I have been inspired by my neighbors, hometown friends, heck... America for rallying together and supporting one another. I'd love to play a small part in that and help out in any way I can! I've gathered a list of a few businesses who are in Texas giving to those in need! Maybe you're like me and are hours away but still want to help out? Check out the list below and see where you can donate and lend a helping hand to your Southeast Texans!
Happy new year!!
My little family and I rung in 2017 with friends, food and fireworks. It was a good time and great weather! Last week I shared how I planned on being making the new year an intentional one and setting goals with Powersheets. You can read more about that HERE.
You know how every year everyone sets their resolutions and are fired up about it but quit after 2 months? Yep.. that was me 2 years ago. This year I want to take it to the next level with action plans and being held accountable. So my hope is that by sharing this with you, I'll be even more driven to accomplish everything on my list!
What's my "WOTY"?
After carefully thinking about a word that would fit what I wanted to focus on, "invite" kept coming to mind. I had just finished reading the book "Uninvited" by Lysa TerKeurst, "invite" just felt right (that book is wonderful by the way!). I want to invite new connections, new experiences, and more adventure into my life. It's the little things in life that add up and bring joy!
Here's a few of my 2017 goals:
- Spend quality time with Nate and Grant.
Action plan: Like actually being present when I'm with them! Three weeks ago I removed the Facebook app from my phone and turned off all notifications. I've been wanting to do this for a while and tried to do something similar a while back, but it sucked me back in. I found myself scrolling constantly , reading things I didn't really care about. I was definitely hesitant to do this because of my photography business... I kept thinking, what if I missed an opportunity? I won't be as present online and available 24/7, or what if I miss something big that's happening in my friend's life? Well you know what... if they are my friend, I'm bound to find out and hopefully on a more personal level other than FB. I want to be CONNECTED!
So far I feel less comparison, less negativity and less wasted time. This may be small to you, but it's been a game changer for me! You'll still find me on Instagram but I find that it hasn't been much of a problem. So if you've had the same doubts as me and you want to be more present with your loved ones, just do it. I gave myself boundaries such as only getting on FB on my computer, scheduling posts in advance, etc. and so far it's been good!
- Read more inspirational books!
Action plan: In 2016, I made a goal of reading one book (big deal... I know ha!) and I actually read two. For me, that really is a big deal. After reading "The Happiness Dare" by Jennifer Dukes Lee and "Uninvited", it left me wanting to read more! So then I picked up "When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi. I'm not sure what it is.. getting older maybe? not being forced to read? but I enjoyed it. This also is a better alternative than scrolling through posts on Facebook leaving me empty. So my plan is to read one book a month!
Here's my to read list so far! If you've read any of these, let me know what you thought!
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
- Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
- Grace, Not Perfection by Emily Ley
- For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Let's All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs
- Work on hospitality.
Action plan: I need to be more inviting and let others feel welcomed into my life. We can serve God by opening up our home and hearts. It doesn't take much to do this either! Invite a friend(s) over, have coffee or cook a meal, and have some good conversation. Really by interested in their life and make eye contact instead of having my phone out! Letting old and new friends feel invited and valued. I also want to be ok with being messy (toys everywhere, things on the counter, etc.) and not being sorry about it because our home is lived in with love!
- Grow my wedding photography business!
Action plan: Photography was my 1st passion and still is! Now that I've honed in on what I love to photograph and what sparks joy, it's time to focus even more. God has blessed me with a gift that allows me to capture precious moments for families, couples, graduating students, but it also helps me contribute to my family. I'm truly thankful for my family and friends who pushed me to pursue my passion!
Blogging has been hard for me. I second guess my writing all of the time, I feel boring, and the list goes on. I NEED to blog! I need to share my work and open up about my life to allow others in and let future clients get to know me. The only way I'm going to meet my ideal client is by sharing what I value. Blogging once a week is one of the ways that will help me reach my overall goal!
Connecting with other creatives is another. Hopefully I'm not the only one, but in my head I'm like I'm going to go to these meet ups for creatives and put myself out there! Then when it comes time for the event I talk myself out of it. It's time to quit that. I'm vowing to step out of my comfort zone and connect!
So there you have it! A peek into some of my goals for the new year. Whew... I'm pretty sure this is the longest blog post I've written and I'm exhausted. 2017, I'm comin' for ya!
With 2017 creeping in I'm sure most of you, like me, have been reflecting on 2016 and dreaming of the new year to come! There have been many ups and downs (more ups!), lessons learned and a lot of growth in my business and personally.
When I was pregnant with Grant, I bought a chalkboard to do the fun baby bump updates. Fun fact, I only used it for that specific reason 5 times since I didn't get a bump until almost 28 weeks! ha! But after all of that fun stuff, I decided to change the chalkboard up about once a month with whatever season we were in.
On January 1, 2016 I had this bright idea of writing "the best is yet to come" at the top of the chalkboard and then filling out my goals beneath it. I also wrote some goals for Grant (who was 6 months at the time)... crawl, walk, have a 1st birthday party... you know.. #babygoals. ;) But for real, have you ever took the time to really think about your goals and then write them down?
Even though I'm sure Nate was the only one who saw, my goals were written down and out in the open. I feel a little crazy when I say this out loud but writing my desires out helped push me to accomplish them. To name a few, I had goals like attending church as a family, hire a professional to revamp my website and graduate from college. Once I actually accomplished one of them I thought, man! This feels awesome! Which one can I accomplish next? I'm a hardcore procrastinator and completing a project ahead of schedule is a big deal. I'm that girl who writes an essay better two hours before the paper is due. lol!
Fast forward to November and I see an Instagram post by Katelyn James about this thing called Powersheets. I check it out and automatically knew that this is what I needed to take my goals to the next level. I've had them for 2ish weeks now and it is so much more than I expected! I'm sure you're wondering what Powersheets are? They are a guide to intentional goal planning, helping you cultivate what matters most to YOU. The prep work gets you to dig down deep leading you to setting positive goals for the year. It's all about progress, not perfection.
2017 hasn't even started and I can't get enough!
On the next blog post I'll reveal my word of the year and a few of my goals. XOXO
It's been a little while since I've blogged. What can I say? Life gets busy when you have a sick toddler and a schedule full of sessions and parties! Even though it's been a little chaotic around here, I've still made time for my podcasts. I am officially a podcast geek. I've gotten advice, resources, and reassurance from just tuning in to different creative shows. The best thing about it... it's FREE!
I started listening a few podcasts earlier this year when my friend, Lizett, introduced me to The Homemaking Foundations Podcast (which I love). I browsed around and had no idea that there were so many different people speaking to entrepreneurs like myself! Holy cow! It's safe to say that I became a little bit addicted. Any time I'm in the car by myself, I plug in my phone and turn the volume up!
Here are my top 3 podcasts that I'm loving at the moment!
She Creates Business Podcast is still pretty new, but so far I've enjoyed listening! I love how it's geared towards wedding professionals and not just photographers, giving me a different outlook on the industry. Kinsey does a great job at keeping the conversation flowing and providing great resources!
The ladies at PhotoSpark have provided some awesome content that I've applied to my business. Right now I'm obsessed with Episode 47: Finding Your Dream Clients! I'll admit that I've listened to it more than once. It's THAT good!
Last but not least, All Up in Your Lady Business. Jessica and Jaclyn crack me up! I find myself nodding my head and agreeing with them all the time. I love the guests they have on the show too!
So now that I've shared some of my favorites with you... do you have any to share with me?? I'm always up for trying something new! XOXO
I've mentioned it before, but this year has been about setting business goals and accomplishing them. I've been told and read quite a few times that if you actually write your goals down then you are more likely to get them done. If you're anything like me then you probably thought "yeah yeah..." and just went on with your life. Well, I actually wrote mine down at the beginning of 2016 and what do ya know? IT WORKS. I had 3-4 plans that I needed to make happen this year and I only have one more left to complete! I still have a few months before 2017 so I'm not too worried.
Confession, I'm a procrastinator. I always felt that I wrote my best essays two hours before it was due. ;) Please tell me I'm not alone!
One of the things that came to my mind is how happier I am once I decided to stop working on Sundays. After all, God did designate the Sabbath as a day of rest and worship. When I first started out in the photography world I took every session that came at me. Even though I was ecstatic to be working, I was also missing out on fun events. Now that Nate is off on the weekends and we have Grant, it was a no brainer that I needed make more time for my family. Whether it's attending church together, hanging out in the driveway, or going to the mall, we're making memories. I am there.
So my advice to you business owners... take a day off out of the week to recharge your creative batteries! As much as you may live and breathe your job, you run the risk of getting burnt out. Set aside that one day to spend with family, friends, or heck... treat yourself! You deserve it and your family deserves your presence too.