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May

My Right Hand Man

When shooting a wedding, I often get asked by other vendors if I am the "lead" or "head" photographer... Without fail this question always makes me smile. I don't think I have ever responded with a yes and don't think I really ever could. It's my husband and me, we are a team. That is my answer and boy ain't that the truth! Even though I may be the one in the forefront, I know that it wouldn't all come together and I wouldn't be able to capture the images I do if it wasn't for Chris. I swear sometimes our brain is one... I will do a random hand gesture like a baseball pitcher or say left without light, both flowergirls and somehow he is able to translate my language and know what I am saying. He proactively thinks and takes action. He knows what I will need before I even do. He enables me to shoot at my very best.  
 
As our wedding season is picking up pace, I have been reflecting on our business over the past few years. One of the greatest things I know made it a success was Chris. He is one of the hardest working, patient, and loving people I know. I am grateful for my right hand man who just happens to be the most amazing husband and incredible dad. I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love alongside the one that I love. So, here is to Chris and all he does behind the scenes...












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May

Get Out Of Your Way

It was either on the TV show Top Model or a behind the scenes reality show at fashion week... some reality show like that is where I remember seeing it. I remember watching these new models being taught how to strut the runway with THAT walk. You know what I am talking about... That walk where you step in a straight line down the catwalk. You cross your legs over in front of you so that each step is directly in front of the other. Safe to say I am way better at explaining it then actually doing this fierce top model walk, and even my explanation is less then stellar! You know, like this:

(image from zimbio.com)
 
 
As I watched these girls try and do their thang and rock it out on the runway, I couldn't help but be totally impressed and totally grateful my day to day doesn't include walking around like that. Good-ness. But one poor girl... oh boy. She was doing so well and it looked like she was going to make it down the runway with success but that wasn't in the cards for her. The coaches were telling her what to do and what the was doing wrong, literally critiquing every step she took down the runway. After walking with each step in front of the other in a perfect line, she began to trip OVER HERSELF. She eventually lost her balance in her 35 inch stilettos and face planted. Like total wipeout. She then did what any of us would do, and tried to bounce back up to her feet as quickly as possible and pretend like nothing happen. Annnnnd hope that the ripped stockings and makeup smear on the floor wasn't a dead giveway.  
 
Now I know what you are thinking, that has never happened to me. I haven't ever tripped over myself. And maybe you haven't literally, but I would venture to guess you have gotten in your own way. I know I certainly have time and time again. You strive for this high bar you set for yourself and want to achieve it with absolute perfection.  
 
You are scared and afraid of not being good enough. And of not being "THERE" yet. You know where you want to be and anything less then that isn't good enough so you start doing this fancy footwork to try and get everything perfect all at once. But you know what? You are stepping and not going very far. You are teetering on 35 inch stilettos and will fall in the face of the unrealistic perfection you have set for yourself.  
 
But there is something you need to hear: Get out of your own way. Forget about having all your perfectly perfect ducks in a row that you have told yourself need to be in place before trying. No one takes their first photo with no flaws or room for improvement. No one gives their first speech with precision and total perfection. No one runs their first race and doesn't learn anything for how to do better next time. But you have to go and do. Go and Do are the key ingredients to one of my other favorites, GROWTH. 
 
Speaking from experience, I have never gotten anywhere or accomplished anything from being totally and completely prepared and ready with no questions, doubts, fears or unknowns THEN taking a step in a perfect straight line to my destination. My path has been full of zigs and zags, bumps, backward steps, and squiggles. My destination and goals have even changed. Safe to say my feet haven't been rocking the cat walk like a Top Model does. I have been taking one step at a time with my feet placed next to and a little ahead of one another, walking the way I walk. Walking the way I want to walk and not how someone else is telling me how to walk and how to get "there." I have tried to not get caught up in over thinking and over analyzing and letting my fears trip me up. So, get out of your own way. Let yourself make mistakes, be vulnerable, and learn lessons by DOING not by thinking up and studying all the possible scenarios and other people's hiccups. There comes a point you have to just take the steps and learn for yourself.  
 
As a former runway walker wannabe who looked to everyone else and at the false sparkle of perfection to figure out where I wanted to go and how to get there, I learned it was way easier to just have my feet planted solid on the ground in my cute black and gold flats. To take the journey step by step, one foot planted next to the other. To not having everything figured out, but being prepared enough to move forward and learn.  
 
Embrace your imperfections and don't be afraid to learn some things as you go. The world needs you and your authentic self, so step aside and let yourself rock the runway!
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May

Introducing FLOURISH, A Collective Journal

Most mornings since February, I have had a coffee date at 6am. As in 6 o'clock IN THE MORNING. The alarm goes off at 5:30am, I brew a fresh pot of coffee, throw on a sweatshirt and slippers and head to my date on FaceTime. Just like that. I would like to think I am somewhat of a morning person, but getting up that early that often took a little getting used to at first. But it was more then worth it because these coffee dates were about something important... about something bigger then us that has been stirring in our hearts. I am so excited to share a little of what my sweet friend and 6am coffee date Alicia Sturdy and I have been working on! Creating FLOURISH has pushed us, challenged us, and motivated us and we can't wait to share more with you once it launches in a few weeks! 
 
So what is FLOURISH and who is it for? 
If you are a creative woman, FLOURISH is for you. Maybe you are a fashion designer, stylist, photographer, calligrapher, florist, graphic designer, singer, songwriter, chef, makeup artist, author, interior designer...Your art reflects a piece of who you are, the way you see the world, and your unique imagination. Your individuality is embedded in everything you create. You are irreplaceable - one of a kind - and that is worth celebrating! 
 
But let's be honest, sometimes you forget this. Sometimes you feel like you aren't good enough... like you aren't talented, smart, experienced enough and you end up comparing others' strengths to your weaknesses. You get discouraged, frustrated, and disheartened when really you should be flourishing in your individuality. 
 
FLOURISH is an curated online collective journal, written by creative women for creative women across industries. Our mission - plain and simple - is to encourage and inspire every creative woman to flourish upon the knowledge that she is enough, just as she is. FLOURISH is a place where stories and struggles will be shared, encouraging words will flow freely and individuality will be celebrated.  
 
Each week we will be sharing on FLOURISH entries written by creative women that work within creative fields. A bunch of you have asked how to be a contributing writer for FLOURISH by submitting something you have written or by writing something specifically for this collective journal.... While the details and site won't be launching until later this month, please feel free to email us at flourishjournal@gmail.com if you are interested! 
 
Be sure to sign up to for the FLOURISH newsletter and be part of our exciting launch giveaways, receive updates on new entries published and some other exciting stuff we have up our sleeves! www.flourishjournal.com 
 

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Apr

A Year And A Month

How it has already been a year and a month since we became a family of three is still something I can't quite wrap my head around. But what an amazing time and blessing it has been! 
 
This week I have learned how a small piece of mud can get EVERYWHERE in a matter of ten seconds...how entertaining it is to step on dry leaves and listen to them crunch under our feet....how funny it is to watch the tall blades of grass blow side to side in the wind. It's the little things Greyson notices and finds so interesting that make me slow down and appreciate. To take in the details around me that often get lost in the swirl of busy. Being a mom has filled my days to the brim with more responsibilities and less time, and pushes me more toward fast-paced-juggling-super mom busyness. But in his own little ways, Greyson reminds me to just slow down. To take in the beautiful life around us because things change and time goes by so quickly... and even quicker when we are caught up in that flurry of Super Mom status instead of being present and intentional. 
 
So today, I will chase Remington around the yard with him as Greyson tries to convince Remington he found a better stick then the one he has. I will watch the birds fly to and from our bird feeder and appreciate how cool it is that they can fly. I will take time to just sit and take in the sunshine. But I'll pass on discovering how fun it is to smear mud all over my outfit and get grass stains on my pants. I'll leave that to him. :)

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Apr

Being Known

You know when something keeps popping up in your life over and over in just a few days time? Like for example, your little old neighbor drops off a bouquet of daisies to you just because and then your new co-workers introduces herself to you that day at work and says her name is Daisy. Then the next night at dinner your BFF tells you her and her husband just painted their living room this amazing new color, Daisy Yellow and then when you open your fortune cookie the word on the back written in Chinese and English for you to learn is "daisy." I feel like that has all happened to us one time or another. Right?! And maybe it has been some silly coincidence like the reoccurrence of the word "daisy" (which I would probably see as a sign that we should get a puppy and name her Daisy :) ). Or maybe its been something that has been stirring in our hearts that has been brought to our attention by little things in our world. 
 
Recently for me, it's been the latter of the two. Over the past few weeks, in multiple conversations, TV shows, the news, and other random places the idea of wanting to be "known" has been coming up a lot and really got me to thinking... What does it mean to be "known?"  
 
Being truly known doesn't mean being famous, although for some that might be part of their story. Having accolades, trophies and medals isn't a requirement for being known. For me, being known means being our true authentic selves and seen for who we really are at the core. You know - the unedited version. Not the perfectly calculated what-the-world-wants-us-to-be self. Not the idea that others have of who or what we should be. Not the Pinterest board version of ourselves.  
 
Being known means being seen for who we truly are. No walls up. No fake facade. Just the real deal with all of our messiness, imperfections, and rough edges. When we live in that freedom and share that with others, that is what it means to truly be known. I think there is an innate desire in all of us to be known in this way. 
 
But being truly known does have consequences... we open ourselves up to judgment, criticism, and rejection. We are vulnerable to be made to feel like we fall short. Yet we must hold on to the truth that we are enough just the way we are. Being acknowledged and appreciated for our individuality and what only we can bring to this world is such an amazing feeling. It's an acknowledgement that speaks to our heart and tells us we matter, for just being ourselves. The author Timothy Keller wrote, "To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved in our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved [....] liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-ritueousness, and fortifies us for any difficult life can throw at us." 
 
I can tell you, I would rather be vulnerable and live in the freedom of being known for who I really am then being acknowledged and affirmed for being the less then 100% authentic Me. I would rather be seen, accepted and loved - I would rather be known - than famous, chameleon-like or inauthentic. 
 
So here's to being seen for who we are. Here's to being brave, being open and sharing our hearts. Here's to living freely with authenticity. Here's to being known.

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