Never say “never”.
After we moved away from Lubbock in 2010 I said that I would NEVER move home again. I saw West Texas as a waterless wasteland and I needed to move somewhere more lush for my photography business and for my new “country living” desires. I thought I needed more trees in my life.
I was definitely looking for happiness in all of the wrong places. Little did I know that happiness isn’t found in surrounding yourself with beautiful places, but by surrounding yourself with friends and family. Community has never been more needed and important in my life.
In 2009, after experiencing major burnout from overbooking weddings and lacking boundaries in my business, I thought that a hobby would do me some good. So naturally, I bought a horse and became a cowgirl. I was boarding Revelation Song,”Rev”, at a local barn and began to dream about owning my own property with trees, trails and creeks with more farm animals. I even bought a chuck wagon cookbook, a silk scarf with a black cowboy hat and a 12 hour set of Parelli DVDs. We ended up looking for land and purchased 20 acres outside of Stillwater, Oklahoma where Josh grew up. I had never lived away from my family and was itching to experience this thing called “growing up”. Josh’s parents lived there and so it seemed like a safe place to spread my wings, but still have the safety net of family.
We moved to Stillwater for Josh to finish his degree at Oklahoma State and for us to eventually build our dream house on 20 wooded acres outside of town. Josh spent weeks clearing the land for our perfect spot in paradise to build a home and “farmstead”. Since there wasn’t even a road onto our property when we bought it, we ended up buying a fixer upper home in Stillwater and Josh completed his first full renovation at the same time he was working on the land. It was by far my favorite house out of the 4 that we had owned. Needless to say, we had a LOT going on.
We owned “Clark Forest” for about 9 months when I found out that I was pregnant and we decided that we had better put our dream on hold and focus more on our growing family, so we sold it right after Solomon was born. We moved again to a small town of 300 people when Solomon was 1 after Josh got his first teaching and coaching job. We purchased another fixer upper in the middle of this tiny town, mildly renovated it and braced myself for my first semester as a football coach’s wife. 2 weeks later we found out that I was pregnant again. Life threw me into full speed ahead as a mother and coach’s wife and I was drowning for sure!
We both had a better opportunity to support our doubling family with a move from our small town to Missouri after Silas was born. Josh took a job working for his best friend and quit teaching after his first year. Kansas City has been a dream world for me as a stay at home mom. There are parks, trails, farms, activities, museums, festivals and oh yeah, a frigid cold winter that will drain the life right out of you! I felt like I was on permanent mom vacation during the Spring-Fall here in KC, but desperately missed my family. I continued to make my trips to Lubbock with all of the kids to see my family and friends every few months. We have surely made over 30 trips there in the last 5 years, the boys have become expert travelers.
Last summer I found out that we were expecting our third son, a surprise, Samuel. It rocked my world to think of being 12 hours away from my mom and sister with three boys under the age of four while running a photography business. We started talking about moving back to West Texas last August and after deciding to stay for another 6 months we have both come to the agreement that we definitely need family support while we have all of these young babies (and start some birth control!).
We plan to relocate back to Lubbock later this Spring after Samuel is born. For all of your who are interested, yes, I am having another home birth! I guess I forgot about the pain enough to want to try it again sometime late this March.
I left Lubbock in search of happiness. I was fortunate to taste from the well of success in my early twenties and it did not satisfy that ache I had in my heart. Isn’t that what the ads, the tv shows and everyone tell you is the pinnacle of life? I became cynical and desperate when I saw that there was no meaning in success and went on a deep search for my own faith and beliefs about God. I feel like I left home empty and am returning home full and with a better understanding of the true meaning of life. It’s not in riches and success, but in faith and community.
To continue to support my young family, I will be getting back into wedding photography, and plan to take 15 weddings in the West Texas area. If you know of anyone needing a wedding, senior or family photographer in Lubbock then please let them know about me! I am thrilled to move back to my hometown and what God has in store for us next!
I’m trading in my trees and flowers for weeds and these beautiful sunsets.
To celebrate our exciting move home, I am offering a $25 off discount code for my family session (posing) guide until Valentine’s day! The promo code is “Texas” and will take $25 off of your purchase! Click HERE to purchase your 40+ page posing/directing PDF of ideas for family and children photography sessions!