Thursday, April 28, 2016

No stopping it now ( t h i r t y )

I'm feeling the desire to look back and reflect on the past decade and figure out how you spend the last night in your 20s. W O A H.

How did I get here?
Wasn't it just yesterday that I was able to drink for the first time, moving out for the first time, getting my first "real job" and anxiously wanting to be married so I could be done with the drama of dating?

I think there's this normal of freaking out when 30 comes. I feel that. It is weird to close out an adult decade. It is weird to be able to process so much of the life I've lived. It is weird to compare how things were at 20 and how they are now (like 7+ hours of sleep being even more essential, needing downtime, having diet restrictions, thinking about future babies instead of cute boys and so on).

But, it is good. 
I get to enter into a new decade.
I get to do things differently thanks to the wisdom I've gained.
I get to share the highs and lows of life with my best friend and partner in it all.
I get to experience new.
I get whatever is ahead.
I get to be 30.

Do I miss things from the past? Yes! But what a joy. I have plenty of fond life I've lived.
Am I glad I am well done with some things? Yes! And I am glad I have learned.

I wonder what I think of my 20s when I look back from 39. How will my perspective shift?
I'm pretty confident we could always look back and long for the days of  "_________" when things were: easier, more fun, lighter, we had more energy, etc. But I am sure we'll also look back on these days, the current ones and miss them. So the best we could do is embrace, value and notice what we have now; the unique facets and joys this stage of life brings.

Here's to what was: a brief look back.

Lets start with TWENTY. The beginning of this decade I have lived.
I went to Spaghetti Factory, of course! What a little baby...
I had graduated cosmetology school and moved towards photography.
I was newly single after a long relationship and felt like all my plans were up in the air.

Birthdays with friends were so fun in this season.

How about 2008? 22 years old. I remember feeling so legit because I wasn't a newby 21 year old anymore. I was so "established". I was doing wedding photography, high school ministry/college ministry and feeling torn with life's options. This year I'd finally decide to quit my job, adventure to Spain and take a chance towards ministry.

2009: Las Vegas birthday lunch. This was a weird season but it resulted in some deeply meaningful friendships and stretching experiences.  Plus I survived (and actually loved) living in the desert and that in itself was a big accomplishment for me.

2010: I celebrated by getting a tattoo. I was living in a new home in Downtown Fullerton with friends, in my first year working at my church and figuring out this new season. This would be the year I would meet my future husband.

2012: LA birthday celebration with my (then) boyfriend. Oh, what a night. We learned a lot about each other and how we do things differently. This was that season of being in a serious relationship that was "headed towards marriage" and figuring out all the hard parts of moving forward. So much special, so much good and so much hard. We'd drive a lot between Escondido and Fullerton.

2014: Glen Ivy spa day. Despite the large amount of hard I (and we) wrestled with during this year, he continued to love me well, offer grace and show patience with me. Big life decisions were hard and different than all the heavy stuff from my "early twenties". Perspective is powerful. During this year I would quit my job not really knowing what was next but simply knowing it was time.

2015: Road trip to see the Grand Canyon and Zion for the first time. This was the first birthday where I woke up away from home and without my friend circle. But the simplicity of nature, rest, time with Charles and no real plans was beautiful. Things certainly shift over time. During this year I would question what I was doing and what would be next regularly. During this year I restored my desire for creativity and deep connection with people. It wasn't an easy one but it was deeply valuable.

2016: HELLO 30. 

To be continued.  .  .


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Getting used to the weird.

I am (mostly) getting used to the idea of being a "Small Business Owner" or "Entrepreneur" (yes, I had to use spell check to correct it). But it is weird.
Weird because everyone is an Entrepreneur now.
Weird because I've always been a full time employee with benefits.
Weird because there is no guarantee of how this will pan out.
Weird because "What do people think of me/my business?"
Weird because it is hard to put concise words to the vision I have for my business.
Weird because I am my boss.
Weird because I'm trying to find the line between, "Oh, that is a good way to do things" and "I don't want to do things like that at all".
Weird because I have to take money from people (which I haaaate).
Weird because: taxes.

Why am I saying all this? A few reasons..

One: I know that however this pans out, I'll want to look back on this phase.
 Two: I think we often see people's perspective as they look back on the awkward beginning phase from a polished place and maybe it is encouraging for someone to read about it in the current, when they polished phase hasn't arrived or isn't guaranteed.

Have you ever read/heard someone's story and thought "Well sure, look how well it turned out for you. Easy for you to say!"? Me neither (all the time).

So, if you're in the weird place.. I am with you. 

I am up and down.
I have days that I want to conquer it all and days that I doubt it any of is worth it.
I have days that I am pumped to stay in sweats and days I feel lost in my living room.
My husband looks at me like I am crazy when I unload my up and down (rightly so, I kind of am).

What I do know is:
Living a life with open hands to honor God with whatever I do/who I am, placing my family above my "calling" and knowing where my identity really lies is the crucial stuff. And I definitely need reminded... a lot.

You feel me?

To be continued..

 Thanks for the great images Tay Joy Photography

Monday, April 11, 2016

Some Mondays are for the Mundane

We do #AdventureMonday around here. It is our full day off together and the day we typically plan something fun... the mountains, a new coffee shop, camping, walking to our favorite spot for brunch, etc. But some Mondays aren't so adventure filled. Some Mondays are a little more mundane. Does it mean I am getting old if I like these days more and more?

Today was more of the mundane:
We slept in and then decided to roll out of bed and go to Mother's Market for breakfast. We've been wanting to do that. Then we strolled the aisles just looking at the yummy treats.
We then made an exchange at Nordstrom Rack.
Then we decided to stop at Target for a few key items. This turned into Charles picking out many rounds of outfits for me to try on and living with little "needed" items.
We came home, watched some MadMen, went on a walk and made dinner.

Nothing magnificent, right?

But it was great.
  • Our slow morning was so needed.
  • Breakfast was lovely. No real agenda but great conversation about the people we love in our ministry, challenges, vacation ideas, and so on. 
  • Target was fun! I don't really like browsing/shopping but Charles does and he picks out things I wouldn't and encourages me to enjoy and pick out something I like. 
  • Mellow time at home was so needed and recharging for the week ahead. 
  • On our neighborhood walk we peeked in homes for sale (as if we could remotely buy here) and admired spring flowers and such. 

So, here's to the mundane days. 
The days with space for conversation. 
The days with no agenda. 
The days spent content on the couch. 
The days just enjoying the little things. 

So, what are the mundane things you love?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Salcidos | Anniversary + Maternity Session

The Salcidos were so fun to get to know and photograph!

It is such an exciting time for them and their growing family. David & Alise just celebrated their 5 year anniversary and are going to welcome their first little any day now! Their wedding day was a small & intimate celebration and they didn't have a photographer. I love that Alise wanted a photo session for their anniversary. These moments are so special and preserving them is so valuable.

It was such a joy to get to be the first to professionally photograph them! I really love that I got to capture this season and their love.

Happy Anniversary and final days as a family of two, David & Alise!