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stellar day blog.

14 Nov

Hey lovely friends! I have MOVED locations! I had a redesign in mind for this blog, and decided to just move EVERYTHING on over. SO, if you’re still checking for updates here, you’re missing out. I am NOW blogging over at my new home spot on the web at a blog called Stellar Day Blog. You can find me talking about all the same things I did here and MORE at www.stellardayblog.com.

Come check it out and sign up for my emails so you don’t miss out on anything.

SEE YOU THERE.

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bronchitis

16 Feb

Awesome. Cruz has bronchitis. What started as just a fever and a small cough on Valentines Day has turned into full fledged bronchitis. I haven’t seen this little dude this sick ever. Even when he had that long run with that miserable ear infection, he wasn’t as sick as this. I’ve had bronchitis before and if you’ve had it too, you can agree: IT SUCKS.

We have the busiest weekend coming up. Two engagement sessions, a wedding and leaving for Las Vegas on Monday. So the kid has GOT to get better. I’m praising GOD for an amazing nanny who has made herself totally available to us and what we need this weekend. And it’s not even going to put a strain on her little girls because her husband will be home the entire weekend. God is good. I was in FULL on tears right before we took this picture (at Chickfila) because being a working mom in times like these sucks. I CAN’T call in to work, especially for the wedding we are shooting on Sunday. A wedding only happens once and I have to be there. But the strings on my mommy heart just want to stay home with my little man. So I’m pretty thankful that God has so organized it so that I don’t have to worry about him. He will be in phenomonal hands. AND, he’s got a few days to recover, before Sunday in which I WILL be home with him. But it still makes it rough. We are super busy and there are times when it’s not possible for me to call in sick. And that is the part of the working mommy world that isn’t too fun and makes it super hard to be both a mom and a working professional.

I’m thankful everyday for God’s provision in our lives and for allowing us to have a nanny that is so wonderful with them when we aren’t able to be here. But today I’m praying for 100% healing for him so when I’m gone this weekend I can think about how much fun he’s having playing or doing crafts instead of being sick on the couch.

If you’re a working mamma, you know how this goes. What do you do when you can’t call in sick?

 

changes

20 Nov

We’ve had some changes around here. Nothing huge, whatsoever. Well, it’s huge in MY world, but no one else’s I’m sure. But I thought I’d still share it.

I’m not sure if ‘Year Two’ of Cruz’s life was going to be the hardest or what. But it was HARD. Maybe it was the terrible two’s or the transition with Rider entering our lives, or moving up to Scottsdale or… the list goes on. And while I know that all of those things I listed are huge transitions in any two year olds brain, the past year was still HARD when Cruz was concerned. Tantrums, talking back, arguing, more exhausting talking back and just a general grumpiness that NONE of us cared much for. Some days I would look around the room wondering where my sweet little Cruz went.

It SUCKED.

Every mom goes through this right? Gah. It’s really rough.

So last week I started wondering what the possible cause to his grumpiness could be. Besides just being two and that’s what you do, when you’re two. And I came to the conclusion that the partial problem is where Jason and I work. Our computers WERE right in the living room. It was easy access for us and, at the current moment, the only place that we thought the computers would fit. We wanted to have a space where we could work out in the living room. A space that was inspiring and creative building to us for our work. We have a very small space that the four of us live in, and so our options were very limited.

But because it was in the living room, I was very easily distracted. And I was constantly super stressed about work. Any time an email would come through, I could hear the ‘ding!’ even if I was trying to play with the boys. And no matter how hard I tried, my 100% focused attention wasn’t on them. And I know that Cruz felt it. And I know that he was acting out because of it.

I know it.

It took a few days of denying it once I came to the conclusion, but I finally decided to chat with Jay about moving the work station back into our bedroom. Although I don’t think THAT’S the best place for it either, I figure that Jay and I are adults. And can easily distinguish work time from family time. Whereas Cruz cannot. I was expecting Jay to totally put up a fight on it and I had an ENTIRE speech prepared to persuade him.

But I didn’t need it.

He agreed immediately and that night we moved our computers back into our room.

The next day (and ever since!!) have been NIGHT AND DAY DIFFERENT. I have a different kiddo in Cruz. He is actually HAPPY. And while he does have his typical ‘three year old moments’, they are few and far between and have been ever since we moved our work out of our family space. I really had to realize that although our space is super small, it is our home. And if I’m stressed about work all the time, my kids are going to feel it. If I’m just checking emails really quickly and they are in the room, I don’t think there’s harm in that. BUT I DO think it’s not good when they start acting out because of it. Our living room now feels like our family space. Not a space that mom and dad have to share with their work. It’s not our office any longer.

And while I don’t think that ALL of his meltdowns and tantrums were because the office was in the living room, I do think it’s made a huge difference in his moral. He knows when I’m in the living room with them, that my attention is on them 100%. And my kiddos are WAY happier because of it.

Being a working stay at home mom is totally a work in progress. I find that every few months brings on new changes and new seasons. And you just have to be flexible until you find what works for you. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But it’s so worth figuring out how to make it work, every single day.

If you’re struggling at home, I challenge you to figure out what might not be working. And try to do something different! Even if you have a lap top, just put it in your room or in the ACTUAL office. And leave it there for when they nap. Work and emails can totally wait. As hard as that may seem sometimes, trust me! But our kids CAN’T wait all the time. We have to be present with them here and now.

So take a breath and make some changes if there need to be. And keep trying until you get it right! That’s the beauty of it!

work hard

1 Aug

We’ve had some more hard days with Cruz. Pardon my absence in blogging. I hate when I can’t every day or at least every other. But real life happens, right? And right now, I have a very difficult little boy on my hands who demands all of my energy. Even WELL past his bedtime when he’s supposed to be sleeping. He won’t be. He’s trying ALL of our last ounces of patience these days. And so when it’s quiet in my house, I have to work. And I have to work hard and fast so that we can get some things done. While it’s quiet.

*Sigh* When does this stage end again?

Anywhoo. We are getting ready to leave town again! I’m hoping the the terrible two’s, or whatever it is that is going on, stays HOME while we travel. We are heading to California soon here to film our promo video for Session Nine! We are then going to be shooting a wedding on a YACHT. And then we’ll be in Disneyland for a few days. We. Are. Excited. To say the least. And I’m thrilled to be getting out of this heat, although I do tend to enjoy it. I’m ready for a break. But the monsoons better take a break too while I’m gone because I really don’t want to miss those.

Exciting things going on right now for us. But for now, I’m off to bed. Because my almost three year old just MIGHT decide to wake up screaming and crying in the middle of the night. For no apparent reason. And then I’ve gotta be up by 5:00 to ensure that I actually get some work done. I’m trying to remember that when you work hard, amazing things happen. So don’t give up or give in too soon. Because nothing that is amazing just comes to you. And nothing that is worth it is easy. So I’m trying to stay focused and work hard. Because I really want to play hard next week. And there’s lots to do until then.

know your limits

11 Jul

TIP# 10- KNOW YOUR LIMITS

So I took a break from my ‘working mom’ series and I didn’t really mention it to any of you. I just sort of stopped doing it and fell off the blog planet. Well, I still blogged but not like I usually do. It’s sort of ironic that this tip was next in line because it’s one that I’ve learned A TON about within the past two months.

And one that I can honestly say, I’m getting better at. Especially recently.

It is so important as a working mom to KNOW YOUR LIMITS. You are not super mom. Even if you want everyone to THINK you are, you are not. (Well, you are probably  super mom. But not SUPERMOM. Don’t be confused or offended. HA.)

Anyways.

I’m the queen of taking on a lot and managing it pretty well. I’m very task oriented, organized and a go-getter. If I set my mind to something, I can probably do it (not camping though). And in a world where there is A LOT thrown at me each and every day, it’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed. And being overwhelmed isn’t an emotion I share publicly very often.

Poor Jason, right?

I recently hit a wall of ‘overwhelmth’. I’m aware that’s not a word. But I hit the wall, nonetheless. Wait, is it a word? Weird. I hit this wall of way too much to do and not enough time to do it in. I found myself in a constant cycle of never getting everything done, one million deadlines with new ones knocking on my door every day, and a to do list that was growing a mile a minute. Top that off with two growing boys who need A LOT of attention, a home that was starting to be neglected, laundry piling up, eating out every night, dust on the shelves, SO ON AND SO FORTH. I finally had to hold my hands up, surrender to it all and say, “I SERIOUSLY CAN’T DO ALL THIS!”. I was starting to feel like I was running a rat race. Like every day was the same and I had to just race through it all to get stuff done so I could go to bed, wake up and find myself in the same predicament. With HUGE to do lists, no time, screaming kids, and a dirty house.

I literally looked at Jason one day and said, “I can’t do this anymore.”

Not my job silly. Just the way we were doing things. I HIT MY LIMIT. I know how much I can take.

It’s so important to know what your limits are. When you’re at a place in your life where you AREN’T overwhelmed, it would be a good idea to set up some boundaries for yourself. I tell myself daily that it’s OK to say no to stuff. To people. To plans. To extra things that you can’t take on. Focus your energy on the things that you CAN do and are WILLING to do and do them well. But taking on all of it is impossible. Why do we as women think we can master and balance everything all the time? It’s incredibly difficult and stressful! And a working mamma who’s stressed out and filled with anxiety over everything that needs to get done, can’t be a good mom!

That’s where I’ve been these past few weeks.

So Jason and I completely reorganized our business. We prioritized some things that were on our plates. We each gave up and took on new roles within our work. And holy moly, I can actually breathe again. For real. It’s amazing what happens when you know your limits and can prioritize the things that are important to you and to your work. Both of us feel this newfound ‘refreshness’ within our work and are getting things done more efficiently and effectively.

But what a difficult past month it’s been in the area of ‘working mom’ for me!

I’m glad I hit the wall though. It forced me to take a good look at what I am ACTUALLY doing here. And I encourage you to do the same! Is what you’re doing working for you? Is it REALLY, TRULY, HONESTLY working? Not what you WANT to do. But what you can REALISTICALLY do. I’ve had to give up some things that were on my plate. Things I really enjoyed doing. But it just wasn’t working. So I’ve had to refigure out some things, adjust, and move forward.

And I can honestly say things are WAY better. I actually have time to clean my house and take a day off. I haven’t had a day off since January. Like, a REAL entire day OFF. Well, I had my first whole day off on Saturday. And what a good feeling it was!!

Be encouraged. You too, don’t have to do it all! It’s OK to say no to stuff. It’s OK to re-prioritize your work, family life, friends etc. It’s OK to take a day off. You’ve gotta know your limits. Know what your breaking point is and stay far away from it. Life is to awesome to just be a ‘rat race’. It’s not worth it to not have a day off in six months.

Hard lesson learned for me. And we’re back on track.

* I saw this quote on Pinterest and thought it was very thought provoking and true. 

neglect

2 Jul

I have neglected this blog. And it has been on purpose. Only this time I didn’t really warn you ahead of time. Followed by a season of ‘hit or miss’ blogs by yours truly, simply due to the craziness that is our life. Or really, that has over taken our lives. HA.

I’m catching my breath. And I won’t be gone long. I’m currently working on COMPLETELY REORGANIZING and revamping our ENTIRE business model. One that, once implemented, will hopefully rock your face off. So I’m getting some things in order, catching my breath, trying to hang out with my kids and not work so much.

YA RIGHT to the latter. We work like crazy people. It’s 10:50 pm on a SATURDAY and I’m taking a quick break from working to share this sliver of information with you.

But nonetheless, I am working so hard on changing some things in our business so I can take time to be a more focused MOM. Which is a huge part of the reason why I decided to follow my life ambition of becoming a photographer. A profession that I dreamed of being in when I was little. But as much as I love it, I’m trying to teach myself that we work to live. And that we don’t live to work.

So be patient with me. I haven’t forgotten to fill you in on all the musings of my life as a mom. Even though these blogs have been very unpredictable. I’m getting back on track and it’s going to be better than ever.

And so I leave you with this. Check out what I bought today:

I found this on Etsy and I almost DIED I love it so much. Jay bought it for me today as an early birthday present, since I will be another year older in a matter of DAYS PEOPLE. Where does the time go? Hopefully I’ll be drinking a cup of coffee in one of these amazing mugs ON my birthday.

Be back soon.

good. night.

31 May

That is what I say when something has been intense, overwhelming, exhausting or is unbelievable. To which, these past few months have been ALL of those things on EVERY level possible. I have been the worst blogger EVER lately. It’s because I have literally have had to PLAN OUT WHEN I SLEEP WE HAVE BEEN THAT BUSY.

I have nothing to complain about. But it has been a whirlwind and I am tired. And the first thing to fly out the window was blogging, unfortunately.

I have been busy with this:

And this:

And this:

OH. AND THIS:

And this:

This:

And this:

And this:

This:

More of this:

THE LIST GOES ON. Seriously. The list seriously goes on. I’m up to my nose hairs in edits.

(I don’t actually have nose hairs. That’s gross.)

You know how this feels, right?? It’s been a crazy season and while I am hoping that it will slow down a little bit, my inbox and calendar are telling me otherwise. BUT, now that the spring wedding season is almost over, I DO hope that I can catch my breath, clean my house and bake something.

Who am I kidding? I don’t bake.

But you know what I mean. RELAX a little bit. Even just take one nap. That would be awesome.

It’s been a fantastic couple of months. I am FOREVER grateful to all of the people who help us watch our boys so we can go work and do what we love. Gosh, I’m forever grateful. None of this would be possible without the help of many people. I’ve shed lots of stressed out tears this season, as I usually do when I’m under stress, pressure or intense deadlines. I’ve never laughed harder, slept less, and been more thankful in all my life.

So this Spring wedding season concludes our second year as Session Nine Photographers. We head into our third year, already with exciting news. Well, news I can’t share EXACTLY right now. But I CAN tell you that we have been asked to submit MANY images into a popular bridal magazine for publish!! We are stoked.

Gosh it’s been a lot of work. I KNOW you know what I’m saying. If you are a working mom (or even if you aren’t!), you know what I’m saying when I say that working full time and trying to be a good, present mom is HARD. It’s exhausting.

It’s worth it. I love it. The good, bad, stressful and exciting. I love all of it.

Here’s to June! May the Summer be as exciting as this past Spring was! With hopefully a lot more sleep in my future. HA!