a cheerful farewell.

hello my dears. yes indeedy. this sweet stack of pastel children's novels was by far my proudest thrift store prize of the summer.now it's time for a bit of true blue honesty and a complete subject change. the last few months have been tough. i've been struggling to find a balance, as we all do from time to time. i've been contemplating + praying about this for the last 5 months and i've made a big decision.

i am saying farewell to taking a break from this little blog of mine.

with slightly slumped shoulders and a bittersweetly beating heart, i am choosing to move forward and focus not on the things i cannot accomplish, but to rejoice in what i can. you know the feeling? when you're doing 100,000 things and only doing them 50% well? i am over that. life is so, so full and i simply need to prioritize what truly, truly matters...like faith, family, home, career, and time to just relax and be in between. this blog has been a super important piece, or more appropriately a collection of pieces of my life for the past 4 years. then at some indefinable point, it became more than just a little hobby and more of a nagging responsibility, at which point the joy began to seep out and the guilt began to seep in.

this blog has carried me through so many amazing life transitions!! like moving away from the heartland, a san francisco adventure, a surprise pregnancy, a spring chicken, and a grateful passage to motherhood. which brought us back to the midwest where God led jeff to start his own tiny little photo business on the side, which quickly grew into something more. we also cozied into our very first home with a craft room for moi and a yard for the boy to flourish.

and all along, i have been so immensely blessed to meet so many beautiful friends with similar passions and enormous, Jesus-loving hearts, many of whom have challenged me to survey my own. this blogosphere is one powerful network. i have been inspired again and again and again. i've been challenged to be more authentic, more creative, more intentional; more appreciative. i gained confidence to throw parties for perfect strangers. i found utter joy in sharing my favorite little craft projects and recipes with you. i even have a little family record of birthdays, holidays, and everything wonderful that happens in between. heck, i eventually even learned how to take a decent photo.

now that we've shared some fond memories and dried our my tears, are you ready to hear the silver lining? good. because there is one.........i am jumping into this photog biz of ours wholeheartedly. i think i may have something to contribute, the foremost of which is my time. last spring i received a golden piece of advice, from an ahh-mazing mentor & colleague: make your business personal. make your blog personal.

at first this did not sit well with me at all. this is my blog, my gig...and our photo stuff is our photo stuff. that's just how it was gonna be. but after letting the whole thing marinade for awhile, God helped me realize that i'd been pretty selfish and how this whole thing made perfect, amazing sense. that's when we got serious about a re-brand/re-design, making way for this whole new chapter. it's been a long time coming.long story short, Living the Swell Life lives on (right here). i have big dreams, big plans to compose a manageable one post per week on something personal, something creative, or something inspiring amid our busy business business. funny how i am so completely at peace, yet completely spazzing about its reincarnation, and my our pretty new space. cheers to new beginnings; to wearing a photographer hat.

and no celebration would be complete without an invitation to the party. pretty please join me? hop on over, update your link, and enter a super lovely new camera strap cover giveaway
(i crafted a whole bunch, just for you)!!

see you on the flip side. but first. just one more of a coy little boy, because i love him so. so. so:


Liv said...

I am so happy that I was able to attend your party for strangers, get to know you, and learn about great places to visit. I'm excited for your business and what new things are ahead. You are the loveliest person!

bethany said...

I was wondering if one of these days you two might merge the two! It makes complete sense to do all your creative online existence in one place!

But I can still understand the emotion that comes with ending this chapter--even if its just trimming it down to a managable amount and moving it to another place...it's still a spot that's meant so very much! Sidenote: Gabe is trying to convince me just to get a complete webdesign and move from my current format...and I'm even emotional about that! :)

Living The Swell Life was the very first blog I ever read...and four years later, I will still wholeheartedly say that it is my favorite. :) For me, it was the first blog that made me feel that I, too, could be a creative girl...and reaching waaaay back into my mind 3.5 years ago, I believe it was the reason I started my own blog. I always left your blog feeling refreshed and inspired and encouraged. And I thought that if I could feel even 1/10th of that by trying to see my own life through a more documented, creative eye...I might be a much happier girl. And I am! So thank you so much for all the inspiration you've shared in this space, and for opening up your life to everyone!

Anyway, I'm blathering. And I'm not trying to write a eulegy to Living the Swell Life. :) But I'm just sayin', it has been lovely. And I am so excited for everything that is to come for you and Jeff in the photog world! :)

Jen said...

Congratulations on having the wisdom to let a door close and the bravery to actually do it. It's been lovely following your blog this summer and I wish I'd discovered it sooner. Will follow over at Jeff Loves Jess and enjoy all those lovely images. Enjoy your swell life and family, no regrets!

Kelly said...

I completely understand! Now that I'm pregnant with our second one, I am struggling with keeping all the balls in the air. Good for you for making the decision that is right for you and your family. I've enjoyed your posts and projects...best wishes!

Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing your life with me through your blog for the past couple of years! Good for you for taking the steps you need to take for you. It's not easy! I think a lot about ending my own blog. Totally hear you on the nagging responsibility! Anyway, thank you, and please know that you've touched many readers-- even if we're just lurkers!

Sharon said...

So happy that you are choosing to focus on what's most important in your life, but I will miss being inspired by you here!

I'll be looking up your photog site because we just might need some new family pics taken in the next few months!

Cassie said...

Living the Swell Life was one of the very first blogs I read nearly three years ago and I have found so many more through your wonderful posts and followers. I will be sad to see you leave but excited to follow your new adventures over on your photo site and with such fond memories of here. xx

Anonymous said...

I love that you made the right decision for you even though it sounds like it took a lot of thinking + prayers to get there. It's all about what works for you, Jeff, and G -- all of you are going to gain so much from this change.

With that being said, I'll miss Living The Swell Life! You, along with Bethany were the very first ones who introduced me to the wonders of blogging. And, honestly I can't thank you enough for it! I will come back when I need recipes, pretty pictures, and diys!

Will follow you over, Jess, at the Swell Life! :)

casey said...

I FULLY understand your place. and many days wonder why i even blog too. i know you won't regret it! and congrats on all the photo business. great stuff!

Andrea and Laura said...

sad, i will miss you and your fun fun blog! glad you are making the right decision for your family, hope to see you around!

Anonymous said...

Aww congratulations on your new journey, together! It's always family that matters first and foremost and so happy that you have taken that step and of course will be updating my link with the new one!

Chelle said...

I a confession. Once I read the title to this post, the tears immediately welled up in my eyes and I could not make myself read further, until today.
That being said, I am so excited to continue reading over in your new/joint space. You guys have been blowing me away over there. You are so insanely good! And I love that you make such an amazing team. God bless you entirely today, my sweet + beautiful friend. xo