our last few months.

I can’t believe the sun is already setting earlier, and my kids have their school supplies all lined up and ready.  We begin our official schooling Monday morning.  I think I am finally coming to grips with reality, and bidding a fond farewell to the 2010 summer.

Back in March I wrote a blog entry that really solidified feelings I had been having and wanting to share.  The response was amazing!  From comments, to emails, and just people talking with me, I felt so much better because so many said they understood where I was coming from.  Since that point, I am happy to say that this year has been going quite smoothly.  We stuck to a plan that we made and things have been much more balanced around here….one major accomplishment being, I didn’t feel like I was going to have an anxiety attack once this summer!  Instead, we just enjoyed it together.  In fact, we enjoyed it so much that when I went to look over photos for this post, I realized we didn’t take many!!  Oh well. Living in the moment, and just simply living was my goal.  Goal accomplished.

Here are some highlights of the past few months.  These things may have been on my “to-do” list on my desk, or the one in my heart:

- had many dear friends over for dinner and laughs (this was put off too long)

- celebrated my three boys birthdays

- celebrated my two sisters’ birthdays

- celebrated another year of life for me

- got new garage doors put on

- had our red house repainted, red of course

- went to LA for a shoot and hang time w/Jason

- went to a fantastic photography workshop, and met amazing new friends

-saw Ashley graduate from Nursing School

- as guests, witnessed two dear friends get married

-took a spring wildflower trip with just my Dad

- ate lots of yummy summer veggies

- had a great 4th of July party with some of my dearest friends

- took my kids swimming much more than last year

- did a complete redo of Priya’s room

- helped my daughter start her own art and food blog

- went on dates with my sweetie, just for fun

- watched lots of movies

- booked our family vacation!

- Brett took Adin on his first father/son camping trip

- went to a couple concerts

- got the car I’ve been dreaming of :)

MOST IMPORTANTLY….did all of this guilt free.  If you own a home based business, you know what I mean!

I have to say, I am a bit nervous for the rest of the year.  I have been soooo relaxed the past couple months that I am going to have to really step it up here beginning Monday.  I plan to share a bit of my/our schedule in the next couple weeks, since I have had so many people curious about the homeschooling/business owning/family raising balance.  I am going to start a new segment on here called BALANCE to hopefully help others, help myself, and just vent through this journey of life.

I would love to hear some fun/great/thrilling things you did or accomplished this summer in the comments below!

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August 25, 2010 - 10:36 am

Gail - This is such a fantastic post Jess. I feel like, some weeks I do the balance thing, others (like this one) I SO do not. Thanks for being inspiration in this category and I can’t wait to see what you have to say in what comes next.

PS – I hear you on the shoots too. Taking July off (for me) was SUCH a blessing that now that I’m back into the swing of things, I’m like, WHOA…..

August 25, 2010 - 11:41 am

nate - I simply love this celebration of life. The love you guys are surrounded with is undeniable.

August 25, 2010 - 2:57 pm

Betsy - I miss you!

What did I do this summer? Had a baby. I kind of feel like I did nothing else. ;-)

Oh, did I forget to tell you that I miss you?

PS I REALLY enjoyed bogarting your fabulous dress this summer, though I did feel bad about it. I need to send it back, but find it to be a security blanket, as I know I have no pants that fit yet. ;-)

Love ya!

August 26, 2010 - 6:06 am

Tara E. - This is my first post ever! I have been following you all for about a year and a half and I just love all the photos and life you share! You are all absolutely wonderful! My accomplishment this summer: back in May a friend asked me, “Tara, what do you want to do with your life?” I replied, “That’s kind of a lot to answer, can you break it down?” She said, “Where do you want to be?” “Easy….San Diego.” “Well why aren’t you there?” Fear, anxiety, the unknown, I’ve grown up in Cincy from high school to college to first REAL job. So I decided to look for a job in San Diego. I found one and now anticipate moving in about 2 months! So, my accomplishment was fighting fear and moving 2,000 miles away from family to go discover more life! Thanks so much for this post! I will continue to follow you all out in SD.

August 26, 2010 - 12:44 pm

Donna - I have been following you. I adore your pictures…you got great creativity just like I love my creativity! …wonder how you manage your family time with a demand of your photography business. I have been into my business which is one year now. I have two older children…one is already entering Gallaudet University and other one is a junior at HS. It helps me a lot when they choose to do their own schedule. This summer, I went to Massachusetts to take a plenty of pictures with my dear friend who also likes photography. It was good to be away to both Martha’s Vineyard and Block Island. It rejuvenated me and I am ready for more sessions. I must applaud you for your great job especially finding time to be with your family. :)

August 26, 2010 - 6:03 pm

brian rickey - Great Stuff! I finally went to a warm water beach, (drove all the way from St. Louis to South Beach, Miami Florida) and I finally shot a bride and groom on Michighan Ave in Chicago. Those are two things I have been wanting to do for a long time!

August 27, 2010 - 1:47 pm

shannon selim - dude, you got a mini-cooper? lucky!

August 27, 2010 - 8:01 pm

Marla Wertheim - AMEN to needing some time off. I envy you for really doing it. I swear, just the other day I said to myself, “this year is going to be about finding balance”. You’ve inspired me :) Hope to see you around the ‘Nati!

August 29, 2010 - 11:33 am

Eliza - To get myself off a plateau in terms of photography, I did a summer photo project taking one picture every day (although I took many more than that!). Just shooting everyday life taught me so much!!

I would love to see Priya’s blog. What is the URL?

August 30, 2010 - 12:45 pm

Jess W. - Man, did it ever fly by…so sad, but it was a great summer. I enjoyed seeing you as much as I did, and we need to make an effort to continue throughout the busy winter months! Glad you’re finding that “balance” that is so hard to find. Love you.

September 6, 2010 - 8:12 pm

Jenika - I stumbled across your site and this collage of photos really spoke to me. I love collages, and this just seemed like a slice of life. I’m wondering if you compiled it in photoshop this way? Thanks for giving me a peek into your wonderful life. Have a great day.

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