Influence Conference 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Have you ever gotten involved with a common interest group or found a group of friends and thought to yourself…I HAVE FOUND MY PEOPLE! 

The Influence network has been just that for me. A group of women, loving God, running creative businesses, who want to make their online life mean something. Who want to make social media more than just a popularity contest or a place to kill time. They are online to encourage, make dear friends, and come alongside one another as dreams are pursued, hard days are had, babies are born, and big decisions are made. Friends, I can truly tell you, these are my people. My tribe. Do you know who yours are? 

Just a week from tomorrow, I'll be headed to Indianapolis to attend the Influence Conference. I am trying not to get too excited about getting to meet all these wonderful women in person -- it might just send me straight into labor. It's going to be probably one of my favorite weekends of the year and I really can't wait. 

What's one part of the conference I'm most excited about? 

Just that -- getting to meet all these amazing women face to face, worship together, learn together, strategize together…being with people who understand on a deep level what it means to be a creative business owner, to live a life of passion, to use social media as a tool for the gospel, for love, for encouragement, for forming meaningful relationships. 

What would I not leave home without? 

A fresh notebook and the necessary array of lip colors -- it's amazing how much lipstick covers a multitude of pregnancy-enduced insecurities. 

Can't wait to see all of you ladies there! Let's be friends, shall we? 

September Goals

Sunday, September 7, 2014

image via
Well this month came up quick! I'd say about a week in is just the right time to share some goals, right? Right.

Here's a recap of August's goals -- 

1// Transition well into our new home -- Well, we moved. And I do think overall the transition has been really good. This home is very temporary but it still feels like our home and we are excited to bring that little girl into this space too. 

2// Start a commonplace book. -- Nope. Adding it to the list for September.

3// Settle into a new, intentional routine. -- It's helped tremendously that I have a regularly scheduled day job for the time being so I feel like there have been some good daily rhythms set. We are getting into the habit of meal planning again and other rhythms that help the world go round in these parts. 

4// Celebrate our anniversary. -- We had the BEST time taking a few days away for ourselves at the same b&b where we celebrated our honeymoon. So thankful for a really great first year of marriage. 

5// Learn three new design-related skills. -- Not really. But I did google how to do something the other day and actually succeeded at an attempt so I'm counting that as a win. Going to be more intentional about this during September. 

So for this month…

1// HOME: Organize and consolidate office & craft supplies: I started this project but it needs some closure. We have an awesome space in this apartment to store this kind of stuff and I want to use it wisely. Random paperclips and scrapbook clippings…I'm coming for you. 

2// WORK: Vision casting for 2015 and learn new skills: I've had a sudden spark of inspiration to make some big goals for 2015 graphic design-wise and I am excited to start casting some vision for what that looks like for the next year. Possibly some new collaborations, Etsy shop pieces and other fun ideas. (Keep your eyes peeled!).  Attending the Influence Conference this year is going to be a tremendous motivator for this but I'm excited to do some forward thinking in general. (And preparing myself for what running a small business looks like with a small human around. Advice anyone?)

3// SPIRIT: Participate in 40 days of Benedictine prayer: Our church is doing this as a community and we are excited to jump on board and make it a daily rhythm. 

4// LEISURE: Finish the non-fiction book I started and pick out a new one for next month: I don't have a huge attention span for reading but I think it's an important activity to calm my mind and slow myself down. This whole almost seven months pregnant thing is starting to slow my energy level down a little bit so reading could be a really relaxing thing this month. Any suggestions for my next nonfiction book? 

5// BODY: Start a strength-training routine and continue cardio: I asked my husband personal trainer if he'd be willing to do a little co-workout once or twice a week. Since moving, I've struggled a bit to get back into a rhythm of exercising regularly and from what I hear, it makes the whole giving birth thing a heck of a lot easier. So this month we're starting it back up, folks. Nothing crazy, just working towards a strong, healthy body. 

How about you? I'd love to hear your goals for the month! 

Wife Life | The Little Ivy

Monday, September 1, 2014

This little ivy has been with us since the very beginning. I remember it sitting in a cup of water on top of JT's refrigerator growing roots when we were dating. Since then, we have watched it grow and mature, leaf by leaf, as we ourselves were in the season of preparing for marriage and walking into that life together. We put it in soil when we moved to our first home, and there it grew even more. I don't know about you guys, but I get really excited when plants grow new leaves. It's still a miracle to me.

This last time we moved, the plants got left in the car a little longer than they should have. (We'll blame it on a spontaneous post-move afternoon nap.) When it finally got rescued from the August heat intensive greenhouse, some of the leaves were a little burnt. We thought we had really hurt it. But we clipped off the dead stuff, gave it some fresh water and sunlight, and just yesterday found several new leaves growing. You could have peeled me off the ceiling I was so excited. I mean I know this is kind of how plants work, but STILL.

This morning I was reminded of how much of a reflection that is of our relationships -- in marriage and friendship. It's easy to feel like we really messed things up bad. We said the wrong thing, we were neglectful, insensitive, impatient, unloving. It happens. But what we are forgetting is that even in those times, grace abounds beyond what we can muster up. New life grows in places that at one time seemed really dark and hopeless. God works that out in us and we work that out in each other. We prune, refresh, apologize, take some time, and out of that comes the new leaves.

We love the little ivy because it reminds us of our time together. Our new leaves growing, our need for forgiveness and grace to abound, the necessary pruning process, and the excitement when new life springs forth. The reminder that we need to be attentive, take care of what we've been given because it is special and holy and a gift. That plant, assuming we don't REALLY kill it, will be with us for the long road ahead and I hope that continues to be a reminder of the abundance we've been given.
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