September 3, 2019
July 2000, a ten (almost 11) year old little girl was listening to the radio somewhere in Pennsylvania while on summer break and heard this song for the first time.
Little did that double-digit midget know how the title of a Tim McGraw song would play into her life 19 years later.
For whatever reason, I have spent the better part of the last five years dreading the “I’m closer to 30 than 20, now!” fact. When, instead, I should have been embracing this adult milestone.
My last 30 years saw many accomplishments, but it’s my next 30 that I’m truly excited about. After all, where I go is all my doing.
My first 30 years experienced a lot of growth, achievements, two graduations, the beginning of a marriage, and the start of my beautiful family. I certainly can’t forget to mention – my business has evolved into something that I truly never dreamed of.
By the end of this wedding season – number EIGHT, I’ll have spent 144 wedding days with couples. I just spent the better part of 20 minutes looking back on those eight seasons and the growth that I just saw was indescribable!
While my technique is pretty refined, I’m excited to see how my business grows in other ways. I’m excited to meet more couples. To photograph the start of their marriage. And especially excited to provide them with art that they’ll treasure for the rest of their lives. Art that will be passed down to their children, and hopefully their children’s children.
I have big dreams of starting other businesses. I want to own a wedding venue! Can you imagine a venue that was built by a wedding photographer and the thought that would go into every detail?! Windows would be placed just right for those getting ready photos. Hooks would be strategically located for epic dress photos. DJs wouldn’t have to worry about setup. Josh and I already have our business plan done, now we just need to find the courage to start the hard stuff – talking to investors.
I want to start a virtual assistant company that hires single mothers and stay at home moms – giving them the chance to provide for their family while still raising their babies. In turn, the creatives that hire these VAs will have more time and freedom in their lives to spend with their families! That’s a win-win in my book if you ask me!!
Instead of attending my graduations these next 30 years, they’ll be Charlotte’s (and maybe a sibling’s – if she allows me to forget how dang difficult she is as a toddler!), the start of her own marriage, and maybe even a grandchild!
Josh and I will have plenty of memories with Charlotte as she continues to grow and learn new things. We have many summer nights ahead of us teaching her how to ride a bike and swim without floaties. I envision the driveway covered in flowers and hopscotch thanks to chalk. Plenty of nights spent with the cousins, and of course – at MiMi’s playing with the horses.
Somewhere in these next 30 years, there will be a puppy under the Christmas tree, and tickets to Walt Disney World another year. We’ll have 30 more December 1st’s to celebrate Charlotte. I imagine slumber parties with lots of pillows and blankets on the basement floor and giggling girls smashing on chips and dip.
I’m excited for weekend trips with just my husband. Time for us to reconnect as husband and wife. It’s in these next 30 years that we’re going to mark off more ballparks! Chicago, New York, Boston – my top three happening in the next five years!
I’m opening up a savings account for our 10 year anniversary trip! It might not be Bora Bora, but I’ll be damned if we’re in the US for that trip! We’ll combine our 25th anniversary with Josh’s retirement to a three week trip to Europe. This girl will see the Beaches of Normandy, and walk through the historic landmark that too many people were murdered at – just because of their religion. Auschwitz. As a former history teacher, this tragic landmark has been on my travel bucket list since I was in 6th grade.
I want to spend more time reading books. I want to plan more weekend trips. I want to learn to journal more. I want to learn to slow down. I want to learn to love my body – the imperfections and all. I’m ready for more contentment in my life and fewer things. And good Lord – I’m ready for no debt. No student loans, no credit cards.
The end of a decade has come. I’m ready for this new start! I have much in my life to be thankful for – a loving husband that provides for Charlotte and I (so damn well – I might add), a thriving business, a healthy family, loving friends. At the end of the day, there’s not much else a girl could ask for.
I hope you’ll continue to join along on the fun!
Family photos photographed by Kelly Roberts with Balsam and Blush