Dreaming

dreamingI have been doing some dreaming lately. Mainly because it is so cold outside I try to think of warmer places, and because my classes have been cancelled so much these days. As I think about moving to a new city and settling in to our new home, the future seems so bright. I cannot wait to see how I grow as an artist and where photography takes me. Here are a few things on my photography “bucket list” that I cannot wait to make happen: shoot a barn reception, shoot a snowy engagement, snap some in-home newborn photos, capture an anniversary shoot for a couple that has been in love for years, photograph a ceremony under an oak tree, shoot a sailing engagement session, shoot a portrait session with a hot air balloon, snap some family portraits on a foggy morning, and capture a surprise proposal. Some of these dreams are already in the works for this year, but if you can help any of my dreams come true, let me know. I would love to work with you! To see the rest of my dream board follow me on pinterest. Happy dreaming! Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

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Looking Ahead | 2013

Sorry I have been quiet lately. We have been enjoying the beautiful holidays with friends and family, and I have been soaking up this slower season. I hope to get back into a more regular schedule soon.

I love the New Year. It’s a time to reflect on all the goodness from the past year, but we often get caught up in a list of goals that must start on January 1st. And how long do those goals last? One week if I’m lucky. Life catches up, and I find myself disappointed in my “failures.” My friend, Lara, recently blogged about goal setting and making things happen. She gives step by step instructions on how to put pen to paper in looking forward but also being grateful for the past twelve months. Thank you Lara for your inspiration! Instead of making a list of specific goals, I am going to spend the New Year focusing on my vision for 2013. Here is a recap of my reflections so far.

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Step 1: Evaluate what did work in 2012.

This past year has been beyond amazing. Todd and I have been blessed in ways we never thought imaginable.

1. One full year of beautiful marriage. I love my husband. A lot. And it keeps getting better every day.

2. Health and happiness. Other than a few sick days, we have been feeling great.

3. One year closer to graduation. It is hard to believe that I am in year six of seven. I am ready to be done, but the time has flown.

4. Our small group. We took part in a church journey this fall with our same group from last year. It was incredible to grow stronger and create great relationships with other married couples.

5. Writing down my dreams and taking baby steps to make them a reality. Going to Chicago for Making Things Happen was truly life changing. I knew what I wanted, but I kept pushing it off for “someday.” Saying things out loud to a room of thirty amazing ladies, helped me to face my fears and just go for it.

6. Second shooting with a good friend. Darlene has been so gracious with her time and knowledge, and I am so thankful for her friendship this year!

7. Photographing beautiful friends and family. I have been incredibly blessed with the opportunity to “practice” this year. Thank you everyone for taking a chance on me and believing in my future.

8. Developing friendships. I have grown closer to new and old friends this year and am realizing how beneficial it is to surround yourself with people that inspire and encourage you.

9. Starting this blog. I have loved journaling for years, but I have truly enjoyed crafting each of these posts to share. It is like sharing a little piece of my heart each week.

10. Spending each day with my amazing husband. He supports me in a way no one else can. I never would have made any of these other things happen without his love and encouragement.

Step 2: Evaluate what didn’t work.

1. I am still fearful of becoming a full time photographer. I know it is going to be a ton of work, and doubt continues to creep in.

2. I didn’t spend nearly enough time in the Word. I know I need it desperately, every morning. But I often allow other things to take precedence.

3. I settled. In schoolwork, business, and life in general. I want to be done with being “okay.”

4. I didn’t cook as often as I wanted. You know that my husband does a lot of cooking (and I am so grateful), but I want to spend more time in the kitchen, making healthy meals for our family.

5. I didn’t run/workout like I needed. The first step is always the hardest, but I always feel amazing after a long run. We did a few races this year, but nothing that truly challenged me like I crave.

6. I wasted too much time comparing myself to others. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote “comparison is the thief of joy,” but I’ve truly felt it this year. It is so easy to think you are finding “inspiration,” but really I am just draining myself and feel like a failure. I need to spend more time developing my own style instead of trying to copy.

Step 3: Pinterest Vision Board.

You can see mine here. I am a visual person, and putting pretty images together helps me so much!

These three simple steps have brought so much clarity and focus. As I look ahead, I want to align my focus with my Creator. God has been teaching me to slow down, enjoy the little things, and trust Him completely. But most of all, He is calling me to love. To love my husband, my family, friends, and strangers. To allow my business to be focused on showering my clients with love. To give freely and love on the poor. To see through His eyes. He is teaching me little by little every day, and I am continually praying that I can truly love unconditionally. Because He loved me first.

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Thank you for your love and support this year. This blog would still be a mere dream without the help of incredible friends and family. I am forever grateful for YOU! Enjoy a sweet kiss from someone you love tonight, and tell me what you are looking forward to in 2013.

December Goals

decemberHow can it be December already? It is so hard to believe that we are getting ready to celebrate our second Christmas as a married couple. It makes Christmas surprises much more difficult, but I love new traditions as a family. I started a reading plan this morning, spending the next four weeks diving deeper into the story of Christmas. Today’s devotional hit home: “Advent is a time to quiet our hearts, for repentance, examination and introspection.” While I love the spirit of giving and gathering with friends and family, I am looking forward to finding rest in my Savior this season.

  • Continue to fuel my body with healthy meals, so I don’t feel awful around the holidays
  • Decorate Christmas cookies with our family
  • Be more intentional with staying in touch with friends, near and far
  • Enjoy more hot chocolate
  • Practice, practice, practice with my camera

I am enjoying this first day of the month, knitting by the fire. I know, I sound like an old lady, but I love it! What are you looking forward to this month?

November Goals

The leaves are falling, Christmas music is on the radio, and it is perfectly acceptable to wear boots every single day. I love this time of year! Our schedule is filling up quickly with family gatherings and Christmas shopping, but I love the excitement of this season. This is the first installment of my monthly goals. I was inspired by the lovely Nancy Ray and Caroline Joy, and decided it would be a great way to keep myself on track. And ask my husband…I love making goals!

  • Finish Christmas shopping
  • Spend the extra hour of daylight savings doing something fun with my husband
  • Get a haircut…the bangs are coming back!
  • Enjoy making lasagna and apple butter with our family
  • Read EntreLeadership
  • Keep training and enjoy the Thanksgiving Day Race
  • Remind myself every day that I have so many things to be thankful for

What are some goals you have for the end of the year? I would love to hear them!