I’m not a big Valentine’s person.  I always try to do something sweet on that day but I’ve never felt like this was the ONE day where Gary HAS to show me HOW much he loves me…or else.  We usually come up with a little plan.  Something simple because let’s be real…I’m a wedding photographer and I’m almost always broke on Valentine’s Day.  He always picks me out the perfect card (I mean seriously…it’s always exactly perfect to where we are in our life.  Meanwhile…mine says something like – you’re cute, take off your clothes.  Wife of the year guys.) and we come up with something yummy to cook for dinner.  Shows are watched and we’re typically in bed by 10.  Party.  Animals.

 

That’s pretty much exactly what happened this year.  Dinner in our pjs, tacos, splitting one giant Reese’s heart (holy stomach ache) and closing down the night with some serious binge watching of The Office.  Here is where this Valentine’s takes a turn for the abnormal.  We’re half way through season 7 and by now Gary and I are full on obsessed with this show.  Not just a little…a lot a lot!  And when you’re watching on Netflix it just keeps playing and you never really know how deep you are until you’re past the point of no return.  So last night, we’re lying in bed watching our favorite show.  And boom.  The Goodbye, Michael Scott episode.

 

WHY!?  WHY did no one warn me about this???  I mean I knew he left before the show was over but couldn’t someone have given me even the slightest hint that my heart was going to get ripped out and stomped on and broken into a million pieces?!?!  For the entire 36 minutes I felt like my best friend was leaving me and it was too much to handle.  I legitimately spent a solid half hour real-crying over a fictional character leaving a show.  So much so my pillow was wet and I had to turn it over before I went to sleep.  I mean that last scene with Pam chasing him down and watching him take off?!?!  If I’m being honest…I’m still sad about it.  Like more than I think I should be.  So yeah, Valentine’s isn’t important to me but it will now forever live on as the day Michael Scott – and The Office – ruined my life.

 

Ok, mildly dramatic – but for real!?!  Can anyone out there relate!?!?  I realize I’m like six years late but the struggle IS REAL!  Ok, I’m going to stop yelling now.  Also…Gary and I took zero photos yesterday (another fail) so I’m leaving you with this adorable picture of my other Valentine’s – of the miniature variety.  🙂 <3

 

 

 

Emmy,

 

Today is the day after your 2nd birthday.  And trust me when I say it was quite the party.  As you get older, make sure you’re extra nice to your mom because she works so hard to make sure you have the best birthday ever.  Every single year (you’ve only had 2 so far, but there are lots more to come).  I still remember the day you were born.  I walked up and down the hallways with your mom trying to get you to make your grand entrance.  I remember how much I loved you and I hadn’t even met you yet.  It’s really a crazy feeling.  I hope you get to feel that someday.  I remember holding you for the first time in a room full of people that would literally do anything for you.  Never doubt how much love you have in your life.  I remember rocking you to sleep one night and telling you all about the amazing things you were going to do one day (Emmy for President?).  Because you’re not just any little girl.  You’re a fighter.  You fought to make it into this world and have been a force ever since.  I knew from the second I met you that you were something special.  That you would take this world by storm and truly be one of a kind.  As you grow more into the little person you have already become I just want you to remember a few things.  You are funny and silly and feisty and have so much sweetness inside of you…don’t ever let anyone take that away from you.  You have always marched to the beat of your own drum and I hope that never stops.  You are so brave.  No one falls down and gets back up the way you do.  Your hair is amazing and one day when you go to buy your first straightener remember that people pay a lot of money for hair like yours.  Embrace those glorious curls.  Have dance parties.  Love your sister.  Try new things.  Be unapologetically you.  And never stop being the little fighter you were born to be.  I love you Emery Brooke…every single part of you.

 

 

There is something so special about doing maternity photos when it’s your second (or third, or so on) pregnancy.  Having another little one around just makes them so sentimental.  Those precious moments before they become a big brother or big sister.  That short time when you’re a family of 3…soon to be a party of 4.  I just love it.  And there is something even MORE special when that family is one of your absolute favorites!  I’ve known Annie for longer than I am willing to admit.  She was there the night I had my first dirty martini (and oh what a night it was).  We’ve closed down Vegas and spent way too many nights together that quickly became mornings.  And while I really had nothing to do with it (even though I like to pretend it was all my doing), I was there the night she met Brett.  <3  We’ve spent countless hours together laughing and while we may not have realized it then…growing up together.  It’s crazy the places life takes us but I’m so beyond grateful I get to be there to document it.

 

Annie and Brett will be welcoming a fourth to their crew in a few short weeks and I just honestly couldn’t love them more.

 

 

Off season is a funny thing because I always feel like I will have SOOOO much time to catch up on everything and relax and crack open bottles of Chardonnay at 5pm.  When I’m in the thick of busy season (where an open weekend is as realistic as a unicorn) it just seems like the second I have an ounce of free time I am going to soak. it. up.  But let’s be real.  We call it busy season and off season…but there is nothing off about this season.  Because as soon as I have a break from shooting and editing… and a chance to take a few deep breaths….my mind all the sudden opens up again and I’m ready to hustle the sh*t out of the slow months.  It’s like I wake up giddy because I have real, uninterrupted time to dream and dig in and go for it.  Now…let me be clear that there are so many days where I stare at my computer because I have no idea what to do next.  I mean I feel like we all have a little of that fear paralysis from time to time.  But the days where I feel that fire underneath me are really unlike any other.

 

So what’s been going on?  It’s “off” season but when you run two businesses that’s not really a thing.  So I thought I’d give you a little update about what’s been cookin’ behind the scenes.  Because for the first time in a while (I mentioned in my last post this has been a hard year) I feel excited and hopeful and ready to seriously kick some a$$.

 

First up…Healing Heels.

 

I just want to start by saying that while **literally** 90% of the time I have no clue what I’m doing…I love this little business we’ve created.  It challenges me every day and I learn so much about things I never expected to need to know.  It’s fun and rewarding and fulfills me in all the best ways.  So what have we been up to?  We just released TWO new shirts!  They are so cute if I don’t say so myself.  They are incredibly soft and comfy.  I literally live in mine.  You can grab yours here and you can feel great while you’re shopping because your purchase helps us donate a pair of Healing Heels to a woman fighting cancer!

 

SHOP

SHOP

We’re also in the process of producing our THIRD shoe and we want to hear from you!  If you could take one minute to fill our this quick survey we would be eternally grateful.  And even more-so if you would share it with your friends! We want our next shoe to be our best one yet so the more people we can hear from the better!!

SURVEY

We are also in the process of setting up our next Gifting Day!  Gifting days are how we donate shoes.  We go to cancer centers and deliver shoes to every woman receiving treatment.  They are pretty magical days.  If you know of a cancer center that would love to have us we want to hear from you!  It’s harder than you may think to find Cancer Centers willing to host us so we’d love your help!  You can email info(at)healing-heels.com with any suggestions!


Now on to the photography front…

I am planning on doing another Beginner Class this spring.  I will either do it in Indy or Chicago depending on how much interest there is.  If you are interested, fill out this form and I will be in touch as soon as I iron out the details!  These classes are great for someone who just bought a new camera or wants to learn how to use the one they already have.  You’ll be shooting manual before the day is over!

That about does it.  I’m off to get my 3rd cup of coffee for the day.  (don’t judge)  Here’s to a productive Thursday (seriously had to take a minute to figure out what day it was) full of getting sh*t done!  Let’s do this!

 

We were sitting around the table and the New Year was upon us.  It’s always amazing how fast that happens.  I asked everyone what their word for 2017 would be.  If they could sum up their year in one word, a word that described how they wanted to feel and be and what they wanted to accomplish…what would that be?  As everyone went around and said theirs I knew eventually it was going to be my turn.  I didn’t think that through before asking the question because I really struggled to come up with an answer.  On one hand I want it to be so many things, way more than fit inside one little word.  And on the other hand I have no idea what I want.  Sometimes when I think about the future it’s very muddled so how do I pigeon hole that into one word?  But I thought on it.  I let my insides struggle with itself and finally landed on one word that I want not just for 2017, but for my life.

 

Peace.

 

And I don’t mean in a dramatic way like world peace or anything like that (although that would be pretty damn nice right about now)…but peace inside myself.  2016 was a challenging year.  It was full of so many amazing things but there was a lot of struggle.  Both internally and externally.  I was forced to face a lot of things about myself that I would have been much happier just leaving untouched.  I started going to therapy (judge away but there isn’t a human being on this planet that can’t benefit from a little shrink time).  I had some bad days and some really great ones.  But what last year taught me the most was what was possible.  What I’m capable of.  I scratched the surface of what real, honest peace feels like and I want so much more of it.  To let go of the worry and angst and that tight feeling in my chest that makes me feel like someone in cutting off my air supply.  I always just told myself that it was part of the whole ‘owning your own business‘ thing.  But it doesn’t have to be.  And while I’m not even close to an expert I’m pretty sure life can be pretty amazing, no matter what, if you make room for it.

 

As I sat down to write this post (which for some reason I dread every year), I started to get that feeling.  Like 2016 was just this big blur and 2017 feels very out of focus so how in the hell do I set intentions for it?  But then I remembered that word.  Peace.  What will bring me peace in 2017?  So here it goes…

 

  • Continue to work on myself.  It may sound selfish but 2017 is going to be about me. Front and center and unapologetic about it.  (With the exception of my nieces.  They will always be #1).
  • Be the best wife I can be.  I feel like I’m learning a lot about what that means and it’s quite a bit different than what me 5 years ago thought it meant.  Marriage is a life long learning process and it isn’t pure bliss every single day.  But the days that aren’t make the days that are so worth it.
  • Push my boundaries as a photographer.  I’ve been doing this a long time now and I don’t want to get complacent.  I want every wedding and shoot to be a new chance to be better.
  • Shoot for me.  It’s hard to want to do something personal when you’re so busy “working”…but I don’t want to lose that spark that makes me love doing this in the first place.
  • Feel financially stable.  This might be a pipe dream because I don’t think any entrepreneur ever feels stable.  But I want to at least try.
  • Tavel.  Since we bought a house last year travel was put on the back burner and I miss it.  A lot.
  • Be authentic.  Because there is way too much fake out there.
  • Shoot all my 2017 weddings like a boss. (insert bicep emoji)
  • Continue to grow my life in Indy.  Moving here was the best decision we’ve ever made but it’s been hard.  Starting over in an old yet new city.  Making new friends.  We’ve come a long way in a year but I want that to continue.
  • Get out of my comfort zone.  I’m a scaredy cat.  Confrontation.  Asking for what I want.  Basically doing anything that doesn’t make me completely comfortable, I hate it.  But I’m a big girl now and I have to get over it.
  • Secure funding for Healing Heels.  This is so foreign to me and is going to be hard but it’s going to happen.
  • Continue to grow Healing Heels.  This is my baby and while it’s a slow process, it’s one I am so incredibly passionate about.
  • Go to at least one conference/class/etc.
  • Start on my quest of learning how to build things.  Just wait…you guys are going to be so impressed.
  • Our house.  It’s so easy to fall into the trap of everything that needs to be done but in reality it’s pretty perfect just the way it is.  I need to remember that more often.  But for real we need a fence, stat.  Goose is hell bent on escaping.
  • Be grateful.  Even on the worst days I have so much more than I could ever need.
  • Be the best aunt I can be.  I love those little girls with everything I have and now that they are 5 minutes away I don’t ever want to take my time with them for granted.
  • Stay healthy.  2017 is when I hit my 5  year cancer-versary (which is huge and much anticipated).  I’ll be throwing a party.  I also want to get and stay physically healthy (I’ve been getting injured a lot – getting old sucks).
  • Dream big.  A little part of me sometimes forgets to do that.  I go into survival mode instead of thriving mode.
  • Live life in abundance.  This kind of ties with above.  I tend to think about everything in scarcity.  Like I need to book more weddings.  Or I need to make more money.  Or I don’t have enough of this or that.  But if I look at life and business with abundance, it really does change the game.  (This doesn’t mean I want more, it means that I need to focus on having enough).
  • Let go.  Of anything that does not bring me peace.

 

 

So there you have it.  2017 in a nutshell.  While these are my hopes for the year, part of me loves that fact that it’s unknown.  That in a year I’ll look back on this and laugh because I didn’t even have a clue of what the year was really going to bring.  But I’m open to the ride and am excited for the clarity and (hopefully) peace and drive a new year brings.  Here’s to owning 2017 and making it whatever you want it to be!