December 31, 2013

wrapping up a tremendous 2013

grateful is an understatement. 

2013 has been a tremendous year of growth in my business, and i am so thankful. i've made mistakes, learned countless lessons, and celebrated many victories. thank you to every single one of you, for gracing my camera with your love and supporting what i do. 

cheers to an even bigger 2014! 

our word for 2014: deep

in 2012, i began the year seeking contentment. it was a year where many of my friends were experiencing exciting life changes, and my year felt pretty predictable. until december 23rd that is - the day T asked me to be his wife. and that launched us into 2013, which we knew would be a whirlwind year. we knew it would be easy to get caught up in the wedding, in the changes, and so we chose simplify to be the word for 2013. though i definitely embraced simplicity during this past year, and have learned to filter my purchases and my decisions through the "need" filter rather than fulfilling my "wants," we're ending this year on what feels like the edge of a precipice. we're ready to jump and go deeper. 

if i'm being honest, these past few months, maybe this past year, has felt dry. in many ways, this has been the best year of our life - traveling, getting married, building a home together, drawing closer to each other. but in some ways, i've never felt lonelier. we're surrounded by people and our life feels endlessly busy, full of responsibilities and daily obligations. but there is no depth. it's as if we've hit a plateau, just going through the motions but maybe completely missing the point. the point, after all, is Jesus, and if i reflect back on this year, it kills me to say that this hasn't been a year of huge spiritual growth for me. there have moments where i've been challenged, things that have caught my heart, but then i just sank back into the same old routine. i am so desperate for a change, restless for growth. so, as we approach new year's eve, we're questioning - are we really where God wants us to be? are we investing in the things He truly cares about? are we serving in the right ways? are we led by the Spirit? 

or, are we striving in our flesh? driven by the "yes's" and "no's" of the people around us? doing what "seems" and "feels" right, rather than persistently seeking the will of God? and what even is His will? 

this year is going to require diligence and obedience (two things i'm not really an expert in, so let's go God). we're starting back at the basics - reading through the Gospels and studying Jesus' ministry and then asking ourselves: if we call ourselves disciples, does our life truly resemble Jesus? and we're praying hard, so hard, for a community that challenges us, speaks truth to us (even the not-so-pretty stuff), and sharpens us. whereas i was feeling lost and confused a few weeks ago, there's clarity now. we haven't figured everything out, but, as a team, we're headed in a good direction. and by december 31, 2014, i want to know God more deeply, know the Word more deeply, and know Jesus more deeply. and i'm so excited about it. 

happy new year, friends!

December 30, 2013

sweet family: the proctor family // long beach family session

prepare yourself for tons of love and balls of fun. that's exactly what this shoot was all about, and these photos will prove it! 

the great thing about the proctor men, is that they are all seriously this sweet, and they aren't shy about loving their ladies. that kind of delight between a couple is one of my favorite things to capture, and these guys did not disappoint. 

dear proctor family, you were an absolute JOY to work with - thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart! 

December 27, 2013

2013 end of year goals

happy friday, friends and happy christmas from our home to yours. i hope you had a special holiday filled with the people and the things you love - it truly is the most wonderful time of the year! 

the end of the year always has a sacred feel about it. as if i'm finishing a marathon and mentally gearing up for a fresh start. honestly, this year has brought about innumerable changes and many challenges. it has been the most exciting year of our life, but at times it has also been the most stressful. as we look back on where we've grown and where we've fallen short, we're praying about changes to make in the new year, changes that will allow us to thrive exactly where God wants us to be. it's going to be a big year, but we're not quite sure what it will look like yet. at the moment, we're a little beat, a little burnt out, and ready for something new. the never-ending busyness is hard to keep up with, you know? we're all about re-evaluating and making new things happen, and that's exactly what we'll be doing in the coming weeks. for now, in the last 4 days of 2013, there are a few things i'd like to tackle and sort away before we ring in 2014 - wish this girl luck! 

end of the year goals: 

have my wedding gown professionally cleaned (it's been hanging in my closet for months now - how does time fly so quickly?!) 

finish wedding thank you's (see above note about time flying and these past few months being stupid busy) 

get on top of our 2013 finances and start the new year fresh

make time for some business planning and create 2014 goals

finish blogging all 2013 sessions

filter through 2013 sessions, sort, delete, and back up

fill out that 2014 calendar

design & mail happy new year cards to friends and clients

slow down, reflect, and prepare for the upcoming year

considering there are only 4 days left in this year, i think that's enough for now. i'm trying to create smaller, more manageable lists and actually accomplish everything i set out to do. often i spend too much time creating a list and then find myself exhausted by task 3 or 4. by the end of the day, i feel unproductive, unaccomplished, and overwhelmed by the things that are left to do. so, here's to using the next 96 hours wisely: getting ish done, making time for quiet and rest, sleeping, spending time with friends, and ringing in the new year!