work II life II mommahood

I've lost count how many times I have sat down to write [ and planned to finish ] this post. I started a few days before Hudson was born ... then ya ... how Ironic this post is about work life balance & mamahood?

that word ...


Have you found it coming up a lot? Maybe its just me ... I seem to be hearing a lot of echos IRL & on Instagram about how sometimes this whole mamahood and running a business thing is HARD ... [ don't get me wrong, Mammahood is a challenge all on its own , and then throw a business in there ... things get a little bizarre some days ] & when you're self employed ... " Maternity Leave" is not really in the realm of reality for most of us.


Here I am, three weeks post partum - typing this out while I wait for a phone call on some building permits , o and also in another tab open is a list of emails to get sent out for the Gather event this fall I am also heavily involved in ... life doesn't seem to wait - although I admit some of this I do put pressure on myself to do - but that's just kind of what makes me tick - call me crazy.

Anyway, no one wants to read my to do list, I'm sure [ except for the giant one I have displayed for my hubby on the chalkboard wall in our Kitchen ] because - I'm OBSESSED with lists - its just how it is.


So ya, in all this hubbub ... I get it ... its easy to come down with a bad case of what I like to call:

Comparitinitus : being stuck in a realm of comparison with other people we feel are in some way superior to ourselves

I totally have those days  where I see this a post on Instagram with this mom wandering her perfectly tended garden, hand in hand with her perfectly dressed toddler and a baby on her hip &  I start feeling like a giant failure as a mother because I don't chase butterflies with my kids all day ... i had this happen one day not too long ago & I was feeling [ totally] overwhelmed with work & was probably a snappy pregnant hormonal stormcloud.

That day - Lee came into the office ... could tell I was struggling ... & after I told him my little pity party says,

" Honey, Finlee loves you - adores you, actually - to her, you are the best mommy in the whole world."

That guy, he always knows just what to say ... but you know what - I've began to realize more & more [ probably sound like a broken record ] but I seem to need to be reminded often ... & I thought maybe you did to.


YOUR CHILDREN ARE GOING TO BE OK. Even if you feed them a Popsicle for supper once in awhile ... they're going to live - TRUST ME.


We all have days when it just feels like a lot ... no matter what our roll or situation , us mama's wear a lot of hats.

Let's be a little more kind to ourselves, shall we?

I know for me, its easy to expect more & more of myself and forget to just enjoy these seasons we are in ... they pass so fast.


I really can't claim to have this  all figured out ... I don't think anyone does or ever will [ because it looks different for everyone ] but here's a few things that have helped keep me sane [ & keep up ] with the demands of both.

Separate Work Space : I love having this space outside of our home I share with our farm office where I schedule time to go out there and just WORK [ most of the time ] ... carve out an area in your home that when the door is closed it separates those spaces for you.

Time Management: I am Religiouswhen it comes to my scheduler ... I literally write down everything. If I don't - I'm a stressed out mess ... I've been known to get up at 2 am to write down the swirling to do list in my brain so I can sleep .

Over the past few years I have switched from a phone calendar [ although I still it for reminders ] to a written down calendar because I like the ability to jot down goals throughout the year to keep me on track.

Priorities: Visit them often. Learn to say no & let go of whats cutting into the top priorities in that season ... and be OK with the fact that as super human as you may be ; you can't do all things , well... this has been the hardest learning curve for me [ & probably always will be ] as passionate entrepreneurs, its hard to let go sometimes...but we are often better & stronger when our focus is narrowed.

Ask for Help: Again, hard for this independent human to do. But, simply scheduling a day for Finlee to be babysat [ yes I am very fortunate to have family close by who are free to do so ] has made all the difference so I know I have that time set aside to work, I'm not stressing out & struggling to get things done with her underfoot ... its made our days at home more focused on spending time together... so less "mom" guilt happening over here.


Like my mom always says ... Life is all about Choices.

Isn't it both sobering ... and inspiring ... to think what we choose for today, becomes our life?

I am learning to enjoy each of these seasons we have in our lives - not fight them or fear them.

You know? not wait for the next nap time or the next stage when "this will be over" because soon, it will.

Then, like every season challenges, new opportunities ...and new joys - isn't that what makes life beautiful? 

XXX, J. 



Grose's Basement

Niko & Jenna moved an RTM onto this foundation a few years ago & approached me to help them plan this space to be a functional place they could use for entertaining their friends & spend time with family - right away, I knew our styles were going to mesh well & although they still want to do some work growing into the space with styling & finishing touches - I wanted to share some images of their overall space now that the bulk of the work is done!


As you may know - I'm a big fan of exposed, painted ceilings in basements as it makes the ceiling feel much higher, and is so functional when it comes to dealing with any water or plumbing issues that arise - you're never worried about damaging your ceiling drywall or tiles. They opted to go for a dark ceiling as this space is a big, wide open layout and gives it that industrial edge for the bar & eventually pool table room.


The bathroom vanity is one of my favorite elements we had custom made & having pendants on either side of the mirror makes for an ideal lighting scenario in a vanity space - and lets face it, most people's lighting in their basement bathrooms are um, less than ideal ... its the little tweaks that make a big difference, folks!


The bar area featuring a live edge raised top will get well used when friends & family visit - we installed the sliding door to conceal a mudroom & entry space + got the carpenter to install custom shelving under the stairs to sneak in some added storage.


Love this all black rustic railing with painted rebar spindles!


A spare room keeps gym equipment out of the main area + houses a Murphy bed when extra sleeping space is needed without compromising the use of this room.

What once was just a big open space is now an extension of their living space where they can spend time as a family & enjoy entertaining!

Jenaya helped take the stress out of the planning stages of our project. She helped us create a Floor Plan that utilized our space & yet was still functional in meeting our needs.
She took the time to gather quotes from reputable contractors in our area & got us started on the right foot.
— Jenna Grose - Client

Brendan & Janessa - Engagement

This couple ... wow - just pure gold is all I can say. Simply the fact that despite the fact that I will have a two month old baby at the time of their wedding doesn't phase them one bit [ nor the other two couples weddings I will be photographing after theirs ... what can I say, I have the best clients ] but they are so natural & easy going together that I really can't call this work ...

Cuz' it isn't ... photographing couples like this even on an evening when I was pretty done in from an intense work day & ummm 37 weeks preggers ... was just the energy boost I needed. How lucky am I to get to do something that actually GIVES me energy & I completely loose track of time when I'm in this "zone" ....pretty lucky I'd say.

When someone else’s happiness is your happiness, that is love.
— Lana Del Ray

Seriously ... those ear to ear grins.

Thank you guys for making the drive to get your engagement photos done ... [ psssstt future wedding couples - check out the newly updated Weddings Page on the site cuz - Engagement Sessions are COMPLIMENTARY with all full day packages ;) ] I really can't wait to photograph your big day in August ... I already know it will be a joy!