#nationalpuppyday you say?! Totally a holiday we can get behind. We sure do love our fur babies! From left to right, Maddie, Rosie and Penny, each so incredibly different and bring such joy (and sometimes pain 😂) in their own way!
Standing in the gaps. In the past I have struggled to know what this looks like. I suppose it starts with community and openness. The willingness to say “I need help.” - such hard words to say for entrepreneurs...for anyone really. Weakness isn’t always viewed with favor, is it? But maybe that is just what standing in the gaps means- letting others be strong for you when you can’t be. The last two weeks we have experienced so many people standing and filling in where we couldn’t and I am unbelievably thankful for all the last minute “yeses” we received when I called out for help. From friends helping me shoot a wedding, to dropping everything to housesit while Jon is hospitalized for an infection. Friends who have called and stopped to visit, and a colleague who edited a few sessions for me so I didn’t fall behind. Strength extended when I didn’t have any of my own...standing in the gaps. I had visualized a strong wall holding space together, but really I think it might be more like a strong net, catching all the pieces before they fall, flexible to move with the changing needs, yet strong enough to help hold us all together. Thank you friends who have stood with us the last two weeks. Please continue to pray for my sweet Jon as his body fights this infection. ❤️ photo credit: @as_ever_photography MUAH: @hvhartists & @disposable_art_
Let’s pretend my absence from Instagram was due to the app being down and not from sheer neglect. When @as_ever_photography sent me this sneak peek of my favorite fella @jonrussell_photographer I knew it needed to be shared. This guy right here melts me. From his tender heart to his strong integrity he is a beautiful dichotomy of strong and soft. I adore this man. Please pray for him tomorrow as we meet with a vascular surgeon to pursue the next course of action for his blood clots. I’m confident he will be ok, but we are looking forward to some answers!
These are my people. It’s been a year since we had a formal photo taken. Everything is different. Ollie has braces, Franklin is taller, Louisa is missing teeth and Milo has lost his baby face. I have come to enjoy our family photos- maybe be it’s because we’ve taken to doing them in our front yard so it has eliminated stress. Perhaps its because the kids are older and following directions isn’t the battle it once was. But most likely, it’s because I have relaxed, and learned to enjoy the out takes as much as the keepers. This photo will forever be a reminder to me that while the last month has been almost unbearably hard at times, everything I could ever want is right here in the four corners of this frame and for that, I am incredibly thankful. 📷: @pureinart
And just like that years of being together, months (and months!) of planning, surviving stresses, celebrating joys, all culminating in this moment. You are married! Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Rivera. It was an absolutely splendid day. Thanks to @hvhartists for hair & makeup / venue @westinlapaloma / dress @davidsbridal
We said good by to our first baby today. Our Dakota girl gave us 15 years of absolute devotion. I rescued her when she was rejected by her mama, bottle feeding her and sleeping with her on my chest so she’d stay warm. I was working 2 jobs and had two other dogs and certainly didn’t have time to take on another pup, but she was special. At the time my good friend Jon was looking for a dog to adopt and knew they’d make a great pair. From the minute she met him, Dakota didn’t have eyes for anyone else...until our kids came along. Sometimes we’d joke that I just married Jon to get my dog back, but Dakota always loved him best. I will miss her nails clicking on the tile up and down the hall, and the aggressive head nudges against our hands requesting ear rubs. I’ll miss her snores and deep eyes watching our every move, always our protector. Dakota, you were one of a kind, sweet girl.
Oh hey, it’s me, Amber, all dolled up by the amazing @disposable_art_ with @hvhartists for our headshots last week with @as_ever_photography- she sent me this sneak peek and I’m dying. My comfort zone is being behind the camera, not in front of it. I was nervous about taking these...little insecurities crept up in my mind. I’m heavier than our last branding session, that mom wrinkle in the center of my forehead has deepened (you know, the one you get for giving your kids the eye in public) and l have a lot more grey weaving through my hair...But I know that these things are me and I didn’t want to let them keep me from enjoying my photos when they came back, so I took my own advice for how to have photos that you love. I scheduled hair and make up with someone that I trust. She’s done my make up before so I knew she’d create a look that was me but more glam. We talked beforehand about the look I was going for so we had a plan, but mostly, I just trusted her to do her thing. I chose dresses I felt beautiful in, and not just when I stood up straight and sucked it in. It’s hard to remember to do that all the time, and I wanted to love the casual in between moments just as much as I did the more formal poses ones. Lastly I relaxed and decided to have fun. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to research lash extensions because I have decided I need a little bit of glam in my daily life. Once a year photo sessions just isn’t enough....
Count it all joy. This has been running through my head for days now. Count it all joy. Trials, frustrations, the feeling of drowning and trying to keep up. JOY. The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of hard. I've been torn between brushing it off because there are always people worse off or wallowing in the stress that has swirled around us. But the last week I have been reading through James 1, and learning to count it all joy. This isn't brushing it off. This is sitting with the hard and being thankful for all that means. It means that as I feel like I am buried under work, I have a business that is thriving and meeting our needs. As our family goes through various health needs, we have pulled together to care for and support each other. Dietary changes we need to make could feel like a burden, but instead, when viewed through the lens of joy, feel like the push we need to focus on clean eating which had fallen to the wayside after the holiday season. Our old Dakota girl is declining fast, but we have had 16 sweet years loving her. My little niece who was born 5 weeks early is going home from the hospital today, healthy and weighing over 5lbs. So much good amidst the hard. Count it all joy.
Saturday we wandered through gardens and chatted with Matt & Marissa about their future. We love engagement sessions because they give us the opportunity to connect and learn more about our couples. We are story tellers and at the heart of that is learning your story. Plus, can you think of a better way to spend a couple hours than snuggling and smooching on your honey?