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GRATEFUL TUESDAYS // MIDDLEBURG, VIRGINIA HUNT COUNTRY WEDDING + PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER, KRYSTA NORMAN

GRATITUDES + BREAKTHROUGHS 03.19.19

photo credit // Alicia Bruce

Gratitudes

I get Evelyn a few days a week, or should I say I share her with my parents. Every once in a while, I get a friend who has kids to ask for a playdate, which is so fun! I met up with Chrissi, a dear friend since high school. No, forreal we go back far enough to have gone to prom together with our then boyfriends! So many things have changed since then, but what I love the most about Chrissi is her open heart, her old soul, her ability to make anyone feel comfortable and her laugh. She has the best most contagious, heartwarming laugh. We sat in her play room while we watched Evelyn – my God Child – and Millie – her daughter play. Surreal, really.

Last weekend was my second to last round of Yax Yoga Concepts/Stafford House of Yoga YTT. The 12 hour days are always long, but the weekends seem to fly by and the months we’ve been at it too. It doesn’t feel like we started wayyyy back in September. April will be here soon and that’s when I’ll graduate. Once of my goals for this year was to teach a class, and tomorrow I’ll be cueing a pose or two. The beginning steps to becoming a teacher in a classroom setting. I’m already feeling the fear. I agreed to do this class on Saturday and by Monday morning I was making excuses why I should push it back and reschedule. I could study more, prepare more, take the time to feel more confident. But here’s the thing, my body knows this class. It flows through it seamlessly on most days, I just need to trust that I’ll be able to formulate the words to guide others. So, with the push of my sister Katlyn and Elena I’m going to this class and I’m going to cue. If you’ve got the extra energy, I’d really appreciate those vibrations tomorrow morning, say 9:30am.

I’ve been doing a lot of friend visits lately. This job adds a lot of separation from those that work normal 9-5s and have the weekends for friends and family. I try to squeeze mind in during the weekdays. Anna came up from North Carolina, we also were friends in high school but didn’t really connect until after college. In all honestly we shouldn’t be friends, she grew up pretty conservative + in a church and I’m pretty liberal + spiritual with few ties to organized religion. On all accounts our opinions differ, but we have a mutual respect and love for one another. We met at Wegmans and hit up their fish bar for dinner. (If you haven’t done this yet, do it! It was so great, convenient and affordable!) I love her honestly, the way she cares about her family and friends and her ability to listen. I don’t get to see her much these days, but I am so grateful when we do connect!

Update on Match.com: I went on my first official Match Date and it went well! He’s cute, polite and he was actually who he said he was online! I met up with him twice last week. Anyone have tips on profile write ups? Even with two degrees in writing, I think this is a very specific genre that focuses on wit + humor. My sense of humor is super dry and sarcastic, so I come across *sometimes* as an asshole.

I’m also super thankful for this upcoming trip at the end of the week. I’ll be flying to Austin, Texas to shoot my first wedding of the year. I really struggle with wanderlust and feeling trapped when I don’t travel enough. I haven’t been out of Virginia in a few months now so this wedding is coming at the right time! I’ll also be flying up to Las Vegas, for a quick trip to visit my friend Cindy and check out the Grand Canyon for the first time! (Hello bucket list item!)

I’m undecided on nail polish this week, only because I’m thinking about getting a gel mani + a pedicure before I head out on Thursday. If you’re interested at all peep the stories, I’ll share with you there my decision on color!

Breakthroughs

Y’all I don’ t know if you’ve ever had to physically put a child’s car seat in your car, but I don’t recommend it. Or better yet, it would be a true test of someone’s patience. If you’re dating, it would be absolutely hysterical and a great test to watch your potential lifemate try and wrangle this contraption into the space it’s suppose to go and safely. Key point here being patience.

Let me just say up front, I wouldn’t have passed the test. Not even close, not like Cs = degrees. I’m talking about “please take the course again, or maybe try something else.”

Friday morning I was meeting Chrissi, and I thought I had access to the extra vehicle at the house with the carseat. I got ready, got Evelyn ready and walked out the door. Except the carseat was sitting on top the outside freezer, cool. <ha> I’m a problem solver at heart so I thought, how hard could this possibly be? I’ve heard people complain about it but, obviously kids have to be transported from place to place, so people do this regularly.

First obstacle was to make room in my backseat, I’ve collected a lot of things back there this season: coats, hats, scarves, snacks, yoga mats, etc. I move all of the things and start looking on the outside of the carseat for the instructions. There are labels everywhere, instructions for tiltings and adjustments but nothing for how to actually secure the seat. I looked at the buckles and figured out these needed to be hooked between the seats. I thought: “Alright, not so bad.”

Nope. That right there was my mistake. I reached in the seat, grabbed the bar and tried to attach. Except, the bar was way too big for the clips. I keep looking for alternatives and can’t find any. I decide it’s the best choice to phone a friend. I call my Mom, she says “Oh you just clip it, it’s super easy.” But clip it where? I couldn’t figure out what she was talking about. I hang up and call Katlyn, she says “She hasn’t put that carseat in her car yet, to google.” Moving along with a slight annoyance building, I call Kellyn. She finally explains there are hooks on the seat so I dig and I find them. Awesome, perfect. I got this.

Nah. Nope. I can’t get both clips on the hooks without loosening the belt, which I then can’t tighten because I don’t have the arm strength. So here I am, crunched down on my back seat, back to the ceiling, standing on my seat try to pull this strap. I pull and check the tightness. Not secure enough. I try again and pull. Still not tight enough. I regroup and decide I’m just going to make the strap tight and with enough force I’m going to make the clip hit the hook and I’m good.

Nah. Nope. I hurt my thumb, my pointer fingers were tired from pushing down. I couldn’t see the clips and then this anger and frustration rose out of me like a demon fleeing my body from an exorcism. I jumped out of the car and on the driveway, as Evelyn as my witness I yelled. Actually, it was probably more shrill like a scream. I had lost all control of my anger and patience. It was right out of a movie. I could feel it leaving my body and scraping my throat on the way out.

I thought about canceling my playdate, or actually driving to a fire station with Evelyn not safely secured to get them to do it. I didn’t because I was nervous we would get into an accident and/or I would get a ticket. I needed a few minutes to cool down. Not just emotionally, but I was actually sweating. I’m talking cute little cardigan off, hair in a ponytail and beads of sweat.

I regrouped made an adjustment on the length of the belt and was able to attach it. I was beat though, emotionally exhausted and physically sweating from a child’s car seat.

I don’t have Evelyn in my car a lot, but let me tell you. I’m not removing that carseat anytime soon. It’s there to stay, because I don’t think I could do it again.


p.s. I was told by both Chrissi + Anna the secret is placing your weight on the seat by sitting on it or putting your knee on it. I’ll be good for next time, but the way I feel now, that seat will remain in it’s spot until this car is sold in like 10 years. It’s an added feature at this point.

As always, thanks for reading. xo.

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GRATEFUL TUESDAYS // MIDDLEBURG, VIRGINIA HUNT COUNTRY WEDDING + PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER, KRYSTA NORMAN

GRATITUDES + BREAKTHROUGHS 03.12.19

Photo Credit // Alicia Bruce

Gratitudes

Y’all I have finally made it. I have been drinking wine and posting about it long enough that Quirk Hotel in Richmond, Va shared an image of me in my natural habitat: relaxing with a glass of red wine! You can find it here:

Quirk Hotel Instagram Featuring Me!

I’m going to Lisbon, Portugal in June with Rachel of The One Moment Events. We found an insane flight deal and jumped! I am so excited for another trip to Europe, the coast, vineyards, seafood and the colorful streets! if you have any recommendations of restaurants, shops etc. Please send them my way!

Friday afternoon we had that weird snow/rain/sleet day, but I warmed up with Michelle of Lieb Photographic, Stephanie of Stephanie Messick Photography and Kristen of Kristen Gardner Photography! I tried their Cab Franc and their Touriga. I ended up grabbing a glass of the Touriga even though I liked the Cab Franc better to get me in the mood for Portugal in June! It’s always a pleasure getting together with these ladies to catch up and do a little roundtable work with our businesses!

Saturday was filled with venue tours at Loundy County’s Wedding Open House. I wasn’t set-up as a vendor because I wanted to make sure I could visit some of the venues I haven’t had the priviledge of shooting at yet and I wanted to swing by and support some frendors! Tori from Victoria Heer Photography met me for a full breakfast at Salamander Market and we headed off to Red Fox Inn, Goodstone Inn, Sylvanside Farm and Tranquility Farm. All of them had that classic hunt country vibe I love and my couples love as well. I’ll be sharing photos of the spaces on IG so keep a look out!

Katlyn’s yoga class on Sunday was full! She had set a fundraising goal of $350 and she made close to $1,000 for Love Your Brain. Afterwards we all grabbed a beer at Barely Naked, it was the perfect Sunday!

New week, it’s a new polish change. I’m going back to a neutral pink with I’ll Have A Gin + Tectonic. It’s a light mauvey pink from OPI’s Iceland Collection! I’m actually wearing it in the photo above!

Breakthroughs

I’ve been teetering on a breakthrough the past few weeks. This one has brought clarity and peace from one of the least likely sources of let’s say peace and clarity, an app called Instagram.

People and relationships are complicated and when I say relationships I’m talking friendships and intimate committed relationships. We seek out people who complement us, who make us feel whole and full and loved. Sometimes those relationships last a lifetime, others seem to fade in a few weeks/months/years, sometimes they revolve around life events or exist only on the surface. Some make a quiet exit, while others destroy everything on the way out.

Either way, these people you connected with, were present in your life for a reason. A specific period of time to help you learn something, grow from something or create something. So many “somethings” really. I’ve recently started tracking followers on Instagram to help grow my following. If you don’t know, Instagram is the biggest lead for my business so being able to expand and catch organic followers is huge!

I noticed a few people who had previously exited my life, some amicably some like a hurricane, started following me again. I’ll admit my initial thought was “Huh, why do you care what I’m doing now?”

I’ve talked before about how I’m a slow emotional processor – I’m running Windows 98, when I should be running iOS. It takes me a long time to let myself feel a certain way, to come to a place of peace with that and form a conclusion. I’ve been checking in with myself on it lately and made that big breakthrough.

I recognized that those feelings were coming from a place of protection. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t feel the same hurt I felt when they left the first time. I was guarded and I even thought about blocking them, because my life, daily musings and feelings are mine to protect or to share freely.

Anyway, I decided to let it be. To leave things as they were, to not block or allow that fear of hurt/vulnerability hold a space in my heart any longer. The people that left and how they chose to leave, that’s on them, not me. For me, it’s something that happened in the past, as “just a thing that happened” and I’ve moved on.

I’m always humbled by the timing of breakthroughs and where they come from. I’ll double-tap to like this one.

As always thanks for reading. xoxo.

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