I go through ebbs and flows with my photography. There are days I’m unloading the dishwasher and inspiration strikes, clear as day and off I go excited and energized, camera in hand. Other times I hate the camera, and the idea of shooting ever again annoys me (maybe it’s just hormones). When the latter seems to have dragged on far too long I force myself to break out of it any way I can.
Sometimes I start with a general idea, I want to shoot a certain color, or type of flower. Other times I have no concrete ideas at all, I just know I want a flower, and I want the background to be white or black. I’ve been feeling all the white and pink rooms coming through my feed lately so my brain was stuck on farmhouse inspiration with simple pink flowers and white backgrounds. I’ll usually spend an hour carefully walking through the floral section of the grocery store (Central Market is my fave). I’m pretty sure the employees think I’m crazy as I crouch down and examine the shapes, the inside, looking for anything I think might photograph in a unique or interesting way. I’ve been wanting more exotic plants lately but being that none of them are in season I was limited to the roses and ranunculus today.
I also love walking through Hobby Lobby or Michael’s hoping something will peak my interest or inspire me. On this particular visit I fell in love with this tiny birdcage. I had no clue what I was going to do with it, I just knew I loved it. I thought about filling it with greenery or flowers. I even had it styled with linens, then paired with a bouquet of flowers, but I kept being drawn to it alone. Something so beautiful in its simplicity. the gold detailing, the fine lines. I just loved it. I played around in post production with some fun textures and ended up liking this antiqued one.
Even as I was shooting everything I felt flustered. I didn’t like the set ups, I wasn’t sure it’s what I had envisioned. The self doubt seaped in and I thought to myself, none of this is good, I haven’t captured anything I like. Honestly, I just wanted to quit and try again another day, when I felt more inspired. Or wait until the flowers I wanted originally are back in season. But I kept going, and I’m glad I did. I love what I came out with. I could see these in the all white rooms with pink accents, or in modern spaces with lots of color looking for more white space on their walls. No matter the style choice, you can now click here to buy them in my Etsy shop.
When Caden was 1, Nick and I had a chance to travel overseas for a friend’s wedding. One of those “it only happens once” moments that if you can scrounge the money together you can justify it. She wasn’t getting married in France, but close enough that I knew we could start our trip there and visit the place I had dreamt about for years. I hadn’t been feeling like myself lately and it was increasingly getting worse each day. I didn’t even know you could get post partum when your baby wasn’t really a baby anymore, but turns out the hormones in the first 2 years can cause it. So here I was, experiencing post partum anxiety for the first time, and boarding a plane to go half way across the world. I figured it’s Paris, who can’t kick anxiety’s butt in Paris? Me, apparently. Poor Nick, I spent most of those days fighting off panic attacks, wanting to go back to the hotel for breathers and generally being uncomfortable. There was so much left unseen. Between the jet lag and the new medication I was taking, I slept through the alarm the first day and missed our scheduled tour of the Eiffel Tower. We never got to go inside the Lourve (although the outside was quite lovely). And this didn’t have to do with my PP but we didn’t realize the last day of our trip was the Tour de France, which apparently is a national holiday and most everything closes down. So the final day, when I felt like I finally was ready to tackle this thing head on, there was nowhere to go and nothing to do. We embraced the fun and parked alongside the road to watch the race, but all in all, a wasted day in an amazing city.
The thing that truly kept me going was my camera. When I was behind it I felt like I was invisible. Almost like I was experiencing the city through a television and behind that lens I was safe and secure. As long as I was looking through that glass I was distracted, and calm. It’s funny, I actually look back at those pictures now and don’t even remember walking some of those streets or being in some moments. It looks quite lovely, I’d like to go back and try again some day.
Not surprisingly, however, I did manage to have one truly care free day, that was the most peaceful and breathtaking of them all. We hopped a train to Giverny, to take a bike riding trip through the town where Claude Monet lived to see Monet’s Garden. THAT day I will forever remember. I can close my eyes and see the small French cottages whizzing by as we peddled on those red bikes. It rained off and on as we rode, but it didn’t even matter. It made the smells even more amazing, fresh rain mixed with blooming florals. The sun would go behind a cloud and scatter some showers on us, then in a blink it’d come back out shining full blast and give us a gorgeous landscape to marvel at. It’s like my anxiety was controlling the weather. Waves of darkness being blasted away by lightness. No amount of dark could keep me down that day. If you’ve ever followed my Instagram feed, visiting my Etsy shop, or generally looked at my photography portfolio you’d know why. It’s HEAVY with gardens, greenery, landscapes and flowers. It’s my happy place. I can be at the lowest of the low, and escape to some place green and blooming and instantly be calmed. It’s like that day was my security blanket God was wrapping me in, swaddled in tightly, able to relax and enjoy. Hands down, it’s my favorite traveling experience to date, and I would hop on a plane, anxiety ridden and all, and do it all over again today.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! One of my favorite things to do with the kids is to fill up our goodie bin for our amazing delivery people who visit us (daily). We no doubt see a huge spike in the amount of online shopping around the holidays and I see these guys coming as late at 9pm to get everything out on time. We are so grateful for all of their hard work, and we hope that these snacks will give them a little holiday cheer to brighten their routes. We put everything from sugary candy treats to power bars to give them energy and waters. The kids love seeing what needs refilled each day and Caden even suggested we put a sign on the mail box to let the mail man know to get out of his truck. 🙂
Feel free to download this sign to print out and use! Just right click and “save as” to get it on your computer. Merry Christmas!
New to the Etsy shop, I’ve added some more samples of my custom art boxes to help get your holiday gifting started! I featured some of my favorite bible verses and photograph art combinations to make choosing your custom box a little easier. These make great gifts for anyone! I made a custom prayer box for Caden’s teacher with her favorite bible verse and used his school colors for the fabric. Last year these boxes were a hit with corporate gifts. I had clients order boxes with custom logos, (the Texas Longhorns were a huge hit), and even personalized stationary inside.
I can make your box with any image from my Etsy shop, or any photograph of your own (even cell phone pictures) and will add your custom verses, quotes, music lyrics, monograms or just the picture by itself. These make great prayer boxes, memento boxes, catch alls, desk storage, bereavement gifts, bridesmaids gifts, the list goes on and on! Let me help you get some of your Christmas gifts checked off and be ahead of the game.
Getting your box ordered is super simple! You can shop via my Etsy page, or contact me directly and I can guide you through the process. Choose or provide the image, choose custom text or no text, lastly you choose your fabric from over 30 different colors and materials. The production time is about 3 days and then it comes via UPS ground.
Around the 10th day of my shingles debacle I was totally stir crazy. When I laid in bed I felt every bit of discomfort, and I continually thought about my Nana lying in her own bed at the same time, slowly dying. It was overwhelming and dark. Having experience battling depression I knew I needed to leave my bedroom and get some fresh air. On some of my darkest days I’ve made my way out back and just sat in my rocking chair. Feeling the sun on my legs, listening to the wind whistle through the trees. I know that God created all of this intricately designed nature for our very benefits, and this day was no exception.
I shuffled out my back door to see that the 3 small penta plants I have in my yard had somehow turned into a butterfly observatory. There were an insane amount of butterflies out there that appeared out of nowhere. They were fluttering and flying about in hyper speed, as if they were on a mission that needed completed immediately. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I plant these same pentas EVERY summer, and not once have they attracted butterflies like this. I sat on the ground, at their level, in total awe. I watched them prance about and felt a total calmness wash over me. For about 15 minutes I just sat there, in silence, observing them. My presence had no affect on their work, they even bumped into my arms and hair as they furiously worked. For that short amount of time I felt free. My mind was clear and I was at peace.
Butterflies often represent endurance, change, hope, and life. I’m choosing to believe those little guys came to see me for a reason. They gave me a reminder to keep on going, no matter how thick the fog, and to step outside to see what lies just a few steps away from you.
I decided to add some of these to my Etsy shop. In case anyone needs a calmness brought over their own lives via some wall art. 🙂