Summer Hearts


I send out a newsletter, and I typically don’t blog what I send in my newsletters unless I have some specials going on.  However, I really do want to share this.  I don’t talk much about myself, but thought it’s important for people to know that I struggle sometimes too. We all do.  I’m fortunate to have so many that support me! Summer helps me remember it a little more sometimes and that the little things are what make my heart full.

Hello Summer! So glad you are here! Summer is one of my favorite seasons! I am grateful for so much every day, but for now I’m thinking about summer. Summer is warm and bright. Full of color and fond childhood memories. I don’t like to complain, and if I find myself about to complain, I try to refocus my thoughts on how things could be worse.

Sure I worry and overthink- not my favorite thing about me, but I do know that the more I worry and overthink that it is not going to help my situation. I have a lot of self doubt and wonder if what I’m doing is good enough. Some days I’m in a creative rut, some days I wonder if I parented the right way, some days I wonder if sharing my passion for capturing other people’s stories and their biggest little loves is bringing them joy as much as it does me, sometimes I wonder if I am doing enough as a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend.

I often second guess myself, and will ask Joe (hubby) for his thoughts and his typical response is “don’t think about it, just do it!” He’s fast paced. Me not so much, I like to compare my options. Ten years ago, when I was scared to take the leap to start Bellies to Earth Photography, he was the one that said tomorrow we are going to the county office and getting your business license. Phew! Talk about throwing me to the wolves. I was scared because I still needed to provide for my family. This was going to be my full time job!

Well, we have made it work for 10 Years! Lots of trials and errors, some things not so successful, underestimating my worth and the feeling of giving up. It’s a roller coaster ride for sure trying to be a one lady shop, but I can honestly say I have NO regrets, and most importantly, I LOVE what I do!

Life gets busy. I really am trying to live a simpler life. Taking each day as it comes and trying not to dwell on what I didn’t get done. I miss my time with old friends, but I know in my heart, we will always pick up right where we left off. The days are fleeting with the boys, and I hate to miss out. I want to do it all, but have slowly (think YEARS of learning) learned that I can’t do it all and that’s ok. I think it’s important for the newer mamas to understand it’s ok to say no and not have every single day look like an article out of Martha Stewart. Even humans in general! No one is perfect, and everyone will have good and bad days. It’s your attitude that can make it feel worse or better.

Those who know me WELL, know I’m a very feely person and I cry at the drop of a hat! I’m also the biggest belly laugher at corny jokes. I’m happy to say it’s about 50% better- the crying part. I don’t cry over mean people anymore or that I didn’t get my workout in. I cry over Greys Anatomy, when friends/family are going through a tough time or super exciting time, or on the last day of school because I get attached to all of those special teachers who are part of our village! They DESERVE big hugs!

There are so many things that may seem small or silly, but really are the BEST things in life. For real! How could you not smile when, Bubby (son number 2-aka my little tornado), brings in a jar of creepy crawlies while he tramples in everything else from the outdoors on his dirty bare feet- some that light up (helloooo summer;)) and some that may fall into the amphibian category (think a whole family of tadpoles- brothers, sisters and long lost cousins). Some days, as a mom of boys, I wonder if I should wear my heart rate monitor- just to see how many calories I’ve burned….or in fact that my heart hasn’t stopped. I’m sure mom’s of gals will need it closer to the teenage years…I think? or perhaps they are just as much dare devils as boys are.

One thing I am grateful for is the golden summer light and seeing new and old clients (actually nope…you are my dear friends!!) during the warmer months. Love the hugs I get from you guys and hearing what’s going on in your lives. You continue to choose me to document your life stories and I am forever honored. I thought I would share one of my favorite poems with you.

A Grateful Heart

LAST night I stole away alone, to find

A mellow crescent setting o’er the sea,

And lingered in its light, while over me

Blew fitfully the grieving autumn wind.

And somewhat sadly to myself I said,

“Summer is gone,” and watched how bright and fast

Through the moon’s track the little waves sped past, —

“Summer is gone! her golden days are dead.”

Regretfully I thought, “Since I have trod

Earth’s ways with willing or reluctant feet,

Never did season bring me days more sweet,

Crowned with rare joys and priceless gifts from God.

”And they are gone: they will return to more.”

The slender moon went down, all red and still:

The stars shone clear, the silent dews fell chill;

The waves with ceaseless murmur washed the shore.

A low voice spoke: “And wherefore art thou sad?

Here in thy heart all summer folded lies,

And smiles in sunshine though the sweet time dies:

‘T is thine to keep forever fresh and glad!”

Yea, gentle voice, though the fair days depart,

And skies grow cold above the restless sea,

God’s gifts are measureless, and there shall be

Eternal summer in the grateful heart.

To all of you who are overwhelmed, unsure, or are having a bit of self doubt- just know you are enough and you are doing your best! No judgement here. Do what works for you. One day at a time. Some days are hard…really hard- it’s OK. I’ve been sharing this quote a few times in the last couple of months. It’s from a nurse at the Loudoun Birthing Inn. I don’t know her name, but she was the nurse at a birth I was capturing. She said “It’s about to get really hard, but then it’s going to get really beautiful” Wow! These words can be applied to all of life’s challenges, not just giving birth! Think of the good each day and your grateful heart will get you through to the next. XO