Hey there friend! My family took a bit of a sabbatical over the winter holiday (including a trip to Disney – huge blog post coming soon!) and it feels so great to be back! I’m writing this on our last night in Phoenix after a three week stay filled with lots of visits with friends and family, and *almost* too much In-and-Out burger. After a busy fall filled with amazing Milwaukee weddings, this little break was just what we needed! I didn’t completely tune out work. In fact I shot eight family sessions while I was here! Getting our of the habit of working 12+ hour days was so good for the soul. Not only did I get to reconnect with friends who were all home for the holiday, I was able to clear my head a bit and focus on my goals for the upcoming year.
2016 was such a learning experience. I shot 18 beautiful weddings and second shot (assisted) nearly 20 more! Taking on nearly 40 weddings this year was so much fun, but it really cut into my family time, something that as my kiddos grow I want to be present in more and more. I’m breaking down my goals into personal and business categories, but they really depend so much on each other!
- Create a standing bi-weekly date night with Andy. Sometimes we go two to three months without a date since we are so focused on work and the kids. It’s our five year anniversary next month and it feels like no time has gone by at all! While we are happy, my number one goal this year is to keep our relationship a priority.
- I’m really bad at taking on too much, and need breathing room so I can actually have a life outside of work hours. For me, that means having someone else do the deep cleaning. I’m planning on shifting our household budget around so that we can have a cleaning service help out once a month, and then twice a month during the busy wedding season.
- Having three girls means a lot of sharing of mom time. While we go on the occasional trip with the girls solo; I want to schedule as much one on one time this year as possible! Ideally it would be each girl with the both of us, but since we can’t hire a sitter quite that much a month, mommy-daughter dates will have to do!
- I haven’t blogged too much on our before and afters in our little fixer upper, but I’m hoping to finish a few projects this year! I’m considering making it a monthly series on the blog as we stumble through project after project! This year I’m hoping to finish the girls shared room, complete our office (possible guest room!), paint the exterior of our home, and begin our basement project.
- Things sort of fell apart during busy season, and I’m so discouraged at how I put myself last. For me, I need to keep doing something everyday to make it a permanent part of the schedule. Enter, the 100 Day Project! My plan is to hit the gym everyday for 100 days. In order to let my body recover when needed, some days may just be family swim days or a light yoga class. It’ll give my schedule (and body) a much needed boost!
- Book 20 weddings (Only a few dates left, yay!)
- Outsource my editing. I have a lot of reasons for this but mostly it gives me back time. I work with my film lab to match my digital photographs right to my film scans, it’s awesome! Plus I can spend more time giving my couples an amazing experience and working on the business side of things. Double bonus, it helps me get images to my couples faster because I’m not as back loaded with editing work! I love editing and have had a hard time with this decision because I’m so specific about it, but it has too many positives to not get that extra family time and working a more manageable schedule.
- Have a wedding published in a print magazine.
- Give back to the community
- Read one business related book per month.
I’ve also been working through Lara Casey’s 2017 Goal Setting Blog posts (and finally finishing her book). The biggest thing I’ve learned as a mom of toddlers and a business owners is to give yourself grace when the guilt hits that you can’t in fact do it all. Lara’s blog post is so aligned in how I want to approach handing so many different hats!
I hope you all are having a fabulous New Year so far! Here’s a teaser into our Disneyland trip