Monday Confessions, Early Spring Musings on church

“April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.” ~ T.S. Eliot

Yesterday morning, after hustling to try to get 6 people out of the house and drive the twenty minutes to church, it started to rain. Matt dropped us curbside and as I struggled to open the umbrella with one hand and hold my coffee and bible with the other…I was suddenly wearing the coffee. I started to laugh so that I didn’t cry. By the time we got inside, I lamented to the kids “how are we still ten minutes late?” I was in all my coffee and dry-shampoo-wearing-glory wondering just why is church such an effort. Is it worth it?

It became clear though on the way home, when two of our big kids that had joined us in the adult service were able to give back to us the three main points of the sermon from Luke 6. When our kids said back to us that a true believer in Christ is “fruitful, truthful and faithful,” I felt much better about the shenanigans we endured to get ourselves there. I remember someone saying once that we might not remember every meal that our mom served us through our childhood, but we know we were nourished. We are supposed to look at church attendance in that light, that we might not remember every sermon or point but we are spiritually fed. So as parents, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up'“ (Galatians 6: 9).

So, even if the early spring rain is falling or the coffee is spilling, we are doing the important work as parents. We are investing in our kids spiritually and that takes the long view. I am so thankful that we have our faith to guide us in this parenting gig.

Here are some spring scenes from around our yard yesterday. We are loving all the animals to watch around our new home!

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Monday Confessions, 2019

Maybe you were like me and were waking up to the first Monday of 2019 with calendars and to-do’s swimming in your head or maybe you too just need the reminder of the sunrise. I was letting the thoughts swirl and then I looked out my window to see this sunrise. It’s a reminder to me that a fresh day is dawning, full of new mercies.

“Anxiety is an expensive habit. Of course, it might be worth the cost if it worked. But it doesn’t. Our frets are futile. Worry has never brightened a day, solved a problem, or cured a disease. God leads us. God will do the right thing at the right time. And what a difference that makes.” ~Max Lucado

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So as we have new beginnings for the year and for the day, just remember the creator of it all is here with us. We can set goals or make changes, but he’s meeting us with grace all along the way.

Monday Confessions, It's been a while

Hello dear friends, I know it has been a while. I wasn’t sure if any of you were even missing these weekly installments of things on my mind in between photo posts, but I have been assured that a few of you appreciate these posts! So I have decided it’s better to just hop back in than to keep skipping. The thing is, I can’t even describe the level of tired I am feeling this morning. It’s been months of moving, transition, changes, surviving and then moving again. My whole family is feeling the tired seeping into our bones. When we decided last April that we were going to put our house on the market, that started the wheels in motion to first the prep and eventual selling of our house. That led to having to move everything we owned into storage and living with family while we found and then waited on settlement for the home we are now in. Then of course that meant moving again on the heels of the holiday season.

I think the very hardest thing is that daily life doesn’t stop for you in the midst of huge changes like this. Kids need need 3 meals a day, clean clothes and a place to sleep at night. It’s hard to keep the juggle of daily life while finding the energy to try to do everything else well. It’s not an excuse, but certainly a reason that this blog has been a big neglected. I have been steadily working photography jobs but have been hit or miss with posting. In this constant sifting of priorities, I am sure that I mess it all up sometimes but as I remind my kids, “I am one person and I am doing the best I can.” I am thankful for this little corner of the internet where I can share my life and work! So without further ado…here’s what I confess today…

  1. I confess that I don’t like time change. Even with the autumn “adding” an hour, it basically has just made my 3 year old away at 5:15 every day and we are all over it. I think the time change has added to my general exhaustion.

  2. I have been awful at self care since we put our house on the market earlier this year. I am slowly getting back into better and consistent routines like workouts, reading, and sleep…sleep has been a hard one. I got a migraine on Saturday evening which I had felt coming because of the stress, lack of care for myself and lack of sleep. My body tells me when I need to take a step back from the stress and find ways to take care of myself.

  3. I just hoped in on a reading plan with She Reads Truth on thankfulness that started today and I am looking forward to leading up to Thanksgiving week. Trying to focus my heart and mind on the right things first in the day, can help the rest to get done.

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4. I got some questions about my hair yesterday so I thought that I would post here. First, thank the fall weather for the humidity going away! Lower humidity makes a huge difference in my hair type. The other tools contributing to good hair days are Aussie 3 minute miracle, heat protectant spray and my Hot Tools 1.5” gold curling iron. Use heat spray before the blow dry and using the 3 min miracle every few days is helping the condition of my hair after summer and color processing. Use the curling iron to curl away from face in a few inch sections. My favorite hair tutorial blogger is Kate Bryan at Small Things Blog.

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5. It’s Veterans Day, which should give us all pause to thank a veteran in our lives. I am thankful for those who have protected our freedoms and been committed to preserving the lives we enjoy.

Service is selflessness--the opposite of the lifestyle that we see so much of in America today. The things that entertain us don't often lift us up, or show us as the people we can rise up to become. The people who appear in this book--and others who did things I can't talk about--are my role models. They quietly live out the idea expressed in the Bible (John 15:13): "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” 
― Marcus Luttrell, Service: A Navy SEAL at War

Here’s to Monday confessions being back in the rotation! What are some things you’d like to hear from me? HeHave a great week!

Monday Confessions, Summer of Moving

    Good morning internet friends, how's the heat wave treating you on this second day of July? As I sit and write, we are temporarily moved in with family as we await moving into our new home later this summer.  I can truly say I understand why people put moving right up there with grieving. It's exhausting both mentally and physically. We have everything in storage and will have to move again once it's time to settle on the new house. I am currently mentally preparing to have to do it all again! BUT I cannot say enough that I am so thankful that we sold our previous home very quickly and everything went smoothly. I am also extremely thankful that we have family willing to let us stay for the summer!  

   June was a blur but we were very lucky to escape to North Carolina for the first week of the month before we had to do the big move so I thought I would share a few of those images with you this morning. It's a sweet time for me to try to slow down time and reflect over all that is changing and growing this summer. For those that have followed me for a longer time, my twins turned 9 on Friday! It's amazing how the time passes and yet I am trying to live in the moment even in all the transition. Have a great week and stay cool! 

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Monday Confessions, with Sadness

    It's with a heavy heart I share the news that Gianna passed from earth to heaven on Saturday night, surrounded by her family. I did not feel like this was coincidence as we all sat in church together yesterday morning crying and praying for her family. We were gathered as a church within hours of her passing. It's hard to explain, especially to all the kids who have been praying for her. She got her miracle and healing, but it just wasn't this side of heaven.

Oh what an ache her family will walk through in the days and weeks and years to come, noticing that empty seat at the table. So many would ask why would God allow this sweet little soul, a Chinese orphan with a literal broken heart, to come to know a forever family, only to be taken from them in such short years? I admit, I have wondered this myself. Her family has shown so much faith, even as they wrestled. They are now in mourning, yet it is not without hope. 

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34: 18

Gia's mom, Johanna, shared again today the long but beautiful story of Gia becoming a part of their family on her blog if you would like to read it. So it is with a heavenly perspective I will try to live out this week and be reminded that Gods ways are not our ways.

If you have been following the story and felt led to give to help with the extensive medical expenses, go here to do so.

Photo Cred: Gia's family 

Photo Cred: Gia's family 

Monday Confessions, Merry Christmas

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"Joy to The world! the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let ev'ry heart prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing"  ~Joy to the World

May this Christmas day find you surrounded with love, laughter and the truth that Christ came for you too! Now that Christmas is here, allow me to share a few of my favorite images from our fall session with Christina Vance Photography. She's wonderful and I am so, so thankful to have some updated family images that include Benjamin! 

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First Day of School 2017/18 Year

        As I write, I just sent my 3 big kids off to school for the first day of the year! They all went to bed excited for today. My little first grader had magical confetti under his pillow from his new teacher and it just overjoyed him! My one third grader who will remain nameless did not sleep in ONE day this summer, yet I had to wake him for school today. Go figure right?! It is still hard for this mama heart to believe that my little 5 & 6 pound twins are third graders, but I'm also enjoying their growth and development. We are absolutely blessed with the best teachers at their school, so I know they're in good hands all day! Here's to a new school year and I will leave you with Dr. Seuss for inspiration, 

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

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First Grade

First Grade

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Summer family session, Smyrna, DE

 "The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change." 

―E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

It's August and I am starting to hear those crickets chirp...

   Photography has been such a great way for me to both meet new people and keep in touch with old friends. When I got a message from Brandon, an old college friend, to come photograph his family, I was excited to see them all. Brandon and Hannah have not only a beautiful family but a lovely home that's more of a farmette. They are able to have some animals to keep them busy along with their kiddos. We were so lucky to have some of the milder August weather last weekend to have an evening session. I have to say, it was really enjoyable and the kids hung in there!  They may or may not have been smiling for candy :)  What's not to love about summer white outfits, sunshine and family?!

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Monday Confessions: Comparison Trap

      This is the season where we are supposed to be full of joy, contentment and gratitude for all that we are and have. If I am honest though, I keep finding myself comparing to what others are or have. I know books have been written on this very subject but as today's confessions I am just going to share my heart on this...Being caught in comparison trap is the total opposite of cultivating joy in myself and cheerleading for others (which is what I want to do!). Why is it so EASY to get discouraged when we see others succeeding? Someone else’s successes are not meant to make us feel lesser, but most of the time they do. 

My inner dialogue has lots of things on repeat like “yeah but she still gets to be skinny” or “why can’t I be acknowledged” or a myriad of other comparisons that are meant for me to make myself feel better.  I really don’t feel better though when it’s at someone else’s expense. A lot of us are familiar with the saying, “comparison is the thief of joy.” It sure is! When you start to compare, you easily let your own value and the value of others dwindle. Even today I saw someone get photos published that I was like "why aren't I getting published?" I mean you kind of have to be submitting to get published but these are just minor details right when you're talking to yourself?!  (sarcasm totally intended).

I stumbled across an article that is really worth the full read, but something she wrote really struck me hard. Comparison is a quiet vulture, swooping in to peck its sharp beak at our joy, our camaraderie, and our witness to the world.” Wow, allowing ourselves to compare not only pecks away at our joy, it puts divides between us that were never meant to be there. We can envy people or things from the school car line to the facebook feed. We are only seeing things from our perspective, mind you, and may not even have the full story.

This envy is opposite of what I read this morning, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7  There’s so much here we can pull apart from the truth of God’s word. We aren’t supposed to be walking around comparing ourselves to others, but we are supposed to be rooted and built up in our identity in Christ. God giving another person a gift, is not an affront to ourselves. We must also learn that having a heart of gratitude can quickly stomp out the sparks of envy that start to fly. When we are truly thankful for our own gifts and lives, it helps us to see others in the right perspective. We can even move from jealousy to joy! We can move from comparing to celebrating others! 

“Comparison is folly, and no one wins—or ever has.” We really cannot win at the comparison game,  so we must stop subjecting ourselves to it. When I find envy in my heart or that inner dialogue starts taunting me, I am going to speak truth to myself in this season. I want to fight for my joy and contentment in this time of celebration. What are you doing to cultivate joy this season?

I hope your Thanksgiving week is off to a beautiful start!

(source unknown, not my design, God's words)

(source unknown, not my design, God's words)

Happy Halloween!

‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.

– William Shakespeare

Happy Halloween to my Monday Confessions followers! Here is my little Star Wars gang ready to celebrate.... Can't you just hear the theme music?! 

       If I am utterly honest though, we are all weary. We got up this morning with tired eyes and quick tempers just from the pace of life we have been trying to keep. I am so far from my idealism earlier this fall that I would keep our schedule with plenty of margin for just living life. Yesterday instead of hanging out, enjoying the weather and each other, we basically rushed from one thing to the next. Some events were planned, some were necessities like work and groceries, and yet others we just wanted to try to fit in. How do we always get like this I am not sure?! I have been reminded though that we are in an intense phase of life. It's joyous, yet exhausting and trying all at once sometimes. We have only had time to carve one pumpkin and only yesterday did I finally get some Halloween candy to give out. Sometimes I've learned to just lower my expectations.

   Even in my tired Monday grumpiness this morning, I was reminded in the bible of who we can lean on. Isaiah 53 says, "Yet it was our weakness he carried" and another version states, "surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." Although I am mostly just dealing with regular daily stresses, I find comfort in knowing I am not alone in these struggles. 

May you enjoy this Monday full of excitement and not too much candy :)

Wilmington, Delaware Autumn Family Portraits

      There's truly nothing like a beautiful October afternoon on the East coast is there?! Throw in a new puppy and I am just smitten. These kiddos were thankfully game for throwing leaves and being silly. The internet is this funny place that can either bring people together or push people apart. Thankfully this is an instance of where the internet had a hand in brining this adorable family to me for a photo session! (Thank you local Facebook page where friends recommended me!) 

Do you not love her laugh and first grade teeth?! I ADORE it!

Do you not love her laugh and first grade teeth?! I ADORE it!

This is where it all begins, love snagging a few portraits of just mom and dad!

This is where it all begins, love snagging a few portraits of just mom and dad!

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Monday Confessions, A glimpse into our weekend

    Here's a little glimpse into our weekend with Macy's first horse show Saturday and some cookie baking on Sunday! 

I confess that I am feeling a bit overwhelmed lately. I tend to feel this way during a busy family and photography season. It's all good things, don't get me wrong, but it's still a mountain of things I feel responsible for. It's the life of all mothers right?! I am trying to do it all with a toddler who is sort of walking and into everything! His latest achievement is being able to open all the doors in our house, heaven help me! 

I just finished reading, Rare Bird, and it literally made my heart hurt reading it. I was full on ugly crying at 6:30 in the morning Saturday while reading. Ben was up early and although I love Elmo as much as the next girl, I preferred picking up a book. I do whole heartedly recommend this book but at the same time, read with caution. If you have recently lost a dearly loved one, it might be balm to your soul. It also could crack your heart open into a million pieces if your a mother. It reaches right into all of our deepest fears, yet at the same time promises us God will still be there. It's a small but mighty book. I will not soon forget it or the story of Jack, a brown-eyed boy who loved his legos and God. Read with tissues!!!

So although I feel far less than capable of all the needs and to-do's in my life today, I am going to repeat this truth from Psalm 62 (& go get my free coffee, Go Eagles!),

"I wait quietly before God,
    for my victory comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress where I will never be shaken."

Monday Confessions, it's feeling like fall!

   Monday mornings are usually met with a mixture of exhaustion and hustle. There's the immediate needs like packing lunches and rounding up school papers or like today it was picture day so we needed some fresh hair styles to go along with the day! I often succumb to what they call, "the tyranny of the urgent." It's everything we need to get done in the moment, which sometimes leaves me feeling frazzled. I am trying to do a better job of preparing the night before and taking a lot of deep breaths in the morning routine. Kids will be kids but if I can be more subdued in my own reactions, things will go more smoothly...or so I tell myself! 

That being said, we had a huge weekend in our house. I have an especially tired body and also a very full heart! I had a wedding Saturday that I was photographing and yesterday our "3 bigs" got baptized. It was a beautiful and special day all around. Our 3 big kids all professed faith in Jesus at different times over the summer and followed through yesterday with baptism. We were so blessed to four different generations of our family represented in the audience!

As a parent, we often wonder what effect the day in and day out decisions have on our kids. We all always wonder if we are doing anything right. Yesterday though, surrounded by family and church family celebrating, we felt both joy and pride. We pray that these kids do choose to walk in faith throughout their life. These words were spoken over them, "Based upon your profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I now baptize you in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Buried with Him in the likeness of His death, raised with Him in the likeness of His ressurrection to walk in the newness of life."

As for my usual Monday confessions, here's a few...

 1. I confess twice last week I had to run out to the curb in my pink fuzzy robe with library books for various children. 

2. I am reading Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection and man it is a good one. It's not dauntingly thick which is honestly helpful when you pick up a book that you know is going to do some work on you. Dr. Brown writes, "Sacrificing who we are for the sake of what other people think just isn't worth it...When I let go of trying to be everything to everyone, I had much for more time, attention, love and connection for the important people in my life." (pp. 53).  This has been a big thread for me lately in my own personal growth. (I borrowed my copy from the library for any interested local friends but then I don't like when I can't write in it :) 

3.. I already took a walk with my cutie Benji to get my free Dunkin coffee for the Eagles win. I am counting it as excretes and fresh air for today! (By the way, I think this is the first season ever that the Eagles came out winning 3 straight! Here's to a good season!)

 I know this post is a bit of a hodge lodge of life but that's what I am feeling today! Walking through both the glorious and the mundane this morning ask I do client work, sip my coffee and move the loads of laundry through. Have a beautiful week friends! 

Our Ten Year Anniversary and our kiddos!

      The traditional anniversary gift for the ten year anniversary is tin or aluminum. The modern day gift is diamond jewelry. Thank goodness Matt took the modern approach! He surprised me on our trip with a beautiful anniversary band. Today officially marks a decade of marriage for Matt and I! Although it's hard to believe all that we've been through in the last ten years, it also it hard to believe how quickly life passes us by. On this day ten years ago, I really had no clue other than I was in love and ready to dive in with both feet! I can honestly say though that I love Matthew more today than I did that day. It's the kind of love that has been stretched and tested. It's the kind of love that endures. 

    Although today is our anniversary, I had planned to finally blog a photo session of our kiddos from June. I think it appropriate to celebrate on this day a bit of the blessing of these past ten years, some of the biggest blessings being our four children. 

"Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him.
 Children born to a young man
    are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
 How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!"

Psalm 127: 3-4

 

 

Can I just confess too that as a photographer, it can be a struggle to take photos of my own kids. This was actually a spur of the moment photo session right before bedtime one night, so I am lucky it worked at all. It was a combination of bribing, being silly and threatening to make this happen :) I confess that I always feel pressure to have amazing photos of my own family but sometimes life just doesn't work that way! I am thankful though for the times that we push through and just make it happen! Have a great weekend friends!

Project TEN August

 "Have courage and be kind" hangs on a sign over her bed. Although this quote comes from the Cinderella movie, it truly is my wish for her as she grows. She is naturally a sweet soul so I have no doubt as to her kindness, but may she always have courage when she needs it! My project ten for August is focusing on my sweet 7 year old Macy and we drew some inspiration from her summer sunhat. May she always be beautiful inside and out!  (She chose the outfits herself)

Make sure to check out these other ladies participating in Project TEN to see what they're up to in life and photography! Katie HallPaula RichwineCait JensenLisa O’BrienRebecca BenderParker SlatonRae BarnesErin GregersonKelly LappKate Neal, Heather Butler

The K Family

"Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June." -Al Bernstein

As a photographer, I always enjoy capturing families together but there's nothing sweeter than an at home session on a summer evening! The K family and I had fun exploring their yard,  blowing bubbles, swinging swings, riding bikes and generally enjoying ourselves during our session! Kim and I had a funny moment about ten minutes in when I realized we knew each other! We had graduated high school together 16 years ago (almost to the day) and as it dawned on me, I did the awkward "I know you!" Thankfully she remembered me and didn't think I was crazy. I love how photography can bring things in life full circle for me! Getting to run into an old friend and seeing how beautiful her life is these days is a special treat. 

    

 

 

The H Family

  Hello friends, I am desperately behind in blogging everything I have been photographing this fall! I am challenging myself to get on it over the next few weeks. So feasible right with the dawn of the holiday season? Oh well, I love to challenge myself :)

I hope you enjoy this adorable family we captured on a beautiful fall morning! We met earlier this year when I photographed Megan's brothers wedding. It was so fun to see them again and enjoy a family session together. Isn't their little man so handsome?! Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone! 


A mama and her boys!

    What can I say? There is always something special about photographing a mother and her sons! This session was autumn perfection with the leaves turning and a slight chill in the air. I love some of the connections we got between mother and son, as well as between brothers. I confess I did ask them at one point if they ever wrestled and who won....they immediately had to demonstrate :) Not to mention, these are some precious boys! Don't you just want to reach out and squeeze their cheeks?!

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Life after baby, a vulnerable post

    First I need to thank my friend Stephanie of Luminosity for taking this after church on Sunday! It was a beautiful day and nice to capture the day that Benjamin was dedicated to the Lord. This family photo has gotten a lot of sweet comments in life and online from friends and family. It also kind of lets me take a deep breath and look at why I am so exhausted every day :) We never really see ourselves in these moments because we as moms are usually rushing through them. (I am even wearing a baby now while I attempt to type this and counting down the minutes until I have to put him back in the car seat to go get the preschooler.)

    You see, I look at this photo and all I can see is my heaviness. Although I did the best to disguise my body, I see it in my face. The struggle is real mamas. I am in danger of missing the blessings because I only see myself as heavy right now. I even get messages from other mamas trying to schedule their photo sessions saying, "I want to lose more baby weight to take these photos." I GET IT. If you follow my story at all, my fitness after kids was hard won. I have always been athletic but carrying twins and then another in less than 2 years took a toll on my physically and here I am again after number 4. I am here to tell you all that it's OK. It's OK if you are the mom that can't put her jeans back on after 4 weeks. I will be praying to have my real jeans back on by Benjamin's first birthday! This is why I even endeavored into health coaching in the first place. I am here WITH YOU. I struggle with the same things but I KNOW that persistence and hard work do get results. Despite what some may tell you, magical wraps or potions won't really get the job done for the long term. If they did, we would all do them. 

   I have to tell you that I follow a girl on instagram that had a baby via c-section the same week as Benjamin and I WANT TO PUNCH HER IN THE FACE (too much?!) :) But really, she was running 4 miles after like 6 weeks and just yesterday posted that her baby girl slept 8 hours?! Well, my sweet 12 week old didn't get that sleep memo! And you know what, if I can run two miles it's a good day. I am bone weary tired. It's the kind of tired that hurts. Everything just hurts. Don't get me wrong, I know that mothering and caring for four precious children is a GIFT. It's a gift that comes with a lot of responsibility though.

  Here's the hard truth, all we get is now my friends! My smaller jeans don't even go over my thighs but my kids are healthy. I tried to put on a shirt yesterday that the arms wouldn't even go through, but I fall into bed with a (tired) smile at the end of each day. I even dreamt last night that I was in a world of girls shopping for extra smalls and I couldn't find any extra larges! I wanted to cry in my dream. I know though, it's all about perspective. I am doing my best to take my journey back to a healthier weight for myself as a daily adventure. I am taking it one day at time with healthy choices. If you want help on your own journey to fitness, feel free to connect with me! I love accountability and I will be in your corner to tell you that you can do it too! (emily@emilytroutmanphoto.com) 

For real ladies...at my heaviest, I weighed MORE than my 6' 3' husband....I get it. I have been there. I know it just takes one foot in front of the other in the right direction! Off to get that preschooler now...and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

The J Family

   Hello friends! I honestly did not mean to miss blogging for an entire month but I have to be honest about priorities these days. Obviously my business is a priority but going on shoots and servicing clients is first. Blogging is a great way for me to share what I have been up to but it sometimes falls lower on the list and at the end of the day, I just don't get to it! I have missed it though and I will surely have some confessions next week! One of my recent shoots is the adorable J family! I have been honored to photograph them over the last 4 years each fall and document the growth of their children. I love seeing the changes in the kids and things like missing teeth and special manicures just make my day when photographing families! It certainly reminds me to treasure each season with our family because these days are fleeting! 

 

   Do you not LOVE this toothy grin?!

 

Do you not LOVE this toothy grin?!

   She's such a beauty...Her daddy might need to make a plan to keep the boys away!

 

She's such a beauty...Her daddy might need to make a plan to keep the boys away!

   On another note, I feel as though I am in a huge season of growth. Not only has my family and responsibility expanded again, but I am in a personal season of growth. Part of this season of growth is in my creativity and my photographic process. I am pushing myself creatively and trying not get stuck in a creative rut. Part of being a photographer can be that you find a "system" that might work for you but once it feels to familiar or easy, it doesn't feed your creative side as much. I am prayerful that my season of growth spills into my work and is evident!