PRIORITY is absolutely crucial and helps in decision making. For example, if I have the choice to book an extra photoshoot over spending a day as a family, you can be sure that I will chose being with and making memories with my family because they are what is absolutely most important to me. They come first and I want my decisions, choices, and daily juggle to reflect that best it can. This isn't to say that my work and photography doesn't ever get picked over my family at times - photography it is my passion and what I absolutely love. But my decisions and choices in general are always made with my family as my number one priority.

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Mar

What My Heart's In

This past week I have unplugged a little to soak in the joy of our little boy turning 1 and to think about this last year. It's been a great time of reflection on the past 12 months and all that it was filled with... Things that inspired and made me grow. 
 
And this reflection was followed by some looking at the year ahead... Thinking about the blooming of new projects and the grateful closing of doors on others. Embracing the beautiful truth that there is indeed a season for everything.  
 
This year is going to be like none other and I am filled with hope and excitement for all that's in store. Seeds of projects that have been planted in my heart a long time ago that have finally taken root and are growing. Collaboration, inspiration, and imagination... 
 
...Doing more of what my hearts in and less of what it's not... 
 
Maybe that's part of the reason why I have been so excited for spring to get here! I can't wait to share all we have been working on! :)

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Mar

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

If I'm lucky, today will be filled with soda bread eating, parade watching, green colored coffee drinking and day dreaming with my little leprechaun of when this snow will be melted and the yard will be filled with four-leaf clovers! :) Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

(image source: SandraRose, Redbubble.com)
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Mar

Happy Birthday Greyson!

My sweet Greyson Cole, 
 
Last night I rocked you in your nursery, back and forth in the dark stillness that filled the room. I have done this in that very chair hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times before. But now instead of a little tiny peanut, my arms overflowed with your adorable squishy arms and chunky legs. Your feet hung over my lap and I could see the glimmer of your two bottom teeth as you smiled. I sang to you the same song, whispering that you are my sunshine and will never know how much I love you. Your hands reached up touching my face and lips as if trying to catch the lyrics just as they were sang. Other then getting you in the morning when you wake up, this is my favorite part of the day... Those quiet, end of the day moments. 
 
I am not going to pretend that I didn't cry as I sat there rocking you. I did. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I held you close and thought about the amazing gift you are to me and your dad - thanking God over and over for His love. I could literally feel my heart beating in my chest, as it tried not to burst with a happiness and joy I truly can't begin to explain even if I tried a million times. 
 
You, my sweet son are the best thing and biggest blessing that has ever happened to me. I never realized the capacity I had to care, sacrifice, worry, and love until I held you for the first time one year ago today. On March 12th when I held you and you changed everything in the best possible way. I wasn't scared or nervous, but filled with an overwhelming peace and a joy I had never felt before. I was about to discover the truer version of myself and the piece that was missing all this time - you. 
 
The reason why we chose to name you Greyson was because folded into it was how we felt the moment we found out you were coming - God poured out His grace over us and blessed us with you my son. 
 
I love you so and can't wait for the grass stains, finger painting, ocean splashing, food smashing and memory making that this next year holds.  
 
Happy 1st Birthday love! 
 
Love you oceans, 
 
<3 Mommy

(photo credit: Tiffany Farley)
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