This progression though... Pretty sure I was having a (manageable) contraction when @alexandriahinders took this photo... Then within 4 hours our sweet baby Ivy Mae made her entrance to the world AT HOME because we just weren’t going to make it to the hospital 😅😅😅 And now we’re snuggling and resting in disbelief over the last 24 hours ♥️ Is this real?! 😂
So we bought a house in the middle of all this COVID crazy and all my attention has been on the house, finishing up with my coaching clients in April, moving in May all while praying our sweet babe girl #2 stays inside for as long as possible! And guess what?! We made it to full term and we officially have the baby bedrooms functional! There’s still a ton to do, but we’re taking it a day at a time and making sure we rest and keep my swollen feet elevated at night! It has been one of the most unique seasons of our life (as I’m sure it has for most) and also one of the busiest. So while we haven’t experienced the quarantine slow down as much, we’ve been grateful for more evening time to make progress and then rest together!
Got to take a little step back to my photography roots this weekend to document Ryan and Madeline’s COVID drive-in parking lot wedding and it was an honor to be there! These two love Jesus and each other so well and their story is such a sweet one! ♥️ It was fun to team up with their wedding photographer, @alileighphoto who did the editing from the day so that these images will look cohesive with their August celebration images annnnnnd so this pregnant mama doesn't have to worry about that part of the job since baby could come any day now! 😁😅 I love how this industry is working together and supporting each other in the midst of this COVID craziness and I'm grateful to be a small part of that! ♥️ But also how GORG are these two? ☺️☺️
It seems like every morning I wake up, forget for a few minutes what's happening in the world and then my stomach drops a little bit when I remember. Oh yeah, we're in the middle of a pandemic right now. I'm not supposed to visit my parents. I'm not supposed to hang out with people. So many people in my online entrepreneur world are seriously struggling and scared. It's honestly just a lot to process. But I have never been more proud of our online community than I am right now. Everyone stepping up to help each other however they can. Bringing encouragement, education and support to strangers from across the country and world. So, as I considered how I could contribute, I kept seeing posts about how people were using their extra time and how hard it is to focus and be productive when it seems like the world around you is out of control. Productivity happens to be one of my favorite topics because it has impacted my life and work in huge ways, so I put together my best tips for focusing on your work in the midst of coronavirus with a list of what projects I recommend tackling if you have extra time! So, here's to our online community. We rise by lifting others, y'all.
So pumped to share that we’ve got a girl gang going on over here! Baby Girl #2 comin in hot! ♥️ Amazing images by @alexandriahinders
Truth 💣 + Giveaway comin atcha friend!! ♥️ . You’ve said you need to start a million times, but it’s intimidating and confusing and boring and just never seems to happen... Budgeting. 😅 . Ok, I get it, friend. I was there. I thought budgeting meant you were poor. I thought budgeting meant you didn’t have any fun. I thought budgeting wasn’t for everyone. I have big regrets about my money habits back in the day, y’all. . So let’s set the record straight. Imagine me saying this with all the love and grace in the world but with strong sincerity. Budgeting is for everyone and YOU NEED TO BUDGET. I don’t care who you are, what personality type you relate to, what your circumstances are, how many piles of money you have laying around, budgeting is for you and you need to do it like yesterday. 🤭👏🏼🎤 . But wait! I’m not leaving you hanging this time! I’m literally giving you step-by-step instructions to start budgeting and KEEP budgeting on the blog because that’s how deeply I believe you need it ♥️ AAAAND I’m teaming up with the amazing @everydollar to give one of you lucky friends a free year subscription to EveryDollarPlus WITH a 30 minute biz finance coaching sesh with me! (This is actually the app Mark and I use and I want you to experience the freedom we have too!) . For a chance to win a FREE YEAR OF EVERYDOLLAR and a 30 minute biz finance coaching session, here's how!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1) Follow @valmarlenecreative and @everydollar 2) Tag a biz lady friend in the comments⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This giveaway will end Wednesday, February 12th at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced on Thursday! . This is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s term of use. Image by @katemaxstock
This has probably been the hardest week of Mompreneurship so far. I want to keep things real around here so I’m going to give you a peek. . Throughout January at least one person in our house was sick the entire month. The past week while having a cough and cold, Alea got a nasty virus that she gave to me and I had to cancel all my sessions AND a mastermind retreat I was going to host for my MPLS girls. HUGE bummer. . And today I got about 5 minutes to work in between soul crushing baby cries, doing everything one-handed, running to the doctor and thanking God for Target drive up. . It’s mentally and emotionally exhausting. Not being able to serve my clients. Not being able to make my baby feel better. Not having capacity to get anything done as a driven human is hard. It’s easy to feel like a failure even though I know that’s not true. . I know today will pass. But today was hard and I thought it would probably benefit somebody to know they weren’t the only one having a day like today. I’m in it with ya friend ♥️
There have been times I thought I was upleveling in my business, but really it was just sideways energy. This actually happens a LOT in the creative world. Although I definitely believe there's a place for multi-passionate entrepreneurs, it's just true that not every idea is worth your time and sometimes it's just taking you farther from your true long-term goals.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I'm tackling some #realtalk on the blog of whether you should uplevel using one of the three most common ways: raising prices, building an internal team and building an external team (often looks like associates).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you've been wondering if one of these paths is right for you, this one's for you, girl! 😘
One babe has been kicking away, the other is now standing and working on getting some baby steps going. It's crazy. . But I have to confess something. I'm just not your typical mom. I actually wouldn't say that time is flying. You probably won't catch me saying it's going too fast or that I want time to slow down. . Somehow in the midst of this incredibly crazy season we've been in (new mompreneurship + surprise pregnancy + business growth + figuring out a structural change in my business) I have felt like I've been able to enjoy Alea's different stages and I'm okay with the rate it feels like it's going. . Each new stage has had new challenges and so many new joys and I'm just really grateful for it all. . So I guess my point in sharing this is just to remind you that your journey as a mama or mompreneur doesn't have to look like everyone else's and you don't need to feel like something's wrong with you if you don't feel the same feelings or emotions that she does. 😘
Upleveling. We all want to be ready for it and we all want to “get there.” Sooner than later. It’s exciting to dream of someone else doing all the annoying work and focusing on your zone of genius, but outsourcing often brings more up front work than we may have expected. . But lemme tell ya...that upfront work? It’s SO WORTH IT!!! Getting help in your business that allows you to focus where you thrive is one of the most life-giving ways to uplevel! . This year I’m growing my team bit by bit and as a mama with very limited work time it’s the only way I can get more accomplished! . I now have a content-focused VA who also takes on miscellaneous projects as they come and it’s already making such a difference! Having strategy meetings is so fun and I can’t wait to see how she helps me grow this year! . Have you decided you’re ready to uplevel? How do you plan to do that this year? . Have you seen the blog? We’re starting the conversation about upleveling by talking through how to know you’re ready! Photo by @wellstyledessentials