Dear internet, you make me feel bad. Mostly. Sorta.

This post has been rolling around in my head for days.  I tend to get stuck in my own head with thoughts and then a tiny flicker of an idea becomes a beast, a roaring wildfire that spreads too quickly and too far and I don't know how to contain it once again. 

Here's my attempt at containing the wild.  It goes something like this.  I feel like I'm constantly participating in a game of tug-of-war with the internet, playing a game of "I love you, I love you not" day in and out.  On the one hand, this whole social media vibe that has swept the entire world literally brings the world right to our fingertips.  I think of favorite bloggers, sites like Airbnb, cooking blogs, Pinterest, and Instagram with all the heart eyes.  I like them a lot! And Google?  Such a fave of mine. 

But then I think of things like the conversation I had with one of my dearest friends recently.  She was talking about a struggle of hers that dealt with comparison and then started to say "It's just..." and I finished her sentence "social media.  I am writing a blog post in my head called "Dear internet, you make me feel bad." We both laughed and it eased the moment a bit.  We then started trading stories about how seemingly perfect the internet world can look while we stand with our noses to the window, peering in at the size 2's, the constant date nights other couples are getting, the insta-worthy meals, the perfectly posed kitchen with just the right props and subway tile. 

We can feel so less. 
When in real life, my world is SO more.  A huge portion of my real life friends, community, church, and creative life never even make it to social media. 
I immediately told my friend that without even giving it too much thought as to why, being away from social media and my phone simply makes me feel better. 
When my phone is tucked away, my anxiety is less. 
When I only pop in on FB to use for email and not for scrolling, my anxiety is WAY less. 

Do I really think that everyone (including myself) on the internet is trying to look perfect and make others feel bad?  No, I don't.  I just think we must be responsible users of social media, popping in every now and then for fun, but not letting it become our full-time sustenance. 

I am just as guilty of only posting the rosy as anyone else though.  My reasoning? Looking through a rose-colored lens is how I get out of my own head and my own way.  I have an INFJ personality that is prone to BIG feelings and being stuck in my own head, often times believing things that aren't even true about myself and my world. Taking the camera out and photographing my world and yours, is like opening a window and peeking my head way out, letting the sun soak deep into my skin.  It reminds me what IS true in this world, where God IS at work.  

This is where my hyper-sensitive feelings come into play though.  I too, often worry that others will peek into my squares and be fooled.  That they'll think I'm perfect, that my life is easier than theirs, that I'm holding up a bar in which they'll never measure.  I assure you, that is not my intent.  And certainly not my reality. 

This internet debate, to participate or not, has been on my mind a ton.  I have been so misunderstood in the past year on more than one occasion, because people felt they knew the whole me, the entire me, just from reading my blog.  My blog is lovely, but it's like flipping through a magazine of my life.  It's not the novel of my life.  I heard Nicole Nordeman on a podcast this week, address this very issue, of whether to "internet" or not.  She too, struggles with it.  She explained that with her music she pretty much HAS to participate because that's the medium people use to spread the word about concerts, new albums, etc.  these days.  It might be something you don't prefer, but it is the vehicle of choice for the modern-day artist.  That's where people find you, via social media!

That's where I'm torn.  I want to share my photography and art form and words and I even want to write a book! To do all that, I do have to use social media or else how will anyone hear of what I'm up to?  If I sit at home and never share another photo, would that be ok with me?  Sorta,  except for I truly LOVE capturing your families.  I truly, truly do and I pray for my clients and reach to grow.  I do think each of us has a light (just like you see in the photo above) that our world around us needs.  If we shut up, quiet down, and close up shop, how will the others around us be affected? What ripple affect will occur if we silence our influence, whether that comes through social media or not?  

What I know for sure is this:
God has given me a mission to help others see the rosy in their own beautiful, broken world.  I think social media plays a tiny part in using my voice for this good. 

No one's life is as good as it looks on social media.  I just don't believe it.  Everyone lives a complicated, slightly messed up version of what you think they're actually living.  I don't think we were EVER meant to share as much as we do on the computer, just my old-school opinion. 

I am happier, calmer, and feel so much better when I drastically limit my social media use.  I know limiting it also makes me anxious and wonder if I'll be lost in the shuffle when I finally do post and will anyone notice my photography or move on to someone better who posts more often, and all these ridiculous questions and things that DON'T REALLY MATTER.  They don't. 

Here's what matters to me more than anything: 
Loving Jesus. 
Loving people. 

So internet, you make me feel bad.  More often than you should. 
Which means I can choose if I want to feel bad and participate in you or not, or at least choose how much I want to participate. I choose "not" most of the time. And my moods and headspace is happier for it and thanks me. 

And I don't serve you Internet. I serve God and He was here before the term "social media" was ever coined and He was certainly here when I was formed as a tiny, rose-colored glasses wearing baby and toddler and child, and He'll still be here until the very end for me.  My fate and destiny and happiness and joy don't lie in the hands of social media. 

They lie in the spirit of God that wakes me, moves me, sustains me, and stills me. 

Watch with glittering eyes.

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.  Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." 
-Roald Dahl

Reminder: Book your photo session now to save!

Reminder: book your photo session by Friday to save! $25 off a farm session or $50 off an in-home session where I capture your daily rhythm and routine. It is with rosy eyes I view my world, my client’s world, and capture moments of raw beauty, true emotion, deep joy, and the story that is imperfectly perfect to each of our unique lives. 

Pajama Party!

One of the greatest delights in Anna starting kindergarten this year have been the birthday party invites.  I don't think I realized before the school year the importance these simple gatherings would have for both Anna and I.  It is from hanging around a table of cake and balloons that I have made friends with the other moms in the class and friendships have quickly been formed in Anna's world too.  She has a summer birthday so we decided to celebrate early by having a pajama and donut party at the house with all the girls from her class. 

I loaded the table up with donuts, star confetti, and the cutest tableware from Target!  The girls all came in their favorite pajamas and started to chow down. 

Afterwards the girls made dream-catchers, which I think the moms enjoyed just as much as the kids!
This is definitely me in my happy place. 

Present time! 

We ended the party with a unicorn piƱata and playtime in the yard! 
The girls had such fun at this easy party and I had such fun preparing for it! 

Friendships, celebrations, parties, and decorating fill my fun cup up. 

GIVEAWAY time! Enter to win a farm photo session!

(iPhone snap, courtesy of my five-year old)

Happy Monday friends! I am in my complete happy place.  The sun was out all weekend long, our house was filled with friends, the birds have so much to say, and last night Brett and I did some star-gazing for a backyard date.  You all know this time of year is just simply my favorite.  

I'm extra excited this morning because we're going to have a giveaway! A very giving, gracious friend of mine (who wishes to remain anonymous) sent me the sweetest text last week, wanting to purchase a photo session from me so that I could then in turn, give it away to someone on the blog or IG.  You all, isn't that just golden? 

And lucky you!  One of you will win a photo/film session on the farm!  
The session could be used for your entire family, 
for just you,
for you and a group of your girlfriends,
just for your kids,
for you and your husband,
or whatever else your story may be! 

To enter: 
Leave a comment here telling me who you'd bring to the photo session! 
You may also enter on my IG post (if you don't follow me already I'm "therosylifeblog") 
and on my FB post as well!  One entry per social media site please. (So one entry for the blog, one for IG, and one for FB) I'll write each entry down on paper and have one of my girls choose a winner!  

Giveaway ends Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. and a winner will be announced later that night! 

It's time to book spring and summer photo shoots!

Friends, it is with much excitement that I get to tell you it's time to book your spring and summer photo shoots!  Photography is such a golden gift to me.  Picking up my camera silences the noise around me, calms my pounding heart, and helps my eyes focus in on the little bits of magic and light and love tucked into everyday moments.  

Photography and seeing the world not as it looks from first glance, but for what it is under the surface and in the cracks and hidden places, has been my heart beat and the super power I tackle the world with.
 A Rosy Life photo shoot won't feel styled, stiff, or stuffy.  Is there anything more nerve-wracking than trying to show up on time to a photo shoot, everyone's moods, outfits, and hair top-notch?!
Instead, I'll calmly get down close to your kids and look them in the eyes and visit with them, letting them see how my camera works.  I'll wander with your family, letting our conversation naturally flow, smiles and tears traded.  I'll laugh with you and your girlfriends, best friends sharing memories and moments and silliness.  I'll lean in close while you whisper truth to your loved ones.  I'll watch as your family prepares Saturday morning breakfast, hands wrapped tightly around coffee mugs, stacks of pancakes steaming.  I'll find and capture the beauty that fills your sweet, everyday life-beauty that you might have even walked past a dozen times. 

All of this is what I capture. The photos that make my heart truly ache with longing and remembrance aren't the styled shoots where my girls wore perfect outfits and we all smiled at the same time with everyone's eyes open.  Instead, they are the photos where I simply watched life unfold before me and let my girls (and clients!) actions, facial expressions, body language, and words tell a story naturally.  

 The heart of my photography sessions are candid, lifestyle shots. 
I offer two types of sessions, one taking place on my farm and one taking place in your home.  

For farm sessions think: a creek to play in, flowers to roam in, and space to play.
For in-home sessions think: your natural, weekend routine within the comfort of your own home, being captured by me. 

The farm sessions last a bit over an hour and in-home sessions last several hours. 
Another extra-special component of a Rosy Life shoot? 
In addition to receiving all finished images on a flash drive, each client will also receive a short film of our time.  For film examples, please click "Films" at the top of the page.  You can also find additional photo shoot details, as well as pricing, by clicking "Photography Session Info." above.

Have questions or are ready to book a session?
Email or message me on FB or IG! 
I look forward to telling your story well.

I'm still standing!

Hi Rosy friends! I'm baaaaaack! With Elton John's "I'm still standing" going through my mind I might add.  I'm not feeling near as perky as I sound this morning.  Spring has decided with it being May and all it would go ahead and show up in Arkansas.  But not just show up, show up AND out if you know what I mean.  I could scrape the pollen off my back deck table with a knife and there would still be plenty left to go around.  My eyes are feeling #allthefeels but my mind is saying "Yay!!" because at least we have crossed over the threshold into farm days and nights, garden talks and walks, and adventuring our way into the weekends instead of being tucked inside. 

First things first, you may have noticed a slight change when you came to the blog.  I made a new home page that you'll be automatically directed to when you come to my regular blog address.   From there you can easily click on "blog" or some of the other categories, like photo sessions.  I must also add that my laptop died (completely) about two weeks ago.  It was right about the time when we were packing our little one up, and didn't even catch me by surprise.  Of course, my laptop (full of notes from the last season, photos, etc.) would decide to be done just as our last season was done. I had the thing 10 years and it was a very good run.  

I have truly enjoyed this mini break from social media, as one does.  Trust me, if you haven't tried it, go for it. I said just the other day that I wondered how I had ever posted on IG 2 to 3 times a day.  It makes my extroverted introvert heart start to panic just thinking of it.  Y'all, I ADORE an IG story.  I have my faves and watching is my treat after a productive day.  But I just don't think this gal (umm, that's me I'm referring to) has it in her to be one of these mega-branded IG and blogger rockstars.  Instead, you'll have to settle for real life me.  

Real life me means that I'm showing up in this space again extra motivated to show all the sides and stories of my life, not just the pedestal ones. (Pedestal: losing 20 pounds.  Real-life: gaining some back and learning loving myself isn't about the number on the scale. I'm almost 35 and STILL learning!)  You guys, someone recently said to me "I bet you're one of those moms who doesn't just feed their kids spaghetti and tacos." Ummm, what?! I immediately set the record straight and said "You're right.  We don't just do spaghetti and tacos.  We also do pb and j."  Insert laughing emoji here!   I just get so tickled (most days) about the tomfoolery that goes on in "screen world."  I don't know about you, but I don't need another perfect looking house, body, exercise routine, meal, or photo to mess with my mind.  I do need, however, some real girls and women who are doing their best and will throw in the imperfect with the perfect.  Y'all, these types of people are simply my FAVORITE.  My absolute favorite.  Can you laugh at yourself?  Let's be friends.  Do you adore comedy that pokes fun at regular life?  Let's be friends too.  I'm thinking stuff like Jim Gaffigan comedy, Melissa Radke or Candace Payne on IG, The Office.  

A lot of change has occurred for us in the past few weeks, mainly with getting our little one moved to their new home. What a saving grace humor has been! I have made multiple people cry just by telling them this news-the dentist, the cashier at Natural Grocers, the best friend I've had since birth.  I only bring that up because if you know me well, you know I befriend those in my regular community, whether they be the grocery clerk, the lovely lady working at Target (Hi Clarissa!), or the neighbor that walks by regularly.  It has been so wonderful to be able to answer honestly the past few weeks when those around me have asked how we're doing.  

We're doing pretty well by the way.  I can only let the memory of our little one sit in my brain for about five seconds though before the tears jump back into my throat.  My, how we pray for them.  I want to say this though, we knew this was part of the process.  And if we can do it, so can you.  I'm still hearing "I just don't think I could foster and then give a child up." But you could. 

You. Could. 
Because we have.  And I'm still one of the most sensitive people I know.  And I'm still standing! We are settling into a new routine, and over the next few months I look forward to sharing a variety of things on the blog again. Both the perfect AND the imperfect.  Have something you'd like to see on the blog? Let me know! I will gently remind you that while my heart aims to share all sides of life, my "medicine", super-hero power, and tool for life is to look hard for the rosy.  So you will always see a good dose of achingly beautiful photos here, but it doesn't mean my life is perfect.  It is with this view however, that I'd love to capture your own real life beauty.

Come back tomorrow for information on spring and summer photo shoots! 

The rosy in my real life!

Hello friends! I'm here for another edition of "rosy in my real life!"  I tried to number these and do one for every week o...