How is it that summer goes by SO quickly every year?! I remember when I was little and still in school, I would keep track of how many weeks I had left before classes would start back up again. I’d start at 11 and then before I knew it, I’d be at 9… then 7… then suddenly only two weeks until life would resume its normal routine. Now things are a little different because I’m no longer in school, and work happens all year round, but there’s something particularly sweet and special about summertime. Perhaps it’s because we spent so many warm days by the pool, chasing the ice cream truck and going on family adventures this time of year that it just automatically feels like a special time again whenever it arrives. This summer was a lot of fun and I’m taking it as a good thing that it went by so fast!

Personal life-wise, we started the summer off by going to PORTUGAL! What a magical and adventurous trip that was! Justin and I couldn’t believe we’d be celebrating our big ONE YEAR anniversary (lol) in such a beautiful place, but somehow that’s how the cookie crumbled and we were waking up across from a palace for 8 days in late May! It was gorgeous! I didn’t take my professional camera on that trip, but we have tons of video footage and pretty pictures from Justin’s camera (which is still amazing quality) that I need to share! We saw so many beautiful beachside towns, historic cobblestone streets from the middle ages, churches that had been around since the British empire reigned supreme… it was like being in another world. We loved seeing it together and we are already excited about our two year anniversary trip! :)

We also spent a few days in Wildwood, New Jersey with our families and you can see that blog post here! It’s always so special going back to this beach every year and seeing the same things that still haven’t changed. It’s like a little time capsule that preserves all of your memories and we LOVE going back to Wildwood Crest and Cape May whenever we can (that’s where we did our engagement session too)! We’re looking forward to at least a short weekend next year with the family again. It’s always a fun time!!

The rest of the summer was spent having cookouts, throwing a baby shower for our sister-in-law (who is due this week!!) and celebrating my birthday at the beginning of August. We also had a few days at the pool, plenty of visits to the mall, and our new tradition of Starbucks coffee & Duck Donuts every Sunday morning. Now I look forward to Sundays every week not just because they’re my rest day but because we just get to relax and have a normal weekend day together :) It’s the best! This summer we also fostered our first PUPPY! We still miss him but we are so happy he is in his forever home! And we watched our first solar eclipse from opposite sides of the country (I went on my third trip to California to visit my friend Emily)! We made so many special memories that were sweet in the simplest way, and that’s becoming my new favorite thing!

Business-wise, this summer has truly been the biggest blessing. Last year at this time I was about to take a full-time job for a non-profit in DC with an alluring salary, full benefits package, the whole nine yards… and I felt the Lord calling me to keep moving forward with my business. I had a SLOW season following that decision last Fall. I honestly had no. clue. what God was doing because in September I had my highest grossing month to date, followed by my lowest grossing month to date in October. It was slow in November and December… and I only had 5 weddings booked at Christmastime for all of 2017. Instead of freaking out, I assessed my options and asked myself, okay, what can we do here? I launched a new business that’s been growing this entire year and it’s been wonderful. It’s honestly a dream come true. I’ll have to share more about that later, but the Lord provided in an even greater way by still allowing me to hit my goal number of weddings for the year for 2017… I booked two thirds of my weddings in January and February! For wedding photographers, that’s a little rare but I’ll take it because I have the BEST brides and grooms this year and they were SO worth the wait!! So thank you Lord for such an amazing wedding season so far and for this incredible new business I’m growing! I’m SO thankful!

Now I have room to breathe for a little bit. For the first time in my business I have minimal stress about making “enough” and I have the capacity to dream more dreams for next year, to keep saving for our house, and to just enjoy the fruits of my labor here in this season. One thing that hasn’t changed throughout the past year has been my faith in knowing that the Lord would provide. When I was making my decision about whether to move forward with my business or close shop and pursue a more traditional career path, I just so happened to start a new devotional that was about Ruth. God doesn’t speak in the entire book of Ruth, but his provision for her and her family is clear and evident throughout every chapter. When I made my decision, I knew the Lord would provide for me, and I knew I had freedom to choose whatever it was I wanted… just if I chose the path that looked more difficult, He would still be there, and He would take care of me. He has not failed me and has proven himself to be reliable and trustworthy. While my business is more profitable than ever, I feel peace and contentment where I am and know that He’ll continue to provide if I am just diligent… keep displaying integrity… choose to be proactive and not passive… all of these things that continue to build my character not only as a business owner but as a woman of Christ.

If you’ve been checking the blog for the past month waiting for a new post, thank you for hanging in there and waiting for me. My blog has actually been experiencing some MAJOR technical difficulties since Fall of 2015 (seriously…), and we’re still trying to work everything out. I was unable to post for about a month here! It was sad and a little nerve-wracking… but I’m glad to be back.

Today we’re attending a networking event for wedding vendors, so I’m excited for that! We even get to stay overnight afterwards so it almost feels like a little trip! As we get ready to head into Fall, welcome our little nephew into the world, and approach the holiday season, I’m thankful that 2017 has been so fruitful and so, so good. Thank you Lord!!

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