I couldn't think of another title for this post, as "a new life" sounds quite dramatic and probably a bit more extreme than necessary. However, a lot has changed over the past five months. (Note that I just changed three to five...this post has been lingering for err...two months.)

Samuel will be five months old next week (it's heartbreaking to think that time has gone by that quickly, by the way!). A lot has changed for me personally and professionally during that short period of time.

Here is some backstory on how this all came about and where I am now. But first, I must say that over the past year I've learned a few things that brought me to this point:

1) Nothing worth having comes easy
2) (Although it may sound corny...) You can do anything you want. There isn't a straight, one-path way to a destination. (But that is what college seems to teach you)
3) Sometimes you just need to dive in and learn to swim. You can't always be prepared. (Much to my dismay ;)
4) We never have to go through challenges, changes and journeys alone. Never.

So, here I sit at my laptop mid-afternoon. Sam is taking his afternoon snooze, the washing machine and pandora serving as my background noise, I have my hair pulled in a ponytail, complete with a  headband, a workout sweatshirt on and jeans (yes, jeans. Not yoga pants..today at least.) I'm not in my old office, because this is my new office.

That is both scary and relieving at the same time. Exciting and nerve-racking.

You see, I didn't know what I wanted to do after Sam arrived. I have never been one of those woman who just knew that they wanted to stay at home 100% of the time and raise their children. If that was you, I'm jealous of you- because you knew! In the back of my mind, I always thought I would transition my photography business to full-time once we had children, but when we found out we were expecting, I wasn't ready to make that decision or commitment. I knew flexibility was going to be imperative for us, but fear of failure kept me questioning.
Thankfully, my other work was gracious and let me have time to decide. I left my office one week before having Samuel, thinking that I would be back in some capacity.

Since Kyle has such long work hours, carrying two careers kept me happily busy. For the past two years, on top of photography, I also loved my other job.  As in loved. I learned new things everyday, my coworkers were incredible, I was challenged, pushed and encouraged. I was able to take one new, fun projects and make something out of nothing. All of which created an environment where I thrived. It was a huge blessing to me in multiple ways. (and I'm not just saying that because some of my old coworkers may be reading this ;)
I really did love my job.

Then Samuel arrived. And life changed. Drastically.

A colleague of mine had told me prior to Sam being born (two weeks before, to be exact), that when you first hold your child, it's one of the only times in life that all of your priorities perfectly align. Suddenly, you realize what is important and what isn't. He said he often thinks about when his girls were born, and how email or phone calls just didn't matter anymore. They carried no weight compared to that of your child. It's not that those things were not important, but they took a backseat.

He was right.

Then days became weeks and I stressed about this looming decision before me. It's an extremely personal decision and, truthfully, I felt pulled in all directions. I prayed about what to do. I spoke with other women who have been in similar situations. I talked to my husband, friends and family and had deep, honest conversations about my fears, potential regrets, but also my excitement.

It all became clear.

I spoke to my boss, who wished me nothing but the best as I told him I would be taking my photography business full-time so that I could have a flexible schedule in my career to care for our family. As the words came out of my mouth, I choked up. Maybe it was still the pregnancy hormones, but leaving a career for a new one and saying the words out loud made it very real. Very exciting and very scary. I would be lying if I told you that I have never questioned the decision since. I do. Often, actually. There always seems to be a little voice that encourages me to doubt rather than rejoice.

But God has been faithful in continually reminding me that this decision was and is the best for me and our family.

Now,  I change diapers and go to photo shoots in the same afternoon. I edit sessions while Sam naps. I blog in the evenings once little one has gone to sleep. When grandma comes to visit, I work on growing my business.

I thought that a balance would come right away. But, like most things in the past few months, everything is a process. It's going to take time to get an ebb and flow down and understand how to find balance in this transition. Of course, the type-A part of me wants it all to just fall into perfect place and be what in my head I imagined it would be. 5 months in...I'm only seeing glimpses of that.

Being able to spend time with my son is irreplaceable. Coming to a place professionally where I am now able to pursue what I once saw as a far away goal, is ridiculously exciting (and scary, of course!).

It's a honor and gift to be able to do both. In the days that seem long and frustrating, when I am only checking off a few things from my mile-long list, it's difficult to not look at this face and know I am right where I am suppose to be.

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