My last personal post was on May 24th — So I have about 7 weeks of life to fill you in on. 🙂
We’ve been doing the usual, work at our jobs, work on the house, and have a little fun in between.
House update: The lovely photo you see above ^^^^ was taken by Ashley Wallace (love her). She snagged this photo while over one night for some catching up and dinner. We’ve been working on this new fence for months (may never be finished!) and we took a walk down to the front of the property and I’m so glad we did. This photo reminds me why we work tirelessly on this dream.
The house is coming along. We agreed once the weather warmed up to start working outside more and focus on the inside again when the cold makes its way back. When you live somewhere that has 4 acres of mess outside and 1800 sq ft of mess inside it can get slightly overwhelming. From November – March we stayed inside and did about a hundred tasks! Now we’re outside and I’m loving it. (Minus the poison ivy that is covering myself and every member of my family always now 🙁 Yes that is Nick below in head to toe gear trying to prevent it!) We have been weed whacking, trimming trees, building a split rail farm fence, tearing out old chain link, mulching, gardening, mowing, you name it. The landscaping is truly a hot mess and may take us years to get it where we want it, but I’m having so much fun though the seasons seeing all the new blooms around the property. They may need trimmed and maintained but they are a beautiful and fun surprise through the months!
We’ve had two holidays since my last post and we have had a blast celebrating Memorial Day and July 4th with friends and family.
On July 3rd we had our first party at the house. When we were looking for properties I always imagined people over all the time, cookouts, bon fires, endless smores, lawn games — just all the fun! I dreamt of a home with a revolving door of friends and family working outside and enjoying each others company. With our bumpy start to 2016 and the crazy hours we’ve put into renovations we’ve had next to no time for this. But July 3rd we made time, and it was the BEST time. It was literally like all my dreams came true! Everyone I love at our house enjoying themselves, eating good food, lighting all the things on fire, and toasting to America’s birthday. Initially I was anxious about people coming over because the house isn’t “done” and still looks a mess in so many ways! I can’t believe I even cared about that. To think we could have missed out on those memories because of my insecurity on what we’ve accomplished at the house is ridiculous. Things will happen in time and taking a break to be with everyone we love is SO much more important.
If you look a few posts back you’ll see Ashley Wallace left her full time job to do weddings full time! I am SO excited for her! Because she has a little more free time she’s been 2nd shooting with me here and there and spending more time here dreaming up this business and I am so grateful for that. We did a styled shoot together in June (which we hope to blog soon!) and it was so beautiful and just the best time (and we showed up in the same dress unplanned #notembarrassing). I am loving seeing her more and excited about how this biz is growing. WHEWHOOO #bossladies
Biz Update: Wallace and I are close to being half way done with our seasons already. I find that so hard to believe! All the weddings have been so beautiful, such amazing experiences and we cannot WAIT to share them with you here. Expect some pretty on the blog in the next couple months. 2017 is looking great – between Wallace and I we have 20 weddings for next year. We are so eternally grateful for all of you! We don’t take your decision in booking a photographer lightly, and we are just so honored to be a part of your day. So, THANK YOU.
I’ve had some more free time this wedding season, booking only one event per weekend, taking Sunday’s off, and shooting a little less in general. This has been so helpful with some time for our personal life and these house renos. And its given me some time to reflect on where we’re at in life. I think its good to here and there go, am I happy? If the answer is no, why not? It’s so important to be self aware and make conscious decisions that will increase your happiness. This life is way too easy to get caught up, I do it constantly. But a huge 2016 goal of mine has been to follow happiness, no matter where that leads. Whether thats going to the pool on a Tuesday, meditating weekly, eating well, more date nights, bachelorette marathons, booking a vacation, reading a book – Interrupt the crazy of your life and make sure you’re doing things for YOU and those you love. I’ll be 28 in a couple weeks and that doesn’t seem real. Life only accelerates as we age and I am determined to spend my time doing things I love. This year has taught me a lot — That life doesn’t care about your plans – That life is so unbelievably short – And that if you aren’t spending your time the way you want to be, what else is there? Time is everything. How we spend our time is our life. I’ve been super inspired by these concepts recently and really trying to drop expectations, be present in moments of my life, let go of worry, and be truly alive. I am so grateful for all our good fortune and will continue working to never forget that. We’ve had endless support through this season of our life and I will never forget the kindness and empathy that has been sent our way. Be Kind. Work Hard. Love Harder.
Until next time,
XOX – Ashley West