Tag Archives: friendship

be who you are

4 May

This sums it up today. Sometimes I leave conversations thinking and feeling insecure about any and everything that I said. Did they like me because of the things I said? Do they not like me because of the things I said? Are they going to talk bad about me behind my back because of the things I said?

You know you think it too.

I hate insecurity. So much. But this rang true to me today. And reminded me that I am the one who chooses to surround myself with people who either like me FOR ME or don’t. Those that stick around regardless of what comes out of my mouth are the keepers anyways.

Not that bad things are coming out of my mouth. I just like to speak my mind and I’m not afraid to say what I think. I don’t mean to be intense, it’s just who I am.

It’s a work in progress. Aren’t we all?

* Image from HERE.


27 Jan

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, about how truly grateful I am to have Jason as my husband and partner in this life. He’s a fabulous dad to our children, he works harder than most people I know, and he seriously has the biggest heart ever. He always sees the best in people, even if it’s hard to actually see the good. He’s loyal to a fault and he treasures his friends. Above all, he supports me in EVERYTHING I do. He never makes me feel like my place is only in the home. And even though he gets up and works every day, he helps me with the boys no matter how little sleep he gets. He doesn’t expect dinner to be on the table every night. He helps with all things around the house. He loves the Lord and he lives it out in the way takes care of me. No matter what crazy idea I have, he supports it. He values that I don’t want to be just a mom and that I love to work. He was behind me in my passion for photography and backed me and us up 100%. He’s working hard to help us get out of debt. He gives me breaks and watches both boys whenever I need or want him to, if he’s available and spends so much of his time with us.

I just feel truly blessed by him.

I’m not trying to paint the wrong picture here. We totally argue and fight sometimes. We butt heads on things. Things aren’t perfect. But I don’t want them to be. At the end of the day, I know I have his full support in my life and with our kids and that’s all I can really ever ask for. I truly feel like we are equals in this life. Never has he said, ‘Well, I go to work and you stay home so the kids aren’t my responsibility.’. In fact, he’s done the opposite. When I prayed for my future husband as a little girl I had no idea to the extent at which God was going to bless me. And like I said, things aren’t perfect. We fight, we argue sometimes. We’ve been to counseling before. But no matter how hard it gets, I know that this man that I married is my equal and that he loves me and our kiddos more than anything, and that he will go to great lengths to show me that and to support me in my life too.

I love sharing the roles with him. I love doing this life with him. Even through the hard times, there’s nothing I would trade.

not just a mom

13 Jan

I had a great day today.

Part of it had to do with the fact that I was able to get out of the house- ALONE- today. I went to coffee with a client/friend and I went grocery shopping- ALONE.

So that was refreshing. It was just really nice to get out kiddo free for awhile.

Things are getting better, I think. I guess it’s hard to tell just by a few days. But I honestly am starting to feel better. There haven’t been many tears shed by yours truly in the past few days and I’ve actually gotten some sleep too. I re-started doing Weight Watchers again, since I severely fell off that wagon weeks ago. I started going to a Bible study and I’ve set up a weekly coffee date with a very close friend of mine who I can confide in about anything. I’ve known her for years and she’s one of the people I’ve really been missing since she used to live down the street from me. So it’ll be great to have adult time with her every week. I started reading again- I’m in a Book Club and have been for the past 4 years. Ever since I’ve had Cruz, I have really slacked at finishing reading the books that we’ve read. And I love to read. And I’m obsessed with my amazing girls that are in the Book Club with me. So I’ve committed to myself to reading again and I cannot put the book down that I am reading right now. I’m enrolling in a dance class. That’s right- you heard me. A dance class. I majored in dance for two years while I was in college and I started dancing when I was 6. Here’s a picture to prove it:

I love to dance and while I’m absolutely not anticipating going professional with it again, it IS great exercise and something I really enjoy doing. And it’s a huge goal of mine to get rid of the baby weight. I don’t have much to go, but I really gotta get rid of the rest of it. So I’m going to dance. Not tap, but probably jazz or maybe ballet again.

So what’s the point to all this?

What I’m saying is that I’m figuring out ways to focus on ME more. I am a mom, yes. But it’s not ALL that I am. And while I haven’t forgotten this, my life was starting not to reflect this as much. Meaning, I haven’t really been taking care of myself much. I’ve been too focused on getting the hang of having two kids and working. And that means I’ve just been in the apartment a lot, focused on EVERYONE else but me and taking care of myself.

So after I went to the doctor, I took a step back and evaluated what my week looked like. And there wasn’t really one single thing during my week that didn’t include Cruz & Rider in it. It didn’t take me long to take a mental inventory of all the things I used to do the fulfilled me and enriched my life before I had kids and I realized that I had started to abandon those things. I haven’t really had anything that I’ve been doing that is just for ME.

And that’s not the mom I want to be.

I always want to be the mom that has other focuses, dreams, goals, activities. I don’t want to be the mom that ONLY talks about her kids, their schedules, their sleeping/eating habits etc. Because after all, I AM my own person still, you know? Just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean I’m not still a women. And while I have changed a lot since having kids, I’m not ONLY a mom. It’s not what defines me. It’s a huge part of me and my life and I’m super proud of it. It does take up most of my day, every day. And it will for the rest of my life. But there’s still a huge other part of me that is still ME and still likes doing other things and has other interests. I know this is so incredibly simple. Everyone knows this stuff, right? But it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day of being a mom, the stresses, exhaustion, and chaos that follows having children, and to forget what life was like before them.

I was starting to do that.

And I just really started losing sight of all the things that I loved prior to them entering my life. So I readjusted a few things and on top of feeling better, I actually am starting to feel excited about doing several things that are just for me. It’s so important to remember who you are as a women, and not just a mom. Being a mom is something that I am and something that I do. But it’s not all that I am or do. It’s not all I want to talk about. It’s not all I want to think about. While it is something that I love doing and cherish every day, it is really nice to have breaks where you can just be a woman. Someone who still has hopes, dreams, and desires for herself that aren’t only about being a mom. It’s nice to do things for yourself that you loved doing before they were born. And it’s ok to be away from them to do them. Not only is it ok, but it’s good for you and for them too.

I’ve just been caught up with being a good mom and wife that I’ve completely forgotten to take care of me.

Well, a few things are changing. And I am so glad that they are. I know I can be a better mom if I focus on myself a little bit. It’s so important to still nurture yourself. You can’t give of yourself if you are empty. And I’ve got two little boys that deserve the best from me.

I can feel the weight lifting a little bit. And it’s an amazing thing.

PS: Andrea & Alex, we NEED to go to Sedona again. Seriously. How fun was that?? And remember this?

He was SO little and SO cute. Aw.


11 Dec

I don’t really have much of a purpose for this post. Nothing has really happened that is prompting me to talk about this. But I guess I’ve just spent the morning reflecting on past relationships, past friendships and even current ones. It’s been a weird season of life for me in my friendships. It’s been a time, these past two years or so, where I’ve been surrounded by a lot of people but have really had to face the reality of who my true friendships are. Isn’t that a hard lesson to learn? Some I’ve been hurt deeply by, some I know I hurt too. Others, we’ve just drifted apart. As I’ve gotten older and started my own family, I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that not ALL friendships are meant to last forever. Some are only for a season. And some are meant to teach us something. And there are some that are meant to last forever. They are few and far between and friendships that should be held dear to your heart. Like family.

Anyways. I’m not really sure what I’m trying to say. I’ve really been struggling with my thought life again this past week and it’s really made me think about what I put into my brain. I learned from a very early age, ‘garbage in, garbage out’ and I know how Satan can take hold of our minds and destroy lives that way. Once I started thinking about what I put into my brain, I started thinking about what comes out. Is it anxiety, worry, negativity, judgement? Sometimes is truly is. Lately, it totally has. Then it made me think about gossip and how truly dangerous it is. How it can destroy someone completely and they don’t even have to be in the room.

How powerful are our thoughts and our words? If you stop to think about how truly powerful they are, isn’t it kind of scary?

How easy is it to talk negatively about a friend, or even an enemy? How easy is it to feel better about yourself by talking to others about ‘friends’ that have done you wrong? I know I struggle with wanting to do this. Shouting from the rooftops wrongs that have been done to me. Exposing someone else so others can see their true colors. How awful is that? Just being honest. I’m sure there are others that have done or want to do this about me too.

But I do know how painful it is to find out that others were gossiping about you.

And that painful feeling makes me stop and think about my friendships. Do I gossip about friends? Are my insecurities and negative thoughts spilling over onto others? I bet it does sometimes. And I hate that. Gossip usually doesn’t have anything to do with the other person, I think. But with your own insecurities and jealous thoughts. Am I wrong? I know this is true for me.

I don’t really have anything profound to say or end this post with. I’ve just been thinking about the ramifications of what anxiety and negative thoughts can cause on your life. I’ve been considering true friends and it led me to think about what has come out of my mouth lately. I’ve really struggled with anxiety again, just this past week. It seems that my thought life is where Satan goes straight for the attack in my life. And it’s hard to get away from it. I’m trying to make sense of this post. I guess I can’t. It’s honestly where my thoughts are at today, so please excuse me for rambling. I guess I’m still processing what I’m struggling with, friendships, anxious thoughts, fears.


I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m trying to get ahold of my thought life. Because getting ahold of what comes in, will help control what comes out. And I definitely don’t want my boys to see me as an anxious, gossipy, negative thinking person. When they think back on their childhood, I don’t want them to remember me being consumed with worry. That scares me too.

Hence the vicious cycle.

Thanks for letting me ramble about where I’m at. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Maybe you’re struggling with this too. I know it’s not just me.

pen pals

11 Nov

I am proud to be able to say that I have had the same pen pal since I was in the fifth grade. How awesome is that? I met my pen pal, Carissa, when I was ten years old. Our fifth grade teachers were good friends, but lived in separate states. I lived in Arizona while Carissa lived in Illinois. Our teachers thought it would be a fun idea to pair up their classes and assign a pen pal to each student. We had a couple of assignments to write to one another a couple times, had certain questions to ask etc. And I’m not sure what it was, but Carissa and I just totally hit it off! And believe it or not, we’ve been writing to one another ever since!!

Her sister has an old friend who actually lives in Arizona, so almost eight years ago Carissa and her sister were able to come out to Arizona for my wedding and I met her IN PERSON! We had been writing for years and years, since we were little girls, and we were actually able to meet face to face! What a special meeting it was. Here I was, meeting someone who knew SO much about me, but who I had never seen in person. We had swapped pictures of course, but I had never even had a phone conversation with her. It was so special that she was able to come to my wedding.

This past September, the week of my due date with Rider actually, she was in town again! I was so thrilled that we were able to meet up once again and catch up on life IN PERSON. It’s only happened twice in our lives, and it’s always so special when it does. This friend is such a special friend to me. We’ve seen each other through A LOT. We’ve been life long friends since we were little girls. Now we are both grown and each have two little boys of our own and we are still in touch. I love it because I just know that we will always be friends. It’s truly a special friendship- a unique friendship that I don’t have with anyone else.

I mean seriously. How cool is that?

Carissa, it was so great to see you in September, even though I was bigger than big! Ha! Your friendship means tons to me and I’m so happy we’ve kept writing all these years- 18 years to be exact! Crazy, right?!

And I promise, one of these days I’ll come to Illinois to visit you! I promise!!

cute birthday present

22 Jul

My sweet and dear friend Andrea is such a special friend of mine. I’ve talked about her before. Her daughter is Linnea, who oh my gosh, is the cutest thing ever. Jason and I photographed their maternity pictures. I photographed their delivery pictures. And Jason photographed their newborn pictures. I also had the pleasure of photographing her irresistible nursery for a piece that Tom Kat Studio was working on, which incredibly, is her employer! Those are just a few of the places that you may have heard me rave about Andrea. To top all that off, she is seriously such a loyal friend who has supported and lifted me up over the years in more ways than I can count!

To top all THAT off, she is a very creative and gifted person who has many talents! She’s an amazing seamstress, even though she probably wouldn’t say that she is. She’s got amazing ideas and is pretty inspirational. For my birthday, she made me the sweetest gift! I just fell in love with this bow clip as soon as I pulled it out of the bag! Who doesn’t love big bows?? I’m a sucker for clips like this and she hand crafted it just for me! I had to share because I just think it’s pretty adorable and I love putting fun girlie things in my hair. She isn’t selling these (yet!) but if I can convince her to and add another thing to her crazy to-do list, I’ll let you know!

For the meantime, Andrea, thank you so much for making me the cutest hair bow. I seriously want like, 8 more. You’re such a great friend and always know how to lift my spirits!

be the first one

10 Jul

We have this book that I keep out on purpose. It’s called Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff… And It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. I’m not sure who gave it to us or how it came to be ours. Actually, just as I typed that I thought I’d look into the book to double check and make sure there wasn’t a note inside from whoever gave it to us. And there was. Ha! It was given to me while I worked at Westcor from a customer who thought I needed this book.

I can tend to be a stress case at times. In case you didn’t know.

Anyways. I picked it up today for no reason at all. Sometimes I just like to read one or two of the small chapters for encouragement or just to think on. Sometimes they hit me with where I’m at in life and other times they don’t hit me at all. Today I opened right up to chapter 15 titled Be The First One To Act Loving Or Reach Out. And it was a great, great reminder. It reminded me that I can tend to have a lot of pride when it comes to relationships and people in my life sometimes. That I can tend to dwell on the wrong that was done to me instead of focusing on how important the relationship with whoever I’m struggling with is or once was. I forget that Jesus wouldn’t stubbornly wait for the other to right the wrong first. He would have reached out to make it right first. FIRST. It’s such a hard thing for me to remember and to learn. Especially when you are so convinced that you are right and that your feelings were more valid that theirs.

It’s hard.

This is what the short excerpt says. It really spoke to me today:

” So many of us hold onto little resentments that may have stemmed from an argument, a misunderstanding, the way we were raised, or some other painful event. Stubbornly, we wait for someone else to reach out to us- believing this is the only way we can forgive or rekindle a friendship or family relationship.

An acquaintance of mine, who’s health isn’t very good, recently told me that she hasn’t spoken to her son in almost three years. “Why not?” I asked. She said that she and her son had had a disagreement about his wife and that she wouldn’t speak to him again unless he called first. When I suggested that she be the one to reach out, she resisted initially and said, ” I can’t do that. He’s the one who should apologize.” She was literally willing to die before reaching out to her only son. After a little gentle encouragement, however, she did decide to be the first one to reach out. To her amazement, her son was grateful for her willingness to call and offered an apology of his own. As is usually the case when someone takes the chance and reaches out, everyone wins.

Whenever we hold onto our anger, we turn “small stuff” into really “big stuff” in our minds. We start to believe that our positions are more important than our happiness. They are not. If you want to be a more peaceful person you must understand that being right is almost never more important than allowing yourself to be happy. The way to be happy is to let go, and reach out. Let other people be right. This doesn’t mean that you’re wrong. Everything will be fine. You’ll experience the peace of letting go, as well as the joy of letting others be right. You’ll also notice that, as you reach out and let others be “right”, they will become less defensive and more loving toward you. They might even reach back. But, if for some reason they don’t, that’s ok too. You’ll have the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your part to create a more loving world, and certainly you’ll be more peaceful with yourself.”

It’s super hard I know. It’s something I’m working on constantly and watching others around me work on too. It’s not easy, but it’s so necessary sometimes.

What do you need to let go of? Who do you need to reach out to? Life’s too short not to at least try.

number 9- check!

24 Feb

Jason and I made a list several months back- you might remember it. It’s our 101 Things in 1001 Days list. I need to update the list again, because there are several things I can check off. But our most recent one is #9- Visit the Strehles! I’m so thrilled to say we can check this one off, because I didn’t think we’d be checking it off any time soon. I hoped we would but didn’t see it happening for a little bit.

Jason and I met Zach and Amber Strehle through the church we used to go to. I was on staff with the 5th and 6th grade program there and Amber and Zach were volunteers. They have 4 kids (FOUR!), two of which (TWINS!) were in the 5th and 6th grade program. Amber and I became fast friends and we had a blast spending time together. Then we discovered that we lived in the same neighborhood! We got to know them even better while we went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University to get our spending habits and budgeting under control. I’d tell you what Amber used to call it but it’s not appropriate. HA! (Just kidding Amber… sort of.) They are the sort of people that you can be real with. And I’ve pretty much said it all to her and she still loves me! Ha!

Then they decided to move back to Washington, which is where they were from to begin with. Talk about a bummer! But ever since they’ve moved, Amber and I have actually kept in pretty good touch. We both started our photography businesses about the same time and we have a lot to celebrate together as friends and as artists. I so wish she lived closer.

Well, we DID have the chance to live closer since they live in Washington. So while we were visiting Seattle, we set aside a night to catch up with these two. It was nuts- they were getting ready to get on a plane to head to Arizona the very next day! I think they timed it. But whatever.

So we still haven’t been to their home or to check out the town that they live in yet, but that will have to be for another trip. A trip that we can take to Seattle and really get the chance to explore and do all the touristy things! But we can scratch it off the list since we did in fact visit them in their state. And Amber, we are both photographers- how did neither of us get a picture of us to document?? We were all just too excited to catch up and chat about life. And we were there interviewing and they were trying to leave town. So it was a little nuts.

But it’s always great to see good friends. And so we can successfully check off good ol’ #9!

wise words

13 Jan

My sweet friend Tanya posted this on her facebook yesterday. She always manages to post these little things that either make me smile, give me a glimmer of hope or is exactly what I needed to hear. She’s very sweet and has a beautiful (I mean gorgeous!) family. These small words she posted yesterday were a great reminder to me, as I’m still sorting out a bunch of “stuff”. You know that kind, right? Picking up pieces in my heart still. Working on forgiveness still. Anxious about the future still. Mad at people still.

I’m just being honest.

And this made me smile and also helped me focus on what’s actually important in my life, and not the lies that are still being told in my head.

So here it is. Followed by a couple pictures of her and her family from a photo shoot we did with them a couple months back. This family is amazing. This woman is amazing.

“People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight.
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.
Give the best you got anyway.

You see, in the end it’s between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.”

picnic party

1 Dec

I think one of my favorite things to do is to take Cruz to the zoo. I mean, good grief, the kid has been to more zoo’s this past one year he’s been alive than I’ve been to in my entire life.


Two good friends of mine, Sam and Julia, took me and Cruz to The Phoenix Zoo about a week ago to hang out and to celebrate Cruz’s birthday party. They weren’t able to attend his birthday party, so it was an ‘after party’ of sorts. It was really fun! Sam packed a picnic lunch for all of us. Julia brought her daughter, Ava. We went in the morning, so it wasn’t hot or very crowded. It was a great time to catch up on life and to relax!

Sam and Julia are two of my best friends. We’ve been in a book club together now for… 4 years? I’ve lost track. And they even let me stay in book club even though I’ve sucked at reading the past several books. Ha! I was roommates with Sam at Southwestern Bible College. Wow, we could tell you some stories. And I worked with Julia at Westcor for a couple years- we carpooled together all the way from the East Valley to The Paradise Valley Mall. We could equally tell you some stories. Ha!

These girls are true friends. While I’ve been somewhat of a hermit these past couple months, and while my whole life has changed since Cruz was born, they have patiently given me room to grow, still there for me whenever I need it, and check in often to make sure I’m alright. Not expecting anything in return, but just letting me go through the season’s that I need to go through. That’s exactly what I’ve needed. And I know that they would be there for me in an instant if I needed anything. And they have been.

I was thrilled to get out of the house with them on this cool morning. I’ve been at home working so much lately, that I’ve sorta forgotten to have a life with it! These two knew a picnic would do me some good and it was refreshing to be outside, with our kiddos, good food and each other.