Fall Is Here!

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The last three months have been filled with more stress than I like to admit. Between unpacking boxes, networking, rebuilding my business and getting things established for the kids, I would say the slower pace of fall was definitely needed around here.
We got our first cool front this week and it has been bliss.
I leave the door open all day. I sit and sip my coffee slower. I bought all the pumpkin candles. Basically, it’s my favorite. All the smells and fun family activities are so nostalgic to me- and with the kids getting older, it’s been so much more important to me that they get to experience all the things I remember and love about the season.
Even more so now that we are so far from our family.
There is a little local farm stand that I pass often, and I decided it was the first stop on my fall bucket list. We explored, touched all the pumpkins, and then had ice cream (Blue Bell of course, cause Texas)
I’m looking forward to experiencing fall in Tuscaloosa. I’ve heard there is an actual color change (and I squealed a little, I won’t lie…)
I don’t have anything inspirational or enlightened to share today. Just babies and fall. Enjoy!

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Sweet Home Alabama

The area now known as Tuscaloosa County was discovered in 1540 by troops of Hernando DeSoto. The name Tuscaloosa is derived from the Choctaw Indian chief Tushkauloosa, which, literally translated, means “Black Warrior.” The Black Warrior River is the most important river in the area. It is an essential link in Alabama’s inland water system, which is larger than any other state waterway system in the country.
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Ya’ll…moving stinks. Hard.
But, we are making it. We are here and like the river, we keep flowing and carving out a space for ourselves wherever the current takes us. Barry is busy at his job, and everything is out of boxes. The house is as decorated as it is going to be, though we definitely need more furniture and of course more canvas (because who can ever have too many canvases hung on their walls?). It feels like home and I really like our new house.

The behind the scenes stuff has been slowly wearing on me. I have been working hard on getting doctors, therapies, schools and your standard living day-to-day things set up. You don’t think about how much there is to do just to live until you have to make it all new all over again.
And moving a photography business? Well, let’s just say that I have been pushed and challenged in ways I never anticipated when I started this hobby seven years ago.

I stand by what I felt at the start of this journey- this is a good thing for us. It really has been. The kids are happy. The school Eli is going to is wonderful and inclusive. I’m networking and making new friends. My business has been taken to the next level.
Yet, I am still sad. I am still struggling. Each time I plug in here, I feel I am unplugging something in Houston. There are days I don’t think about it or all the changes or all the things I am far away from. Some times it doesn’t feel real. And then there are days it’s so hard to even get out of bed. I feel raw and vulnerable. My responsibilities call to me and I have to get up and get connected. It helps to have to do that. To make my bed every day. To network for my business and make new friends.
Tuscaloosa has been good to us so far but it’s asked a lot too. For me to be intentional and authentic. To choose friendships carefully. To push for what my children need. To take my business from hobby to career.
Slowly, I feel T-town refining me and teaching me. Slowly, I find myself wanting to embrace it- to lay back and float on the gentle river.
On the bad days, I will let myself hide in my bed and feel sad…so I can make room for the good days.

So, I guess that is the update for now. Besides the typical back-to-school-germs our house is passing around, and getting some things in place for Ruby, this is where we are at.
I will be here, warrioring on. Fighting for myself and for my family, wherever we are and whatever the river brings.

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Alabama Dirt

IMG_1529One of the first things I noticed about Alabama was the red dirt. Not initially. I was too busy trying to find things about here that I didn’t like. That first visit was so full of emotions…it was honestly a good trip but I came home feeling more sad and empty.
When we officially moved here, I noticed some construction by our new house, and immediately the red clay dirt caught my eye. How could it not? It’s so stunning. Especially in the heat of the summer against the deep greens of the wooded area that surrounds our home.
Naturally I wanted to go play😉
I can remember playing in the dirt as a child. Wyatt is my little dare devil- he is all boy. I don’t know who teaches them these things…but he just loves all things dirt and silly and messy and fun. I found a little spot while out driving, and we swung by there one evening just for the fun of it.
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These pants are big brother’s. The suspenders were worn last year for a family session- he’s grown into them! Last year they were so loose and falling off. We had to pin them up and keep messing with them. Not on this day! My how he has grown🙂

So I guess this is my first official session here in Alabama.
I finished all my Houston sessions today…now the real adventure begins?
And like Wyatt- I’m ready to get dirty and play.