2015

Hello there, blog! I sure missed you in December. Y'all, December was crazy. Lots of photo sessions, dance craziness as we prepared for Christmas break, shopping, decorating, family stuff, new baby on the way stuff, and finally, Christmas. The tree has been undecorated, the garlands have been taken down, and the presents have been put away...we welcomed 2015 in the best way possible last night. A meal cooked at home, sparkling grape juice and falling asleep on the couch by 11:00. 

But let's be honest. Last night wasn't so picture perfect. It was pretty good, but it definitely had it's moments. I went to Walmart to pick up a few things with the boys and left angry after our check out experience. I was not in a good mood when I got home. I fussed at the boys (and probably my husband) too much and found myself trying so hard to find a little extra patience and joy. 

That right there? It should show me just how much I need Jesus. I am going to mess up. Constantly. But thank's to the grace of God and his mercies, I get to try again. I usually love New Years and everything about it, but I also leave the last year with a bit of heavy-heartedness when I think about the times I messed up and how many things I left unchecked on my list. I somehow forget that God isn't yet done with me. I am growing and learning and changing every second. I am not perfect, but I am His. I read something on She Reads Truth a few days ago that really struck my heart and made me think about New Years and what it means. And then I sort of put it in the back of my mind and started making lists and forgot, until last night when I was shaken up a little and made to realize...it's not about me. 

"This year, instead of resolving to finally get it right, 
let’s resolve to walk with Him as He makes it right.

Instead of determining to get better, 
let’s determine to get closer to Him through His Word.

Instead of making a list of all that we will do on our own,
let’s notice all that He is already doing 
AND LET’S JOIN HIM IN THAT."

-SHE READS TRUTH

How many years have I felt regrets and disappointments on New Years Eve because my goals and plans were not truly centered on what God was stirring up in my heart and nudging me to do? Last night's craziness and moments of failure took my excitement for the new year and shook it up a little. I went to bed unsettled. And this morning I read those lines from She Reads Truth again and again, letting it sink in deep, pondered and prayed over it. I crumpled up the lists I had made and started over with a different focus. 

1.Read my Bible at least 5 days a week, but every day would be better

2. Spend time daily talking to and listening to God, even if it is just for five minutes

3. Read Make it Happen by Lara Casey

4. Go on a date with my husband once a month minimum

5. Spend time every day playing with the boys (and the new baby once he/she is here)

6. Turn my phone and computer off every day from 4-7pm (except on nights when I am at dance, of course) to clean up, refocus, cook dinner and spend time with my family without distraction

7. Cook dinner at home 6 nights a week (most weeks)

8. Meal plan every other week and grocery shop every other Friday

9. Get up early to edit so that work time doesn't take over family time

10. Start (officially) offering Story Telling photography sessions- my passion and the reason I fell in love with photography

11. Take a photography class (hopefully Molly Flanagan's through The Define School)

12. Find joy every single day and write it down

I know. These don't seem to be life changing or extravagant or significant. It isn't bucket list material. But it isn't supposed to be. My list is full of little things that I can actually accomplish this year, with help, and that will give God the room to accomplish even more through me, and so that he can change my heart even more.  It is full of little things that might make a big difference. 

Most importantly? It is full of GRACE and joy and love. Because I know that is the only way. 

I found my excitement for 2015 again this morning. I can't wait to welcome a sweet new life into our arms in July, celebrate birthdays, see friends grow their families, continue to grow my business, try new things and let God lead me, fully trusting Him. I have written these goals in my new planner and I am sharing them with an accountability partner. And I am going into this new year with grace and joy on my heart.

What is God doing through you in 2015? How is he changing your heart and accomplishing His plans through you and yours? I really would love to hear! 

Happy 2015! 

Here are some of my favorites from the Christmas season, just for fun!

We got to spend some time with one of my long time friends who lives in Texas with her little family. She and I have been friends since we were little, and now we are expecting little ones in July, only 4 days apart! Her sweet boy, Zeus, is going to be a pretty cute big brother. Congratulations to the Casarez family!