Thursday, January 29, 2009

cousins are the best

jonah with his cousin katarina. can you tell neither of them mind having their picture taken?

the photo lean...

oh kat! you're so fun!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

finding my path

i feel like God has really been blessing me lately. we've had this really good thing going and it's just been amazing... and refreshing. it's not all perfect and sunshine and roses all the time, but over all things are just going really well right now.

i'm feeling peace in the midst of busyness. the pieces seem to be falling fairly easily into place with my whole business relaunch thing. i'm taking time consistently to read and study on my own even without an assignment... which is something new for me. my relationships are rich and growing. i'm feeling relaxed about the direction my life is heading and i think a lot of it has to do with proverbs 3:5-6...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.

i read this verse a couple weeks ago in my daily Bible reading (on january 11th to be exact) and i actually wrote it on a post it note and stuck it to my bathroom mirror as a reminder to trust God. it is such a great reminder that if i just leave my future in God's hands i don't have to worry about the direction i'm heading or trying to control any of it. it's been so freeing.

and i know that soaking in this verse for the past couple of weeks is just where i'm supposed to be because God keeps on confirming it. earlier this week i got a note... yes, a real live snail mail paper and pen note from a friend of mine.

the front of the note card was printed with this quote: "i don't have to figure out why or how or when. God has a plan, and i'm committed to it. that commitment frees me from having to worry about the details." -barbara johnson

and inside my friend wrote "...i pray He will continue to make your path straight so you can focus on living life with Him & enjoying."

and it's funny as i was writing this blog entry jeremy camp's song 'open up your eyes' came on...

And the time has come to realize
And see the plan you've been designed for
So face the fear of all unknown
And see the heart inside
So open up your eyes
So open up your eyes

Throw yourself aside
and hear the gentle cry
Of the voice of peace that gave up all to fill the void inside

Give away the fight,
release your foolish pride
the very bond is broken down you need to leave behind

...ok, so jump forward a few hours. i started writing this entry last night. saturday night. and i went to bed before finishing it. well this morning we went to church and guess what? we sang a song i'd never heard before and just guess what the lyrics were?!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

i'm not really sure if a message gets any more loud and clear and in your face than that!

i'm trusting, LORD. i'm trusting. sometimes i don't understand, but i'll trust you.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

update on the illuminate relaunch

ok folks, i have some exciting stuff going on over here! i don't even know where to start. i've moved my illuminate relaunch date back to march 7th... a significant date for multiple reasons. i feel like using bullet points today so here's why march 7th is so awesome in neat and tidy bullets...

  • it's faith's 4th birthday (she was born in 2005)
  • it's the date i quit my "real job" at aramark in 2007 after we had jonah so i could stay home with him (he was 6 months old)
  • and now 2 years later (2009) it will be the date of my business's relaunch! so exciting!
wow, i'm seeing a something-exciting-happens-every-2-years on march 7th theme here.

and since i'm so into bullet points tonight we'll just continue with this theme...

i feel like i have SO much to do before my big go date in 43 days from today! but i'm feeling quite a sense of accomplishment as i looked back tonight over everything i've already done since the beginning of the year...
  • got an EIN number
  • joined the PPA
  • officially became an LLC!
  • opened business checking & savings accounts
  • got a business credit card
  • hired a CPA
  • got organized! yay! you should see my neat and tidy binder and file drawer. it almost makes me swoon with happiness.
  • handled all of my tax paperwork
  • got set up to be able to accept credit cards
  • set up a fedex account with a nice discount through the PPA
  • set up an office max account for some nice discounts, again through the PPA
  • and my big exciting news for today... i hired a graphic designer to design my logo! (which btw i looooooove! thank you brooke!) i can't wait to unveil it... soon, very soon!
things still on my to do list before 03.07.09...
  • complete & turn in my application for equipment insurance
  • complete & turn in my application for liability insurance
  • write out a business plan and a marketing plan (including client perks)
  • update my portfolio with new images
  • revamp my website with new logo and colors
  • possibly get a flashy new flash site for more wow factor
  • figure out (and this is a big one) who all of my product suppliers are going to be and what products i am going to offer
  • order samples of said products with my updated portfolio images
  • contact past clients to find out if they would like to order any of these products that i find so i could see them and photograph them
  • figure out my new package pricing and what's all included
  • figure out and order packaging, postcards, new business cards, moo stickers and other marketing materials
  • figure out an email marketing program/website to sign up with and import my client database; design exciting relaunch email newsletter thingy
  • set up website analytics
  • oh yeah... and take care of a 2 year old and not forget who i'm married to and continue with my Bible in a year reading program (which 23 days into the year i am still keeping up with - yay!) and of course all of the other fun stuff i do in my regular everyday clark kent life
i'm feeling quite ambitious. ok, well i it's 12:43am and i should probably get to bed, so i'm just going to leave you with one little sneak peek clue about my new business identity...

here goes. are you ready?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

my brother was on the news

don't worry. he didn't get arrested.

apparently marmion academy (where my brother goes to high school)'s soccer team is awesome and they went to Brazil and were on the news.

Watch more Voxant Newsroom videos on AOL Video

my dad sent me a link to the news story and i captured this shot from the video. tony's the one looking really smart and interested in the lesson in the back. what an actor! way to go, uncle tiger!

here's more on the story...
Dear Friends,

The Marmion Academy Soccer Team’s 2007 trip to Brazil was featured on the NBC-Channel
5 program, “Sports Sunday Live” on Sunday, January 11, 2009.

Sports reporter Peggy Kusinski was on the Marmion campus during the week of January
5, 2009 to complete the story begun last spring. Ms. Kusinski interviewed a number
of Marmion soccer players along with Head Coach Kevin O’Connor about their trip and
the work the team did with several Brazilian orphanages.

In case you missed is a link to view the feature on the Marmion Soccer


John K. Milroy

Sunday, January 11, 2009

let me draw you a diagram

jonah playing with his new easel from aunt leah. chalkboard on one side...

dry erase board on the other...

"here thomas, i'm drawing you a choo choo track. see!"

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

regrouping -- reorganizing -- rediscovering -- relaunching

that is my goal for january. for my life. for my biz. just all around. for all of 2009 actually.

i want to tap into the things i love this year. i don't want my packed calendar to run my life. i took two weeks off of everything at the end of december and i feel refreshed and refocused. i still have a long way to go, but i feel like i'm getting there.

one of my 2009 goals is to read through the Bible this year. day 6 and i'm still going strong. i've spent a lot of time over the past 6 years doing Bible studies and going to church and listening to messages and reading books, but i've never read the whole thing cover to cover. i started a couple years ago, but i quickly fizzled out. i think i got bogged down in the old testament. so i found this great new Bible in a year version where you read some OT and some NT and a psalm and a couple proverbs every day. it's a cool format. it's working for me. i'm excited!

the goal i'm quite focused on right now is my business relaunch. in the past few weeks i: 1) got an EIN number, 2) joined the PPA (professional photographers of america), 3) sent in my application to officially become an LLC, 3) opened a business checking account, 5) bought a book about "building your photography business", and 6) hired a CPA (after reading the book). all in that order.

i still have to get all of my tax stuff figured out, but i'm feeling quite accomplished at this point. i officially own my own official business. (that's a lot of own-ness and official-ness). it's so crazy.

next on my list is creating a new logo, new branding, and a revamped website. i'm working on developing my business plan, a marketing plan (which will include lots of client perks) and i want to get more focused on my blog as part of my marketing/communication. also thinking through how to incorporate facebook and sites like that. lots of exciting stuff coming up!

over this past year i've been learning so much about myself professionally and personally. it was kinda a crazy year, but i feel like i've come so far. with my business i feel like i've learned A LOT through trial and error and also by getting feedback from all of my wonderful clients and from my amazing and encouraging friends. i'm honing my skills. i'm realizing the value of spending time on my business and putting my clients first, and not just on taking photographs. i'm figuring out who i am and what my style is. so i'm taking this month to regroup and i'll hopefully be relaunching the new and improved illuminate photography on february 1st.

stay tuned!

Monday, January 05, 2009

possibly tested on elves and snowmen, but...

in case you have no idea what i'm talking about, check out the 4th thing on the list. this was on the back of my new method hand soap. i peed a little.

...never tested on reindeer. bahhh!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

jonah's 1st symphony

at the ripe ol' age of 27... months.