July 24, 2014

shelter -3x strike out

So the big question I get asked these days is about housing -fair enough, its kinda a big deal right? Well, the truth is....we still don't know where we're going to live and yes, we are moving in 8 days. Big sigh. The good news is we have temporary housing for 2 months, the first month we're renting a super cute furnished house that we could only dream of owning, the next month we're staying in temporary housing that is akin to an old apartment. So, the clock is ticking BUT we have some time. Adam and I just didn't feel at peace about signing a year lease and being that much further out from buying, esp should the "perfect" thing come along during that time. So, we have 60 days to find a house! Its ON. We have now made offers on 3 houses and came in as the runner up every.time. This last house was the least emotional for me...it checked a lot of my "boxes" but the living room was SO tiny and the dining table space was an after thought at best. I don't think I'm being too picky, but I've made a list of must-haves which I'm going to share. :) (*each of the 3 houses we've tried to buy has been a miss on 1 of these items so I realize compromise is in order).

*At least 1000 sq ft
*some back yard space
*at least 2 toilets
*1930s or older
*decent neighborhood
*in Altadena or Pasadena
*a laundry situation that can accommodate a side by side washer/dryer and not in a horrible place (ie right next to the fridge or something lame like that)

This doesn't seem like too much to ask, does it? House #1 only had 1 bathroom but I was willing to deal with that, house #2 had the laundry outside the house and accommodated a stackable only -I was willing to deal with that but had a plan to change it, house #3 was less than 1000sq ft! Ay yi yi. I'm sure we could have gotten house #3 but we decided not to max out our budget due to the sq footage and not having a/c, the line has to be drawn somewhere I think. :/

So, we're still on the hunt and are hopeful that in the next month or so we can find a place to call home but man the real estate market down there is TOUGH!

So, that's where we're at, limbo land continues. Adam gets back into town tomorrow and then we head to Texas early on Saturday -a busy week coming up so my blogging will likely be slim to none. Thanks for checking in, as always, so appreciated. :) Head on over HERE to check out a beautiful
bride! xo

July 22, 2014

that was a big blog lull there...

Whew! Sorry for the big blog lull! As usual its been a little nuts around here, our summers always are. We had a lovely time at Black Butte (well, once Adam passed his kidney stone!). Nothing like a trip to the ER to get the week started off! Ay yi yi. I flew from Dallas to Portland and then drove to the Butte, it was a long day for both Adam and I. The night before I flew out two of my mi casa kiddos said their "I dos" in a lovely ceremony that I was so thankful to be a part of, it was good to be back in Texas even if just for a few days. Adam and I fly back to Texas for the last time this Saturday, I'm already dreading saying goodbye to that special place. :( I hate moving!!!

Well, I've got a load of editing staring me in the face so I'm gonna get after it. Head on over HERE to check out my latest engagement session! xo

July 7, 2014

a day at a time

I'm tired, and I'm tired of flying. Its been INSANE for Adam and I and I think we're both a bit weary. California was just plain stressful, it was 3 days of running all over town trying to meet with realtors, home owners, etc. to view properties. Needless to say, it was also kinda depressing...most things were super spendy and not well kept. We were in negotiations over a house we had tried to purchase a while back and after much back and forth it fell through b/c the seller wouldn't let us move in prior to escrow closing and we didn't want to be homeless for a stretch. Sigh. In hind sight I kinda wish we would've just said "fine" and lived in a hotel or something for a while. Its just hard, renting for a year, versus putting all that money into home ownership...but also, the timing being right for both -tricky. Ugh. We still don't really have a solution and haven't signed a lease yet...ay yi yi.

Well, we got back from Cali on Thursday afternoon, our luggage once again didn't make it!! This time it wasn't completely lost (like before), it just didn't make our layover in time so, we had to head back to the airport hours later which put our drive into Washington pretty late. We went straight to bed, got up early and headed to Seattle for my sister's wedding! It was a lovely afternoon and it was fun to see her looking so happy and to be a part of such a special day. Then we headed back to my parent's house for a day before driving back to Oregon. We've been here for a day and I've been doing laundry and re-packing as I head back to Texas tomorrow afternoon -whew! I am going to spend the night at yet another hotel (we've been in a lot of those lately!) in Dallas as I'll be attending a photography workshop all day on Wednesday, then that night I'll make the trek back to Waco.

I know this is just a crazy season of life but I tell ya what, I'm feeling it and am SO ready for a reprieve. Its also just really hard to work in the midst of all of this and the wedding editing seems to have no end! I'm trying to just take it a day at a time and rest when I can, thankful for the little breaks we've had here and there.

Well, I need to finish packing so I'm gonna get after it. Head on over here to see 2 weddings that I've gotten blogged! Thanks for checking in! xo

June 29, 2014

Aloha

We are back from Hawaii, tan and happy. :) The 5 of us had a great time, the weather was perfect, the beach -1 block from our hotel, the pool lovely, etc. Adam and I really enjoyed our 2 nights away as well, it was fun to celebrate our 14th anniversary in the same place we had our honeymoon (albeit a different island :). I haven't had time to look through the photos I took (which were few) but I did edit this one of the ninner - I think she is about the most beautiful thing I've ever seen! (biased? :) I hope everyone is doing well, I'll try and blog more next week but its nuts around here! Adam and I fly to CA tomorrow morning to try and find housing (as always, prayers are appreciated!). More to come!! xo

 
** Head on over HERE to check out some photos I did for a sweet musican

June 17, 2014

3 steps forward, 2 steps back

I wouldn't say my back was completely back to normal but it was getting there.... until yesterday. I think standing on my feet for 6 hours, lugging my gear around, shooting a wedding on Saturday was the catalyst and then yesterday I bent over and stood up quickly...and that was it. I'm not near as bad as I was last month when I initially threw my back out, I told Adam it felt like I was on day 6 of last month's ordeal. So, last night I slept in the guest room, have my back brace on, and called the urgent care office that saw me last month and asked if I could have some more drugs. I explained I didn't take all the ones they gave me last time but I was going out of town and didn't want to run out. Sigh. So, today, its delegating to Adam and me moving quite slowly. Sigh. I'm starting to think I'm jinxed when it comes to Hawaii, the only other time I've been there was my honeymoon when I got crazy sick and had to go to 2 different doctors on 2 different islands. WHAAAAAA. As a friend pointed out, you can still lay on the beach with a bad back -true!

Today is our last full day as a family of 3 in Waco, B is currently on her last play date and Adam and I are packing our bags. I come back to Waco by myself in mid July to shoot a wedding and Adam and I both fly back together at the end of July for the final move so...its not goodbye just yet but it is for B. :( I hate moving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, lots to do! Head on over here to check out a lovely bride who got hitched on Saturday! xo

June 16, 2014

the final stretch

Whew, this weekend was nuts. Friday night some friends had us over for dinner, Saturday I hosted a yard sale with some friends, then shot a wedding, yesterday we went to church and then out to lunch for Father's Day, then our friends had us over for dinner/swimming (and rooting the Spurs onto victory -WOOT!) ~ all in all a busy and fun weekend. Yesterday was bittersweet, it was our last Sunday at our church, the place we've called "home" the whole 4 years we've lived here. As we said our benediction of: as we approach this week may we "Love God, embrace beauty, and live life to the fullest" my eyes got all watery as I knew it would be the last time saying those words in that sacred place with those amazing people who have become like family to us. It was really hard watching B say goodbye to Jeff, Jeff has been like a grandpa to B and you could tell neither one of them wanted to let each other out of that hug -heart wrenching. I can tell I've emotionally shut off a bit, its just getting too hard and I'm too tired and worn out. Since I'm coming back to Texas twice in July I've put off some of the "final" goodbyes just to make this transition a bit easier. I feel emotionally spent and physically exhausted. As crazy as it seems to go on vacation in the midst of so much going on for us, I'm so thankful for the respite I know is imminent....we really need it.

Well, today is one of two we have left here and I have so.much. to get done so I'm gonna get to it. Head on over HERE to check out a super cute family that I am going to miss. xo

June 13, 2014

nearing the end

Yesterday I had a massage, Adam got it for me for mother's day and it was (mostly) lovely. She tried to work on my back issues some and that was pain.ful. but all in all, a much needed respite amidst this crazy season. Our friend had us and some other folks over last night to grill and chat the night away, it was a good time. B had to say her final goodbye to her best friend yesterday, that made me cry. I hate goodbyes (have I said that before? :). B has her last play date today with her best friend from school, so we're officially wrapping things up here. :/

I have lots of running around to do today, I'm starting to think hosting a yard sale and shooting a wedding in one day wasn't my brightest move...prayers for tomorrow are appreciated. :)

As always, thanks for checking in on us, we're doing okay, just taking lots of deep breaths and taking a day at a time. T- 7 days until vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is a peek of an engagement session I'm working on, more to come! xo

June 11, 2014

workin' away

Today is going to be a day in front of my computer, I'm buried in editing! Sweet B is having one last sleepover at her bestie's house right now (sniff) so I'm trying to maximize my "alone" time to get lots of work done. Vacation is just over a week away...I can almost taste it!! Adam and I are going to get breakfast burritos at our favorite hole in the wall for one last time today, Waco life really is coming to a close, crazy.

I just blogged my last senior so head over here to check it out! xo

June 9, 2014

last full week

Today begins our last full week in Waco, bittersweet is the only word. I was talking to my sister yesterday and explaining that the long goodbye needs to come to an end. We're at the point in our leaving process where we've "almost" had the "one last" xyz but there's still a little more time so it drags on a bit...does that make sense? For instance, at church on Sunday our worship pastor said "I thought ya'll had your last Sunday already?" But we technically still have 1 more. The transitional period is starting to wear a bit and it just feels like its time to wrap it up here. Due to Texas weather being Texas weather, I'm still shooting this week even though I hoped to be all done at the end of May. And the weather is still nasty so...it continues. I had a shoot scheduled for tonight (that has already been re-scheduled like 3x due to rain) it is POURING outside! Sigh. I'm not gonna lie, I won't miss this weather! It looks SO dark and dreary outside and yet its like 80 degrees and humid -ick! I have lots of shooting this week so fingers crossed the sun comes out as my days to re-schedule are quickly coming to a close!

Today Adam and I hope to wrap up the packing and get the loose ends squared away. I really need to spend my time working on MWP and not just moving stuff as vacation is quickly approaching (praise God!). Someone should have told me that owning/operating you own business during wedding season while trying to move would be a bit of a nightmare. ;) Sigh.......

Speaking of weddings, this past weekend we piled in the car and drove about 3.5 hours east to Center, TX -aka: no mans land! Cell service was pretty much a joke and the streets were unmarked which made for some of the most stressful 35 minutes of my life as we got lost on the way to the reception (nothing like the wedding photographer not being there!!!!!). Needless to say, it was such a sweet day to be a part of and it was cool to be in a town of 5000 people where sweet Casey and Ben grew up. They each got ready at their grandparents house and there was so much history there, really neat to witness. B did a great job of rocking her flower girl role, so she's pretty much an expert now. :) All in all we had a great weekend celebrating Ben and Casey, happy sigh. Well, I have my work cut out for me this week so I'm gonna get after it!  Here is a peek of one of my favorite photos of Ben and Casey from their big day! More to come! xo

 
P.S. Head on over HERE to check out a cute senior! (who is also one of my mi casa darlings :)

June 6, 2014

making headway

Pretty much every day this week has looked the same, I wake up around 8:30am, pack all day, maybe take B swimming at our friend's house if we have time, eat dinner, work or watch tv for a bit, put B to bed, hang with Adam for a bit, go to bed around 1am and then do it all over again. Its not been a "fun" week but its been productive and I can finally see some progress. The first couple days just felt like organized chaos, that stage when you're moving but the more you pack the more you realize you still need to pack and your surroundings become piles of craziness  -until yesterday. Yesterday I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, most things that can be packed  -are, and the things that aren't we're still using, or we need to figure out what to pack for the next several weeks that we'll be traveling. I told Brennan to put things in a box that she doesn't care if she sees until August, that sounds far away but I know its not. I've been barely keeping my head above water with MWP stuff, its really hard to run a business and move at the same time...oh yeah, and add wedding season to the mix! I'm shooting weddings the next 2 weekends but then...VACATION. I've told folks that if we knew we were moving we likely wouldn't have booked a vacation this summer, with that said, I think its coming at the perfect time in regards to us desperately needing to take a break and in a way, being "forced" to do so. After our week of glorious vacation we'll head back to Oregon for 2 days to do laundry and re-pack and head to California for 3 days to (hopefully) secure housing. We have our work cut out for us.

In 2 hours we're heading to east Texas as my sweet Casey is getting married tomorrow, B is her flower girl and the rehearsal/dinner starts tonight at 5! She is getting married on Saturday morning so its going to be an early morning for me and then after shooting the wedding we'll head back to Waco and get home Saturday night. The days are going so fast, we're down to only 12 days left in Texas, really hard to believe after calling it home for 4 years. Sniff.

Well, I've got to shower and finish packing for the weekend, I hope you all have a lovely weekend yourselves, thanks for checking in on us! xo

Here is a pic of Carlee and B from last weekend....be still my heart.

June 2, 2014

all over the road

Sorry for the blog lull, we're a little nuts around here. I feel like I'm all over the road these days, with my emotions that is. Sigh. I hate moving, I know I've said it before and I'm likely to say it again but I do...I hate it. The packing in and of itself is a nightmare but the saying goodbye...that just about kills me every time. I told Adam that I had one more move in me, and this was it. I'm so emotionally drained and we still have 17 days to go. Sweet Adam preached at church yesterday and as he stood up to talk about how we'll miss our community he got emotional and had to pause for a moment, my husband rarely cries so this of course pushed me right.on.over.the.edge. He did a great job and delivered an awesome sermon, but its true, on Sundays -that is when we are reminded of how painful this move really is even in the midst of our excitement about moving back to CA and the joy we have over Adam's new job. Its just hard right now.

Last weekend one of my girls got married and that was such a neat thing to be a part of. Brennan did a great job of being the flower girl and Carlee looked so beautiful. I'm so happy for her and Tanner and the life they are starting, made my heart happy (in the midst of my mama tears of course). I met Carlee's mom for the first time and as she thanked me for having her daughter in my home each week I started to say how much I loved her daughter and that was it, the flood gates opened and I was paralyzed to say more. I'm a loose canon these days! I think I should just choose not to talk for the next couple weeks, you never know when my tears are gonna flow! Poor Adam, he has to deal with me! :/ It was so fun having so many of my mi casa kids at the wedding, we all shared a reception table together and it was like a little family reunion, I loved it. This Friday we head to east Texas for more of the same, B is the flower girl and my kiddos will travel as we watch sweet Casey and Ben start their life together....so sweet. Happy/sad sigh.

Well, in other news Adam and I had a bummer of a conversation with our loan guy in CA this weekend. We thought we were all set to move forward with purchasing a house and we had an offer in on a house this weekend, we were all set to make our final counter offer, we checked w/ our loan guy to make sure we were good to go when he let us know he actually needed Adam's paystubs from his new job! DOH! We thought that wasn't necessary but turns out it is so....we lost the house and realized we had to put the search on hold for a  few months. BIG BUMMER. Not only had I mentally moved into our "new place" but knowing we'll have to find a short-term rental really really bums me out. That means yet another move, likely living in the ghetto for a few months (b/c really, short term rentals are hard to come by and are typically pretty sketchy). So, to say we were disappointed would be an understatement. AND the loan rates were at the lowest the had been in a while so now was the time to strike. BIG SIGH. Since my surroundings are hugely important to me (maybe a character issue but it is what it is) its very hard to be motivated to pack up my house when I have no house to go to, really bums me out. So, there's that.

I'm not sleeping real well and my body is doing what it always does when it gets stressed which isn't awesome, so, we'll take your prayers if you've got 'em. :) My back is on the mend still which I'm super thankful for, not 100% yet but I'm getting there. Thanks for checking in, really appreciate ya'll caring about our life. :)

I finally blogged so head on over HERE to check out this cute fam! Happy Monday, all! xo

May 28, 2014

taking deep breaths

Whew! It was a whirlwind trip to Oregon this past weekend! I did a lot of laying around while we were there, really trying to get my back all better. My sister in law had a lovely wedding and it was fun to see family for a few days! A good but too short trip! We got back Sunday night and immediately upon walking in the door I fell asleep on the couch, I woke up hours later only to crawl into bed where I stayed....for 14 hours until Adam woke me up! I think its safe to say I was a bit tired? I think my body is just trying to heal itself from this back thing, it has really been a long couple weeks! I'm still not "all better" yet but I'm getting there a bit more each day. Yesterday I did some editing and some packing, some days I feel like I have a good handle on the moving stuff and some days I feel overwhelmed like it will never get all done! We pretty much are living out of our suitcase and packing and unpacking it each week, we're gone every weekend until we move! I'm doing laundry and getting ready to pack again as we're headed to Dallas tomorrow. B is the flower girl in a wedding on Friday, the rehearsal dinner is tomorrow night so I booked a hotel with an indoor pool so we'll head up early tomorrow to play! We'll come back to Waco on Saturday and Adam is preaching at church on Sunday! To say we've got a lot going on around here would be an understatement. Tonight there is a surprise dinner for us (well, its a surprise for Adam...I know about it :), several of our friends are hosting a dinner for a last hurrah before everyone leaves for the summer, bittersweet. :/

I need to get going, B still doesn't have shoes to wear with her flower girl dress and the packing is never ending! Thanks for checking in! xo

May 21, 2014

the last day of first grade

I feel even better today than I did yesterday, relief!! I'm still not 100% of course and will be donning my hideous back brace a while longer but its so nice to get up and walk around with out stopping every step to catch my breath from pain! Thank you for all your prayers, I just feel so so thankful.

Today is a big day in the Winn household, B has her last day of first grade. Its bittersweet, for all of us I think. She mentioned last night that she was sad knowing that today would be the last day she would ever see some of her friends, that broke my heart...makes me sad too. I have loved B's school and it has been such a good fit for her personality, the proximity to our house, etc. I'm sad to leave it. :( On the other side, I can't believe I have a second grader!! Sounds so old! We'll go out for ice cream after school to celebrate of course. :) I just booked our hotel, we head to Dallas tonight as we have an early flight to Oregon in the morning for Adam's sisters wedding on Friday. And thus begins the summer-o-weddings! We have a wedding almost every weekend from now until mid July. I love weddings, but even I think that sounds a little crazy when I say it out loud.

Well, I've got my work cut out for me today, packing, some editing that I've neglected as I haven't been able to sit for a week, some errands, etc. I hope you all have a lovely weekend, see you back here next week! xo

(b/c posts are better w/ pics, here is a peek of a sr I'm working on! She's one of my mi casa darlings, love this girl!)

May 20, 2014

drugs....lots of drugs and relief

So yesterday I went to urgent care as I just wasn't getting better, and in my past experience I'm typically better by now. The gave me 4 prescriptions and recommended a MRI (which I hope to do at some point in the fall). Needless to say, after taking the drugs and laying flat on my back with a heating pad for several hours I FINALLY got some relief! I feel so.much.better. today, finally!! I'm clearly still sore and am not back to normal yet but I'm so so thankful for some relief from that crazy pain! I could hardly walk into the urgent care office so I'm sure they took a lot of pity of me. :) Thanks to everyone for the emails, texts, phone calls, etc. to let me know you were thinking of me, really appreciated!

Well, after all this time the appraisal for our house is finally happening today! (of course...since our house is a disaster after me doing nothing for a week...sigh). So, I'm going to try and help get it in some order before they get here in 2 hours. Fingers crossed it appraises!! Thanks for checking in, its going to be a busy week for us so it will be pretty quiet over here. xo

May 19, 2014

laid up

For the past 5.5 days I have been laid up in the house. I haven't left my bed/couch/house since last Wednesday with the exception of 1 afternoon where I photographed a mi casa darling for about an hour (and that was a challenge with a bad back). I threw my back out like I do several times a year only this time....has been the absolute worst (and the worst timing!). The pain is unreal, its unlike anything I've experience before and Adam has quite literally had to carry me to/from the bathroom which is essentially the only time I stand up. This has been pure misery/torture. Typically when this happens I'm good to go after about 4 days, so being nearly on day 6 and still with so much pain/discomfort I am beyond discouraged. I am definitely better than I was at the beginning of this ordeal but I still feel so far from "better" that it just makes me feel so frustrated! Especially in light of all we have to get done. B has 2 more days of school after today, then we fly to Oregon on Thursday, I'm already wondering how sitting on the airplane for all those hours is going to work?! So, if you pray, please pray for me -that this back craziness would go away and I could resume normal life, thank you, thank you, thank you.

To say I'm behind on work (and anything else for that matter) would be a massive understatement. I blogged this session a while ago so now I'm just hitting "publish" but head on over HERE to check out this senior! xo