Big things happened this month. The celebrations continued through to the end of the month.
Wayne and I returned to work at the beginning of the month with a double-header wedding weekend. Wayne, Kim and I traveled to South Florida for wedding number one and left right after the reception for Orlando. Before wedding number one, I got to spend a tiny amount of time with my parents. At the end of the night, we celebrated our first wedding back with gas station hot dogs, obviously!
The next day we were filled with many tears as we photographed some friends of ours. This groom had been waiting a long time to marry this girl…he knew when he first met her. (she friend-zoned him hard) But thankfully, he successfully moved out of the deep friend zone she had put him in.
Following the double header weekend, I started back in the MP office and my team welcomed me with a “Back to Work Survival Kit!” It even included a snack for Ethan, since he has not returned back to daycare yet. The start of work was hard. It was very hard, to be completely transparent. With both kiddos at home and running a business full-time, it is very challenging to feel like you have accomplished anything at all. I was finding myself frustrated with work and the kids because I couldn’t sit long enough to be with them or an assignment for work. In order to protect my family, my mental health and my work, we quickly decided to sign Ethan up for daycare again and added childcare at home for Selah. I’ve talked about balancing motherhood and business in the blog before and I am relearning those same concepts again after baby number two! Hoping for a more balanced workday in the next couple of weeks.
This month, my microchurch ladies decided that we wanted to be more intentional in each of our relationships in friendship and in sharpening each other in faith. A commitment we made was to see each other outside of Tuesday nights and have girls nights. So our monthly girls night began with dinner and a movie in one of the lady’s theater room (SO AMAZING).
The following weekend, the kids and I drove back down to West Palm for a shoot at my FAVORITE FLORIDA VENUE, the beautiful Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. (*Psst, shameless plug: If you’re considering a Vizcaya Museum and Gardens wedding, we would love to photograph it!)
I had some extended family time this time around and Selah was all about it! I loved the below moment, watching my aunts who helped raise me gush over my little girl.
One of my favorite people came to visit me with her mini me! Camila and I have been friends since architecture school and here we are 12 years later. Still drinking cafe con leches and full of excitement when catching each other up on our lives. I love that while one child was about to jump into their big emotions, the other would jump right in and help regulate or when one of us was carrying too many baby things, the other would come right in and help physically (and emotionally) carry the load. Sweet memories.
Before we left town, my brother spent 5 minutes with me and the kids in the backyard. He captured my most favorite photograph with my children. Also, I’m wearing my mama’s shirt, so it makes it even more beautiful to me.
While we celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary with a mini getaway, we still went out to celebrate on the actual date. PF Chiang’s lettuce wraps for the win!
A moment I felt loved this month was during one of our weddings. Kim stopped by McDonald’s and bought me a Diet Coke, because she knows McDonald’s fountain Diet Cokes are my favorite. It’s the little things, my friends!
Thanksgiving week we celebrated three different times! On Tuesday we celebrated with our microchurch. We continued the tradition from last year of signing the tablecloth with one thing we are grateful for this year, our name and the year. It was such a humbling thing to read the writings from last year and see what has been added to (or taken away) from our lives. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, praise the Lord.
The very next night, we went over to a friend’s house for a Thanksgiving desserts night. It turned into none of us having had dinner so hot dogs and mac and cheese were made. We sat around the table for hours. We ate leftover desserts and drank coffee. All of us were exhausted from all of the things, but we were there around the table laughing at nonsense for hours. Whenever this group gets together, intentional conversations are never lacking. We do life together in the simple chores and in the extravagant celebrations. This night felt like a “come-as-you-are and bring-what-you’ve-got” kind of night. It was beautiful to just be.
Sorry I am not sorry for the amount of caps lock words up ahead, but it OUR FIRST THANKSGIVING IN OUR HOME… JUST US! I’m not just saying this… IT FELT LIKE A DREAM. I kept staring at Wayne and my babies in disbelief. Also… I MADE MY FIRST TURKEY. Kim came over during the week to teach me how to spatchcock (such a gross process, but such delicious results!) a turkey. She even made a video for me the morning of Thanksgiving to teach me the finishing touches. I love how I’m teaching her at work and she’s teaching me at home.
It came out sooooo goooood (even though I almost burned it). I FELT THE MOST ADULT I HAVE EVER FELT. We set the table in the back room and ate over the tablecloth with everyone’s signatures and blessings. The three of us took turns saying three things we were grateful for this year. Ethan said he was grateful for broccoli… definitely don’t think he understood what we were doing, lol! After dinner, Ethan had some independent play time while Wayne and I cleaned the kitchen. Man, I have so much respect for my mom! I wish I could go back in time and help her more on this holiday. After cleaning, we put the kids in their Christmas pjs, ate pumpkin pie and snuggled up and watched Toy Story. It was a quiet night, but probably my favorite night all year.
On the last day of the month, I had the unique honor of documenting Ashley in her home. Before she moved, she wanted to remember God’s goodness and provision in this space. So many sweet memories (and hard seasons) happened under this roof. I spent some time photographing her in her space and brought my assistant along.
These two pictures below remind me of the feeling of her home. Ashley was the first of my friends to have ever gone over to my sink and washed what was in there without asking, as if it were her own house. I remember feeling mortified as I didn’t fully understand that she loved to serve. She taught me that love can happen in the simple things like the comfort of a friend who goes over to your sink and washes your dishes while you continue in conversation. Ever since she first washed my dishes, she changed me and allowed me to accept help. I have grown to LOVE washing other people’s dishes. She taught me pleasure in my least favorite chore. So, you will most likely find me at her sink when I’m over. Plus, I really love the afternoon light that pours into the kitchen window, over the sink.
The second image is the memory of where a coffee cup would always be waiting for me. She would preface every visit with a good cup of coffee, hot and ready for me. She unintentionally discipled me in hospitality inside her home. This home welcomed people in, made them feel safe and seen and always had an extra seat at the table for others… all because of her. It was my pleasure to photograph the little, everyday scenes to remember the good gifts from Jesus here.
Praise the Lord for the courage to move forward into new seasons. I am grateful, I am so grateful.