In the Beginning...

This year was an absolute internal roller coaster for me. Between the crippling waves of fear, guilt, and worry, and all of the changes taking place behind the social media scene, I really struggled to keep my head in the game for much of the time. Gratitude was not part of my daily vocabulary. Instead I spent a lot of time focused on what I didn’t like, what wasn’t working, how I was coming up short and how scared and frustrated I felt at every turn. Rather than embracing the changes with faith and curiosity, I instead fought them with a whole lot of fear and stress.

Sometimes you’re at the top of the mountain, celebrating the incredible view and then other times you’re so deep in the forest that you can’t see the stars. This year I spent more time in the forest than I needed to. Looking back, I can see that it was because I just spread myself too thin. Booking one more portrait session here and one more this weekend, all along trying to juggle everything else. With my final newborn session of 2015 behind me.... I finally feel like I can breathe again.

So this year as some of you may know, in August, I got a job teaching middle/high school science, and I love it! I am teaching at a small private school that just feels like home and the small classes make for more teaching and less grading than at a public school. Also, not being scared about saying anything "religious" is beyond amazing actually planning each lesson with some biblical message or verse has been sort of a challenge yet has truly helped me grow personally as well.
 
A Little Background Information:
In 2005, when I was 19 years old my mom allowed me to take an aptitude test down in Dallas, TX. After many tests we received a packet that had suggestions of kinds of work they suggested based on my aptitude pattern. My suggestions were teaching and small specialty business especially something using my hands. 

Teaching at an incredible small private school and having the extra planning period to get school work done at school has allowed me to spend some great quality time with Bristol in the afternoons. These afternoons have been spent visiting my grandparents much more which I am so grateful. It's at my Pop's and Nana's many childhood memories and where I believe my love for all things nature and science began. Many days spent gardening, digging up doodle bugs, bottle feeding calfs, sorting seeds, picking up pecans, cooking, and playing in the dead of summer in the freezing cold well water. All this has formed me into the person I am today and following a dream I've had for quite some time.  

Following your dreams is scary. At least it is for me. I have with much heel digging and many long conversations and prayers later have decided to start a new business venture that will encompass my first love and degree - science, outdoors, working with my hands, research, and photography. 

So,  my grandparents loaned me the small 2 acres to plant and in this tiny window of quiet space which brings back so many memories and so much joy! I have started Gilbert Creek Gardens which is a sustainable cut flower farm. I did some test plots this year (2015) and added some nutrients to the soil as my grand father only always planted wheat for the bottle calfs. I got connected with the Crumpler Brothers Horse Ranch and loaded up with manure and started composting plots. Getting tractor lessons from my 93 year old pops, and I asked if I could take a picture and he said, "are we taking a selfie!" I almost fell off the tractor laughing so hard but that day will be a memory I will cherish all my days.

I have found that gratitude has been returning due to days like that and not taking time for granted. A great friend of mine said, "you won't regret spending time with your grandparents" AND "don't leave anything unsaid" and I have truly taken this to heart. 

Even though this was one of the toughest years with the emotional roller coaster I felt like I was on, I am so incredibly grateful for all of the abundance that surrounds me - the abundant love from my family, the abundant support from my friends, the abundant beauty that overflows from every corner of my life. I mean have you seen my daughter? 

Going forward into 2016, I am working on taking a new approach to the business journey. I’ve still got some serious work to do, to get back to a place of daily gratitude and faith in the bigger plan. But with more days spent digging in the dirt I can feel it slowly and steadily returning. I am not sure of what this year holds but I do know I have a plan with putting my family first and getting back to my "roots".