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I am sitting still. I’m not watching tv, painting, reading a book, editing, working out, meal prepping or internally simultaneously multitasking. Im just sitting. Breathing in the fresh air on a park bench.

Either you’re with me at this point or you’re not (and thinking I am real weird, I am, but stay with me here).

The reality is how often do we just sit and enjoy life without letting it pass us by. How often do you sit and enjoy the beauty that God has surrounding us?

In today’s society, I feel like the underwritten theme is, whoever can hustle the hardest wins. I don’t want to be the winner. Yes, you heard me right, Ms Competitive doesn’t want to win something! I don’t want to always be in a rat race to make more money or do more things. I don’t want to feel anxiety ridden because my schedule is so packed full, I can’t even stop to grab lunch. That life is meaningless. Like really, what are you working for at the end of the day? Don’t get me wrong, I am all about hard work but not to the point of sacrificing your family.

See, I’ve always been that girl. The girl who runs 100 miles per hour and does everything. I am a recovering workaholic. My personality, I could basically work 24/7 and be completely fine. But the reality is, it is not fine. There is more to life. My dad was always that way. He is unbelievably successful and a hero to me in so many ways. Yet when I was young, he traveled about 300 days a year because he was a hustler. He missed out on everything and I know that is a regret he has. Since growing older and wiser, he realized you don’t get those moments back and to really treasure them; work will always be there but your kids won’t. Now, he is always here for us and drops anything at the drop of a hat for me and especially my nuggets.
So today. I will sit. I hope you will sit too. I hope you will speak positive and encouraging words to yourself. I hope you will enjoy these moments with your family and realize nothing is more important than these moments. So sit. Be thankful. And enjoy the fresh air.
Xo

Lucy

I went to my daughters middle school volleyball game yesterday. Yea, I don’t know how I have a child in middle school now, it blows my mind!

Lilly took a brave step this year and tried out for a sport she had never even really played. Gymnastics was always such a big part of Lilly’s identity but after she experienced burn out in gymnastics she hadn’t found her “thing” again. So, this year she made the JV volleyball team.

Lilly has given it her all but starting a new sport, you typically aren’t the star player. She is also really petite. She has come home so many times feeling pretty defeated from practices or people picking that she was too small to be a volleyball player. I tell her size means nothing and then go on to tell her about my all time favorite basketball player, Muggsy Bogues! Muggsy was a whopping 5’3″ and played in the NBA for the Charlotte Hornets. I grew up going to games and watching him play. If anyone proved size didn’t matter for their sport, he is the first one that comes to mind. When Lilly feels defeated I give her pep talks and show her slam dunk videos from Muggsy!

Monday I was picking Lilly up for practice she asked me if she could show me her serve. She tried 5 different times and each time it was so close to going over the net but it wouldn’t quite make it.

So, that brings me back to yesterday, a home volleyball game. Lilly doesn’t usually get the opportunity to play since she isn’t first string but regardless we are always there cheering on the team. But yesterday, towards the end of the game, they put Lilly in the game. I’ve never seen her play in a volleyball game. Would she know what to do? Would she panic?

The score kept creeping up and we were heading towards a win. Then Lilly moved back and it was her turn to serve. My eyes got big and my stomach was kind of turning. I didn’t want her to be embarrassed if she didn’t make it over the net.

Next thing I know she serves the ball and it went over the net and she scores the winning point for the game! Her eyes were about as big as tennis balls, she shocked herself! Her team went wild and jumped up and all huddled around her. They picked her tiny little body up in the middle of the team and were cheering for her. It was like an epic movie taking place right before my eyes. I was taking pictures with my phone and I stopped midway to soak it all in!

While she was picked up in the huddle, she looked right into my eyes up in the bleachers making sure I witnessed her winning moment. She was literally beaming with pride (and so was I). My heart melted.

When we got in the car after the game, Lilly was on cloud 9. She was really proud of herself and she told me, “see, being small ain’t so bad!” We laughed and I couldn’t stop telling her how awesome that was and how proud I am of her for never giving up.

It was just a JV volleyball game, not the Olympics, I’m aware. But to Lilly, it was just as good as the an Olympic game. It was a moment that will replay in her mind forever. It was the moment where all the hard work and all the failures paid off. It was proving that size doesn’t matter but what really matters is your heart.

So today, it’s a home school day aka “wine Wednesday” haha but we are smiling big and still on cloud 9 after Lilly’s confidence booster yesterday.

xo,

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If you know me, then you know that I am the girl that flies by the seat of her pants through life. I am not afraid to look new challenges or opportunities in the eye….in fact, I welcome them. Some would call me a procrastinator, I like to call it, spontaneity! See, there is only so much you can really plan in life whether you like it or not.

Like photography for me, it wasn’t my plan. I lost my job, people liked random pictures I took, I enjoyed taking pictures, I started learning more and BAM before you know it I have a successful photography business. (I made it sound very easy but there was a lot of work that went into that BAM part) 7 years later my husband and I are still shooting away as the ultimate tag team, Smitten and Hooked. We shoot about 20 weddings a year and believe it or not, that is what we have slowed down to. Several years ago, we were booking anywhere between 30-35 weddings a year. I love so many aspects about our job. I mean, we are with people on the best day of their entire lives! We form a bond that is pretty unbreakable and we go to the best parties around! It’s stellar!

But there is a thing called “burn out.” And it isn’t like when you are in a car and you are pedal to the medal doing a 360 and you smell the rubber from your tires…but i guess you could use that metaphor. Shooting 30-35 weddings a year is mentally exhausting. I am sure every job can be mentally exhausting but for creatives, our brain is “on” and our personality and everything else has to be “on” during the wedding or the shoot. We are constantly thinking about not missing the important stuff, the perfect light, the time line, getting a better shot, etc. The list goes on.

Since moving, back in January, I was feeling a very heavy burn out. My mind was exhausted and I needed something else creative to fuel my fire. I wanted a hobby I could do that didn’t involve just exercising. I wanted something creative that I could do with my kids or when they were in bed asleep and it was just “my time.” That is when I started working on my hand lettering.

I have always been a doodler, I love to write. Have I always had the best at writing? Well, no, just ask my third grade teacher who had a special meeting with my parents to tell them how terrible my penmanship was 😂 but I enjoyed playing. So during our “off” season (January-March) as we were getting settled into our new home, I started practicing my hand lettering. Every day, I set time aside to just doodle, practice letters or do Instagram lettering challenges I found on different pages. I wanted some large canvases for my home so being the DIY’er that I am, I knew in order for them to look good, I better start practicing!

So, lets fast forward a bit. I started getting better at my hand lettering. People started asking me to letter things for them and that’s how it started. I started teaching hand lettering classes monthly at a local art studio (you might have seen that on the blog for registration). I mean this whole thing has been quite a whirlwind to say the least but a bigger blessing than I could ever tell you! I prayed and prayed for so long for God to show me something I could do on the side so I didn’t have to take as much of a workload with weddings and leave my kids every weekend. I wanted to do what God wanted me for me and I never ever thought it would be this. God opened up these doors and I have been blown away at how incredible this journey has been. I think this is pure proof of what it means to “let go and LET GOD.” I have been painting canvases for peoples homes, Bibles for peoples walk with God, place cards and signs for weddings, invitations for special events, custom art work for NASCAR corporate, submitted work for a book publisher in London, tshirt designs for Lululemon, and so on….

Am I having the time of my life with this creative venture? Absolutely! Do I plan on leaving photography anytime soon? Absolutely NOT ;). Do I plan on not booking 30 weddings a year, you betcha!

I have sold so many of my hand painted Bibles and paintings just through social media that I was hesitant to do anything else with it but I can’t stop there. I feel like God has big plans for my life and when He says jump, I say HOW HIGH? So, I started an etsy page with my art. You will find a lot of fun stuff! My hand painted Bibles, custom art prints, canvases, etc.  If you are wanting a custom piece you can always request that on there as well!

I will be showing more and more of my art on the blog, in fact, I will be blogging again. Remember that whole burn out thing….yea…well I am back now and I have so much to share and so much on my heart. I have missed you friends.

If you want a quick way to get to the etsy page from now on, you can find a link at the top of my blog that says art…

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Thank ya’ll so much for the love and support you have shown already, I couldn’t be more thankful for the encouragement! I would love for you to check it out, decorate your homes with it and spread the word 😉

Click on the picture below to take you right to my etsy Homefront.

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xo,

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  • September 6, 2016 - 8:32 pm

    Kelsey Raymond - Your hand lettering/pantings are absolutely beautiful! Congratulations on your new adventure 🙂ReplyCancel

2016-07-10 23.35.07Ya’ll, I was completely overwhelmed with the response for the first hand lettering class I posted that I am teaching later this month and so I decided to host another hand lettering class! I couldn’t be more excited! This class will be held at the same location, MegArt studios in Huntersville, NC on August 25th from 6-9pm. Click on the link below to buy your ticket and get registered!

 

REGISTER HERE