My first official photo shoot

Happy Friday, readers! Some of you know that I have always been interested in pursuing photography, but I’ve never really had the resources to follow through with it. Well, for our wedding, Brian’s aunts got together and bought us a Nikon DSLR off of our registry and we’ve excitedly embarked on a journey of exploring photography. Brian is interested in macrophotography and nature shots, while I’ve always been interested in portraits. After doing a few shots to get my feet wet, like our Christmas cards and birthday pictures for my best friend’s daughter, Brian saw how much I really enjoyed this type of photography.

After what I’m sure was much research, because that’s the kind of guy Brian is, he bought me some amazing Christmas presents in the form of backdrops and lighting sets for better quality photos. So today, we had our first official shoot for our niece Aviana, who is turning one year old this weekend! We had so much fun with the cake smash and the balloons and only a few meltdowns that were silenced with candy and Baby Shark. I won’t be posting the official photos here, because I want Jennifer to have the honors, but I would like to share some behind the scenes action that Jennifer captured. Enjoy!

Getting the “studio” all set up. Some day we won’t be in a tiny apartment, but we make do with what we’ve got here.

I’m so blessed to have a supportive husband. Thankful that he helps me get the settings just right before the birthday girl stepped up. Time management is important with littles!

Ruger was pretty sure the photoshoot was for him. I can understand why, since, you know, we always take pictures of him.

Ruger was also very disappointed that that delicious looking cake wasn’t for him. I am very proud of him though for being such a good dog throughout the whole ordeal. Mama’s boy!

Here’s the three backdrops we used throughout the hour and a half long shoot. Numerous outfit changes as well, Aviana was such a beautiful model!

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We all knew this post was coming…

Hello, readers and welcome to 2019! For whatever reason, this year people seem to be extra negative about resolutions. I, however, will set them like I do every year, and I’ll share them to hold myself accountable, and hopefully I’ll succeed. For 2017 I had 3 goals: grow in my faith, complete a 30 day yoga challenge, and blog regularly. Well, 1/3 for 2017 wasn’t awful. Last year I also had 3: grow in my faith, work on my anxiety and depression, and get physically healthy, and I bumped it up to 2/3 completed. So this year, I added a few more. Nothing crazy, and only a few that I have to do solely on my own. I actually stumbled upon a blog post about Christian New Year’s Resolutions that has a great free printable to help you align your resolutions with your priorities, and that helped me shape mine for this year. So, without further ado, my 2019 new year’s resolutions.

1. Faith. I know, it’s been my number one resolution for the last few years, and it will continue to be because I know I can constantly grow and learn more about my faith. 2018 was a great year for Brian and I spiritually. We were baptized together went through premarital counseling, got married in our church, consistently go to small group, and even began volunteering with children’s ministry. So I have a few specific goals for my spiritual growth in 2019. I want to read through the New Testament this year, and I want to memorize 12 scripture verses. I have a wall calendar from Our Daily Bread that breaks that the Old and New Testament reading plan for each day in order to complete them in a year. As for the memorization I plan on picking a verse each month and writing it anywhere I can; on the bathroom mirror, post it notes, etc. Let me know your favorite verses in the comments!

2. Marriage. Maybe you’re asking what could possibly be resolved in my new marriage. I’m not a follower of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra. Contrary, I am under the belief that everything important to you needs constant care and attention in order to thrive. So my goals for my marriage this year are to pray together every day, to read through our couple’s devotional (thanks Kevin and Melissa), and to do a hobby together. We pray together often, but I’d like us to be more intentional with our prayers. As for the hobby, I think photography is a good place to start, since we’re both starting at the same level 📷

3. Relationships. Next up on the list is my other relationships with friends and family. I’m not going to lie, I’m fairly busy, and sometimes it’s hard to prioritize my time effectively. My goal in this area is to spend time with people at least once a month, and this doesn’t include things like my small group or work functions. I mean, I want to get coffee with friends, or go to the park with my sister-in-law. I also, want to work on being open about my struggles when I have them, and not default to “I’m fine” when someone asks about them.

4. Health. Back again for the 3rd year in a row, my nemesis… physical health. I think the best way to make progress in this area is to be very specific with what I want to achieve. So, my goals are to drink water everyday, because let me be real there are times when I can’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve had a glass of water. Secondly, I’d like to exercise at least 3x a week, with one of those being weekly walks with Brian in the park on Sundays.

5. Work. I set goals for myself all the time as a teacher and sometimes I succeed and sometimes it’s back to the drawing board. I would like to read at least one professional development book a quarter, and I would like to move my summative eval score from effective to highly effective. I know what I need to do to make the jump, and part of it involves reading some professional development books. Here’s to becoming a better educator this year!

In all seriousness, whether you like setting resolutions just to say you did it, or maybe you think it’s a waste of time, I hope that you achieve your goals this year, and I pray that God moves in your life and that you let Him. I pray that you watch for His works even when it feels like He isn’t. Have a great one, everybody!