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Starting in November, people pick up the pace. They rush around preparing for the holidays not realizing that they are also rushing into the next year. It seems that most don’t give thought to much outside of the holidays until after they are watching them end. Then the review of the last year starts. This is not so for me. Instead, the holidays bring about a whole season of reflection, thought, and¬†gratefulness. Life has been hectic and unpredictable since we moved to Joplin in January. This year has brought almost constant transition and has changed both Will’s and my life. We have made so very many friends and have started patching up last year’s wounds. Things are looking up and our hearts are so full. I have never been so excited for the things to come. I have never had better friends. I have never been more in love.¬†I never understood true happiness…

… but I am sure I do now.

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(waves)

Hey, it’s me again. I missed you. :)

I thought you guys would like to know that I am going to attempt regular posts yet again here. This time, it won’t just be photo posting. It will be mixed with fun stuff: some things you want to see here and some things that I want to share with you. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea and want to do it.

Here are some of the ideas floating around in my head:

Playlist of the day: I listen to music all of the time. And I mean, every single moment that can be is music-filled. So, I feel it is something that would be fun to share with you all. This won’t necessarily be a daily post, just what I have listened to on random days. :)

What I am eating: As most of you are aware, I have recently adopted a completely different way of eating. I am transitioning to what I hope will be a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Nutrition and proper healthy living is something I have grown very passionate about. I would love to include you in on the journey! I will post photos of daily meals and share recipes for my favorite foods and meals. Most will be gluten free or vegetarian, which I am excited about. I’ll also be juicing a lot so I will share my favorite juices with you!

Weekly funnies: I used to call cartoons funnies. I got that from my grandpa (I think). I don’t really read Sunday cartoons anymore, but my life is filled with moments that I feel could sometimes make the cut for the weekly strips in the paper. I thought it would be a great way to document the funny stories I want to remember. Plus, you all can get a laugh out of it as well. ;) Maybe I will eventually even have (horribly penciled) drawings to go along with them!

Photos: Duh. ;-) This will be photos from trips, daily life, sessions and shoots, home projects, self portraits, and prompts that I choose or you suggest.

Possible features: I go back and forth about this. I like the idea of featuring people who I truly admire and people who I love. You know, people I think are incredible. ;) However, I don’t want people to think I will feature someone because they give me an incentive. While I think it is great that other blogs to do that… this is a personal blog. If I happen to buy something that I love, you’d better believe I will tell you all about it! Why would I have people send me free stuff so I can write about them? It just doesn’t seem right unless it is a gift just because we are friends. :)

(For those of you who receive goodies from people and feature them, no judgement will be found here. Do what you want. I was just speaking in terms of my personal space here.)

Quotes: I love quotes. I had a 3″ 3-ring binder full of quotes in high school, sitting beside my two 4″ binders full of notes from my friends over the years. I am a sentimental gal, what can I say? (<—- future hoarder?) Anyway, because I spent so much of my childhood buried in books, I learned to appreciate the meaning (and people) behind those precious excerpts. I would like to dust off that binder [Yes, I still have it (<—– h o a r d e r).] and find neat ways to bring those quotes to this place.

History lessons: No, I am not going to inform you about facts about wars and politics. This would just be little stories about me growing up, things I learned along the way, people I met who impacted my life, and other stuff.

Writing assignments: I started reading and writing at 3. It stuck. This will be a periodic post that would consist of past writings, reviews of books and my thoughts that were sparked by the content, and any of my future writings.

This one time… : My boyfriend, Will, has been a wonderful part of my life for almost 4 years. I have never met anyone who I could let loose and be completely true with. He has seen the complete Erin. I can honestly say NO ONE else has seen it. I think it would be fun for him to pop in here every once in a while and share little random stories about our life together. I really want to expand this eventually to have my family and closest friends come here and do the same. While this is taking a huge risk for me to be constantly embarrassed, I think it will finally help me become more comfortable in my own skin.

He said/she said: Most people would have a hard time believing that Will and I have never truly fought. If we ever had a “rough patch,” it was more like hashing out issues we encountered and then either getting over it or coming to a compromise/agreement together. And pretty much all of that was out of the way by our second year together. I am so thankful for that! How have we managed to stay in peaceful harmony? We are always talking. We discuss everything. We both respect each other enough to listen and accept what the other “brings to the table.” This has led to some pretty incredible conversations. We have ended tons of talks moved to tears, laughter, and excitement. I figured it would be fun to share some of those conversations with you and maybe even elaborate further here. :)

My style: I hate when someone asks me what my style is because I just don’t know how to answer that. I used to hate outfit posts. However, I am beginning to understand that not everyone who does it is doing it because they think they are the “know all” in fashion. Most girls just want to show off their new outfits or share pieces that make them feel pretty. I get that now and even find myself wanting to post photos of occassional outfits on Twitter. I have refrained for the most part due to the fact I spoke out against (most) outfit posts in the past. I am here to retract that statement and possibly start sharing little bits of my “style” here (most likely attached to other posts). Maybe you guys can put a name on it. ;)

That is all I have at this point. What do you think? Which are your favorites? Any I should get rid of or add? I would really love to hear your feedback. After all, I am trying to make this place better for both you and me. =D

Love you guys. For serious, yo. ;)

love, erin

It will be mine someday. First, I will have some crazy white hair. Where is all of this coming from? Well, I promised my friend Mackenzie that I would dye my hair when we moved to Nashville, but that I would leave it white for a bit. I have been wanting to do it since she talked me into it, and then I went to Miss Amanda’s blog the other night and saw this:

Could she be any cuter? Thank you, Amanda, for making it even harder for me to resist pink hair. ;)

love, erin

(Sorry, folks! I don’t have direct links to any of these other photos. I pulled them off of Tumblr mainly for a collection of pictures to show the stylist and have forgotten where each came from.)

Ever since we walked out of the house we are attempting to buy for the first time, we have been dreaming and scheming how we want to turn this house into our home. We decided on a general theme for each room, which we wanted to make sure we could love for a long time. From there, we haven’t decided much. I think a lot will play into what we already have and what we find in the weeks after we move. However, this has not stopped me from looking around online for some ideas. :)

I have a running list of ideas I started compiling when I was in high school. Some are, of course, outdated and nothing like what my style is now. There are a few I have held onto. I also have a folder on my desktop for photo inspiration. Here are a few favorites:

My sister kicked off the decor search by sending me an email filled with photos! That is where some of these come from. The rest came from Apartment Therapy, The Inspired Room, and Design*Sponge. :)

AH! I am so excited!! I want to decorate everything right now. I guess step one should be actually getting the house. ;)

I hope your weekend has been great. I am enjoying the beautiful weather we are currently having in Missouri. Spring weather, please stay!

love, erin

So, I am sitting at Starbucks, which has free wi-fi now (Woohoo!), waiting on Will to get done with his first meeting as the Assistant Store Manager here in Joplin. I am so, so excited for him! As most of you know, we both have gone through a lot this past year (along with our families). So this opportunity coming along makes us ecstatic. It is definitely a change because Joplin is about an hour from Springfield and, as of now, we are *not* moving. This means quite a lot of commuting but it is worth it. :)

One of my best friends and my dad both live here so that is something that feeds the urge to move here. Sure, my current town is alright. It is filled with creative people and it is a great place to settle down. I am just not satisfied there. I hope that this change is the beginning of quite a few in the right direction. We have tons of ideas up our sleeves that we are slowly making happen. It is a really exciting (and a little bit scary) time for us and I am very hopeful. :)

I have kept a not-so-little decision secret from you all for a while and so I feel now is the time to share. :)

In the next couple of weeks, I will be starting a journey completely different than I ever have before. I will be working more for myself for the first time ever. I am excited, I am scared, and I am inspired by this. The main focus of my life will now be photography. Sure, I will have my “normal” every day job at Forever 21 (which I LOVE). However, most of my time will be spent thinking, brainstorming, and working toward achieving my dreams. What are these dreams? Well, if you have paid attention you will know that my main dream is to become a full-time photographer.

I don’t just want to be a photographer. I want to inspire people by capturing the beautiful things, big and small. And the overlooked. And the ugly. And the sad. Happy. Funny. ALL of it can inspire, teach, and help grow.

There are a few ways I plan on doing this. Of course, the most obvious is by taking photos for people who hire me. That is one area that you can help with. I am open to traveling anywhere in the US, as long as the trip will provide what I need financially. That means if I were to travel to a different state, I would need X amount of shoots scheduled to get me there, feed me, and give me a small bit of profit. :)

Other ways will be shared in the coming months. You know, as things continue to work in our favor. :))

The best part about having made this decision, is that people starting contacting me literally within a couple days, even before I started talking about it! It was such a great confirmation for me. My weeks keep filling up and I feel more and more confident in the photos I am giving to people. I have also started working with some ministries and organizations to utilize the huge heart God gave me for others. I feel like this is the perfect time and place in my life for this to happen. I would love to continue to make this work so my dream can become truth in my life. I would also love if you would help support me in this. You can do this easily by simply continuing to come here and join me as I move along in my life. Spread the word about my photography and help me get shoots. When I share the final part of my pursuit, help me in ways that you can. Every one of you is so important to me, which is why I share this with you. :)

I just posted quite a few new photos here. Please check them out and leave comments telling me what you loved, or offering suggestion. It also would mean a lot for you to add me here, or here, or here. :)

I seriously love you guys more than I could express and hope you know how grateful I am for those of you who have been faithful friends, even when I haven’t been able to keep up with you as much as I would like.

Anyway, I will stop before your eyeballs fall out of your head from too much reading. Be back soon! Hopefully by Thursday! :)

love, love, love, scout

Source: one: me; two: here; three: me; four: me; five: me; six: me; seven: here

I hope this inspires you as much as me. My friend, Alex, made this. This is her description for it:
“Field Studies follows five college art students in their final two weeks of their education. Caleb Knodell is a drawing major, Kelsey Steffes is a Design and Illustration Major with a minor in Printmaking, Adam Bowlin, James Mulvenon and Jamie Kalil are Design majors. Field studies was shot on a Canon 7d , primarily using a 50mm f/1.4 lens. None of the shots were color corrected or tampered with in anyway.”

I hope you all have a beautiful day! I will be back later, hopefully. :)

love, scout

*image found here