Big Changes In This Season Of Life

Things have been quiet around here since I shared my first blog post in January.  More quiet than I would have liked as I created this space to share daily adventures and pictures from our lives.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to keep up with the daily pictures as well as I would have liked.  To be honest, daily life isn't always all that exciting.  It's beautiful, and fun - but not necessarily a photo opportunity.  

The winter's are the hardest around here, most days I wake up around 4:30am, put in a little behind the scenes work for my business, get ready, get the munchkin ready, and head off to work.  I leave the house around 6-6:30 every morning and typically return home around 5-5:30 in the evenings.  On the days when Zach also works, sometimes Kenna and I won't make it into the house until 6:00 that night.  

Between picking up McKenna, feeding the dogs, starting a fire in the woodburner - next thing I know it's 6:15 and time to think about dinner.  After dinner, I clean up the kitchen, fold some laundry and finally it's off to bed.  

You all know how that goes, work days can often times just be a routine.  It's OK, because that's life; we need to work to survive and it's not every day, plus winter doesn't last all year.  But this year has been exceptionally different...

Even my days off from the hospital have been filled with work, editing pictures, consultations and staying busy, busy, busy.  January was considerably challenging but we survived and February should bring with it a nice relaxing pace that I am looking forward to settling into.  

I have BIG plans for February - including getting a jump start on deep cleaning our home and reducing a lot of unnecessary clutter to re-organize and re-prioritize our lives.  But there is something else significantly BIG happening this month - and since the word is mostly out I am excited to finally share.

This change is thrilling, exciting, terrifying, and one of the most life-changing decisions I have ever made.  Two weeks ago, I finalized my decision to become a work-from-home mama.  

Three years ago, when we brought McKenna home from the hospital, I knew that I found where I should be for the next few years.  Something inside of me called me to be home with this beautiful, small gift that God had blessed me with.  However, as I mentioned earlier, we need to work to survive and I didn't exactly have any other options lined up that would allow me to make such a big change.  

Besides - I loved what I did as a nurse.  I didn't particularly love night shift at the time, but I worked hard, finished up my BSN (even with my newborn allowing me less sleep than ever before) and new options presented themselves.  I took my new position at work with the most cheerful heart and I was so grateful for this change of pace.  I was working day shift, part time, and I was able to spend more time with McKenna than I had ever hoped for. 

The change from full-time to part-time was going to be a significant impact financially, so I started my photography business - it was to be something to help financially but also something just for me that I truly enjoyed.  The only issue was - if Zach and I have one major thing in common - it's that we can't do things "half-way."  When we are dedicated to something, we give it our ALL.  That sort of dedication wasn't meshing well with my photography business, because something that was supposed to be "on the side" was quickly turning into so much more.  And my "part time" life was now filled with more work and travel than I ever anticipated.

I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.  

Around that time, I had the chance to pick up another day at the hospital, and so after much talk and a lot of praying I decided to take that opportunity.  I was now working four days a week at the hospital, I was cutting back on my photography business and we were hoping to settle into this "new change" with a smooth transition.  

However, another day at the hospital meant another day of taking Kenna to the sitters and while we obviously knew and understood this going forward - it felt much different actually going through the motions of taking her somewhere every day and seeing her even less than before.  

It's a difficult thing to explain - because I love my current job as a nurse more than I could ever have hoped for.  I love what I do and nursing is part of who I am and who I have been for the past five years.  It's something I have poured countless hours, passion, and love into.  It isn't always easy and some days are better than others, but it's a career and a part of my life I am blessed to have.

But even with a wonderful job, and a beautiful career, something still felt unsettling.  I still felt this overwhelming pull to be home - and so I started praying, hard.  That is when God brought me to editing.  I think many of you know the story from there.  I started editing in October and it grew faster than we had ever expected or predicted.  Within two months, I went from having one photographer client to having a full-time client workload.  Two months.

Self-employment is scary, risky, and a big change.  Yet, when Zach and I started talking about the possibility of me taking on this "risk" full time, it never felt like a risk for even a second.  I felt overwhelming peace about this decision and I can't explain it other than the fact that God put it there.  

It took three years of trial and error, mistakes, set-backs, failure, and learning.  And those three years have been full of the most life-changing experiences that I know God wanted me to have as he prepared me for this decision and this season of life.  

So here is to the power of prayer, the power of faith, and the power of new opportunities and this new journey in our lives.  A nurse I will forever be, and there is absolutely nothing that can change that.  For now, I still hope to continue to play a small role as a nurse and perhaps 10 years down the road, things will look much different and walking into a hospital every morning will once again be a major part of my life.  In the meantime, I am enjoying the unknown and walking in faith.

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans."  Proverbs 16:3