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A month in iPhone photos // {personal post} // By: Ashley West

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Its been a month since my last personal post, here’s a little update on what we’ve been doing.

Very shortly after my last post my husband lost his step mother in a tragic motorcycle accident. The devastation that has swept his family is incredibly heartbreaking. We had a very hard few weeks and have done our best to look forward, give support when needed, & cry and laugh when it feels right. I had to reschedule a couple sessions due to this family tragedy and I cannot thank my clients enough for all the support we have been given. Just a few months into 2016 and we’ve experienced more heartbreak and loss than I have in my entire life. These moments will certainly have you questioning how you are choosing to live, how your time is spent, how you treat others, and to always let those you love know exactly how you feel. Hold your loved ones close and truly LIVE your life.

As you all know, we have been renovating our house out in the country. This month’s project: a new fence. We have 4 acres, this is no easy task! We bought an auger for our tractor (this is the moment we’re officially country, right!?) and started installing the new wood farm fencing last week. It’s looking sooooooo good! I am so excited to see it done. Anyone that feels they don’t have enough to do on the weekends, we are taking any and all help ripping out the chain link 🙂 WORK WORK WORK This is our life now! And we would absolutely die without the help of our brother in law who is managing this project. So lucky to have such supportive family!

My best friend went back to work and I’ve had so much fun watching her baby, Kate. We’ve gotten some incredible bonding time, and I’m learning a thing or two about the whole baby world. It’s been fun. We’re best buds and I love her.

Wedding season really started in full swing this month for me. With only one wedding to photograph in April, I had a slow progression this year. But MAY IS HERE. Hi!! Welcome. I’m a do-er. Sitting around has never been my style. So I love to work. And with a job like mine its easy. When I am shooting I am literally thinking about nothing other than the moments I’m in with my amazing clients. But, I would be 100% lying to you if I said it was a piece of cake to keep it all together! I spoke at Renew Night 2016 in January to a group of photographers about work/life balance. Let’s just say I still need a little reminder! With all the hardships we’ve been through recently, its really opened my eyes to how I want to live. I want to be a wedding photographer for as long as you all will have me. This job is a dream. But, I want to have a life April-December too… So I’ve got some work to do. 2016 is the first year I implemented one weekend off per month, no matter what. And Sundays off! I AM DELIGHTED ABOUT THIS. Time for a cookout and some family time! This is a huge change I’ve made that I know will help! My big task now is working on scheduling business hours/session days and time off. If I shoot every day of the week it is absolutely impossible to stay on top of it all. Starting now I am limiting my sessions to just two per week. I am scheduling office hours. And scheduling time off to go to a yoga class, walk the dogs, plant my garden, date my husband, and see my friends and family. Wedding season is always a tad hard for me because I know how much my personal life will fall to the back burner. My personal happiness is so crucial to my business success, so this NEEDS to be a priority of mine! So if I schedule 8 hours of office time on Mondays and the work doesn’t get done, I will push it to my next office day. We all need breaks and time to recharge. We have to give ourselves grace and do our best. Thats all we really can do. My 2016 goal is to live my best, and healthiest/happiest life.

And with that I made the decision to log out of my personal social media accounts. This has been hard for me in a lot of ways. I am such a sharer! I love to keep everyone in the loop on my life, and I love to see everyone else’s lives too! But in this whole work/life balance goal, I’ve realized I spend way too much time scrolling through my social media accounts. I figured, hey… If I stop doing that maybe I’ll have some time to do our laundry (finally!) and connect more with my husband. It’s been a week and I miss it! But I want to hold strong to a goal I’ve set and work harder towards being present in every single moment I live. I plan to pop in here and there – but if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, theres your explanation! I’m cooking more, eating better, sleeping more, and striving for a little separation!

ASHLEY WALLACE AND I HAVE SOME EXCITING NEWS COMING YOUR WAY IN A LITTLE OVER 2 WEEKS. YAY YEAH PARTY TIME!!! Stay tuned.

Whew, long post alert.

Heres a few other things we’ve been up too quickly!

-Eating lots of ice cream.

-Working on the house.

-Planting all the plants.

-Spending quality time with friends.

-Yard work on yard work on top of yard work.

-My best friend Alyssa stayed with us for a couple days! So refreshing!

-Watching country sunrises.

-Finally setting up my office space.

-Nick started his new position and looks sooooo smokin’ in a suit.

-Most importantly, breathing fresh air, enjoying the sunshine, kissing our puppies, and being grateful for all we have.

Until next time!

xox – Ashley West

 

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