Tag Archives: prayer & inspiration

getting it better

11 Feb

I had a great weigh-in yesterday! This is my second week back at doing Weight Watcher’s the right way (meaning, I’m not just tracking my points SOME of the time, but ALL of the time) and it’s really making a difference. I wish I wouldn’t have been so lazy about it earlier and maybe I actually could have lost the weight before 2011. But no regrets, only looking forward right? I weighed in yesterday and I lost five pounds this week! FIVE! I was on cloud nine when I stepped off the scale and it was really the motivation boost I needed to get me started on week 3. I stayed for the meeting again and it was PACKED this time. I’m not sure why, but it was nice for it to be full. I’m really loving this program this time around. I love the changes they’ve made to it. And I love that it actually really works. And that it works while I definitely ate a Big Mac last week. I didn’t have fries with it, but I for sure ate a Big Mac. Ha. It’s awesome that I don’t have to cut anything out of my diet. Because this isn’t a diet. It’s a life change and a different frame of mind. But I can still eat some of my favorite foods, whenever I want. You know what I call this?


I’m not tied to cutting out carbs or dairy or sweets or anything like that. And if you really work the program, it’ll really work for you. Do I sound like a commercial? Yes, I do tend to sound that way when talking about Weight Watchers because I love it that much, believe in it that much and it’s works like crazy.

During the meeting yesterday, my team leader talked a lot about emotional eating. When he first brought it up I thought, ‘Oh I’m definitely not an emotional eater,’ and I think to SOME extent this is true. But according to his definition of emotional eating, I think WE ALL have fallen victim to it. And it doesn’t mean that you’re a hot mess too, just because you’re an ’emotional eater’.

Emotional eating is eating anytime you are not hungry.

Whoops. Yep, I’ve definitely done that. Do you know what it feels like to feel actually hungry? To eat something not just because it’s lunchtime but because you’re actually hungry? What a concept, huh? That is after all, how God created us but I do it all the time. Eat with kids when I’m not really starving. Or skip breakfast because I think it will help me. Why am I not listening to my body?? So I started thinking about what I’m feeling when I’m eating when I’m not hungry. And I concluded to two different things: Boredom and Anxiety. Weird huh? I don’t really eat when I’m sad or mad or happy. If I had a bad day, I don’t usually think to go eat an entire pie. I like celebrating with food, sure. But EVERY time I’m happy I’m not reaching for the ice-cream. But I did realize that a lot of the time that I’m eating when I’m not hungry, it’s because I’m bored or need a pick me up. Or I’m eating because I feel anxious and it does temporarily get my mind off of whatever is making me feel insecure or anxious.

Emotional eating is a learned inadequate response to life.

So I’m learning to break some bad habits I developed and actually listen to my body again. And when I’m not hungry and reaching for something salty or sweet, I’m trying to stop myself and think about what the real issue is. Last night, I wasn’t super hungry but I wanted something sweet for dessert. I stopped myself and concluded that I was just bored. I had been sitting in front of the computer for too long and needed a ‘break’. But eating when you’re not hungry shouldn’t be the break you’re looking for. I’m trying to replace those feelings with other activities- going for a walk, reading a book, cleaning something. Anything is better than snacking when I’m not hungry.

I’m also learning not to reward with food. I’m learning not to do this with Cruz, actually. I don’t want him to learn, early on, that food is a reward. It’s not. Food is something that we need every day and I don’t want to evoke emotional thoughts in him in regards to eating. When my team leader started talking about this, again I thought, “Oh that’s totally not me. I would never do that.” But then I caught myself DOING IT yesterday! Cruz fell down and was crying and really upset. He had hurt himself in the midst of his play and wouldn’t stop crying. So the words came out of my mouth so quickly, and as they were coming out I was trying to retract them, but it was too late.

“Do you want a snack??”

Appalled that I even asked that, I realized that I must do this often. He wasn’t hungry. He wasn’t asking for a snack. It wasn’t close to dinnertime. He had fallen down, hurt himself, was seeking comfort in me and I was asking him if he wanted to feel better with a snack. WHAT?! He immediately said yes, of course. So I did get him the snack. But I was mortified that I subconsciously had tried to treat the issue with food. That I was teaching him that when you’re sad or hurt, a snack will make it all better. I realize I don’t do this EVERY time he falls down. But I did realize that I do and have done this before. And now I am VERY aware of it and trying to reward and comfort him with different things. Not food. I definitely don’t want my kids to be emotional eaters, if I can help it. And I would love it if they had a very healthy response to food.

I’ve set a couple goals for myself too. I’ve decided that MY reward for losing all the baby weight is going to be two things. One, I want updated family pictures in October. It’s right in-between both boys’ birthdays and before Christmas. So it feels like a great time to schedule something like that. And two, I REALLY want to become a Team Leader for Weight Watchers. I’m not much of a public speaker, but I’d really love to help encourage other people to lose weight and to keep balance in their lives. Even if it’s just one meeting a week that I lead, I’d really love to be apart of that. So we’ll see. I don’t have a set date that I want the weight gone by. The sooner the better, in my opinion. So I’m attacking it like never before.

And it’s working.

Encouragement to focus on this week? It’s not about getting it right, you guys. It’s about getting it better.


last night

21 Dec

Jason and I photographed a wedding last night and it was SUCH a fun wedding. The more I do this, the more I realize that I really AM in the absolute right career path for me. Photography is such a passion of mine and I’m incredibly blessed to be able to share and work with my incredibly talented husband. We have so much fun with our couples and the weddings that we have had the honor of photographing have all been nothing short of amazing.

Gosh. I just feel so lucky and blessed! Can I just say that?!

Here’s one picture I snapped last night. Once the ladies heel’s started flying off, I knew we were in for a good night! And I was right! It was such a celebration and that is exactly what wedding’s should be all about! To see more pictures of past wedding’s we’ve done or to check out our recent stuff too, please visit our website at www.sessionninephotography.com. And there’s info on our site on how you can hire us too if you’re interested!

God trains the called

19 Apr

A few days ago I was catching up on Sarah Rhoads blog. She is a photographer in Seattle and she is fantastic. Her and her husband work together and they are an incredible team, turning out amazing work constantly. They are truly inspirational and I love checking out her work and reading her thoughts.

I came across a post that she titled, “The Calling” and found it truly inspirational. Do you ever feel like you’re in a slump, like you’re not good enough at your art and that maybe you should give up? I was totally having one of those doubting days and I came across it. To read the entire blog post, check it out here. In her writings, she talked about several questions that she gets from aspiring photographers all the time:

“Should I go to school for photography?” “Where should I go to school?” “Do you think having a formal photography education is essential for success?”

These were interesting questions and they provoked a lot of thought in me when I read them. Reading on, I discovered that although I doubt myself, not having a degree in photography myself, I completely agree with her thoughts. Sarah’s immediate answer to these questions?

“In my opinion, this is the wrong question to ask. What we should be asking is if creating is our passion and purpose in life…. our calling. If your answer is yes to that question then anything is possible for you and I don’t believe you need an advanced level of fine art education to make it happen.”

She goes on to say some other pretty profound words that God really used to speak to my heart as I read through her blog. Here’s a small insert from that post. I want to post the entire thing right here on my blog, but I really encourage you to read the rest of it on her blog. Then check out her work. It’s phenomenal.

” “God trains the called he doesn’t necessarily call the trained.” Whether you are a spiritual person or not, there is a great deal of truth in this sentiment. A calling can also be considered a “purpose” a “passion” or a “deep desire or longing.” You see, in my opinion, the most successful photographers are not necessarily those who completed years or schooling or studied under the most prestigious educators; although I’m sure this is helpful, their art degrees are not the keys to their success. I believe the key to their success is that they have a calling, people who felt like if they did anything other than create imagery they would be doing themselves and the world a great dis-service. When you have THAT kind of passion behind you – sacrifice becomes bearable and hard work like eating an ice cream cone. Someone who has that kind of purpose will always forge their own path…. they will ALWAYS make a way even when it seems there is not one…. they will take initiative to learn, grow and stretch themselves because they have the conviction of knowing it is what they were put on this planet to do.” – Sarah Rhoads

The line that struck me the most is, “God trains the called, he doesn’t necessarily call the trained.” Wow. That is so true, and can apply to any walk of life. How often do I forget that God is so much bigger than my education? He’s bigger than what society says is right and wrong? And that he used so many men and women in the Bible that weren’t educated or trained or even prepared? It was a humbling line to me, that  reminded me that He will take care of me, prepare me, train me and is with me as I walk this journey of my life. As Jason and I have begun this journey as photographers as Session Nine, it’s so easy to compare yourself to others and to feel like you aren’t good enough. It’s so easy to get caught up in things that can be a distraction from your true calling in life. It’s the same way in any line of art or work, for that matter.

She goes onto say a lot more great stuff- including that she is NOT knocking having an education. Of course it’s important. But I found her words super inspiring to me during a day when I really needed it. We all doubt our path in life at times, but if it truly is your purpose, your passion, your calling- you WILL make a way even when it seems that there is not one. Even when you’re doubted by others. Even if you’re lonely. Even if no one agrees or all others abandon you. Mostly, especially when you’re doubting yourself.

Please check out and read the remainder of her post. It really encouraged me, in so many ways. No matter your profession or walk of life, I think it can apply in one way or another. So I hope it encourages you too!

happy new year

1 Jan

I am genuinely excited for 2010. It’s crazy that it’s 2010.

My family and I watched Meet the Robinson’s over the holidays. We love (and I mean LOVE) any type of animated film and we watch as many movies as we can when we are all together. We watched Up right before we watched Meet the Robinson’s. We just love it.

Anyways. At the very end of the film, right before the credits roll, a famous quote by Walt Disney pops up. And when I read it, it made me think about the future. It made me think about how hard 2009 was- and not just for me- for so many, many people. It would be so easy to keep looking back at all the bad things that happened and to get stuck in the pain and the aches that have been caused. But it reminded me that we need to keep moving forward. Keep looking forward. And while 2010 might not promise to be any easier than the following year, we can continue to look forward in life with great hope.

Because it just might be the best year you will ever have…..

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

–Walt Disney

small encouragement

17 Dec

I went to breakfast with my sister Danielle yesterday morning. We don’t get together nearly enough and it was so fun. We always laugh way too loud- I actually found myself wishing that the music in the restaurant was louder so that our laughs didn’t seem SO loud.

But in the middle of our laughing and conversation, I was yet again reminded of God’s faithfulness. We had been talking about life and churches and God and other stuff- not even realizing that our waiter had been listening to our entire conversation. Well, it wasn’t hard to hear us. We were talking and laughing LOUD.

He stopped at our table and asked if we needed anything. We said no and then he said,

“What church do you go to?”

Both of us just stared at him for a second, completely caught off guard. I think we had been laughing about something so completely random, so we were thrown a little by his blunt question. Plus, I didn’t know what to say. We are in-between churches right now and aren’t really going to any one church at the moment. I quickly was trying to think about how to explain why we are in-between churches without taking up his entire day.

I gave him the short of the long story, and he told us that he had just planted a church in Gilbert 5 weeks ago. He said that he knew Jason because he had led at Highlands church a couple times and we chatted about a few other things. He left pretty quickly, probably to check on his other tables and we thought that was the end of the conversation.

Right before we left, he stopped by the table again. He said that he just felt the need to remind me that God has us in His grip and that He’s going to provide for us. Without knowing our full situation, he just spoke these words of wisdom over us that reminded me, once again, that God is in control and the He is faithful. He’s even faithful to provide words of encouragement and truth at the moment when I least expect it.

But he is so right.

This has been a tough season. A season of pain, fear, anger, relief, some doubt, and also joy. And it’s been rough. And while we are facing a world of change in the upcoming months, God never fails to use others to intervene to remind me that I AM in His grip. He has not forgotten me. And He will not forsake me, even if others have.

Be encouraged today. He will never leave.


9 Nov


I shot this picture while I was photographing the boutique at Cornerstone on this past Saturday. It’s a picture of some of the decor inside the bookstore, and I was just super inspired by it for some reason. It felt like my life in a lot of ways- hanging by a thread at the moment but bright and colorful- hopefully bringing joy and hope to many soon or someday or now. A symbol of the season, which actually ISN’T about shopping and things and presents. But is actually about a baby that was born to bring hope to us all. And this season I am full of exactly that- HOPE. Not that I haven’t had hope, but it’s been hard to find these past few years- at least for me. But I am starting to see why God has removed us from Cornerstone and I am grateful, hopeful and thrilled for the future.

Jason and I have made a decision about where we are going and what we are doing. I am not quite ready to discuss all the details, but we have found a place that is thriving and healthy and amazing. We couldn’t be happier and more excited for this time in our lives. God is so good and keeps revealing things to us that completely confirms that He has moved us for a huge reason. And he is taking care of us and protecting us- in more ways than I ever thought possible.

It makes me feel silly that I ever doubt Him and His plan for our lives.

So this picture might not have any significance to you. But it’s a fun picture to me; one that is symbolic in a lot of ways. And one that inspires me to keep pushing forward. Our future is bright and I am finally excited about this community of people and all the changes it’s going to bring for our lives.

I hate to leave you hanging, but more details will come once we can share them.

I promise.

boudoir, gypsies & inspiration

30 Jun

I had lunch yesterday with Amber– a friend that is super dear to me. She lives in Washington now but she was here with her husband who was on a work trip so it was the perfect excuse for her to have lunch with me!

It’s always my honor to hang out with her. And I miss seeing her a lot.

A lot.

She is a fellow photographer- something that both of us love to do but we didn’t know that about each other until she moved away. But now we get to watch each other work through our blogs (see hers here), facebook and twitter. She is very good at what she does and while we have different styles, interests and creativity, it’s so wonderful to be able to have a conversation that gets both of our creative juices flowing.

It’s just so refreshing to me to be able to sit down with someone who is in the same field and to not feel like you are in competition with them. Competition in this as a photographer is not what Jason and I want to be about. I am inspired and encouraged by others’ work. I hope people feel that way about me too.

It was so great to catch up with her and to talk about what she’s doing and where she wants to be in her photography.

Did I say that I really miss her?

I was really encouraged by her knowledge of starting a studio out of your garage. Its something I was somewhat against at first, but I really, really want to get into boudoir photography. It would be the perfect reason to have a studio. It’s a work in process but I’ve already got the process going. I’m super excited about it  and seeing her excitement for me made it even more exciting!

It was so good to see her. You should check out her blog. She’s a mamma to 4 great kids and has some freakin hysterical posts coming about the time she spent in Paris.

I was literally crying when she told me the stories about the gypsies.

Parisday2final1Amber, I’m coming with you the next time you go to Paris!

** This picture was taken by Amber in Paris. To see more of her work, check out her blog!**