Super-Sized Blessings

I'm not going to be around much from here throughout the summer, I'm afraid, but I hope that won't deter you from visiting me when I do have a post or make you feel like I won't visit you anymore. Because that's just not true! :c)

I just started in on busy season #6 (I can't believe it's the 6th summer for me, wow!) with a wedding last Saturday. I've also got three wedding album orders in the works (Heather -- you know how long those take!) among other fabulous things. I hope you won't mind me sharing some exciting stuff.

Most of you know how far I have came from a graphic design student to working as a graphic designer and photography assistant for a couple years to starting my own business by the words I told myself the day I walked out: "I can do that and do it better". And while it's not been easy, it's definitely been a fun amazing challenge.

The first wedding I ever booked on my own just landed in my lap and I'm honestly not sure how it came about, but what I do know is that it was God's plan. That first wedding I shot all by myself was Beth and Rodrigo. I never knew the two of them before Beth called me. The day Beth and I met, we knew we were "meant" to be "together" as a bride and as a photographer. As I got to know her further, I felt it was just so simple to pour out my heart to her. She was the strongest Christian I had ever met at that point in my life, and I knew it was for more than just so I could be her photographer. She trusted me and I trusted her, and she prayed with me about my infertility and losses and she was one of my biggest cheerleaders through that time and I know one of my biggest prayer supporters.

Anyway, it amazes me as I look back to the VERY first wedding I booked, that it was HERS and how truly thankful I am because she trusted me. Without her trust, I'm not sure where I'd be. She didn't see but a handful of pictures of mine, but she knew she still wanted me, and I remember her even telling me that. I remember her saying "I don't know why, but I just know I want you!". Since then we've became great friends. I have had the chance to see her grow the gift of God inside of her, shoot her maternity pictures, and today I get invited to her son's birthday parties. I'm a part of her family, and she mine. It's heartwarming to know that I will (hopefully) forever be a part of her family's life, and now that she is pregnant with baby #2, I hope I will get to be a part of "her" life, too. (Yes, it's a girl!!)

My point is, I know I am doing what God intended me to do because of the people I have gained in my life as forever friends. Through Beth I met Corie (who I've mentioned tons and who has a blog who I have a link to here at my blog) and then Corie booked me for her wedding. We've stayed true friends since then and now I've been welcomed into her family's life as well. It's crazy, but a good crazy, how things spiral as they do and lead me in new directions meeting new people and most of the time, gaining life-long friends. Beth's sister-in-law, Tracy, is another. And Tracy is one of Corie's best friends. See what I mean?

Speaking of Corie, I am done proofing all her (hundreds of) pictures and some of them are online at flickr. A few are in at a "private" group which only invited guests can see. Those are the best ones, but, well there's a lot of skin and we know how there are some icky people in this world surfing the internet JUST for pictures like them. But you can still see many of the fully-clothed ones. Check them out RIGHT HERE.
How big?Excitement and certainty.

Another positive story is this one. Late last summer I got called by a prospective client who had just heard about me, called me and booked me for a session. I have now photographed her children twice in the past 6 months. In that time she and I have gotten to know each other quite well. She has told me a few times how she feels blessed by me. But see, she's blessed me just the same or more. First of all, I've had the amazing chance to get to know her family and secondly, for her own business she recently asked me to help her in designing new marketing and advertising campaign. We've started with billboards. Nothing like starting big and going small, right? And well, those billboards should be up around town soon. TWO BILLBOARDS. I couldn't be more excited . . . or scared! Scared mostly because even though I hope it will lead me to more new things, I'm not sure I can handle it, but I pray those calls *will* come and that they won't overwhelm me too much so that I *can* handle it. I can't wait for bigger things!

Then a few days ago I got a call from my son's principal. He has asked me to start shooting some things at the school for the schools own marketing. Being a private school, the school thrives off of their advertising and of course a lot of "word of mouth". But to keep up with the other schools it has to have a great website and great brochures. So Friday I begin on this! I don't get paid and honestly, I don't care one bit. I would never ever accept money from them. There's nothing like doing things for people voluntarily, especially those who deserve it. Anything to make someone happy. I know by doing it, the rewards will be endless. I just love Mr. H's school and I am excited for it to just keep getting bigger and bigger.

Then Monday afternoon (see how good God is?!), as I was sitting waiting for Ashley's (Neil's sister) track meet, I start opening my mail. And inside a big envelope were some copies of a magazine. A magazine in which the main article's photographer was myself. ME! Talk about exciting. It's one thing to know it's probably happening, but another to actually SEE IT IN PRINT!! I am thrilled silly. And while I know I don't want to do weddings so much anymore, it does enable me to be really choosy with my weddings and hopefully expand in other ways, like with maternity and baby portraits --- two of my very favorite things ever! And here is the "contents" page. I'm on page 13 as you can see! Contents section(That's my picture!) Click here to see the magazine and my article!!!

So I know that was really long, and I hope you will forgive me. But I just can't go without apologizing for my lack of being and my lack of being in the near future. I'm busy. And if I spend as much time on my blogging as I wish I could, that means I am probably not focused as well on other areas of my life, like my children. I need my main focus to be my family and then my work. Blogging is now going to have to come near last. Just because it has to. Not because I want it to. But because it NEEDS to. If I give too much of myself here, I know I am not giving enough in other realms. And that's part of the reason why I'm a stay-at-home mommy. To live in these moments with them that won't be here much longer. Time is going by way too fast.

Thanks for letting me share my good news. Thank you for all the amazing support I get from my friends and family. It's you that keeps me going as a mother and as a photographer! :c)

One final thought, if you just go to my main stream at flickr, you will also see some personal pictures of my kiddos. Please stop by and leave me some comments. Toodles!


Johanna said...

Congrats again my love!!! It's all because of your photography, and we all know how I feel about that. :) Glad to call you our "family photographer" and to have you capture of family as it grows and ages... ALWAYS.

Louise said...

HOW incredibly awesome is that!! You truly are blessed and are doing what God created you to do, what a feeling eh?
I am very proud of you!!
Way to go!!!! CHEERS FROM HERE ( can you hear them)

Our Home Schooler and Jen said...

well done

Ill still come and 'visit' if you post anything

have a good busy time dont forget to take some time out for you


SuperMom said...

Wow, you have lots of exciting news! I'm so thrilled for you and how your career is taking off!

I have your blog added to my bloglines feed so when you update I'll know almost instantly and will come right back. :)

Chel said...

Oh, ok... go do your summer busy thing. :) And many congratulations on how fabulous your business is doing!

Deborah said...

wow - so many exciting things in the works for you! Enjoy it, you deserve it all and more :)

lil ole' me..... said...

My wonderful friend, Val~
I am SO SO SO glad that our paths crossed! Who knew that when I met you on Beth's wedding day that we would become friends?!? I remember when you came to the salon to take pictures while we were all having our hair done and I thought "Wow, that is one heck of a photographer!" I had no idea at that point that their's was your first wedding. I'm so glad that you followed your heart and talent (even if you say you don't feel talented- YOU ARE!).

CONGRATS about the magazine article and the offer from Noah's school. That is incredible. So happy for you! Just don't get so busy that you can't take pictures of our lil girl when she arrives! (smiles)

Love you Val!!!!

Fruitful Vine said...

Congratulations on all that is going for you. I only just started visiting your blog but I will miss your regular entries. Continue to put first things first and enjoy the time . I will be keeping tabs on your blog to see when you make an entry or I may just say hi on an old one. Have a great weekend.

mama2dibs said...

First of all, awesome, awesome, AWESOME opportunities!

Secondly, FORGIVEN! I think I would be more frustrated with you if I knew that you were on here writing your story out for me to read (although I love doing so) and ignoring your lovely darlings. You need to do what God has called you to do and obviously, at the moment, that's not blogging.

Lovin' you and will hang on to every word that you do have time to put down. ((hugs))

Jamie said...

Val what exciting moments in your life. And well deserved as well!! I am so proud and happy for you. (((hugs)))

oh amanda said...

Yay, Val! I'm so happy for you!

a wandering heart said...

I am so happy to hear how well your business and calling are going for you!