Tag Archives: working mom

harder, but worth it

6 Mar

I still feel like I’m recovering from Vegas. NO, not like THAT. I just mean, getting back into the routine of things and catching back up! BUT I’m still thinking about that week and how crazy and amazing it was all at the same time. It went by too fast if you ask me. We love traveling with the boys whenever we can. It always makes things a little bit harder. Kids are hard. And they are LOTS of work. But when I became a mom, I knew that I wasn’t going to sacrifice certain things that I loved JUST because it was harder with kids. Your life and business doesn’t have to stop once they enter your world.

But you do have to work harder.

In my experience though, it is always worth it. The sweat, the tears, the late nights, the planning, the preparation- the SACRIFICE. It’s all always worth it to make sure that you are bringing your kids along to experience something that you love to do so much. Traveling is that way for us. It’s a huge passion of ours and so whenever we can go experience something new, we bring them along! And it always takes more preparation. And there ARE certain things we might have to miss out on. But bringing our family with us while we work is something I hope we ALWAYS do.

We took Cruz and Rider onto the strip at night to see all the lights and the Bellagio fountains. Yes, we were THOSE people with a stroller on the strip. But they LOVED it. It was completely worth the efforts to take them to see the lights and the fountains and all the different fountains in Las Vegas. It was an experience that they might not have had otherwise.

And Cruz keeps talking about ‘BOSS BEGAS’ in his cute high pitched voice that just makes you want to die it’s so cute.

He LOVED every minute. I know that traveling with the kids is hard. I know that it would be easier for Jay and I to just have my mom stay home with the boys while we catch a flight there and back in the same weekend. I know we’d save a lot of money if we didn’t bring them. But it’s not about that for us. It’s about being together as a family, bringing them along with our lives, and giving them the opportunity to experience new things.

Sacrifice it might be for me. But although this job as a mamma is the hardest work I’ve ever done, I’d work even harder and sacrifice even more to give them the entire world if I could. Having them come along for the ride has been the greatest thrill of this thing called motherhood. And discovering that we actually DON’T have to sacrifice our own lives to have a family. 

It was a great week. I can’t wait until we travel again. It looks like this summer we are going to Dallas, North Carolina AND maybe NEW YORK CITY. NYC has been a life long dream of mine. So we’ll see what happens!


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?



19 Dec

This is a long one, but worth it I think. If you’re needing some encouragement, please read on!

I took a tiny break from my study in Proverbs 31 and not on purpose at all. I seriously got caught up on my work and realized that I hadn’t blogged in days. Totally not like me. I heart blogging and hate when theres gaps of time when I can’t get to it. But sometimes, you have to just let go of the things that you can’t get to. There were certain days that I literally couldn’t do one more thing. Even blogging. So I took a breath and just let it go. But now I’m starting to feel caught back up and I’m diving in again.

Oddly enough, this weeks verses that I’m studying are about WORK. They are:

‘She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.’ Proverbs 31:16-17

This woman WORKS. And she works HARD. I mean, aren’t you kind of tired FOR her already? I think it’s interesting that these two verses are in here. And it makes me wonder what we can take away from it and how we can apply it to our own lives and families.

First, she considers a field and buys it. Whether this woman is wanting to buy a field to plant a garden to help feed her family or to actually plant a vineyard to profit from it FOR her family, the keys here that jump off the page at me are that she considers it. And she buys it.

DUH Jess. The Bible clearly says that.

Well, I think it’s important and not something that we should just breeze past. And because I actually have A LOT to say on these two verses, I’ll cut to the chase on this first half. She’s considering the field BEFORE she buys it because that’s what’s wise to do. She’s probably praying about it, thinking about it, and getting counsel on it. CONSIDERING it. Weighing all the options. She’s not just jumping in head first without knowing what she’s getting into. She’s considering ALL of the options and what these decisions will mean for her family, seeing as that this is most likely some sort of business opportunity for her. It’s so important to wait on things and on decisions. And to honestly pray about them. And not just go on a feeling we have inside ourselves. CONSIDER it. All of it.

Next it says she BUYS it. It doesn’t say she borrows the money to buy it. She doesn’t finance it from the bank. She doesn’t ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’. She just buys it. It means she’s saved up enough money for it and she pays for it in cash. Now, I’m not passing any judgement on anyone who might be in a world of debt. Or using credit cards. Or borrowing money to make ends meet. We have quite a bit of debt ourselves that we are STILL trying to get rid of. I SO get it. We’ve made some really crappy mistakes financially in the past. But Jason and I together have clearly learned the lesson. We’ve learned what the Bible says about debt and about borrowing money. And it’s something we’re working hard to put behind us. And the good news is that we’re getting there. And it’s because of verses like this one, which don’t tiptoe around the issue of debt. She BUYS it. It’s hers, completely paid in full. Zero debt. No financial burden of debt. It’s pretty clear, if you ask me.

It THEN says ‘out of her EARNINGS she plants a vineyard’. Again, she’s not borrowing money. She’s working hard and earning it to be able to afford to do something she’s always wanted or loved or maybe NEEDS to do. Regardless of what she’s trying to do with her money, she’s EARNING it. She’s saving her pennies, being a good steward with what she’s being given, praying and considering her options and then spending her money wisely.

Then she plants a vineyard.

This might seem like a really insignificant detail. But I TOTALLY disagree. Have you ever planted a vineyard? Or known anyone who’s planted a vineyard? ME NEITHER. So I don’t know a lot about vineyard planting and about growing grapes and about turning it into wine. I’m not even going to pretend that I do. BUT, what I DO know is that planting and caring for a vineyard is a LOT of work. Or what I can imagine to be a lot of work. A lot of laboring work that’s exhausting, time consuming and not rewarding in the beginning at all. It takes a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a lot of WORK.

Don’t you just want to hug this woman?

There’s seriously something to be learned here. She is a super hard worker. She’s not looking for the ‘get rich quick’ gimmicks. She’s not frustrated that the fruit of her labor isn’t exploding immediately. She is being faithful with where she’s at right now, diving into her work every day with very little reward. I DO know that growing a vineyard can take YEARS. Years of waiting and working and being faithful before you see any fruit of your labor. And I’m amazed at this woman even more. She is faithful in her work, every single day. It’s not always easy. It’s not hardly rewarding. But she KNOWS that that’s not what this life is about. And she works hard anyways doing what she’s called to do. Faithful that her work will pay off and that God will bless her greatly.

Next it says that she sets about her work vigorously and that her arms are strong for her tasks. I looked up the word vigorously in the dictionary and it means strong, active, forceful and even robust. This woman is not lazy by any stretch of the imagination. She is energetic in her tasks. Can you honestly say that YOU are working energetically in the work YOU’VE been called to do right now? Or are you doing just enough to skate by because frankly, you’re exhausted? I know that it’s hard. Trust me. There are plenty of days that I just want to lie down, have a good cry and not face half of the things I need to do that day. And I honestly love my work! I KNOW how overwhelming it is to be a mom and to consider all that you’re doing as your WORK. It’s a huge load to bear. And we’re all doing it every day!

But what if we changed our mindset just a smidge? What if we looked at our WORK as our vineyards. Something that needs to be slowly nurtured and cared for EVERY day. Something that needs a lot of time put into it and that doesn’t come with a basket full of rewards right away. We should be working faithfully every day, regardless the reward or lack thereof. I know even in the area of motherhood, the rewards are far and few between. But shouldn’t I be treating THAT alone as a vineyard?? Carefully and intentionally and FAITHFULLY pouring my time and energy into them is definitely something that won’t be abounding in rewards right away. But what you sow you will reap. And the rewards in the area of mothering will come, if not for a long time. When the days are long and hard, I’m going to start thinking about my work as my vineyard.

The end of the passage says that her arms are strong for her tasks. And they are strong because she works hard. She physically works all day long, and she has for years. Her body CAN withstand all that the day holds. It doesn’t say she’s weary. Her arms are ready to pick up children all day long. They are ready to lug groceries into the house from the car. And to carry loads and loads and loads of laundry upstairs. She’s strong. And ready to take on the day. And prepared to handle whatever might be thrown at her. Whatever her tasks may be. And they all look different for all of us. That’s the beauty of it.

I know this post has been kind of long. But I hope it’s encouraged you. Your life today might seem tough. It might seem like you’re working SO HARD and there’s no end in sight. Or like you’re not getting anywhere and there’s nothing great about what you’re doing. And I would strongly disagree. I encourage you to view your tasks and your work as your vineyard. Work that will NOT go in vain and that will one day we blooming with rewards that have been cultivated by YOU for a long time. The fruits of your labor will not go unnoticed by our God who’s entrusted you with so much. Whether that be with your children or your day job or both. He sees us in the trenches every single day. Stay faithful to what he’s given you. Press on and know that someday all the work you’re doing now will be SO worth it. You ARE strong. You ARE capable. And you can do this. I know you feel tired and weary because I feel it too. All the time. But refocusing your mind on what your work really means in the kingdom of God will make all the difference in your life.

Think of all of it as your vineyards. And vineyards certainly don’t appear overnight. But rather, they take years of faithful, vigorous, work. But it’s SO worth it in the end.


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.


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


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.)


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. 

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:


And this:


And this:

And 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!

austin 2011

26 May

Ok FINALLY. Here it is! A quick glimpse into our time in Austin! We went to Austin to photograph a wedding but we also decided to turn it into a mini vaca while we were there.

But let me start by saying, the wedding we photographed was INCREDIBLE. Holy moly was it such a great time!! Jen and Steven were fabulous and their day was nothing short of amazing. It was such a special time and a huge celebration! People from ALL over the country came to Austin to watch them tie the knot. And that’s pretty special, if you ask me!

My sister Danielle was born in Austin, TX and hasn’t been back there since we moved away when she was a baby. So we brought the kids and Danielle and her husband Cameron came along to help us with them and to be able to see Austin too! It was SO FUN having them with us! If you travel with more than one kid, I definitely recommend a 2:1 ratio.

Spoiled, I know.

But it really made a huge difference having them there through all the travels. Plus, it allowed us to work and not worry about the boys but to still be able to bring them so we could be together as a family. I am SO grateful!

SO, we landed in Austin without TOO much craziness on the plane. We had one huge meltdown by Rider, but other than that the airplane ride was great! SO we landed and got settled in the place we stayed. We have some good friends who live in Austin who graciously opened up their home to us without hesitation and provided so much more than we could have asked for! They were awesome hosts and again, we were SO grateful that they allowed us to stay with them. They don’t live too far from downtown, which was OOBER convenient and made it a fabulous time for us to be able to see the city some!

After we got settled, we decided to go grab something to eat downtown. Austin’s downtown is LEGIT. Have you ever been there? Oh man. It’s a photographers dream. So many cool spots, awesome people and lots and lots and lots of character!

We ate at STUBBS. It’s famous in Austin. And we understand why. It was FABULOUS food. We wanted to eat BBQ because well, we were in Texas. Duh. (Notice the milk bottle in the top lefthand corner and the beer bottle in the top righthand corner haha!)

Cruz was very fascinated with this bike.

And then THIS GUY walked up. Please check out his shirt, specifically right above Cruz’s head. Innappropriate? Ya, I know. I HONESTLY DIDN’T NOTICE until I was uploading these pictures to this blog. I was just thinking the picture of Cruz talking to random strangers (with Jay) was super cute. I never even saw his shirt. WOW. The kicker? I’m 98% sure that this bike did not belong to this man.

The people in Austin were so friendly. At least to us. And we had fun with so many random strangers that would jump in shots or talk with us. I loved it!

Austin is a fun city.

I love this face.

Some other fun shots.

I love this picture. I love him.

This is where the bats were supposed to fly out. We literally stood there for over 30 minutes, past 8:30 pm and they hadn’t flown out. When it was just about dark, Jason noticed that they were flying away on the distant horizon. So we totally missed it and so did everyone else on the bridge. SO WEIRD. So we went back a couple nights later and we were able to watch them fly out. They didn’t leave until it was pretty much dark so we weren’t able to see them in the sky. BUT, we did see them flying out from under the bridge. And it was kinda loud and smelly!! And there literally was 1.5 MILLION bats. It was crazy.

We ONLY ate at places that were local to Austin. It’s one of my favorite things ever to try new places and one of those that we tried while we were in Austin was called Mighty Fine Burgers. OMG. YUM. If you’re in Austin it’s a ‘must-go’!

Aw. My sweet picky eater. He loved the fries though!

This is Jackson. Rachel and Tim’s little boy. We stayed at their house. Cruz and Jack were BEST FRIENDS the whole time we were there. He still asks about Jack. I wish we lived closer to them because they’d be such great little buddies.

After dinner on this night we went to a store called Whole Earth. They had some REALLY cool stuff inside and we all had fun shopping. Then we all goofed off on the hammocks that they had hanging outside their store.

He’s always picking his nose. I have more pictures of him picking his nose than I know what to do with it. How do kids learn how to do this?? I can assure you, we did not teach him this.

We did a photo shoot with The Allen’s while we were there. We had a blast walking all around downtown snapping pictures of them and of all kinds of things too! One thing is, it was FREAKIN HOT. I mean, humid HOT. I’m used to the dry heat! But it was NOT dry. And it was HOT.

We were able to snap a family picture while we were at it. I love this picture.

Some other shots of us roaming around downtown.

Other cool stuff I saw. I know this post is long. It’s almost over, I swear.

He loved checking out the planes as we left. We didn’t want to leave.

So you guys. PLEASE go check out Steven + Jen Stamps wedding. Their wedding post is up on our site and you’ve got to check it out! They got married at The Driskill Hotel and it was SUCH an amazing day and celebration!! We were so honored to have been asked to be a part of their day! And we loved traveling to another location for a wedding. With our kids.

We totally have the bug.

I can’t wait for the day when we can travel on a regular basis, nationally AND internationally. With our kids. It’s pretty rad.

We loved Austin. I would totally move there if the right opportunity arised. Humidity and all! Ok wow. This post is SO long. Thanks for reading it. And thanks for waiting for me to post it. These past several weeks have been some of the craziest of my life.

But I feel like I’m ALWAYS saying that. God keeps opening doors for us. Including us getting a few of our weddings published in a pretty well known magazine to be out later this summer. SO STOKED. I am so grateful for this job. I am so grateful that God told me to ‘wait’ for all the years that I desired to do this but never did. Because it definitely wouldn’t be what it is today if I had relied solely on MY timing. It’s rad.

Can we please travel somewhere else to shoot a wedding? I want to ASAP.

getting outside with purpose

23 May

Featuring Guest Blogger: Meghan Green with Purposed Life

iPhone. Check. iMac opened up to etsy, facebook and an email window simultaneously. Check. Amazing media outlets that help me spread the word about my business. Check. Wow! This 21st century stuff sure is cool. I’ve got my gadgets all around me giving me the status of how my creations are selling online. My phone buzzes in my hand as I walk carrying a new pack of wipes into my son’s room to change his diaper. As I’m putting his pants back on him I see that I’ve sold something on my website. Happy dance. But unfulfilled.

In starting my business Purposed Life I knew that I wanted to be creatively fulfilled. I mean, my art is everywhere around me: my walls all feature different colors from another room in the house, each room has at least 6 quilts that I’ve made with my fabric obsession, my kid’s wardrobes are half handmade with cool fabrics repurposed somehow, etc. So, I decided to start a business where I could do my art full time (well, sort of full time. You know, stay at home mom of 3- nothing but kids can really be full time). I’ve found an amazing creative outlet for me but it’s so easy to get swept up in the fulfillment that I feel. It’s easy to tape the phone or computer in front of my face so I can constantly check how my little business venture is doing online.

It’s easy but is it right? Am I really fulfilling God’s purpose for me or my kiddos by be so tuned in to my nifty electronics that I’m tuning out the precious little beings running around, giggling, and yapping my ear off. (Yep! My middle one always runs around- seriously, non-stop. My youngest baby just smiles and giggles to get my attention. My oldest darling is always singing to me and telling me a different story.) Why would I want to miss that? I don’t.

So, I put down my phone. I close my laptop. I leave my iPad on my nightstand. We go outside. Outside, I am not tempted to check my website shop. Outside, I can’t hop on Facebook and see how popular I am ;). Being outside is about being with my three babies. Being outside is about teaching my kiddos that there are way more important things than the television and video games. Being outside is about teaching my darlings to look at the world around them, the beautiful world that our Creator made for us.

We spend at least an hour outside everyday. We get dirty. We get covered in mud and it’s good. The boys have helped me plant a garden. They help me water it and pick the ripe fruit and veggies. I talk to them all the time about God creating this beautiful earth and that we are supposed to take care of it and cultivate the ground to create something beautiful. I’m not a huge fan of Arizona landscape. I would take the mountains or the beach over this dry, desert climate any day but I can honestly say that our backyard is my most favorite piece of nature. I have fallen in love with it. My kids have fallen in love with it (or they always have been. Boys- I’m sure they’d love being outside no matter what). We’ve put so much time and attention into our little earth that we are attached. Not only have I committed to spending at least an hour outside with the kids everyday, we also take at least one day out of the week and spend almost the whole day outside. Sometimes they complain but it’s our day to be outside as a family and they will grow up knowing that our time together away from computers, televisions, and phones matter.

We don’t only get dirty outside. We get messy. We get covered in paint, markers, play dough, and glue. We do art together- outdoors. I am an artist. I love seeing the different creative traits shining through my boys and can’t wait to see how my baby girl approaches it in her own unique way. Kids are natural artists. They haven’t been taught which side of the brain they prefer to use or that they are good at this but not good at that. They love to work with their hands and it’s good. I encourage their imagination and creativity. I encourage the mess! (When we are outside.)

Getting outside is about taking the time to BE- to be WITH your kids and to be with them on purpose. It’s about making the conscious and continued decision that technology and work can wait. My kids can’t wait. They don’t want to wait for mommy’s attention and most of the time they shouldn’t have to (I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be polite and patient). So, technology and work will wait- at least until 2pm at which point all three of my little ones take naps and I bust my tushie until dinner.

Being outside in the mornings with my kids is how I make being a work at home mom work. I can get what I need to get done during the afternoons knowing that my babies are fulfilled in spending time with their mom and getting out in creation.

Everyone’s story and schedule is different. Find what works for you but I do encourage you to get outside with your kids, if not everyday then at least a few times a week. They need it.


Meghan Green is the mom to Blake, Jax, and Brynn, and wife to Justin. She owns Purposed Life (www.purposedlife.etsy.com), a mini fashion line designed to give back and a way to spread her love for art and handmade clothes around. She loves gardening, photography, fashion, and Harry Potter (among other things).

get out

18 May


This tip can seem a bit daunting at times. At least to me it does. It takes a lot of time, energy and work to pack up both of the boys, get us all ready, and to actually get out of the house keeping the feeding/napping schedule in mind. Usually we need to go quickly and come home quickly. And being out doing whatever activity it is that we are doing is usually anything BUT relaxing!

But it’s definitely worth it.

Although this isn’t really a tip that will help your work flow or organize your home or workspace, it IS essential for the morale of your whole family. Firstly, it forces you to get everyone ready for the day. No staying in pajamas all day long, although, days like that ARE fun and totally necessary at times too. And it forces everyone to be outside a little bit, usually. Which can’t do anything bad for anyone. But mostly, I find that my kids just need a change of scenery! As hard as it is to actually get out, isn’t it so much easier to be out than be stuck at home with cranky kids who are tired with playing with their own toys?

Yes, it’s totally necessary to get get out almost every day in this household. We all tend to get slightly stir crazy.

PLUS. Doesn’t it just help wear out your kids?? It does mine. And that is one huge key to successful napping! And like I said in this post, it’s important to work while they’re sleeping. So what’s the harm in making sure they sleep well? Wear them out! Plan fun activities! Get a group of moms together who have kids the same age and hang out often. I’ve actually have this in my life now and I love it! I have the same group of friends who have kids all around similar ages of mine. And we hang out multiple times a week in the mornings. I love it! The kids love playing together, and it gives me some adult time with my friends. We don’t usually do anything super expensive. We all have passes to the zoo (a MUST!), or we’ll hit up local splash pads, play areas and parks. Or we’ll grab lunch at the mall or usually Chick Fila. I’ll even just run errands in between Rider’s naps to help get us out. And I’ll try to plan something fun for Cruz even if it’s just the three of us grabbing ice-cream or a quick lunch or something. Simple stuff that’s not far away from home, but that gets all of us out of the house to break up the day.

It’s such a better day when my kids can be outside, running around and with other kids. Instead of cooped up in our house all day with the same walls to look at. So I encourage you! Take some time to plan out your week. Call a few mamma friends and meet at the splash pad! Getting out is good for everyone. And if you’re a stay at home mom, it really helps to have contact with adults outside your house. I know it does for me!

Get on out there! And call me if you want to hang out.

*Images taken with my phone.