February 27, 2014

setting boundaries

the madness of the semester currently has me wrapped up in school work and plans for student teaching next semester, and my blogging has felt the effects. but i've been desperate to find the time to think deeply, process, and write, and i'm determined to make it a part of my schedule if not only for my business, for my personal health as well - so hey, i'm back! 

for the last few weeks, i've been running up against a wall, the wall of busy and stretched too thin, but feeling entirely helpless to change it. "setting boundaries" "rest" and "saying no" are words and phrases i've pounded into my head, and yet i've slipped back into my old routine - jumping at every opportunity to do something "fun" or try something new, saying yes when others ask for something, cramming my schedule until i burn out, dive under the covers, and pretend the world doesn't exist (at least for a few minutes). both Travis and I have felt the effects of our busy life. we are tired of the rat-race, exhausted by the pace of life. in a perfect world, i want to feel like i've spent enough time with my husband, my friends, my family. i want to feel on top of the errands and to-do lists. i want to feel at rest with my life, knowing that Jesus is at the core. but reality shouts back, my commitments demanding time and energy. and the tension has left me frustrated and dry. on our way back from san diego last weekend, i vented to Travis and he brilliantly suggested that we chart our time in order to see where exactly we were spending the most time and if there was anything at all we could cut out. and you know what we discovered? being a wife is a lot of work! as soon as excel magically created pie charts for us, Travis turned to me saying, "no wonder you're always stressed!" my life looks a lot like school, sleeping, eating, and work, and then cleaning, chores, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, running errands, church commitments, and only a little bit of time with family and friends, with little time for anything else. and ever since that reality check, i've been thinking about how easily i over-commit, how desperately i try to keep it all together, and how frustrated i feel when i can't meet the expectations of others, when i can't be there for people like i'd like to be. the daily grind is exhausting sometimes. there are great days of course, filled with laughter and ease, but in the big picture, it's all just too much. and you know who's blatantly missing from it all? Jesus. my savior, comforter, counselor, advocate, and burden-carrier. i have restricted Him to a piece of my day, and often, time with Him takes the hit as i scramble to catch up. but He's not asking for a sliver of time, 10 minutes in my bible, or a page of journal notes. He's asking me to surrender, to trust, because HE can manage it. i can't. He wants to be at the core. He wants to fight my fights and speak peace into challenges and frustration. He wants to give me the fullest joy. He knows my needs, and He wants me to grow and thrive. He wants our marriage to flourish. He wants to deepen our relationships with others. while i clench my fists, create my lists, and power through the day, He just wants me to let Him handle it. so i'm inviting Him in again, or at least i'm going to try. and i'm gonna watch Him make things happen - big, beautiful, unimaginable things. 

if you want to tune in to a great series on setting boundaries, check out this podcast and click "breathing room"- we love this guy! 

February 11, 2014

baby blessings: nathaniel // lifestyle newborn session

meet nathaniel, just 8 days new and beyond precious. 

dear rockwood family, thank you for inviting me into your home and allowing me to document nathaniel's first precious days at home. you are all a pure delight and i wish your family only the best in the years to come! 


February 10, 2014

in love: leah & paul // oak canyon engagement session

at the beginning of this year, i announced an engagement session giveaway - these two lovebirds were the winning couple, and i could not have been more thrilled to document their love! leah & paul are such genuine people who clearly care deeply about each other and those around them. it was a joy to be a part of their story in just some small way, and i know their love will only flourish as their wedding day approaches and beyond! 

dear leah & paul, thank you for sharing just a small piece of your story with me - i am beyond blessed to have met you both. i wish you only the best as you prepare for your wedding and grow even closer together in marriage. it's the BEST thing in the world! 


February 4, 2014

february goals

i have never really been a goal-setter before. it seemed so cliche to me, a little corny. but setting goals really is an effective way to get things done. though i feel like i lost my mojo during the second half of this month (when school started back up again), i'm excited to just make the most of what i've got. even after 22 years of unpredictable life, i still always seem to be surprised when something goes amiss. i resent the change and i desperately try to keep it all together, keep it all under control. but life is full of change, and rather than fearing it, i want to learn how to simply embrace it - like, "today i planned this, this, and this, and then THIS happened and nothing went as planned, and it totally threw my day upside down and now all i want is a glass of wine. but i'm cool with it, because that's life, and i love it." i want to be a lover of change, of messed up plans, of being thrown out of my routine. i want to make the space for God to mess up my day and invite me into what He's really all about. and i want my day to be defined by Him, by how He wants me to love others, love my husband, and use my time, not by my schedule and my lists and my routines.


// submit substitute applications - in progress
// clean wedding dress
// print thank you photos for vendors - most, but not all have been e-mailed and shared! 
// make care packages for the homeless
// pray about joining/creating a small group - we've dubbed it the "young wives club" and i'm so excited to get to know some awesome ladies even more deeply!
// host a game night/worship night - our february is SO slammed, that i think i'm going to make this a march goal instead...
// go home to see Baby Emma (& take newborn photos) - hands down the BEST part of our january!
// organize 2013 photos and back it all up
// create a realistic schedule for the spring semester: office hours, work, errands/chores, school/HW
// sell moped and Xterra and bring the motorcycle down! - Travis officially has is motorcycle (and his license now!) and he could not be more stoked. i'm excited to cruise on the back with my hot hubs!
// shoot two sessions
// begin our devotional through the Gospels - whew, let's be real. we really need to still work on this
// eat more dinners at the table instead of on the couch, watching TV

other exciting things that happened in january? my husband baked for the first time and surprised me with delicious french breakfast puffs on a saturday morning, we invited new friends over for dinner, i rekindled my friendship with the library and have had my nose buried in books for much of the month, and i've been connecting more regularly with my girlfriends (which i'm super thankful for!).


// submit substitute applications
// complete and submit student teaching application
// send thank you photos to officiates, musicians, and coordinator
// make care packages for the homeless
// sell the Xterra
// dream up and host a birthday bash for my love!
// unplug and camp on the beach with T to celebrate 6 months of marriage
// shoot two sessions
// reflect on previous shoots - what worked, what didn't, how can i prepare better?
// dream up shoot inspirations
// listen more and don't be afraid of silences during conversations
// start a book study with the Young Wives Club
// pray more regularly with T and start our Gospel devotional together
// soak up Winter Camp with my junior high girls. be present. make the most of it.

here's to a happy month of love, and reaching our goals!