Last night I saw post on instagram. It was by someone that I follow, but do not have a personal connection with. A simple illustration with the words, "Mental Health is as important as physical health." It struck me.
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I squirmed in my seat waiting for my time to speak. We were participating in a mastermind group and I was surrounded by incredible women who spoke so eloquently about their businesses and dreams. I was nervous and my palms were sweating. Then it was my turn. I casually spit out a few generic things about feeling like my website and online presence didn’t represent who I was. And then the bomb hit when someone called me out in the very best kind of way. She said, “Emily, you don’t know who you are because you don’t know what you want. What do you want!?” I sat there for a moment just trying to process what she had said and I realized that I wasn’t being open. I knew exactly who I was and what I wanted, but I was afraid. So I fumbled on my words for a few more seconds and then burst into tears……
For the last few weeks I’ve struggled. I’ve struggled to find balance in the chaotic beautiful mess called life and motherhood. I have felt overwhelmed physically, emotionally and spiritually. It’s so easy to get caught up in a fast paced lifestyle where you’re trying to keep up with everyone and everything around you. I pray daily for balance and strength. And although I don’t always receive an answer right away—I eventually do :)
Tonight, as I was driving home I passed a field of sunflowers. As I saw the setting sun glowing over them, I had a moment of peace.
I realized there is a lot I can learn from a sunflower:
1. Dreams are like Sunflowers
Like dreams, sunflowers start from a tiny seed (idea) and through growth over time they turn into something magnificent.
2. It’s important to always be seeking after light.
Scientifically, sunflowers follow the sun. By focusing on the brightness of the sun, the sunflower continues to grow, develop and become beautifully strong. This reminds me that it’s important to be positive and to seek after happiness rather than negativity.
3. Stand tall and never stop looking for the sunshine
I know I’m going to have tough days, but it’s important to keep trying to be better and never give up.
“I want to be like a sunflower; so even on the darkest days I will stand tall and find the sunlight.”
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It’s what the sunflowers do.”
Tomorrow is a new day.
Crank up that radio….
roll down the windows when you’re driving….
and know that you are meant to be a bright, beautiful and happy!
Today is my husband's birthday! We've been together for so long that I can't even remember what it was like to not have him in my life. He is worth celebrating not just today--BUT EVERYDAY! It's funny when you look back on a marriage and see how much you've grown together over time. I feel so blessed to have him in my life. He just gets me. I try and tell him how much I love and appreciate him every day but TODAY I am going to shout it from the roof tops!
for letting me put my cold feet on you.
for dealing with my mood swings.
for praying with me.
for being fun.
for always encouraging me when I feel like I can't do something.
for helping our family create so many happy and fun memories.
for working hard for us EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
for making me laugh when I'm ticked off.
for putting up with my horrible listening skills (haha)
for teaching our daughter how to be treated right.
for teaching our son all about sports.
for keeping us glued together when times get tough.
for being so laid back.
for loving me unconditionally.
for being YOU.
My family likes to have parties. We like to go all out on celebrations. This baby shower was no exception! A friend of ours is having a baby boy and my sister and sister-in-law threw a nautical-themed baby shower for her. A blue, yellow, nautical pie bar baby shower to be exact! I was fortunate enough to photograph all the cute details. Check it out!
I plan on making a blog series about all of the fun parties that we have thrown over the years. :)
This whole “blogging” thing is difficult for me for several reasons.
- Opening myself up to the public is difficult for me. It’s not that I have anything to hide, I just prefer to remain more low key/private. However, I personally LOVE reading others blogs! I love personal posts that share who a person is and what they like.
- I don’t consider myself a good writer. I make a lot of grammatical mistakes and I’m aware that it isn’t a strength for me. I’m always in awe of people who can so eloquently express their feelings or keep their readers wanting more! Writing is a gift and I really admire those who can do it well.
- I’m at a loss of what to talk about it.
So with that being said………
What do you want to know?
I’ve got a lot of quirks and interesting stories that have shaped me into who I am today, but what should I share? Tell me what you think!
Everyone has a travel bucket list, right? Well, it’s more like a dream list….but I’m throwing it out there since it’s my 10th wedding anniversary this year and I’m sure my husband is reading this. (Hi Justin! haha)
My Current Top 5 Dream Travel List
This has always been on the top of my list! One of those over the water bungalows with a glass floor? Amazing! I’m so there!
Google Quick Facts:
The Maldives is a tropical nation in the Indian Ocean composed of 26 coral atolls, which are made up of hundreds of islands. It’s known for its beaches, blue lagoons and extensive reefs.
It’s Hawaii……enough said! I’ve never been and hopefully will have the opportunity soon! :)
Google Quick Facts:
Hawaii, a U.S. state, is an isolated volcanic archipelago in the Central Pacific. Its islands are renowned for their rugged landscapes of cliffs, waterfalls, tropical foliage and beaches with gold, red, black and even green sands.
I’ve always been fascinated by these ruins and would love to explore them and climb to the top! I love old graveyards and historic pieces of architecture so these ruins would be so incredible to visit!
Google Quick Facts:
Palenque, also anciently known as Lakamha, was a Maya city state in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century. The Palenque ruins date from ca. 226 BC to ca. AD 799.
These are just unreal. The size of them in pictures just blows me away. I can only imagine what it would be like to see them in person.
Google Quick Facts:
Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California, in the United States. It was established on September 25, 1890. The park spans 404,064 acres.
Ok so this is sort of ridicuous, but if you know me, I’m all about The Bachelor/Bachelorette series! They’ve gotta have some kind of tour or something! haha. Ok, I’ll settle for a Hollywood home tour! ;)
2351 Kanan Rd,
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
(You can find everything on google apparently--haha!)
New Zealand, Jerusalem, Egypt, Paris, (Italy AGAIN!)
If you were me, where would you go?
These children of mine......it's funny how much you can learn from a child. Today after church, I was reminded of a scripture found in Matthew 22: 36-40 (see reference to the right). How simple are these words...yet so difficult at the same time? I always think of my children when I read these verses because THEY GET IT. They understand how to love deeply and forgive easily. Oh to have the heart of a child! I am so thankful that I get to be their mother and learn from their example everyday. If someone hurts my daughter's feelings, naturally she gets upset. However, a few minutes later she is up and it's like it never happened. I love her example.
If someone hurts you or speaks badly about you, love them anyway. If someone makes you angry or offends you, love them anyway. It is so simple, yet so hard to master. Wouldn't our world be so much better if we could all learn to master this? It's not easy, but I'm trying.
While on our family vacation, I took some pictures of my children in overalls. Why? Well, my dad wears overalls ALL. THE. TIME. and we when I saw kid sized overalls, I just knew I had to buy them some! It was such a fun and spontaneous photoshoot. I will cherish these photos forever because they remind me of my dad. He is such a wonderful Papaw to my children and I am thankful for that everyday.
A few weeks ago there was a Daddy-Daughter Dance at school. Of course, we had to document it as if it was a big event.... because IT IS! I have always loved the the connection that my husband and daughter have. I am going to brag about him for a second because I know he would never do it himself. This man is amazing with our children. He went out of his way to make her feel special on this day. He bought her a corsage, got dressed up, and took her out to a fancy dinner before they went to the dance. I thought my heart my burst when he opened her car doors and she had a smile from ear to ear! He's teaching her young how she should be treated by men as she gets older. My wish for her is to find someone who treats her as well as her dad treats us! I love my family! Here are a few shots I took before they headed to the dance! :)
I had so much fun taking part in the Shoot & Share contest. It was an amazing opportunity to share my work with other photographers without having my name attached to it. (Check out the rules of the contest at the end of this blog). Let me tell you....there are some crazy talented photographers out there. I was honored to have placed amongst them. My shot of McKayla throwing the skittles in the air placed in the TOP 100!!! Out of 135,000 photos, I made it that far! I am incredibly humbled and grateful. Check out how I placed in other photos below.