A year ago....

A year ago, I was just starting to consider starting a photography business. You see it would take me from sometime in September or October until to December to pull the trigger. But guess what? I did it! The catalyst: my husband getting laid off from his well paying job and finding his path to a happier career. I'll paint you the picture.

I was 33 weeks pregnant and came home from working in the clinic all day only to find that my husband had been extra productive that day. It was a Monday, and I don't remember exact details, but it seems he was able to cut the grass, go to the gym, clean the kitchen, and maybe even cook diner all while putting in a hard day's work (or so I thought). He waited until after I ate diner to break the news. I was mentioning how productive he had been that day and he said "well about that...." Turns out he had most of the day free, as he was informed that his job had been eliminated when he got to work that morning. Instant nausea and dread set in. I thought, this can't be happening. We're having a baby, we need health insurance, and money....oh yeah the money. Our household income was essentially cut in half.  I remember sitting at the kitchen table feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders in addition to the weight of my growing belly. I immediately started planning and saying we'll need to stop buying this and that. I'll have to be more frugal buying groceries and house cleaning, well, I guess I'll have to actually clean my house now instead of paying someone to. He sat there and let me do my planning (cause he knows it makes me feel better). He knew I was scared, and even if he was too, he didn't show it. He reassured me that things would be fine and we had prepared ourselves if something like this happened. Oh and I forgot to mention that we had just closed on our first two rental properties within the month of this occurring which had consumed a lot of our disposable cash. 

I was mad. Not mad at him, but mad at the change in plans. This wasn't the way things were supposed to go. I was supposed to be able to maybe only work part time after the baby was born. Now I was the “bread winner.” I had to carry our health insurance. This was not what we had planned. Four days later, my water broke and 2 days after that, Ellie was born 6 weeks early. 

The struggles and worries were abundant those first few months after Kevin was laid off. Ellie was in the NICU for 2 weeks and then only after being home for one week, had to go back to the hospital for 2 more weeks. Kevin had to do some rehab work on the two rental properties before we could even rent them out. He was not as present, as I wanted him to be. I was out on maternity leave and only getting paid 60% of my normal salary. Kevin job searched in between taking care of me, Ellie, and trying to get the new rental properties rented, but there weren’t many jobs in Charleston, especially at the level that he had been working. He then came home and told me he thought he wanted to go to real estate school.

You guys, I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. God sometimes knows what’s best even when you don’t and even when you doubt everything. The last year is a true testament to this. A year ago, I was broken. I was worried. Today, my family is thriving. Kevin is kicking ass as a realtor. The best part, is his new career, has so much freedom. We are not strapped to the 9-5 schedule, especially on my days off from the clinic. Our daily lives are much less stressful. If he doesn’t have a lot going on on a particular day and I am off, if we want to do something fun with the kids, we can!

So now, a year later, we are starting a new phase of life and our careers. We are flipping our first home. We are about 1 week into the rehab and so far so good! It’s hard for me to get excited about and be involved in our personal real estate endeavors. This is simply because of time. I am working a full time job, trying to grow a photography business, all while being a present wife and mother. There’s just not a lot of room left for much else. However, I am excited about this flip. I have taken an active role designing a lot of the aesthetics of the home and Kevin has asked me for a lot of input which I have actually enjoyed providing. I’ll keep you posted on the progress of that so stay tuned.

So in summary, sometimes stuff happens that is not in our plans. Sometimes these things are good and sometimes these things are terrible. The old saying “when life gives you lemons and make lemonade” is so true. It all comes down to perspective. Know that you can handle the changes and that sometimes God knows what is best for you even if you don’t. Trust yourself and trust God and things just may turn out better than you ever thought.

So these pictures (cause you know I have to post a few) were taken about a year apart. Better gear, lots of practice equal better pictures. Not to mention, Kevin gained a kid!