I put up a status update on Facebook two days ago that said “renovating my house, my life, and my business.” And that is SO true. The last four days have been of renewing and revival. I guess all the warm weather just really perked me up and made me want to make changes. First I ripped out all my carpet in my front room and half the wood panelling. By friday I hope to have most of it gone to begin installing hardwoods instead. I cleaned out my pantry of all the appliances and pans I NEVER use. First I CAN cook, I just have no time or interest for it so all that REALLY fancy stuff in there was just taking up space and I was tired of cups coming down and falling on my head. OVER IT. Then it was off to the garage to clean out half a million teeny tiny little toys my kids don’t even remember that exist. And this renovation was just the house.

Then, and this may sound crazy to some of you who are not computer geeks, I had to re-organize my hard drives. My archiving is fine. I have drives for Weddings 2002-2004 another for 2005-2007, then special drives for just portraits and then back up drives and so on… but my personal pictures and friends pictures who are not organized in my client drives are all over the place, some on my portable drive since some of these shoots are so small I edit on my laptop, some on my main computer and some on my editing computer, then there is VIDEO. One of those ‘in between jobs’ job. (Basically at this time of year that means in the middle of a project probably but waiting on client feedback or just need a sanity break from 100% wedding. So just making sure all the data on my laptop, portable drives and my other desktop are all neatly moved and placed on the proper drives was my next mission. So back to editing the family video and what a nightmare video is to store not to mention edit. I really don’t know how videographers do it. I dedicated a whole TB to it and I think it is already full and keep in mind this is PERSONAL video. I can only imagine how much space it would take to back up and keep weddings. I use about 60 gigs per wedding but video must be an absolute HOG! I am also working on doing my video of 2011. I do a snapshot video of the year every year. I did get up to Day 26 in my home video of our last year as a family but alas I have about 57 more days to go so it will be a while. I haven’t done baby books in 2 years for the girls so I am WAY behind on that one. On a brighter note I stole and idea from Pintrest and bought two Dr. Suess books “Oh the Places you will Go” and had all the girls teachers write a note about them in them. I will do this with all their teachers until they graduate in which then I will give it to them as a gift.

And lastly my life. Well for the first time since last mother’s day when my sweet husband sent me to the Umstead Hotel and Spa just so I could be by myself and DO NOTHING, I watched 2 movies and went for a walk. For some of you that may sound crazy but I am not kidding, every free moment I am on my laptop either talking with clients, updating my website and marketing, burning and backing up data, printing cd’s, answering a bazillion emails, paying bills, invoicing and killing even MORE spam in my email (that should be my next project to remove myself from all these lists!) and a hundred more tiny activities that eat up every second of my time. And in 10 years no matter how anal I am I don’t think I have ever actually FINISHED a TO DO list. (And as most of my clients and colleagues will tell you, I am darn fast at getting my stuff out because I will work till the wee hours of the morning and have zero social activity (other than a little facebook) till my shoots are done. So to say I never finish a TO DO list means it is full ALL THE TIME no matter how fast I work. SO after that long detour in my writing I can say I actually watched not one but TWO movies! Wow. (Thanks to Daddy for putting the kids to bed both nights or it would have been impossible.) And from now on I am going on a walk at least 3 times a week. It’s a small feat but it is more than I have done in 8 years. (I loved to walk my oldest when she was a baby so we did that probably till she was 2 1/2 years old then it was all over. Oh and I made two doctors appointments for checkups! Now just set a dentist and eye doctor appt and I will be all caught up on the health front! And as if that wasn’t enough on the personal side, my oldest decided she wanted to “help kids” so we did a little research and found this great organization called “my stuff bags”. What I LOVED about them is they put together bags for children just pulled out of a home going into foster care (who may only have the clothes on their backs LITERALLY) and orphanages by giving each child a bag of their own stuff. Most importantly are blankets and stuffed animals but really they need everything from toothbrushes to crayons (but they have to be new). So with marker in hand my oldest wrote a letter for the neighbors (and went door to door sticking them in peoples’ doors, talked to her principal at school who have decided to support her AND we sent out emails to everyone on my distro list or Facebook and neighborhood group page about it. And I am happy to report we have two HUGE bags of blankets, stuff animals, toys, journals and you name it to send. And we haven’t stopped, more it is coming in by the day. My littlest one wanted to get involved too so she put flyers in all the cubbies at her preschool. The girls are so excited to see all this stuff going to help kids who as my littlest one explained to one of the teachers “they don’t have anything! Not even a blankie or stuffed animal!” (4 years old) I just love their little hearts.

And lastly the business… I have been reading all kinds of reports, financial, internet marketing, website mastering so to speak and basically trying to figure out how to build a better mouse trap. That and making a conscious decision to cut back a little so I can have more family time rather than how it is today where as soon as Daddy comes home or the kids go to school strait to work. So I will only be doing 2 weddings a month this year instead of 3-4 in past years. But the great news is I have some amazing photographers that LOVE shooting weddings and do an awesome job! This will give them even more opportunity to do what they love and wow our clients!

So with my pantry torn apart, half my floor barren down to plywood, my pantry in a crazy misshaped shape, half the garage bagged up, one wedding album to edit, one to design and a rehearsal dinner invite to make a few final touches, I will start tomorrow another day of renovation with MORE TO COME!

Funny as tired as I am I feel GREAT!!! Don’ t you just love it when you get so much done? That and I ALWAYS get inspired when I get a new project whether it be in weddings, home improvement projects or this great little charity we decided to get involved.

Off to bed for this photographer! Good night all…