Tag Archives: scottsdale

301 posts

9 Aug

Yes. It’s 4:30 am as I write this. I woke up to go to the bathroom and could not fall back asleep. Partly because I started thinking about the leftover chocolate covered Oreos that are in the kitchen left over from my shower. I’m completely resisting the urge to eat them right now because, well… wow. But then I got hungry and I couldn’t fall back to sleep. So I thought I’d blog to distract myself, but I’ll probably end up getting a glass of milk before I head back to bed, all while the Oreo’s are looking at and taunting me.

Yikes. Anyways.

This is my 301st post on this blog! Can you believe it? When I started my very first post ever, I didn’t think I’d have THIS much to talk about and say. Or that I have awesome readers like you following me! It’s been an amazing journey on this blog, and I like to remember that every time I reach another 100 posts. What a journey it’s been so far. I honestly think I was a completely different person in a lot of ways when I started this blog. This past year and a half has held A LOT of changes for us and I’ve changed and have grown a lot. The lessons I’ve learned have been unparallel to any other in my life, and I can’t say enough how grateful I am for the changes that have occurred for us.

I just ate a chocolate covered Oreo. Wow, it was totally worth it. Why did I agree to bring those home again?? Oh well. My strict diet starts in a few weeks once the baby’s born so I better enjoy it now, right?


I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time (not just because I had a chocolate covered Oreo!) and wouldn’t have ever considered myself unhappy. But we are at a really, really great place right now. Sure, sometimes stuff is still hard. It’s life. It’s not ALL roses all the time. But I’m really thankful for things. I’m really appreciative of what I do have and grateful that God has directed our steps to here. And that He’s continuing to direct them further in our lives.

I’ve really learned who my true friends are. A few of my best friends threw me the most amazing baby shower yesterday (pictures coming soon!!) and while ALL the people I would consider true friends weren’t able to make it, so many of them did. And I literally took a second, looked around and was thankful for the friends that God’s placed in my life. It was such an amazing afternoon- I can’t wait to share all about it with you!

We’re like, moments away from having another baby. Another little boy, which has always thrilled me to no end. I’ve always seen myself a mom to all boys. And while if we have girls in the future I’ll be thrilled, if we don’t I won’t be surprised either! I can’t wait to meet Rider and to hold and snuggle and love him. I can’t imagine loving him as much as I love Cruz, but I obviously know he has an entirely separate place in my heart with more than enough love to share. And these past few days, I’ve really been able to see myself get REALLY excited for his arrival. Because up until now, I’ve been pretty nervous about having two boys so close in age. I know it will be great when they’re older, but I’m just thinking about what that is going to look like right now. Yikes. I see craziness in my future. But I’m so excited and feel so blessed that God would even give us another child. What an honor.

So life is good. I never thought we’d be here, up in Scottsdale, at SBC, two kids, in an apartment and loving every second. But that’s where we are. It’s completely amazing how you’re life can change in 301 posts. I’m so glad I started blogging. I’ve recorded some of the best and some of the worst days of my life here on this blog. And it’s given me an outlet, a new outlook, and sparked more creativity in me than I’ve had in years. Thank you for reading and following my journey. Here’s to another 301 posts!

Now I’m going back to bed before I’m forced by Rider to eat anymore chocolate covered Oreo’s, which by the way, are simply to die for. Wow.

home together

9 Jun

When we were getting ready to move out of our house, and as we were packing, Jay made a comment that made me a little sad, I’ll be honest.

He said, “I’m kinda sad to be leaving our comfy home.”

When he said it, it not only made me miss our home incredibly (even though we hadn’t even moved yet!) but it made me fearful that we weren’t going to be AS comfortable in our new place. Or that we wouldn’t love it as much. Or that it wouldn’t be what we thought it would be. Or that our stuff wouldn’t fit. Or that it wouldn’t feel like ‘us’.

The list of worries went on and on from that one comment.

Jason didn’t mean to worry me or make me sad. He was feeling the exact same way I was. But as a wife, mother and home maker, every single ounce of me wanted my whole family to feel and be comfortable in our new place. I want our children to have a safe and comfortable place, but I also want my husband to be comfortable and to feel at home. To have a place he can come home from work and unwind and relax. It actually scared me that we wouldn’t have that in this new place. It’s ridiculous to type out, but it’s truly how I felt! I just deeply wanted everything to be good.

So we moved, painted our new place and unpacked very quickly. We’ve only been here about two weeks and the boxes are gone. I had to make this place feel like home fast so it could be a place where we could work and live and be at ease, right away. It was a hard two weeks, but I’m super glad that I did it.

Last night as we were eating dinner, Jay said out of nowhere,

“I really like it here. It’s really comfortable.”

And it kinda made me beam on the inside! I feel the exact same way! It’s not our comfy Gilbert home, but it is a new place that very quickly has become home to us. And more importantly, we all consider it home already. All three of us sleep better at night for some reason. Cruz falls asleep faster and I’m not sure why. We love the area more than anything and it has very quickly felt like home. It’s music to a wife and mother’s ears that the home you’ve created is a comfortable sanctuary for the entire family. And that everyone’s happy here.

What a great feeling.

getting settled

27 May

Wow. What a week it’s been! I’m happy to say that we have successfully moved, but it was no easy task! It’s amazing what your body WON’T do when you’re pregnant. I found myself getting frustrated through the process, having to balance taking care of myself and my pregnancy, getting moved in and unpacked, AND chasing and taking care of Cruz.

We are blessed with an AMAZING family and friends who helped us tremendously through this whole process. From people helping watch Cruz, to moving our whole house, to bringing us breakfast and dinner. It’s been so reliveing to have everyone help us who has. Not to mention, all the emails and texts I got of people just thinking of us and praying for us through the process. It’s been HUGE. So if you were one of those people, in any way shape or form, we are extremely grateful for any and everything you’ve done!!

Rider, on the other hand, I’m pretty sure hates me. HA! My body is so worn out. Being on your feet that much and with the exhaustion of it all has been difficult for me. My mind definitely wants to do things faster than my body can. But I’m happy to announce that I only had two crying ‘breakdowns’ during the entire process! HA! Both were extremely needed, might I add. But every thing is good! I’m trying to take it easy for the next couple days, not let the boxes overwhelm me and adjust to living in Scottsdale.

Which we love, by the way.

We are in a great place and are happy that this process is almost over! Now onto this weekend. We are photographing THREE weddings this weekend.

Yes, three.

So, life is absolutely crazy! But we are thankful for the people around us who have helped us and lifted us up through the process. It’s been great. Exhausting, but great.

packing & moving

12 May

Yes, we are moving! We found renters and we are heading out. Exciting? Yes. We are very excited. We found a great place up in Scottsdale and we are stoked to be closer to Scottsdale Bible Church.

We can’t wait!

But, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t sad to leave this house though. All of me wishes we could just pick up this house and move it to Scottsdale with us.

But obviously, we can’t.

So we are entrusting it to a good family and praying that it will be well taken care of like we have taken care of it! So in a week from today, we will begin the move out process. We’ve been blessed with a great situation that’s allowing us to move out slowly, to deep clean the house for our renters and for this prego lady to take a pretty big move at her own pace! I’m grateful at how God’s taken care of us through this entire process. Ever since Jay was laid off all the way up until now.

Why do I still doubt sometimes? Geez. You’d think I’d learn by now.

So these next few weeks are going to be INSANE. Tomorrow I’m leaving to head to San Diego for a Boudoir Session that I was hired for. It’s also turned into an all girls weekend, (which I can gladly check off our list!!) and is definitely something that I NEED. It’s been a stressful time, these past few weeks, and although I am going out there to work, I am thrilled to have a little time to relax. It will most likely be my last girls weekend getaway before Rider is born. I can’t wait!

Once I get home, it’s time to pack pack pack! And work work work! We have so many edits we are working on for Session Nine Photography, so I have to manage a way to stay on top of that too. SO, the next couple weeks are going to be exhausting. But at the end of it all, we will be up in Scottsdale and in the community where Jay works. So it’s obviously going to be totally worth it. Life never slows down. I’m hoping it does a little bit after we move.

Six months ago I never thought we’d be here. And although it’s been somewhat of a lonely road, I have never been more grateful and more happy to be where we are. I’m glad we’ve made it here.

house hunting

15 Apr

The more time we spend at Scottsdale Bible Church, the more I realize that we are in the most absolute right place. Tonight was the first time that I really felt like I could look around the room and see a group of friends, a community of people, that I could see us totally doing life with. Couples with small children or babies on the way and who are in our life stage. Friends that I already feel like if I needed anything, they would be there in a heart beat.

Today we head up to Scottsdale to search for another place to live. The house hunt begins. I am so anxious to move up there and be apart of this new community of truly amazing, astounding and fantastic people. I’m not even just making it sound better than it is. God has already blessed us with a circle of friends; women who I already see myself doing life with, leaning on, crying with, sharing stories, kids playing, and most of all- being real. The only word I can think to describe this, over and over, is that it’s refreshing.

So we head up tomorrow with the day dedicated to finding our new home! Whether it’s a house, condo, townhouse or apartment- I don’t even care. It doesn’t matter to me in the least bit. What matters is that we have space enough for our growing family, in a safe and clean neighborhood, close to family and friends, and preferably with a Yogurt Builders nearby. YUM. I’m ready to move. I’m anxious to move. And I’m excited to move.

I do sort wish we could move our house with us. I really love our house that we’re in right now. But the fact of the matter is, the drive is way too far and we really wish to be able to immerse ourselves into the lives of the people there. So slowly, we are making it happen. If any of you, dear readers, know of anyone who needs a place to rent, please email me. We love this house and are searching for an amazing couple or family who can take good care of it for us.

It’s pretty cool how God can make your wildest dreams come true. It’s been six months since we left the last church we were at, and our lives have dramatically changed since then. I’m still astounded to look back on such a short time and see all that He’s taught and brought me and Jason through. All He’s provided for us. Everything He’s given us and entrusted us with. We’re in Scottsdale together twice a week and every time we drive home, I always catch myself thinking that I’m so amazed with how well God knows me. He knows everything I need, in the timing I need.

I realize more and more that I’m in no better hands. Don’t you feel like you can breathe better just by knowing and believing that?? I know I do!

refreshing excitement

9 Mar

So we’ve been at Scottsdale Bible Church, officially, for about 3 weeks now. It’s been long enough for me to come away with some first impressions- even though I’ve gone there off and on for my entire life. And I have been simply blown away.

Our first official Sunday was a couple Sundays ago, and we were welcomed with open arms. Literally. Scooped up, hugged and loved on by staff, volunteers and those who just attend the church. One of the first questions out of one of the executives mouth was “Where are you are Jason going to plug in together to get filled up? Have you thought about where you’ll plug in together so you can maintain the health of your marriage?”

I nearly fell over. It’s been a long time since someone has said something like this to me, let alone someone high up in the church. This church genuinely cares about their staff, their wives, and their families. I’ve had several pastors wives approach me with invitations to dinner so our families can get to know one another better. People who see that we are new to the community and want to make us feel included and at home. Women who don’t play favorites, who don’t care what stuff you have and who truly are reaching out to us. We haven’t been bombarded with “Don’t forget to tithe!” or “Where ELSE are you going to serve?” or “You were hired for 30 hours but you know you’re really going to work 80, right?”.

None of that.

And I need to say that we have some fantastic friends who live in the East Valley. And I am so thankful that we aren’t going to be moving far. I have a couple women in my life who touch base daily as I’m going through all this change. Women in my life who know that I feel lonely. Women who get it. And I am deeply sad to move away from this small community that we still have in Gilbert. But those gals in my life are friends forever. You know you who are.

That said, I’m writing this because I am excited to move. We have met several couples who are eager for us to move up there. Friends and community that I already feel God preparing for us there. I always, always say it, but God’s hand in our lives always feels present these days. He’s always one step ahead of me- not too far that I can’t see him, but not too close that I feel too comfortable. I find myself having to trust him even for simple things like good friends! I’ve been praying for good friends in Scottsdale; I’ve been praying for this boldly. And I already see him beginning to answer my prayers.

While transitioning to a church that does things completely differently than what we’re used to has been a major adjustment, we’ve never felt more surrounded by a community of people that we don’t even live nearby yet! I’m feeling so blessed by the people that have reached out to us. I feel blessed to hear about how the church values their staff from Jason when he comes home each night. We love what we are doing so far. It makes me so anxious to move up there so we can fully immerse ourselves into the community.

That leads me to the fact that we need to rent our home out. And that task seems incredibly daunting. But, my motivation is the community of people that we will be living near and the lives that we will be apart of. I am so excited and I’m continually encouraged each and every time we are there on a Sunday. It’s continual confirmation that we’ve made the right decision to stay. I can’t wait to move. I just hope we can get our act together and get up there soon!

Ok, enough rambling from me. I feel that’s all I do on this blog anyway. But I’m thankful for my faithful readers. You guys rock! Now, here’s a cute picture of Cruz. Because you KNOW I have enough of those to share!

scottsdale, baby!

19 Feb

Yes, we have reached a decision!

You might remember that Jason and I have been give two amazing opportunities. Two opportunities that are nothing alike and that are in two completely different states. Seattle, Washington and Scottsdale, Arizona. Coming to this decision has been a difficult process for us. We so desperately wanted to make the right decision for our family and we honestly could have seen ourselves in both places. But since we can only be in one place…

We have decided to stay in Arizona and Jason has accepted a position at Scottsdale Bible Church!!

We are so happy to have been able to finally come to this decision. I have loved the community at SBC for all of my life. It’s the church I grew up in and started attending when I was seven years old. I’ve been super involved there since I was a little girl- Sunday school, Awanas, Jr. High, High School, Choir Tour, volunteering in the nursery. My parents were apart of the Choir and Orchestra there- my mom is still in the orchestra there and loves it more than anything. There are so many more things that I’ve been apart of at this church. There is a community of people there that I have been craving for a long, long time. It’s a Biblically based, God-filled, financially responsible church that really, truly cares about people. There isn’t really any other place like it in the valley.

And it’s home for me.

When we were in Seattle, we really truly prayed for clarity in our decision. I wanted to get off the plane and ‘immediately know’. We even had people that were praying for us telling us that we would have a clear direction just by being in Seattle. And it’s weird- that honestly didn’t happen. While we were in Seattle, we fell in love with the city. There is no place like it! It’s such a beautiful and amazing place- we definitely could have seen ourselves living there. The community at the church we were considering was fantastic. Everyone we came into contact with was extraordinary. The church there was awesome and we could have seen ourselves there easily too.

The truth is, I really feel like I had the clarity I needed before I even left- and I didn’t even know it! Seeing Seattle and the church and meeting the people didn’t change the way I feel about Scottsdale Bible Church. This is a community that I am deeply in love with and it excites me to no end to be apart of it once again. And that is how I wanted to feel about Seattle in order for us to make a move 1,400 miles away. And there was nothing wrong with the Seattle opportunity. It would have been a great fit for us too!

Before the plane touched back down in Phoenix on our return, we knew where our hearts were. And we knew what God was telling us. Even though we couldn’t tell most of you right away. We were both bombarded with emails, texts, face book messages with all of our loving friends eagerly wanting to know where exactly it is that we were going to go. I apologize if I still haven’t gotten back to you. But we needed to wait to share until we respectively told both churches the decision that we had made.

So we are heading to Scottsdale to be apart of a very healthy, thriving community. A place where we can focus on what we love to do but most importantly- focus on people.

(And yes, we are moving there. No, I’m not sure when. And yes, we are still doing photography- even when we move. I will drive anywhere for my work and my art so please, please know that we are still very actively taking pictures in this state!)

We have been so blessed by God during these past months in our lives. He’s removed us from where we belonged no longer, He’s provided for us while we were waiting on Him, and He presented us with more than we could have ever hoped for with these two decisions. Two decisions that we truly feel He would have blessed us in either way. What freedom we have been given ever since October. I’m blown away by how much life has changed for us. I’m blown away with how we’ve been able (along with most of you) to physically watch the hand of God guide our steps. May I never forget at how He’s taken care of us. May I never doubt Him again whenever life seems like it doesn’t make sense. When I can’t see how He’ll provide, I pray that I will KNOW that He will.

All that I have learned I am grateful for. And I am thrilled for the future in a city that makes my heart beat like it hasn’t in a long time.

Thank you for praying for and encouraging us like you have! We’ve felt very surrounded and supported by so many of you and we can’t thank you enough!