It seems I have several thoughts flying around my head right now...so I'm going to place them here.
Puppies. They are all so cute. But they are getting smellier! The bigger they get, the bigger you-know-what gets. Actually, Lola has been a fantastic mommy so far. I feel like most of the day she bosses me around and lets me know what she needs to do and when. We already have deposits down for both girls, so all that's left are boys! I am a little nervous- most people seem to want girls first- although we got our boy first. Hopefully I will hear from some people who don't have a strong attachment to one gender. I would dare to say our male is more sensitive than our female. They are starting to open their eyes, which means more pictures soon!
Impulse shopping. Shawn is typically the impulse buyer in our house, but I bought these the second I saw them. (Mine are actually a plum color.) My sister Layne thinks they look like a foot bandage, haha! I love them, even though I didn't get them at a discount. Which leads me to...
Financial Peace. We've been pretty fortunate to get to this point in our lives without a lot of debt. But that doesn't mean it isn't there. We've been doing Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover for about 6 months and have paid off a little over 9,000.00 so far. I've learned to love coupons and stick to a budget like my life depends on it. (It does, actually- we have GOALS!) It's also been a lot of fun to dream together. We can't decide if we want to do Hawaii or The Bahamas once we get out of debt! More than anything, I've learned to live within our means- not just because we don't want to have debt- but because we don't want to be slave to anyone. Being self-employed, healthcare is NOT inexpensive, and with the changes in the healthcare system, I'm not sure how that will all pan out. What I DO know is that we'll be able to pay for medical emergencies ourselves, rather than depend on the government for it. Plus, Dave's podcasts get me through many hours editing on my computer. :) Speaking of what I've been listening to.
This and this would top the charts. We pre-ordered The Classic Crime's new album "Vagabonds" when we saw that they were donating all profit to Haiti, knowing we would have purchased it anyway. It's one of those albums (like all the rest of their albums) that gets better with each listen. MY favorites now are #3 Solar Powered Life and #4 Four Chords. These guys are definitely some of my all-time favorites. The Alice in Wonderland Soundtrack, "Almost Alice" has some of my favorite artists there too- Owl City, All-American Rejects, Avril, Plain White T's...and the music all has a bit of creepiness to it. Good creepiness. Favorite tracks are #2 Poison and #12 Tea Party. Tea Party definitely caught me by surprise, but it's kind of one of those hilarious fun songs to dance around to. That's right- I like to dance around in my office.
An organized life. My friend Hannah had told me about some incredible podcasts by Mike Bickle at IHOP in Kansas City. The series is called "The Power of a Focused Life". I love planning and making goals, and so I hesitated to listen to the podcasts, mostly because I didn't want to get myself on a new schedule and then let myself down. So I finally had a listen and I am more excited about my day-to-day life than I've been in a long while. I've given myself a new schedule (that I don't always have to keep) which gives me ample time for the things I really want to be doing. Here's what I decided I want to focus on right now: 1) I want to be a student of the Bible. I want to know it well, and be able to use it as a foundation for every decision I make. This will require serious study and effort, not just picking up a new Christian book every once in a while. 2) I want to be there for my family and friends. Too many times I have allowed myself to be distracted with my own wants, only to have an opportunity to serve my family/friends slip by. I need to be available and paying attention. This will require me to have set business hours and and be more aware of my schedule. 3) I want to be a creator, like my Heavenly Father. One of my purposes here on Earth is for me to show others the beauty that God has created in all of us. I love to facilitate a comfortable place, whether that be during a photoshoot or a cookout. Being able to see the beauty in all things will require me to have a keen eye and hands that are ready to work! I know that God will continue to teach me how to love and live, and I'm excited! One more thing I'm excited about...
Escalate Live! I just bought tickets for Shanna and I yesterday. Got a great deal from Hotwire on hotel and rental car. I've been dying to get back to California after I came back last year, so I was totally pumped when I saw this conference fit perfectly in with a wedding we are shooting in Kansas City a few days before. I'm sure it will be a LOT of people, and a LOT of information, but it's going to be a great trip. Some of the most outspoken photographers in the industry right now.
Ok, if you've actually read to here you are officially my friend. I better get back to work!