Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Lasting moments in print form.

I really love that digital photography allows us to capture beauty, life and moments so accessibly. I take pictures of pretty much everything. But I too am guilty of letting them fill up my hard drive and then, sit there.

But then, when I print my art, it takes on a whole new form. It is one of kind, tells a story and reminds me of the moments it holds.

I recently delivered a print order to some super sweet clients. They suddenly got to bring two sweet foster babies into their home. They wanted to make sure that for however long they get to be with them, they would get to take photos from this season of their life with them. I hadn't thought of it but they informed me that often foster kids grow up without any photos of themselves as kids. That broke my heart and made this session even more significant.

They ordered photos to fill their walls, some photos for their Birth Mom in time for Mother's Day and photos for them to keep.

Seeing them open their printed artwork was the best!
There were a few tears on both ends and it was such a joy to see their excitement.

Thank you, Garcia family, for inviting me into these moments.

When was the last time you tangibly held art from your photographs?
What is your favorite way to display the moments you capture?

I'm ready to update my walls with this last season of life we've experienced.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Work it Wednesday: Vision or Task Driven Work

Some people are dreamers. They've got big vision, lots of ideas and think beyond limitations and practicalities.
Some people are ground level thinkers. They problem solve, move things forward and check things off their list.

These are my own loose definitions but I think often times we relate more with one than the other.

I want to be the dreamer type. I do have big visions and love the freedom to think creatively, but that is not often where I live. Much of my life (personal and work wise) have been lived in practicalities, responsibilities and making things happen. It can be hard for me to step back and think "BIGGER PICTURE". This is my habit. But I want to live in both!

I am so grateful for the past year-ish of my official small business pursuits. I am reminded regularly that it takes a mix of making things happen and dreaming ahead. I start my week by writing out my to dos. Then I start crossing things off. There's some new items that have been appearing... Things like: research new business model, launch email campaign, create valuable client experience, develop my "why" and other bigger vision things. These things keep getting rolled over to the next week's to dos. They are harder for me. They can't quickly be crossed off, they take dedicated time and energy to think through and there isn't often and easy answer. But these things are some of the most valuable. I want my business to be a genuine expression of me and to offer something meaningful. That doesn't happen by accident. So how does it?

It is challenging to work well outside of our default mode. Maybe if you're looking to do a little more high level dreaming/planning some of these could help you.

Getting into creative/strategic mode:
  • Change up your scenery: Where do you usually work? Go somewhere else. Somewhere that allows you to be creative, think freely and be inspired. Maybe it is somewhere life is happening around you (a coffee shop, community workspace, outdoor setting) or maybe it is a clean and open space with your music on or total silence. I love working from home but I don't do my best high level dreaming/planning from home. [FLDWRK has been so good for a different scenery for me].
  • Connect with others: Find some people who you respect and ask them some questions. What have they been inspired by lately? What is their biggest challenge? What are they dreaming about? What was the biggest risk they've taken? How had they failed? I couldn't move forward without my people. Other creatives, business owners, friends and my husband. They listen, give feedback, inspire, encourage and lead by example.
  • Fail. This one is hard for me but my husband often reminds me.. Even it something isn't a total success, I will learn. Take a chance, try something out, dream big. Who knows, your failure may be the thing that leads you to your next great success. 
  • Start. I can be good about coming up with ideas I love and then I let fear or my to do list stop me from pursuing them. But if you start today where will you be next week? Next month? Next year? Start small. Start somewhere. 
  • Take a break. Do nothing (rest) or do something that you love. Creativity is fueled when we are filled. A great conversation, a nap, a book and cup of coffee, creating art just because, a day trip, do all the dishes.. What brings you life and inspires your best work? Do some of that.
What is your default mode?
What helps you do your best work?
I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Our 4th Anniversary

Today marks 4 years as The Stoicus.

I am so thankful for this day.
I am so thankful for each day (and year) I've been able to navigate life with him by my side.
I am so thankful for the way each year is new.
I am so thankful for the things we've learned, experienced, overcome and celebrated this past year.

This year was real hard. Not marriage wise but life wise. We navigated a long process of losing two people in our families. We learned how to grieve (and I learned how to support my husband as he grieved. That sucked.). A lot of good things were clouded with bad. But 2017 felt like a fresh start. Phew.

We had some time in our marriage (like years 1-2) that were life hard and therefor marriage hard. But this year feels like we really came together better during the life hard. I am proud of the team that we are and the depth that exists. And lets be honest, I am hoping things have settled down for a while..

We also had a lot of good, too.

We took our first two week vacation (not the best, but we survived).
We took a dreamy winter vacation.
We launched our ministry into a new space, season and vibe and it has been so fun.
We got a dog and he's the best (this was on my list of dreams for this year).
I've been building my business and he's been my biggest supporter.
I got a new side job that is such a blessing and filled with great people. Oh, and I walk to work (FLDWRK).
We created a rhythm for teaming up for household chores and it's been helpful and fun (this is big stuff, people).

So, here is to these fours years. Here's to the life we're building. Here's to year five and all it holds.

I love you, Charles. I am so grateful for you, your love and the person you are. So grateful.

Tonight we're going to our celebration spot (Stubricks) and getting Knotts Bery Farm passes (pending Charles fighting off this flu thing).
This weekend we'll take time to reflect on our dreams for year four and dream for the year ahead.

How do you celebrate?

Last year's anniversary dinner - Stubricks as well!

Hume Lake - June 2016

Summer Vacay 2016

Wrightwood camping - Fall 2016

Arrowhead getaway at our favorite spot. 

Oak Glen


Steamboat Springs Winter Vacay

Winston! Adopted January 2017. We love him. 

Chili for Chile fundraiser | Home

Typical mornings. 

Minnesota | April 2017

We've loved continually making our home ours. Featuring the dent from the day we moved in. 


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Rust Family Mini Session | Fullerton, CA

Just in time for Mother's Day - The Rust family mini session was perfect to celebrate Mom and their sweet little's upcoming first birthday! They have been wanting professional pictures and I loved getting to preserve this season and these moments for them.

It's so fun watching families grow, evolve, learn and love.

You three are so sweet. So much to celebrate, Rust Family! Thank you for allowing me to play a little part in your family's life.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Fun Friday: Annual Spring Break Camping Trip | Big Bear, CA

We just had our 3rd annual Ethos Camping Trip with out young adults. I can't believe this was the third!

The past two years were in early April and pretty cold. This year the lows were only about 40 which made things a lot easier on everyone.

I love seeing the group that forms every year. It is a solid mix of deeply connected and newer people. What better way to bond than camping? People leave encouraged, with deep friendships, and rich time away from thing "normal" things of home. We come together to cook big meals, clean up the dishes, hike, rest and more. It is fun, refreshing and refueling.

Oh, we also got to take Winston on his first camping trip (and we were pretty stoked). He made it into quite a few photos from the many photographers on our trip. He guarded camp, swam in the lake and explored the new territory.

I love these people and that Charles and I get to share in these moments together.
I love watching him plan, pour into and lead.