What's New in the New Year
Happy 2016, friends!
We hope you all had amazing holidays celebrating with your families, friends, and loved ones; taking time off from work and sundry responsibilities; eating and imbibing delicious foods and beverages; and generally enjoying what is--even with rain instead of snow and persistent 60°+ weather--my favorite time of year.
Lots of things are happening for Michael and me in 2016, and even though the situations and scenarios we plan can change in the blink of an eye, there are some events and intentions we can count on. Read on for more details!
To start with our biggest 2016 happening...
Yes, it's true: We are having a baby in 2016! Ah!
For anyone who may have wondered covertly why our fall wedding season seemed to kick my ass worse than usual, pregnancy is the answer. I spent the first trimester dealing with intense fatigue (but comparatively little nausea and no puking, for which I'm immensely grateful), which meant I napped a lot. (Thank you, self-employment.)
Now that that's pretty well done with, we get to focus on some fun stuff in the coming months: buying itty-bitty clothing and every adorable board book imaginable, choosing a perfect name, doing lots of squats and yoga to prepare for L&D, and rearranging almost our entire house. (Really: The only room that might remain relatively untouched is the kitchen.)
Shooting sessions may grow increasingly challenging over the next few months, but there's one major effect my pregnancy will have on the business...
It'll feel just like being back in school, maybe...except I'll have a newborn strapped to me at pretty much all times.
My due date is 10 June; for my own sanity and physical comfort, I have decided not to book any weddings later than Saturday, 14 May 2016, or approximately the last four weeks of my pregnancy. (Yes, any pre-existing affected clients have been contacted, so this should not surprise anyone!) This will allow me some time to process any and all lingering spring sessions and weddings so no one is left out to dry--and so nothing is hanging over mylikely-addled, new-mama brain--once I actually have our little bundle in my arms.
We're not booking anything again until the first weekend in September.
That's right: I'm taking the entire summer off. From 15 May 2016 to 1 September 2016 is my official Summer Baby Hiatus. I am highly change-averse at the best of times, and having a baby is one of the biggest changes one can encounter in one's life. In addition to figuring out how to keep a tiny human alive, I'll have to navigate how to keep myself alive under these vastly different circumstances. Of course, I anticipate that Michael will be endlessly patient and helpful, encouraging, and--as he always is--the best partner anyone could ask for; I'm not at all implying that I'm on my own here. Just that it will be a huge transition, and I intend to be kind to myself and my little family by giving all of us time to make it.
Here's another thing that's been on my mind a lot in recent weeks, especially as I've struggled to acclimate to super fun hormonal mood swings.
The internet is poisonous.
I love looking at everyone's pretty pictures on Instagram, and deluding myself into believing I'm keeping up with people's lives via Facebook. But social media seriously gets me down, man. I feel a distinct lack of authenticity, of honesty, of true connection in my life. Every time I scroll mindlessly through Facebook, it knocks my mood and--illogically, but truly--my feelings of self-worth and self-realization down one peg on any scale you care to imagine. I said to a dear friend recently that on the days when I keep the Facebook tab closed while I'm working or ignore social media apps on my phone while I'm out running errands, my mind, soul, and heart feel so much cleaner.
New Year's Resolutions are not my thing (although Michael says I should resolve to clean up my foul mouth this year, since...you know...kid...). However, I really think I will benefit, this year, from spending less time on social media. It makes me sad. It makes me intensely dislike people whom I don't really know that well. And, man, I am sick and tired of hearing every little piece of political invective an election year brings.
This intention may create a bit of a kink in the way I connect the business to the wider world, but I've got a whole year to work it out. And in case I haven't said this enough, I am always up for getting lunch, or coffee, or ice cream--or sipping fancy juice while you drink beer or wine...--and talking about not only weddings, but about your real lives and mine. I've never been one for pretense, sham, or shame, and I can only hope that focusing more on real connections--in person, y'all!--can help reduce the effects of those poisons in my life.
OTHER THAN THAT...
We've already got a busy fall schedule to look forward to, with only one October date still available (Saturday, 22 October--who wants it?!).
Michael finished his MBA at Duke in December, and is looking for ways to occupy his time. Just kidding: He is an inveterate project creator, and he's got to squeeze in as much video gaming as he can manage before it's baby time.
I'd welcome anyone's suggestions of their favorite maternity leggings--let me know in the comments!
Baby prep notwithstanding, my spring is looking pretty uneventful, so if anyone has any personal projects or ideas you'd like to discuss, now's the time, and you should absolutely hit me up.
And even though it only just started getting cold in North Carolina--for which I am actually grateful, as it's January, after all--I yearn for flip-flop time. My feet are swollen, and most of my shoes are not long for this world.