July has always been my favorite month of the year. Summer is my SOUL season, and July is smack dab in the middle of summer: it’s hot, dry, and the lazy days of summer seem to drag on with no hint of fall. Seriously, my favorite. Now August has hit and the reality that summer will END soon is hitting me. This year it’s bittersweet because my oldest will be starting KINDERGARTEN this fall! Like once this month is over…he’s off to school! I’m crying already just thinking about it. So we’re trying to cram in ALL the fun while he’s still 100% mine 100% of the time.
This month we spent a ton of time in the backyard. I bought a bubble machine on Prime Day, and let me tell you, that was the best investment I’ve made in my entire life. The kids have bubble parties out there all the time. Add in a sprinkler and it’s a little summer wonderland out there.
We loved going to the St. Paul Rodeo Parade for the Fourth of July. And later, of course, the kids loved the fireworks.
My husband and I had our eight year anniversary, and my parents took the kids overnight so we could have a little staycation. We went to Ruddick and Wood, the lavender festival, and on a hike at Champoeg. We took ten thousand pictures. We went to coffee shops and ate leisurely and went to book stores. I found a used copy of a Karen Kijewski book. It. Was. Fantastic.
I baked cookies a lot, when it wasn’t too hot, because I’m falling off the Whole30 bandwagon, hard. Is there an option to do the Whole30 plus eat chocolate chip cookies? Because that would be perfect. And also? I hardly ever do black and white images because color is EVERYTHING, but I love the way this black and white focuses on their sweet little baby hands.
I shot two weddings: Jenna and Armando’s at The Falls Event Center in McMinnville and Shana and Josh’s at Quimby Pond in Dayton. Both couples were so calm and happy and excited to start the rest of their lives together.
I took the kids to Champoeg a few times to walk around. It’s always my favorite place. We checked out the garden and took notes because my son wants to have a huge vegetable garden. I’m taking advice if there are gardeners out there! Mama has no gardening skills!
I also spent time at Champoeg with some of my past SSP couples! I hosted a little anniversary session event for all the couples whose weddings I’ve photographed and it was SO AWESOME getting to see so many of them again! I loved hearing about what they’ve been up to since their wedding day and making some new photos for them!
So how did I do? —
- Shoot Jenna and Armando’s epic cathedral+The Falls Event Center wedding (IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!! See their blog post here!)
- Shoot Shana and Josh’s sweet Quimby Pond wedding (AHHH! They were SO ADORABLE! Blog post is here!)
- Blog those weddings ASAP! (I did it! Hooray!)
- See ALLLLLL of my past wedding couples for a super awesome event! (One of the most satisfying days of my career, seriously!)
- Get better at remembering to use Instagram (Sort of! I’ve been trying out IG stories and posting work to it more frequently–go see me on Instagram here)
- Update my Instagram bio from the one that currently says I never use it! (Boom. Done. Was this like a deep soul-searching journey for anyone else? Just me? Cool.)
- Enjoy Newberg’s Old Fashioned Festival–we’d only been here a few months last time and were still getting settled from the move so we didn’t go to much. This time, it’s ON! (We made it to the Children’s Parade on Thursday but missed the rest…classic.)
- Spend more time meeting other fabulous business owners at the Yamhill County MOB Meetup! (Mama-owned businesses! Not, you know, THAT mob!) (The blog on this is coming this month too! I have spent a ton of time connecting with other local photographers business owners this month and the MOB has been a HUGE part of this! I can’t wait to share more about it, but until then, if you’re a mom who owns her own business in Yamhill County and you want to get involved, contact me and I’ll give you the details!)
- Get through TWO SOLID WEEKS of entertaining my free-spirited one year old in the bleachers while my 5 year old has daily swim lessons (Lord help me) (I. Did. It.)
- Celebrate our EIGHT YEAR wedding anniversary! We still haven’t decided what to do! Ideas?(Such a relaxing weekend! My parents took the kids overnight and we had a little staycation: Ruddick and Wood, the lavender festival, and a hike at Champoeg!)
I’m looking forward to August, and savoring the last bits of summer and toddlerhood with my son. I have some big goals and trying to balance those with family time. On the agenda:
- Rock three more anniversary sessions and treasure my time with more past SSP couples!
- Celebrate Mykael and Evan’s wedding! So excited!!
- My BIG GOAL: launch my updated website! This has been in the works for a few months now and comes with some soul-searching and tons of computer time, but I can’t wait to share the new online face of Samantha Shannon Photography!
- Along with the new website, finish my new pricing guide! I’m kind of bored with the current one, so I’ve been working on pretty-fying it with updated photos and a new layout!
- Enjoy some time with my baby girl while my son is at day camp!
- Enjoy my big long weekend that I scheduled off! Maybe a beach trip day? Maybe camping? Who knows! Something fun and summery!
- Do back to school shopping for my son! I love new school supplies so this will be a fun one! Any guesses on how many notebooks I’ll add to the cart for myself? I have a problem.