I’ve known I needed one for…well…longer than I care to admit.  My laptop has been on it’s last leg for some time now but I could never bring myself to bite the bullet.  Even though it was taking 12 seconds for every photo to load in Lightroom and everything would freeze every other click…I had convinced myself that I could still make it work.  I had tried several attempts to fix it that all failed and last week I hit my wits end.  My ‘to-edit‘ list had reached an all time high and I had several more shoots and weddings on the calendar.  I felt like I literally couldn’t edit fast enough to keep up with the photos that were still coming in.  It was around 5:00 and I was trying to write an email that was maybe four sentences long.  I would type a few words…freeze.  A few more words…freeze.  I just needed to send this quick email so I could get back to editing and this very short email took me over 24 minutes to write.  I know…ridiculous.

 

So I did it.  I put a shiny new computer in my Apple shopping cart and when Gary got home I made him hit the ‘buy now’ button.  I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I immediately freaked out about how I couldn’t afford it and I can’t believe I spent all that money…blah blah blah.  But when it arrived a few days ago…my whole life changed.  It kind of reminds me of the time I thought I didn’t like mustard.  I was positive I hated it and wouldn’t eat it on anything.  And then one day I accidentally tried some and my mind was blown!  Mustard was amazing!  And now all the foods that involved mustard were like new foods to me and I had to eat them all immediately.  I could NOT believe what I had been missing.  Same for my computer.  I had no idea what I was missing.  I did all my work from my laptop and thought it was just fine.  Until I got this baby.  The speed…the SIZE…the screen.  Amazing.  I literally edited faster than I ever have yesterday which I’m pretty sure makes me some kind of editing ninja.  Nonetheless…while this is a pretty random blog post…I just had to tell the world about my new life.  My new computer and I are going to spend the day doing really fast, pretty things….and whatever you are doing I hope it’s equally as exciting!  Happy Friday!!!

 

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  • Kim - November 21, 2014 - 10:20 am

    Ohhhh (in the highest octave I can sing) to the beautiful iMac! I’m in need of a new mac to speed up production as well. So I felt your pain! Happy dance for you as you can get your work done 3x faster! Happy Friday!!!ReplyCancel

It’s so interesting to me the things that change as I go along in my business.  I figure out things that work and things that don’t.  I get a little more organized…and in some ways a little less.  But one thing is always true…it’s constantly changing.   With one exception…it constantly blows my mind how completely awesome the couples I get to work with are.  I mean…I honestly want to be best friends with them all and sometimes it seems unfair that I get to call this work.

 

When I met Lauren and Mike it was on one of those freakishly warm days in October.  We even sat outside which if you know me you know that is basically my love language.  Lauren and I had chatted on the phone so I knew going in I was going to love her…but I wasn’t there five minutes and I totally fell in love with them.  Lauren and Mike are just flat out awesome.  The kind of people that you hang out with and you don’t want it to end.  And chatting with them felt like chatting with old friends.  We talked about how they met and sneaking wine into movies and Lauren’s affinity for postit notes.  There may have been some talk about simliarites between her and Amy in Gone Girl.  But hey…you can’t fault that girl for being organized!;) And when we met for their engagement session it just proved all over again how lucky I am to get to work with couples like Lauren and Mike.

 

So enough from me…meet Lauren and Mike.  I have no doubt you’ll love them as much as I do.  :)

 

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  • Kristy Herrell - November 19, 2014 - 5:22 pm

    Amazing pics! They turned out great. Love the fall colorsReplyCancel

In my older years…I’ve come to appreciate things so much more.  I’ve always appreciated the big things…like having a roof over my head and food on the table…but recently it’s the little things that are always on my mind.  Like talking to my mom…I always make it a point to be nice…even when she’s driving me nuts.  Or saying yes to brunch with a friend even when I know I am way too busy.  Because who knows the next time I’ll get to see them.  And most of all…I’ve come to appreciate the value of truly amazing friends.  It’s like as life gets more complicated and messy and amazing…having friends by your side that would literally drop anything to help you…is so rare.  Friends who genuinely believe in you and want nothing more than to see you fly.  Friends who love all the parts of you…good and bad.  No matter what.  The kind of friends that make this crazy life a blast.

 

The Belvins are those friends to me.  The amount of love I have for this family is insane and Gary and I say all the time that we couldn’t imagine our lives without them.  Between trips to Scituate and phone calls where you just can’t seem to hang up…they’ve become a constant in our lives that do nothing but make it better.  They are truly some of the greats and while I don’t post family photos on here very often…today is the exception.

 

Here’s a little peek into a day at the beach with the Belvins.  The best kind of day if you ask me…

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We all go through things in life and in my opinion…how we react to them defines us.  Whether we let these things defeat us or make us better.  Whether we let them push us forward or hold us back.  It says so much about who you are as a person.  For the last two months…Gary has been going through something that I haven’t talked about on here.  Out of respect for him…and because I wanted to let him deal with it like he wanted.  But when he came to me asking to do a blog post about his recent struggles…I sort of fell in love with him all over again.  Because he didn’t just want to tell the world what he’s been going through…he wanted to talk about it because it would help people.  Because what he has been going through is something SO MANY PEOPLE struggle with and he wants his story to help people.  And that friends…makes me so incredibly proud to be his wife.  So enough from me….

 

***

 

People often describe traumatic times in their life by saying ‘it came out of the blue’.  The things I am about to say are not anything that I would have done three months ago.  There are people in my life who are very close to me who are going to be surprised and maybe even shocked by what I am about to reveal.  I kept this one close to the vest as I dealt with it.  The thing is, the deeper I went into this and climbing out of it, the more I wanted to share my story with people.  See, a little over two months ago…I was sitting at work on a Monday morning and wasn’t feeling quite right.  I didn’t think a lot of it as I have never been one to take the flu or any other illness seriously.  WebMD once told me to get to the emergency room right away and 36 hours later I went to the ER and ended up in surgery to have my appendix removed.  But this morning seemed a little different.  Around noon I started feeling some really intense pain in the upper left side of my chest, tingling in my left arm, and a little lightheadedness.  A co-worker sat me down on the couch in my office and called 911.  I was convinced at that moment that I was having a heart attack.  It was as shocking as it was terrifying.  The ambulance ride…the countless family history questions…the endless string of medical professionals and the unbelievable amount of cords hooked up to me.  It was a very humbling experience.  I had a moment where I laid there and just cried.  I had so many emotions running thorough my body..but as the day went on it became more confusing than scary.  Test after test came back negative.  Everything seemed fine.  The blood tests, the EKG’s, the stress test…all normal.  I left the hospital the next afternoon with more questions than answers.

 

Fast forward to three more trips to the ER and nothing physically wrong with me and it was determined that I had developed an anxiety disorder.  It’s scary to me to say that in a forum where so many people are going to read it.  In the beginning, I was afraid of being judged or looked at differently.  I went into some very intense therapy with a physiatrist to determine why someone so laid back and easy going and had a punch line for everything, suddenly couldn’t get through a day without having a panic attack.  I have learned that so many people suffer everyday with anxiety.  Some people have anxiety that leads to panic attacks. I was having full blown panic attacks.  My panic led me to believe that I was about to collapse and die…hence the four trips to the hospital.  And while there was nothing physically wrong with me that needed emergency medical attention, the thought that I was seconds away from death were as real to me as the air we breathe.  It has been a truly terrifying experience and it seemed there was no end in sight.  My only goal was to make it through the day without having a panic attack.  I was missing work.  I was dismissed from a National Guard weekend.  It seemed the world was crumbling around me…and that’s when the therapy started.

 

I jumped into some very intense therapy. I went into some talk therapy that gave me an outlet to get out all of the things in my life that I had bottled up over the years.  Anyone who knows me knows that I have a joke for everything but when it comes to something personal, well, you had a better chance at robbing Fort Knox.  I also went into some other therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This therapy was so intense that last week my doctor induced a panic attack.  Why?  To show me that my brain has been lying to me.  Tricking me into thinking I was in real danger.  And after that day my life has been forever changed.

 

I talked to a close friend after this all this started that told me that I would get though it and when I did, I would see the world differently.  This friend was 150% right.  I have gotten to the other side of anxiety and panic and while I am not completely free of anxiety…I see anxiety differently.  I haven’t had a panic attack in over three weeks and my medications to control this have been dramatically reduced.  I am feeling as good about myself as I have in three months.

 

Why I am I telling you all of this?  Why I am I telling you about my experience that has taken me to the lowest moments of my life?  Because while navigating through this problem and talking about it, I learned that so many other people are suffering with anxiety.  And the worst part is, the overwhelming majority that I have talked to, are suffering in silence.  Let me tell you, silence, is like wind to a fire…it just fuels it.  I am telling you this because if you are dealing with this, you don’t have to suffer alone.  When I realized I was suffering from anxiety and panic, I dove in head first.  Don’t get me wrong, nothing about this battle was easy.  I had some very low moments.  But once the fog started to clear and I started seeing anxiety for what it was, which is nothing that can hurt me, it was much easier to start dismissing it and not giving it the attention that it wanted.  I appreciate the little things in life now way more than I ever have.  Being present in a conversation and not keeping one eye on my phone.  Enjoying a dinner with my wife and not spending the entire time complaining about work.  I enjoy moments I have never given a second thought to.  I hate that I had panic attacks but I am so much better for it.  I am not expecting everyone who reads this to identify with it or understand what I am talking about…but I know there is someone reading this right now that has or is currently suffering the way I did.  And I am telling you that you don’t have to do it alone.  I am telling you that you don’t have to be ashamed.  Anxiety and Panic is an illness that lies to you and makes you think you are in danger or something catastrophic is about to happen.  If you had a broken arm, would you be embarrassed to go to the doctor?  Of course not, you’re injured.  Anxiety and Panic is a mental injury that you can fully recover from.  And I have recovered and come out on the other side not only a better person, but a person with perspective and awareness that I have never had before.

 

Just remember, whether you’re dealing with anxiety, panic, or just a rotten day, there is something to be learned from every experience we encounter.  I don’t know why I ultimately started having panic attacks, seemingly out of the blue but I know this…I am a changed person for it.  I once apologized to my wife for her having to deal with this.  She went on to tell me that while she hates what I am going through and would never choose this for me, that she would take this version of me over the pre-panic version any day.  Why?  Because I am so much more open and I am more engaging about the little things.  When she asks me about my day, I tell her about it and am not dismissive because I don’t want to bore her with the details.

 

So just remember, the next time you grab a Starbucks, or a friend stops by, or you have a meal with someone you care about, take the time to enjoy that moment.  No matter what is going on, your phone will still be there in an hour.  Live the moment and truly experience it.  We are guaranteed nothing in life.  We aren’t guaranteed another breath beyond the one we are taking right now.  Don’t waste that breath searching for the next shoe sale or wondering if the Cubs are going to be competitive next year.  Enjoy right now.  Enjoy this moment that you’re in.  I had no idea what I was missing.  But I know I won’t miss it again.

 

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Life has been a little stressful lately.  Good stress…mostly.  The kind of stress that means you have a lot of wonderful things on your plate.  But stressful nonetheless.  Last night I was talking to Gary about this said stress…basically as a way to just vent about it.  But instead of just nodding and giving me his sympathy…he gave me a little pep talk that set me straight.  He said I was 23 miles into a marathon and those last 3 miles are where I have to hunker down…focus…and finish with my head held high!  And while he knows full well I would never be caught dead running a marathon…the metaphor made sense.  So I woke up this morning…mentally running through all the things I had to get done today before we hit the road for an out of town wedding this weekend…and I of course got overwhelmed.  But instead of focusing on that…I decided to take a few minutes to focus on all the good things that are happening right now.  And thus ’10 things I love about right now’ was born…

 

1. It’s boot season.  And wearing boots might be my favorite thing ever.

2. While everyone is upset about winter being upon us…I’m OK with it.  Winter means things slow down and get a whole lot cozier.  So I say bring it!

3. Healing Heels is funded and right now we are at a pivotal point in our business.  There’s been a lot of unexpected turns in the road and while I sometimes feel like I might pass out…I am so excited about the future of this company.

4. Plaid is in.  Don’t get me wrong…I’ve always worn plaid.  But the fact that it is so trendy right now makes me really happy.

5. A day off…from the gym.  I’ve had a lot on my plate lately and I make it a huge priority of mine to never let the gym get pushed to the back-burner.  No matter how busy I get I still find time for it. But today I am giving myself a day of rest.  A whole day where I can just plow through work without any interruptions.  Two thumbs up.

6. Target let me return a pair of pants without the tag or receipt.  That’s always a win in my book.

7. I got a free drink coupon at Starbucks this morning because they took a million years to make my drink.  Little did they know I would wait forever.

8. I’m inspired.  I can’t explain it.  I feel like life is shifting in this funny way and it’s magical.  Like everything is clicking into place and it just feels right.

9. I got a new computer.  Finally.  Which means if the tracking information is correct…by November 19th this blog post will be posted about 76% faster!

10. I’m happy.  Amidst all the busy and stress and late nights…I am genuinely happy.  I love what I do and I love who I get to do it with.  And I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world…

 

10 things to love about right now