Friday Five on a Monday? Yeesh…I know. That just goes to show you what last week was like for me. I started feeling a little sick on Monday evening after I got done riding my horse and got out of the shower, and by Tuesday afternoon I knew something was going on. I ended up having some crazy combination of a sinus infection, flu symptoms, and something nasty in my chest causing an atrocious cough. I’ve been sick three times in the last two months and this is the first time I’ve been knocked on my butt like this, literally spending all of Wednesday, Thursday, and half of Friday in bed. No fun :( So the Friday Five which should have been up Friday is now showing up on a Monday. We can bend the rules, right?
Here’s five things that are on my mind from April…
1. Timing: I’m honestly so grateful I got that sick when I did, rather than this week when I have to travel back to Maryland. Even though I was straight up miserable for three and a half days, I could not be more lucky that it happened then instead of now.
2. Progress on the house: Remember how I shared about our plans for our “diamond in the rough” of a house? Well, our plans have changed once again but it’s really exciting. I’ll share more soon, but this has been a big point of stress this month so it’s amazing to finally be REALLY getting somewhere, I think :)
3. The Voice: I watched American Idol back when I was little, but then everyone and their mom started coming up with singing shows and it just got old to me. The Voice had seemed kind of intriguing in commercials, so at the start of this season, Dustin and I decided to see what the fuss was about and we LOVE it. Oh my gosh…the talent! And you know what is the best part? That it’s all about lifting people up and being positive, rather than telling them how awful they are and making a joke of them, like American Idol had turned into years ago. I especially love the camaraderie between the coaches. Any other Voice fans?
4. Swearing off my FB & IG feeds: Some of you may know by now but about 2.5 months ago I “quit” the news feed on FB. I haven’t looked at it since and it’s been one of the best changes EVER. Like in the world. I only use FB to share pictures with my family who are 500 miles away, and for my business page, and that’s the way that it should be for me. I got so tired of never being “enough” compared to everyone else. Lately I’ve also been social media free nearly every weekend, and also am rarely looking at my IG feed either. I just don’t need all that white noise. Do you guys remember the days where you could do things and not feel like you needed to tell the whole world about it? When just doing and being was enough? I mean IG is a little different because nothing beats having pictures to remember these little moments in life, but seriously, who needs to know about every single wonderful thing going on in your life via your FB news feed? Or every terrible awful stroke of bad luck? It’s either one extreme or the other and just wasn’t working for me. I have always admired those who are modest and humble but FB makes it way too easy to act like those two characteristics don’t even exist and just straight up toot your own horn all day long. My achievements are meaningful enough to me without having to tell the world about it and wait for that constant pat on the back. To each their own, but yuck…I feel like FB has this nasty way of changing peoples character.
5. Spring in the South!: I am convinced that aside from the epic proportions of allergens in the air, there is nothing like spring in the South. Really. It is the BEST. No gnats, beautiful colors in the trees, cool nights, breezy, warm days, sunshine, ahhhh it’s literally perfection! Can’t we just have this season all year long?
This week was Landon’s spring break so we basically had the best week ever. We spent nearly every afternoon at the pond fishing, swimming, playing with the dogs, riding the horses bareback, and enjoying the amazing weather. We played the high low game at dinner, we made ice cream, watched cartoons, snuggled a lot, and just had so much good quality time together as a family. Ordinarily we only have every other weekend with this dude, so having him for the whole week is always a treat :)
I don’t know why, but last week I realized I’d never done any “real” portraits of him, just always candid stuff over the years. Now he’s at that age where he is SO fun and eager to please, so I knew this was the perfect time. So off we went one afternoon, trekking around the farm, having a good ole time :) I love this kid SO much and am so fortunate to have him in my life. Being his “bonus mom” is one of the greatest privileges and it’s been so incredible watching him grow up so much over the last 3.5 years. And of course it doesn’t hurt he is soooo handsome just like his daddy :)
Yes, all of these pictures are his real laugh. I may be biased but he has the kind of laugh you just want to bottle up and hear every day :)
The “caught a mosquito face.”
All-time favorite. Already framed in our house.
What beats planting a garden on a Sunday afternoon with my two favorite boys and two favorite yellow people? Here’s to hoping something really grows (and the deer don’t have a feast!). I’ll keep you posted over the next couple of months! ;)
Lexi always needs to know what’s going on :)
And this guy is content to just do his own thing over there with a stick…
Riley’s absolute favorite part of any type of gardening is stealing the plastic containers and shredding them to 1000 tiny pieces.
See? It’s really entertaining until you have to pick up all the pieces haha.
One of my big goals for this year has been to slow. down. Not in any particular way, but just in general. In every part of my life. One of my favorite ways to do that is to either shoot film, or to just force myself to go for a walk with my camera. I still have a roll of film I need to finish, but I’m waiting until Landon comes for Spring Break to do that :) So instead, this morning…the Monday after a wedding weekend which means it will be a BUSY week in the office…I took my camera and my macro lens with me when the dogs and I walked to the barn. To force myself to slow down.
It’s so refreshing to have an excuse to look at things completely different. This was my first time playing with my macro lens “just for fun” since I’ve gotten it, and it was the perfect morning to do so. The light was gorgeous, it was warm (it’s going to be a great week!), and it’s that part of the spring season where everything is coming to life again. Spring and fall are my favorite seasons, but it’s this weather, this kind of light, and this re-birth of everything outside that makes me wish it could be spring all year long :) I had so much fun taking these, so hopefully they are fun to look at. Happy Monday!
The slow season is always the time of year that I dive into books like a crazy person. This year I’m going to try to keep up with my reading even through wedding season, but we will see how that goes. I love cozying up in bed at the end of the day and reading a few pages of a good book :) It helps me slow my brain down and sleep better, and it’s a good break for my eyes when I’ve looked at a screen all day.
I’ve shared about GoodReads.com a few times, but it’s a website I use to keep track of all the books I want to read, have read, and am reading. It’s basically a social network for people who enjoy books (aka nerds like me). You can add your friends, see what they’re reading, and read their reviews. I’ve found a lot of good books this way and love it when people take time to write a little about what they liked or didn’t like about a book. I’m kind of guilty of not always doing that, but I try to go back and add my thoughts at one point or another.
Some of my favorite books that I’ve read in the last few months include…
- It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways: I haven’t actually finished this one yet because it’s pretty hardcore, but I heard about the Whole30 and was pretty fascinated. I’m still skeptical that I could maintain such a huge change in my diet, but regardless, I’ve learned a lot about how food effects every part of our body by reading this book and it’s made me think a lot more about what I put in my mouth.
- Still LoLo: A Spinning Propeller a Horrific Accident, and a Family’s Journey of Hope: You’ve probably heard about Lauren Scruggs, the girl who was horribly injured when she accidently walked into a spinning plane prop just before Christmas a few years ago. This is her inspiring story about fighting against all the odds and coming out on the other side a stronger and much more positive and grateful person. I didn’t want to put it down. Her story is just so incredible and uplifting and it made me take a good hard look at my life and all that I have to be grateful for…especially something as “small” as having two hands.
- Two Kisses for Maddy: a Memoir of Loss and Love: This book was so, so sad, but a lot like Still LoLo, it was so uplifting. The author has an awesome sense of humor despite the terrible hand he’s been dealt, and again it made me think so much about just how precious life is and how attitude can change everything.
- Book Yourself Solid: I love me a good business book, and this is probably one of my favorites I’ve read in a long time. It included so many great exercises for going back to the beginning and taking a hard look at the purpose of your service based business. It came at the perfect time for me as I’ve been re-evaluating the core of my business and my life.
- Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul: Another great business book from the founder of Starbucks, who discusses how the company got so stuck in the idea of “bigger is better” that they nearly crashed and lost all they had built. It was a long read but I really, really enjoyed it. It’s a great reminder that no matter how big you hope for your business to get, you must always stay focused on your authentic mission and make the right decisions, no matter how hard they may seem.
- Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: I just got this yesterday for the sole purpose of reading it each morning when I get up. I truly believe that how you start your day determines how the rest of your day will go. I used to be the person that reached for my phone as soon as I woke up. I’d look at Facebook, email, and Instagram. Those are all great tools for my business, but NOT how I should be starting my day. So for the last few months I’ve been getting up a little earlier, reading for 30 minutes before the Today Show comes on, and now I’ll get to enjoy a short essay each morning that will hopefully inspire me to make the most of my day.
Is anyone reading anything super good right now? I’m always looking for more books to add to my list :) Leave a comment and let me know!
Although I have deep roots in Maryland where I grew up, I am absolutely in love with all things southern. I live on a farm in a small town in South Carolina with my handsome husband, my beautiful step-son, our two yellow lab fur-kids, and three spoiled horses. My blog is a journal of sorts. It’s where I can share all about the things I love so much: my family, our life together, and of course all of the amazing and wonderful people and pets whose story I get to tell.
I love collaborating with laid-back and down- to-earth couples who appreciate the value their wedding images will have for the rest of their lives, and I believe in unique weddings that are truly designed around two people and who they are together. I strive to create images that are emotional, organic, fresh, and genuine, but that will remain timeless twenty, thirty, or sixty years down the road. I believe in printed images, developing friendships with my clients, and having a completely relaxed and enjoyable wedding experience. Each and every story I get to tell is unique and I truly enjoy sharing all of the little pieces that together form this beautiful relationship.
I am currently booking weddings for 2013 and 2014, so please get in touch below to start the journey of documenting your love.