I MOVED | WHAT- WHERE- WHY

So first things first: I moved. Don’t worry, I’m still in Memphis! This move is semi-permanent, in the sense that I know an end date for how long I’ll be here. I’ll probably be in Memphis afterwards, but you never know where the Lord will lead me. Here are some FAQs about my move!

What!

I know! eeeep

Where?

I now live in a pocket neighborhood behind Walnut Grove. I have some awesome new roommates named Bekah and Maggie; I already love living with them. They let me drink their coffee, so…it’s a good deal.

Why?

Pretty short and simple: it was an unexpected move.When I graduated from high school and decided not to go to college, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. As I’ve started learning how to work from home, though, it has become clear that it’s difficult to fit your bedroom and your office into one average-sized bedroom space. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think size is always necessary–companies like IKEA can help you prioritize organization. I think it’s really important to live a minimal lifestyle in terms of organization and how much stuff you have. I strive to live a life like this, but even I began to feel claustrophobic in my own space due to all of the equipment I have. I haven’t narrowed down exactly where I want to

be–I mean, I don’t know if I ever will–I think I just know that I will always want to be creator. I don’t have a designated “creation” or outlet so to speak–I think in general it will probably always include photography, but I’m not confident enough to say that photography will be what I do for the rest of my life. Because of that, I have a lot of other art supplies including canvases, paint, packaging materials, and loads more in boxes I was never able to be unpack at my old house. My space at the new house is twice as big, with lots of additional storage space. Being able to find a place for things and store my equipment has been a huge blessing.

Did something happen with my roommates?

This is more of a personal note, especially for my friends and family who really didn’t expect the move. Before this, I lived with my best friends Hope and Katherine. Hope and I moved in together July after graduation from high school, so I really haven’t known living with anyone but her, and then Katherine joined us not too long after. To be clear: there was by no means any tension there. The move was not an emotional decision–it was very practical. There have been many tears shed after having separated the three musketeers. I will seriously hold dear the memories of living with Hope and Katherine for the rest of my life. I’m going to be always telling all of the crazy stories and talking about all the laughter and fun we had. We’re excited to learn how to be friends now– that is, how to schedule out intentional time together and hopefully that will go really well. It’s already been really strange not coming home to see them, so I am slowly learning and would definitely appreciate prayers in that area.

What does your new space look like? How have you set it up?

One thing that attracted me when I walked in was the beautiful stone floor and the exposed brick wall. I ended up painting the wall with white primer and I’m really happy with the results. My friend Emily Gluntz was the final push that convinced me to do it and we did it together with two gallons of primer paint. We did one layer with brushes to get into the mortar and grooves and the second layer was done with a roller–my new roommate Maggie ended up helping us roll too. In the end, we did it in four hours. I was actually moved in before then, but the space is big enough that I was able to move everything away from the wall before painting. On one side of the room, I have a standing desk that I got from Autonmous, and my bed is on the other. I decided to make the brick wall a feature wall mainly because I think it’s unique and it’s what makes the room really feel like a studio apartment. I have an awesome table that was built for my sister’s wedding by her husband Josh, who heads up Olive & Iron Woodcraft. He does some personal projects on the side so if you’re interested in getting a new piece of furniture built, let me know and I’ll send you to his inbox. I really wanted to put that table in here because 1. the space was available and 2. I want this room to be filled with art and artists, and I want to be able to share this space. I feel like I would never have dreamed I would be able to live in a space like this when I was 19, and I want to give it back to other artists as much as I can. Super excited about the future of it! On another wall, I have a seating area and my big ficus, and also a huge closet that has allowed me to expand and unpack a lot of those boxes I mentioned before. If you would like to come by and work and treat my place like a coffee shop, you are welcome to! I have been able to stay at home a lot more and work from home and I’m excited about that. I hope to continue to soak in the amazing opportunity to live here. What I’ve learned in this process is that the Lord is not held by leases– and when His will is to be done, His will is to be done and there is no fighting it.

How are you doing?

I am doing well! This space has been life-giving. There is space to create, breathe, stretch, and separate my work and personal life. I’m loving inviting friends and even clients over to have coffee. I am enjoying having an area for messy art while keeping my “work” desk clean (since there are two desks). I have felt growing pains, but I know His plan is greatest. Thanks for asking!

Here is some PICS from the whole process.

 

Some BEFORE and AFTER!

THIS IS MOVE DAY:

 

GETTING READY FOR BED IS LIKE THE BEST WITH FAIRY LIGHTS

+ WE HAVE TOO MANY SELFIE MIRRORS IN THE HOUSE (GUILTY

The lovely Jo of JoDarling Photography took a few photos of me in my room:

First Time Bread Baker | Attempt Once

To be honest, bread seemed really intimidating to me. Since its so easy to buy, and you hear so many talk about how hard it is to bake bread. However this summer I visited dear friends of mine, and they make bread. Well, Anna bakes bread. It all seems very simple and well time consuming but not difficult. So when I was given the bread + cheese platter for one of my best friends baby shower, it seemed the perfect opportunity.

I didn’t own a dutch oven, nor was I at all informed by the true task of baking bread. My sister came to my rescue… a baby sitter if you will. She face timed me the night I stirred it all up, and came over in the morning, let me barrow her dutch oven and stayed till it was all golden crust! So I send all my gratitude to Dough vs Girl and my sister!

Now I went with the simplest of recipes that my sister uses! And I’ve broken it down and photographed my experience below.

no-knead dutch oven bread

I made two batches. Left – Plain bread . Right – Rosemary bread

 

  • 3 cups of flour

  • 2 tsp of salt (for the plain bread)
  • 2 tsp of garlic salt (for the rosemary bread) + rosemary

  • 1 Tsp (one packet) of red star ACTIVE DRY YEAST

Mix until just mixed.

cover with siranwrap or something. I used parchment and then a cloth on top.

leave over night in a warm space in your home.

Turn oven on to 450 and place dutch oven inside as well!

Flour up and scoop on pan. Will use quite a bit of flour to ensure its not too sticky to mold into roundness.

Once round and cute on its pan, cover again with cloth and let rise for 30 minutes at least.

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If you so desire, you can slit an X or just a line to allow a crack .

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You can’t totally tell in this photo, but pick up the borders of the parchment paper and plop into the dutch oven.

Cook with cover on for 40/45 minutes. Then take the dutch oven top off and let bake for 8-10 minutes to make it all golden!

Me with bread.

 

Little More About Me | Not In College

Well, here I am. I just got up at 12 in the afternoon (12:30 if I’m honest), and I’ve managed to stumble downstairs. My fridge has been freezing my food, so frozen strawberries over a english muffin was my breakfast. I really can’t complain… its just last night, at 2 a.m I was so mad that my carrots were frozen.

Technically I have an hour till I have to head out, and meet a friend for coffee, and I really should be working, but I really want to write.

fam-4When I decided to not go to college, I can’t explain the weight that fell off my shoulders. I could finally see myself getting older.. before the future was just blank, and I couldn’t think of anything to come after graduation. Looking back the decision was clear all along, but the process it took to get there seemed unsteady and unpredictable at the time.

My professional career started in 2014. My best friend handed me a $5o bill after I took her “senior photos.” Little did I know that feeling of utter shock of going home having made money while having the time of my life, wouldn’t fade AND would become my normal. By fall of 2014, a dear couple at my church literally handed me the opportunity to shoot their wedding. I like to say I worked hard to get there, but reality is the Lord dropped it in my lap. That brisk October day was one of the most stressful days of my life. There was much sweat, lots of tears, but no blood (shockingly).

I’m not sure what really drew me to weddings since tears had been streaming down my cheeks during that first ceremony in the dark (to be clear, stress tears). But once again, a wonderful couple from my church spotted me that day, and booked for the following May. Before I could even shoot their engagement pictures, one of her friends from work had booked me for June. AND so began the snowball of what has become my vocation. I like to think I’ve come really far from that year… Judging that I don’t have braces, I don’t meet clients in Nike shorts anymore, and my income has changed from a $50 bill.

I guess the purpose of this post is to share a little of my story, and where I am today. Last year was incredible. As I normally do, I overbooked everything. There was a point that I was having meltdown on my parents bed with a full page checklist of shoots I had to edit, hand in hand with a checklist of the shoots for the next three weeks. To be honest, its beyond me how I survived. But that feeling of rush during a bride and groom portraits, the build up as I parked for the senior session, and the text I got after delivering family photos, now that. THAT. was how I survived. It became very clear I was within my giftings. The problem? I was a Senior in High-school, who was SUPPOSE to be applying for college and scholarships. SUPPOSE to be studying for final exams, and reading lit books. Lord knows that is where most of the tears came from. There were days I should have quit, but my parents encouraged and pushed me. I remember my mom over years telling me “You are all about people, you get people. And this small portion of life is about books and tests, but the rest? Its going to be people. Just get through this, and you will thrive for the rest of your life because you are good with p.e.o.p.l.e.” So the finish line was throwing my cap in the air on a May afternoon.

I’m probably an undiagnosed workaholic, but it started with using my free time from school with work. Last summer I had a 40+ hour job as well as shooting weddings and seniors. Midnight became my editing time. I remember I would actually used my lunch break to go meet brides. When I would come in Monday from the weekend I asked off my boss would ask me “how was your time off?” Reality, I had worked an 11 hour wedding day that Saturday, and could barely get out of bed to go to church the next day cause my body was so sore from carrying my camera and bag.  BUT you know what? I was so insanely happy for most of that summer. I enjoyed working my day job, and I loved taking photos. Truth, I was just tired A LOT.

Which leads me to July of 2015, where you can find me sobbing at a little table in Whole Foods. I was sitting across from my best friend/ coworker/boss / roommate 4 days a week. We were talking about how crazy life was and how I was so tired, and I had started to not enjoy my job. It was causing me to give 50% to my clients and 50% to my summer-job. No one was getting my full energy and care. I started sleeping past alarms, missing phone calls from clients, and avoiding my boss. And out of no where, I just blurted our “Oh my gosh. I’m suppose to quite my job….” Then began the flood of tears. It was so overwhelming to have to make a choice that made me sick at my stomach. I had never been faced with having to quit something that wasn’t wrong and I loved SO much. That job had been my life and my family for two years. I was there off hours, I was there over-time… It was my second home. A weepy conversation later, some poor Whole Foods worker informed us that they were actually already closed. I whipped up a “I’m so sorry” and sniffled out to my friend’s car.

That Monday, after seeking consul from my parents, friends, and mentors), I quit my job. On the way I had pulled over thinking I was going to throw up, and stepping into the office, I went lightheaded. It was an extreme experience for me, though I know many have done that same thing before me. It just felt so right, yet so wrong at the same time.

I came into 2016 with only one wedding booked. In fact, I was standing in an arena full of 16,000 believers shouting praises and prayers to the Lord when the clock hit 00:00 | 01.01.16. That moment shook me physically (the whole place was jumping and dancing), but it shook me on a deeper level. I KNEW where I was suppose to be. My dream daily was to work full time as a photographer. I had quit my steady job, and the finish line was 5 months away.

So I decided not to pursue further education through college. My parents were fully on board, which honestly, I’m not sure I could have done it without their love and excitement for me. When I look back, scratch that, even know, I know some people think my parents are crazy for letting me not go, but they saw two years ago a passion, and through my Jr and Sr year they watched me give up my free time to build that passion into a growing business. It wasn’t just a hobby. It wasn’t just a phase. I know the Lord gave them peace, and they have stood next to me and helped me every step. 

I never publicly announced that I wasn’t going to college, and on a weekly basis people ask me where I am attending and what my major is. So I guess this is my first time saying out into the world. And as far as I know right now, I won’t be going to college. I’m not going to say never, because the Lord can change everything. However I would like to say it isn’t encouraging when people side stab me with “Oh.. well you will probably go to college anyway”, “that’s so nice, once your finished I’m sure you will go to college.” “Are you sure???…… I suppose GAP years are normal.” “You really should reconsider, a business degree would be best.” Though you mean it or not, most of those comments imply that you believe I’m in a phase, or will probably fail and fall back on college. If I go to college, it will not be an escape or a back up plan, it will be the Lord’s plan A for my life.  I’ve never been an academic. Of all people, my mother knows it best. She walked through every step of my learning disabilities. I remember the first in class test I ever took, I had to leave half way through to throw up. My first time being handed a pretend ACT I ended up sobbing for more than an hour questioning God why He had allowed such a terrible system. AND I know I’m not the only one. I have met countless people who have fought through it like I did, if not harder. My favorite Art Teacher talks about the day she danced out of chemistry because she had given everything to become nurse, and she d.i.d.

College isn’t for me. And May 20nd of 2016 I walked on stage, and received a piece of paper that was my ticket. My ticket to the rest of my life. I won’t be looking back. As I pray over my business, I can see the fruit of my labors. The Lord has blessed me with more then I ever asked. Currently I have a whole page list of shoots to edit, hand in hand with a checklist of shoots for the next three weeks, but THIS TIME, it’s my job. That’s my normal. It’s what I do. And I’m starting to learn to give myself free time, because work isn’t after school any more. Work is how I spend my week, and I’m allowed to have time off.

fam

I live with my best friend now, in a cute little apartment in one my favorite parts of town. We have the best tile in our kitchen, plants everywhere, and my favorite photos hanging all along my bedroom walls. My goal is to start booking internationally; It may never happen, but I’m so thankful my goal isn’t a diploma anymore. In truth, I struggle daily. I struggle to work hard and I struggle to give myself some slack. I eat frozen strawberries at 12pm because I stayed up till 4a.m finishing up one of my October wedding’s gallery. When you have your own business, there is not check out. Emotions pour into everything. You take work home because… that’s where you work. I can’t not talk about my couples to my friends. I’ve missed a lot of friend’s parties and events because I work Saturdays. BUT I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I’ve never been happier in my life. I’m learning and struggling, but I’m LIVING. 

I hope if you have read this far, you have been able to know me better.. at least you’ve learned if you didn’t know I’m pretty emotional and throwing up isn’t rare.

I am thankful for the love, encouragement, challenges, and support my friends and family give me. Above all else I cannot boast of my own works, but of the One who gave me life.