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I don’t typically talk about personal  stuff on my blog anymore (which is strange because that’s really what a blog is FOR!), but lately I’ve been feeling led to share an update on some recent breakthroughs I’ve had this year. .

Ever since our life in Sacramento starting falling apart back in 2008, I couldn’t bring myself to share about what was going on and how “great” everything was in regular intervals (I sorta blogged about it HERE, but it wasn’t the whole story).  This past October marked the beginning of our 4th year back in Chico, and I’m still amazed at how fast the time has marched on!  What Jeff and I have accomplished in that time is even more incredible.  Last year we (I) finally felt “at home” here in Chico and started being honestly thankful to God for leading us back here.  It is clear this is where we were supposed to be all along, but the struggle to come to terms with that seemed agonizing at times!  To those closest to me, it was no secret my battles with depression, anxiety and anorexia that haunted me since high school were at the forefront of my mind during this past 4 years.  At the start of 2013 I was tired of it all.  I felt out of control of my own mind.  I was quickly realizing that if something didn’t change soon, I wouldn’t be able to pull myself out of  ‘the pit’ without serious intervention.  It was hard to CHOOSE to eat when I had laundry to do or dishes to clean.  I didn’t feel worthy.  I felt like a failure, and every time that I allowed my negative thoughts control my behavior, it only made everything worse.  I felt pathetic and stupid.  I mean, I couldn’t even control my OWN mind and thoughts.  How bizarre is that?!?  I was tired of the fight with myself.  I wanted peace.  I desperately wanted to be happy and to be a better mom and wife.   So I started to change my approach.  I changed my diet to a more strict Paleo, eliminating gluten as much as possible.  I started weekly meetings with Jeff and our pastor at The Vineyard to try and get a handle on everything without any meds.  I even tried a counseling session with a therapist.   After meeting with the therapist, I thought maybe I should try doing CrossFit instead.  Jeff has been doing it for a couple years and is always talking about how amazing he feels, and he looks amazing now!  I figured if I started doing CrossFit too, I wouldn’t have to talk about any of my depressing thoughts and feelings… I could get a good workout and get out any pent up anger or agressions.  Plus the exercise would help me to be more confident with my body.

I started attending regular workouts at the beginning of February with Adrenaline X Crossfit Chico.  It was hard, and it exposed my weaknesses (which were many), but everyone there at the gym lifted me up and encouraged me.  Although I was a stranger to them, they welcomed me into their family with open arms and treated me like a close friend.  They actually cared for me and wanted me to do good!  I never once felt judged for not being able to do an exercise – the coaches were quick to help me find an alternative movement to help me still get the workout completed.  Everyone was so encouraging all the time, my inner demons’ voices were drowned out and couldn’t penetrate my mind any longer.  I became stronger with every workout, and started to overcome my weaknesses and became more confident, and happy.   No longer am I a failure.  No longer am I pathetic or stupid.  No longer can I hear the Enemy’s voice in my head spewing out lies and keeping me from my destiny.  For the first time in 20 years, I am free from my depression, anxiety and anorexia.   At 33 years old, I am so excited for the future and feel ready to tackle whatever comes my way in a much more positive and healthy way.

I’m not sure the purpose for this post, except for the tugging on my heart to share my testimony in finally conquering the enemy in my mind and reclaiming my life.  If you can relate to anything I’ve written, I’d love to hear about it!

I heard this song from Disciple on the radio the other day, and I had to crank the volume up and sing right along with it!

This past weekend I was lucky enough to spend a few hours with Nicole and her family!   We started off doing some senior portraits down at the university and finished off by adding the rest of the family up at the park.  The connection they all have together is great, and I had so much fun spending time with them.  Nicole is part of the graduating class of 2013 and I’m positive she’s going to do great things in this world!  I hope you enjoy the pictures!

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Adam and Christa hold a very special place in my heart for many reasons, but mainly because they make me so happy to be around, and their love for one another is very palpable and true.   Each time I’ve done a session with Adam and Christa, I get a little sad when it’s over!  (you can check out their Engagement Session or Wedding if you need a reminder)   Yesterday was no exception.  When I got the message from Christa that she’s pregnant I was over the moon excited for the two of them!  I can’t wait to meet their new little one!

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Today was awesome!  Jeff went up to Buck’s lake for a guy’s day of snowmobiling, so it was just the girls and I to fend for ourselves.  Luckily, the gym we attend for Crossfit was hosting a Kids day so the girls and I headed over for some fun.  The girls were like ducks to water there, they LOVED every second.  It is hard to say though who had more fun, the girls or all of us adults watching them.   Afterwards we headed for Ice Cream and then the park.  I was totally inspired by the girls today, and can’t say the last time I’ve laughed and smiled so much in one day.   I am so very blessed and thankful for my life and my family.

 

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The Party Booth was brought over to Molly and Eben’s End of the Year Christmas Party last night, and it was awesome!  These are always the most fun to do and we get some amazing pictures of everyone having a great time.  I had a blast capturing the fun and can’t wait for the next party!  Merry Christmas everyone!  See you next year!

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This picture was inspired by one of Jeremy Cowart’s pictures in his studio… IMG_2189_2956-web

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I was blessed to have been able to spend some alone time with these amazing girls this afternoon!  This mom is in T.R.O.U.B.L.E. in a few years once the boys start knocking on her door… if she doesn’t have a shot-gun now, I am officially submitting my recommendation to her to do so now!  I’m in love with all the fall colors Chico is displaying now.. it just makes everything a bit more magical!  I hope you enjoy this latest session.  🙂

2 years ago TO THE DAY, I photographed this wonderful family.  At the time little sis was just a bun in the oven, so it was so neat to see her running around!  Big sis still had her pet tiger “Peter” with her and it was great to get another picture of the two of them together!  It was a fun session for everyone, and I think they got some neat pumpkins!

Tonight I had the honor and privilege to take Louiza’s senior portraits! I was very excited for this session and am thrilled with the results! Louiza, you are so beautiful and I hope that you have an amazing senior year! God Bless You!

I have been receiving many requests to start selling my non-portrait pictures, and am finally ready to do it! I’ve uploaded many of my favorites from the last year or two on my gallery site HERE. For a limited time, I’m also offering the photo-wrapped canvas prints at rock bottom prices. Summer is just about over and the craziness of fall will be upon us…. Just think, you can order these amazing Fine Art Canvas prints as gifts for your friends and family now and have less stress going into the end of the year!

If you’re a past client, and wish to order one of your personal images with this discounted canvas price, let me know and I’ll accomodate your needs!

The photo-wrapped canvas prints are the best you’ll get! They are 1 1/4″ thick and come with a sturdy black backer board with mounting hooks pre-installed. It’s a very clean and lasting construction.

Here’s one that’s up for sale…

Wow, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve blogged! I am eager to come back and update it more regularly in the months to come! Lots of great stuff is happening right now! I’ll be sure to talk about all of it in another post, for now let’s get to some pictures!

Last month I had the honor and privelage to take pictures for my good friend from High School while she was down from Canada to see her brother get married! She brought her grandmother along for a generational family session – something that is such a great idea! I LOVE all the pictures I have with my grandparents, and I’m thrilled to have been able to be a part of these memories for Kim and her family!

As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope you like the pictures!