this current season…

so we’ve been living this new normal for three months now.  i wrote and erased that sentence five times there because while it is our life it still doesn’t exactly feel like home.  i think the newness has worn off and the reality has set in.  of being away from my mama.  of not having roots secured.  of feeling the beauty and the loneliness of living a country kind of life.  it is unfamiliar.  it is good.  but that doesn’t mean it is easy.  i’ve been talking to the kids here and there about “home” lately.  what it means.  how to define it to each of them.  it’s a strange thing to just pick a place for six people to put down roots, to create new memories, to grow as individuals and as a family.  and i think the best thing i have come up with is that viewing this life in seasons rather than an absolute beginning/middle/end is the best choice for my soul.  the kids are happy, there is no question.  they are so resilient and their imaginations are on fire, no matter what season i find that we are in.  but for me, inside my soul and outside our current walls, it is winter.

we arrived in this new place at the tail end of fall.  we drove into our new life so tired of transitioning and not having had a home for consistency and rest.  we arrived in a season of color and change and into a world we had never known was a possibility.  we ran free, we gathered walnuts and apples and soaked in the setting sun.  and then the leaves began to fall until the trees were bare and the apples were rotted.  instead of exploring we had to come inside and we have been hibernating in a sense.  enjoying having a house.  the possibility for naps.  the ability to cook healthy meals for my family and have a table to gather around and linger.  the baby took her first steps a few weeks back in this new house.  the roots are beginning to grow, to take hold.  but she hasn’t walked since and so we wait.  we hibernate, waiting for spring and something new that we know is coming but we aren’t quite sure what it will look like here or when it will arrive.  our wandering hearts are craving adventure again.  we went from one extreme to the other and  while we do not yearn to live on the road again, we have this thing inside of us that needs to breathe in nature to be calmed and inspired.  i am anxious for the apple and cherry blossoms to explode on our trees.  i’ve dreamed of seeing that my whole life.  but until then we make fires, we prioritize, we think and talk and create and hope that we are making the right choices every single day.

today i went and bought tulip bulbs for the first time.  i am going to plant them.  i am going to be intentional and put down roots, even tiny ones, with hope that those blooms will come up if i just do the work instead of standing still (which can be so very easy to do when things feel heavy).  no matter what life you choose, it is in the deciding every day not to let it all turn to rubble where is hope is found.

galatians 6:9 says, “and let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”    i know that even loneliness has purpose.  and if it is chasing me to His Word, i can imagine no better reason.  i am clinging to that promise  and i am clinging to my babies.  here are some pictures of life in our current season…

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Posted in our family adventures, Personal Stuff | 29 Comments

The Howard Family in a Tennessee log cabin!

if you’ve trying to find what a real happy place looks like… this is IT.  i photographed the howard family at my ‘a wildflowers workshop’ i held in leiper’s fork, tennessee in december.  i had not seen my location, moonshine hill, in person before i booked it months prior, so when i first arrived i about passed out from pure photographer bliss.  the main building was an old farmhouse just beside a pond with a wooden bridge.  and beside that was a barn, and then a log cabin up on the hill (where i photographed most of this session) that was over 100 years old as well as the most incredible treehouse i have ever seen in my life!  a giant mossy tree was growing up right through the middle and chandeliers made from bird houses hanging inside… we had walked into a storybook.  it was a cold rainy day with just a bit of snow still melting that had fallen the day before and it just felt so Christmasy and special.  the little gal in this session, quincy joy, just stole my heart.  the howards are friends of mine from way back but i had not yet met their girl and just seeing how happy and full of life they were now as a family and how unbelievably joyful quincy was, i about exploded.  i could have kissed her all day.  i wanted this session to feel like the epitome of coziness… a fire in the stove, wintery weather out the window, hot chocolate, chunky crocheted blankets, lots of vintage children’s books, wool socks and games.  since i was traveling from out of state i was so happy to have connected with elizabeth ulrich, stylist at stockroom vintage in nashville, that set up all the props for the shoot.  it was a wonderful collaboration.  working on these photos i wish i could close my eyes and be back at the cabin right now… i will forever have such dear memories in that place.

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Posted in * Family Sessions | 12 Comments

hello, i’m joy!  sunshine chaser, child of God, mama to four & wife to one good man.  we traveled all over looking for a place to call home and we found it.  we live a simple life out in the country with bare toes and happy hearts.

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