on throwing it all in, shaking it up, and taking back out

finally having the freedom to build a business doing what i love can be very rewarding. i wake up every day so excited to start the day, my mind racing with a million ideas and anticipating great things. it’s a feeling i have never felt before and one that i honestly didn’t know was possible. it’s these days that make me so grateful for the husband i have. the husband who has encouraged me to take this HUGE leap of faith and follow hard after my dreams.

there are days, though, where it all feels a bit overwhelming. days when i push and push and push and see little to no growth. days where specific dreams seem to die and the questions begin to rush in like a flood. days where i write out our budget for the month and feel like i’m failing us. i look at our income and see that i contribute nothing to our household; every penny that comes in from photography goes right back to the business and we are left completely reliant on my husbands income alone. it’s these days that i want to give up, throw it all away, and seek a “normal” job.

i poured out my heart to my husband over skype the other night. my worries that i wasn’t contributing and feelings of selfishness in it all. tears beginning to well up as the feelings of defeat crept in. i felt stuck. stuck trying to make my goals and dreams happen as a business owner while contributing to our goals and dreams as a family. he listened patiently, and when i was done he spoke words that i will never forget.

“see this cup?” he said. “we throw in my pay check and we throw in your pay check… shake it up… take out money for rent, utilities, business expenses, etc. it’s all the same.”

it was a simple illustration and it was all that i needed. with reassuring words he changed my perspective back to where it needed to be, reminding me that the decision to begin this business was a mutual decision, that no part of it was selfish and that he 100% supports where we are and the road we are on.

it’s these days that make me so grateful for the husband i have. the husband who has encouraged me to take this HUGE leap of faith and follow hard after my dreams.

 

James & Rachel: Expecting

she is the soft spoken sweetheart-of-a-woman that i had the privilege of working next to for the 4 weeks i teller’ed before my husband and i made the move to Seattle. and on my last day we chatted about life in the big city and all the amazing food there would be. she joked about her pregnant appetite and i laughed. while our time together was short lived i know that i will always have a friend in this wonderful lady.

i made the drive down to her home town Saturday and we spent the evening taking photos of her dashing husband, beautiful baby bump, and herself. and we had such a great time. her husband is as sweet as she and i left with a heart warmed and softened by their love and excitement for their precious little one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diary of a Military Wife : An Honorary Best Man

the rehearsal went flawlessly and was full of joy and laughter at what the next day would bring. yet as we sat at dinner later that night my heart hurt at the thought that he was missing out on it all.

we went around the room, sharing stories of their past and excitement for their future but as the turn came closer to mine my mind raced as i tried to think of the perfect words he would want me to say. every word i could think to speak brought a lump in my throat and tears to my eyes.  my turn came and went and the only words i could speak were “i’ll pass”. not out of a desire to leave words unspoken but simply because i knew i wouldn’t be able to speak any of them.  my heart hurt at the thought that he was missing out on it all.

the sun was shining bright and the buzz of last minute wedding details being put into place left a smile on every ones face. it had been months in the making and she had thought of every little detail, leaving all involved thoroughly impressed. while she put the last minute touches on as she prepared to walk down the aisle i snuck away, with laptop in hand, determined. while he couldn’t be there in person, i wanted him to experience it as much as he could.

we walked down the aisle, all smiles. but as i took my place in the bridesmaids row and turned to look at the many who came to show their love and support for the happy couple i couldn’t help but look immediately to the computer screen. front row, third chair from the aisle, there sat chris, watching via skype, from Afghanistan. and my heart hurt, knowing he was missing out on it all. his best friend and brother was now committing to a life of love and laughter to his best friend and chris was 8000 miles away.

when my brother asked chris to be his honorary best man, i cried.  the thought of my husband, my brothers best friend having to miss my brothers wedding overwhelmed me. the thought of deployment overwhelmed me.

as the ceremony concluded and the reception commenced i stood in the grass and talked to him. “thank you so much baby”, he said. he didn’t look at it as missing out at all but rather was filled with gratitude that he was able to experience it. and while my heart hurt, and i missed my best friend like crazy, i was so grateful that he was able to witness one of his best friends marry the love of his life. even if from 8000 miles away.

Diary of a Military Wife: Secrets to Getting Through

i have found that the secret to get through deployment months is to stay busy; always have somewhere to go or something to check off the to-do to keep the mind occupied. and thankfully, thus far, i have been very busy. but as i get settled in our new home and the busyness of moving subsides i know that i have to keep up the pace. i also know that if i don’t have a plan set, a schedule written out, i won’t get stuff done. i will end up floating… and i don’t want to float. i want to start each day with a purpose and end it with a feeling of accomplishment. therefore i have created goals; for myself, for our business, and for our home. some are small, and some are big but all are important and totally achievable. so, in an effort to keep me accountable, i’m sharing my goals with you:)

 

*blog daily (yikes… this one scares me. it has been a mental goal of mine since forever… i’m determined to make it happen this time!)

*read 2 books a month

*visit my dear friend Marissa at least once a week!

*get my concealed carry license (hubby will be so proud!)

*work out at least 5 times a week

*journal every night

*paint window panels for my new office (check out my inspiration!)

*put our wedding photos up

*organize EVERYTHING (you should see my desktop right now… what a mess!)

*plan & execute at least one concept shoot

 

there we have it. with my list in hand i’m praying that this deployment just flies by!

XOXO

Diary of a Military Wife: One Box at a Time

we were a week away from our trip to NYC and on our way to church. while chatting about life and what it would be like while Chris was deployed we came to the realization that the best place for me to be while he was away was much closer to our church and the family we had found there. we prayed  and prayed and scoured craigslist over the next couple days and by mid-week we knew without a doubt that moving to Seattle needed to happen much sooner than we had originally planned. by the end of the week we were signing our rental application and as we waited for our plane that Saturday we received the call that we had been approved. we arrived in NYC and wrote our deposit check, placed it in an envelope and handed it to our hotels front desk. it was official. we were moving to Seattle and there was no turning back.

i was grateful for the distraction that i thought moving, unpacking, and setting up our new home would give me. but as Chris tried so lovingly to help me figure out our wireless router over the phone last night i cried. “i just wish you were here” i said. moving had become overwhelming and the fact that i would have to do everything on my own brought about tears. there was so much to do and i just didn’t know how i was going to do it all.

with his soft words he reassured me that it’s a process, that i don’t have to do everything in one day, that i need to relax and enjoy it. with is soft words he gave me the perspective that i needed. and now? now i’m just taking it one box at a time.

So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own troubles. Matthew 6:34

Diary of a Military Wife : This Season

i shed a tear as we sat in the car, wishing that time would freeze right there and hoping that this next season in our lives wouldn’t come. maybe if we just stayed right there it wouldn’t happen… if we just stayed right there, in the car, we could skip this season entirely, move onto the next and start our live together outside of the Army. but time didn’t freeze. and this next season was unfolding right before us.

we kissed, he prayed, we kissed again and then we opened the car doors. he threw his bag over his shoulder and gave me one last kiss goodbye and as i watched him walk away i couldn’t help but feel that i was dreaming. it was surreal. and if i was truly honest with myself… it’s still surreal.

last deployment i was a mess. it was his 3rd deployment but my first, and i wasn’t ready. there were many days that the thought of him being gone overwhelmed me. i cried and i cried and i couldn’t wait for the deployment season to end. i isolated myself from friends and family because i could’t bare attending anything with out him by my side.  i allowed my circumstances to dictate my emotions and i sank under the weight of it all.

there’s something different about this deployment. and maybe that’s why it feels so surreal. there’s a peace, a comfort, an expectation that in the midst of it all there is hope. last deployment i lost sight of Jesus, and i sank. i allowed every circumstance around me to consume my attention until i could no longer see who Jesus was in my life, that He was my peace, my comfort and my hope. but as i sit here tonight, alone, i am reminded that while i can not change my circumstances, i can change my perspective. so tonight i set my eyes on Jesus, the one who never changes, to be my constant. where my husbands arms normally give me peace, comfort and hope, there is Jesus, my constant and everlasting source of peace, comfort and hope.

 

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with it’s earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  

Philippians 4:6-7

Engaged : Aaron & Catherine

When Catherine messaged me and asked if I was available to photograph her and her finance, Aaron’s engagement photos I was floored! And as we began planning the shoot I knew it would be nothing short of amazing. Catherine was the confident, lover of people who reached out to me when I first began attending my church in Oregon and Aaron & I went on a Spring Break missions trip together last year. As a few of the only “college age” brave enough to board the bus full of middle school & high school age students venturing to Camp Harlow & then to the GC conference Aaron & I had a lot of laughs. And as we went about the night, Chris & I photographing this amazing couple, we all shared lots of laughs and had an incredible time.

Aaron & Catherine decided where their shoot would take place and I LOVE it when my couples do this. Not only do they get photos that are 100% “them” but I also get to explore all sorts of new places and spaces,  and this couldnt make me happier.

I’m so excited for these two and can’t wait for their wedding this October… it’s going to be a party, no doubt!

Internet, this couple is incredibly photogenic and I had a very difficult time deciding which photos I wanted to share, so prepare for lots of them:)

The image on the left… GAHH… I’m IN LOVE with their adorableness!

Did I mention we had loads of fun?!

Aaron is a total shoe guy… so a shoe shot was a definite MUST!

We concluded our evening at Aaron’s family farm just as the sun was setting. It made for the most delicious light. YUM!