Part of Me Blog

a personal update

lissa-anglin1 Comment

{Warning} This post has no pictures, only intimate details about my personal life. Haha- read on if you dare. :)

Wow! June literally flew right past me- and it feels like April and May did as well. It's hard to admit that I've been operating in a certain state of desperation for the past bit of my life-- experiencing lots of challenges, changes, and new blessings.

Lately I have been amazed at the amount of change I am swimming in. In almost every aspect of my life, God has given me an opportunity to trust Him.

Photography-wise, I am experiencing some growing pains (which are a good thing- though uncomfortable at times). Since moving my office up to our store, I now have a perfect place to meet clients and work in a focused environment (i.e. no curious toddlers around). The downside is, I moved during the very busiest part of my year-- so though I am in the space, it is not perfectly organized or decorated (Read: visual and cognitive mess). I am constantly going up and down the stairs of my little loft area grabbing find that one piece of packing material I forgot. Of well, more calories burned. :) I am hoping to really make it mine once the cold weather moves in a bit.

I'm also working harder mentally to separate work and home. For the past 5 years I have done a pretty good job of "quitting" work at a decent hour, but now that all my files/computers/gear are in a different location it is a bit more complicated and I have to make sure to really tie up loose ends before I head home, and at the same time not stress if I can't immediately answer an email from a client who is needing something that requires me to be using my office computer.

Overall, I have been so blessed by the clients I have had the pleasure of working for this year. I feel like they teach me something new with each session. They've allowed me to see into their lives and be a part of their most special moments- what a gift. Lately I have been in a constant state of refining my skills and developing my personal style. I have spent more time thinking about the type of image I want to look back on (and be proud of) in 30 years than ever. I have been critical of my technical skills as a professional. I have given my best effort in making every person I am photographing as comfortable as I can. Sometimes, I feel like I am walking on big, wobbly stilts- scared that I'll totally mess up and everyone will know. But other times-- and thankfully more frequently-- I am able to stand on my experience and move forward with confidence. 

Now more than ever I am deeply concerned about aligning my business with my priorities. I guess I knew this, but having a child has really changed my perspective on certain things. When I was pregnant with Knox, I constantly heard, "Oh, you have the perfect job to be able to stay home with the baby and still work". It's true- my job is pretty wonderful and flexible. For the first year of his life, we always had a nanny come for several hours a week to watch Knox while I worked (often times quite frantically). First, there was my baby sister Layne- who pretty much taught him sign language and dutifully fed him all our homemade baby food- and then we had Emily, who was ever so patient with his curious and wandering ways. They frequently took little excursions so as to keep the boy entertained. :) It was once Knox turned one that I really started to consider doing a more full-time option for child care. He was beginning to get bored around our little house, and I was starting to wonder if I personally needed a little more structure for my work day. So, at the beginning of June, we started him at daycare. It has been a great experience with the daycare so far. I can drop him off and pick him up anytime between 7:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, which is very conveninent. Knox adjusted pretty quickly to the new arrangement- only a few sad/angry moments here and there. I have been the worst at adjusting of all! It's been hard to not feel guilt about wanting a separate space to work and not being with him. Until now, I have had a full-time job in a part-time atmosphere, which led to more stress and less quality time with my kid than I wished for. And now, since taking him to daycare, I have more set hours and a little less flexibility in schedule. You can bet that by the time I am finished with work for the day I am SO ready to go pick him up and squeeze him! 

Things at Culture Clothing have been crazy good-- as in a little crazy, and mostly good. Working with my husband has been an adjustment as well, but a welcome one. He and our team there are doing an incredible job. They are constantly pulling off things I would have never dreamed up and I am so proud of the effect they are having on the store. We have gotten to meet so many cool and interesting people- I am amazed at the amount of things God can do with one little clothing store. Being that we are still very new, we are working a lot- and very hard. Retail is no joke. It's a constant effort to maintain the perfect experience, and improve on what is already there. I'm so, so glad that this is mostly Shawn's baby- but that he still lets me have a voice. More than anything, I'm excited that other people are excited and that we're seeing repeat customers every week and new customers every day. They bring with them some pretty cool stories and really great clothes!

Our little family has seen it's fair share of travel- Shawn and I were both gone for a week at a time (separately- for church camps) for half of June, and we just got back from a weekend trip to Red River with Shawn's family. So refreshing, but 12 hours in our tiny car = madness. We'll be headed to Borger for my 10 year reunion (eek!) at the end of the month and the immediately after hopping on a plane to Puerto Rico (yippee!). I am a little scared about how our sweet boy will do with the long journey to PR, but so far he has proven to be a pretty good traveler. And I have LOADED up our iPad with more Elmo, Dinosaur Train, and Bubble Guppies videos than you can imagine (his favorite). We also dealt with more sickness this past month than we ever have. Shawn and I both got bronchitis (awful, awful stuff), and Knox has had two ear infections (perhaps this is where some of the daycare guilt is coming from?!? There is truly no reason for me to think that is where he got the infections, but I can just hear people thinking it...ugh). The blessing in it all is that we are all feeling great now, thanks to lots of great doctors and meds. :) So, I am praying our season of sickness is over. Beyond that, I have been reading a lot- Real Marriage, The E-Myth, Adopt Without Debt, and Kisses From Katie. And, I'm not sure I've felt worse about my role as a friend than I do right now. With all the things that I have allowed on my plate, I have not made ample time for my very patient and thoughtful friends, who have relentlessly checked in on me and believed my promises to get together soon. This, for sure, is something I want to see improve very quickly. 

And, if you've made it this far, you'll be happy to know that I have Jesus. Clearly! When I sit back and read all the random and worrisome thoughts that I just poured out I get truly overwhelmed. The amazing thing is that I have not drowned yet. Really and honestly, my lately has been too much for me to handle. But thankfully-- oh, I am so thankful-- God has given me a loving husband, family and friends to lean on, and most importantly, He's given me Himself. I have thought this scripture so much lately: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:34