summa, summa, summatime

We’ve had a beautiful start to our summer break…the pool, mini golf, trips to the library, grilling,  sleeping until 8 and enjoying our family time.   I have never enjoyed summer so much!  I’ve never appreciated it like I do this year.  I went back to work last fall after being home for the past 8 years.  Teaching part time + trying to grow my photography business = one tired momma.  So our summer break has been reserved for each other.  We didn’t put the kids in a bunch of camps or extra curriculars and I limited my photo sessions to a minimum.    I feel like every day I breathe a huge sigh of relief.  Life is so sweet right now.  🙂

I’ve been on a journey this year to find joy.  It has really been a challenging subject for me and I’ve wrestled with so many other issues along the way–contentment, insecurity, negativity, unresolved conflict….  I had no idea all the things I’d have to work through to get to where God wanted me to be.  Am I there yet?  No way.  But I’m on the journey.  And it’s good.  It’s really good.  (Working on a blog post that will give much more details on this subject!)

Speaking of joy, this girl’s got it.  Avary oozes joy.  Life is good and she knows it.

Our church is in the midst of a “Word Up” challenge, to read the entire New Testament over the summer.  We are doing it as a family.  I love huddling up with Stan and the kids each night before bed, to listen to God’s Word.  And I’m humbled and challenged by the kids’ thoughts and questions.  It’s exciting to me to watch them learning to love Jesus and to begin to desire to follow him, not because we told them to, but because they are really accepting Him and His message.

Speaking of love, this guy knows how to give it.  Ashton fills our love tanks daily with his sweet words, amazing cuddles and selfless giving.

(I love these eyelashes.  But, please don’t mention their length to Ashton.  He has actually asked us to trim them, so people will stop commenting on how long they are!)

I’ve started running.  Why did I wait so long to do it?  I’d like to say it was the itchy legs or the lack of time and energy, but really it was just fear.  That old enemy of mine that has always kept me chained up when I wanted to experience something new.  Fear is a good friend of perfectionism and the two of them, hand in hand, stopped me from doing a good many things in life.  But last year, when I set out to start my own photography business, I decided there was no room for fear or perfectionism in my life.  Do I want to be cautious and wise?  Yes.  Fearful?  No.  Do I need to strive for my best, yes?  Do I need to be perfect?  No.  I don’t have to be the best at everything I do–I just have to do MY best.  And so I’m running.  I’m slow and I don’t run far, but I run.  And I challenge myself to go farther and faster and it feels great!  I may never win races.  I surely won’t be perfect.  But I’m not afraid to try and to even fail sometimes.  I’ve even been brave enough to post my runs to facebook, mostly so I am accountable to my 690 friends.

Speaking of friends…I’m so thankful to see Grant choosing good friends these days.  For his birthday this year, he chose to invite 3 friends over for legos and cake.  One of the friends was a girl from down the street who shares Grant’s love of books, science and legos.  The conversations between the two of them are so advanced for rising 3rd graders.  It’s so fun to hear them discuss the Native American culture or the life cycle of a butterfly!  I’m glad he’s finding other kids who love to learn and can carry on adult conversations!

Another summer activity–taking some photos of my own kids!  It was just what I needed to get my creativity flowing again.    So glad they don’t mind being in front of the camera!

I hope blogging will also be a regular part of the next two months of summer break.  I’ve missed writing and sharing pieces of our story.  We’re preparing for a beach trip next week, which I’m sure will give me plenty of writing (and photographing) material!

Until next time…Seize the Day!


9 thoughts on “summa, summa, summatime

  1. Once again, I am blown away. Your photography is amazing. Your writing is phenomenal. Is there anything you’re not good at? I’m beginning to see why I married you. I made such a great choice. =) Love you. This is a great blog.

  2. I love you! Thank you for sharing your thougts. I love the way you write. I often wonder how someone so thoughtful, so kind, so talented, so beautiful inside and out can be so afraid or lack confidence. I’m incredibly proud of you for taking the chance on your photography business. The pics you take are amazing!
    I’m also happy that you’re taking the time to find joy! Life’s too short to not have joy in your life!
    Again, I love you and your family and miss you all terribly!! ❤

  3. What a great article and photos. I hope the remainder of the summer is a good for you as the first part and that there will be a miraculous expansion of time for you so that you can do everything your heart desires, starting with the beach trip. And, please do increase the blogging.

  4. ah, these are so so fantastic! i love all the photos and definitely love you words, too. looks like you have such a sweet family. 🙂

    • Ali, you are very sweet. I am thinking that we need to plan a play date sometime soon. I would love our little girls to meet!

      I’m honored by any compliment from you on photos! I’m almost embarrassed to say how long I’ve stalked your blog! 🙂

  5. I love all of these photos! You and Stan make some good lookin’ kids..not only that I love how you describe each of them. They are a “joy” for sure. I love your honesty…I hope you find what you’re looking for this summer! xoxo

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