Last week, I set aside my ever-growing inbox and increasingly exhausting workload to spend four days with some of the sweetest girls I have ever known in the Hillsides of Georgia. And I remember how I felt packing the night before, stressed and tearful as I anxiously threw a random collection of things into a suitcase and set my alarm for 4am. I was convinced that it was crazy to pack up and take a retreat in the busiest part of my season.
And boy, oh boy – was I wrong! As our car rolled up the tree-lined drive of Berry College, the autumn breeze filtering through the windows, I felt this incredible sense of peace come over me. The air was sweet and the skies were blue. I turned off my computer, lived wifi free for nearly an entire week, and opened my heart. I practiced calligraphy for the first time. I wore cozy sweaters. I read the Bible. I frolicked (literally frolicked, so nerdy – I know!) in a field of grasses, sat beneath a tree, giggled like I haven’t since I was a kid, and shared my soul through tear-stained eyes with a group of girls who have become my family.
And for the first time in a long time… the ‘Instagram Story’ paled in comparison to the richly beautiful life we were living. I was reminded that I wasn’t alone in the stresses that come with running a small business and that no one on this earth has a perfect: _____ (business, family, marriage, house – insert anything in the blank). We often hold ourselves to these ideas of perfection when we fail to realize that we are enough. I am enough. You are enough. Just the way you are. Just the way He made you.
Human beings were not created to live solitary lives behind a computer screen or working tirelessly to reach some superficial idea of ‘success’. I remember the letter I wrote to my Sixteen Year Old Self and I feel like I need to take a moment to reiterate what I said in those lines –
WORK HARD, BE HONEST, AND STAY HUMBLE.
“When you falter, remember to look for the faces that are standing around you. Those friends who would rather spend a dozen tearful nights by your side than a lifetime without you… They are the ones that you will cherish the most.” – And I cherish these faces more than I could ever express in words. Every single person I met last week has an eternal place in my heart.
At Pursuit 31 we talked about faith, family, and business. We grew as artists and women. And the entire retreat was an eye-opening look into just how desperately I needed to let go and let God take on many of the burdens and worries that I’ve been carrying on my shoulders these past few months. I returned refreshed, renewed, and overwhelmingly EXCITED to take on the end of my season. I truly hope that everyone has an opportunity like that at least once in a lifetime. It made all the difference.
Jason & Linda’s Engagement | Eastport, Maryland
On Friday, I photographed Jason and Linda’s gorgeous engagement session at the docks in Eastport! We ended the evening with a gorgeous setting sun and sailboats galore… my dream session! Get ready to see more from this shoot tomorrow on the blog!
Kelsey & Kevin’s Engagement | Washington DC
Kelsey and Kevin are absolute sweethearts and I loved capturing their sweet engagement session around DC last night! Get ready to see more of these sweethearts on the blog this week!
*Very Important Note: I am fully committed for Saturday Weddings in August, September, and October of next year! I will be accepting a very limited number of Friday and Sunday weddings for couples that are interested, but I’m excited to announce that every single Saturday is ‘spoken for’ between August and October of 2015. If you’re looking to book an autumn wedding and are considering a non-Saturday, be sure to email me soon! I’d LOVE to chat more before my schedule books up entirely!