March 09, 2021

an overwhelming sense of good

 


We signed a lease yesterday for a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house with a front porch. We move in April 1. My therapist told me today that she is so excited for us and now she can retire in peace without worrying about me. Justin got a new job paying 50% more than what he's making now and I'm so proud of him. I'm working on Spring Mini Sessions with my friends at Next Stop Kids Shop. Wedding season starts April 17. I have an engagement session in Kenosha this weekend, which means my first trip to Burlington for the year. Adrian's opens on Friday. I am so excited to see my family and friends.

After the hellscape that was February, March feels like rebirth and renewal and growth and that's exactly what Spring is all about.

January 20, 2021

i want to remember: inauguration day 2021

 



I want to remember: a cotton candy sunrise this morning. Going to look at the cutest little apartment with Justin this morning. Making a perfect cup of coffee. Watching the inauguration and laughing at all the memes during downtime at work with my friends today. Watching a perfect cotton candy sunset out the drive thru window. Feeling joyful and hopeful and optimistic for the first time in a very long time. Grateful for today, in all the best ways.

January 05, 2021

one little word in 2021

 


My one little word for 2021 is ADVENTURE. After having my therapy appointment at the park this afternoon and taking a walk to clear my head after, I treated myself to chicken nuggets and came home swooning over the sun casting shadows across the snow in the front yard. Adventure, we are off to a good start indeed. xo

December 31, 2020

2020: a year in review.

alternately titled: EMBRACE THE MESS.

Embrace the mess.

Messy hair, unbrushed and windblown.

Messy calendars, full of scribbles and the best laid plans.

Messy hearts, because we are all human and this year has been hard.

In order to get out of the mess, you need to embrace it. Give it a hug and don't let go. Whisper sweet words in its ear. Tell it what it has taught you, the lessons you have learned, and how much you are thankful for it.

When we embrace the mess, we're really embracing growth — one tiny joy, baby step, and little victory at a time.

*See past Year in Review posts: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012


JANUARY 2020

2020 was the year that brought us 5 weeks of freakin' January. I started this year by picking JOYFUL as my One Little Word, not knowing how far it would take me this year. I conquered my anxiety and drove to Green Bay for the first of many sessions at Pamperin Park this year. I wore a lot of my Walk in Love t-shirts for a burst of positivity amongst all the gray and snow — and still found the heart to appreciate the beauty of icicles against wintery, snow covered trees. I started writing my business story, sharing my why and the behind the scenes look at how I got to where I am today with photography. I didn't know then that writing out my business story would be one of my greatest coping mechanisms of this year.



FEBRUARY 2020

I had an engagement session in downtown Waupaca where one of my awesome couples road tripped up to me, and I showed them around my small little town that feels a lot like Burlington in a lot of ways. My mom also came into town for a weekend and I showed her around Waupaca. Where the train cameras are that her boyfriend watches all the time, my favorite places like Little Fat Gretchen's and Aquamos. We road tripped to Stevens Point for more coffee and Wisconsin Rapids for matching mother/daughter tattoos! It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend.



MARCH 2020

March started out normal, like any other month... and then came QUARANTINE and STAY AT HOME ORDERS and please, for the love of god, WEAR A FREAKING MASK. I got my 2019 taxes done and celebrated making money last year. I was heartbroken when the emails about wedding reschedules started pouring in from my couples — the wedding season that I had finally dreamed of having felt like it was swirling down the drain right before my eyes. My heart broke for all of my couples that had to reschedule and replan their entire wedding, but luckily we were able to work everything out that still allowed me to be their photographer on their new dates! (Silver linings, y'all.)



APRIL 2020

2020 was also the year that brought us the sequel to "Five weeks of January" called SURPRISE! YOU GET SIX MONTHS OF APRIL. (Honestly, we should have expected nothing less at this point.) I dove into writing to pass the time — in between writing informational posts for my website blog, I was also cranking out 11 parts of my business story that I was finally ready to start sharing with the world. For my birthday, I treated myself to an awesome pair of floral pants for wedding season. Justin and I finally started working on him getting his license, which meant taking him for a spin in empty parking lots. (I'm so proud of him.) At the end of the month, the state of Wisconsin ordered that photographers could get back to work again as long as social distancing guidelines were followed and I celebrated with a thirty-second dance party of epic proportions.



MAY 2020

May was a lot of scribbling in my calendar, scheduling engagement sessions, and wondering if they would actually be able to happen because of the severity of the pandemic. My inbox was full of subject lines relating to weddings and reschedules. I took my car in to get the brakes checked out and the mechanic told me that there was only a support beam holding my engine in my little Cavalier. I bit the bullet and bought a new (to me) car, a 2012 Chevy Malibu, off of Facebook Marketplace just in time for my photography season to really amp up for the year.



JUNE 2020

June was really something, let me tell ya. Photography season kicked into gear and suddenly, I was doing engagement sessions every weekend and getting to spend time getting to know my awesome 2020 and 2021 wedding couples. Everything was great until someone broke into my car and stole my purse while I was at an engagement session in Green Bay. My friends came to rescue me and we called it a great adventure. The weekend after that, after trying to get my stuff back and put my life back together and get my car back, we went to Emo Night and it was our way to blow off steam after being cooped up inside for the last 3 months. We did too many Jello shots, I drank too much Fireball, sing-screamed pop punk at the top of our lungs, and it was one of the best nights of 2020. A few weeks later, I masked up and photographed my first 2020 wedding and felt the best kind of joy that only comes from doing what you love with all of your heart and soul.


JULY 2020

July was all about wedding photos and planning my favorite event that I literally wait all year for — sunflower mini sessions. After doing double header engagement sessions almost all of June, it was nice to slow down and throw all of my focus and energy into wedding season. This was my first wedding season in two years where I was actually crazy busy. 2020 brought me 5 rescheduled weddings, but the rest of my couples found a way to make it work to still have their dream weddings this year and it was beyond awesome to be able to celebrate with them. Maddie and I went swimming and went to Scoopers for ice cream for the perfect summer adventure. Justin started a new job at Pick n Save working third shift and my coffee consumption was upped considerably.


AUGUST 2020

In August, I threw myself into editing so that I could be caught up in time for busy season to start in September. I had two wedding albums to make, another wedding to edit, plus two sunflower sessions to deliver. There were a lot of thirty-second dance parties to make it through my work day, plus all the coffee to get me through early wake ups and so much time in front of my computer screen. At the end of the month, before Abby left me to go to college, we finally made one of my photography bucket list items come true — sparkler photos. I started planning for fall mini sessions and jammed out to a lot of Mayday Parade and Paramore, my old standbys.


SEPTEMBER 2020\

Two words - Busy. Season. September was the first month where my calendar was basically all weddings and then me trying to get caught up during the week. I made trips to Wisconsin Rapids, Green Bay, and Oshkosh... and then on my way home from my wedding in Oshkosh, the alternator in my car crapped out. As soon as I got on the freeway to come home that night, the dashboard in my car lit up like a Christmas tree and I white knuckled my steering wheel the entire 45 minute drive home. I pushed fall mini sessions so hard and I was so excited even though I only ended up taking photos of my friends instead.


OCTOBER 2020

October was Busy Season, Act II. Started off with a rapid COVID test, followed by my 18-month blasto checkup that was rescheduled in the middle of all the craziness in June. All my scans and tests came back negative, and I thanked the Academy for the honor. 😉And because life has to throw us a curveball when things are otherwise going good, I blew a tire on my way home from my first October wedding in Green Bay. I did everything right — pulled into a gas station, called my roadside assistance, asked for a tow truck, only for them to call me back 45 minutes later to tell me that no tow truck within a 20 mile radius was available to come help me change my tire. Thanks to the kindness of one gas station attendant and three guys who just happened to stop that knew the owner of the garage that was attached, they helped me get my tire changed and my donut on and I drove the rest of the way home with my hazards on and my anxiety through the roof. I finished my 2020 wedding season strong but shaken.


NOVEMBER 2020
November was me chained to my computer, editing away on the last of my 2020 weddings and finishing up albums and keepsake boxes, oh-my! It was also dark and early mornings going to get Justin from work, lots of coffee and middle of the day naps. I went thrifting to inspire a big goal for next year — get our own place again. We have been working toward it ever since and I am so proud of the progress we have made. Cristin and I got coffee on one of the last warm t-shirt days this year. Noelle and I spent 2.5 hours on video chat one night like we are still in high school and nothing has ever changed. I shopped small for Christmas presents, and we had a low key Thanksgiving this year thanks to the pandemic.


DECEMBER 2020
We learned how to pivot in December. I started a new job in the deli at Pick N Save, hated it, had an ~emergency therapy appointment~ because I was distraught over what to do. Spoiler alert, I am back at Hardees for the time being and loving spending time with all of my work friends again. It is just like riding a bike and feels like I never left. I am not giving up on my photography dreams — this is only temporary, as my therapist likes to remind me. Trying to take everything day by day right now. I am thankful for the little things and all the joy that this year has brought me. But honestly? I am also more than ready to say goodbye to 2020 and welcome 2021 with open arms.

November 30, 2020

mondaze.


 Good things: a giant cup of coffee out of my new Rachel Allene holiday mug, redoing my website from top to bottom for 2021, I got a new job(!), my therapist is so proud of me, we're gonna find a new place to live, 2021 is looking so fucking bright and I cannot wait to see what it has in store for us.

November 12, 2020

sunrise, sunrise



Justin got done with work late this morning. Which meant that I got to go home and drink my coffee and snuggle with my Mew girl and wake up slowly, rubbing the sleep from my eyes and feeling alive this morning. When I got back to Pick n Save and Justin still wasn't done, I got to watch this beautiful golden sunrise from the parking lot. Came home with my man in tow, poured another cup of coffee, finishing Project Runway season 16 and then getting down to work for the day.


Happy Thursday!